The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R

 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 


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"Thank you to all the contributors & commentors for teaching me about movies!" - Andrew

"This is such a wonderful list for how full it is of cinematic joy, not just the everything of Carol..." - Ben1283

"Yes to all of this!! :)!" -Squasher88


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In 2012, The Film Experience will release a "Best of the Aughts" commemorative book, with more details on each of these film years and the first ten years of the FiLM BiTCH Awards. 

American Psycho (Mary Harron)
Beau Travail (Claire Denis)
Bring It On (Peyton Reed)
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (Ang Lee)
Dancer in the Dark (Lars von Trier)
Erin Brockovich (Steven Soderbergh)
Jesus's Son (Alison Maclean)
Pola X (Leos Carax)
Requiem for a Dream (Darren Aronofsky)
You Can Count On Me (Kenneth Lonergan)

Honorable Mention: The House of Mirth (Terence Davies) and An Affair of Love a.k.a. Une Liaison Pornographique (Frederick Fonteyne). This particular list has been highly unstable over the years. Previously films landing in the top ten or honorable mentions were Urbania (John Shear), Nurse Betty (Neil LaBute), Before Night Falls (Julian Schnabel), and Billy Elliott (Stephen Daldry)


Gosford Park (Robert Altman)
Hedwig and the Angry Inch (John Cameron Mitchell)
In the Bedroom (Todd Field)
In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-Wai)
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Peter Jackson)
Moulin Rouge! (Baz Luhrmann)
Mulholland Dr (David Lynch)
No Man's Land (Danis Tanovic)
The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson)
Together a.k.a. Tilsammans (Lukas Moodyson) 

Honorable Mention: Sexy Beast (Jonathan Glazer) and Monster's Inc (Pete Docter). 2001 is the greatest single cinematic year of the Aughts. So many classics ... not to mention career peaks for filmmakers.

25th Hour (Spike Lee)
8 Women (François Ozon)
Far From Heaven (Todd Haynes)
The Hours (Stephen Daldry)
Late Marriage (Dover Kosashvilli)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Peter Jackson)
Lovely & Amazing (Nicole Holofcener)
Spider-Man (Sam Raimi)
Talk to Her (Pedro Almodóvar)
Y Tu Mama Tambíen (Alfonso Cuaron)

Honorable Mention: Monsoon Wedding (Mira Nair) Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki) and Punch-Drunk Love (P.T. Anderson). I felt uncomfortable leaving them off the top ten -- revisit? -- but it was a strong year.

The Barbarian Invasions (Denys Arcand)
The Company (Robert Altman)
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Peter Jackson)
Kill Bill Vol. 1 (Quentin Tarantino)
Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola)
Peter Pan (P.J. Hogan)
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (Gore Verbinski)
Raising Victor Vargas (Peter Sollett)
Thirteen (Catherine Hardwicke)
X2: X-Men United (Bryan Singer)

Honorable Mention: The Man Without a Past (Aki Kaurismaki) and Elephant (Gus Van Sant). I have only the faintest recollection of The Barbarian Invasions suggesting that it didn't "stick". Perhaps a reshuffle is in order.

Before Sunset (Richard Linklater)
Dogville (Lars von Trier)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry)
I Heart Huckabees (David O. Russell)
The Incredibles (Brad Bird)
Mean Girls ()
Sideways (Alexander Payne)
Spider-Man 2 (Sam Raimi)
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring (Ki Duk Kim)
Vera Drake (Mike Leigh)

Honorable Mention: Bad Education (Pedro Almodóvar) and The Aviator (Martin Scorsese). Originally Mean Girls was just outside the top 10 (at #14 I believe behind the Zhang Yimou double The House of Flying Daggers and Hero). This was an insane call as Mean Girls is the single most rewatchable film from 2004.

Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee)
Brothers (Susanne Bier)
Caché (Michael Haneke)
Good Night, and Good Luck. (George Clooney)
A History of Violence (David Cronenberg)
Kings and Queen (Arnaud Desplechin)
Me and You and Everyone We Know (Miranda July)
The New World (Terence Malick)
Pride and Prejudice (Joe Wright)
Wallace & Gromit and the Curse of the Were-Rabbit (Nick Park)

Honorable Mention: The Squid and the Whale (Noah Baumbach) and Match Point (Woody Allen)
Originally Tim Burton's Corpse Bride was in the top ten, but I've replaced it with Malick's The New World... which, well, I've gotten over my anger about not understanding which version of it was the real version and which I saw versus which everyone else saw. Etcetera. It's arguably the most sloppily handled release of a great movie in my lifetime.

Children of Men (Alfonso Cuaron)
The Departed (Martin Scorsese)
The Devil Wears Prada ()
Duck Season (Fernando Eimbcke)
The Fountain (Darren Aronofsky)
Inside Man (Spike Lee)
Marie Antoinette (Sofia Coppola)
A Prairie Home Companion (Robert Altman)
Shortbus (John Cameron Mitchell)
Volver (Pedro Almodóvar)

Honorable Mention: Monster House (Gil Kenan) and The Painted Veil (John Curran)

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Mungui)
Atonement (Joe Wright)
Away From Her (Sarah Polley)
Lust, Caution (Ang Lee)
Michael Clayton (Tony Gilroy)
No Country For Old Men (The Coen Bros)
Once (John Carney)
Ratatouille (Brad Bird)
There Will Be Blood (P.T. Anderson)
Zodiac (David Fincher)

Honorable Mention: The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford () and Persepolis ()

A Christmas Tale (Arnaud Desplechin)
Happy-Go-Lucky (Mike Leigh)
In Bruges (Martin McDonaugh)
Milk (Gus Van Sant)
Rachel Getting Married (Jonathan Demme)
Reprise (Joachim Trier)
Vicky Cristina Barcelona (Woody Allen)
The Wrestler (Darren Aronofsky)

Honorable Mention: Let the Right One In () and

(500) Days of Summer (Marc Webb)
Avatar (James Cameron)
Bright Star (Jane Campion)
Coraline (Henry Selick)
Hunger (Steve McQueen)
Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino)
The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow)
Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" By Sapphire (Lee Daniels)
Summer Hours (Olivier Assayas)
Up in the Air (Jason Reitman)

Honorable Mention: Whip It (Drew Barrymore) and UP (Pete Docter & Bob Peterson)