Making one of these decade lists seemed too reductive and too vain (moreso than usual), and it still is those things, but it turned out that hearing everyone else’s lists was way too much fun.
A quick note on the number: killing your darlings ain’t easy, but only at the top did my “favorites” and my “bests” resemble each other, so I’m posting fifteen.
15. Adaptation. (2002)
14. Zodiac (2007)
13. WALL·E (2008)
12. Children of Men (2006)
11. Grizzly Man (2005)
10. The New World (2005)
9. The Dark Knight (2008)
8. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
7. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
6. Punchdrunk Love (2002)
5. The Lord of the Rings (2001/2002/2003)
4. There Will Be Blood (2007)
3. Memento (2000)
2. Almost Famous (2000)
1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
That turns out to be two each for Chris Nolan and PT Anderson, as well as for Charlie Kaufman, Emmanuel Lubezki and Roger Deakins (not to mention Jon Brion). The only year from which nothing placed is 2009, and The Lord of the Rings is the only entry to have won the Oscar for Best Picture (and it took three tries). On a more trivial note–unless I’m just a sucker for this–I believe almost half of these movies forgo opening credits.
Still haven’t gotten around to seeing: In The Mood For Love, Yi Yi, Caché, Battle Royale.