Here is a look into my choices of what I think are the fifty best films of a 00's.
50. Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift – 2006 – Justin Lin
I know what you are thinking, really, Tokyo Drift?! Well, I guess this is what makes this my list. For all of the bad acting, generic (and fantastic) plotting, crazy car stunts, fake Tokyo locations and horrible rap songs, Tokyo Drift is pure escapist entertainment. I think I watched it over thirty times on cable TV and would gladly watch it thirty more! This line of dialog sums up the whole film, “Drift? What’s drift mean?” Now apply a Tennessee accent over that and we are in business!
49. The Departed – 2006 – Martin Scorsese
“NO TICKY, NO LAUNDRY!“ This film has it all, Boston accents, Alec Baldwin’s underarm sweat, a love scene with one of cinema’s most hideous leading ladies… what a movie. Like “Tokyo Drift,” I have watched this a million times on cable and it never gets dull. I think it is easily one of the decade’s most quotable films, “…lace curtain mother fucker.”
48. Don’t Laugh At My Romance (Hito no sekkusu o warauna) – 2008 – Nami Iguchi
This little comic gem is just the kind of treasure that the Japanese cinema produced this last decade. It is a funny and tender tale of a 19-year-old college student (Misrume) who falls in love with his 40-year-old professor (Yuri) only to find that she is already married and leading another life. There are wonderful, personal performances in the film, none being better than that of Aoi Yu’s “En-Chan.” She is amazing and continues to solidify her place as Japan’s most promising young actress. I highly recommend the film if you can find it on DVD.
47. Election (Hak se Wui) – 2005 – Johnnie To
Johnny To’s taught, cerebral thriller was just the shot in the arm the Hong Kong film industry needed. In 1997, Britain returned Hong Kong to Chinese rule and the fallout heralded the death of the HK film industry. Gone were the bullet happy, action centric opuses of pioneers like Tsui Hark and John Woo, many of them coming to America to ply their trade and escape the Chinese censors. Then suddenly, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the middle of the decade saw the birth of a new era in HK cinema with this film among those at the forefront. Officially selected at the Cannes Film Festival in 2005, Election tells the tale of Chinese Triad members as they jockey for position once it is decided that a new leader will be elected. It is both cerebral and thrilling, and is truly original.
46. Sunshine – 2007 – Danny Boyle
Rarely would I put a movie with such a calamitous final third into the top 50 of anything, but this film deserves it for so many other things. It is such a brilliantly crafted film with outstanding effects, soundtrack, photography, production design, and acting. Everything is so good in the first 2/3 of the film, you can’t help, but wonder how much higher it would have placed on this list had the ending been better. That being said, I hope you check it out on DVD or Blu Ray.