Top 50 Films of the Decade: 2000-2009

January 17, 2010 at 2:23 pm (Movies)

This is, at the very least, a huge undertaking to take a retrospective and just sorta count out what I liked most from the past 10 years of seeing movies, mainly because in 2000 I was 8 years old. My movie sense then isn’t the same as it is now. But after a ton of visits to Wikipedia’s film lists and a lot of deliberation last night as I went through a process involving my notebook to narrow down the movies, I think I’ve come to some true results that I can stand behind. There were snappy comedies that were fun to watch, mind-blowing crime sagas, and movies that even took us deep inside through the human mind. Agree or not, these are my favorite movies from the past 10 years, in other words, the first decade I’ve lived through the entirety of.

  1. The Dark Knight-The setting was a dark, increasingly crowded theater filled to the brim with avid fanboys waiting to see the most anticipated superhero film of the year. Christopher Nolan crafts an expert film with an engaging story of a superhero, but also perfectly crafts what can come with superpowers and an intelligent but enthralling way of describing the morality that comes with it. Every scene Heath Ledger’s Joker comes on screen the crowd fell silent in anticipation, not knowing what would come next. This is an expert film, the best superhero film ever made in the fact the hero isn’t a “superhero” at all, and one of my favorite films I’ve seen.
  2. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind-Another one of my favorite directors, Michel Gondry (also helming The Green Hornet which I can’t wait for) takes us inside the human mind with a fantastically written and a fantastically executed movie that redefines “interesting”. Jim Carrey’s near-perfect in this, and with an ending that throws you truly on your head, you definitely need to see it.
  3. Little Miss Sunshine-There’s just something so infectious about this movie, this family starts out separated and by the end of the 2 hours not only have you seen them grow together you’ve grown closer to them, plus it’s funny and witty, Steve Carell is perfect in it.
  4. Be Kind Rewind-Michel Gondry hits the note again in what was a great concept that was executed greatly, that’s fun to watch over and over again.
  5. No Country for Old Men-Ha-Ha, the Coen Brothers paint a wild west landscape that’s just so bleak and silent, Javier Bardem appearing often to truly embody “evil” in one of the best films of that year. It holds with it a great story, and the anticipation builds and builds throughout.
  6. Up-(See Below)
  7. Finding Nemo-It’s so so so worth mentioning how paramount the Pixar movies have been in the past decade, truly great movies that have been cranked out constantly, never disappointing. These two, to me, exist as their 2 finest. Other Pixar Films appear in my list, which just goes to show how much they’ve meant to me growing up and learning to love movies.
  8. Gran Torino-Clint Eastwood puts together a really strong movie with one of his best and most iconic characters ever in Walt.
  9. District 9-Neil Blomkamp shows what can be done with little financial backing my crafting a science fiction masterpiece that’s really ingenious.
  10. Dan in Real Life-Steve Carell’s in the top ten again, a really charming romantic comedy that I really enjoyed watching.
  11. I Love You, Man
  12. Monsters Inc.
  13. Spiderman 1/2
  14. Watchmen
  15. Pineapple Express
  16. United 93
  17. Swing Vote
  18. The Hangover
  19. Shaun of the Dead/Hot Fuzz
  20. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl/Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
  21. Star Trek (2009)
  22. Supersize Me
  23. Zombieland
  24. Hitch
  25. Sherlock Holmes (2009)
  26. Casino Royale
  27. Where the Wild Things Are
  28. Avatar
  29. Forgetting Sarah Marshall
  30. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
  31. Inglourious Basterds
  32. The Prestige
  33. The Soloist
  34. Iron Man
  35. Slumdog Millionaire
  36. I Am Legend
  37. Drag Me To Hell
  38. Funny People
  39. Wanted
  40. Taken
  41. Batman Begins-Liam Neeson two times in a row haha
  42. X2: X-Men United
  43. 300
  44. Run Fatboy Run
  45. Shrek
  46. Inside Man
  47. Knocked Up
  48. Walk the Line
  49. The Pursuit of Happyness
  50. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America  for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

Honorable Mentions-

  • Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?
  • 16 Blocks
  • Get Smart (2008)
  • The Visitor
  • Observe and Report
  • Away We Go
  • Elf
  • School of Rock
  • Secondhand Lions
  • Ray
  • The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
  • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
  • Bruce Almighty
  • The Incredibles
  • War of the Worlds
  • March of the Penguins
  • National Treasure
  • The 40 Year Old Virgin
  • The Blind Side
  • Public Enemies
  • Henry Poole is Here
  • License to Wed
  • Disturbia
  • Happy Feet

So, there’s the list. The Top 10 I totally recommend and take your own discretion through the rest of the list, but I can definitely recommend each and every one of those to your NetFlix or check at your local video store.



  1. The James said,

    some parts seemed typical Jake (batman is #1), some parts surprised me (x2 in the 40’s, be kind rewind in the top 10). Overall, a very nice list.

    I notice school of rock is one of your honorable mentions. I just wrote a post about good movies that was inspired by school of rock.

    I need to watch some of these that I missed.

  2. earlman27 said,

    I had a lot of trouble writing this list haha. Honestly, #1 and #2 are interchangable because both of those films in my mind are so incredibly good. Eternal Sunshine is a better film, but I had more fun watching The Dark Knight, and that’s always been a fun movie for me that captured a lot of great elements. There are actually a few other movies (Including The Departed) that’d I’d could have incorporated but I’ve watched it since I made the list so I won’t bother. I really loved Be Kind Rewind and I placed it mainly due to it’s undeniable creativity that i really admired. X2 I didn’t really like at the time but I really respect nowadays. Anywho, thanks, I need to do another list of just great movies I recommend to see, I don’t necessarily recommend all of these haha.

  3. The James said,

    lol, well, its a good list. It is cool to see where our taste in movies are alike and when they are similar. I know I could not make such a list (don’t have the memory or focus.)

  4. earlman27 said,

    I actually went through the Wikipedia “200-” in Film for each year of the decade and listed my favorites, then narrowed them down by varying numbers of stars haha. It took about 4-5 hours.

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