Top Ten Films of 2000
It's that time of year where everybody looks back at the releases of the last year and picks out their hot faves, so here's my films of 2000. It's been an up and down year, varying between classic films and complete crap but here's what I thought was worthy of hitting the 'Top Ten'.
1. American Beauty
Deserved Oscar winner and absolutely classic film, if you missed it at the cinema and haven't seen it yet, you must rent it or buy it. Funny, touching, thrilling and absolutely beautiful this is not only one of the films of 2000 but also of all time.
BEST BIT: The bits with Mena Survari and the Rose Petals.
2. Toy Story 2
Hysterical and down right brilliant, the second 'Toy Story' movie has everything from the first film plus a lot lot more. It's amazing and will appeal to absolutely everybody who loves movies and of any age. If you haven't seen it and think it's a movie for the toddlers then put the cynicism aside and prepared to be blown away.
BEST BIT: The Star Wars parody with Buzz Lightyear and Emperor Zorg.
3. Being John Malkovich
This is definitely the winner of the weirdest film of the year and also the most original and completely insane. To make a movie about being able to get into the mind someone famous (John Malkovich) for 15 minutes is so stunningly brilliant that this movie really has to be seen to be believed.
BEST BIT: John Malkovich entering his own mind. Possibly the weirdest moment in any film...ever.
4. Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?
George Clooney...Comic genius? Well in this film he adds another string to his fine acting bow, by proving he's perfect in the comic role, as the Coen brother returned with probably 2000's finest comedy and feelgood movie. A version of the Classic book Ulysees, set in deep south America, in the 1930's may sound bizarre but it works well and is a delight to watch.
BEST BIT: Clooney using the Dapper Dan hair pomade.
Three hours may be an awful long time for a movie to go on for but this was rewarding for the whole three hours, ten minutes of it's running time. A sprawling story covering a complete mix of characters, played by some fine actors (including a career best from Tom Cruise) made for the most absorbing picture of 2000. Only missed out on Oscars due to the brilliance of American Beauty.
BEST BIT: Cruise as the sleazy seminar-taker on how to attract the ladeez.
6. The Wonder Boys
How such a fantastic movie could have been so tragically overlooked is beyond me. It's an absolute jem and 'will' pick up awards, maybe even some Oscars, which should mean it will come out yet again in the cinema and hopefully will be seen. It reminds you what a fantastic actor Michael Douglas is, as all the fuss over his relationship with Catherine Zeta-Jones has made everybody forget what he does for a living.
BEST BIT: The death of the Head of the English's dog at the hands of Professor Grady (Douglas) and his student, while they're a bit worse for wear.
7. The Insider
You would probably think that a two and a half hour film about the cigarette industry would be as dull as watching The Brookside omnibus. However watch this and it will engage you throughout it's mammoth running time and will guarantee you will never smoke or go near cigs again. Russell Crowe was brilliant (as ever) as the whistleblower, as was Al Pacino as the journalist helping him expose the cigarette industry as liars.
BEST BIT: Geoffrey Wigand (Crowe) leaving court after spilling the beans, a great burden seems to be lifted.
Now this was the 'event' film of the summer and indeed the year and contained more excitement in the opening fifteen minutes than the whole of M:I 2 AND The Patriot put together. Russell Crowe was excellent as the brutal General cast out by a bitter Emperor and out for revenge for the slaying of his family and the destruction of his life. While master director Ridley Scott finally rediscovered what makes him the world's most visionary filmmaker, after a few recent patchy efforts.
BEST BIT: Maximus takes on the hardest Gladiator and most of Rome's Zoo.
9. Erin Brockovich
The film about real life events, particularly concerning environmental matters, is often the stuff bad Channel 5 afternoon movies are made of, poorly acted and boring. However this made you think again as it was one of the best dramas of 2000. Steven Soderbergh made a compelling and touching film, about a small-time woman (Julia Roberts), who's a minnow fighting against an evil corporation polluting the environment.
BEST BIT: Julia Robert using her ample charms to gain access to the records she needs to prove her case against the evil company.
10. American Psycho
Not a movie for everybody but if you want a viscious piss-taking of the eighties, yuppies and everything else wrong in the world of the rich ,this is the movie for you. Christian Bale was fantastic as the Yuppie Wall-Street Serial Killer, Patrick Bateman, who's spurred on by rivalry over business cards and the music of Genesis and Whitney Houston (hardly the coolest guy!).
BEST BIT: Patrick Bateman pursuing some poor victims with a chainsaw, disturbing and very memorable, but is it real?
12. The Virgin Suicides
13. Three Kings
14. The Way of the Gun
Nearly made it:
On Any Given Sunday,
Worst Five Films of the Year
1. Nutty Professor 2: The Clumps
2. Disney's The Kid
3. Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows
4. M:I 2
5. The Beach