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December 03, 2009


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Glad to see CHILDREN OF MEN here. It's my favorite of the decade.


Wooo! Shotgun Stories!

My favourite discovery of 2008, made a somewhat disappointing year much more palatable.

Fun list, some titles I love (David Gordon Green! Twice!), some that didn't do much for me (LOTR). And that's the way lists should go!

Claire K.

Yay, I'm so glad you put in All the Real Girls!! I wasn't going to stump for it, so I'm very happy it came up on its own.

John M

Why were your expectations so low for FLIGHT OF THE RED BALLOON? Curious...


I know that maybe it's too soon but... No "Wild Grass"?

Earthworm Jim

Sorta random question, Glenn--have you seen Lynn Shelton's "Humpday" yet? A list-worthy picture in my opinion, and it seems like something you'd enjoy...


Glad to see MASTER AND COMMANDER on here. It gets better on each viewing. Love plenty of your other choices, too, but Weir's picture always seems to get ignored.


The Descent!


I'm amazed that you needed to be reminded or convinced of the supposed worth of Flags of Our Fathers, Glenn. A couple more passes on this list (115? 125?) and you'll be making a case for Blood Work.

But hey, nice to see Adventureland (which should be reaping all the accolades 500 Days of Summer is getting) and the Gordon Greens.

Also, Sweeney Todd does have great songs; too bad it's Johnny Depp that "sings" most of them.

Aaron Aradillas

Speaking of coming-of-age movies, I am a little shocked that Almost Famous (Untitled) didn't make either list.

Irving Thalberg

Still no NEW WORLD? I'd be curious to hear your take of that Malick offering, Glenn; depending on which day of the week you ask me, I'd pick either that or ZODIAC as my absolute favorite of the decade.

David N

I like it a lot, but I'll never understand why "Letters From Iwo Jima" gets more love than "Flags of Our Fathers", which for my money is Eastwood's most fluent, compassionate and beautiful film.

Seconding all the comments about Gordon Green, "Master and Commander", "Children of Men" and "The Descent".

This list is as good as the original, no?

Daniel L.

Just read that our old friend Armond White included MICHAEL JACKSON: THIS IS IT in his top ten for the decade, a coup de grace of contrarianism so thoroughly ridiculous that he should really hang up his spurs. He'll never outdo himself now.


Glenn, I'm really glad to see MASTER AND COMMANDER and the vastly underrated SWEENEY TODD on your addendum list. And I'm also pleased, but kind of shocked, to see THE DARK KNIGHT on there. I thought your take was that it was perfectly solid, but nothing more. Personally, I've allowed the ruthless nitpicking of that film to make me disregard it when thinking about this sort of list-making, but I really do love it. Though I still think Nolan's best film is THE PRESTIGE.


I'm surprised Mysterious Skin didn't made it to your list even at 100. Your glowing review in Premiere. was what originally pointed me to one of my favorite films ever.


I must admit that despite all the praise for 'Letters' a recent revisit of 'Flags of Our Fathers' was a salutary reminder of just how impressive that movie was. I regard both films as a diptych but 'Flags' is intellectually & structurally ambitious in a way that the companion piece is not. It also boasts direction from Clint that for me is at least as good as anything he's done in his career. The compassionate scenes between the survivors & the mothers of the dead flag-raisers, for example, are painfully well observed.

James Keepnews

Nicely expanded, sir, and early Crimson certainly does give an already great flick a certain resonance. I'm counting on "Prince Rupert's Lament" to turn up in whatever Raul Ruiz is working on now. Or "Groon." The one from Earthbound.

But, much as Marsh wondered over on your first 70, I'm surprised Wendy and Lucy didn't make the cut. Put a gun to my head and I'd swear it was easily among the top 5 of the naughty aughties. Actually, don't put a gun to my head -- I'll say it anyway. Talk about your social realism (post-neo-realism?), and a relentless socio-economic undertow that drives nearly every scene, all the way through the abject, heartbreaking coda. Hats off to Michelle Williams and Kelly Reichardt for their indelible work in a film whose rigorous examination of a particular breed of late-capitalist alienation is sure to haunt us well after Depression 2.0 has passed...


What about Ang Lee's Lust, Caution? Is that an conscious omission? I think it's an terrific film but I haven't really seen it on any best-of-the-decade lists. I'm just curious if it's being forgotten or isn't that highly regarded.


Ps. Very interesting and helpful list.

Sonny Bunch

Meant to post this yesterday, but I'm glad to see Chris Nolan get a little love this time around. For my money, no director has had a better decade: five movies, all of which were (at least) very good, and two of which were great. Not a bad ten years.

Kyle Puetz

Was the decision not to include documentaries conscious? Are you not that big a fan, Glenn, or do you see them as so fundamentally different from narrative fiction so as to merit exclusion? That's the big one, as I think the oversight of not simply some of the most interesting of recent years (Grizzly Man, Capturing the Friedmans, The White Diamond, Control Room, War Photographer, Forbidden Lie$, My Kid Could Paint That, Manufactured Landscapes, Big River Man, Man on Wire, October Country, etc.) but ALL of them would have to be based upon the decision to judge them as entities separate from narrative film. Is this the case?

Now for my personal preferences: Other qualms include the lack of South Korean auteurs Kim Ki-duk (3-Iron in particular) and Jong Boon-ho (Memories of Murder in particular). Not sure how big you are into anime outside of Miyazaki but Satoshi Kon deserves consideration, especially over Ponyo. My personal top 25 would have made room for Let the Right One In and Hunger. And I may be taking the obvious critical stance here, but I would pick Kings and Queen over Christmas Tale, Oldboy over Lady Vengeance and Crimson Gold over The Circle.

Kyle Puetz

Oh, forgot to include the part where I don't just shit all over your selections. Of all the aughts lists I've seen, this is the one to which I can best relate, and I'm thankful for the movies included that I've not yet seen. The decade may be over, but, for me, it'll yield new treasures for a long time to come.


Not diggin' this list as much as last, but I'm very happy to see some of the movies included, such as Punch-Drunk, Jesse James, Red Balloon, Spider.

Again, though - where's the New World? Taste is taste, but I feel like this is one that anybody who professes to be a serious cinephile has to answer for, regardless of his reaction.

Also, while I agree that Inland Empire is Lynch's darkest film in decades, I think that, strangely enough, it finishes on a much more positive note than Mulholland - almost ecstatic, in fact. Just a thought. It's as if Mulholland Dr. was a tragedy, and Inland Empire resolves as a farce. But a gloriously haunting and beautiful farce - something that only Lynch could offer.


Late to the comments I know, but I couldn't post last week for some reason. Here are the titles I would have included:

American Splendor (2004)
Bamako (2006)
Boy A (2008)
Brand Upon The Brain! (2007)
Broken Flowers (2000)
Bubble (2006)
Bug (2007)
The Cat’s Meow (2001)
Control Room (2004)
Cowards Bend The Knee (2003)
Dracula: Pages From a Virgin's Diary (2000)
Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai (2000)
Ghost World (2001)
The Gleaners And I (2000)
Hamlet (2000)
The Heart Of The World (2000)
The Host (2007)
Lake Of Fire (2007)
Let The Right One In (2008)
Man On The Train (2003)
Moolaadé (2004)
Palindromes (2005)
Pistol Opera (2003)
Pola X (2000)
Sita Sings The Blues (2008)
Stevie (2002)
Sweet Sixteen (2003)
Terror’s Advocate (2007)
The Triplets Of Belleville (2003)
The Twilight Samurai (2004)
Waking Life (2001)
Y Tu Mamá También (2002)

The omissions of Brand Upon The Brain!, & Waking Life confound me I have to say.

Tony Dayoub

Let me join in the chorus of voices that want to know why you left THE NEW WORLD out. Conscious decision or simply overlooked?

Pete Segall

Kyle's roster of docs reminds me that I haven't seen a single list with The Fog of War on it. Odd.

Ti Alan Chase

I also was surprised to see you left out Let the Right One In, which was a far better horror film (better story, better characters, better acting) than The Descent.

Of course I was also surprised you gave Spielberg so much love, but then again I can't expect to agree with you 100% of the time.

Fabian W.

Too late, I know, but I finally figured out what's missing - WALTZ WITH BASHIR. What's up with that?

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