Friday, 11 December 2009

The Ten Greatest Films Of The 2000s: A Statement Of Fact

The Double-0s (I refuse to call them the noughties; if you don’t know why I’m calling them the Double-0s, you're reading the wrong blog) have produced some cack and no mistake. The Brothers Grimm, Serenity, Marie Antoinette, American Dreamz, Southland Tales, Snakes On A Plane, 10,000 BC… I sob myself to sleep thinking about all those hours forever lost in time, like snot in rain.

On the other, much less despicable hand, there were some movies that quite literally made life worth living. Here are The Incredible Suit’s ten greatest films of the 2000s in chronological order, which is my favourite kind of logical.

Between its bookends of careening shots through the streets of turn-of-the-century Paris, Moulin Rouge! is like shoving a lit firework up your bottom and having it explode behind your eyeballs for two hours. Audacious contemporary songs and retina-terrorising production design combine with a beautiful, passionate love story to make the greatest musical, like, ever. Also Nicole Kidman is well fit, innit.

Two men bent on their own courses of single-minded revenge collide in a bloody, searing and black-as-deathly comic thriller that twists and turns like a slug in salt. Like its follow-up, Oldboy, it’s unflinchingly brutal and as taut as high-tensile razor wire stretched across your peepers. And don’t even try and tell me you saw that ending coming you puckish little fibber.

One of the very few films to feature funny, likeable children, of which Jack Black is the biggest. A perfect combination of comedy and great tunes, building up to a face-melting climax that makes you simultaneously laugh and cry snot bubbles all over your air guitar. And Joan Cusack, as the principal (I think they mean headmistress), is a ladygod amongst ladyfolk.

Majestic in so many ways, Peter Jackson’s unbelievable achievement reaches its climax (several of them, in fact) with the most spectacular and affecting film of the trilogy. Gollum, Shelob, The Army Of The Dead, the siege of Minas Tirith: any one of these in any other film would have been impressive. All of them in the same film is astonishing. However, there is no excuse for Annie Lennox’s horrific earhole torture over the credits.

Why Pixar keep fannying about with sequels to Toy Story and Cars is beyond me, when The Incredibles has the most jaw-dropping animation, the most thrilling set pieces, the coolest music and the most identifiable characters (despite being super-powered) of any of their films, and features Samuel L Jackson’s greatest ever scene (and that’s saying something), in which he attempts to locate his costume against the wishes of his obstreperous missus.

It’s not for everyone, but it is for anyone who doesn’t fit in any particular box. The quirkiest, sweetest and frankly best comedy ever, featuring the most unlikely hero and perhaps the most incisive question in movie history: “Do the chickens have large talons?” By the time Napoleon and Deb play swingball at the end my heartstrings were shedding their own tears. The film that, in a vague and uninteresting way, gave The Incredible Suit its name.

My occasional friend Brendan describes it as “a turd on the carcass of a once great franchise”, which is eloquent enough, but then predictably calls it ‘Revenge Of The Shit’. Well screw you Brendan. Opening with the most tremendous space battle since Return Of The Jedi and refusing to let up until the closing scenes, Sith may be divisive but for me concludes the prequel trilogy in an explosion of geekoramic fun.

More gripping and emotionally complex than its overlong, overcomplicated sequel, Christopher Nolan gave me everything I wanted from a Batflick without me having to ask. Ferocious fight scenes, a Gotham City risen from Hell itself and a Batman who, if you met him in a dark alley, would actually make you do a poo in your trousers. Also, Michael Caine: Legendary.

When I found out they were making Casino Royale I was so excited I wet myself, which was embarrassing but worth it. Martin Campbell and Daniel Craig gave the franchise the fierce kick in the face it needed, and – like Christopher Nolan the year before - delivered the very film this Bondicidal maniac needed to see. Very possibly the best 007 film ever, and I don’t use words like that lightly.

Cloverfield (2008)

Twenty minutes of zippy setup followed by fifty minutes of sheer balls-out action, nerve-shredding tension and sphincter-clenching terror, with special effects being used in exactly the correct way according to a manifesto I’ll get round to writing one day. The Incredible Suit demands a sequel. Bonus: Michael Giacchino’s theme over the end credits is an epic masterpiece.

Agree? Disagree? Couldn’t give a sith? Leave a comment here


  1. How about
    1) 'Eloge de l'amour' 2001 Jean-Luc Godard
    2) 'The Darjeeling Limited 2007 Wes Anderson
    3) 'The World' 2005 Jia Zhangke
    4) 'A Talking Picture' 2003 Manoel de Oliveira
    5) 'Regular Lovers' 2005 Phillippe Garrel
    6) 'Sobibor, Oct.14,1943,4pm' 2001 Lanzmann
    7) 'Fengming' 2009 Wang Bing
    8) 'Knocked Up' 2008 Judd Apatow
    9) 'Moolaade' 2005 Ousmane Sembene
    10) 'The Other Half' 2007 Ying Liang

    My choices? No. This is the list by Richard Brody of 'The New Yorker'
    Any top anything list is arbitary and subjective.
    'In Search Of The Perfect 10' 1968 Gregory Dark may offer more confusion..

  2. Well obviously Mr Brody is entitled to his opinions, but what a pretentious twerp.

  3. i would have to add (not knocked up... jesus christ!)

    The man from earth
    stranger than fiction
    the fall
    the king of kong
    before sunset
    Maria full of grace,
    Roger Dodger,
    Etre et Avoir,
    Lilya 4 ever,
    me you and everyone we know,
    the consequences of love
    Nacho Libre

  4. Interesting list there D-Fens, although I have to say that of the ones that I've seen I didn't rate any of them. Still, if we all liked the same things the world would be a boring place. Unless everyone liked what I like, in which case it would be a perfect and beautiful world.

  5. Well without being all male and anoraky, and not having a comprehensive list of the decades films to browse through, a couple of my favourites have been :-

    Gran Torino
    Daniel Craig,sorry I mean Casino Royale
    Life of Others
    Taking Liberties
    In the Shadow of the Moon

    Ms So So Jeans

  6. Gran Torino, hmm, bit silly at the end. Preferred Harry Brown mesen. The Lives Of Others is good though, I'll allow that.

  7. Yeah well having recently seen Dirty Harry Brown I think both films reflect the cultures they come from, but Clint at least made some friends in the community.

    Not sure I can concur with Cloverfield. One of the top 10? Really? Of its time, post 9/11 filmed on mobiles but anything more than just a romp, nah.
    Ms Jeans

  8. But a perfectly executed romp, trimmed of all fat and tense as a motherchuffer.

    No apology necessary.

  9. City of God – seriously, has everyone completely forgotten how brilliant this was?????
    Dark Knight & Casino Royale – both took moribund franchises, decided to take them seriously and voila! Proper adult entertainment.
    Dog Days – euro misanthropy. Yeah baby!
    Napoleon Dynamite – ‘I need skills. Bo fighting skills.’ Much smarter than Superbad.
    A History of Violence – even on repeated viewings there is no clue as to which way he will turn.
    Bourne trilogy – no Bourne trilogy, no Casino Royale. End of.
    Tsotsi – don’t know why but it just got to me.
    Matt Dent.

  10. Good to hear from you Mr D! Glad you agree with Casino Royale and Napoleon Dynamite. The Dark Knight was a bit too all over the place for me compared to Batman Begins. A History Of Violence, very good indeed, and I grudgingly agree you might be right about the Bourne / Bond thing but my god those Bourne films are dull. The Boring Identity, more like, ho ho ho!

    (I use that line all the time. It's a real icebreaker at parties)

  11. thought the dark knight was terrible. City of god fantastic. Casino royale was very good also. You should all serious watch the man from earth if you haven't already.