Greatest Films of the 2000s
Greatest Films of the 2000s

Greatest Films of the 2000s
2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009


Academy Awards for 2000 Films
Title Screen Film Genre(s), Title, Year, (Country), Length, Director, Description

Almost Famous (2000), 122 minutes, D: Cameron Crowe

American Psycho (2000), 97 minutes, D: Mary Harron

Amores Perros (2000, Mex.) (aka Love's a Bitch), 153 minutes, D: Alejandro González Iñárritu

The Beach (2000, US/UK), 119 minutes, D: Danny Boyle
Danny Boyle's moralizing adaptation of Alex Garland's best-selling 1996 Utopia-gone-wrong cult novel was about a naive US backpacker's (Leonardo DiCaprio) search (with a hand-drawn map) for a perfect, mythical fabled beach. The sensually-photographed titular beach was in Thailand on the lush, tiny idyllic island of Koh Phi Phi Le in the Krabi province, in the middle of the Andaman Sea. The paradisiacal locale had blue lagoons with crystal clear water, remote pristine beaches, tropical hideaways, sea caves and fine sand. Once the Edenic crescent-shaped 'beach' (of Maya Bay) fronted by jungle was found in the film, the story turned into an edgy and ugly update on The Lord of the Flies and Apocalypse Now (1979). In a case of life imitating art (or vice versa), Fox Studios was accused by environmental protesters of ecological vandalism when the sand dunes were bulldozed and non-native palm trees were planted to make it more paradise-like.

Best in Show (2000), 89 minutes, D: Christopher Guest

Billy Elliot (2000, UK), 110 minutes, D: Stephen Daldry

The Cell (2000, US/Germ.), 107 minutes, D: Tarsem Singh

Chicken Run (2000, UK/US), 84 minutes, D: Peter Lord, Nick Park

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000, US/HK/China/Taiwan) (aka Wo Hu Cang Long), 120 minutes, D: Ang Lee

Dancer in the Dark (2000, Den./Fr./Sweden), 140 minutes, D: Lars von Trier

Erin Brockovich (2000), 131 minutes, D: Steven Soderbergh
This biographical drama about corporate pollution, based upon a true case of toxic waste and environmental activism, was similar in theme to the previous A Civil Action (1998). Unemployed, flirtatious, and dogged single mother Erin Brockovich (Julia Roberts) was able to secure a low-paying job as a legal assistant/file clerk in the Van Nuys offices of jaded and beleaguered lawyer Ed Masry (Albert Finney). On her own initiative, she did some digging into the background of unusual medical cases related to a pro-bono case involving San Francisco-based Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E). She discovered land purchased by the company in the town of Hinkley, California had been previously contaminated by the company's irresponsibility. The water supply of the town was toxic with poisonous hexavalent chromium (known as Chromium 6), illegally and improperly dumped. The carcinogenic substance was causing residents, including Donna Jensen (Marg Helgenberger) and her husband Peter (Michael Harney), to suffer serious health effects (tumors, miscarriages, and Hodgkin's Disease). She and Ed became a team to bring a major class action lawsuit against the multi-billion dollar energy corporation, for its systematic coverup of the industrial poisoning of the community. The terms of the defense: Masry's fee would be 40% of whatever was awarded if they won, but if they lost, his fee would be zero. One of the key pieces of evidence was an incriminating 1966 memo proving that the corporate headquarters knew the water was contaminated with hexavalent chromium prior to 1987, but did nothing about it. It was clear that PG&E had advised the Hinkley operation to keep this secret. During a meeting with PG&E's lawyers, Brockovich reacted emotionally to a statement by Ms. Sanchez (Gina Gallego) that her offer of a $20 million settlement was more than any of the defendants had ever dreamed of. Brockovich and Masry declined the miniscule "lame-ass" offer. The case was decided with binding arbitration - the case would be heard only by a judge, whose decision was final and could not be appealed. The judge ordered PG&E to pay a settlement amount of $333 million to be distributed among the hundreds of plaintiffs. It was one of the largest settlements ever paid in a direct-action lawsuit. The Jensens received a check for five million dollars, while Brockovich herself was rewarded with $2 million for her work.

Gladiator (2000), 154 minutes, D: Ridley Scott

High Fidelity (2000, UK/US), 113 minutes, D: Stephen Frears

In the Mood for Love (2000, HK) (aka Fa Yeung Nin Wa), 98 minutes, D: Kar Wai Wong

Meet the Parents (2000), 107 minutes, D: Jay Roach

Memento (2001), 116 minutes, D: Christopher Nolan
This thought-provoking, unique and puzzling thriller, a modestly-budgeted sleeper hit from director Christopher Nolan, was told in reverse and was challenging in itself just to watch due to its unique, non-linear, backwards narrative structure. The twisty, fractured film, requiring repeated viewings to figure out, told about amnesia sufferer (with the inability to make new memories) and ex-insurance investigator Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce). He was living in a run-down motel while investigating the brutal and cold-blooded rape and murder of his wife (Jorja Fox) during a late-night burglary by two men (Leonard suffered amnesia during the attack due to a blow to his skull). Leonard was using his own self-inflicted tattoos, Polaroids, and cryptic notes to aid his short-term memory and provide clues to finding the second intruder who got away. As the film unfolded, it became evident that he had, ironically, remembered only some elements of his wife's traumatic event. In the first scene, Leonard killed enigmatic cop "Teddy" Gammell (Joe Pantoliano), believing that he had successfully avenged his wife's rape/death. But it was Leonard who had killed his own wife - he had mistakenly overdosed his diabetic wife with insulin, when she was testing his memory. She did not die at the hands of rapists-murderers in their bathroom. It was clear that Teddy actually knew the 'truth' about Leonard and the real cause of his wife's death -- things which Leonard did not want to face, and he was trying to convince him to end his vengeful hunt.

O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000, UK/Fr./US), 106 minutes, D: Joel Coen

Pollock (2000), 122 minutes, D: Ed Harris

Requiem For a Dream (2000), 100 minutes, D: Darren Aronofsky

Traffic (2000, Germ./US), 147 minutes, D: Steven Soderbergh

Wonder Boys (2000, US/Germ./UK/Jp.), 107 minutes, D: Curtis Hanson

You Can Count on Me (2000), 111 minutes, D: Kenneth Lonergan

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