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June 20, 2017

THE 25 BEST FILMS OF THE 21ST CENTURY, SO FAR

Earth-from-space

For whatever reason, this is the week that corporate critics are throwing in their hats on the best 25 films of the century so far. Naturally, I thought it best to put forth my choices for just such a list. Enjoy.

DragMeToHell

25. Drag Me To Hell —Sam Raimi is credited with making the best superhero movie of all time (Spider-Man 2), and he also made the most delightfully googly-moogly horror movie ever. ‘Drag Me To Hell’ edges out ‘House Of The Devil’ (also a great scare-fest) because it’s so much fun!

The Hateful Eight

24. The Hateful Eight —Criticized for its stagy presentation, ‘The Hateful Eight’ contains some of the best dialogue you’ll find in America Cinema. There’s a lot of bourbon in Tarantino’s well steeped tea.

AmericanSplendor

23. American Splendor —Here is a unique take on the biopic genre. If you don’t know who Harvey Pekar is, you couldn’t hope for a better way to be introduced.

ManchesterByTheSea

22. Manchester By The Sea —Kenneth Lonergan has the best ear for dialogue around, and his dramatic sensibilities put passion to the pain. What sweet pain he conveys.

Antarctica

21. An Inconvenient Truth —Remember when people didn’t believe in Global Warming? For anyone who still doesn’t think it’s real, here is the whole story from a to z.

Mrturner

20. Mr. Turner —Mike Leigh takes you on a rich trip through art and life that astounds. Wow.

Manderlay.colesmithey.com

19. Manderlay —Lars von Trier is the most rigorous filmmaker in the biz. Allegory and satire sting in this ambitious movie.

Fat Girl

18. Fat Girl —Catherine Breillat creates a trenchant social study of familial and social prejudice that contrasts generational and sexual codes of behavior. The film’s tableau resonates infinitely across all political reality.

Therewillbeblood

17. There Will Be Blood — Embedded in Anderson’s profound adaptation are timeless themes of greed and social oppression that reflect injustices facing America today.

Zodiac.colesmithey.com

16. Zodiac —David Fincher elevated the modern day true-crime thriller to the sublime with this engrossing movie. Style and substance unite.

JesseJames

15. The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford —Here is a modern western art film that utilizes the camera’s discreet observations to sculpt a tidal wave of generational zeitgeist from a clash of ideals.

Persepolis

14. Persepolis‘Persepolis’ is an immensely meaningful film because of the cultural gaps that it bridges toward a new kind of adult cinematic dialogue. Marjane Satrapi is a real-life heroine.

George-Clooney-The-American

13. The AmericanHowever clichéd you might imagine the hit man premise for "The American" to be, know that not only does it contain two of the most intriguing female characters to come along in a dog's life, but it is one of the most sophisticated thrillers you will ever see.

Devil's backbone

12. The Devil’s Backbone —Guillermo del Toro’s masterpiece of magical realism, horror, and war isn’t ‘Pan’s Labyrinth,’ it’s ‘The Devil’s Backbone,’ an ingenious film capable of inducing cold-sweat nightmares.

Mulholland-Drive

11. Mulholland Drive —David Lynch’s slow-burn erotic surrealism peaks in this filmic puzzle that contains all of Hollywood’s dark glamorous allure. Think ‘Hollywood Babylon’ as a lesbian sex thriller.

Minorityreport

10. Minority Report —Spielberg doing Philip K. Dick dystopia hit the nail on the sci-fi head. Here is the best sci-film ever made. Everything’s true, nothing is permitted.

Fog of war

9. The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons From The Life of Robert S. McNamara —Errol Morris’s documentary about lessons learned by former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara from colossal mistakes the America military has made is essential viewing. You can’t see this movie only once.   

The-turin-horse

8. The Turin Horse“The Turin Horse” is an existential provocation to its audience, demanding that we consider the effect of man’s judgments against nature and ultimately against ourselves.

Colesmithey.com

7. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan —The funniest movie ever made.

Waking-life

6. Waking Life —Richard Linklater’s groundbreaking film is as close as you can come to experiencing and out-of-body cinematic experience.

Pianist

5. The Pianist —A pure filmic reflection of Polanski’s own wartime experiences as a (Jewish) child refugee during World War II, ‘The Pianist’ is a cinematic achievement that submerges the audience in the experience of its desperate protagonist. 

Blue.is.The.Warmest.Color

4. Blue Is The Warmest Colorencompasses national, familial, political, personal, sexual, intellectual, and artistic themes brings the narrative to an epic level of romantic drama. Still, it never over-stresses its implicit nature as an all-inclusive portrait of love. 

Colesmithey.com

3. Elle —Daring, ribald, and scathing on every level of social commentary, Paul Verhoeven’s sly gem is a big middle finger to Hollywood.

I-Daniel-Blake.colesmithey.com

2. I, Daniel Blake —Ken Loach’s social-realist picture discloses the ravaging effects of Britain’s austerity policies, with necessary urgency.

Amour.colesmithey

1. AmourMichael Haneke’s elegiac exploration of an elderly couple’s final days together transcends all definition of the romantic ideal. The film’s cumulative dramatic effect achieves a depth of emotional reward rarely attempted and far less frequently realized in cinema.

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