The Cynical Optimist – 28/1/2010

It’s hard to believe it’s already 2010. When I was a kid, I assumed 2010 would entail flying cars, time travel, affordable jetpacks, personal robotic servants, virtual reality and real working lightsabers. Sadly, none of these things have come to fruition. I’m probably a little behind on this, as most critics or writers or movie buffs have already painstakingly created a list of their Top 50 films of the decade – but better late than never, I suppose.

I’ll be honest with you up front. I didn’t put that much effort into creating this list – there’s just too many things to consider, so many variables in ranking 50 films from the past 10 years. I decided upon a few guidelines.

First, I decided The Top 50 Films will be listed in chronological order by year of release. This way you can see a visual breakdown of the films from 1999-2009. Secondly, I decided to combine trilogies such as the “Star Wars” Prequels, “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Lord of the Rings” films as one entry. Also, on that note, I have combined “Kill Bill” Volumes One and Two into one entry – same goes for “Grindhouse.”

Finally, these are my favorite films of the decade. I could have just as easily went through Wikipedia and pulled the five Best Picture nominations for every year and leave it at that, but the point of this list is not to be elitist or pretentious in my choices. So, with that being said, enjoy my Top 50 Films of the Decade:

1. American Beauty (1999)

2. The Green Mile (1999)

3. The Sixth Sense (1999)

4. Fight Club (1999)

5. The Matrix (1999)

6. Star Wars: Prequel Trilogy (1999 – 2005)

7. Memento (2000)

8. Almost Famous (2000)

9. High Fidelity (2000)

10. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001 – 2003)

11. Moulin Rouge! (2001)

12. Donnie Darko (2001)

13. Gangs of New York (2002)

14. Catch Me If You Can (2002)

15. Signs (2002)

16. Big Fish (2003)

17. Lost in Translation (2003)

18. Mystic River (2003)

19. X2: X-Men United (2003)

20. Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair (2003 – 2004)

21. Pirates of the Caribbean Trilogy (2003 – 2007)

22. Ray (2004)

23. Spider-Man 2 (2004)

24. Shaun of the Dead (2004)

25. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)

26. Brokeback Mountain (2005)

27. King Kong (2005)

28. Junebug (2005)

29. The Departed (2006)

30. The Fountain (2006)

31. Apocalypto (2006)

32. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)

33. Children of Men (2006)

34. Zodiac (2007)

35. Transformers (2007)

36. No Country for Old Men (2007)

37. Eastern Promises (2007)

38. There Will Be Blood (2007)

39. Grindhouse (2007)

40. Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

41. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

42. Frost/Nixon (2008)

43. The Dark Knight (2008)

44. The Wrestler (2008)

45. Revolutionary Road (2008)

46. Wall-E (2008)

47. District 9 (2009)

48. (500) Days of Summer (2009)

49. Avatar (2009)

50. Up in the Air (2009)

If you’re interested in a much more thorough look at last decade’s greatest films, I suggest reading Clint’s List.