10. Requiem for a Dream (2000)
Dir. Darren Aronofsky
To start off the 2000’s, I chose this disturbingly artistic portrayal of the effect addiction has on four individuals. With engrossing performances from Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, Ellen Burstyn, and Marlon Wayans, the gripping nature of this film is abundant. Plus, the use of striking visuals furthers this films grim message.
9. Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
Dir. Danny Boyle and Loveleen Tandan
For my number nine pick, I chose a film that took home 8 Oscars at the 2009 Academy Awards. Through this film, we are told the story of a Mumbai teen who becomes a contestant on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” and is accused of cheating upon winning. The story of this boy whose adventures through his young life gives you a sense of inspiration as you witness the hope he carries throughout.
8. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
Dir. Peter Jackson
Next on this list is the third and final film in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. And while the previous two films were also warranted as cinematic masterpieces, Return of the King completes the story marvelously. Sided with a breath taking score and writing, plus incredible visuals and iconic battle sequences, everything about this film proves it to be a great film. Not to mention the 11 Oscars it took home.
7. Amélie (2001)
Dir. Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Next up a French film based upon a young and innocent woman finding her way through life. This enchanting French flick provides an interesting glance at the lifestyle of different people. And with a spellbinding performance from Audrey Tautou and a fascinating story, this film asserts its importance.
6. Kill Bill: Vol 1 (2003)
Dir. Quentin Tarantino
Next up is the action packed and gore filled film from Tarantino. By focusing on a woman simply known as The Bride, we as the audience witness her awaken from a four year coma with her child missing and watch as she plans her vengeance. With a violent performance from Uma Thurman, this rightfully takes the fifth slot.
5. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
Dir. Guillermo del Toro
The film that takes the fifth slot is the Spanish flick of a young girl who escapes the terrorizing reality of 1944 Spain by entering into a fantasy world. The genuine originality of this film garnered it immediate praise. Guillermo del Toro’s use of eerie visuals are excellently used to enhance the tension each scenes carries, making this film a memorable one.
4. City of God (2002)
Dir. Fernando Meirelles & Katia Lund
Next up I have another foreign film. This particular film originates from Brazil and provides a unique glimpse of life in the slums outside of Rio. With completely gripping performances, the nature of this film portrays a graphic and artistic life style for these characters. And with grand cinematography and brilliant direction, this film was nominated for a total of four Oscars
3. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Dir. Michel Gondry
Up next is the incredibly artistic depiction of a couple with a troubled relationship and the lengths they go to forget each other. This beautiful film was able to explore the fascinating nature of humanity while also presenting realistic performances from Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey. Accompanied with an Academy Award winning screenplay, this well-rounded film is a great example of modern film.
2. No Country for Old Men (2007)
Dir. Ethan & Joel Coen
Taking the number two slot is No Country for Old Men, a dramatic thriller about a drug deal gone askew and the violent outcome. The most notable performance from this film came through Javier Bardem’s gripping portrayal of the antagonistic Chigurh and his dreadful demeanor. Along with vivid direction on the Coen brother’s part, this film is a must.
1. Children of Men (2006)
Dir. Alfonso Cuaron
For my number one slot, I have Children of Men. This futuristic thriller bases itself upon the idea that women have become infertile, that is, until one woman somehow becomes pregnant and is assisted by a former activist. This dark toned drama displays fantastic direction that beautifully reflects the tone of the film. Sided with starkly vivid cinematography, this modern masterpiece is sure to resonate through the ages.