The Real Reel’s Personal Top 20 Films of the Decade

As the decade quickly comes to an end its only fitting that I comprise a list of all my favorite films over the last ten years.  I turned 13 in the year 2000 and just like my growing stature, my taste in film grew as well.  This list is not gospel by any means, it’s just a list of films that I have personal enjoyed for the past decade.

So to kick things off:

20. The Wackness (2008)


Written and directed by Johnathan Levine “The Wackness” is one of those films that captivate you from the jump. A great cast which includes Ben Kingsley, Josh Peck, and Olivia Thirlby, this film doesn’t disappoint in the slightest.  It also boasts an amazing soundtrack with circa ’94 hip hop tracks  from Biggie Smalls, Method Man, and Total.

19. The Notebook (2004)


A love story for my generation. Nick Cassevetes “The Notebook” was one of those films that kept everyone talking for months.  And seriously, what girl doesn’t want a Noah Calhoun in her life? I still reference this film during times when I just want to believe in something magical.

18. The Princess Diaries (2001)


The introduction of Anne Hathaway and the resurgence of Julie Andrews, “The Princess Diaries” was  at that time, the “it” movie for girls my age.  The formula: ugly duckling becomes a beautiful swan, of course had been done before yet Garry Marshall made the concept fresh, new, and spectacular.

17. Vanilla Sky (2001)


At the time of its release I was too young to understand this film, but then I grew up and realized how wonderful “Vanilla Sky” was.  This was the film that solidified my love for Cameron Diaz and introduced me to Penelope Cruz. Open your eyes…

16. The Hurt Locker (2009)


Kathryn Bigelow’s effort doesn’t go unnoticed as “The Hurt Locker” was  able to depict the drama of war tastefully and with heart. It is, in my opinion, the only war movie done right this decade.  As the tagline states “You’ll know when you’re in it”

15. Shrek (2001)


Animated cinema doesn’t really get any better than the first “Shrek”.  Hilarious for kids of all ages, we watched this film in my French class sophomore year of high school and everyone (including the jocks) was in tears.  This film is one that I will definitely share with my possible little ones in the next decade.

14. Brokeback Mountain (2005)


To this day , “Brokeback Mountain” remains one of the most powerful, honest, and thought-provoking films I have ever seen.  A heartbreaking love story this film breaks barriers as  both Jake Gyleenhaal and the late Heath Ledger give the performances of their careers.  This film also won Ang Lee a well deserved Oscar.

13. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)


Can a film about absolutely nothing be laugh out loud funny?  Uhm…yes!! “Napolean Dynamite” made the summer before my first year of  college completely memorable.  And then it made my freshman year of college a blast too because I introduced the film to anyone who would watch it.  Good times. Good times.

12. Diary of a Mad Black Woman (2005)


This is the film that introduced  Tyler Perry to the world. It was his first feature film and he knocked it out of the park. In my opinion, “Diary of a Mad Black Woman”, was a huge breakthrough for black films and it paved the way for more Tyler Perry “gems”.

11. Paris, je t’aime (2007)


20 stories about love from the city of love, “Paris, je t’aime” is a beautiful work of art.  With five minutes each, 20 different filmmakers tell 20 very different stories about love.  It’s hard to describe the love and adoration I have for this film, you just have to see for yourself.

10. Sex and The City The Movie (2008)


Is this really a surprise? If you need an explanation  as to why this film is on the list then maybe you should stop reading and then go play in traffic. Just kidding.  But seriously, the only thing better than “Sex and The City The Movie” would be “Friends The Movie”, and sadly that’s a longshot.

9. Love & Basketball (2000)


“Double or nothin” is probably one of the most simple yet beautiful lines ever uttered on-screen in the last ten years. From start to finish “Love and Basketball” is a delight to watch.  Written and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, this film doesn’t cultivate on played  African-American stereotypes;  it’s strength is found in great storytelling and amazing performances. A definite career highlight for both Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps.

8. Garden State (2004)


A story about real life, “Garden State” is Zach Braff’s amazing directorial debut.  At the time it was a movie that 20 somethings could relate to and the older I got, the more I began to love and appreciate the film. Even now I can’t go a few days without watching at least a few scenes from this movie.

7. Ocean’s Eleven (2001)


The perfect heist film for the decade “Ocean’s Eleven” has a piece of my heart.  Starring the hottest men in Tinseltown, this film is an enjoyable ride from start to finish. Sadly I can’t say the same for its two predecessors.

6. Dreamgirls (2006)


One of the most anticipated films in African-American cinema “Dreamgirls” makes the number six spot on the list because it’s simply a great movie. This film pulled Jennifer Hudson out of obscurity, making her a household name and winning her an Oscar. And it also gave my friends and I countless entertainment during school breaks. I mean come on, Eddie Murphy singing about wanting a rib and a steak…priceless.

5. The Devil Wears Prada (2006)


A guilty pleasure that I still indulge in till this day, “The Devil Wears Prada” was a film for the books.  As always Meryl Streep was tremendous, Anne Hathaway was great in her usual makeover role, and Emily Blunt all but stole the entire film.  But the real stars of the film….the fashion and of course New York City.

4. Anchorman (2004)


“Lanolin, like sheep’s wool?” or “Dorothy Mantooth is a saint!”  There is no doubt that “Anchorman”  was the ultimate one liner movie for the decade. I am literally laughing while I type.  Super funny stuff.

3. Closer (2004)


“Closer” makes my top 5 on any list, its one of my favorite films of all time. Hated by some, this film depicts love, sex, and betrayal so beautifully.  Definitely not a film for people who wont take time to think and look a little bit closer, but still a great film nonetheless.

2. Slumdog Millionaire (2008)


Simply put, “Slumdog Millionaire” is one of the most original and heartfelt films to hit the box office in a long time.  And if you don’t believe me then count the Oscars. The 8 Oscars to be exact.

1. Crash (2005)


I picked “Crash” as my number one film of the decade because no other film has moved me, motivated me, gripped me, or made me contemplate the way I view others like this film. “Crash” is a film that resonates in your brain; it stays with you for years to come, reminding us that we all have a bright and a dark side.  Powerful film.

So there you have it, The Real Reel’s Personal Top 20 Films of the Decade. Feel free to comment and add a few of your favorites, I would love to hear what films touched everyone else throughout the decade.

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