I made this list with respect to many movies, but to show that many people don’t see the amazing things in many movies. My top ten are:

1. (Tie) AVATAR (2009), The Departed (2006):
AVATAR: A lot of people thought this was just going to be hype. Two things made me think differently – James Cameron was directing, and it was just too gnarley. When I saw it, after waiting for it for two years, mind you, my expectations were STILL over-exceeded. I think that this movie deserves at least 9 Oscars, and a big “HOLY SHIT” posted on the front of the movie from some reviewer of a magazine.
The Departed: This was Martin Scorsese’s best movie, though it was an adapted movie from the Asian film “Infernal Affairs.” The way the plot and the characters were so graciously morphed to make a beautiful design of the movie’s interesting and undisputed best crime drama.

2. (Tie) Moon (2009), Miracle At. St. Anna (2008), Passengers (2008):
Moon: The best acting performance by Sam Rockwell ever. Such great effects (on a very bad budget), and an amazing amount of plot outlook made my choice dead on that it was the best movie of 2009… until AVATAR came out….
Miracle At St. Anna: The Spike Lee joint was the best he has ever made, and is extremely important in the line of movies of the decade. With thrilling and intricate plot twists from James McBride, the writer of both the book and the movie. Kudos to Spike on his best film.
Passengers: An amazing feature of great acting and quite possibly the best soundtrack of all-time. Rodrigo Garcia does beautifully with this more-than-spiritual film that finds light in the dark, and turns it to gold.

3. (Tie) Slumdog Millionaire (2008), Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003), Mystic River (2003):
Slumdog Millionaire: Though this is not Danny Boyle’s best film, it was the most impacting on the public, winning multiple Oscars. The plot is to die for, and the acting is great. Though a bit hokie at times, this film is a fantastic adventure through the life of an Indian child whom knows of the world’s hardships.
Return of the King: Enough said. The most epic medieval movie since… ever… Return of the King put Peter Jackson from that guy who directed Heavenly Creatures to the most renown director in the land for a moment in time.
Mystic River: Clint Eastwood’s best film, Mystic River is an amazing movie that shows how well Sean Penn and Kevin Bacon are at their craft, and exclaims the greatness of Tim Robbins.

4. (Tie) Sunshine (2007), Little Miss Sunshine (2006):
Sunshine: Danny Boyle’s best film, Sunshine brings the sci-fi (or is it Sy-Fy now?) epic to a new level. John Murphy’s score brings so much more to the movie than could ever be filled, and the direction from Danny Boyle, along with the excellent plot turns and screenplay from writer Alex Garland make it ever so much more brilliant.
Little Miss Sunshine: No, it is not a coincidence that both films in number four have sunshine in their name. This movie was just that good. The brilliant comedic performances from Steve Carrell, Paul Dano, Greg Kinnear and Alan Arkin made this movie.

5. (Tie) 28 Days Later (2002), Batman Begins (2005), Gangs of New York (2002), Snow Angels (2007), The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007), Gladiator (2000):
28 Days Later: A new look at zombie films is offered through the look of Danny Boyle and Alex Garland’s yet-another brilliant collaboration (The Beach, Sunshine). The introduction of Cillian Murphy as a character in Boyle’s films brings the intensity of the film from his great acting, along with the acting of the brilliant Brenden Gleeson.
Batman Begins: The introduction to Batman’s life is the best superhero movie of all-time (yes, even over The Dark Knight). Though I dislike Christian Bale, he does very well in this movie, as does the always-good Liam Neeson, the rising-up Cillian Murphy, and the infamous Katie Holmes. A great Nolan Brothers reinterpretation.
Gangs of New York: Martin Scorsese’s very graphic, realistic film of the Irish and Native fighting in the segregated New York makes for one hell of a show, giving a great realization of interest to Daniel Day-Lewis and Leonardo DiCaprio. Scorsese does beautifully with a nearly flawless movie experience.
Snow Angels: A brilliant and sad movie mix with the great acting of Sam Rockwell. This movie brings a whole new side to the adult drama, and makes Sam Rockwell stick out in the acting field almost as well as Moon made him stand out.
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford: This film was brilliant. Andrew Dominick depicted a very violent and interesting look at the James Gang, and brought Casey Affleck out of the shadow again (though I loved him in Gone Baby Gone). This also included Jeremy Renner, Brad Pitt, and, of course, Sam Rockwell.
Gladiator: A Russell Crowe fan’s dream, Ridley Scott dominated the world of film in 2000 with this great film staring Russell Crowe as, go figure, a Gladiator who has been imprisoned by an agitated prince (Joaquin Phoenix), whom he must defeat to be able to go free.

The “Almost” List
Gone Baby Gone (2007)
Gran Torino (2008)
Defiance (2008)
LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (2004)
Million Dollar Baby (2004)
Inglourious Basterds (2009)
The Hangover (2009)
Traffic (2000)
Snatch (2000)
The Wrestler (2008)
300 (2006)
The Messenger (2009)

p.s. It’s kinda sad when movie previews are better than the actual movies. I leave you with this list of movies that sucked in our recent decade.

Terminator: Salvation
The Happening
Land of the Lost
Thr3e
The Adventures of Pluto Nash
College
The Fog
Turistas
Godsend
Hide and Seek
The Bridge of San Luis Rey
Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li
The Haunting of Molly Hartley
The Haunting in Connecticut
The Covenant
Paranormal Activity
Fear Dot Com
Battlefield Earth
Meet the Spartans
The Comebacks
Disaster Movie
Epic Movie
The Master of Disguise
The Village
Daddy Day Camp
Witless Protection
Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector
Strange Wilderness
King’s Ransom
One Missed Call
Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever

Thanks for the past ten years. May there be many more!!!