2002: A Viewer's Guide

The best films of 2002. The first twenty are in order of preference. The rest are listed alphabetically.
View:
Log in to copy items to your own lists.
1.
Changing Lanes (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
The story of what happens one day in New York when a young lawyer and a businessman share a small automobile accident on F.D.R. Drive and their mutual road rage escalates into a feud. (98 mins.)
Director: Roger Michell
 
2.
City of God (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
Two boys growing up in a violent neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro take different paths: one becomes a photographer, the other a drug dealer. (130 mins.)
 
3.
The Son (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A joinery instructor at a rehab center refuses to take a new teen as his apprentice, but then begins to follow the boy through the hallways and streets. (99 mins.)
 
4.
Moonlight Mile (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
As he copes with the death of his fiancee, a young man befriends her parents and must figure out what he wants out of life. (117 mins.)
Director: Brad Silberling
 
5.
Far from Heaven (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
In 1950s Connecticut, a housewife faces a marital crisis and mounting racial tensions in the outside world. (107 mins.)
Director: Todd Haynes
 
6.
All or Nothing (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Penny's love for her partner, taxi-driver Phil, has run dry. He is a gentle, philosophical guy, and she works on the checkout at a supermarket... (128 mins.)
Director: Mike Leigh
 
7.
25th Hour (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Cornered by the DEA, convicted New York drug dealer Montgomery Brogan reevaluates his life in the 24 remaining hours before facing a seven-year jail term. (135 mins.)
Director: Spike Lee
 
8.
Stevie (2002 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
In 1995 Director Steve James (Hoop Dreams) returned to rural Southern Illinois to reconnect with Stevie Fielding, a troubled young boy he had been an 'Advocate Big Brother' to ten years earlier. (140 mins.)
Director: Steve James
 
9.
Igby Goes Down (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A young man's peculiar upbringing renders him unable to competently cope with the struggle of growing up. (98 mins.)
Director: Burr Steers
 
10.
Gaza Strip (2002 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
(74 mins.)
Director: James Longley
 
11.
May (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A lonely young woman traumatized by a difficult childhood and her increasingly desperate attempts to connect with the people around her is sent into a murderous tailspin. (93 mins.)
Director: Lucky McKee
 
12.
Hero (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A defense officer, Nameless, was summoned by the King of Qin regarding his success of terminating three warriors. (99 mins.)
Director: Yimou Zhang
 
13.
Adaptation. (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A lovelorn screenwriter becomes desperate as he tries and fails to adapt "The Orchid Thief" by Susan Orlean for the screen. (114 mins.)
Director: Spike Jonze
 
14.
Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
In 1931, three aboriginal girls escape after being plucked from their homes to be trained as domestic staff and set off on a trek across the Outback. (94 mins.)
Director: Phillip Noyce
 
15.
Antwone Fisher (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Antwone Fisher, a young navy man, is forced to see a psychiatrist after a violent outburst against a fellow crewman. During the course of treatment a painful past is revealed and a new hope begins. (120 mins.)
 
16.
Minority Report (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
In a future where a special police unit is able to arrest murderers before they commit their crimes, an officer from that unit is himself accused of a future murder. (145 mins.)
 
17.
The Quiet American (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
An older British reporter vies with a young U.S. doctor for the affections of a beautiful Vietnamese woman. (101 mins.)
Director: Phillip Noyce
 
18.
Man on the Train (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A teacher and a gangster meet by chance in a small town pharmacy. As a friendship of sorts develops between these opposite personalities... (90 mins.)
Director: Patrice Leconte
 
19.
Morvern Callar (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
After her beloved husband's suicide, a mourning supermarket worker and her best friend hit the road in Scotland, but find that grief is something that you can't run away from forever. (97 mins.)
Director: Lynne Ramsay
 
20.
Biggie and Tupac (2002 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Documentary on the deaths of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls and the East Coast/West Coast, hip-hop/rap rivalry that culminated in late 1996 and early 1997. (108 mins.)
Director: Nick Broomfield
 
21.
24 Hour Party People (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
In 1976, Tony Wilson sets up Factory Records and brings Manchester's music to the world. (117 mins.)
 
22.
28 Days Later... (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Four weeks after a mysterious, incurable virus spreads throughout the UK, a handful of survivors try to find sanctuary. (113 mins.)
Director: Danny Boyle
 
23.
About a Boy (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A cynical, immature young man is taught how to act like a grown-up by a little boy. (101 mins.)
 
24.
About Schmidt (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A man upon retirement embarks on a journey to his estranged daughter's wedding only to discover more about himself and life than he ever expected. (125 mins.)
Director: Alexander Payne
 
25.
Auto Focus (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A story about "Hogan's Heroes" star Bob Crane and his friendship with John Carpenter. (105 mins.)
Director: Paul Schrader
 
26.
Cuban Rafters (2002 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
The story of Cuban refugees who risked their lives in homemade rafts to reach the United States, and what life is like for those who succeed. (120 mins.)
 
27.
Better Luck Tomorrow (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A group of over-achieving Asian-American high school seniors enjoy a power trip when they dip into extra-curricular criminal activities. (101 mins.)
Director: Justin Lin
 
28.
Blade II (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Blade forms an uneasy alliance with the vampire council in order to combat the Reapers, who are feeding on vampires. (117 mins.)
 
29.
Bloody Sunday (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A dramatization of the Irish civil rights protest march and subsequent massacre by British troops on January 30, 1972. (107 mins.)
Director: Paul Greengrass
 
30.
Blue Car (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A troubled young woman is encouraged by a teacher to enter a poetry contest. (96 mins.)
Director: Karen Moncrieff
 
31.
The Bourne Identity (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A man is picked up by a fishing boat, bullet-riddled and suffering from amnesia, before racing to elude assassins and regain his memory. (119 mins.)
Director: Doug Liman
 
32.
Bowling for Columbine (2002 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Filmmaker Michael Moore explores the roots of America's predilection for gun violence. (120 mins.)
Director: Michael Moore
 
33.
Catch Me If You Can (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The true story of Frank Abagnale Jr. who, before his 19th birthday, successfully conned millions of dollars' worth of checks as a Pan Am pilot, doctor, and legal prosecutor. (141 mins.)
 
34.
Chicago (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Murderesses Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart find themselves on death row together and fight for the fame that will keep them from the gallows in 1920s Chicago. (113 mins.)
Director: Rob Marshall
 
35.
Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
An adaptation of the cult memoir of game show impresario Chuck Barris, in which he purports to have been a CIA hitman. (113 mins.)
Director: George Clooney
 
36.
The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A young man, falsely imprisoned by his jealous "friend," escapes and uses a hidden treasure to exact his revenge. (131 mins.)
Director: Kevin Reynolds
 
37.
Dirty Pretty Things (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
An illegal Nigerian immigrant discovers the unpalatable side of London life. (97 mins.)
Director: Stephen Frears
 
38.
Divine Intervention (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Separated by a checkpoint, Palestinian lovers from Jerusalem and Ramallah arrange clandestine meetings. (92 mins.)
Director: Elia Suleiman
 
39.
The Embalmer (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Peppino is an aging taxidermist constantly ridiculed for being short and somewhat creepy. He meets Valerio... (101 mins.)
Director: Matteo Garrone
 
40.
Frida (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A biography of artist Frida Kahlo, who channeled the pain of a crippling injury and her tempestuous marriage into her work. (123 mins.)
Director: Julie Taymor
 
41.
Gangs of New York (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
In 1863, Amsterdam Vallon returns to the Five Points area of New York City seeking revenge against Bill the Butcher, his father's killer. (167 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
 
42.
Gerry (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
A friendship between two young men is tested when they go for a hike in a desert and forget to bring any water or food with them. (103 mins.)
Director: Gus Van Sant
 
43.
The Good Girl (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A discount store clerk strikes up an affair with a stock boy who considers himself the incarnation of Holden Caulfield. (93 mins.)
Director: Miguel Arteta
 
44.
The Good Thief (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
An aging gambler on a losing streak attempts to rob a casino in Monte Carlo. But someone's already tipped off the cops before he even makes a move. (109 mins.)
Director: Neil Jordan
 
45.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Harry ignores warnings not to return to Hogwarts, only to find the school plagued by a series of mysterious attacks and a strange voice haunting him. (161 mins.)
Director: Chris Columbus
 
46.
Infernal Affairs (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A story between a mole in the police department and an undercover cop. Their objectives are the same: to find out who is the mole, and who is the cop. (101 mins.)
Director: Andrew Lau, Alan Mak
 
47.
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
While Frodo and Sam edge closer to Mordor with the help of the shifty Gollum, the divided fellowship makes a stand against Sauron's new ally, Saruman, and his hordes of Isengard. (179 mins.)
Director: Peter Jackson
 
48.
The Magdalene Sisters (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Three young Irish women struggle to maintain their spirits while they endure dehumanizing abuse as inmates of a Magdalene Sisters Asylum. (114 mins.)
Director: Peter Mullan
 
49.
The Man from Elysian Fields (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A failed novelist's inability to pay the bills strains relations with his wife and leads him to work at an escort service where he becomes entwined with a wealthy woman whose husband is a successful writer. (106 mins.)
 
50.
The Man Without a Past (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
The second part of Aki Kaurismäki's "Finland" trilogy, the film follows a man who arrives in Helsinki... (97 mins.)
Director: Aki Kaurismäki
 
51.
Marion Bridge (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Three estranged sisters reunite to care for their dying mother and old conflicts and secrets return to the surface. (90 mins.)
 
52.
Marooned in Iraq (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
During the war between Iran and Iraq, a group of Iranian Kurd musicians set off on an almost impossible mission... (108 mins.)
Director: Bahman Ghobadi
 
53.
Max (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A film studying the depiction of a friendship between an art dealer named Rothman and his student, Adolf Hitler. (106 mins.)
Director: Menno Meyjes
 
54.
One Hour Photo (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
An employee of a one-hour photo lab becomes obsessed with a young suburban family. (96 mins.)
Director: Mark Romanek
 
55.
OT: Our Town (2002 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Dominguez High, in the infamous Compton, CA, has not produced a play in over twenty years. With no money and no stage, two teachers and twenty-four students attempt to produce Thornton Wilder's American Classic OUR TOWN. (76 mins.)
 
56.
The Pianist (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A Polish Jewish musician struggles to survive the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto of World War II. (150 mins.)
Director: Roman Polanski
 
57.
Punch-Drunk Love (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A psychologically troubled novelty supplier is nudged towards a romance with an English woman, all the while being extorted by a phone-sex line run by a crooked mattress salesman, and purchasing stunning amounts of pudding. (95 mins.)
 
58.
Raising Victor Vargas (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A Lower East Side teen-ager struggles to find some sanity while surrounded by an eccentric grandmother, a crazy new girlfriend, and a longing younger brother. (88 mins.)
Director: Peter Sollett
 
59.
Ripley's Game (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Tom Ripley persuades a man to commit a murder for a large sum of money. The situation goes out of control, and that man must escape trouble. (110 mins.)
Director: Liliana Cavani
 
60.
Road to Perdition (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Bonds of loyalty are put to the test when a hitman's son witnesses what his father does for a living. (117 mins.)
Director: Sam Mendes
 
61.
Roger Dodger (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
After breaking up with his lover and boss, a smooth-talking man takes his teenaged nephew out on the town in search of sex. (106 mins.)
Director: Dylan Kidd
 
62.
Safe Conduct (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
In occupied France, German-run Continental Films calls the shots in the movie business. Assistant director... (170 mins.)
 
63.
Signs (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A family living on a farm finds mysterious crop circles in their fields which suggests something more frightening to come. (106 mins.)
 
64.
Songs from the Second Floor (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Where are we humans going? A film poem inspired by the Peruvian poet César Vallejo. We meet people in the city. People trying to communicate, searching compassion and get the connection of small and large things. (98 mins.)
Director: Roy Andersson
 
65.
Spider (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A mentally disturbed man takes residence in a halfway house. His mind gradually slips back into the realm created by his illness, where he replays a key part of his childhood. (98 mins.)
 
66.
Stone Reader (2002 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
(127 mins.)
Director: Mark Moskowitz
 
67.
Sunshine State (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A woman and her new husband returns to her hometown roots in coastal northern Florida, and must deal with family, business, and encroaching real estate development. (141 mins.)
Director: John Sayles
 
68.
Sweet Sixteen (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Determined to have a normal family life once his mother gets out of prison, a Scottish teenager from a tough background sets out to raise the money for a home. (106 mins.)
Director: Ken Loach
 
69.
Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A recently laid off factory worker kidnaps his former boss' daughter, hoping to use the ransom money to pay for his sister's kidney transplant. (129 mins.)
Director: Chan-wook Park
 
70.
Talk to Her (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Two men share an odd friendship while they care for two women who are both in deep comas. (112 mins.)
 
71.
The Trials of Henry Kissinger (2002 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A film about the war crimes of the American diplomat, Henry Kissinger. (80 mins.)
Director: Eugene Jarecki
 
72.
The Twilight Samurai (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A 19th-century samurai tries to protect a battered wife. (129 mins.)
Director: Yôji Yamada
 
73.
Unknown Pleasures (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Two unemployed Chinese teenagers have trouble resisting the temptations of the Western world. (112 mins.)
Director: ZhangKe Jia
 
74.
We Were Soldiers (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
The story of the first major battle of the American phase of the Vietnam War and the soldiers on both sides that fought it. (138 mins.)
Director: Randall Wallace
 
75.
The Weather Underground (2002 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
The remarkable story of The Weather Underground, radical activists of the 1970s, and of radical politics at its best and most disastrous. (92 mins.)