BEST OF THE DECADE (2000 - 2009)

Here in my personal opinion are some of the finest films of the last ten years. I have chosen to categorise them under four clear areas - Hollywood, World Cinema, Indian Cinema and British Cinema. That may seem a bit odd for what is supposed to be a list of the best films I have seen over the last ten years but I found it very problematic and nightmarish trying to narrow down what was an epic short list of potential films. I suspect over the coming weeks I will be adding to this canon with lists focused on genre, independent cinema, great performances, directors who have shown the most consistency, etc. The films listed appear in no particular order.

HOLLYWOOD

Fincher's most mature and ambitious film to date.

1. Zodiac (David Fincher, 2007) - If only all films shot digitally could look as beautiful as this.

2. The New World (Terence Malick, 2005) - A lifetime worth of imagery.

3. There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007) - The most politically radical film of the decade?

4. The Assassination of Jesse James by The Coward Robert Ford (Andrew Dominik, 2007) - Brad Pitt shows he can act.

5. Sunshine State (John Sayles, 2002) - John Sayles is America’s finest Independent film maker.

6. Road to Perdition (Sam Mendes, 2002) - Genre film making at its best.

7. Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, 2001) - Enigmatically bold.

8. Collateral (Michael Mann, 2005) - Los Angeles noir.

9. Syriana (Stephen Gaghan, 2005) - The first and only Hollywood film to humanise a suicide bomber.

10. Bamboozled (Spike Lee, 2000) - A history of a people.

Honorable Mentions:

11. Goodbye Solo
12. Elephant
13. Michael Clayton
14. The Mist
15. The Dark Knight
16. Into The wild
17. Munich
18. The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada
19. The Yards
20. Requiem for a Dream

WORLD CINEMA

Haneke deals with the colonial guilt of France.

1. Hidden (Michael Haneke, 2005, France) - Unflinchingly prescient film making.

2. Time Out
(Laurent Cantent, 2001, France) - Dehumanisation of the work place.

3. Che: Parts 1 & 2 (Steven Soderbergh, 2008, Spain) - A staggering achievement and with subtitles too.

4. Three Times (Hou Hsiao Hsien, 2005, Taiwan) - A film about relationships.

5. The Edge of Heaven (Fatih Akin, 2007, Germany) - Trapped in two worlds.

6. A Prophet (Jacques Audiard, 2009, France) - France's finest film maker is Jacques Audiard.

7. 12:08 East of Bucharest (Corneliu Porumboiu, 2006, Romania) - Political satire that bites.

8. The Edukators (Hans Weingartner, 2004, Germany) - Youthful anti establishment musings.

9. Gomorrah (Matteo Garrone, 2008, Italy) - Neo neo realist cinema.

10. Memories of Murder (Bong Joon-Ho, 2003) - The Hallyu.

The Lives of Others (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, 2006, Germany) - A political thriller for grown ups.

Honorable Mentions:

11. One, Two, Three – Belvaux trilogy
12. In The Mood For Love
13. The Child
14. Consequences of Love
15. Let The Right One In
16. Beat My Heart Skipped
17. The Return
18. Still Life
19. Uzak
20. Robert Succo

INDIAN CINEMA

Mira Nair's 2001 film won the golden lion at the Venice film festival. It is still her warmest film to date.
1. Monsoon Wedding (Mira Nair, 2001) - Patriarchal anxieties in postmodern India.

2. The Warrior (Asif Kapadia, 2001) - The close ups on Irfan Khan's eyes.

3. Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi (Sudhir Mishra, 2003) - Youthful political ideals.

4. Aap Tak Chhaappan (Shimit Amin, 2004) - Nana Patekar is the Lee Marvin of Indian cinema.

5. Maqbool (Vishal Bhardwaj, 2003) - Macbeth Bhardwaj style.

6. Rang De Basanti (Rakesh Omprakash Mehra, 2006) - Revolutionaries.

7. Sarkar (Ram Gopal Varma, 2005) - Amitabh Bachchan.

8. Lagaan (Ashutosh Gowariker, 2001) - A beautiful homage to the cinema of the past.

9. Black Friday (Anurag Kashyap, 2004) - Proves why Kashyap is one of the finest Indian auteurs.

10. Raincoat (Rituparno Ghosh, 2004) - Devgan and Rai's best performances to date.

Honorable Mentions:

11. Swades
12. Yuva
13. Company
14. Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!
15. Khosla Ka Ghosla
16. Manorama Six Feet Under
17. Water
18. Eklavya: The Royal Guard
19. The Rising
20. Johnny Gaddar

BRITISH CINEMA

Ken Loach's most successful film to date.

1. The Wind That Shakes The Barley (Ken Loach, 2006) - Loach's greatest achievement as a director; the most accomplished political film of the decade.

2. This is England (Shane Meadows, 2006) - Tolerance.

3. Bloody Sunday (Paul Greengrass, 2002) - Truth.

4. Hunger (Steven McQueen, 2008) - A film about textures.

5. 28 Days Later (Danny Boyle, 2002) - Finally, a worthy British horror film.

6. In This World (Michael Winterbottom, 2002) - Escaping impoverishment.

7. Dead Man's Shoes (Shane Meadows, 2004) - A powerful revenge tragedy.

8. Dirty Pretty Things (Stephen Frears, 2002) - The silent minority.

9. Children of Men (Alfonso Cuaron, 2006) - Superior genre cinema.

10. Yasmin (Kenneth Glenaan, 2004) - Belonging.