Movie reviews of movies released theatrically in 2000, the year I turned 19.
1. Memento, directed by Christopher Nolan (10/10*)
Yes, it’s gimmicky. Yes, it’s manipulative. And maybe it doesn’t hold up to repeat views (I wouldn’t know about that). But what a gimmick.
2. Code Unknown, directed by Michael Haneke (9/10)
I have lost my review of this, which was probably the first Haneke film I saw and the one that got me on my kick.
3. Dark Days, directed by Marc Singer (9/10)
If you don’t think of homeless people as people, you should watch this.
3. O Brother Where Art Thou?, directed by Joel Coen (9/10*)
Seen at the absolute height of my Coens obsession, I’m not sure I was objective about this.
5. Harry, un ami qui vous vent du bien aka With a Friend Like Harry, directed by Dominik Moll (8/10)
From memory, an excellent Hitchockian thriller.
6. Requiem for a Dream, directed by Darren Aronofsky (9/10)
At 19 or 20, this movie warped my fragile little mind.
7. Thirteen Days, directed by Roger Donaldson (8/10)
Though I guess we could gripe about the device that lets us into this world, this is a pretty excellent dramatization of a very tense time.
8. State and Main, directed by David Mamet (8/10)
One of the funnier movies about making movies.
9. Sexy Beast, directed by Jonathan Glazer (8/10)
I have lost my review for this.
10. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, directed by Ang Lee (8/10)
I guess this is sort of “pop” Chinese fantasy marshal arts, but it’s enjoyable.
11. Amores Perros, directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (8/10*)
Unfortunately I lost the review I don’t remember this well enough; I guess that’s what the asterisk is for.
12. Our Song, directed by Jim Mckay (8/10*)
I don’t even know what this is, let alone why I gave it an “8.”
13. Snatch., directed by Guy Ritchie (7/10)
Yes, it’s Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels 2, but it’s still really entertaining.
14. American Psycho, directed by Marry Harron (7/10)
I haven’t seen this since I was young but I enjoyed it at the time.
15. Bamboozled, directed by Spike Lee (7/10)
I remember this being pretty heavy handed, which was the only thing I didn’t like about it.
16. Traffic, directed by Steven Soderberg (7/10)
Decent but perhaps a little too artsy fartsy for the subject matter.
17. Hamlet, directed by Michael Almereyda (7/10)
In interesting take on one of the most performed plays in history (most performed)?
18. Batoru rowaiaru, directed by Kinji Fukasaku (7/10)
Unfortunately I had seen two movies hugely influenced by this film long before I saw it: Kill Bill (deliberate homage) and the Hunger Games (deliberate homage?). Kill Bill and Tarantino’s subsequent films, as well as any number of other Tarantino-esque films from the last decade, have softened me to the violence and blood-spatter that probably appeared shocking in 2000. And the Hunger Games gave me the plot. (Whether or not the Hunger Games is a giant rip-off of the source novel is another conversation.) So I can’t say that I was seeing this in the right space to fully appreciate it. That being said…
The idea is obviously interesting – interesting enough we are going to get three Hunger Games films out of this same idea – and the filmmakers do a great job of making a connection of the cruelty of the game with the often unknowing cruelty of adolescents and adolescence. The flashbacks highlight this and are actually the best device in the film.
The blood-spattering and the score make it feel like it is a (very) dark comedy, but that could just be the Tarantino lens I am looking at it through. The score could imply some very oblique reference to the idea that not only have youths escaped Japan’s control, but the westernizing / modernizing of Japan is responsible for that. Maybe, maybe not.
But the film has far too many characters – which it stupidly refers to as Boy # so and so and Girl # so and so – and more than a couple “That doesn’t make any sense!” moments.
I appreciate it for its boldness, its comedy (if intentional) and its sheer ludicrousness, but it is a flawed film and is hardly the masterpiece so many claim.
19. Quills, directed by Philip Kaufman (7/10)
I have lost my review of this fictionalized account of the Marquis de Sade.
20. Almost Famous, directed by Cameron Crowe (7/10*)
The first time I saw this movie I loved it, I mean I loved it. As an unabashed fan of ’70s rock, I had a fun time trying to figure out which band they were. The second time I saw it, a few years later, I liked it significantly less, but I still enjoyed it to some extent. I think that’s where the “7” comes in. At this point in my life I really don’t like Crowe, so I think the asterisk comes in there.
21. Best in Show, directed by Christopher Guest (7/10)
I didn’t know this was a Christopher Guest movie when I saw it in theatres. I watched it with the kind of crowd that wouldn’t appreciate Christopher Guest and I think that’s why the rating is what it is. I should re-watch.
22. Rated X, directed by Emilio Estevez (7/10)
Really entertaining, no matter how accurate it is or not.
23. The Gift, directed by Sam Raimi (7/10)
My memory of this has faded too much.
24. Nuremberg, directed by Yves Simoneau (7/10)
Not bad for a remake.
25. You Can Count On Me, directed by Kenneth Lonergan (7/10)
This is an affecting and occasionally humorous film. The only slight quibble I have is that the ending is a little too spelled out. I don’t know if I believe that Ruffalo’s character can say the things he says. It feels way too contrived and reeks of trying to reassure the audience. What would be wrong with a little ambiguity? We have it about the other aspect’s of Linney’s character’s life? But it is a minor quibble and, on the whole this is pretty good. It also avoids some of the cliches of movies like this (though far from all), which is nice.
26. The Independent, directed by Stephen Kessler (7/10)
I seem to remember this was pretty entertaining.
27. The Duel, directed by Andrew Lau (7/10*)
I have lost my review for this.
28. Vinyl, directed by Alan Zweig (7/10)
Much of this is utterly fascinating and illuminating; particularly so because I collect music too – though CDs not records – and I wondered whether I was watching my future self (though I have never bought music specifically knowing I would dislike it). The film is humourous and mostly captivating.
But the problem with the movie, which plagues the other Alan Zweig feature I’ve seen as well – though there it was more appropriate – is Zweig himself. Zweig insists on including himself in his movies. This is sometimes appropriate but in the case of this film it’s hard to see why; so he loves collecting vinyl, so what? So do literally thousands of others. Are they in the movie too?
It’s also apparent that Zweig has cut interviews with others in favour of his own screen-time. Zweig shows multiple montages where we see the faces of people we never get to hear speak, who he cut for no reason I can figure except that he wanted his own perspective instead of theirs. And that the film’s run-time is as long as it is because Zweig must include himself in the film. This isn’t a fatal flaw necessarily, as the film is still very much worth watching, but it is annoying, self-indulgent and entirely unnecessary.
I will now be wary about watching another Zweig film simply because I’m worried that, between Vinyl and Lovable, I may have heard everything he has to say.
PS I find it fascinating how those that suffer from depression are so willing to write their suffering large; to believe as a matter of faith that everyone else feels the same way they do.
29. Paradise Lost 2: Revelations, directed by Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky (7/10)
Maddening and frustrating, but I also worry that the filmmakers were getting a little too close to the case at this point.
30. The Legend of Drunk Master, directed by Chia-Liang Liu (7/10)
Though I haven’t seen the first, I enjoyed the second. Just don’t know what happened to my review.
31. Ginger Snaps, directed by John Fawcett (7/10)
A surprisingly decent Canadian horror film.
32. Soldiers in the Army of God, directed by Marc Levin, Daphne Pinkerson (6/10)
This film reeks of its origins, as part of a series on HBO at the end of 20th century. The low-quality digital video has dated poorly and the film isn’t edited all that well.
That being said: the content is infuriating, disturbing and heartbreaking as you might expect from a documentary about doctor-killers. The filmmakers managed to find some very compelling subjects and these subjects open up to them as if they have nothing to hide, which is rather remarkable. We learn that at least a few of these people are aware on some level that what they are doing is at least potentially criminal if not “wrong” in their eyes and it is interesting that they would let their credibility be undermined in such a way.
It is worth seeing this film but it is a shame that the budget was so low and that the film’s subject wasn’t quite as well defined as it should have been.
33. The Grudge, directed by Takashi Shimizu (6/10)
Reasonably effective, if it’s the one I remember. (I have seen multiple of them, I believe.)
34. The Beach, directed by Danny Boyle (6/10*)
Haven’t seen this in a long time and don’t really remember what I liked / disliked about it.
35. Road Trip, directed by Todd Phillips (6/10*)
I enjoyed this way too much at age 20. Never seen it again though I changed the rating.
36. X-Men, directed by Bryan Singer (6/10*)
A lot of people insist that this was pretty good and sometimes I think I should give it another chance.
37. The Crimson Rivers, directed by Matthiue Kassovitz (6/10)
I have lost my review for this but I remember being really let down by the ending.
38. Tigerland, directed by Joel Schumacher (610)
Joel Schumacher actually made a decent film. I know, I don’t believe it either. The guy’s the biggest hack in history. Tigerland is probably as good as it could have been given a) Schumacher being involved and b) the characterizations (the protagonist is too good, the drill sergeants too evil). It’s decent and actually well made. But you know that if someone with any kind of vision had made it, it could have been much better.
39. Cast Away, directed by Robert Zemeckis (6/10)
I remember being horribly let down by the ending.
40. Psycho Beach Party, directed by Robert Lee King (6/10)
Yes, this is very, very campy. And often it works really well. But there are things that don’t work so well (most obviously the soundtrack, which sounds like too modern surf music, rather than classic surf music) and some of the jokes (especially early on) fall flat. But the ending is pretty fabulous and the whole movie improves in entertainment value as it goes on.
41. The Whole Nine Yards, directed by Jonathan Lynn (6/10)
Entertaining, even if I don’t like the stupid Montreal jokes.
42. American Women, directed by Aileen Ritchie (6/10)
Endearing. Read the review of American Women.
43. Erin Brokovich, directed by Steven Soderbergh (5/10)
Overrated, if memory serves.
44. Gladiator, directed by Ridley Scott (5/10)
I guess this is entertaining but it’s really stupid even if the production values are through the roof.
45. Pitch Black, directed by David Twohy (5/10)
Way better than it has any right to be.
46. The Princess and the Warrior, directed by Tom Twyker (5/10)
I lost my review for this film that I remember being really underwhelmed by.
47. Ivan’s XTC, directed by Bernard Rose (5/10)
It’s a great thing that people are trying to bring Russian literature to contemporary American society. I love that. But they need budgets. This movie didn’t have it. First, there’s the overall crappiness of the digital video (given the time, that’s expected). Then there’s the supporting cast. The lead actors are all fine, but the supporting cast, some with only a few lines, are usually noticeably, distractingly horrible. The direction is also over the top. Way too much slow-mo and unnecessary effects. Oh well.
48. Stardom, directed by Denys Arcand (5/10)
I had a huge thing for Pare at the time, which is no doubt why I watched this, but that crush didn’t let me like the movie.
49. Final Destination, directed by James Wong (5/10)
Way more entertaining than it should be.
50. Me, Myself and Irene, directed by Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly (5/10)
I remember finding it amusing at 18 or 19 or whatever.
51. Shaft, directed by John Singleton (5/10)
Hadn’t actually seen the original yet.
52. U-571, directed by Jonathan Mostow (5/10)
53. Scarlet Diva, directed by Asia Argento (5/10)
I have seen few of her father’s movies, but the ones I have seen are rumoured to be among his best. I can’t say that I have been particularly impressed with Dario Argento’s abilities, or his concept of horror (my limited experience with him suggests that we find different things scary) but I can see his utter disregard for internal coherence (and much of Italian cinema’s disregard of it, what we might call the “fantastical element” in Italian cinema) in his daughter’s debut, even if there are no glaring plot holes (in the shreds of a plot) in it. Though there are moments in the film that are quite funny (the entire Gus Van Sant gag, for example), and others that do create pathos well, there are so many more moments where she fails to effectively convey what she is trying to say, even though it is fairly obvious that she is trying to make a point about how the film industry treats women. The film is full of unnecessary jump cuts, drug / alcohol trips and all sorts of other things you might expect from a first time director. In fact, the film has two giant signs hanging around its neck: “This film was made by a first time director” and “This film was made by an Italian.”
54. Scary Movie, directed by Keenan Ivory Wayans (5/10*)
I was still very much able to love these types of movies back then. No matter how stupid.
55. Shanghai Noon, directed by Tom Dey (5/10*)
This seems charitable.
56. Freddie Mercury: the Untold Story, directed by Rudi Dolezal, Hannes Rossacher (5/10)
Too much of a TV movie, and too subject-worshippy.
57. What Planet Are You From?, directed by Mike Nichols (5/10*)
I seem to remember this was pretty weak.
58. Cecil B. Demented, directed by John Waters (5/10*)
I have a feeling that only an 18 year old me would find this movie clever.
59. This is What Democracy Looks Like, directed by Jill Friedberg, Rick Rowley (4/10*)
Something about this film bugged me at the time. Perhaps It thought the filmmakers were too close to their subjects.
60. Unbreakable, directed by M. Night Shyamalan (4/10*)
I have been meaning to re-watch this as I know a few people who think it’s his best movie. Unfortunately, I caught just the end a few months ago and well, I wasn’t feeling it. Anyway, eventually I will re-watch it I guess.
61. Get Carter, directed by Stephen Kay (4/10)
Whatever enjoyment I might have had of this remake of a pretty great Michael Caine film was ruined by some guy I knew who thought it was The Greatest Movie of All Time, and he wasn’t kidding.
62. Mission Impossible II, directed by John Woo (4/10)
A completely different movie than the first film and, really, the beginning of the series as some kind of action thing instead of a con type movie.
63. Chocolat, directed by Lasse Hallstrom (4/10)
64. Scream 3, directed by Wes Craven (4/10)
I laughed, I liked the red herrings about the cast but there are some really stupid plot moments, particularly the universal voice replicator which is just stupid.
65. Proof of Life, directed by Taylor Hackford (4/10)
I don’t remember this at all.
66. Gimme Some Truth: The Making of John Lennon’s Imagine Album, directed by Jonas Mekas, Andrew Solt (4/10)
Don’t remember it.
67. Two Thousand and None, directed by Arto Paragamian (4*/10)
I don’t remember it.
68. Remember the Titans, directed by Boaz Yakin (3/10*)
Okay this is a little harsh.
69. Finding Forester, directed by Gus Van Sant (3/10)
Also known as Good Will Hunting with Sean Connery and a Black Kid.
70. Deep in the Woods, directed by Lionel Delplanque (3/10)
It’s too bad this movie’s so disappointing overall. The actual title is something like “Promenons-Nous dans les Bois” or something. Anyway, there are some fantastic shots and moments in this movie. You see them and you just think “Brilliant! Another Masterpiece!” like that art that in the Simpson’s episode where Marge paints Burns. Others you chuckle at the greatness. I think I said “I love it” like 8 times. The problem is, the movie’s horrible. The plot is more ridiculous than most teen slashers. The script (or at least how it appears in the subtitles) pretty routine. There are moments when you think the movies gonna become awesome and then it doesn’t. If anything it gets worse as it goes on (there is at least a somewhat ok setup). But in amongst the crap are these creative moments. And I just had to mention this movie because of them. Hopefully somebody’s gonna watch this film and get inspired to make a good horror movie with such neat shots. Anyway, sometimes the French (and other Europeans) take American genres (or in this case, sub-genres) and make awesome movies. Sometimes they make ones that are even worse than the American films. The latter happened here.
71. Hollow Man, directed by Paul Verhoeven (3/10)
This really is the text book film for when a bad guy dies too many times. Well, this and What Lies Beneath.
72. Reindeer Games, directed by John Frankenheimer (3/10)
73. Miss Congeniality, directed by Donal Petrie (3/10)
I watched this?
74. Small Time Crooks, directed by Woody Allen (3/10)
The first time I saw this I didn’t hate it. I watched it again for some reason and I came to my sanity.
75. Mission to Mars, directed by Brian De Palma (3/10)
Garbage. 3 seems charitable.
76. Lost Souls, directed by Janusz Kaminski (3/10)
Don’t remember it at all.
77. The Family Man, directed by Brett Ratner (3/10)
Fuck I hate movies like this.
78. Dancing at the Blue Iguana, directed by Michael Radfor (2/10*)
You must understand that I likely watched this for boobs and rated it based on that criterion.
79. Gone in Sixty Seconds, directed by Dominic Sena (2/10*)
No, I don’t understand car movies and, yes, I think Sena is a hack but this rating seems preposterously low. I think I just hated the final stunt or something.
80. Bounce, directed by Don Roos (2/10*)
This probably isn’t as bad as I thought it was.
81. Dude, Where’s My Car?, directed by Danny Leiner (2/10*)
I’m not sure I actually made it through this whole thing.
82. The Patriot, directed by Roland Emmerich (2/10)
A heaping piece of jingoistic garbage – notice how the British are evil and the Americans are good – which also happens to be nearly 3 hours long.
83. Coyote Ugly, directed by David McNally (2/10)
I don’t really know why this movie exists.
84. Supernova, directed by Thomas Lee (2/10)
Don’t remember it.
85. Charlie’s Angels, directed by McG (2/10)
86. Picking up the Pieces, directed by Alfonso Arau (2/10*)
Don’t remember it but I’m sure it’s terrible.
87. Leprechaun in the Hood, directed by Rob Spera (2/10)
88. Little Nicky, directed by Steven Brill (1/10*)
This may not be the worst movie ever, but I guess I was just in a bad mood. It’s bad, but I’m not sure it’s this bad. (Then again, maybe it is.)
89. Snow Day, directed by Chris Koch (1/10)
Maybe this is a little cruel but honestly this is bad.
90. Battlefield Earth: a Saga of the Year 3000, directed by Roger Christian (1/10)
One of the worst large budget films of all time.
“The Heart of the World”, directed by Guy Maddin (9/10)
My introduction to the crazy world of Guy Maddin.
“Conrad and Butler Take a Vacation”, directed by Noah Baumbauch (6/10)