The Decade Remembered – Top Ten Movies of 2002

Top Ten 2002

The Decade Remembered will be my series of pieces where I will do a top ten for each year from 2000 – 2009 with it ending with the complete Top Ten of the Decade to come.  After 2000 and 2001 then comes 2002.

TEN - Unfaithful


Who Directed it? Adrian Lyne Did it Win Anything? nope. Why Do I Love It? Something about this movie stuck with me.  I never used to sit down and watch thrillers like this where it's all about this relationship and what happens when this older lady goes after this younger man.  I loved all the performances and I still think that Diane Lane deserved the Oscar for Best Performance by an Actress.

NINE - 28 Days Later

28 Days Later - Cillian Murphy

Who Directed It? Danny Boyle Did It Win Anything? nope Why Do I Love It? At first I wasn't very open to this movie but it without a doubt one of the most influential film this decade.  Most zombie films have been based off the George A. Romero design, but without this movie we probably wouldn't have gotten the amazing fun films that are: Dawn of the Dead and Zombieland.

EIGHT - The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

The Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers

Who Directed It? Peter Jackson Did it Win Anything? 2 Academy Awards (Best Sound Editing & Best Visual Effects), 2 BAFTA Awards (Best Achievement in Special Visual Effects & Best Costume Design) Why Do I Love It? I guess you've figured out by now that I love the LOTR trilogy and it's no different with this film.  Here we're fully introduced to Gollum and he alone is enough to sell me on this movie.  The great fight sequences and captivating adventure fantasy is a great tale that I love to watch at least once a year.

SEVEN - Minority Report

Minority Report

Who Directed It? Steven Spielberg Did it Win Anything? nope Why Do I Love It? Here is a science-fiction classic of the last ten years.  From the idea of being able to predict murders before they occur and arresting people for their future acts to scenes like the chase sequence in the car factory are just insane things that you just can't forget.  Colin Farrell and Tom Cruise are great in this movie and if they don't get you to see it then the basic premise must.

SIX - The Pianist

The Pianist - Brody

Who Directed it? Roman Polanski Did It Win Anything? 3 Academy Awards (Best Actor in a Leading Role: Adrien Brody, Best Director: Roman Polanski, Best Writing/Adapting Screenplay: Ronald Harwood), 2 BAFTA Awards (Best Film, David Lean Award for Directing: Roman Polanski) Why Do I Love It? I've always been a fan of holocaust movies for the main reason that it tends to make everyone involved bring out their A game and this movie is no different.  Adrien Brody is especially great in the movie and really Roman Polanski is one of the best directors still alive.  Yes the movie may depress you and it may make you hate again for something atrocious that occurred, but it doesn't stop the movie from being a top class film that I love and I would watch again anytime its on.

FIVE - Catch Me If You Can

Catch Me If You Can

Who Directed It? Steven Spielberg Did It Win Anything? 1 BAFTA Award (Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Christopher Walken) Why Do I Love It? This might've been the first movie where I began to think that Leonardo DiCaprio was going to be a verifiable actor.  He does prey on his pretty boy charm a lot but it works in the context of the story and he delivers a role that I love to death.  Tom Hanks also does a great job as the FBI agent tracking down this master con artist.  It almost made me think of Lupin and Zenigata from Lupin the Third (yes I just compared an anime to a Spielberg film).  However nothing tops the fact that this child was able to trick a court into making him a lawyer just based off of what he learnt by watching TV.

FOUR - 25th Hour

25th Hour - Edward Norton

Who Directed it? Spike Lee Did It Win Anything? nope Why Do I Love It? Well it's star packed, with Edward Norton, Anna Paquin, Rosario Dawson, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Barry Pepper and Brian Cox all giving the performances that I will probably remember them the most for.  I remember Edward Norton as he gives the one of a kind monologue to himself in the bathroom titled "Fuck You", Barry Pepper as he explains why the unemployment numbers matter to some rookie investment banker who decided to lean on his desk, Phillip Seymour Hoffman as he tried to explain to Barry about his 'friend' who was thinking about doing something with his student, and Brian Cox as he told us the tale of what could happen if he just took a different turn down the road and whole new life for Edward's character.  This movie is one that I will always remember and comes the closest to one of my favourite of Lee's films (maybe second only to Do The Right Thing).

THREE - Adaptation

Adaptation - Nick Cage

Who Directed It? Spike Jonze Did It Win Anything? 1 Academy Award (Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Chris Cooper), 1 BAFTA Award (Best Screenplay - Adapted: Charlie Kaufman & Donald Kaufman), 2 Golden Globe Awards (Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Chris Cooper, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Meryl Streep) Why Do I Love It? I think the story is insane.  Kaufman is given a book about orchids to adapt into a screenplay and after a while working with it and not being able to do so he decides to write a story about him attempting to adapt this book and the craziness that happens while he does that.  This is my favourite film that Nicholas Cage has ever done and my favourite Spike Jonze movie (I haven't seen Where the Wild Things Are).

TWO - Chicago

Chicago - Zellweger

Who Directed It? Rob Marshall Did it Win Anything? 6 Academy Awards (Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Editing, Best Picture, Best Sound), 2 BAFTA Awards (Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Best Sound: Michael Minker, Dominic Tavella, David Lee, Maurice Schell),  3 Golden Globes (Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy, Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Richard Gere, Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Renee Zellweger) Why Do I Love It? Have I made it clear enough how much I love musicals?  I love this movie.  When I watch this movie sometimes I wonder exactly how it would work on stage (since I've never seen Chicago on stage) since it's always cutting between song and normal character dialogue as if the songs are all a fantasy and the dialogue is reality.  I love this musical so much that I tend to switch which song is my favourite everytime I watch it.  I know a lot of people disagree with the Academy's decision to give it the best movie award, but I loved it and was cheering for it all the way.  It also counts as one of those very influential films of the decade since, in my opinion, brought back the musical genre to Hollywood.  Musicals just weren't being made anymore then this movie comes along and has a ridiculous amount of financial and critical success that they studios couldn't help but make a dozen more musicals for the rest of the decade.

ONE - Punch-Drunk Love

Punch Drunk Love

Who Directed It? Paul Thomas Anderson Did It Win Anything? nope. Why Do I Love It? Not only was this my introduction to PTA (the greatness that he is), but it showed me that Adam Sandler could actually act.  I love this love story since it takes itself so seriously as this man who can't connect with anyone but has decided to connect with this one female and at the same time has to deal with this crazy sex phone extorters and the mattress-man.  The film has so many well placed shots, great character moments and even better dialogue delivery.  If you doubt Adam Sandler as an actor just pop in this film and you'll understand the love.
  • jaydon the don

    Foreign release dates mess me up. I was going to spazz out at City of God being left off, but it’s more of a 2003 movie. Likewise Hero and Infernal Affairs are more so 2004 movies.

    10. Chicago
    9. Road to Perdition
    8. Insomnia
    7. Catch Me If You Can
    6. The Bourne Identity
    5. Minority Report
    4. The Ring
    3. Adaptation
    2. The Pianist
    1. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers

    Honorable Mentions: About Shmidt, One Hour Photo, 25th Hour, The Hours.

  • jaydon the don

    Oh and Punch Drunk Love and 28 Day Later are also honorable.

  • Andrew Robinson

    first… I do count City of God and Infernal Affairs as 2002 films… However (here comes a huge sad admission) I haven’t seen either of them so I didn’t include them… there… go, start throwing a fit.

  • jaydon the don

    holy fucking shit

  • Boxoffice Marco

    Exactly! How could you not have seen City of God and Infernal Affairs before making this list? :(

  • Andrew Robinson

    LOL… you can know that it wasn’t left out for spite, therefore when I eventually see them I will probably love them as much as you and it would end up in the list. But the truth is I probably would hurt your feelings and lie and say they suck just get a rise out of the general film loving public :P

  • JackGi

    Chicago at number 2?!? WHA?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

  • Paula

    American life style has dominated the world.Unfortunately on other part of the world like middle east we just watch those styles through Hollywood movies which are not real.This era belongs to americans, so if you are an american enjoy it.