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
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.
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
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
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.
Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai
Keeping the Faith
Remember the Titans
Copyright © 2001 by Mark Dujsik. All