Jan. 21st, 2010

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1. Match Point (2005)
Sadly, by 2005, the world at large expected mediocrity from Woody Allen. So this nasty thriller came as a splash of ice cold water in the face. Who knew he had it in him?

2. The Simpsons Movie (2007)
Against all odds, they didn't fuck it up. Instead, they made a movie that was better than the previous ten years' subpar episodes.

3. The Queen (2006)
It's about the royals reacting to Princess Diana's death, so I told myself, "prepare to yawn." And yet, the movie manages to extract drama from that tiny premise, and I wasn't bored for a second.

4. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
I wasn't bowled over by these movies. They seemed kinda repetitive to me, and rarely made me feel anything. That changed with the third installment, which finally achieves some emotional depth.

5. Casino Royale (2006)
I wasn't expecting the best Bond movie in forty years at this late date. Suspenseful, well-written, and well acted.

6. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
This is the reverse of what happened with Goblet of Fire. This is my least favourite book in the series, but the movie judiciously distills the book and fixes its problems.

7. Before Sunset (2004)
It seemed ill-advised to mess with a gem like Before Sunrise, with its lovely ambiguous ending. But this sequel catches up with the characters in a way that feels natural, and it manages to come up with an even better conclusion.

8. Jeepers Creepers (2001)
An intelligent and effective horror film? In this day and age?

9. Paranormal Activity (2009)
I never expect to have the pants scared off of me, so this qualifies as a surprise.

10. Lost in Translation (2003)
Sofia Coppola had already made the pretty-good film The Virgin Suicides, but who knew the horrible actress from Godfather III had it in her to create a movie of this much depth and humour?

Other movie lists:
most disappointing
most overrated
most underrated
the worst

Best of the decade lists:
music from 60 to 46

music from 45 to 31

music from 30 to 16
music top 15

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