Katherine's Favorite Films of the Decade, #100 to #76
100. 3:10 to Yuma (2007)
Russell Crowe has undeniable charisma. Ben Foster has an awesome jacket. The entire film is one big Western chase. It's just pretty hard to have a better time at the movies.
99. The Life Aquatic (2004)
Yeah...I can't really defend this one. I liked the set, the music, and the little-boy-who-won't-grow-up story.
98. Gerry (2002)
With a little help from Matt Damon and Casey Affleck, Gus Van Sant make the best argument yet for taking a goddamn map. The land is brutal and best friends can be even worse.
97. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
Matt and I saw this in the theater in Salt Lake City, where it was already a cult favorite. The entire audience was laughing in advance of each joke, which, to the credit of the Mormons, had us in stitches, too.
96. Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)
A silly little Woody Allen comedy that also manages to think seriously about love and expectation. Plus, the people are sexy. Master's in Catalan identity anyone?
95. Gangs of New York (2002)
Exciting history and awesome accents. If not for Cameron Diaz and the avalanche of embarrassing scenes in the second half, this would definitely be higher than #95.
94. The Man Without a Past (2002)
Endearing Finnish noir. I say no more.
93. The Pianist (2002)
I've grown suspicious of Holocaust movies, but this one overwhelmed me when I first saw it in '02. It really does feel like a miracle when he [SPOILER!] survives.
92. Eastern Promises (2007)
Believe the hype: the naked sauna wrestling scene is not to be missed.
91. The Station Agent (2003)
Everyone is drawn to the short guy: he loves trains and they love him. A Jersey tale far from the shore.
90. The Dark Knight (2008)
The movie was a relentless series of climaxes (that's a bad thing), but the darkness of the vision and the performance of Heath Ledger keep it in the mix.
89. Downfall (2004)
Have you ever wondered what it was like in the bunker with Hitler? If so, this is the movie for you.
88. Paranoid Park (2007)
Nobody does teenage dreamscapes like Gus Van Sant.
87. Transsiberian (2008)
We are never quite ourselves when we're traveling, and neither is anyone else. A trip on that fabled Russian railroad looks a lot less romantic after this movie, but Emily Mortimer looks more versatile than ever.
86. Casino Royale (2006)
I like my Bonds blue-eyed, beefy, and shirtless, ok?
85. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)
Pitt is utterly terrifying as James and the rest of his men do a fantastic job of being stupid and scared. Gorgeous photography, if only a wee bit long...
84. Gosford Park (2001)
Upstairs-downstairs with a chattering cast of dozens. Vintage Altman.
83. Babel (2006)
Not as interconnected as Inarritu would have you believe, and marred at times by an overdetermined directorial hand, but between the Mexican wedding and the Japanese coming-of-age, there's still a lot to love.
82. Mean Girls (2004)
As a devotee of teen movies, I couldn't help including Tina Fey's clever, cutting comedy of high school girl power struggle. Oh, Lindsey, we hardly knew ye.
81. Ratatouille (2007)
A fable for tolerance. A celebration of talent. An adorable rodent nose.
80. Good Night, and Good Luck (2005)
It's a small film, but transporting to a particular time and place, when McCarthyism was real and television was new. Director George Clooney, the erstwhile TV star, pays great homage to Murrow and his medium.
79. Triad Election (2005)
The Godfather of Hong Kong, complete with an even bloodier sequel (Election 2).
78. The Last King of Scotland (2006)
Sometimes history is better when it's fiction. And stars James McAvoy.
77. The Edge of Heaven (2007)
Fatih Akin's very watchable German-Turkish film about immigration in the new Europe, parents and grown children, and the unforeseen ways in which personal decisions can have seismic and far-reaching consequences.
76. All the Real Girls (2003)
The small Southern town in this film is as much of a character as Zooey Deschanel's elusive Noel. A dreamy tale of young love that warns us to be wary of men with reputations -- but even warier of girls without them.