Giant-Size JET #1 - The 100 Best Movies of the 00s, Part 2

Dedicated To
Theda B. Geer
1925 - 2010

Added 1/21/10

Welcome back to the Electric Theatre’s 100 Best Movies of the 00s! Make sure to check out Part 1 for numbers 100-91 in case you missed it. If you're all caught up, let's keep on counting down!

90. Stone Reader (2002)

Movies have a rough time conveying the magic of reading but Mark Moskowitz’s documentary gets it across and then some. Moskowitz embarks on a quest to track down Dow Mossman, the author of one of his favorite books that has long since been out of print. Along the way, he crafts a heartfelt valentine to the power of the written word.

89. Good Night, And Good Luck. (2005)

George Clooney perfectly captured the golden age of television with this black-and-white look at Edward R. Murrow’s crusade to bring down Senator Joseph McCarthy. David Strathairn burns up the screen as Murrow. A terrific film about journalism that I believe is on par with All The President’s Men.

88. Dogville (2003)

Lars von Trier is one of cinema’s greatest provocateurs and Dogville remains one of his most challenging films to date. Shot entirely on a soundstage with minimal props and only the merest suggestion of scenery, Dogville is a tough film to embrace but once it lodges itself in your mind, it’s impossible to shake.

87. Little Children (2006)

The past decade had more than its share of movies about suburban ennui and the difficulties of marriage but none were as quietly intense as Little Children. Directed by Todd Field, the movie overflows with brilliant, truthful performances including Kate Winslet and Patrick Wilson as neighbors in the midst of an ill-advised affair. Best of all is Jackie Earle Haley, both terrifying and tragic as a pedophile recently released from prison.

86. Me And You And Everyone We Know (2005)

Writer/director/co-star Miranda July crafts a sweet, funny and sad look at love, sex, relationships and art. Somehow, the film manages to be both absurd and truthful at the same time with deeply poignant moments balanced against some of the biggest and most uncomfortable laughs there are.

85. Million Dollar Baby (2004)

For whatever reason, I’m a sucker for boxing pictures. But very few of them have the kind of raw, emotional impact that Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-winner has. Driven by three great performances from Eastwood, Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman, Million Dollar Baby skillfully depicts a triangle of tender and tough relationships. The tears the movie jerks aren’t manipulative. They’re well-earned by making us give a damn about these people.

84. Quills (2000)

Geoffrey Rush is perfectly cast as the Marquis de Sade, locked up in an insane asylum run by a tolerant but outmatched priest (Joaquin Phoenix). This was Philip Kaufman’s best film in years, a searing drama about censorship, sex and the written word, and a welcome, long overdue reminder that Kaufman is a talent to be reckoned with.

83. Tideland (2005)

All of Terry Gilliam’s films are tinged with darkness to some extent but none are as unrelentingly bleak as Tideland. The story of how a young girl uses her imagination to escape the truly hellish reality of day-to-day life, the movie polarized audiences. I personally witnessed a mass exodus from the theatre when I saw it. But if you stick with it, Tideland offers a unique and disturbing ride. It may not be a ride you want to experience more than once but it’s certainly impossible to forget.

82. Talk To Her (2002)

While I almost always admire Pedro Almodovar’s work, I don’t always connect with them emotionally. But when I do, as with Talk To Her, the experience is profoundly moving. Two men, both caring for women in comas, strike up a strange, somewhat unlikely friendship. The movie expands as it goes on, reaching into the past and future, binding the men and women together in extraordinary ways. A beautiful, utterly beguiling film from start to finish.

81. Hedwig And The Angry Inch (2001)

The first time I saw John Cameron Mitchell’s glam rock musical, I thought it was good fun. The second time, I started to think it was pretty great. By the fourth or fifth viewing, I was hooked for life. Beautifully designed and full of irresistible songs by Stephen Trask, Hedwig is genuinely funny, surprisingly moving and has an awesome beat. Way more than just a cult oddity, this is seriously brilliant filmmaking.

Lots more to come, gang. Check here for numbers 80 thru 71, featuring the first of several animated movies on the list.

Your pal,