12.29.2009

R2D2's Ultimate Top 10 Countdown Of The 2000s #8 - Action/Thrillers.

[For the last 10 days of the decade, I'm doing a Top 10 list a day, all culminating into an ultimate post of Top 10 lists. We have previously seen Top 10 Comedies, Dramas, Animation, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Horror, Foreign, and Musicals. Now we're moving on.]


Top 10 Action/Thrillers of the 2000s

No, they aren't the same thing. But I decided to put them in the same category because they both involve action and both involve thrills/suspense. And there's always a ton of them each year. But are they all good? That's the question. Here's my Top 10 list of action films and thrillers of the past decade.

10. The Fast and the Furious (2001)

Talking about the original, of course (hence the definite articles in the title). It was the first and still the best. The latest of the films did come close, but it lacked the character development of the first. I remember when this film first came out, the theaters were packed, and when it came out on DVD, they had trouble keeping the shelves stocked. I'm not sure I remember another major film where they had trouble keeping the DVD in stock during its week of release. So I think that's a testament to why this film ended up on this list. It's good action with fun characters, and it's also the film that shot Vin Diesel (and Michelle Rodriguez) into stardom.


9. Crank (2006)

This was the action movie to end all action movies. Story? Pfft, who cares? Logic? Throw it out the window. Realism? Nope. It's a live action video game starring Jason Statham as a guy who has to keep his adrenaline pumping to avoid a fatal poison from stopping his heart. And he does everything from headbanging to Achy Breaky Heart to drugs to standing on top of a motorcycle... and on and on. It's an hour and a half of the craziest stuff ever. And it's tons of fun... if you shut your brain off.


8. Taken (2008)

Written (in part) by Luc Besson and directed by one of his new go-to guys, Pierre Morel, Taken shows us why you should never mess with daddy's little girl... especially if daddy used to torture and kill people for a living. Liam Neeson is a forced to be reckoned with. Of course, the film has its flaws, but it's still a lot of fun.


7. Kill Bill (2003-2004)

Fletch of Blog Cabins recently got on to me about putting a "series" in one spot, but I think he'll forgive me for this one, considering it was meant to be one film anyway. Quentin Tarantino's revenge opus gives homage to a ton of other revenge films, samurai films, spaghetti westerns... and who knows what else... all in one (two?) film(s). The two halves are really different in nature, however, and depending on your taste, you probably prefer one to the other. I think both have their ups and downs (and as much of an anime fan as I am, I have to say one of Vol. 1's downs is its anime sequence). But it's still a great (set of?) film(s).


6. Unleashed (2005)

I think this film is incredibly underrated. Another film written by Luc Besson, this film stars Jet Li, Morgan Freeman, and Bob Hoskins. I believe this is one of Jet Li's best American films, because it actually has him acting and showing emotion rather than just being a badass. Bob Hoskins plays the villain, a guy who takes in Danny (Li) as a boy and raises him like an attack dog. But after an accident, Danny escapes and ends up in the home of a blind piano tuner (Freeman) and his daughter, who try to help him be more human. It's a film that plays to Pavlovian psychology (almost literally with the 'dog' aspect). Along with the really good action, it has a lot of heart, and I don't understand why the film isn't as discussed as it should be.


5. Hostage (2005)

Bruce Willis playing a cop! Surprise! But what's even better than that? Ben Foster playing a villain (and he can do crazy real well). Kevin Pollack playing morally ambiguous. This is a great little thriller all around, and it's full of good acting. It's essentially a heist-gone-wrong film, wherein a bunch of kids attempt to steal a car from a rich guy's house, but things spin out of control when their quiet friend (Foster) shoots a cop and forces the other two brothers to take the family hostage. Willis plays a former hostage negotiator turned small-town cop after failing to save a family in the big city... and of course, he's forced to become the negotiator of this little situation. I love this movie, which is why it's in at #5.


4. Memento (2000)

Clearly in the thriller category over action, this movie is another Christopher Nolan masterpiece. Played in reverse, Memento tells us the story of a guy with short term memory loss who is out for revenge on the man who killed his wife. There's really not a lot to say about the movie... great concept, good twist, good acting... overall great film.


3. Training Day (2001)

Give it up to the acting in the movie, or its overall intensity, but this movie is crazy good. One of Denzel Washington's best performances, hands down. There's really not a hell of a whole lot to say about this movie other than that. It's intense, and Denzel is amazing in it. 'Nuff said.


2. Collateral (2004)

Along with The Last Samurai and Minority Report, this is one of my favorite Cruise films. In fact, of the three, it's probably my favorite. Cruise plays a hitman who hires a taxi driver (Jamie Foxx) to drive him around to his hits. But Foxx, the good guy he is, tries to stop Cruise when he realizes what's going on. And from there, it spirals into more than just another night on the town. Great acting, great cinematography, great script... I love this movie.


1. Inside Man (2006)

I'm a total fan of heist flicks, especially when done right. And this one was done very right. Clive Owen is the head of a band of thieves who take over a bank and mess with the heads of the police, including the detective on the case played by Denzel Washington. The first couple times I saw it, I didn't care for the Jodie Foster character, but she eventually grew on me. It's deeper than your average heist film, and it has a great ending. The movie is stylish, well written, brilliantly acted, and total fun. And it's one of my all-time favorite movies.

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