Whew. Too busy lately. My best of decade list won't be done until 2020 at this rate!
Coming into the second half now, and like Loren, I find myself looking at a lot of great movies, even if they're way down here. I mentioned in the comments on the last ten that it was the hardest ten to do, since there are so many great movies that shoud never be associated with the term "bottom half."
21) Inglorious Basterds
Tarantino is just so. . .Tarantio-esque. Nobody has more distinctive dialogue, delivers better soundtracks. The criticisms are probably all true: He does take other film's ideas. He is a movie store geek that got lucky. He also makes great movies, so that's okay by me.
22) Children of Men
Is it Sci-fi? Is it a satire? Is it an action flick? It's all three! A mix that made me think of Kubrick while I watched. Always a fan of long takes (it just seems to give a film a grittier, more realistic feel), I was delighted to see them used even during action sequences.
2005 Palme d'Or winner. They sell their kid. Which is a bad day for everyone. . .maybe. The absence of a soundtrack results in a novel effect, giving the film a verisimillitude it might have otherwise lacked.
Loren and I both buck critical consensus by including this in the list. If Solondz doesn't manage to offend you here, you weren't paying close enough attention, as he gives his take on the abortion debate: We're all hypocrites.
25) The Departed
Finally Scorcese gets his Oscar. Not that he hadn't deserved it most of the previous goes (Raging Bull lost? Really?).
26) Synecdoche, New York
Kaufman's movies are always so distinctive, and always so profound. I wasn't as blow away as Ebert in his best of decade list, but I was impressed.
27) The Wackness
Hey, I was a dope peddler in the 90s. I'm allowed to indulge this bit of nostalgia.
28) Mulholland Dr.
Does anybody deliver better plot twists than David Lynch? In a lot of ways this is the archetypal Lynch movie, and if you watched everything else he'd made before this it would almost become predictable.
A stronger finish, and this would have made the top 20. Prior to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, neither Gondry nor Kaufman seem to have known how to wrap their stories.
Wow. What an intricate weave of story arcs.