Best Films of 2000

Home / Latest Reviews / Review Library
Now Playing / Coming Soon / BLOG / Top 20 Lists
Hong Kong Cinema!Film Fests / FAQ / Favorite Links

The much ballyhooed year 2000 was not nearly as interesting, cinematically, as the spectacular 1999 film year was. Where were all the interesting, daring, original productions everyone was expecting to see? Not in North America, certainly. The movies that did stand were not quite as impressive and seem to hearken back to older Hollywood filmmaking (Gladiator vs. Ben Hur) or be an amalgam of styles seen in previous years (Matrix-like stunts were the big "in" thing this year - see Charlie's Angels).  Nevertheless, there were some good, solid films released, and the following are my personal selections as the "best films of 2000":

  • Almost Famous - An irreverent and touching look at the 70's music world from the point of view of a teenage journalist embarking on a road trip with a troubled band.
  • American Psycho - Violent and comic, this is a great black comedy on the 1980's "me" generation and the excesses of a decade with a bravura performance by Christian Bale.
  • Charlie's Angels - Pure, unadulterated fluff-ball Hollywood entertainment taking parts of The Matrix, of the original 70's show and mixing them well.
  • Chicken Run - A hilarious, clever spoof on World War II escape films by the team responsible for the Academy awarded Wallace and Gromit adventures. 
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon - A Chinese fantasy / romance full of incredible fight scenes and wonderful cinematography that finally made North Americans stand up and take notice of Asian cinema. 
  • Gladiator - Director Ridley Scott's take on the old-fashioned epics like Ben-Hur, with a convincing Russell Crowe in the lead role, will probably sweep the Oscars this year.
  • The Goddess of 1967 - A feature that is beautiful, dream-like, at times innocent and yet quite harsh in its subject matter - and one that makes it impossible for the audience not to be moved.
  • High Fidelity - A smart, witty, and utterly charming romantic-comedy giving a self-depracating look at single life and failed relationships through the eyes of John Cusack.
  • Keeping the Faith - Just what a good light-hearted comedy should be: charming, often amusing, and full of laugh-out-loud moments.
  • Maelstrom (Quebec) - A harrowing, insightful, fascinating and wonderful tale of personal hardship and redemption, this is an absolute gem of a film, and quite possibly the best film of the year.
  • Requiem for a Dream
  • Sunshine
  • Thirteen Days - With a fine cast, this is solid, classic filmmaking in the best sense and a harrowing view of how close the world came to nuclear war.
  • Traffic - An ambitious, stylish film finally tackling a complex subject and handling it with the maturity it deserves, making it as much a powerful drama as a stark reality-check of the issues in dealing with the drug trade.
  • Wonder Boys - An entertaining, funny, and touching film about mid-life crisis, university life, and the literary world with a fine performance by Michael Douglas.
  • You Can Count On Me

Note that these are only the films that I have seen this year and that have been widely distributed in North American theatres. This list does not count productions seen at festivals or on video, or those international ones that have not yet appeared on local screens. Obviously, I have not seen all the films that have come out in theatres (who has?), but some of them have had enough good word of mouth that I would be remiss in not pointing them out:

  • Titus

Some international films I have had the chance to see on screen are definitely worth listing as well:

  • In the Mood for Love (Hong Kong) - Director Wong Kar-Wai's most touching and emotionally involving drama finds two lost souls in an achingly platonic relationship after their spouses embark on an affair.
  • Legend of the Sacred Stone (Taiwan) - Action-fantasy epic blending a marvelous display of classic puppet artistry and the best of modern filmmaking into a spell-binding achievement that's also great entertainment.
  • Taboo (Japan) - Dreamily beautiful, well-presented, and invariably well directed, a samurai picture that shows the usual politics, court intrigue and clan animosity but with a very homo-erotic twist. 
  • Uzumaki (Japan) - An entertaining, cynically humorous and beautifully shot dark fantasy piece with shades of the horrific.
  • The Waiting List (Cuba) - With a surreal atmosphere, good-natured humor, under-handed political satire, and a great cast this ensemble drama / comedy is simply delightful to watch.
  • Yi-Yi (Taiwan) - A charming and affecting story of three generations of a small Taiwanese family.

Home / Latest Reviews / Review Library
Now Playing / Coming Soon / BLOG / Top 20 Lists
Hong Kong Cinema!Film Fests / FAQ / Favorite Links