52. Little Miss Sunshine (Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Feris, 2006)
Following what has practically become an Indie Movie template, it would have been easy for Little Miss Sunshine to fall into the trap of being too adorably inappropriate for it’s own good, but thanks to a super smart script and on-the-ball performances by a cast full of outstanding actors, it became something more than the sum of its parts. With a voice all it’s own and a somehow simultaneously bitter and hopeful outlook on the world, Little Miss Sunshine builds to a climax so funny and heartwarming that you are glad to have gone along for the ride.
51. Humpday (Lynn Shelton, 2009)
Humpday is a movie that is tricky to recommend to people. The story of two straight best friends, one of whom is married, that agree to make a gay porn film together, it sounds like it will either be your standard gross-out comedy, or insufferably preachy. However, it’s neither.
One of the more accessible films in the so-called ‘Mumblecore’ movement, Humpday is a sweetly funny story of two friends, neither of whom wants to back down from something they are uncomfortable with. They genuinely believe in the artistic value of what they are going to do, and by the time the film reaches it’s twenty minute climax (pun intended), set in a motel room, we know both of these guys so well that we feel like we are there, sharing in this awkward culmination of their friendship.
Halfway done! Check back on Monday, July 9th when we count down the Top 50 movies of the 2000s!
54. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (Edgar Wright, 2010)
If you could craft a movie specifically designed for disillusioned twenty-something guys, this would be it. A hodgepodge of kung-fu, videogames, sitcoms, awkward humor, failed romance, and indie-rock, Scott Pilgrim is a film that speaks specifically and perfectly to our current culture, while also having badass rock tunes and awesome fight scenes. The story of a kind-of-douchey twenty-something Canadian named Scott, who has to battle each of his new girlfriends Evil Exes, not many people saw Scott Pilgrim, but those who did walked away feeling like they had seen something brand new.
53. Snatch (Guy Ritchie, 2000)
After his hilarious breakout film Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, Guy Ritchie followed it up with the very similar, but even better Snatch. An impossible-to-sum-up caper featuring boxers, dogs, diamonds, Gypsies and Russians, Snatch is a movie that gets better each time you watch it. Violent, profane, and hilarious, it’s even got Brad Pitt as an incomprehensible irish boxer. If you like your crime movies with a sense of humor, you can’t go wrong with Snatch. It’s just so…. cool.
56. Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Peter Jackson, 2003)
While not the best of the three Lord of the Rings films, Return of the King probably has the hardest job. It has to wrap up a MASSIVE story in a way that feels satisfactory, and it needs to be the Most Epic Thing Ever in order to do so effectively. While many people complained about the numerous, numerous endings, it’s understandable in a film with so much going on. Peter Jackson manages to create some of the largest and most exhilarating battle sequences ever, while never losing sight of the story of Frodo and Sam, in over their heads. It takes a special movie to make the Academy recognize epic Fantasy, and this was the one that pulled it off.
55. Juno (Jason Reitman, 2007)
Juno is a love-it or hate-it film, with nobody-talks-like-that dialogue, and a strange whimsical world all it’s own. The story of a pregnant, precocious sixteen-year-old and the yuppie couple she decides to giver her baby to, Juno is certainly not for everyobody.
However, if you are willing to buy into the character and the dialogue here, there’s an extremely moving story of love, commitment, and growing up contained within. In addition to all that, it’s also super adorable, which has to count for something.
58. The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan, 2008)
Yes, I know I ranked this right next to Inception. And yes, I know I have it ranked lower than Batman Begins. While many people are quick to claim The Dark Knight as THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER, what it actually is is this: An excellent superhero/gangster film that is elevated to greatness by one of the greatest villainous performances ever. Heath Ledger’s death lent the performance a mystique that it may not otherwise have had, but the truth remains that it is a dazzling piece of acting. The rest of the film, especially the story of Harvey Dent, is wonderfully done as well, but we all know that it’s the Joker that really shines through here.
57. Slumdog Millionaire (Danny Boyle, 2008)
Danny Boyle is one of our most versatile directors, having worked in pretty much every genre. Here, with Slumdog Millionaire, he creates a Bollywood-gangster-coming-of-age-fairytale masterpiece, creating the movie we had no idea that we always wanted to see.
The story of a boy who grows up in the indian slums, wins ‘Who Wants to Be A Millionaire,’ and reunites with the girl of his dreams, Slumdog Millionaire certainly stretches suspension of disbelief, but that’s not the point. It’s a film about fate, destiny, meaning, and it doesn’t really care how unlikely the events it portrays are. If you’re not grinning by the time the bollywood-influenced ending credits dance number kicks off, there’s something wrong with you.
Alright, we're at the halfway point now. Read on to see which movies didn't quite make it into the Top 50, but are still worthy of being in our Top 100.
Get caught up:
- Top 100 Movies of the 2000s: 100 – 91
- Top 100 Movies of the 2000s: 90 – 81
- Top 100 Movies of the 2000s: 80 – 71
- Top 100 Movies of the 2000s: 70 – 61
60. Toy Story 3 (John Lasseter, 2010)
We’ve come to expect great things from Pixar, but that greatness often stems from originality. I admit to getting a bit nervous when I saw that they were making a third Toy Story film, but I need not have worried. Crafting a film that is heartwarming coming of age tale, raucous comedy, and bad-ass prison escape movie all in one is no easy feat, but Pixar accomplished it here. With a great villain (Lotso, as voiced by Ned Beatty), and a scene that somehow manages to convince you that they are about to kill the entire cast, Toy Story 3 isn’t afraid of putting it’s adorable characters in danger. Or of making the entire audience cry with that ending. I dare you not to go play with your old toys after watching it.
59. Inception (Christopher Nolan, 2010)
Inception is a film that came out of nowhere and drove audiences crazy, in both good ways and bad. Looking past that controversial ending, however, Inception is essentially just the coolest heist movie ever, which it accomplishes by expertly setting up its rules in the first half, and then paying them off in the second half.
While somewhat light on great character development, Inception consistently wows with its sheer sense of imagination, creating action sequences like you’ve never seen. More than that, it’s a big budget blockbuster that isn’t a sequel, remake, or adaptation, and for that we should all be thankful.