R2D2's Ultimate Top 10 Countdown Of The 2000s #2 - Dramas.

[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. Now we're moving on.]

Top 10 Dramas of the 2000s

We start with comedy and go straight to its opposite, the drama. I'm not typically a big fan of the drama. For me, there has to be something a little extra to go with it. Whether it's a bit of comedy or a pinch of the fantastical, dramas need a little extra besides, well, drama to keep me invested. Otherwise, they're typically too depressing. For this reason, this category was tough to come up with. But I believe my choices, while mostly compiled of cross-genre films, are moreso dramas than their co-genre, which is why I placed them here. But then, once I got 10, it was tough putting them in a Top 10 order... but I somehow did. This being said, let's get to it.

10. Adventureland (2009)

This was one of my favorites of this year. It was advertised as a comedy; it was everything but. It did have some funny moments, but this is no ha-ha comedy. It's also one of those "crazy" movies that actually proves Kristen Stewart can act. And having Ryan Reynolds in it doesn't hurt, though he's not playing his usual shtick. If you're not going in thinking it's a comedy, you should go out loving it, much like I did.

9. Catch Me If You Can (2002)

Leo DiCaprio isn't one of those actors I go out of my way to see. He's good, for sure, and I'm pretty excited for his upcoming Shutter Island. But in the middle of his rise to stardom, he starred in this flick alongside Tom Hanks and Christopher Walken. On the surface, it's essentially a drawn-out heist/chase flick. But at its core, it's a character drama, a drama between the relationships between a boy and his father, as well as a boy and the FBI agent chasing him. But that heist/chase aspect is what draws me in, and the reason it made this list.

8. Driving Lessons (2006)

The adults of the Harry Potter films aren't the only ones that can act. While Dan Radcliffe has shown his chops on stage and in a few other things, I've always said that two of the better younger actors were Rupert Grint (Ron) and Matt Lewis (Neville). While Matt hasn't really done anything outside the Potter flicks, Rupert has, and Driving Lessons is the best of what I've seen (I've yet to see Cherrybomb or Wild Target). Tonally, the film is similar to Adventureland, but with a slight bit more comedy. However, like Catch Me If You Can, it's a character drama more than anything... a film that focuses on the relationships between a boy and his mother, a boy and the opposite sex, and a boy and the crazy old retired actress he has to take care of. Funnily enough, Grint was cast in this movie (opposite Potter mom Julie Walters) because the director felt he wasn't given enough in the Potter films for what he knew Grint could do. And I have to agree. Grint is great in the film, and thus the film itself is great.

7. Finding Neverland (2004)

What a cast! Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet, Julie Christie, Dustin Hoffman, Radha Mitchell, Freddie Highmore... telling the story of J.M. Barrie and how he came up with the idea of Peter Pan. This is a truly wonderful and magical film. On the surface, it's a fantastical film about imagination... a film with great visuals and wonderful acting. But at its core, it's about the dramas of a childish man with marital issues and his innocent friendship with a dying woman and her children. Great stuff.

6. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Speaking of Kate Winslet, she has another on my list. Some might say this is Jim Carrey's best film (that award still goes to The Truman Show for me). This film was hard to place. I knew it was going to go on one of my lists, but it could honestly fit in numerous places. It could go under sci-fi/fantasy, due to its "in the head/erasing memories" nature. It could go under comedy, as it does have moments of a dark comedy. But I think at its core, it's a total drama. A couple want to forget about each other because being with one another is too hard. A young woman is in love with her boss, who is married... and other relationship dramas. It's all over the place in this film. But the character depth, even for the secondary characters, really helps this film shine.

5. Black Snake Moan (2006)

There's nothing fantastical about this movie... and you'd be hard-pressed to label it a comedy. So what draws me in with this one? I love the atmosphere. The deep south bluesy feel that emanates from every pore of this film keeps it going for me. And Christina Ricci mostly naked throughout... but I digress. It's a highly sexualized film, but there's a lot of metaphor thrown about it. There's a ton of great acting in it, too, including Sam Jackson and Justin Timberlake (believe it or not). It's not a movie you wanna watch with your momma, but I do recommend it if you love deep south culture or blues music (especially if you like blues music).

4. The Last Samurai (2003)

I'm usually not one for period dramas, but I have a soft spot for Japanese culture. I loved this film from the day I saw it in theater. Love or hate Tom Cruise, this is one of his finer films (and I'll have my other favorite on another list later). Many were skeptic about Tom Cruise being "the last samurai," but most people took it out of context of the film. Yes, it's basically your Dances With Wolves story, but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable (looking at you, Avatar haters).

3. The Prestige (2006)

Another film that could have gone into a couple different categories. It could have fit under the Sci-Fi/Fantasy list, as it does have Sci-Fi aspects (particularly the sub-genre of steampunk). I could have also put it under my action/thriller section, as it has many mystery/thriller aspects. But I placed it under drama, as at its core, it's the story of a bitter rivalry and what either of these two men would do to outdo the other (and/or gain revenge). It's the study of man vs. man and the degradation of man in the process. And that's totally dramatic.

2. In Bruges (2008)

I went back and forth on this one. Drama... dark comedy... drama... dark comedy. I ultimately chose drama, because I always found this film much more dramatic than funny. Sure, it had funny moments ("Ah! A bottle!"), but the movie was way too serious to label it fully under comedy. It's pretty much the study of the lives of hit men and how they deal with life. This is probably Colin Farrell's best film, as well. It also stars three Harry Potter alums, all of which were ironically introduced in the same film. And, strangely, it's the second film in my Top 10 lists so far that stars a dwarf actor. Huh.

1. Bang Bang You're Dead (2002)

This was practically the first movie I put on my drama list, and it was automatically my #1, no matter what. This is what I feel to be one of the best and/or most important films ever made, and a film hardly anybody knows about. It's also actor Ben Foster's finest/strongest performance to date. There are no magic tricks, no fantastical trips into the imagination... there's hardly even comedy. This is straight-up drama if there ever was one. It tells the story of Trevor, a troubled boy who threatened to blow up the football team. He comes back to school the following year to even worse situations and a Zero Tolerance policy. Nobody trusts him except for his theater teacher, played by Tom Cavanagh, who gives him the lead role in a (real) play titled Bang Bang You're Dead, a play about a school shooter. Of course, this brings up a ton of controversy throughout the community. The movie is brilliant and powerful. It delves into the mind of a teenager and shows us what really brings out troubled kids... and I'll give you a hint: it's not the movies or the video games. I highly recommend this movie to anybody... really... go try to find a copy. (And don't tell me to go see "Elephant," or I'll punch you in the face.)


  1. Good call on "In Bruges". When I visited Bruges, it was July - bright, sunny, and a place you'd absolutely want to spend some time. I picked up the movie, expecting that same feeling, but the unfamiliar winter setting was bleak, just like the story. I loved the movie, and found it to have a hell of an impact, but I couldn't shake the sad off of me.

    p.s. Bruges is the best place in the world. No doubt.

  2. Interesting list, for sure. In this case, I've not seen four of 'em (8, 5, 4, and 1), and of the ones I've seen, I'm not sure if I'd classify many of them as dramas, but it's your list and your prerogative. ESOTSM so low?

    And yes, I will see Bang Bang one day...

  3. Wow... you'd not seen The Last Samurai? The other three, OK, I'll give you that they'd be out of your radar ('Moan' pushing the limits, though). But not Samurai? Huh.

    As for whether or not they're dramas... hey, I went to imdb and made sure they at least had 'drama' in their genre listing in at least the first or second slot. But yeah, the only ones that are undeniably, no-way-around-it dramas are 10, 7, 5, 4, 1. The others balance a line with at least one co-genre. But I explained in my list why I chose them as dramas, so... yeah.

  4. Oh, and I *so* knew you'd complain about ESOTSM being low on the list. But hey, at least it *made* the list, right?

  5. Do I really *need* to see The Last Samurai? It looks just like Dances with Wolves (and Avatar) and any other movie where some random white guy comes in and saves the day.

    Black Snake Moan always looked laughably bad to me.

    And so there - I only commented about Eternal Sunshine because I knew that you'd know that I would comment. :P

  6. Keep posting stuff like this i really like it


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