My heroes at Filmspotting are doing this, so I figured I'd chip in with my own personal list. My requirements were; a) They had to be a movie I would want to see again, b) They were movies I didn't stop thinking about, c) They were enetertaining and meaningul, d) They were highly original in concept and/or execution.
1) Adaptation: I am a man who loves movies about movies. This is my favorite in how it tricks you into succumbing to formula while ridiculing the process. Brilliant!
2) Capote: The best single performance of the 00's doesn't overshadow the handling of the subject matter, which is beautifully paced and artfully shot. The subject of art and morality is as deep as it gets.
3) Sideways: This film spoke to me about people and relationships in a highly personal way. I can't think of any film that has done it better.
4) No Country For Old Men: Simply put, the reason I love the movies. Memorable scenes, relentless tension.
5) Let The Right One In: The best monster movie I have ever seen.
6) Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind: Inventive, entertaining, heartfelt.
7) Brick: I wasn't expecting this genre-twister, and it completely dazzled me. You don't need to empty Fort Knox to make a great film.
8) Man On Wire: Probably my favorite documentary. Well maybe 2nd to Thin Blue Line.
9) Memento: What an amazing job of reverse story-telling and suspense. Truly one-of-a-kind.
10) Cache: I still can't stop thinking about this film and what it means, or at least what I THINK it means. The only other film that has done that to me I can recall was "2001".
11) A Serious Man: Very personal for me. This is my people they are talking about. I think it will be considered a classic someday.
12) Inglourious Basterds: A couple of flawed scenes prevent this from being number 1. But, damn, it is GOOD.
13) Knocked Up: Just great filmmaking- one of the best rom-coms in memory.
14) Zodiac: So much better than Button or Fight Club, I think it is Fincher's masterpiece.
15) 4 Months 3 Weeks 2 Days: Not higher on the list because it is excruciating. Amazing, moving, brilliant, but also excruciating.
16) Almost Famous: A bit light-weight for me, but still some of the best scenes in movie history. Plus I have a big problem deifying mediocre rock and roll.
17) City of God: See what I said about "4 Months". Probably the best paced movie I have ever seen.
18) The Lives of Others: A movie that shows the difficulties encountered when one person tries to dehumanize another. Powerful across the board: subject matter, performances, direction.
19) Juno: I hate that this movie's era-specificity now makes it much maligned. It's fun, funny, moving, extremely well-acted and directed.
20) Ghost World: : Unforgettably funny and poignant, it is a treatise on the role of misfits and how they cope.
Honorable Mentions: Synechdoche, NY; The Brothers Bloom, The Visitor, 25th Hour, Talk To Her, 40 Year Old Virgin, Goodbye Solo, Pan's Labyrinth, Mulholland Drive, There Will Be Blood, High Fidelity, Up, About Schmidt, Ratatouille, Wall-E, Up In The Air, Milk, A History of Violence, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, The Departed, The Hurt Locker, The Station Agent.