Sherry’s Ten Best Films of the Past Ten Years

Sherry Coben  What a Daunting Task…  

So I’ll give you my criteria. It’s
simple really. If the movie’s playing on television as I flip past and can’t
stop watching even though I had no plans to do so, it’s making my list. Pretty
much. (Stricken with swine flu earlier this fall, I watched The Godfather Parts One and Two three times in a row. And a couple of the entries included below.)

A small caveat: This is a movie-lover's list, not a movie critic's list.  If you want to know pretty much everything about me, careful study of
this list should cover everything you need. Except: Gerard Depardieu and Johnny Depp
are mysteriously missing from this list, rendering the decade and my list disappointing
in the extreme. (Several of my top contenders turned out to have been released in late
1999 which seems hardly fair. Magnolia and Topsy Turvy, say for instance, missed the proverbial boat.) Here goes
nothing.

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10. Good Night and Good Luck (2005)

Good Night and Good Luck @ Movie Smackdown
Smart. About stuff that matters.


9. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind @ Movie Smackdown
Romantic, evocative and thought-provoking. (Wait. Jim Carrey made my list. No Depardieu? No Depp? No justice. But that's how good this movie is.)


8. L'iceberg (2005)

Iceberg @ Movie Smackdown

Absolutely original and unforgettable.


7. Adaptation (2002)

Adaptation @ Movie Smackdown
Apparently, traditional narrative is lost on me.


6. Sideways (2004)

Sideways @ Movie Smackdown
Human and remarkably well observed.  Deserves a second look. And a third. (And if you watch it on DVD, listen to the Thomas Haden Church/Paul Giamatti commentary.)


5. Almost Famous (2000)

Almost Famous @ Movie Smackdown
The perfect coming of age film. (And the best film about music this decade.)


4. Shaun of the Dead (2004)

Shaun of the Dead @ Movie Smackdown
Sweet and funny and gruesome. An exceedingly rare combo platter.


3. In The Loop (2009)

In the Loop @ Movie Smackdown
Incisive and hilarious.  Political satire that works like a charm.


2. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert
Ford (2007)

Assassination of Jesse James @ Movie Smackdown
Elegiac, a prose poem on celebrity. For my money, the best western in decades.


1. Amélie (2001)

Amelie @ Movie Smackdown
A perfectly gorgeous little truffle of a film. Inspired and inspiring.

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Honorable Mentions:

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Lord of the Rings Trilogy

Lost In Translation

The Station Agent

The Class

Happy-Go-Lucky

State and Main 

Fantastic Mr. Fox

The Incredibles

Little Miss Sunshine

Where The Wild Things Are

Up In The Air

Love Actually


About Sherry Coben

A comedy writer who created the 1980s hit show Kate & Allie, Sherry Coben — tired of malingering in development hell — has enjoyed coaching a high school ComedySportz team in SoCal, making a no-budget, high-ambition webisode series, and biting the hand that feeds her.
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10 Responses to Sherry’s Ten Best Films of the Past Ten Years


  1. Bryce: You make valid points — and I certainly cannot argue with the statement that “there’s nothing wrong with reviewing films (i.e. studio films) that your readers have actually seen!” Clearly that’s one reason Moviesmackdown is more popular than Needtovent. (I acknowledge there are dozens more…) On the other hand, I personally find it rewarding to review films my readers may not have seen in the hope that they just might seek out these lesser-known productions. And yes, I am a Chicago Cubs fan as well…


  2. Sherry– I agree with your criterion of the “no flipping” rule, but how about this? I rented Good Night and Good Luck a few weeks ago and watched it three times in four days– just kept wanting to watch it “one more time.” When you can’t return the damned thing, it must be a good movie.
    Love the list.
    Paul

  3. Ethan says:

    This is an awesome list – I couldn’t agree more. AND Shaun of the Dead?! Sherry, I’m so proud!

  4. Charlotte says:

    I love this list, Sherry. I, too, was pleasantly surprised to see Amélie as number one. That was such a delightful movie, and even though I haven’t watched it in years, it’s made such a lasting impression, where other more “important” movies and cliché Oscar bait have fallen by the wayside. And Brian, I agree with you about “Almost Famous.” That definitely makes–perhaps even tops–my very small and extremely random list of movies that I will watch whenever I come across them on tv.
    Man, I have a sudden urge to watch about half of this list…

  5. Brian says:

    Great list, and I can’t argue with any. Amelie might be my favorite too, but using your criteria of not going past it while channel surfing I would have to give number one to Almost Famous. It’s like seeing an old friend when it comes on the tube. Happy New Year.

  6. Sherry Coben says:

    Perhaps something in the upcoming movie year will inspire me to smack it against Amélie. Nothing would delight me more than revisiting such a terrific movie and celebrating its wonders at greater length. Watch this space, TVGirl08. I’m on the case, hunting for a worthy (or even unworthy) competitor to step into this ring.


  7. Maybe the lesson of Top Ten lists is the diversity of interests people have simply proves that film is what film does. It hits different people different ways and everybody’s opinion is valid and few are more valid than others. That’s why established critics are in decline and little upstarts like Movie Smackdown are growing like weeds. A list is as “strong” in its selection as it is perceived by the person who reads it. And, by the way, there’s nothing wrong with reviewing films (i.e. studio films) that your readers have actually seen! Although, in defense of my foreign film quotient, I did pick “Downfall” and I’m thinking “Love Actually” is British, yes? 🙂


  8. Sherry: I think your Top Ten List for the decade is the strongest of the three posted thus far — at least in my humble opinion. And special kudos for selecting Amelie as Number One. I believe foreign films and independent productions are often overlooked by most American critics/reviewers, including Moviesmackdown.com. Keep up the good work!

  9. TVGirl08 says:

    I loved Amelie!!!! “A perfectly gorgeous little truffle of a film” pretty much says it all. What a great site to have a critic pick it as the best of the entire decade!!! You should write more about this film. I need more than the truffle!!

  10. Run Silent says:

    Wow. That’s a surprising(ly) good set of films. I don’t know how you guys can even pick them. I can’t remember the last ten films I saw!

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