The New York Times recently issued a list of “The 25 Best Films of the 21st Century So Far,” which you can read here. Probably unsurprisingly, I don’t agree with much of it. So equally unsurprisingly, I felt I had to make my own list. Because me.
Note that I am being a calendar pedant in framing my choices: the 21st Century began on January 1, 2001, so there are no movies from 2000 here. Had I included the final year of the 20th Century, I likely would have added Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Requiem For a Dream to the list below at the expense of two of the 2001-2016 films.
I also don’t have any 2017 movies on the list. Get Out and Trainspotting 2 are the best new films I’ve seen this year, but neither has sat with me long enough for me to consider it a serious contender for posterity’s sake.
My first cut at this list had 42 movies on it, so I was glad that I didn’t have to stretch to pad out a list of 25. I took me a while to figure out which 17 to drop, with some tough choices toward the very end, but I feel good about the final list I developed, and share it with you below.
For foreign language films, I’m using the titles that were most commonly used in domestic advertising campaigns, even if they were originally titled in their native languages. The list is is alphabetical order, so I’m not bothering to hierarchically rank them further.
This is all. List away . . .
Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)
Black Swan (2010)
Donnie Darko (2001)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
The Fountain (2006)
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
Inside Out (2015)
Let the Right One In (2008)
The Lobster (2015)
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
Lost in Translation (2003)
Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
Mulholland Drive (2001)
No Country for Old Men (2007)
Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
The Piano Teacher (2002)
The Prestige (2006)
Under the Skin (2013)
The Witch (2015)
Y Tu Mama Tambien (2001)
UPDATE NOTE: Click here for a 2020 update of my 50 All-Time Favorite Films.