This is the start of my count down of the 50 best films of the decade . . .
50. The Last Word (2008)
Probably the least well-known film on the whole list, and reasons for it being here are it was totally different to anything I had seen before. I had never heard about it before watching it so did not really know what it was about. It is about a man who writes suicide notes for people (who pay him) and he writes poems and lovely verses for someone to read after his client does the dead. He spends time with the people to make the note sound more like it could be from them. Wes Bentley and Winona Ryder work very well together, as they end up dating after he knows everything about her as she is the sister of a recent client of his. (Which obviously causes some dramatic moments when she finds out). He also strikes up a relationship with another client, who he does not want to go through with his suicide . . . So the main reason for this film being on the list was how powerful the message of being able to change your life around no matter what situation you have gotten yourself in and how bad you think everything is. I was still thinking about this film days later, which I think is a good thing from a film.
49. Meet the Parents (2000)
Tagline: First comes love. Then comes the interrogation.
Robert DeNiro . . . yes Robert DeNiro in a comedy film? Yes thats right and he is just brilliant in this film, he has Ben stiller extremely scared of him whilst trying to figure out a way to ask him if he can marry his oldest daughter. This was not going to be an easy task, especially when Greg (Ben Stiller) seems to lie about his life or do silly things trying to be accepted into Jack’s circle of trust. Even worse for Greg that Jack is not a flower salesman as he is first told, he is retired CIA . . . the laughs continue throughout as you also feel sorry for Greg who cannot do anything right. Yes they have placed somethings in the film for cheap laughs eg. Greg’s real name being Gaylord Focker . . . but yes it is still funny every time they say Focker as you know what it really means. Another thing that always makes me laugh is the scene when Greg tries to force his bag in the overhead locker on the plane it’s just too funny, and I do not imagine you would be allowed to film something like that now. I thought it was brilliant on its released 10 years ago now, and still do when watching it to this day.
48. Gladiator (2000)
Tagline: Father of a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife and I shall have my vengeance in this life or the next
“Are you not entertained?” – Well actually yes we were, Gladiator was a great film to have at the very start of the decade and set a standard for trying to make a modern epic film. A man who has already lost everything, what does he have to live for? His vengeance . . . and that is what we seen when Maximus travel to Rome as a gladiator to fight for his revenge against the corrupt Prince. This film has some brilliant action and fight sequences in as well as one of the most well-known film speeches when Maximus tells us his full name.
47. Elf (2003)
Tagline: This holiday, discover your inner elf.
It still surprises me how much I actually love this film, as I am not in the Will Ferrell fan club, but it really is such a funny yet heartwarming film. Will Ferrell is hilarious as Buddy the Elf who is in fact human but was raised believing he was elf (yes sounds crazy) so he leaves the North Pole in a quest to find his father who lives in none other than New York City. This then leads to a grown man walking around NYC dressed as an elf, green costume with yellow tights which would be funny enough without all the funny things Buddy says. I love it when gets excited about Santa going to visit the toy department in the shop he gets a job in, just brilliant. But the film also does carry a nice message about Christmas spirit and I am sure this film will become (if it already hasnt) a favorite to watch over Christmas.
46. The Notebook (2004)
Tagline: Behind every great love is a great story.
“This isn’t gonna be easy, were gonna have to work at this everyday.” – A classic love story which is told as flashbacks to a story, but who are the main people in the story? It involves battle of the classes as Noah is poor and Allie comes from a rich family, who disapprove of Noah. Years pass but they know they should be together and eventually they do end up together, and would be together forever. It really is just a lovely story, you follow the ups and downs of the couple and can imagine how hard it is especially for Noah who is left on his own. It’s not just all romance and fairy tales they argue which I think makes it even more realistic. Hopefully at some point everyone will experience the love that Noah and Allie share in this film.
45. Batman Begins (2005)
Tagline: Didn’t need one !!! Title says it all.
Batman really did begin again in a new way with this film, its dark, its heavy, it has action, character development, basically the full story of how he became Batman. From the training Bruce Wayne had in fighting and building up his strength. The reason its bats . . . his relationship with Alfred. I see myself as a batman geek so seeing the story being told like this and being more of a focus on batman instead of the villans which was more clear in the previous batman films was great to see.
44. The Prestige (2006)
Tagline: A Friendship That Became a Rivalry
Two magicians who have always competed with each other try to pull off the greatest magic trick ever told, whilst letting their rivalry take over. Which influences the people around them that they love, but wait a big twist at the end as well, which I did not see coming at all. It’s very tense at times, which just builds up the suspense to how Boden’s trick is done, did you guess right? Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman both work very well off each other, with Michael Caine in the caretaker role (he seems to have grown accustomed in recent years). Everyone loves former friends in a rivalry as it is always no holds barred.
43. Stardust (2007)
Tagline: The fairytale that won’t behave
I was very surprised how much I liked this film and found myself watching it over and over when it was on sky premiere a couple of years ago now, as it was an adventure story about finding yourself and love which just seemed to tick all the right boxes. Especially with the rather large cast of very good actors popping up when you least expected it, which was all an added bonus in my book. Love to watch someone go from having nothing, to suddenly realising that they can get whatever they want it just takes a little bit of time and self discovery.
42. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)
Tagline: Beyond the myth lies America’s greatest betrayal.
Possibly the longest title of the decade? Fantastic performances from Brad Pitt as Jesse James and Casey Affleck as Robert Ford, really made this a great film. I had heard before watching it that it was long (and felt long) but I did not think it felt that long and found myself getting totally lost in this film. The whole story of betrayal and seeing it unfold in such a brilliant way in this film is so powerful to watch. It shows how idolising someone can change to jealously, which resulted in the ultimate betrayal.
41. Crash (2004)
Tagline: You think you know who you are. You have no idea
One of the biggest Oscar-winning picture shocks ever??? Well has to be of the decade at least. Rather complicated to keep up with at times, but so brilliant in putting together some very taboo topics in one film. Mainly racism, which results in some awful to watch but powerful scenes. A very strong cast as well, with some rather big names involved. Seeing how several lives can crossover and interweave with one another in two days is brilliant, as it really makes you think about how small places can be at times.