Best-of-the-aughts: ranking 2009 and 2008

After agonizing over my choices for the 2000’s entry in my bestofthedecades series, I finally decided that there was no feasible way for me to narrow the decade down to one short list. I came to the conclusion that it would be best if I broke down the aughts (2000-2009) into two-year increments that featured 10 films per year, starting with the most recent years: 2009 and 2008.

As usual, the list is in alphabetical order.

2008
1. Burn After Reading
Only the Coen Brothers could get Brad Pitt, George Clooney and company to act this hilariously silly.

2. Cloverfield
I will defend this movie’s status as a classic until I die. It had an extremely original premise: a monster movie, from the perspective of regular people, who never see the monster.

3. The Dark Knight
If I had to name my favorite movie of the 2000’s, I would probably choose this. Heath Ledger’s Joker is perfect, as is Christopher Nolan’s direction.

4. Forgetting Sarah Marshall
This could be included because of the post-break-up montage scene alone.

5. In Bruges
Creatively brings a radically different take to the crime drama.

6. Iron Man
Robert Downey Jr. has enough charisma to carry this on his own; adding in other quality actors is not fair.

7. Pineapple Express
James Franco gives one of the funniest performances of the decade.

8. Role Models
Who doesn’t love Paul Rudd?

9. Slumdog Millionaire
I would have never guessed that a film revolving around a game show could be so thrilling.

10. Tropic Thunder
A perfect send-up of Hollywood.

2009
1. District 9
Has you glued to the screen from beginning to end. Just about as good of a debut as a director can have.

2. Drag Me to Hell
Sam Raimi’s triumphant and exhilarating return to horror.

3. 500 Days of Summer
Memento as a hipster love story. Without the murder of course.

4. The Hangover
Immensely quotable. Made stars out of most of the cast.

5. The Hurt Locker
The most nail-bitingly intense film I have ever seen.

6. I Love You, Man
This “bromance” film beat romantic comedies at their own game.

7. Inglourious Basterds
My pick for best film of 2009. Christoph Waltz puts on an acting clinic, Brad Pitt hams it up and Michael Fassbender has his Hollywood coming-out party.

8. Paranormal Activity
The Blair Witch Project for the current generation. The scariest movie I have ever seen in theaters.

9. Star Trek
Captain Kirk’s return to the big screen was an outstanding success. It had me from the use of the Beastie Boys in the opening scene.

10. Watchmen
The first 35 to 40 minutes of this movie are flawless.

11. Zombieland
Alright, I cheated and included 11 films, but I simply could not leave out this hilarious take on the zombie movie.

I think breaking the 2000’s down into separate posts was a good decision. I just blabbered on for almost 500 words on only two years. And I still probably left out a great film or two from these years. Let me know how what you think in the comments. I am more than ready to defend my exclusion of Avatar (Pocahontas with amazing visuals).

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One Response to Best-of-the-aughts: ranking 2009 and 2008

  1. Although, I’m not a big movie buff, from what I’ve heard most of these movies are “must-sees.” I like your insight on each movie, and it is evident that you are very abreast on the topic. Good post!

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