Continuing this perfectly selfish indulgence, I'm writing part 2 while my all-time favorite movie plays in the background (Bruce Cabot is my hero). And I've already had a hiccup with part one. The James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only came out in 1981, and would probably take over the number one spot over Blow Out and Raiders of the Lost Ark. But that's what makes lists like this fun. The debate, and the wracking of the brains to figure out where your mind is currently at. But without further ado...
1998 - The Last Days of Disco (Smart people talking about smart things, even if they aren't doing the smartest things. Chloe Sevigny and Kate Beckinsale absolutely kill it as roommates who are really only friends of convenience.)
1999 - Magnolia, Eyes Wide Shut (A Tom Cruise double feature. I still remember one day when I had the TV on in the morning, and Magnolia was on. I watched about 20 minutes before I had to go to work, but when I got home that night, I watched the last two and a half hours, because I still couldn't get it out of my head even though I had seen it numerous times before.)
2000 - Requiem For a Dream (The greatest anti-drug movie you'll ever see. Horrific, terrifying, stunning, and tragic. An incredibly hard film to watch, but gripping in every way.)
2001 - Mulholland Dr., Ghost World, Amelie (Mulholland Dr. is like a masters thesis in surrealism and Naomi Watts gives the performance of the decade. Ghost World is one of the very best comic book movies ever made. And Amelie is just both a glorious piece of filmmaking and one of the happiest movies ever made.)
2002 - Punch Drunk Love (I honestly wish Adam Sandler made more movies like this. And the music is just amazing.)
2003 - Elephant, Kill Bill Part 1, The Matrix Reloaded, Mystic River, Love Actually (Five movies! C'mon, make up your mind! Elephant is about a day where a school shooting is about to occur. Super slow, but absolutely deliberate and riveting. Kill Bill Part1 is like the filmic equivalent of an adrenaline shot to the heart. The Matrix Reloaded had to be on here. There is no movie I saw more during the first run in the theater. In my own mind it makes perfect sense, and has some of the most staggering action scenes ever. Mystic River is so sad and tragic. The performances enhance an already stellar story. And Love Actually... well, I feel there are all sorts of love puns I could use. Suffice to say, I really do love it.
2004 - The Incredibles
2005 - King Kong, Batman Begins (Peter Jackson's remake of Kong is long, self-indulgent, and has a miscast Jack Black. But it's probably the closest approximation of the movie I would have made, and I love it because of that. Batman Begins is my favorite Batman movie. I never get tired of it, because I think it's perfectly constructed.
2006 - The Departed, Casino Royale, The Prestige (Martin Scorsese has really just been on fire with his last fifteen years worth of movies. Whenever I need a two and a half hour pick-me-up, Casino Royale is where I turn. And The Prestige is so wonderfully twisty.)
2007 - There Will be Blood (I drink your milkshake! I drink it up!)
2008 - Iron Man, Kung Fu Panda (I refuse to justify either one of these two masterpieces.)
2009 - Funny People (Another Adam Sandler flick? Yeah, this movie balanced comedy and drama perfectly for me.)
2010 - Exit Through the Gift Shop, Scott Pilgrim vs The World (Exit makes me question reality and look at art in ways that challenge me, and I appreciate it all the more for that. Scott Pilgrim takes everything I love and squishes it into this perfect little movie.)
2011 - Warrior (Even knowing where the movie was going, I was still on the edge of my seat. Repeat viewings have never diminished my love for this film.)
2012 - Moonrise Kingdom (Not my favorite Wes Anderson movie, but it's still great, and it beat out everything else that year.)
2013 - The Way, Way Back - Sam Rockwell is so good, and Steve Carell is so bad (their characters, anyway). I really can't recommend this more highly.
2014 - Under the Skin, Whiplash (Under the Skin is the creepy, slow-paced, sci fi flick that has Scarlett Johannson as an alien(?). Not for all tastes by any means, but I find it fascinating. And Whiplash's thoughts on motivation and artistic skill still resonate.)
2015 - Ex Machina (Oh, how I love that ending.
2016 - Hell or High Water (Yes, Jeff Bridges does nothing new, but he's still good. But it's the idea that all the characters' motivations, both right and wrong, are both right and wrong, elevates this for me.
Ahhh. That was fun. I want to rewatch a lot of these now.