Best Movie of 2001?

I haven’t been to many movies this year, and of the ones I have seen, I haven’t been too impressed. It wasn’t exactly the greatest year for film, IMO, but I’m sure there were quite a few movies that slipped under my radar. “The Man Who Wasn’t There” was interesting, but not great (for a Coen Brothers movie, anyway; I hold them to a higher standard than I would most other filmmakers); “Sexy Beast” had a great performance from Ben Kingsley, but was fairly run-of-the-mill, plotwise; “Mulholland Drive” was OK, but I admit it made absolutely no fucking sense. I think the best movie I’ve seen this year was “Ghost World”, and even that wasn’t good enough to make my all-time top 20. I’m looking forward to “The Royal Tennenbaums” movie (from the creators of “Rushmore”), but not much else. So what did I miss? If you had to choose, what would you pick as the best film of the year? And let’s see how many posts we can go before someone brings up “Harry Potter”, shall we?

I doubt that anyone would seriously argue that “Harry Potter” was the best movie, not unless they were potty already.

The best two I saw were “Memento” and “Moulin Rouge.” Since I didn’t see every movie this year, I won’t claim that they’re the best, but they were my best, and I’ll argue that they were one of the best.

Oh, I’d forgotten about “Memento”. Good choice. Yeah, that would definitely be up there. Didn’t see “Moulin Rouge”, but I’d like to.

“Amelie”, by far is quite enchanting, and worthy of a top ten list.

“Momento” as well.
“Monsters, Inc”, and “Shrek” deserve honorable mentions - but it’s a no-brainer for Holiday movie fair.

Beyond box office grosses, harry Potter should NOT be on any list.

“The Score” was damn good. Great character study.

“Sexy Beast” likewise good character study.

“The Others” was also memorable. Nicole Kidman turning in a decent performance.

I haven’t seen “Heist” yet.

Jet Black

Memento is the only flick that stands out in my memory. Was it really released in 2001?

The best film I’ve seen this year is The Godfather. But I believe I’m a little behind the times on that one.

Shallow Hal. No contest.

(But then again, I’m biased.)

Funny, but I was going to mention Ghost World even before I saw it in the OP. Only movie of the last year with characters who actually resembled real human beings.

Memento, technically, is a 2000 film, though it built its (absolutely deserved) reputation in 2001.

There are still a lot of promising movies yet to be released this year (Oceans 11, Shipping News, and Fellowship of the Ring, to name just three), but in general it’s been a pretty weak year. Of the really good movies I remember seeing so far in 2001, almost all have been independent.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Ghost World

Mulholland Drive (maybe not strictly independent, but it’s Lynch, so it counts)

The Road Home (the new flick from Zhang Yimou, starring Zhang Zi-Yi; if you didn’t see it, put it at the top of your list for video)

Moulin Rouge (though I understand why so many people hate it; and yes, strictly speaking, it’s independent)

The Princess and the Warrior (the new film from the guy who did Run Lola Run; a very different movie, but even more emotionally fulfilling in my opinion)

Southern Comfort (documentary about transsexuals living in the American South; one of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen)

However, three of the best movies I’ve seen this year were actually made last year, and I only got to see them as part of the Seattle International Film Festival. To wit:

Joint Security Area – A murder mystery set in the DMZ between South and North Korea. Occasionally confusing, the lead actress is bland, and there’s a big hiccup about two-thirds through where we suddenly get what’s basically a Korean History Newsreel. Otherwise, though, it’s both spectacularly entertaining and amazingly insightful.

Thomas In Love. From Belgium, a bizarrely constructed near-future look at an agoraphobe who uses the Internet (as the movie posits it will develop) to live his life. Totally original and thought-provoking, though the point-of-view device is so rigorously employed it might be off-putting for casual viewers.

And the absolute best movie I’ve seen in 2001:

Devils on the Doorstep. It’s China in WWII. The people of a small village live under the noses of their Japanese occupiers, trying to avoid being killed by pretending to be friendly, but yet trying to retain their own identities. When a mysterious stranger appears in the middle of the night and gives the villagers a Japanese prisoner of war to hide and guard, their deceptions become vastly more dangerous. It sounds grim, and the ending is very dark, but until that point it’s a phenomenal human comedy with a very dry sense of humor. It’s over two and a half hours long, but I’d sit through it again in a heartbeat. If I were ever to put together an all-time top-20 list, I’d have to seriously consider whether this deserved a slot.

(The big question for 2001, I think, is identifying the worst movie. The competition will be fierce.)

actually, 2001 was a pretty darn good year for movies.

Ghost World goes at the top of my list, and is the best comic book adaptation ever
Memento was very good.
The Man Who Wasn’t There was very good, and only slightly dissapointing in the context of being a Cohen brothers film.
Hell, even Bones and Ginger Snaps were a huge step up in the cheezy horror department from what we’ve seen in the past few years.

Memento was easily the best movie I saw this year, though I too think it was released last year. I’m too lazy to check.

No other movie I saw this year sticks in my mind as anything special. Mostly just a bunch of mediocre junk. Hopefully Fellowship of the Ring will redeem 2001 a bit.

I only go see good films, and I saw Memento last year.


I’ve been so lenient with everything in that film’s wake that I’m planning on reexamining Planet of the Apes.

Here’s another vote for Ghost World. It was clever, and the characters were dead on, in my opinion. Momento also deserves some serious recognition. It’s pretty much the * Sixth Sense* of 2001.

The Score is probably the best one so far.
still waiting to see Lord of the Rings and havent seen Memento yet.

Memento, by far. I think it might have been released in 2000 at Cannes or Sundance, but it should still be technically eligible for this year’s Oscars.

Ghost World, Moulin Rouge, and the first hour and a half of Training Day can battle it out for runner-up honours.

Is anyone looking forward to The Majestic?

Well, Rolling Stone picked Fellowship of the Ring as the movie of the year.

I haven’t seen it, but I bet I will too.

And now I have to add that one to the list. I also just realised that I forgot Waking Life, which was quite good.

  1. Ghost World
  2. Amelie
  3. Memento
  4. Ginger Snaps
  5. The Others [sub]Hell, I didn’t get to see Open Your Eyes until this year.[/sub]
  6. Waking Life
  7. Moulin Rouge
  8. Shreck
    I haven’t seen Hedwig and the Angry Inch yet, but it looks good.

If we’re going with “released in the U.S. in 2001,” I’d add In the Mood for Love to a number of the other films listed above (particularly The Man Who Wasn’t There, Mulholland Drive, Ghost World, Moulin Rouge and Memento.

I was pretty blissful the whole time I was watching ITMfL.

I think “Ghost World” was a great film…I think the writer/director Terry did a great job of developing some of R. Crumb’s alienation and sensibilities to form the outlook of the film. I also think that Thora Birch and Steve Buschemi gave two of the best performances of the year.
I also loved seeing “Waking Life.” It is one of those movies that really sticks with you and gives you a lot to think about. The animation was really awesome, too. Not a bad Saturday night.
Probably the best time I had at the movies was seeing “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.” First, it was a musical that actually rocked (and vastly better at portraying Glam rock than the crappy “Velvet Goldmine”) and it was witty at the same time. I would be interested in hearing from those that have seen both the play and the movie to tell me some of the differences.
Finally, “Apocalypse Now, Redux” was awesome. Both the ambition and execution of the movie were astounding. I have never seen such an epic film also have such a meditative quality. The added scenes really developed the idea of the duality of man and only made Robert Duvall’s performance that much more incredible. Ok, this the end, beautiful friend, for me.

As yet unmentioned movies I saw and loved in 2001:

Sean Penn’s The Pledge, Nicholson is just wonderful as is the rest of the splendid cast. Penn’s direction is assured. The cinematography is glorious and the story rivetting.

Lantana, swept the AFI awards beating Moulin Rouge for all the big awards. A very adult story of love and deception, cleverly told.

Before Night Falls which was only released in Australia this year (and only December 14 last year in the US). Not for everyone but a movie that I actually appreciated more each day after I had seen it. Faultless filmmaking.

The Gift I love spooky ghost stories. I haven’t seen The Others yet, so I can’t say if this one is better or not, but I know I sure liked it. Great cast, mysterious plot, lots of tension…

under the catogory of: “Techically released in 2000 but not in this part of the country because theaters here don’t do indie films” I’d add **House of Mirth; Urbania; **and Skeletons in the Closet.