13 Movies from 2000 to 2009 that I Loved


Ah, movies – few things bring me as much joy.  In celebration of this fact, I thought I’d share a list of my favorites… let’s say 13 movies I continue to enjoy that are from the ‘aughts,’ if you will – that is, movies that came during the period of 2000 to 2009 – which means this list will be dripping with Christopher Nolan flicks.  Here we go, in no particular order:

12.  I Heart Huckabees

How am I not myself?

For a movie about philosophy, self discovery and environmental rights, this movie is funny as hell.  It also turned me around on Mark Wahlberg, who kicks ass in his supporting roll.

12.  Spirited Away

Chihiro: Daddy, are we lost?
Chihiro’s Father: Don’t worry, I’ve got four-wheel drive.

I can’t describe this movie – you just need to see it for yourself.  It’s one of a kind.  The characters and imagination this movie employs is staggering.  Maybe the best thing to say is that it’s kinda like The Wizard of Oz, but way crazier.

11.  The Incredibles

“You keep trying to pick a fight, but I’m just happy you’re alive!”

This is one of those movies that has it all:  adventure, humor, action, romance, violence, drama… it’s pretty packed for a movie about an aging superhero who comes out of retirement because he can’t move on with his life.  There is so much going on here, and yet, the movie flows beautifully and isn’t three hours long.  I love it – probably my favorite computer animated movie ever.

10.  Memento

“The world doesn’t disappear when you close your eyes, does it?”

This is the oldest Christopher Nolan movie I’ve seen, and I have to say, it grabbed me right from the beginning.  I love the pace, the editing, the black and white story moving in one direction while the color story moves in another…  holy shit, this movie is awesome!  If you’ve never seen Memento, run, do not walk, to… I dunno… Amazon.com?  Wherever you get movies from these days.

9. Training Day

“You’ve been planning this all day?”
“I’ve been planning this all week!”

Perhaps best known for equating King Kong with Denzel Washington, Training Day is one of those movies that sounds crappy on paper but turns out to be excellent from a story, performance and cinematography point of view.  Think about it – how many movie descriptions have you read that start out, “A rookie cop is teamed with a season veteran…?”  It’s an old formula, but it’s surprisingly fresh and gritty here.  Friggin’ awesome.

8.  Lord of the Rings:  The Fellowship of the Ring

“I will take the ring to Mordor!  Only, I don’t know the way…”

Fellowship is probably my favorite of the rings movies.  As the viewer, I feel just as out-of-place and vulnerable as the little Hobbits doas they journey through a world  that’s too big  for them.  The first one has everything:  epic storytelling, compelling characters, tragedy, violence, special effects…  Fellowship brings it.

7.  Lord of the Rings:  Two Towers

“Gandalf? Yes… That’s what they used to call me. Gandalf the Grey. That was my name. I am Gandalf the White. And I come back to you now at the turn of the tide.”

Just when I thought I knew what was going on, The Two Towers brings us new characters like Golem, the Rohirm and walking and talking trees! Suddenly, LotR diverted off from the straight road story we got in Fellowship to a sprawling story that, for some reason, always makes me think of The Godfather:  Part 2.

6.  The Dark Knight

“Don’t talk like one of them. You’re not! Even if you’d like to be. To them, you’re just a freak, like me.”

Just when you think you know what comic book movies are all about, The Dark Knight comes along and knocks us on our collective ass.  It’s a story I never saw coming – sure, in Batman Returns (which is saved only by the excellent performances), things get dark and Batman doesn’t get the girl, but holy SHIT, The Dark Knight is twice as crazy.  I just didn’t see it coming.  Obviously, Heath Ledger turned in a wonderful performance, but we should give some credit to the writing and directing – it’s not like Ledger could have gone all Caesar Romero or Jack Nicholson on the role.  But still, Ledger’s undeniable charm as The Joker certainly gave us a performance we’ll never forget.

5.  The Royal tenenbaums

“This is my adopted daughter, Margo Tenenbaum.”

This movie has a wacky bunch of characters portrayed by an awesome group of actors.  It’s got that usual Wes Anderson style, but something is different about this flick – I think it’s his best.  He touched a nerve here, pushed the envelope just far enough, or just right… So far, I think this is his masterpiece.

4.  Adaptation

Donald Kaufman: Hey, Charles. I pitched my script to mom.
Charlie Kaufman: Don’t say pitch.

Adaptation is a movie about a guy writing a movie based on a book and he then proceeds to write himself into the screenplay which turns out to be the movie you’ve been watching all along…  and the story from the book is good, too.  This is probably Nicholas Cage’s best film… although I must admit, The Wicker Man is much funnier.

3.  City of God

You need more than guts to be a good gangster. You need ideas.

Should you turn right or left?  Become a photographer or a drug king pin?  In this movie, you can see what happens when one boy chooses one path and one the other.  So I’m watching the movie, I’m reading the subtitles and I’m thinking, “Jeez, I’m not understanding hardly any spoken words.  Surely I know some Spanish… oh wait… they’re not speaking Spanish… it’s Portuguese…”  Anyway, great movie.

2.  The Prestige


Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman square off (So it’s Batman vs Wolverine! ) in a battle for stage magician supremacy!  And, as stupid as such a premise for a movie may sound, this movie is incredible.  The characters, the story, the directing, the cinematography – it’s brilliant.

1.  Insomnia

You don’t get it, do you Finch? You’re my job. You’re what I’m paid to do. You’re about as mysterious to me as a blocked toilet is to a fucking plumber. Reasons for doing what you did? Who gives a fuck?

Hope I didn’t spoil the movie for ya, but see it anyway.  This is one of my favorite Al Pacino performances… it’s as if his character is an ice-cube and over the course of the flick, you watch the ice-cube melt.  By the end, he can barely speak.  It’s un FRIGGIN real.

About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of CreativeJamie.com, BomberBanter.com and editor in chief of ComicBookClog.com

Posted on December 14, 2012, in lists, movie review and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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