The 100 Best Movies of the 2000s: 70-61
[Continued] Page 5
62. Sideways (Alexander Payne, 2004)
That rare comedy that earned a Best Picture nomination, Sideways is the story of a wine afficianado (Paul Giamatti) and his friend (Thomas Haden Church) who go on a trip that changes their lives. The film avoids asking easy questions, or providing easy answers, instead presenting us with a damaged man, and the damaged woman he falls in love with. Wine country provides a beautiful backdrop for a film that is capable of being intimate and quiet one moment, and having a naked chase scene the next. Unfortunately, it also inspired an entire generation of pretentious wine snobs. But oh well. It was worth it.
61. Munich (Stephen Spielberg, 2005)
Believe it or not, Munich is only the second-best ‘Group of badass jews get revenge’ movie on this list, but it’s still really really good. Stripped of much of the Spielberg sentimentality, Munich is an often-brutal look at an elite squad of Jewish agents striking back for the incident at the 1972 Munich olympics, where several Israeli athletes were killed.
What makes Munich such a great film is that it strikes a balance between drama, suspense/action, and historical fiction. While it never loses sight of the weight of the events contained within, it still manages to be suspenseful and fun, while also breaking your heart. It goes on about 20 minutes longer than it should, but finds a great final shot.