35. Ocean’s 11
Director – Steven Soderbergh
An absolute curiosity on this list, I actually don’t even love this movie all that much. Moreover, there is little chance I’ll watch it again. You are correct to condemn me for including this over whatever that film it is that you scoff at not finding here.
Somehow, for all that I don’t love it personally, and despite the fact that it is clear to me that in some sense it is not at all one of the best pictures of the decade, it is nevertheless one of the pictures that is easily the most of the decade.
It lacks the true ability of other honorifics that are included here largely for being honorifics, and yet it fails in such a way that is perhaps to succeed. It is not as precise a translation, but I think this may be because it is more of a translation. An update that is not from someone (or some group of ones) as astute when it comes to the original, but moreso when it comes to delivering unto the new language that which can be understood most fully.
Director – John Carney
A musical (in some technical sense) version of boy meets girl that is so real, simple, honest, and true that to not like it is to make me look at you funny. Two people spin their songs at each other with the idea of getting a demo tape together, and one of those curious connections happens that, if nothing else, makes you who you are.
33. One Hour Photo
Director – Mark Romanek
A haunting and unforgivably forgotten film and performance. As unnerving as it is telling, the film is entrancing in its delivery, and though a fun, intense trip through crazytown on its face, it is also a remarkably well spoken statement on society and everyone in it… not just the loons.
32. Open Range
Director – Kevin Costner
A well-played hand if ever there was one, a revisit of the Western genre with something like the idea of making an anti-Western, while retaining the spirit of the genre and (hopefully) lending some modern accessibility. Capable performances all around, and a strong story pull it along, but it really excels in visual style, direction, and delivery.
31. Peter Pan
Director – P.J. Hogan
Very strong child performances, a gorgeous display of the imagination behind the story, and clever details make this a lot of fun. What pushes it even further is that it tells the story Barrie actually told, and delivers the right emotion at the end, which is something even Barrie found tricky.
30. Pieces of April
Director – Peter Hedges
A somewhat troubled youth has her parents over to her hovel for Thanksgiving. Said parents have lost the ability to have any expectations when it comes to their daughter, and their fears of everything going wrong in every conceivable way are largely realized. While simplicity is the main course, the film stands out by showcasing a very precise perspective on becoming an adult… the battle in your mind caused by those who tell you to try while at the same time telling you there’s no point in you trying.
A fun and silly, yet insightful portrayal of family that serves as the example for why every Lifetime original movie is garbage.
Director – Gore Verbinski
Incredible adventure with all the swash you could hope to buckle. Depp is great and the little touches are added with a fine sensibility. It’s unfortunate that the series went so far downhill.