R2D2's Ultimate Top 10 Countdown Of The 2000s #9 - Decade Specials.

[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, Musicals, and Action/Thrillers. Now we're moving on.]

Note: Today was originally going to be big Oscar-related films, and I've been trying to catch up with those I hadn't seen yet (for instance, in the last couple days, I watched both Michael Clayton and The Wrestler (reviews forthcoming)). But I still have one more I need to watch (Milk), which I'll be doing later today, but I don't want to delay the list, so I'm gonna go ahead and post the list I was going to do tomorrow, and then do my Oscar list tomorrow. So let's get to it.

Top 10 Decade Specials of the 2000s

What does this mean, exactly? Well, if the 2000s were anything, they were known for certain types of films. It's been known as the decade of the superhero, as well as the decade of remakes (and, occasionally, remakes (and/or reboots) of superhero films). So this is the list that takes the best of the remakes and the superhero fare of the past decade and puts them all together in one list. So let's go for it.

10. Disturbia (2007)

A modern remake of Hitchcock's Rear Window. It has a pretty good cast list, led up by Shia LaBeouf, Carrie-Anne Moss, and David Morse. Instead of the broken leg, we have a a kid under house arrest (with one of those little ankle bracelet things). It's a fun little thriller where, at times, you're really not sure if Morse is a bad guy or not (I mean, you know he is, but still. It's similar to this year's A Perfect Getaway... the ending is obvious, but it still makes you second guess yourself). It also has some nice eye candy in the form of Sarah Roemer who, unfortunately, hasn't really done anything else major.

9. The Incredible Hulk (2008)

Some might disagree with me here, but I really enjoyed this movie. It was also infinitely better than the other Hulk attempt a few years prior, which was a total snooze-fest. Great cast with Edward Norton, Tim Roth, Liv Tyler, William Hurt, and Tim Blake Nelson. There's even a fun cameo by Lou Ferrigno (and Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark at the very end). Will Edward Norton be along for The Avengers? Let's hope so. But either way, this film had some good action, humor, and special effects.

8. Sky High (2005)

Call it a guilty pleasure if you must, but this was an original take on the superhero genre. It's also light and fun for the whole family, if need be, so you don't have to worry about the darkness of a lot of the more recent superhero films. It's like Harry Potter with superheroes instead of wizards, and it's full of fun appearances, such as Bruce Campbell, Lynda Carter, Dave Foley, and Cloris Leachman, along with its more main cast of Michael Angarano, Kurt Russell, Kelly Preston, Danielle Panabaker, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. For those who don't know, think of it like a live-action Incredibles, but without superheroes being banned/in-the-closet. Michael Angarano's parents are super famous, but he has no powers to speak of, and ends up going to Sky High (superhero school), only to end up in sidekick classes. He makes friends, enemies, and even a potential love interest... who might be more than she seems. A great film I recommend if you've never seen it.

7. Watchmen (2009)

Now this would be the complete opposite of the previous film. It's about as dark as they come. I was a fan of the original comic (except the squid-tastic ending, which I was incredibly happy they changed for the movie). Jackie Earle Haley was brilliant as Rorschach, and I'd even say deserving of an Oscar for his role, though that ain't gonna happen. Regardless of what you thought of the movie, his was one of the best performances of the year... and you rarely even saw his face.

6. Ocean's 11 (2001)

An all-star cast in this remake of the 1960 film of the same name, this is a great heist film... most would say (and I'd agree) one of the best. The cast totally works off each other well, and you can tell they're having fun. Not much else to say about the film. I love heist films, and I love this one.

5. Spider-Man 2 (2004)

This is the best of the Spider-Man flicks, and most would agree. Doc Ock is a great villain, but it also leads into the eventual transformation of Harry into the Green Goblin 2 (in the less-than approved third film). This has a lot of good action and great special effects. I'm still not sure how I feel about (spoiler alert if, for whatever reason, you haven't seen it yet) Doc Ock turning good at the end of the movie and sacrificing himself. It kinda took away a "Sinister 6" potential for future films (yet they let Sandman live in number 3. Go figure). Regardless, this is still in the top tier of superhero films.

4. 3:10 to Yuma (2007)

I'm no fan of westerns by any means, nor do I go out of my way to see Russell Crowe, but I certainly loved this movie. (And no, Fletch, it's not simply because of Ben Foster... though that helps.) It has good character building, as well as a good anti-hero in Crowe's Ben Wade (well, anti-hero by the end of the movie). And speaking of the end... while a lot of people didn't like it, I loved it. I thought it was moving and it worked. An all-around great film.

3. Dawn of the Dead (2004)

In this remake of the Romero classic, the cast is larger and the zombies are faster. Sure, there are problems (with such a large cast, most of which don't come in until halfway through, there isn't a hell of a lot of character development). But when you have characters like Andy who you can't help but feel for, even though you see him up-close only once in the movie... or a guy like Steve, who makes you (love to) hate him almost right after you meet him. Or the character who has the best evolution throughout the movie, Michael Kelly's CJ, who goes from a grade-A ass to a likable hero over the course of the movie. From the brilliant opening to the heartbreaking (and then ironic) ending, it's fun all around. The movie is bloody, suspenseful, and action-packed. And what other movie can get away with shooting a baby in the face?

2. Iron Man (2008)

One of the biggest surprises of its year, Iron Man breathed life into a genre that was slowly dying. Mostly, it was thanks of Robert Downey Jr.'s quick-witted performance. The movie did fall prey to "origin story"-itis, where it takes a while to get to the hero action, and then the villain is more-or-less an alternate/evil version of the hero. But it all worked, and it worked well.

1. The Dark Knight (2008)

If you didn't know this would be at the top of the list, you've probably lived under a rock for the last couple years. Heralded as the best superhero movie ever made, The Dark Knight gave us Heath Ledger's final (brilliant) performance as The Joker. There's really nothing to say about this film that hasn't been already said by everybody and their mother, so I guess I'll just leave it at that.

End Note: I realize that I didn't include X-Men, the film that began the superhero craze, or its sequel, which is also placed pretty high on the superhero tier. But just to calm your nerves, X2 would probably fall at #11 on my overall list, if for anything, its fantastic opening sequence.


  1. Methinks you've gone sline-and-dice crazy - first a list of action movies that excludes superhero films, made up by a list of superhero films combined with remakes? There's no context! With that in mind, I'm hereby requesting a Top 10 list of animated films with female leads combined with movies that feature horses (in any capacity) and films that use the word "apoplectic." It should be an intoxicating list.

    Disturbia isn't even a remake in the classic sense. I know what you're saying, but you wouldn't include Avatar as being a remake of Dances with Wolves or Pocahontas, would you?

    Nevertheless, this is a nice list of 9 (haven't seen Sky High) mostly unrelated movies.


  2. I'm pretty sure Disturbia was an unofficial remake of Rear Window, and in more ways than just the broad "white guy saves natives" plot.

    But like I said, this isn't really a genre list, but a list of what was apparently popular with the production companies of Hollywood over the last decade. Why not look at those specifically?


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