Top 10 Movies of the Decade

The Siskel and Ebert movie review show that started out as Sneak Previews on PBS eventually has morphed to become At the Movies with Michael Philips of the Chicago Tribune and A.O. Scott of the New York Times. This is a better pair than some of the iterations they have had in the past, though Richard Roeper was pretty good as a replacement to Gene Siskel.

Anyway, even though the current pair have only been on the show for a few months, they are both professional movie critics, so they have been watching movies long enough to compile a list of the best movies of the decade, which they presented on the show over a period of ten weeks. So I’m going to show you their picks and then, based on my database of movies, I’m going to take a stab at it as well. First, A.O. Scott’s list:

  1. Wall-E (B+)
  2. A.I.
  3. Brokeback Mountain
  4. The Pianist
  5. Where the Wild Things Are
  6. The Best of Youth
  7. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
  8. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (A)
  9. 25th Hour
  10. Million Dollar Baby (B)

Michael Philips chose:

  1. There Will Be Blood (C+)
  2. Ratatouille (A)
  3. Climates
  4. Once (B+)
  5. Y Tu Mama Tambien (B)
  6. Zodiac (B)
  7. United 93 (A-)
  8. Mulholland Drive
  9. Gosford Park (A)
  10. Minority Report (B)

When Ebert would do the year-end lists it seems like he would always pick obscure movies that he thought were overlooked and deserved attention. I suspect he wasn’t necessarily picking the movies he enjoyed the most, but using the list as a way to get people to see obscure movies. A.O. Scott may be doing some of that, but these guys see a lot of movies, way more than me, so maybe some of those just click with them. Michael Phillips’ list is interesting because while I only saw 3 of Scott’s best, I saw 8 of Phillips’. I thought There Will Be Blood was horribly overrated. I thought it was also interesting that animated films did so well, but I agree that some of the best movies are animated. Richard Corliss of Time magazine had a 2009 Top 10 list with the top 3 slots taken by animated movies (traditional animation with The Princess and the Frog, computer animation with Pixar’s Up, and stop action animation in The Fantastic Mr. Fox).

They also took a poll of their viewers online and came up with this list, which is respectable (self-selected movie buffs) though a little pretentious:

  1. The Return of the King (A)
  2. The Dark Knight (A-)
  3. Wall-E (B+)
  4. There Will Be Blood (C+)
  5. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (A)
  6. The Departed (B)
  7. No Country for Old Men (A-)
  8. Pan’s Labyrinth (D)
  9. Children of Men (C)
  10. Mulholland Drive

If I take my top movie of each year (I haven’t seen that many movies this year, so Up is the current front-runner) and then try to sort them, I end up with:

  1. Crash
  2. Almost Famous
  3. An Inconvenient Truth
  4. Blackhawk Down
  5. Chicago
  6. Doubt
  7. The Hurt Locker
  8. Charlie Wilson’s War
  9. Return of the King
  10. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

3 thoughts on “Top 10 Movies of the Decade

  1. It’s just my opinion. I thought that Blackhawk Down was better because I know it really happened and those were just regular guys fighting, not wizards and elves. I read the book later, which is also so good that the Army invited the author to come give a lecture on it, even though many of the guys that actually fought in the battle were still with the Army.

    Return of the King at 9th best in the whole decade is still really, really good. That puts it better than about 200 other movies I saw.

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