Slant Magazine 100 Best Films of the Aughts

by amidgen | created - 04 Oct 2013 | updated - 04 Oct 2013 | Public
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1. Mulholland Dr. (2001)

R | 147 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

83 Metascore

After a car wreck on the winding Mulholland Drive renders a woman amnesiac, she and a perky Hollywood-hopeful search for clues and answers across Los Angeles in a twisting venture beyond dreams and reality.

Director: David Lynch | Stars: Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, Justin Theroux, Jeanne Bates

Votes: 274,132 | Gross: $7.22M

2. Inland Empire (2006)

R | 180 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

72 Metascore

As an actress starts to adopt the persona of her character in a film, her world starts to become nightmarish and surreal.

Director: David Lynch | Stars: Laura Dern, Jeremy Irons, Justin Theroux, Karolina Gruszka

Votes: 47,267 | Gross: $0.75M

3. Yi Yi (2000)

Not Rated | 173 min | Drama, Romance

93 Metascore

Each member of a middle class Taipei family seeks to reconcile past and present relationships within their daily lives.

Director: Edward Yang | Stars: Nien-Jen Wu, Elaine Jin, Issei Ogata, Kelly Lee

Votes: 15,528 | Gross: $1.14M

4. The New World (2005)

PG-13 | 135 min | Biography, Drama, History

69 Metascore

The story of the English exploration of Virginia, and of the changing world and loves of Pocahontas.

Director: Terrence Malick | Stars: Colin Farrell, Q'orianka Kilcher, Christopher Plummer, Christian Bale

Votes: 76,302 | Gross: $12.71M

5. In the Mood for Love (2000)

PG | 98 min | Drama, Romance

85 Metascore

Two neighbors, a woman and a man, form a strong bond after both suspect extramarital activities of their spouses. However, they agree to keep their bond platonic so as not to commit similar wrongs.

Director: Kar-Wai Wong | Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Maggie Cheung, Ping Lam Siu, Tung Cho 'Joe' Cheung

Votes: 96,227 | Gross: $2.73M

6. Talaye sorkh (2003)

Unrated | 95 min | Drama, Thriller

81 Metascore

An Iranian pizza delivery man sees the worst of corruption and social unbalance in his city and is driven to crime.

Director: Jafar Panahi | Stars: Hossain Emadeddin, Kamyar Sheisi, Azita Rayeji, Shahram Vaziri

Votes: 3,894 | Gross: $0.15M

7. Werckmeister harmóniák (2000)

145 min | Drama, Mystery

92 Metascore

An innocent young man witnesses violence break out after an isolated village is inflamed by the arrival of a circus and its peculiar attractions: a giant whale and a mysterious man named "The Prince."

Directors: Béla Tarr, Ágnes Hranitzky | Stars: Lars Rudolph, Peter Fitz, Hanna Schygulla, János Derzsi

Votes: 10,352 | Gross: $0.03M

8. Bad Education (2004)

NC-17 | 106 min | Crime, Drama

81 Metascore

An examination on the effect of Franco-era religious schooling and sexual abuse on the lives of two longtime friends.

Director: Pedro Almodóvar | Stars: Gael García Bernal, Fele Martínez, Javier Cámara, Daniel Giménez Cacho

Votes: 49,509 | Gross: $5.21M

9. Femme Fatale (2002)

R | 114 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

59 Metascore

A woman tries to straighten out her life, even as her past as a con-woman comes back to haunt her.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Rebecca Romijn, Antonio Banderas, Peter Coyote, Eriq Ebouaney

Votes: 30,648 | Gross: $6.59M

10. Le fils (2002)

99 min | Drama, Mystery

86 Metascore

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.

Directors: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne | Stars: Olivier Gourmet, Morgan Marinne, Isabella Soupart, Nassim Hassaïni

Votes: 7,849 | Gross: $0.07M

11. Beau travail (1999)

Unrated | 92 min | Drama, War

91 Metascore

This film focuses on an ex-Foreign Legion officer as he recalls his once glorious life, leading troops in Africa.

Director: Claire Denis | Stars: Denis Lavant, Michel Subor, Grégoire Colin, Richard Courcet

Votes: 6,220 | Gross: $0.25M

12. Kairo (2001)

R | 119 min | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi

70 Metascore

Two groups of people discover evidence that suggests spirits may be trying to invade the human world through the Internet.

Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa | Stars: Haruhiko Katô, Kumiko Asô, Koyuki, Kurume Arisaka

Votes: 13,563 | Gross: $0.05M

13. George Washington (2000)

Not Rated | 89 min | Drama

82 Metascore

A group of children, in a depressed small town, band together to cover up a tragic mistake one summer.

Director: David Gordon Green | Stars: Candace Evanofski, Donald Holden, Damian Jewan Lee, Curtis Cotton III

Votes: 6,888 | Gross: $0.24M

14. Spirited Away (2001)

PG | 125 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

96 Metascore

During her family's move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and spirits, and where humans are changed into beasts.

Directors: Hayao Miyazaki, Kirk Wise | Stars: Daveigh Chase, Suzanne Pleshette, Miyu Irino, Rumi Hiiragi

Votes: 509,175 | Gross: $10.06M

15. L'enfant (2005)

R | 95 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

87 Metascore

Bruno and Sonia, a young couple living off her benefit and the thefts committed by his gang, have a new source of money: their newborn son.

Directors: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne | Stars: Jérémie Renier, Déborah François, Jérémie Segard, Fabrizio Rongione

Votes: 15,858 | Gross: $0.65M

16. Two Lovers (2008)

R | 110 min | Drama, Romance

74 Metascore

A Brooklyn-set romantic drama about a bachelor torn between the family friend his parents wish he would marry and his beautiful but volatile new neighbor.

Director: James Gray | Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Gwyneth Paltrow, Vinessa Shaw, Anne Joyce

Votes: 32,415 | Gross: $3.15M

17. Munich (2005)

R | 164 min | Drama, History, Thriller

74 Metascore

Based on the true story of the Black September aftermath, about the five men chosen to eliminate the ones responsible for that fateful day.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Eric Bana, Daniel Craig, Marie-Josée Croze, Ciarán Hinds

Votes: 191,629 | Gross: $47.40M

18. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

R | 110 min | Comedy, Drama

76 Metascore

The eccentric members of a dysfunctional family reluctantly gather under the same roof for various reasons.

Director: Wes Anderson | Stars: Gene Hackman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Anjelica Huston, Ben Stiller

Votes: 233,966 | Gross: $52.36M

19. 35 Shots of Rum (2008)

Unrated | 100 min | Drama

92 Metascore

The relationship between a father and daughter is complicated by the arrival of a handsome young man.

Director: Claire Denis | Stars: Alex Descas, Mati Diop, Nicole Dogué, Grégoire Colin

Votes: 3,481 | Gross: $0.18M

20. Miami Vice (2006)

R | 134 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

65 Metascore

Based on the 1980s TV action/drama, this update focuses on vice detectives Crockett and Tubbs as their respective personal and professional lives become dangerously intertwined.

Director: Michael Mann | Stars: Colin Farrell, Jamie Foxx, Li Gong, Naomie Harris

Votes: 99,508 | Gross: $63.45M

21. Spider (2002)

R | 98 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

83 Metascore

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.

Director: David Cronenberg | Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Miranda Richardson, Gabriel Byrne, Lynn Redgrave

Votes: 32,534 | Gross: $1.64M

22. Fat Girl (2001)

Not Rated | 86 min | Drama

77 Metascore

Two sisters confront their sexual attitudes and experiences while on a family holiday.

Director: Catherine Breillat | Stars: Anaïs Reboux, Roxane Mesquida, Libero De Rienzo, Arsinée Khanjian

Votes: 9,106 | Gross: $0.72M

23. A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)

PG-13 | 146 min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi

65 Metascore

A highly advanced robotic boy longs to become "real" so that he can regain the love of his human mother.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Haley Joel Osment, Jude Law, Frances O'Connor, Sam Robards

Votes: 264,170 | Gross: $78.62M

24. Sud pralad (2004)

Not Rated | 118 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance

78 Metascore

A romance between a soldier and a country boy, wrapped around a Thai folk-tale involving a shaman with shape-shifting abilities.

Director: Apichatpong Weerasethakul | Stars: Banlop Lomnoi, Sakda Kaewbuadee, Huai Dessom, Sirivech Jareonchon

Votes: 4,100

25. The Company (2003)

PG-13 | 112 min | Drama, Music, Romance

73 Metascore

Ensemble drama centered around a group of ballet dancers, with a focus on one young dancer (Campbell) who's poised to become a principal performer.

Director: Robert Altman | Stars: Neve Campbell, James Franco, Malcolm McDowell, Barbara E. Robertson

Votes: 5,864 | Gross: $2.28M

26. Ghost World (2001)

R | 111 min | Comedy, Drama

88 Metascore

With only the plan of moving in together after high school, two unusually devious friends seek direction in life. As a mere gag, they respond to a man's newspaper ad for a date, only to find it will greatly complicate their lives.

Director: Terry Zwigoff | Stars: Steve Buscemi, Thora Birch, Scarlett Johansson, Brad Renfro

Votes: 103,756 | Gross: $6.22M

27. Son frère (2003)

92 min | Drama, Romance

78 Metascore

Two brothers with a problematic relationship in the past, find together again when the elder one gets a dangerous disease and asks his brother to accompany him to several doctors.

Director: Patrice Chéreau | Stars: Bruno Todeschini, Éric Caravaca, Nathalie Boutefeu, Maurice Garrel

Votes: 1,709

28. The Best of Youth (2003)

R | 366 min | Drama, Romance

89 Metascore

An Italian epic that follows the lives of two brothers, from the 1960s to the 2000s.

Director: Marco Tullio Giordana | Stars: Luigi Lo Cascio, Alessio Boni, Jasmine Trinca, Sonia Bergamasco

Votes: 18,204 | Gross: $0.25M

29. Gerry (2002)

R | 103 min | Adventure, Drama, Mystery

54 Metascore

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.

Director: Gus Van Sant | Stars: Casey Affleck, Matt Damon

Votes: 16,277 | Gross: $0.24M

30. Millennium Actress (2001)

PG | 87 min | Animation, Drama, Fantasy

70 Metascore

A TV interviewer and his cameraman meet a former actress and travel through her memories and career.

Director: Satoshi Kon | Stars: Miyoko Shôji, Shôzô Îzuka, Mami Koyama, Fumiko Orikasa

Votes: 17,958 | Gross: $0.04M

31. Rachel Getting Married (2008)

R | 113 min | Drama, Romance

82 Metascore

A young woman who has been in and out of rehab for the past ten years, returns home for the weekend for her sister's wedding.

Director: Jonathan Demme | Stars: Anne Hathaway, Rosemarie DeWitt, Debra Winger, Sebastian Stan

Votes: 43,703 | Gross: $12.80M

32. Zhantai (2000)

154 min | Drama, History

76 Metascore

Set in Fenyang, Shanxi Province, the film focuses on a group of amateur theatre troupe performers whose fate mirrors that of the general population in China as massive socio-economic ... See full summary »

Director: Zhangke Jia | Stars: Hongwei Wang, Tao Zhao, Jing Dong Liang, Tian-yi Yang

Votes: 1,942

33. The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (2005)

R | 153 min | Drama

86 Metascore

Mr. Lazarescu, a 63 year old lonely man feels sick and calls the ambulance. When it arrives, the paramedic decides he should take him to the hospital but once there they decide to send him ... See full summary »

Director: Cristi Puiu | Stars: Doru Ana, Monica Barladeanu, Alina Berzunteanu, Dorian Boguta

Votes: 11,603 | Gross: $0.08M

34. Sang sattawat (2006)

105 min | Drama

71 Metascore

Story about director Apichatpong Weerasethakul's parents who were both doctors, and director's memories about growing up in the hospital environment.

Director: Apichatpong Weerasethakul | Stars: Nantarat Sawaddikul, Jaruchai Iamaram, Sophon Pukanok, Jenjira Pongpas

Votes: 3,140 | Gross: $0.02M

35. Mysterious Skin (2004)

Unrated | 105 min | Drama, Mystery

73 Metascore

A teenage hustler and a young man obsessed with alien abductions cross paths, together discovering a horrible, liberating truth.

Director: Gregg Araki | Stars: Brady Corbet, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Elisabeth Shue, Chase Ellison

Votes: 60,968 | Gross: $0.70M

36. Ni na bian ji dian (2001)

Not Rated | 116 min | Drama, Romance

79 Metascore

A watch salesman meets a young woman soon leaving for Paris and becomes infatuated, so he begins to change all the clocks in Taipei to Paris time.

Director: Ming-liang Tsai | Stars: Kang-sheng Lee, Shiang-chyi Chen, Yi-Ching Lu, Tien Miao

Votes: 3,951 | Gross: $0.19M

37. There Will Be Blood (2007)

R | 158 min | Drama

93 Metascore

A story of family, religion, hatred, oil and madness, focusing on a turn-of-the-century prospector in the early days of the business.

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson | Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano, Ciarán Hinds, Martin Stringer

Votes: 435,659 | Gross: $40.22M

38. Twentynine Palms (2003)

Unrated | 119 min | Drama

43 Metascore

David, an independent photographer, and Katia, an unemployed woman, leave Los Angeles, en route to the southern California desert, where they search a natural set to use as a backdrop for a... See full summary »

Director: Bruno Dumont | Stars: Yekaterina Golubeva, David Wissak

Votes: 3,805 | Gross: $0.05M

39. Dogville (2003)

R | 178 min | Crime, Drama

60 Metascore

A woman on the run from the mob is reluctantly accepted in a small Colorado town. In exchange, she agrees to work for them. As a search visits the town, she finds out that their support has a price. Yet her dangerous secret is never far away.

Director: Lars von Trier | Stars: Nicole Kidman, Paul Bettany, Lauren Bacall, Harriet Andersson

Votes: 119,534 | Gross: $1.53M

40. Inglourious Basterds (2009)

R | 153 min | Adventure, Drama, War

69 Metascore

In Nazi-occupied France during World War II, a plan to assassinate Nazi leaders by a group of Jewish U.S. soldiers coincides with a theatre owner's vengeful plans for the same.

Directors: Quentin Tarantino, Eli Roth | Stars: Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Eli Roth, Mélanie Laurent

Votes: 1,042,103 | Gross: $120.54M

41. No Country for Old Men (2007)

R | 122 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

91 Metascore

Violence and mayhem ensue after a hunter stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong and more than two million dollars in cash near the Rio Grande.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen | Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson

Votes: 715,500 | Gross: $74.28M

42. Batalla en el cielo (2005)

Unrated | 98 min | Crime, Drama

56 Metascore

A working-class man named Marcos and his wife kidnap a baby for ransom money, but it goes tragically wrong when the infant dies. In another world is Ana, the daughter of the general for ... See full summary »

Director: Carlos Reygadas | Stars: Marcos Hernández, Anapola Mushkadiz, Bertha Ruiz, David Bornstein

Votes: 5,310 | Gross: $0.07M

43. Far from Heaven (2002)

PG-13 | 107 min | Drama

84 Metascore

In 1950s Connecticut, a housewife faces a marital crisis and mounting racial tensions in the outside world.

Director: Todd Haynes | Stars: Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid, Dennis Haysbert, Patricia Clarkson

Votes: 39,443 | Gross: $15.85M

44. Trouble Every Day (2001)

Not Rated | 101 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller

40 Metascore

Two American newlyweds in Paris experience a love so strong, it almost devours them.

Director: Claire Denis | Stars: Vincent Gallo, Tricia Vessey, Béatrice Dalle, Alex Descas

Votes: 5,997 | Gross: $0.01M

45. Before Sunset (2004)

R | 80 min | Drama, Romance

90 Metascore

Nine years after Jesse and Celine first met, they encounter each other again on the French leg of Jesse's book tour.

Director: Richard Linklater | Stars: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Vernon Dobtcheff, Louise Lemoine Torrès

Votes: 193,135 | Gross: $5.79M

46. Donnie Darko (2001)

R | 113 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

88 Metascore

A troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a man in a large rabbit suit who manipulates him to commit a series of crimes, after he narrowly escapes a bizarre accident.

Director: Richard Kelly | Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Mary McDonnell, Holmes Osborne

Votes: 663,462 | Gross: $0.19M

47. Zui hao de shi guang (2005)

Not Rated | 120 min | Drama, Romance

80 Metascore

Three stories set in three times, 1911, 1966 and 2005. Two actors play the two main characters in each story.

Director: Hsiao-Hsien Hou | Stars: Qi Shu, Chen Chang, Fang Mei, Shu-Chen Liao

Votes: 4,711 | Gross: $0.15M

48. In the City of Sylvia (2007)

Unrated | 84 min | Drama

A man returns to a city to try to track down a lovely woman he met six years earlier.

Director: José Luis Guerín | Stars: Pilar López de Ayala, Xavier Lafitte, Laurence Cordier, Tanja Czichy

Votes: 2,109

49. Ren xiao yao (2002)

Unrated | 112 min | Comedy, Drama

61 Metascore

Two unemployed Chinese teenagers have trouble resisting the temptations of the Western world.

Director: Zhangke Jia | Stars: Wei Wei Zhao, Qiong Wu, Tao Zhao, Qing Feng Zhou

Votes: 1,804 | Gross: $0.01M

50. The White Diamond (2004)

Not Rated | 88 min | Documentary

7.5