Episode 47: Batman Begins (2005)

To the Bit Cave we go this week as the guys break down Christopher Nolan’s 2005 Batman Begins, the first installment in the Dark Knight trilogy starring Christian Bale. They discuss how well (or poorly) Bale works as Batman/Bruce Wayne, the wonder of Liam Neesons, and how the film expertly navigates the world of Gotham baddies by putting forth more of a conglomerate of evil than a single prolific villain. They also pick what would make for the best Batman Begins action figure as well as their personal favorite Batman villains.

Ep 47 Batman Begins (2005)
Director
Christopher Nolan
Stars
Christian Bale
Katie Holmes
Liam Neeson
Michael Caine
Morgan Freeman
Gary Oldman
Cillian Murphy
Tom Wilkinson
Ken Watanabe
Mark Boone Junior

Curated by: Brian

4.6


What Movies Are About

Aired Wednesday, March 23, 2016

To the Bit Cave we go this week as the guys break down Christopher Nolan's 2005 Batman Begins, the first installment in the Dark Knight trilogy starring Christian Bale. They discuss how well (or poorly) Bale works as Batman/Bruce Wayne, the wonder of Liam Neesons, and how the film expertly navigates the world of Gotham baddies by putting forth more of a conglomerate of evil than a single prolific villain. They also pick what would make for the best Batman Begins action figure as well as their personal favorite Batman villains.

Episode 17: Interstellar (2014)

The guys head to the cosmos for this week’s episode on Christopher Nolan’s 2014 film Interstellar. They are particularly awe-struck by the conceptual ambition on display here, like most of other Nolan’s films, but what makes Interstellar so special is the film’s ability to finally bring heady concepts and visual grandiosity together with raw, impactful human emotions. The performances from Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway – not to mention the brilliant supporting cast – truly bring out those emotions in a poignant way that makes Interstellar such a special film. The guys also put themselves in Romily’s shoes and try to fill 23 years worth of down time and talk about their favorite corn-based snacks.

Ep 17 Interstellar (2014)
Director
Christopher Nolan
Stars
Matthew McConaughey
Anne Hathaway
Jessica Chastain
Michael Caine
Matt Damon

Curated by: Brian
What movies are about

Aired Friday, July 31, 2015
The guys head to the cosmos for this week’s episode on Christopher Nolan’s 2014 film Interstellar. They are particularly awe-struck by the conceptual ambition on display here, like most of other Nolan’s films, but what makes Interstellar so special is the film’s ability to finally bring heady concepts and visual grandiosity together with raw, impactful human emotions. The performances from Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway – not to mention the brilliant supporting cast – truly bring out those emotions in a poignant way that makes Interstellar such a special film. The guys also put themselves in Romily’s shoes and try to fill 23 years worth of down time and talk about their favorite corn-based snacks.

Top 100 Films of the 2000s

As part of the Bit Players launch, we wanted to do something special that might give a little bit the listeners a little bit of a feel for who we are as film watchers, so we decided to count down our favorite films of the 2000s, a decade that largely marks our first days as serious film appreciators. It was a really fun process where we each submitted our own personal top 50 list of the decade and culled together a consensus using those films. What we came up with turned out to be a pretty interesting examination of what we look for and love in films, and the way that our tastes today were shaped by our teen and early adult years as filmwatchers. We hope you enjoy the list as much as we enjoyed making it together, and come to a better understanding of us as a group as you go forward with hopefully listening to more episodes.

As part of the Bit Players launch, we wanted to do something special that might give the listeners a little bit of a feel for who we are as film watchers, so we decided to count down our favorite films of the 2000s, a decade that largely marks our first days as serious film appreciators. It was a really fun process where we each submitted our own personal top 50 list of the decade and culled together a consensus using those films. What we came up with turned out to be a pretty interesting examination of what we look for and love in films, and the way that our tastes today were shaped by our teen and early adult years as filmwatchers. We hope you enjoy the list as much as we enjoyed making it together, and come to a better understanding of us as a group as you go forward with hopefully listening to more episodes.

In addition to the list, you can find some interesting statistics about the breakdown of the films and where things shook out as well as our individual ballots as a way to see where our tastes might veer off from one another.

X2
50. X2 (2003)

Director
Bryan Singer
Stars
Patrick Stewart
Hugh Jackman
Halle Berry


Whereas X-Men sees Singer tell a dramatic story, in X2 he is all about action. You get the sense that Singer talked to the right effects people (twice the amount CGI from X-Men!) and that someone introduced Hugh Jackman to the juice. A lot more familiar characters in this movie (Nightcrawler steals the show from get-go) and a Wolverine-focused story makes this most people’s favorite early X-Men movie. This is the real reason Marvel is the dominant source for comic book movies now. - Brian Urrutia

X-Men
49. X-Men (2000)

Director
Bryan Singer
Stars
Patrick Stewart
Hugh Jackman
Ian McKellen


Probably one of my favorite super hero movies. I had been a big fan of the '90s cartoon and had read a few of the early comics both which make it clear that X-Men is the most soap opera-ish of series (Andie can advise on more recent series). So, I was cool with this mostly dramatic take by Singer. Rather than relying on mutant powers to wow audiences, Singer tells the story in terms of alienation and prejudice. There’s a way of seeing this as a bit of a heavy movie actually, especially given the Holocaust/Magneto origins preface. Singer is neat in his execution and smartly leaves much to return to in X2. - BU

Tropic Thunder
48. Tropic Thunder (2008)

Director
Ben Stiller
Stars
Ben Stiller
Jack Black
Robert Downey Jr.


Once the trailers start you are overwhelmed with the feeling that this movie will be hilarious. Yes, this comedy belongs in the top 50 of the decade. - Clark Carmichael

Two words: Simple Jack. - JP

Little Miss Sunshine
47. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

Director
Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris
Stars
Steve Carell
Toni Collette
Greg Kinnear


The dance scene is one of the best movie moments of the entire decade. Alan Arkin is amazing throughout. - Jeff Pearson

Knocked Up
46. Knocked Up (2007)

Director
Judd Apatow
Stars
Seth Rogen
Katherine Heigl
Paul Rudd


Judd Apatow either wrote, produced, or directed the majority of my favorite comedies of the past ten years and a couple excellent TV shows. I discovered him when I saw Knocked Up and I’ve enjoyed watching all of his other movies ever since. In my opinion, this is one of the funniest comedies of the decade, but like most of Judd Apatow’s projects, it also has a lot of substance. The film is riddled with great comedic actors including many from their early years: Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Jason Segel, Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Ken Jeong, Jay Baruchel, Martin Starr, Harold Ramis, Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Craig Robinson, and Alan Tudyk. There’s also a great soundtrack featuring Loudon Wainwright. - Anders Oster

Spirited Away
45. Spirited Away (2001)

Director
Hayao Miyazaki
Stars
Rumi Hiiragi
Miyu Irino
Mari Natsuki


The anime movie for me. The British Film Institute has this in its top 10 for “movies you have to see before you turn age 14,” but they’re total dumbasses if they think this movie grows stale or loses its luster as an audience grows older. Miyazaki’s movies are full of insights of the most unusual variety (slightly reminiscent of Gaiman or Burton but even weirder). This one is about a young girl orphaned to the natural world and subsequently taken in by the spiritual realm. Miyazki isn’t into reflecting the world; He wants to show you others he’s absorbed. - BU

It's funny you mention the age factor of this film, because I always had this perception that Miyazaki was like Japan's Walt Disney, so I went into Spirited Away kind of expecting something easily palatable like maybe that BFI list is suggesting. Not the case, my friend. If I was a little kid seeing this movie I would probably shit my pants. - JP

Zodiac
44. Zodiac (2007)

Director
David Fincher
Stars
Jake Gyllenhaal
Robert Downey Jr.
Mark Ruffalo


Fincher’s skillfully layered examination of obsession is his best work. Also, what is better than RDJ and J. Gyll getting drunk off mai tais? - Jarryd Baxter

Slumdog Millionaire
43. Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

Director
Danny Boyle
Stars
Dev Patel
Freida Pinto
aurabh Shukla


All of Boyle’s movies are different, but I think this is the best. A pure celebration of life, love, and questions of fate. - JB

Ocean's Eleven
42. Ocean's Eleven (2001)

Director
Steven Soderbergh
Stars
George Clooney
Brad Pitt
Julia Roberts


George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Don Cheadle, Casey Affleck, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Bernie Mac (and don’t forget Topher Grace and Joshua Jackson). This movie is a who’s who of A-listers and ‘All the Wayans’ team members. In my opinion, Soderbergh’s best movie, one of the greatest heist movies of all time, and an instant classic. The Bellagio fountain scene featuring ‘Clair de Lune’ is one of the most beautiful movie scenes of all time. - AO

The 40 Year Old Virgin
41. The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005)

Director
Judd Apatow
Stars
Steve Carell
Catherine Keener
Paul Rudd


Early footage of the dominant comedic troupe of the first two decades of 21st century. Carrell and Apatow penned this one together and I think they complement one another perfectly with this comedy of vulnerability. Paul Rudd’s frustration with Michael McDonald’s looping concert footage is one of my favorite bits. This decade really saw the rom-com genre level up and the 40 Year Old Virgin (along with Love Actually) played a crucial role. - BU

The Incredibles
40. The Incredibles (2004)

Director
Brad Bird
Stars
Craig T. Nelson
Samuel L. Jackson
Holly Hunter


The top animated movie on my list. You couldn't ask for more from an animated kids movie. - CC

The Hangover
39. The Hangover (2009)

Director
Todd Phillips
Stars
Zach Galifianakis
Bradley Cooper
Justin Bartha


I had this movie in my top ten. It's a combination of Reno! 911, bachelor party and the Blues Brothers. It's definitely a throwback to the raucous comedies of the '70s. - CC

Goblet of Fire
38. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

Director
Mike Newell
Stars
Daniel Radcliffe
Emma Watson
Rupert Grint


Quidditch World Cup, The Triwizard Tournament, and the first personification of Ray Fiennes as Lord Voldemort! Director Mike Newell is the George Lazenby of the Harry Potter franchise for me. He only gets one attempt, but he makes the most of it, and an important side character is killed off while he’s there. The ‘priori incantatem’ scene from the book is spectacularly reimagined for the screen in a way that matches and possibly exceeds the scene from the book, something that might not be possible to say at any other time during the franchise’s eight film span. The finale of the Triwizard Tournament is another incredibly poignant scene that makes this movie the first film of the series that made me feel like I was watching a movie and story created for adults. - AO

Memento
37. Memento (2000)

Director
Christopher Nolan
Stars
Guy Pearce
Carrie-Ann Moss
Joe Pantoliano


One of those really early experiences in my life appreciating and studying film. Got to love the narrative experiment that Nolan pulls off with such mastery; it's something I can watch again and again and always be kind of taken aback. - JP

The Royal Tenenbaums
36. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

Director
Wes Anderson
Stars
Gene Hackman
Gwyneth Paltrow
Anjelica Huston


I really love this one because it finds such a nice balance between the quirkiness for which I love Wes Anderson's films and a real sense of despair that permeates throughout. - JP

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
35. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Director
Michel Gondry
Stars
Jim Carrey
Kate Winslet
Tom Wilkinson


Like Children of Men, seeing this was one of those "holy shit" moments in film for me. The way that Michel Gondry just masterfully plays with the settings and manipulates them as the memories shift and fade away is absolutely incredible. It really makes the film feel like something you can step inside and experience. - JP

Blow
34. The Descent (2005)

Director
Neil Marshall
Stars
Shauna Macdonald
Natalie Mendoza
Alex Reid


Good ol’ fashioned horror formula: gallons upon gallons of fake blood, young ladies, and the dark. I saw it on opening night with Clark, Geri, and Jon. The audience was electric: people screamed, tried to warn the women of eminent dangers, applauded at their triumph, etc. As I type it out now, it sounds awful, but there was a real dynamic between the audience and the movie characters’ situations unlike in other types of movies. It made the movie theater feel like a real theater, where the audience’s reactions could be heard and felt by the characters on stage. Geri has said this before and I think he’s right but the time to see a scary movie is opening weeknight on Friday or Saturday between 6-8 PM. - BU

Fantastic Mr. Fox
33. Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

Director
Wes Anderson
Stars
George Clooney
Meryl Streep
Bill Murray


1. George Clooney is a fucking great voice actor.

2. All Wes Anderson movies should be stop motion.

3. Jason Schwartzman is way funnier when I can't see his annoying face. - CC

Kill Bill: Vol. 2
32. Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)

Director
Quentin Tarantino
Stars
Uma Thurman
David Carradine
Michael Madsen


This is my favorite non-Lord of the Rings movie of the decade. This is another movie Clark and I couldn’t wait to come out in theaters. For those of you who thought the first Kill Bill was lacking in the dialogue Tarantino is known for, the second volume is for you. Uma Thurman and kung fu legend David Carradine have excellent chemistry together and there are more than a few scenes that feature great dialogue between the two. Your heart is sure to break right along with David Carradine’s in a final showdown between the two that you’re sure to have imagined differently. As in the first Kill Bill, the second volume maintains the feel of the kung fu western featuring incredibly choreographed fight sequences and western style music. The music of Ennio Morricone, maybe best known for scoring The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, is featured several times to great effect, including in my favorite scene of the movie which involves a buried alive Uma Thurman. The Bride from Vol. 1 is a mysterious, murdering mistress up until this point. This movie focuses primarily on her origins and gives much more backstory on what compels her to get her revenge. - AO

Ratatouille
31. Ratatouille (2007)

Director
Brad Bird & Jan Pinkava
Stars
Brad Garrett
Lou Romano
Patton Oswalt


Beautiful animation, terrific voice acting, and the allure of French cuisine make this one of Pixar’s strongest installments. I love this movie so much, that my dog’s name is Remy. - JB

Unbreakable
30. Unbreakable (2000)

Director
M. Night Shyamalan
Stars
Bruce Willis
Samuel L. Jackson
Robin Wright


A movie about comic book heroes… I mean fanboys… or maybe both. It is interesting to think if M. Night was prescient here and saw that we would become a culture obsessed with comic book heroes.

Back in 2000, M Night was at the height of his powers. After The Sixth Sense, I remember everyone being so captivated by M. Night’s vision. He had the celebrity that most actors dream of though he directed. So, when I heard that M Night was directing a super hero movie, I had to have a look. M Night smartly double dips with B. Willis as leading man and introduces Samuel L as a seemingly supportive and harmless friend to Willis as he discover his power of unbreakableness. To me, it is a great example of how realistically and restrained M. Night handles plots about the revelation of something extraordinary. He doesn’t overindulge the audience. Like most of his work, it’s really a movie about belief in a weirdo: Is Willis really a super hero or have we been duped? I still believe in M. Night for some reason, even though most of the movies after this are widely regarded as garbage. (For more on M. Night and his career trajectory see Oster and Baxter’s “The Shyamalan Twist” Goof Troop Oscar Bonanza, Fall 2015.) - BU

Lost in Translation
29. Lost in Translation (2003)

Director
Sofia Coppola
Stars
Bill Murray
Scarlett Johansson
Giovanni Ribisi


This film is carried by the incredible performances of Murray and Johansson. The final scene will leave you in tears and make you happy to be alive. One of the best. - JB

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
28. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)

Director
Wes Anderson
Stars
Bill Murray
Owen Wilson
Anjelica Huston


This is a film that only continues to get better for me. It has moments that will never stop making me laugh ("Esteban was eaten!") and that will never stop making me cry (when the jaguar fish finally appears and Sigur Ros starts playing, it slays me). - JP

Old School
27. Old School (2003)

Director
Todd Phillips
Stars
Luke Wilson
Vince Vaughn
Will Ferrell


It hurts my heart that Old School fell out of the top comedy spot on our list, as this is easily the best comedy of the decade to me. I remember downloading just a real shitty cam-job like the day it came out and watching it on my computer - this was back in the dark ages of cam-jobs, too, mind you; whoever shot this thing made Pimp4003 look like Terence Malick - and immediately went out and saw it in theatres with Ron and Micki. That showed me the power of comedy when you're surrounded by a large group of people. I don't think I've laughed that hard at a film since. - JP

Superbad
26. Superbad (2007)

Director
Greg Mottola
Stars
Michael Cera
Jonah Hill
Christopher Mintz-Plasse


For me, this is the funniest movie of the decade and one of the funniest of all time. Basically every line of dialogue has me cracking up. Highlights include Jonah Hill getting hit by a car, Seth Rogen and Bill Hader as cops taking information at the scene of a crime, Jonah Hill daydreaming about shoplifting alcohol from a grocery store, Michael Cera any time he tries to talk to the girl he likes, Jonah Hill’s dick treasure chest, Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Fogell with his fake ID, Cera and Hill having a meeting in the middle of a P.E. soccer game, and Fogell with Rogen and Hader drinking at a bar. - AO

Big Fish
25. Big Fish (2003)

Director
Tim Burton
Stars
Ewan McGregor
Albert Finney
Billy Crudup


Burton’s true masterpiece that will make anybody a believer in the importance of fantasy and art of storytelling. - JB

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
24. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

Director
Peter Jackson
Stars
Elijah Wood
Viggo Mortensen
Ian McKellen


It’s 7:00 PM on Wednesday, December 17, 2003. Finally. Clark and I have made it out of school and are at the opening night of the final installment of the greatest film trilogy of all time. 2 hours and 45 minutes later, the movie is over. 5 minutes after that it ends again. And again 5 minutes after that. Another two or three endings and it’s over in a swift 3 hours and 20 minutes. Some people were bothered by these multiple endings. I never wanted it to end, and I nearly got my wish when they released the 4 hour and 10 minute extended version. Highlights of the movie include the Pippin-induced mountain beacon chain reaction (great band name), Theoden and the Rohirrim charging the orc hordes at Minas Tirith, Legolas taking down a mumakil single handedly (“That still only counts as one”), Aragorn’s charge on the forces at the Black Gate of Mordor, and many others. This movie won 11 Oscars. It deserved 17. - AO

Almost Famous
23. Almost Famous (2000)

Director
Cameron Crowe
Stars
Billy Crudup
Patrick Fugit
Kate Hudson


The 2000s' quintessential coming of age story. Phillip Seymour Hoffman steals the show in his limited screen time.He will make you want to be uncool, sitting at home and listening to Tommy with a candle burning. - JB

Amelie
22. Amélie (2001)

Director
Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Stars
Audrey Tautou
Mathieu Kassovitz
Rufus


No film that I have seen encompasses this breadth of human emotion. The masterful use of color and camera add a beautiful depth to the journey of a young French woman’s unlikely discovery of love in her quest to improve the lives of others. Yann Tiersen’s brilliant score is icing on Ms. Amélie’s famous plum cake. - JB

Sunshine
21. Sunshine (2007)

Director
Danny Boyle
Stars
Cillian Murphy
Rose Byrne
Chris Evans


The sun really is mesmerizing. A planet of pure energy. - CC

V For Vendetta
20. V for Vendetta (2005)

Director
James McTeigue
Stars
Hugo Weaving
Natalie Portman
Rupert Graves


It’s fitting that this amazingly underappreciated actor, whose name no one knows, has to wear a mask while portraying the main character of this graphic novel adaptation. I’m of course talking about Agent Elrond himself: Hugo Weaving. Remember. That. Name. The entire Natalie Portman prison sequence, and especially the scene in the rain that follows, scored by Dario Marianelli is another of my favorite movie scenes of all time. - AO

No Country for Old Men
19. No Country for Old Men (2007)

Director
The Coen Brothers
Stars
Tommy Lee Jones
Javier Bardem
Josh Brolin


The Coen Brothers knock this one out of the park. A botched drug deal leaves Brolin in the unfortunate path of one of cinema’s most frightening villains. This gritty thriller coaxes peak performances from the entire cast. - JB

Casino Royale
18. Casino Royale (2006)

Director
Martin Campbell
Stars
Daniel Craig
Eva Green
Judi Dench


I am a huge Bond fan but even I will admit that there are only a handful of Bond movies that could even be considered great films. This is one. Maybe the one. - CC

Up
17. Up (2009)

Director
Pete Docter & Bob Peterson
Stars
Edward Asner
Jordan Nagai
John Ratzenberger


When you're in tears within the first ten minutes of a movie, it's probably doing something pretty special. For a film to establish such an emotional connection with complete strangers in such a short time is an utter accomplishment. This thing will never stop being a delight. - JP

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
16. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

Director
Peter Jackson
Stars
Elijah Wood
Ian McKellen
Viggo Mortensen


This was the first movie I ever counted down the days until it was released in theaters. I saw this movie on opening night with Clark (and possibly Susan Wilson) at Regal 14. We were completely jacked for ‘The Battle for Helm’s Deep’ months before the movie was released and it did not disappoint one bit. The opening scene of the movie is one of the coolest openings to any movie I’ve seen. Also, the end scene with Gandalf and the Rohirrim riding down the mountain to victory over the Uruk-Hai is one of my all-time favorite movie scenes. “The Battle for Helm’s Deep is over. The Battle for Middle Earth is about to begin.” Hearing Gandalf speak these words after watching the greatest battle scene I’d ever seen (not to mention Gollum’s cryptic and devious mention of Shelob) left me with a more unbearable cliffhanger than LOST ever did, and that’s saying a lot. - AO

Stardust
15. Stardust (2007)

Director
Matthew Vaughn
Stars
Charlie Cox
Claire Danes
Sienna Miller


Ahhh. Stardust. This movie gives me indescribable feelings of wonder and adventure. The only movie I am able to compare it to is the Princess Bride. - CC

Pan's Labyrinth
14. Pan's Labyrinth (2006)

Director
Guillermo del Toro
Stars
Ivana Baquero
Ariadna Gil
Sergi López


Toro expertly weaves together fantasy and the horrors of the Spanish civil war through the eyes of young Ofelia. A beautiful nightmare. - JB

I'll never forget seeing this movie in theatres. Not because the film was utterly amazing and transformative (it is), but because of how pissed Jon was to be there. I had read online somewhere that some movie called Pan's Labyrinth got like a 15-minute standing ovation at Cannes and, "Hey, look, it's playing at AMC Colonial 18! We should go see it!" So Anders, Jon and I go in completely blind to this film. It starts, the opening credits are in Spanish with subtitles and Jon leans over to me and says, "Is this fucking movie in Spanish?" I could feel the rage. - JP

There Will be Blood
13. There Will Be Blood (2007)

Director
Paul Thomas Anderson
Stars
Daniel Day-Lewis
Paul Dano
Ciarán Hinds


The best working actor with an all-star performance in this chilling account of greed and family that will enrapt you until the final, unnerving scene. - JB

Star Trek
12. Star Trek (2009)

Director
J.J. Abrams
Stars
Chris Pine
Zachary Quinto
Simon Pegg


Not knowing what to expect from a franchise of which I had never seen a single movie or TV episode, I was immediately blown away by the opening Captain Kirk origins scene. It’s the only movie I can think of whose opening scene made me feel close to how I felt about the opening scene of Up. Scene after great scene follows while introducing you to the principal characters of the series. This was the first time I became familiar with JJ Abrams and I’ve been enjoying his movies ever since. A John Williams-esque score by Michael Giacchino, outstanding visual effects, and a brilliant script to reboot the series all combine to make this one of the best movies of the decade, Star Trek fan or not. - AO

Kill Bill: Vol. 1
11. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)

Director
Quentin Tarantino
Stars
Uma Thurman
David Carradine
Daryl Hannah


For me, no one makes a better movie scene than Quentin Tarantino. In a list of my 10 favorite movie scenes, Tarantino probably makes up more than 50% of them. Like any of his films, this movie has some of the most entertaining and over-the-top action sequences, but also some of the most beautiful scenes you’ll ever see. On one hand you have a brutal knife fight or hyper violent battle against The Crazy 88’s, and on the other you have the elegantly scored Hattori Hanzo sequence or the mostly silent, end fight in the falling snow. With all of the Japanese culture and martial arts fight sequences, this movie will make you think you’re watching a kung fu movie. But at other times, listening to the soundtrack will make you feel like you’re watching a western. Uma Thurman gives one of my favorite all time performances in this movie too. - AO

Inglourious Basterds
10. Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Director
Quentin Tarantino
Stars
Brad Pitt
Diane Kruger
Eli Roth


My personal #1. There is no movie I find more enjoyable to watch any scene any time any where. The great movies you know from the very first scene and this has one of the greats. - CC

The Wrestler
9. The Wrestler (2008)

Director
Darren Aronofsky
Stars
Mickey Rourke
Marisa Tomei
Evan Rachel Wood


I heard that David O. Russell was interested in turning this documentary into an ensemble drama about inner demons and second chances. - CC

WALL-E
8. WALL-E (2008)

Director
Andrew Stanton
Stars
Ben Burtt
Elissa Knight
Jeff Garlin


A one-two pathos punch of comedy and tragedy that hits kids and adults in similar places, I think. Hopefully, WALL-E will remain mostly comedic and not come to be a prophecy. It’s probably my favorite Pixar movie because it communicates so many truths about being human without the aid of language. Much of the first half of the movie, rather, finds its voice in squeaks, beeps, the running of engines, or the scatter of a cockroach. The space scenes are serene and set memorably to the sounds of '60s musicals.

I saw this movie in theaters many times, but my favorite was when it was the second movie in a double-feech that started with The Dark Knight. - BU

District 9
7. District 9 (2009)

Director
Neill Blomkamp
Stars
Sharlto Copley
David James
Jason Cope


District 9 combines a lot of elements that seem like a disaster in waiting. But the aliens, internment camps and mockumentary approach were somehow done so that everything just seemed so real and compelling. - CC

Batman Begins
6. Batman Begins (2005)

Director
Christopher Nolan
Stars
Christian Bale
Michael Caine
Ken Watanabe


A film so good it has elicited the question and ensuing argument: Is there a Batman movie actually better than The Dark Knight? - CC

The Departed
5. The Departed (2006)

Director
Martin Scorsese
Stars
Leonardo DiCaprio
Matt Damon
Jack Nicholson


The best crime movie of the decade. No doubt about it. Every aspect of this movie is amazing. It's basically perfect. - CC

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
4. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

Director
Peter Jackson
Stars
Elijah Wood
Ian McKellen
Orlando Bloom


“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” - Gandalf the Gray

Do yourself a favor and decide to spend it watching all 9.5 hours of the Lord of the Rings trilogy (12 hours if you’re a good person and watch the extended versions), beginning with my favorite movie of the trilogy and of the decade: The Fellowship of the Ring. The opening 7 minute introduction to Middle Earth and The One Ring (narrated by Zac E. Chan’s own Cate Blanchett) is the perfect primer for a great adventure and it sucks me in every time. It has one of my all-time favorite film scores, a story and world with unimaginable depth and history, stunning natural visuals and settings supplied by the geography of New Zealand, and a perfectly cast and acted Fellowship, each member of whom I grew attached to and couldn’t wait to follow on the rest of their journey through Middle Earth. This is the movie that made me start loving movies. - AO

Children of Men
3. Children of Men (2006)

Director
Alfonso Cuarón
Stars
Julianne Moore
Clive Owen
Chiwetel Ejiofor


For my money it doesn't get any better than Children of Men. Cuarón really showed off his chops in Gravity, but Children of Men is his most compelling work to me. So many incredible moments in here, and will probably always be my favorite (or at least one of my favorite) films of all time. Forcing the attention on the amazing long-shot work in the car chase scene and war scene completely changed the way I look at film. - JP

The Prestige
2. The Prestige (2006)

Director
Christopher Nolan
Stars
Christian Bale
Hugh Jackman
Scarlett Johansson


My #1 pick. In 2006, I remember a lot of people comparing this movie to The Illusionist, a movie about magic, but The Prestige actually is magic. Set in a Victorian England that held a sincere interest in the dark arts and sorcery, the story centers on the sacrifices two magicians make trying to best one another’s final trick in their shows. The competition touches all aspects of their lives: family, friends, leaving home, even the dominant sciences of their day. Incredible ensemble performance (Jackman, Bale, ScarJo, and the eternally-near-death-Michael Caine), theatrical sets and costumes, a perfectly adapted screenplay, and David Bowie plays Nikola Tesla. All that said, the greatest trick pulled in The Prestige is that Christopher Nolan gets you to rewatch this movie with the same enthusiasm and wonder as its characters regard the powers of illusion. Nolan leaves you wondering about the shared goals of entertainment and science. - BU

The Dark Knight
1. The Dark Knight (2008)

Director
Christopher Nolan
Stars
Christian Bale
Heath Ledger
Aaron Eckhart


Heath Ledger. This movie will forever be associated with his incredible portrayal of the chaotic Joker and Heath's subsequent untimely death. His legacy as an actor is firmly cemented because of his iconic role in the best film of the decade and the greatest comic book movie of all time. - CC

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100-51
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Statistics

Top 100 Films of the 2000s

As part of the Bit Players launch, we wanted to do something special that might give a little bit the listeners a little bit of a feel for who we are as film watchers, so we decided to count down our favorite films of the 2000s, a decade that largely marks our first days as serious film appreciators. It was a really fun process where we each submitted our own personal top 50 list of the decade and culled together a consensus using those films. What we came up with turned out to be a pretty interesting examination of what we look for and love in films, and the way that our tastes today were shaped by our teen and early adult years as filmwatchers. We hope you enjoy the list as much as we enjoyed making it together, and come to a better understanding of us as a group as you go forward with hopefully listening to more episodes.

As part of the Bit Players launch, we wanted to do something special that might give the listeners a little bit of a feel for who we are as film watchers, so we decided to count down our favorite films of the 2000s, a decade that largely marks our first days as serious film appreciators. It was a really fun process where we each submitted our own personal top 50 list of the decade and culled together a consensus using those films. What we came up with turned out to be a pretty interesting examination of what we look for and love in films, and the way that our tastes today were shaped by our teen and early adult years as filmwatchers. We hope you enjoy the list as much as we enjoyed making it together, and come to a better understanding of us as a group as you go forward with hopefully listening to more episodes.

In addition to the list, you can find some interesting statistics about the breakdown of the films and where things shook out as well as our individual ballots as a way to see where our tastes might veer off from one another.

100-51 | 50-1 | Statistics | Individual Ballots

Anders Oster
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
1. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
2. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
3. Kill Bill: Vol. 2
4. The Lord of the Rings: the Two Towers
5. Inglourious Basterds
6. Kill Bill: Vol. 1
7. Knocked Up
8. Star Trek
9. Batman Begins
10. Stardust
11. The Dark Knight
12. V For Vendetta
13. Serenity
14. Up
15. Superbad
16. Lucky Number Slevin
17. Sunshine
18. X2
19. Forgetting Sarah Marshall
20. Big Fish
21. District 9
22. Snatch.
23. Pineapple Express
24. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
25. Ocean's Eleven
26. The Departed
27. The Incredibles
28. Amélie
29. Casino Royale
30. The Prestige
31. Lost in Translation
32. Old School
33. Fantastic Mr. Fox
34. Children of Men
35. The Count of Monte Cristo*
36. WALL-E
37. Tropic Thunder
38. Almost Famous
39. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
40. Iron Man
41. Team America: World Police
42. Hot Rod*
43. Unbreakable
44. Into the Wild*
45. Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story*
46. Memento
47. Catch Me If You Can
48. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
49. The Legend of Bagger Vance*
50. Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith*

Weighted IMDb Score: 7.99
Average IMDb Score: 7.86
Unique Films: 9
Brian Urrutia
The Prestige
1. The Prestige
2. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
3. WALL-E
4. Gladiator
5. The 40 Year Old Virgin
6. X-Men
7. Ray
8. Unbreakable
9. The Wrestler
10. Stardust
11. Star Trek
12. Pan's Labyrinth
13. Batman Begins
14. The Mummy Returns
15. Blow
16. Gone in Sixty Seconds
17. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
18. Mission: Impossible III
19. Almost Famous
20. V For Vendetta
21. Spirited Away
22. A Single Man
23. Love Actually
24. Casino Royale
25. Spider-Man
26. Good Night, and Good Luck.
27. The Dark Knight
28. Sideways
29. Little Miss Sunshine
30. The Descent
31. Superman Returns
32. Old School
33. Mulholland Drive*
34. Capote*
35. Sin City*
36. The Departed
37. Iron Man
38. Pineapple Express
39. Fantastic Mr. Fox
40. 300
41. Hellboy*
42. The Patriot*
43. Closer
44. Zombieland*
45. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
46. Superbad
47. War of the Worlds*
48. Catch Me If You Can
49. Atonement*
50. Children of Men

Weighted IMDb Score: 7.75
​Average IMDb Score: 7.67
Unique Films: 19
Clark Carmichael
Inglourious Basterds
1. Inglourious Basterds
2. The Wrestler
3. The Dark Knight
4. Sunshine
5. Children of Men
6. Batman Begins
7. District 9
8. The Departed
9. The Hangover
10. Stardust
11. There Will Be Blood
12. The Incredibles
13. Casino Royale
14. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
15. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
16. The Lord of the Rings: the Two Towers
17. Tropic Thunder
18. Ratatouille
19. The Prestige
20. Fantastic Mr. Fox
21. V For Vendetta
22. In Bruges
23. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
24. Watchmen
25. Slumdog Millionaire
26. Superbad
27. The Fountain
28. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
29. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
30. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
31. Taken
32. Star Trek
33. Kill Bill: Vol. 2
34. Kill Bill: Vol. 1
35. The 40 Year Old Virgin
36. The Descent
37. Knocked Up
38. The New World*
39. Iron Man
40. The Matrix Reloaded*
41. Valhalla Rising*
42. No Country for Old Men
43. The Hurt Locker
44. Memento
45. 300
46. Big Fish
47. Shrek*
48. X-Men
49. Up in the Air
50. Rambo*

Weighted IMDb Score: 7.97
​Average IMDb Score: 7.83
Unique Films: 11
Jarryd Baxter
Amelie
1. Amélie
2. Lost in Translation
3. No Country for Old Men
4. Pan's Labyrinth
5. Children of Men
6. There Will Be Blood
7. Big Fish
8. Signs
9. Up in the Air
10. The Dark Knight
11. Up
12. Almost Famous
13. District 9
14. Inglourious Basterds
15. Ratatouille
16. Ocean's Eleven
17. Slumdog Millionaire
18. Kill Bill: Vol. 1
19. Zodiac
20. The Hurt Locker
21. The Departed
22. Revolutionary Road
23. The Village
24. The Prestige
25. WALL-E
26. Before Sunset
27. Y Tu Mamá También
28. The Wrestler
29. The Royal Tenenbaums
30. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
31. Batman Begins
32. Elephant
33. Closer
34. High Fidelity
35. The Motorcycle Diaries*
36. Casino Royale
37. Memento
38. Unbreakable
39. Monsters, Inc.
40. Catch Me If You Can
41. Mission: Impossible III
42. Snatch.
43. Star Trek
44. Team America: World Police
45. Little Miss Sunshine
46. Superbad
47. The Descent
48. The Sea Inside*
49. Juno*
50. Zoolander*

Weighted IMDb Score: 7.93
Average IMDb Score: 7.84
Unique Films: 9
Jeff Pearson
Children of Men
1. Children of Men
2. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
3. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
4. The Prestige
5. No Country for Old Men
6. WALL-E
7. There Will Be Blood
8. The Royal Tenenbaums
9. City of God
10. Up
11. O Brother, Where Art Thou?
12. Pan's Labyrinth
13. The Lord of the Rings: the Two Towers
14. Kill Bill: Vol. 1
15. The Dark Knight
16. The Departed
17. Old School
18. 28 Days Later...
19. Shaun of the Dead
20. Elf
21. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
22. Memento
23. Spirited Away
24. Best in Show
25. Zodiac
26. District 9
27. Little Miss Sunshine
28. Hot Fuzz
29. The Hangover
30. Gone Baby Gone
31. Death at a Funeral
32. Let the Right One In
33. Oldboy*
34. Sunshine
35. The Descent
36. The Wrestler
37. Amélie
38. Mean Girls*
39. X2
40. Star Trek
41. Finding Nemo*
42. Before Sunset
43. Super Troopers*
44. High Fidelity
45. Monsters, Inc.
46. Requiem for a Dream*
47. Almost Famous
48. Dancer in the Dark*
49. Ice Age*
50. Before the Devil Knows You're Dead*

Weighted IMDb Score: 8.0
Average IMDb Score: 7.92
Unique Films: 19

*Films excluded from the final top 100 list
Anders: 6
Brian: 8
Clark: 6
Jarryd: 4
Jeff: 8

Back
Statistics

Top 100 Films of the 2000s

As part of the Bit Players launch, we wanted to do something special that might give a little bit the listeners a little bit of a feel for who we are as film watchers, so we decided to count down our favorite films of the 2000s, a decade that largely marks our first days as serious film appreciators. It was a really fun process where we each submitted our own personal top 50 list of the decade and culled together a consensus using those films. What we came up with turned out to be a pretty interesting examination of what we look for and love in films, and the way that our tastes today were shaped by our teen and early adult years as filmwatchers. We hope you enjoy the list as much as we enjoyed making it together, and come to a better understanding of us as a group as you go forward with hopefully listening to more episodes.

As part of the Bit Players launch, we wanted to do something special that might give the listeners a little bit of a feel for who we are as film watchers, so we decided to count down our favorite films of the 2000s, a decade that largely marks our first days as serious film appreciators. It was a really fun process where we each submitted our own personal top 50 list of the decade and culled together a consensus using those films. What we came up with turned out to be a pretty interesting examination of what we look for and love in films, and the way that our tastes today were shaped by our teen and early adult years as filmwatchers. We hope you enjoy the list as much as we enjoyed making it together, and come to a better understanding of us as a group as you go forward with hopefully listening to more episodes.

In addition to the list, you can find some interesting statistics about the breakdown of the films and where things shook out as well as our individual ballots as a way to see where our tastes might veer off from one another.

100-51 | 50-1 | Statistics | Individual Ballots

Total Films Submitted: 131
Unanimous Picks: 5 (The Dark Knight, The Prestige, Children of Men, The Departed, Star Trek)
Lowest Ranked Unanimous Film: #11 Star Trek
Directors:
4 films: Christopher Nolan
3 films: Alfonso Cuaron, Bryan Singer, Danny Boyle, M. Night Shyamalan, Peter Jackson, Quentin Tarantino, Wes Anderson
2 films: Brad Bird, Coen Brothers, Darren Aronofsky, David Fincher, Edgar Wright, J.J. Abrams, Jon Favreau, Judd Apatow, Pete Docter, Todd Phillips, Zack Snyder
Animated Films: 8 (WALL-E, Up, Ratatouille, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Incredibles, Spirited Away, Monsters, Inc., Team America: World Police)
Foreign Films: 6 (Pan's Labyrinth, Amélie, Spirited Away, City of God, Y Tu Mamá También, Let the Right One In)
Best Comedy: #26 Superbad
Best Horror: #34 The Descent
Sequels: 7 (The Dark Knight, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Casino Royale, The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Kill Bill: Vol. 2, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, X2, Mission: Impossible III, The Mummy Returns, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban)
By Year:
2000: 10
2001: 9
2002: 6
2003: 9
2004: 13
2005: 8
2006: 11
2007: 11
2008: 14
2009: 9
Films in Common:
Anders and Clark: 26
Anders and Jarryd: 24
Jarryd and Jeff: 23
Clark and Jarryd: 22
Anders and Brian: 20
Brian and Clark: 20
Brian and Jarryd: 19
Anders and Jeff: 18
Clark and Jeff: 15
Brian and Jeff: 13
Highest IMDb Score: #1 The Dark Knight (9.0)
Lowest IMDb Score: #95 Superman Returns (6.1)
Average IMDb Score: 7.75

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Individual Ballots

Best Directors | The Best of 2014

Since we just missed the cutoff of launching the Bit Players at the end of last year, we wanted to post what we considered to be our year-end roundup of 2014 in film. There were tons of amazing films and performances to choose from, and it was hard to narrow down to a consensus, but we managed to do that by the end. Inside you will find the best films, best male performances, best female performances, best directors, most overrated films, most underrated films, worst films, and the best scenes of the year, as well as our individual ballots if you want to see where all of these selections came from. Enjoy, and we look forward to a great year of watching film together along with you in 2015.

Since we just missed the cutoff of launching the Bit Players at the end of last year, we wanted to post what we considered to be our year-end roundup of 2014 in film. There were tons of amazing films and performances to choose from, and it was hard to narrow down to a consensus, but we managed to do that by the end. Inside you will find the best films, best male performances, best female performances, best directors, most overrated films, most underrated films, worst films, and the best scenes of the year, as well as our individual ballots if you want to see where all of these selections came from. Enjoy, and we look forward to a great year of watching film together along with you in 2015.

Christopher Nolan
5. Wes Anderson
The Grand Budapest Hotel

As I said before, it’s hard not to feel that Wes Anderson is only getting better at this point. The color palette on display in the Grand Budapest Hotel is both stunning and warm, an amazing feat in such a cold and detached world. His immaculate design actually somehow creates a sense of reality to this world in a way that is very interesting; typically his movies feel almost like fairytales, especially as they have become more and more detailed and arranged, but he’s grown to the point where his fairytale worlds are only our own world, just looked at a little differently. – Jeff Pearson

Christopher Nolan
4. Christopher Nolan
Interstellar

Kudos to writer and director of Interstellar, Christopher Nolan for even attempting to make a movie like this. He has a lot of naysayers, but you have to be a real Debbie Downer to think this guy makes bad movies. Nowadays he gets one of the biggest budgets that any director is given to make a movie and he still makes the weirdest and most interesting movies. They go into a wormhole AND a black hole in this movie and Nolan bravely attempts to visualize all of it. He does a great job too. He also hired a leading theoretical physicist to consult on the movie. It is amazing to me that he didn’t get a best director nomination at the Academy Awards, because this might be the best movie of the year and it has a lot to do with his direction. Top notch idea, cinematography, casting, acting, visuals, sound, and music, and pretty much anything else you can come up with. Christopher Nolan is still at the top of his game. – Anders Oster

James Gunn
3. James Gunn
Guardians of the Galaxy

James Gunn didn't make the best movie of 2014 in my opinion, but Guardians of the Galaxy will be the most iconic and everlasting film of 2014. Mark my words. When this generation of kids starts naming their own generation of children, the names Peter, Quill, Rocket, Gamora, Drax and, yes, even Groot and Star-Lord will be trending like mad. – Clark Carmichael

Damien Chazelle
2. Damien Chazelle
Whiplash

In a year in which established directors are doing some of their best work, we should give some love to the young gun. Chazelle explores the true nature of greatness, mentors, and success in his technical masterpiece. – Jarryd Baxter

Alejandro González Iñárritu
1. Alejandro González Iñárritu
Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorace)
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Best Scenes

Top 100 Films of the 2000s

As part of the Bit Players launch, we wanted to do something special that might give a little bit the listeners a little bit of a feel for who we are as film watchers, so we decided to count down our favorite films of the 2000s, a decade that largely marks our first days as serious film appreciators. It was a really fun process where we each submitted our own personal top 50 list of the decade and culled together a consensus using those films. What we came up with turned out to be a pretty interesting examination of what we look for and love in films, and the way that our tastes today were shaped by our teen and early adult years as filmwatchers. We hope you enjoy the list as much as we enjoyed making it together, and come to a better understanding of us as a group as you go forward with hopefully listening to more episodes.

As part of the Bit Players launch, we wanted to do something special that might give the listeners a little bit of a feel for who we are as film watchers, so we decided to count down our favorite films of the 2000s, a decade that largely marks our first days as serious film appreciators. It was a really fun process where we each submitted our own personal top 50 list of the decade and culled together a consensus using those films. What we came up with turned out to be a pretty interesting examination of what we look for and love in films, and the way that our tastes today were shaped by our teen and early adult years as filmwatchers. We hope you enjoy the list as much as we enjoyed making it together, and come to a better understanding of us as a group as you go forward with hopefully listening to more episodes.

In addition to the list, you can find some interesting statistics about the breakdown of the films and where things shook out as well as our individual ballots as a way to see where our tastes might veer off from one another.

300
100. 300 (2006)
Director
Zack Snyder
Stars
Gerard Butler
Lena Headey
David Wenham


The most faithful transfer of images from comic book to screen ever. And yet, still wildly imaginative. Snyder’s approach to green screen exerts a huge influence on fantasy movies for decades to come. I still think that Rodrigo Santoro (of Love Actually fame) watched tapes and tapes of Prince interviews and concerts to get his Xerxes where he wanted it. - Brian Urrutia

Team America
99. Team America: World Police (2004)
Director
Trey Parker
Stars
Trey Parker
Matt Stone
Elle Russ


“Freedom isn’t free. No, there’s a hefty fuckin’ fee.” I’m pretty sure most of the members of the Bit Players saw this movie together. Despite all the comedies we ranked ahead of this one, I think many of us might agree that this truly could be the funniest movie of the decade. “Sorry babe, looks like this is a one way ticket.” - Anders Oster

Let the Right One In
98. Let the Right One In (2008)
Director
Tomas Alfredson
Stars
Kåre Hedebrant
Lina Leandersson
Per Ragnar


Let the Right One In is one of the absolute best horror movies I've ever seen. Another one of those that understands what it is and is capable of doing, and understands the principle of the fear of the unknown. The most amazing parts of this film are largely left up to the viewer to imagine, and the film's climax (which is easily one of the best scenes of all-time) plays on that principle to perfection, leaving the viewer's eye on an image of relative piece in the middle, with the main character's eyes closed to the world around him fallen into utter chaos. Fucking beautiful. - Jeff Pearson

Elephant
97. Elephant (2003)
Director
Gus Van Sant
Stars
Elias McConnell
Alex Frost
Eric Deulen


Beautiful and deeply unnerving. It isn’t easy to watch, but this one will stay with you. - Jarryd Baxter

Monsters, Inc.
96. Monsters, Inc. (2001)
Director
Pete Docter & David Silverman
Stars
Billy Crystal
John Goodman
Mary Gibbs


Great comedic duo… or greatest comedic duo? - JB

Taken
95. Taken (2008)
Director
Pierre Morel
Stars
Liam Neeson
Maggie Grace
Famke Janssen


Liam Neesons is my shiiiiiiiit!!!!! - Clark Carmichael

Death At a Funeral
94. Death at a Funeral (2007)
Director
Frank Oz
Stars
Matthew Macfadyen
Peter Dinklage
Ewen Bremmer


This was one of Jenna's favorite movies and all I knew of it was that Chris Rock made a remake of it. Everyone. See. This. It is absolutely hysterical. Tyrion Lannister as the deceased gay lover come to wreck the funeral, the pirate from Dodgeball wandering around on psychedelics, it's got everything. Executed perfectly, too. - JP

Superman Returns
93. Superman Returns (2006)
Director
Bryan Singer
Stars
Brandon Routh
Kevin Spacey
Kate Bosworth


I never understood why this movie didn’t do better. I’m kind of comforted to know that Quentin Tarantino called it one of his favorite movies of all time. I thought Brandon Routh was perfection as Superman and Clark Kent. People called his performance flat and uninspiring but I’m not sure they’ve ever read a Superman comic. Notwithstanding his own portrayal of Supes, the movie offers a great Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor and a really good “that kid from Jungle 2 Jungle” as Jimmy Olsen. - BU

Gone Baby Gone
92. Gone Baby Gone (2007)
Director
Ben Affleck
Stars
Morgan Freeman
Ed Harris
Casey Affleck


Affleck directing Affleck. Couldn't be better. I think this is one of the more underrated films of the 2000s, if only because none of you bozos included it on your lists. Ben Affleck has only ever proven himself to be a fantastic director since, and this is where he first showed signs of brilliance. - JP

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
91. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
Director
Alfonso Cuarón
Stars
Daniel Radcliffe
Emma Watson
Rupert Grint


Cuarón puts the perfect feel into this movie and helps further set the darker and more adult themes that Goblet of Fire ushered in. - CC

I think you guys are nuts for not having Prisoner of Azkaban as the highest ranked Harry Potter film. - JP

Catch Me If You Can
90. Catch Me if You Can (2002)
Director
Steven Spielberg
Stars
Leonardo DiCaprio
Tom Hanks
Christopher Walken


This is the true story of Frank Abagnale Jr. played by Leonardo DiCaprio. Steven Spielberg is pretty much a sure thing if you’re looking for a fun movie and this movie fits the mold. Abagnale was a famous con artist who goes on adventures around the world as an airline pilot, doctor, lawyer, etc. Tom Hanks plays Carl, the FBI agent chasing him every step of the way, and Christopher Walken does a terrific job playing Frank Abagnale Sr. I just remember this movie being so much fun to watch and being moved by the relationship between Leo and Walken’s characters, and also the friendship between Leo and T. Hanks’ characters. A great feel good movie. Or a good feel great movie. I’m not sure which is better. John Williams provides a perfect score as always. - AO

Hot Fuzz
89. Hot Fuzz (2007)
Director
Edgar Wright
Stars
Simon Pegg
Nick Frost
Martin Freeman


The team of Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost perhaps at their best. It doesn't have the cultural pull that Shaun of the Dead has, but for my money it has more laughs. The constant references to the classic action flicks (Point Break, "You ain't seen Bad Boys II?!") never stop being funny, especially when the film goes all meta and actually incorporates those moments into itself seamlessly. Plus there are just these hilariously gruesome deaths that will have you cringing, which is always a plus. - JP

Sideways
88. Sideways (2004)
Director
Alexander Payne
Stars
Paul Giamatti
Thomas Haden Church
Virginia Madsen


Sideways is most definitely the best movie about wine starring the dude from Wings. - JP

The Fountain
87. The Fountain (2006)
Director
Darren Aronofsky
Stars
Hugh Jackman
Rachel Weisz
Sean Patrick Thomas


For most this is a love or hate kind of movie. I decided to watch it after liking other Aronofsky flicks. It's the kind of movie I wouldn't normally like. Little convoluted, lotta beautiful. Gotta be in the right mood for sure, but the payoff is huge. - CC

Y Tu Mama Tambien
86. Y Tu Mamá También (2001)
Director
Alfonso Cuarón
Stars
Maribel Verdú
Gael García Bernal
Daniel Giménez Cacho


Cuarón’s beautiful tale of self exploration makes us all feel young again. - JB

Good Night, and Good Luck.
85. Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005)
Director
George Clooney
Stars
David Strathairn
George Clooney
Patricia Clarkson


Clooney directing a movie about the difficult moral situations of newscasters sounds a bit dry but he surprises as a director just as he does as a voice actor. Given the state of news networks now, Clooney seems to understand all the nuances and pitfalls newsmen face in a historical dimension, not just a problem facing our generation. The movie is about Communism and McCarthyism and Clooney gives an even-handed take. David Strathairn should’ve gotten an award. - BU

Spider-Man
84. Spider-Man (2002)
Director
Sam Raimi
Stars
Tobey Maguire
Kirsten Dunst
Willem Dafoe


I treat these movies as kind of isolated from the larger Marvel boom. I think they feel more like 1990s super hero movies (the Batmans). Anyways, this movie is about Dafoe. All super hero movies seem to contain what we may call a small mini-movie of the villain’s origin story. This is one of the best. Clark can sing Dafoe’s praises better than I, but let me just say that watching Norman Osborn talk to himself and subsequently go crazy is genuinely terrifying. J.K. Simmons also perfectly captures newspaper editor J.J Jameson. Maguire sucks. Dunst Sucks. Franco’s aight. - BU

High Fidelity
83. High Fidelity (2000)
Director
Stephen Frears
Stars
John Cusack
Iben Hjejlie
Jack Black


This is a music lover’s paradise that makes you want to organize your own records autobiographically. Jack Black’s rendition of "Let’s Get it On" is flawless. - JB

Makes me feel not so alone in my obsession with making lists, too. - JP

Watchmen
82. Watchmen (2009)
Director
Zack Snyder
Stars
Jackie Earle Haley
Patrick Wilson
Carla Gugino


How this isn't considered a perfect comic book movie is beyond me. It's everything a Watchmen movie could have been. - CC

Best in Show
81. Best in Show (2000)
Director
Christopher Guest
Stars
Fred Willard
Eugene Levy
Catherine O'Hara


Christopher Guest and crew never disappoint. So many scenes in this film just kill me, and it's amazing to know that almost the entire thing is improvised. True geniuses at work in a way that isn't pretentious or challenging; just delightful comedy at a dog show. - JP

KIss Kiss Bang Bang
80. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
Director
Shane Black
Stars
Robert Downey Jr.
Val Kilmer
Michelle Monaghan


A secretly amazing throwback caper comedy starring RDJ, a flamboyantly gay Val Kilmer, and sharp-as-a-whip Michelle Monaghan to retort Downey's sarcasm? Yes please. - CC

Love Actually
79. Love Actually (2003)
Director
Richard Curtis
Stars
Hugh Grant
Martine McCutcheon
Liam Neeson


This flies the flag for the rom-com 2.0’s of the '00s. Probably one of the first movies I saw use the converging story lines technique and hence my appreciation. I love the movie because it’s uncompromising. A heavy but heartfelt delivery comes with every story. Most of them begin from heartbreaking premises that weirdly never resolve but are only made bearable by love. It’s a hallmarky movie but done pretty well. - BU

Love Actually is such a sleeper Christmas flick too. It's a must-watch every year. "I feel it in my fingers / I feel it in my...toes." - JP

The Village
78. The Village (2004)
Director
M. Night Shyamalan
Stars
Sigourney Weaver
William Hurt
Joaquin Phoenix


M. Night’s most underrated work of art. This movie is so beautifully haunting in every scene. The sound is perfect. - JB

Closer
77. Closer (2004)
Director
Mike Nichols
Stars
Natalie Portman
Jude Law
Clive Owen


This crew puts on an acting clinic. - JB

A Single Man
76. A Single Man (2009)
Director
Tom Ford
Stars
Colin Firth
Julianne Moore
Matthew Goode


I didn’t learn that the director for this movie was a fashion designer named Tom Ford until after this movie. It’s actually a one-off directing performance for him, which really leaves me wondering if he’ll return because this movie is stunning. The story is touching and beatific in its sadness. It begins on the day that Firth’s character plans to kill himself though a hot young Nicholas Hoult convinces him otherwise. I think Firth’s ‘scar for A King's Speech was actually a “sorry we forgot you for A Single Man.” The colors are warm and the cast is full of beautiful people. I hope Ford does more movies. - BU

Revolutionary Road
75. Revolutionary Road (2008)
Director
Sam Mendes
Stars
Leonardo DiCaprio
Kate Winslet
Christopher Fitzgerald


Leo, Winslet, Shannon, Bates. Why nobody else submitted this film in their list is beyond me. Maybe this is the most underrated one. Nobody does the tragedy of the American dream quite like Mendes, and this one’s better than American Beauty. It rocked me to the core. - JB

In Bruges
74. In Bruges (2008)
Director
Martin McDonagh
Stars
Colin Farrell
Brendan Gleeson
Ciarán Hinds


Ralph Fiennes and Brendan Gleeson are definitely the ones that make this hilarious mob movie something special. - CC

Anchorman
73. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)
Director
Adam McKay
Stars
Will Ferrell
Christina Applegate
Steve Carell


Probably the most consistently quotable films on the entire list. I'll spend my entire life trying to pretend the sequel never existed. - JP

Elf
72. Elf (2003)
Director
Jon Favreau
Stars
Will Ferrell
James Caan
Bob Newhart


Christmas movies are such an interesting anomaly when it comes to these kinds of lists. Like, I feel that they kind of get taken for granted. Elf is probably the movie that I ultimately watch more than any of these, since it has become such a holiday staple for me and my family. I still remember actually seeing School of Rock in the theatres, and Bax happened to be there with some other people. He told me after that he had never heard anyone laugh as hard as I did when that Elf trailer played. Just Will Ferrell, all crammed in that little desk in his tights surrounded by elves. Kills me. - JP

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
71. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
Director
David Fincher
Stars
Brad Pitt
Cate Blanchett
Tilda Swinton


Not sure why this movie doesn't get more love. It uses a unique idea to make a compelling love story and is a beautiful film. In another universe this film wins best picture and is a cultural sensation. - CC

Forgetting Sarah Marshall
70. Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
Director
Nicholas Stoller
Stars
Kristen Bell
Jason Segel
Paul Rudd


This was the third of four Apatow-produced movies in the top 25 of my 2000s list. It stars Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, the pot sweetener Mila Kunis, and Russell Brand in the funniest movie of all time about getting over a breakup. This movie includes a CSI spoof TV show starring Billy Baldwin, a hilarious vampire puppet musical, and a very funny supporting cast including Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, Jack McBrayer, Jonah Hill, and Paul Rudd. Paul Rudd deserves a shout out for being probably the funniest character of the movie despite having nothing to do with the actual plot. “Nope, too slow, do less.” - AO

Shaun of the Dead
69. Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Director
Edgar Wright
Stars
Simon Pegg
Nick Frost
Kate Ashfield


"You've got red on you." I think what makes this film so great is that it walks the line between horror and comedy so, so well. It's a step away from becoming one of the best zombie films of all time for how well-made it is, but you're always able to stay leaned back in your seat and relaxed because you know the stakes are ultimately those of a comedy film. The Queen scene is the stuff dreams are made of. - JP

28 Days Later
68. 28 Days Later... (2002)
Director
Danny Boyle
Stars
Cillian Murphy
Naomie Harris
Christopher Eccleston


I think this was probably one of my earliest instances of becoming enamored with horror. Danny Boyle pulls this film off in stripping it down to its bare basics; he proves that a film doesn't need a massive budget or premise to have a deep impact. The way that the rage virus all around Jim ultimately serves to infect him and force him to resort to letting that rage take over in the mansion at the end is incredible. One of my favorites scenes of the decade. - JP

Lucky Number Slevin
67. Lucky Number Slevin (2006)
Director
Paul McGuigan
Stars
Josh Hartnett
Ben Kingsley
Morgan Freeman


This is another one of those unbelievably underrated movies. It’s also the type of movie that requires you to really pay attention. If you’re talking or trying to get some work done while watching, you’re likely to miss something important. The opening 15 minutes of the movie are confusing, funny, and tragic, and they set the basis for the rest of the movie before it has really even begun. I would describe this movie as a crime, mystery drama with a lot of humor thrown in. You’ll spend most of the movie trying to figure out what’s going on, but the resolution will satisfy all of your questions. One of my favorite movies of the decade and one I love watching with other people who haven’t seen it. Josh Hartnett, Lucy Liu, Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, and Ben Kingsley are the stars of a great cast. Enjoy this Kansas City Shuffle. - AO

Gone in Sixty Seconds
66. Gone in Sixty Seconds (2000)
Director
Dominic Sena
Stars
Nicolas Cage
Angelina Jolie
Giovanni Ribisi


In '95 Cage wins a ‘scar for Leaving Las Vegas; '96 The Rock; '97 Con Air and Face/Off; '98 City of Angels (Soundtrack featuring the Goog); '99 Snake Eyes; and then this gem of a car movie. My point is that this Nic Cage is at “first-run-with-Bulls Michael Jordan” level of control of his game here. He’s seemed to always have mass appeal, but—and maybe it’s just because I was young—I get the feeling that people still took him seriously here. He wasn’t yet a caricature of himself. Anyways this movie totally evokes the culture that will be obsessed with Grand Theft Auto and thus earned a spot on my list. The Shelby Mustang at the end of the movie is worth all the build up. Nic Cage basically has a sexual experience with it. Very funny now, somehow seemed appropriate then. - BU

Blow
65. Blow (2001)
Director
Ted Demme
Stars
Johnny Depp
Penélope Cruz
Franka Potente


Johnny Depp makes self-destruction cool. Throughout the movie you almost find yourself admiring Depp’s Jung and his quest to become the cocaine lord almighty. The scene where we walks off a plane while “Black Betty” blasts is particularly blame-worthy. As mesmerizing as he is, though, the whole cast is remarkable. Paul Reubens and Jordi Mollà again help in adding charm to the image of Jung’s life, while Penelope Cruz plays the beautiful-but-terrible-but….-beautiful wife. At the end of the movie they show a picture of the real life and really incarcerated George Jung and it’s a comedown that sends me rushing back to the beginning to share in his highs again. - BU

The Mummy Returns
64. The Mummy Returns (2001)
Director
Stephen Sommers
Stars
Brendan Fraser
Rachel Weisz
John Hannah


Probably the best very average run of the mill one-dimensional action movie of the decade. These kinds of movies come out once a year and find eternal life on weekend afternoons on USA. Even though the premise of the movie states that mummification actually works, I was surprised to see The Mummy Returns at my box office. Worked at Carmike that summer; Saw it free dozens of times. - BU

Before Sunset
63. Before Sunset (2004)
Director
Richard Linklater
Stars
Ethan Hawke
Julie Delpy


Perfectly written script executed by two actors at the top of their game. It’s hard not to fall in love again with Hawke and Delpy, nine years later. I only recently saw this movie, and immediately watched it again after the first viewing. - JB

Serenity
62. Serenity (2005)
Director
Joss Whedon
Stars
Nathan Fillion
Gina Torres
Chiwetel Ejiofor


This is an incredibly underrated movie in my opinion. It serves as the finale of the cult TV show, Firefly, created by Joss Whedon. I don’t know if I loved this movie so much because I was already familiar with and attached to the characters from the show, but this movie blew me away when I saw it, and continues to have major rewatch value. The characters are what make this series and movie so great, but on top of that, it has a very clever and humorous script. Independent of the show, this is still one of the best science fiction movies of the decade. “I am a leaf on the wind.” - AO

O Brother Where Art Thou
61. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
Director
The Coen Brothers
Stars
George Clooney
John Turturro
Tim Blake Nelson


"Damn! We're in a tight spot!" I can't believe at least Brian didn't have this one ranked. I mean, come on, it's based on the Odyssey! And it has folk music! - JP

Snatch
60. Snatch. (2000)
Director
Guy Ritchie
Stars
Jason Statham
Brad Pitt
Benicio Del Toro


This movie has about 5 or 6 different sets of unique and interesting characters, each with different storylines that are stitched together perfectly by the end of the movie. Brad Pitt as a Pikey, bare-knuckle boxing champ is one of the coolest characters you’ll ever see in a movie. This movie is hilarious, fast-paced, and smart. Guy Ritchie just knows how to make cool movies and this is my favorite of his. The dog and rabbit chase scene, any scene with the Pikeys, all of Brad Pitt’s boxing scenes, the car crash scene, the replica gun scene with Bullet-Tooth Tony, and of course the amazing finale are some of the best scenes of the movie. - AO

City-of-God
59. City of God (2002)
Director
Fernando Meirelles & Kátia Lund
Stars
Alexandre Rodrigues
Matheus Nachtergaele
Leandro Firmino


Just one of the grittiest film experiences one can have. The soundtrack is fucking incredible, too. - JP

The Hurt Locker
58. The Hurt Locker (2008)
Director
Kathryn Bigelow
Stars
Jeremy Renner
Anthony Mackie
Brian Geraghty


The best war movie in recent memory, but much more than that. This one answers the question we keep asking; yes, Jeremy Renner actually can act. The grocery store scene is a sobering one that will stick with you. - JB

Signs
57. Signs (2002)
Director
M. Night Shyamalan
Stars
Mel Gibson
Joaquin Phoenix
Rory Culkin


This is my favorite movie from one of my favorite directors. The three note motif throughout shows how much can be achieved by using so little (however I suppose this was first perfected with Jaws). I’m glad we all were able to enjoy Mel Gibson’s (brief) return to form. - JB

Ray
56. Ray (2004)
Director
Taylor Hackford
Stars
Jamie Foxx
Regina King
Kerry Washington


This is mostly personal for me. Ray Charles is my favorite singer and I was so impressed that Jamie Foxx captured not only his singing voice but also Ray’s speaking voice (though they often appear to be the same). The Academy was impressed too, evidently. I think Foxx effectively stole a five point “Oscar previous win multiplier” from Joaquin Phoenix and All The Wayans by beating him to the punch in this rockstar biopic by essentially doing Ray a year prior to Walk the Line. Curtis Armstrong also plays a record producer and captures exactly what I imagine was the relationship between nerdy white A&R guys and the genius of Ray Charles. - BU

Iron Man
55. Iron Man (2008)
Director
Jon Favreau
Stars
Robert Downey Jr.
Gwyneth Paltrow
Terrence Howard


Getting RDJ was the smartest move the powers that be at Marvel ever approved. Saying this movie is about anything else besides his performance is kind of crazy. They really seem to give him free reign right from this first movie. Good acting is often noted by the saying “So-and-so became her character” but here it’s really Tony Stark who revealed himself to be RDJ all along. Want to measure his impact? In some comics now, they draw Tony Stark to look like RDJ. - BU

Pineapple Express
54. Pineapple Express (2008)
Director
David Gordon Green
Stars
Seth Rogen
James Franco
Gary Cole


This is maybe the most rewatchable comedy of the decade for me. James Franco goes from showing off his considerable dramatic chops as the Green Goblin in the Spider-Man franchise, to Saul Silver, a friendly, harmless pot dealer, and one of the funniest characters of the decade. Danny McBride’s character, is another hilarious character who steals every scene he’s in. These two and Rogen have to go into hiding after Rogen’s character, Dale accidentally witnesses the town’s most powerful drug lord murder someone. “A cop, a lady, and a guy? That’s like a massacre.” - AO

Gladiator
53. Gladiator (2000)
Director
Ridley Scott
Stars
Russell Crowe
Joaquin Phoenix
Connie Nielsen


I remember Stephen, Jeff, Blake and I watching this movie constantly but it could have just as well been me, alone, stomping around my room reciting, “My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North...” It’s the reason I love Ridley Scott movies. Russell Crowe is perfect in this role and I’m not sure how he was an underdog going into the Oscars that year. Blowhard classicists will tell you how factually inaccurate it is and blah-blah, but I still think Scott understands the Colosseum and illustrates the costs of Rome, as an idea and place, beautifully. - BU

Mission: Impossible III
52. Mission: Impossible III (2006)
Director
J.J. Abrams
Stars
Tom Cruise
Michelle Monaghan
Ving Rhames


It shocked the shit out of me that only Geri and I had this on our lists. It’s Abrams directing, Cruise cruising, and PS Hoffman as villain. Even though I know it’s not Julia who Davian kills, I still get anxious. Without Abrams & Co., this could have been your very average run of the mill one-dimensional action movie. - BU

Up in the Air
51. Up in the Air (2009)
Director
Jason Reitman
Stars
George Clooney
Vera Farmiga
Anna Kendrick


Given the collective response, I believe this may be the most underrated movie on our list. I haven’t been too impressed with Reitman’s other stuff, but this movie is darn close to perfect. Clooney and Kendrick are fantastic, giving us all advice on love, family, and what truly matters. - JB
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