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Daniel Day Lewis' character was a portrait of real and true evil in "There Will Be Blood."
Every year, critics are asked to compile their "10 best" lists, and every year those same critics deride the process of doing so. Oh, I can’t possibly RANK them! That would be so arbitrary!
You know what, critic boy? Quit your complaining. You have one of those jobs that 100 million other people are qualified to hold and would like as their own, so don’t come braying to US about how pointless a year-end ten best list is. The rest of us love putting together and reading ten best lists for everything: movies, books, albums, former lovers… I can’t get enough of it.
This year, we’re in for a double treat because media folks are being asked to rank both their favorite films of the year AND of the decade, so it’s a veritable list orgy out there for those of us who like our information in numbered form. There’s no reason for me not to jump into the fray. Now, I have several qualifications that give me credibility as a movie viewer. Firstly, I have seen movies. Also, I have left those movies with an idea of whether or not they were any good.
So, here were my 10 favorite movies of the decade, in clear order of superiority.
1. Zodiac (directed by David Fincher)
I shouldn’t like movies that scar me for life and cause me to question my safety whenever I go to grab the laundry out of the dryer on a nightly basis. I really need to stop finding movies like this fascinating.
2. There Will Be Blood (directed by Paul Thomas Anderson)
The Coen brothers have said that they found There Will Be Blood to be one of the funniest movies they’ve ever seen. This tells you two things. One: The Coen brothers are really weird. Two: You almost have no choice but to find it comedic on some level, because it’s so horrifying otherwise. Not since Godfather II has there been a movie that drew you in with a central character who was so profoundly and devastatingly EVIL. And not in a cartoonish way, like Hannibal Lecter or something. And not as a minion of some greater existential evil, like Satan. Daniel Plainview was a portrait of real and true evil, an evil borne of man, and an evil that no amount of karma, religion or goodliness can stop. The best movies are the ones that stick with you FOREVER. I’ll never forget a damn thing about There Will Be Blood.
3. Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster (directed by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky)
You can also put ANVIL! The Story Of Anvil in this slot as the best documentary of the past ten years. I will never grow tired of watching documentaries about metal bands. Ever.
4. The Pianist (directed by Roman Polanski)
I always consider it a measure of a good World War II movie if it makes me want to fly over to Germany right now and begin slapping people. That’s how you know it really affected you, when all you want to do afterwards is KILL. Also, I thought this film was better than Schindler’s List.
5. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy (directed by Peter Jackson)
Here’s the part where I count three movies as one because I don’t want three films from the same series cluttering up a list of ten. THESE SLOTS ARE PRECIOUS, YOU KNOW. Anyway, I can take the insane length and hilarious latent homosexuality of these movies because the effects were convincing and the scope was mindblowing. I’d pay $50 to watch a movie that just depicted the Dark Lord Sauron putting on his cool metal gloves and kicking the crap out of people.
6. Kill Bill: Volume II (directed by Quentin Tarantino)
And I hated the first Kill Bill movie, so the fact that I thought the second was two hours of badass makes no sense. I think it was the anime in the first one. Not to slag an entire style of animation, but anime makes me want to hang myself.
7. No Country For Old Men (directed by Joel and Ethan Coen)
You blow out people’s brains with a cattle gun, and you make this list.
8. You Can Count On Me (directed by Kenneth Lonergan)
The fact that Mark Ruffalo didn’t score an Oscar nod for his performance in this flick is a sign that the Oscars aren’t worth my pant lint. Well, that and the fact that they gave awards to Chicago. And Crash. And lots of other horrid movies.
9. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (directed by Shane Black)
It has all the Robert Downey Jr. of Iron Man, only with more violence, and a naked Michelle Monaghan instead of a clothed Gwyneth Paltrow. Verdict: IMPROVED. I also appreciate the old buddy flick motif employed by the original master of the form, Shane Black.
Trey Parker and Matt Stone are still the only people on Earth who can make me enjoy the musical genre. God bless them. F—K YEAH.
And honorable mention to: Superbad, The Dark Knight, the Pixar movies, Elf, Miami Vice (shut up, I liked the cinematography), The Hurt Locker, Traffic, Children of Men, Sideways, Sexy Beast, The Bourne Supremacy, Casino Royale, About a Boy, X2: X-Men United, Into The Wild, Coraline, The Bank Job, Friday Night Lights, and Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Honestly, I could rearrange and replace those movies on the 10 best list and be just as satisfied.