Tags: decade


Favorite Films by Decade - 2000s

In late 2008 I started to post my favorite films by decade, starting with the 1930s. By then, after posting the 1990s in late 2009 (after a long layoff after posting the 1980s), I never posted the 2000s. You can find the previous lists here. But here they are now. To be clear, I am defining the decade of the 2000s as 2000-2009. This is the 2000s, not the 201st decade, which would be 2001-2010 if anyone actually used that terminology. The 21st Century definitely started in 2001, but the 2000s started in 2000. Clearly, the year 2000 was not part of the 1990s!

Aaaaanyway, here are ten films, as usual in chronological order:

High Fidelity (2000)
In The Mood For Love (2000)
Memento (2000)
Yi Yi (A One and a Two) (2000)
Mulholland Drive (2001)
O Brother Where Art Thou (2001)
Fabuleux Destin d'Amelie Poulain (Amelie) (2001)
Lost In Translation (2003)
Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
Wall-E (2009)

Two things I notice: 1) I liked a lot of movies at the beginning of the decade (I handful that were on my longer list that were eliminated were from 2000-2001 as well), and 2) Pixar released five great films during the 2000s (plus one good and one I didn't see) but only one made this list, but if you were to ask me my favorite of the five tomorrow, I'm not entirely sure of my answer.

I should note that some of these I have not seen since they were new, potentially 11 years ago.

Favorite Films by Decade - 1990s

Late last year, I started posting my favorite films from each decade. I did the 1980s in April of this year, and then never posted the 1990s. Well, at long last, here it is. As before, the list is in chronological order:

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1990)
Raise the Red Lantern (1991)
Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Chungking Express (1994)
Unforgiven (1992)
Eat Drink Man Woman (1994)
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
The Usual Suspects (1995)
LA Confidential (1997)
Perfect Blue (1998)

Interesting pattern to notice: three foreign films this time, two of which are from China. My '80s list featured two foreign films, both from Germany. This, combined with recently hearing on a TV program about all the great films coming out of Romania the last few years, makes me wonder if there really was a great classic period in those countries' film industries at that time, or if I've just seen more foreign films from my lifetime, or if there's just generally more awareness in the US of foreign film now. Prior to the '80s, very few foreign films (well, other than British) made my list.


Favorite Films by Decade - 1980s

For real this time. We're getting to the point where I actually saw some of the movies in the theater when they were first released! Surprisingly, this was the easiest decade in which to pick exactly 10. Other decades I had 6-7 obvious choices and then a whole bunch of ties, or I had 12-13 really good films. I had no problem cutting this one down. Anyway, here they are, in chronological order, as always.

The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Das Boot (1981)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
The Right Stuff (1983)
The Princess Bride (1987)
Wings of Desire (1987)
Die Hard (1988)
My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
Do The Right Thing (1989)
Glory (1989)


Favorite Films by Decade - 1980s

At first I had more trouble with this list than yesterday's 1970s list, but once I implemented the rule that I could only have two Steve Guttenberg films, it was much easier. Once again, in chronological order:

Rocky III (1982)
Superman III (1983)
Krull (1983)
Supergirl (1984)
Rocky IV (1985)
Captain EO (1986)
Police Academy 4: Citizens On Patrol (1987)
Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)
Cocoon: The Return (1988)
Short Circuit 2 (1988)

Favorite Films by Decade - 1970s

I had a hard time with this one. A lot of obvious choices, and then a bunch of really good ones that were pretty much a tie. So I just had to bite the bullet and choose. Here's the list, once again, it's in chronological order, not ranked:

Patton (1970)
The Godfather (1972)
Deliverance (1972)
The Sting (1973)
Chinatown (1974)
The Godfather, Part II (1974)
Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
Network (1976)
Star Wars (1977)

My brother is going to kill me.

Favorite Films by Decade - 1960s

This time most of them are in color! Hear that snorky?... just kidding. As usual, in chronological order, no ranking among the top ten.

Psycho (1960)
Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
From Russia with Love (1963)
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly/Il Buono, il Brutto, il Cattivo (1966)
The Graduate (1967)
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

1962 was a pretty great year, huh? But I feel like this list is not as strong as the '40s and '50s lists overall (the three 1962 films are probably the best three up there).  I did have some trouble deciding on the final slot, which ultimately went to Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, so there's a pretty strong second tier.


Favorite Films by Decade - 1950s

Great, great decade. I actually found this one easier than the 1940s which, as I mentioned in that entry, had a lot of really great ones, and then a large second tier. This decade just has a huge first tier, though I did have a problem with choosing Hitchcock films again. Once again, my ten favorites in chronological order:

Sunset Boulevard (1950)
Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
Stalag 17 (1953)
Rear Window (1954)
The Seven Samurai (1954)
The Searchers (1956)
12 Angry Men (1957)
Paths of Glory (1957)
Touch of Evil (1958)
Some Like It Hot (1959)

Best theme song of the decade: The Blob (1958)

I imagine Paths of Glory will be the biggest surprise for my readers. My brother is going to kill me for leaving off High Noon (1952) and The Caine Mutiny (1954). There are a bunch of other great films I left off (including about five more Hitchcock films), and it's also hard to judge comedies and musicals against thrillers and noir, but this time I'm much more confident in my choices than I was for the lower part of the 1940s list.
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Favorite Films by Decade - 1940s

And I'm back with another ten favorites from one decade, this time the 1940s. This was a tough one. A lot of great Orson Welles and Alfred Hitchcock films this decade, plus a lot of great Humphrey Bogart movies as well. I actually had some trouble narrowing it, in part because some of the movies I'd seen too long ago to really recall which was better. But here's the list, once again chronologically rather than ranked:

The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
The Philadelphia Story (1940)
Citizen Kane (1941)
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
Casablanca (1942)
Notorious (1946)
The Stranger (1946)
Hamlet (1948)
Rope (1948)
The Third Man (1949)

Those are the ones I chose, but I really could have had any number of other Hitchcock films on there. Tough decade.

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Favorite Films by Decade - 1930s

As we near the last year of the '00s, I'm starting to think about what the best films of the '00s were. And yes, the '00s run from 2000-2009; it's the '00s, not the 201st decade, which would be 2001-2010, but nobody uses that term.

But before deciding on those films, I wanted to, for the first time ever, choose my favorite films of other decades. I'm going to start with the '30s, since I believe I've only seen two feature-length films from the 1910s and only eleven from the 1920s.

So, here are my ten faves from the 1930s, thrown together pretty quickly. The list is chronological, not ranked.

All Quiet On The Western Front (1930)
City Lights (1931)
M (1931)
Duck Soup (1933)
It Happened One Night (1934)
The Thin Man (1934)
A Night At The Opera (1935)
Modern Times (1936)
The Lady Vanishes (1938)
The Wizard Of Oz (1939)

Wow, this is probably going to be the only list with so many comedies on it. I feel a bit bad giving two slots each to Charlie Chaplin and the Marx Brothers, but they're damn good. I should also give some props to 1937's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as a genre/style pioneer.

Turn in for the 1940s, coming to a theatre near you... 60 years ago.