The 10 Best Films of 2000

Back to Home

Article by Mark Dujsik

Many people have complained what a horrible year in movies 2000 was. While it lacked the showing of 1999, the year 2000 held many great films. In fact, some of my runners-up would still qualify for the top ten. Now, my list of the ten best films of 2000:

10. The Cell
Many complained this film was style over substance or just plain pretentious, I see it as the most visually striking film of the year. A good story, fantastic special effects and art direction, and intriguing pop-psychology all effectively put the viewer inside the mind of a serial killer.

9. Thirteen Days
An excellent historical thriller that puts us in the loop of a national crisis. What really struck me about the film is the human drama underlying the political tension. Here is a perfect example of ordinary men in extraordinary circumstances. Bruce Greenwood’s performance as John F. Kennedy is fabulous. The film gives us insight into the difficult life of our most popular, fallen President.

8. High Fidelity
This is a film about people we socialize with everyday which also happens to have some very basic truths of modern relationships. John Cusack and Jack Black give Oscar-worthy performances, and the script is so brilliant, it almost escapes praise. Easily the best romantic comedy in a long time.

7. The Contender
Many people hated the film for its politics, but none can argue its dedication to those politics. The Contender is a timely, intelligent, partisan political thriller that gives the audience the feeling of a White House insider. I wish more films would deal with half the issues presented in the film instead of pretending there are no important political issues to discuss.

6. Gladiator
At the center of this Roman epic is a fierce performance by Russell Crowe. The gruesome carnage of the Coliseum, lavish costumes, and great special effects bring the era to life in all its magnificent bloody glory. Still at the center, though, is a very human story seen through the eyes of a great modern actor.

5. O Brother, Where Art Thou?
One of the Coen brothers’ strangest and best films is this slow-moving, observant, funny look at the Depression. Each scene sets up its own unique circumstances, and when it comes time for the payoff, the brothers Coen do not disappoint. All of the performances are top-notch, but the real star here is Roger Deakins’ beautiful cinematography. It's an offbeat masterpiece.

4. Wonder Boys
Director Curtis Hanson’s follow-up to L.A. Confidential is a human comedy that relies more on characterizations than plot. The film is a collection of interesting characters and how one man interacts with each of them. Michael Douglas’ performance as Grady Tripp is a career high, and all the performances are truly wonderful. Hanson shows that he is an immense talent waiting for popular recognition.

3. Almost Famous
An autobiographical, coming-of-age nostalgia film, Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous is full of great writing, great performances, and great heart. As the young writer William Miller, Patrick Fugit gives what is hopefully a career-starting performance. It’s a love-letter to rock n’ roll and endless possibilities.

2. Traffic
Steven Soderbergh’s masterpiece expertly weaves together different storylines which all point to one clear, concise message: the war on drugs is not working. The film acts not as preacher but as observer. It’s full of outstanding performances and truly gut-wrenching scenes. This film stands as the high point of American cinema this year.

1. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Ang Lee’s martial arts ballet is the epic Hollywood was missing this year. The fight sequences are breathtaking, the love stories are eternal, and the philosophy is mind-opening. If there was ever argument whether or not films still have magic, this is the evidence that they do.

Honorable Mention:
Boiler Room
Chicken Run
Erin Brockovich
Finding Forrester
Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai
Keeping the Faith
The Patriot
Remember the Titans
Titan A.E.

Copyright © 2001 by Mark Dujsik. All rights reserved.