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THE 18 BEST MOVIES OF THE DECADE

By / 12.17.09

PansLabyrinthPaleMan

Everyone knows it’s ridiculous to try to quantitatively rank unquantifiables like movies.  And though I tried to do my research for this, there are probably a plenty deserving flicks I’m forgetting or never saw.  Therefore if you disagree with anything on this list, it’s probably because you’re an idiot and no one likes you and your mom has cancer.   Internet readers are suckers for lists, so let’s earn papa some money, huh?  Be sure to argue in the comments section as much as possible.   Ready? KNIVES OUT!

1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Jim Carrey’s zaniest performance since Yes Man!  Seriously though, I don’t think anyone’s ever figured out such a perfect way to say that relationships are the stupidest things in the world that you just want to forget, and that given half a chance, you’d still do over again in the exact same way as before.  Charlie Kaufman is a genius, and Michel Gondry painted me a tranny.  Game over, man.

2. City of God (2002)
Brazilians and Brazilian chicks and little kids shooting each other!  What can I say, it’s a white knuckler, it looks amazing, and though I don’t usually go in for all that “based on a true story crap”, that scene at the end where they show all the real people from the story is kind of mind blowing.

3. The Wrestler (2008)
I hated gimmicky-ass Reqiuem for a Dream, so loving an Aronofsky flick this much surprised the hell out of me.  It was funny, almost comically gritty, and it had a stripper who actually looked like a stripper.  It made me want to drink whiskey with Mickey Rourke and pet his three-legged dog on a dead-end road while we sang Springsteen songs.  Now, who wants to fireman party?

4.  Wall E (2008)
I had to put a Pixar flick on here, but to be honest, it’s pretty much a wash between this, Up, and Finding Nemo.  In the end I’ll take Wall E over Up, only because Up seemed to be trying way too hard to make me cry.  Didn’t you get the memo?  THESE EYEBALLS DON’T RUN, MOTHERF$##!3R!  USA! USA! USA!

5. Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
As much as I hate how much hipsters love it and Wes Anderson’s stupid ascots, I can rewatch this over and over.  Every time I watch it, I start thinking it drags in the middle and what was I thinking for liking it so much?   And then by the time the funeral scene at the end comes around, I’m an emotional mess and cursing myself for ever doubting it.  Remember those paintings?  I would tattoo that on my dick.

6. O Brother Where Art Thou (2000)
Clooney.  Coen Brothers.  John Turturro.  I watch this over and over and it always makes me smile.  Damn!  We’re in a tight spot!

7. There Will Be Blood (2007)
Daniel Day-Lewis as a Bill the Butcher was perfect.  Give him an equally psychotic character in a coherent movie and of course it’s going to be that much better.  How hard I laughed at the bowling pin scene confirms: I might be a sociopath.

8. Borat (2006)
I know there are plenty of you Sacha Cohen haters out there, but The Running of the Jew?  Crush the Jew egg before it hatches?  Throwing money at the cockroaches (they’ve shapeshifted!)?  I can’t remember another time I’ve laughed so hard at the theater.

9.  No Country For Old Men (2007)
I’d still rather see it end on the car accident scene than on Tommy Lee Jones talking about his dream, but whatever.  It’s easy to forget how good every single performance in this was.  Not to mention, I might even consider watching Nine if it had someone getting his brains blown out with compressed air.

10. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
That scene where the guy with eyeballs on his palms starts ripping fairies apart with his teeth almost made my head explode.  I also love that when they kill the bad guy, there’s no big buildup or symbolic death scene, they just shoot him in the face like a dog.  It made me so happy that I started giggling uncontrollably, and once again, oh right, I’m the weird guy in the theater.  Haha, a guy got murdered in the face!

11.  The Hurt Locker (2008/2009)
Like No Country, I so wish they’d have ended it on the scene in the cereal aisle.  But this is just straightforward filmmaking at its finest.  It’s the attention to detail and spatial awareness that make it a masterpiece and put it so far ahead of the quick-cut, shakey cam crap that’s out nowadays.

12. The Lives of Others (2007)
To sum up, Germans are weird.  Every time I see it, it makes me think of that quote about how you can see the mind set that produced the Third Reich just by studying a German toilet*.

13.  Gone Baby Gone (2007)
I once called this the best movie of 2007.  Does that mean I think less of it now? I don’t know.  Maybe I subconsciously couldn’t handle the thought of a Ben Affleck movie rating so high.  Mystic River and The Departed probably could’ve gone on here too, but I find The Departed‘s ending sort of nonsensical and Nicholson’s acting way over the top.  Mystic River is good but it also kind of made me want to kill myself.

14. Y Tu Mama Tambien (2001)
Another awesome movie where I have to quibble with the ending.  I hate when you see a good movie and then at the very end they’re like, “Oh, and you know what else?  Yahtzee, someone has cancer!”   What?  That was totally unnecessary to the story.  You make a you momma cry.

15. Knocked Up (2007)
The one scene I don’t like is in the delivery room where Leslie Mann suddenly decides she likes Seth Rogen because he yelled at her.  But other than that and the mistake of casting Katherine Heigl in the first place, it was so funny while also being such a real story that it forever killed the old Farrelly Brothers throw-10-jokes-at-the-wall-and-hope-one-of-them-sticks style of comedy.  Sorry, I liked it waay better than 40-Year-Old Virgin.

16.  Spider-Man 2 (2004)
I realize it depends largely on whether you took it 100% seriously or saw it as slightly satirical (as I did), but it’s still my favorite superhero movie.  It was funny, tongue in cheek, and Doctor Octopus could put on sunglasses, light a cigarette, and molest three Japanese schoolgirls at the same time.  How awesome is that?

17. Zoolander (2001)
Be honest, how many people do you know who can recite this movie by heart?  Obey my dog!

18. Kill Bill 1 (2003)
My favorite Tarantino movie of this decade.  I think he was doing less coke when he wrote this one, because the dialog isn’t nearly excessive as it is in Inglourious Basterds or as up its own ass as it was in Kill Bill 2.  (Not that I don’t love both of those also, just sayin).

Other crap that easily could have made the list: Adaptation (again, I love Charlie Kaufman, and Spike Jonze), Bad Lieutenant (one of my top few movies this year, but I don’t have enough perspective on it yet), Memento, Punch-Drunk Love, Hot Fuzz (I always liked it better than Shaun of the Dead, but I admit it could be because I hate zombies so much), Old Boy (kept it off the list because everyone else has it on theirs), Grizzly Man, Anvil, Amores Perros, Team America, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Bad Santa, Wedding Crashers, Old School (shut up, you know they were funny), In Bruges (crap, that totally should’ve been on the list), and whatever your favorite is, sweetheart.  I kept Dark Knight off because I wanted to hear everyone complain about it.  Also, I haven’t seen Leap Year yet, and it’d be dumb not to assume that’ll be number one.  Did you know a woman can propose on leap year in Ireland?  It’s true.

*takes breath*  Okay, ready?  FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!


*The Quote:
In a traditional German toilet, the hole into which sh-t disappears after we flush is right at the front, so that sh-t is first laid out for us to sniff and inspect for traces of illness. In the typical French toilet, on the contrary, the hole is at the back, i.e. sh-t is supposed to disappear as quickly as possible. Finally, the American (Anglo-Saxon) toilet presents a synthesis, a mediation between these opposites: the toilet basin is full of water, so that the sh-t floats in it, visible, but not to be inspected. No wonder that in the famous discussion of European toilets at the beginning of her half-forgotten Fear of Flying, Erica Jong mockingly claims that ‘German toilets are really the key to the horrors of the Third Reich. People who can build toilets like this are capable of anything.’ It is clear that none of these versions can be accounted for in purely utilitarian terms: each involves a certain ideological perception of how the subject should relate to excrement.  Hegel was among the first to see in the geographical triad of Germany, France and England an expression of three different existential attitudes: reflective thoroughness (German), revolutionary hastiness (French), utilitarian pragmatism (English). In political terms, this triad can be read as German conservatism, French revolutionary radicalism and English liberalism.
(got it from here)


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