When I went through a list of what had been released last year, I was surprised
to find more good movies than I had expected to find and not all that many
really bad movies. Here are my favorites, in order of preference:
The Top Ten Movies of 2000:
1. The Perfect Storm – they told a fascinating story and told it so well
that I read the book right after seeing the movie.
2. Cast Away – this film struck a chord in me that is hard to explain but
has to do with having one’s assumptions about life changed radically and seeing
things from a different perspective for just a brief period can change you for
the rest of your life.
3. State and Main – the best comedy since American Beauty, this spoof of the
US film industry should win David Mamet a best original screenplay Oscar and
maybe one for best director (I hope).
4. High Fidelity – John Cusack and Jack Black play a couple of jaded
hipsters working in an alternative record store. The humor isn’t for everybody,
but if you are into non-mainstream music, there are lines in this movie that
will tear into you.
5. Traffic – When Steven Soderbergh really gets it right, the result is a
great film that entertains and makes you think as well.
6. You Can Count on Me – a great little independent film – there haven’t
been too many of those recently. If Laura Linney gets a well-deserved Oscar
nomination for best actress, maybe a few more people will see this gem.
7. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
8. Requiem for a Dream – a great film but depressing and not for everyone.
10. Center Stage – another underrated independent film that deserved to be seen by many more.
Honorable Mention (in no particular order):
O Brother, Where Art Thou
Proof of Life – Russell Crowe was great in Gladiator but even better in
this story about a kidnapping set in South America.
The Worst Movies (that I saw) of 2000:
It is so much fun to slam bad art that I am surprised that I was able to come up
with such a short list of notably bad movies. Mind you, I probably missed the
worst of the worst (e.g. Little Nicky and Blair Witch 2.) So here are the worst
that I actually saw in 2000, worst first:
1. Dancer in the Dark – when a pretentious art film goes bad there is
absolutely nothing worse. If there is a God and if you are sinner, expect to
see this kind of hand-held-camera torture in the third circle of hell. It
completely baffles me that otherwise intelligent people actually put this in a
2. Battlefield Earth – Scientology meets Hollywood and the result is not
pretty. This piece of crap will take its toll on John Travlota’s career for
years to come.
3. The Beach – a movie with an environmental theme in which a beautiful
unspoiled island-park in Thailand is bulldozed and otherwise butchered for what
– Leo at his hammiest.
4. Autumn in New York – when Richard Gere tries, for whatever reason, to
make an adult, serious movie, the result is always really, really bad.
5. Charlie’s Angels – Drew Barrymore (who produced and acted in this remake
of the, at best, forgettable TV series) is in danger of becoming the female Adam
Sandler. A few more pantloads like this and …
Special Award for the Worst Film of 2000 by a Highly Talented Director:
Erin Brockovich by Steven Soderbergh