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Top Three: 1941

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Say you’re putting 3 movies from each year in a time capsule. What ones would you want people to see? Forget critical acclaim. Forget the critics in general, what are the three best movies from that year? Today, the list is all classic in each genre: Horror, comedy, and suspense.

Today, the predecessors of Hugh Grant and Jennifer Aniston, a priceless item that doesn’t really have any thing to do with the movie, and possibly the greatest American film of all time.

3. The Maltese Falcon

I’ve just watched this one again, and there is still no doubt Bogart was the biggest star in Hollywood during this era. Not to mention this titular falcon is one of the greatest MacGuffins in cinematic history. A classic noir. And still very nerve-wrecking even in today’s world.

2. The Lady Eve

The plot is something out of a modern rom-com. The fact that it was made in the early 40’s is unbelievable. Who would have thought Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck would eventually be replaced by Hugh Grant and Jennifer Aniston as the go-to people in the genre?

1. Citizen Kane

What can I say? It’s arguably the best movie ever made, tops the AFI Top 100 list of American Films, and is the standout film of Orson Welles career. If you are a fan of film, there is no excuse to not have seen Citizen Kane. From the shots, the brand new idea of changing the perspective of time, to the classic Macguffin, “Rosebud”. It shaped so many modern films and filmmakers it has become this legendary monster of a film.

Honorable Mentions:

Sullivan’s Travels

How Green Was My Valley

Sargent York

Dumbo

Suspicion

The 49th Parallel

Top Three: 2002

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3. Catch Me if You Can

I view it as a upbeat Shawshank Redemption. Or you could liken it to a thinking man’s Ocean Eleven. Or you could simply refer to it as Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio doing what they do best; and going head to head while they’re at it. Oh, you want another one? Tom Hanks as a Mad Men extra.

2. Gangs of New York

It’s violent, it’s grungy, it’s Scorsese. Obviously, ’02 was a good year for Leo, as this is his second appearance in this list. However, the star of GoNY is Daniel Day-Lewis. Quite frankly, he is Bill the Butcher and is able to pull off the handlebar mustache and top hat like nobody else. In my mind, it was the best performance of the year, and well worth watching.

1. Adaptation

Being John Malkovich made the list for 1999, and writer/director combo Charlie Kaufman and Spike Jonze do it again in 2002. It’s different and you have to pay attention, but there isn’t a movie like this in the world (at least not that I’ve seen). Even Nicolas Cage is bearable in it! Plus his hair adds him to the list of horrible hair in Spike Jonze movies alongside Cameron Diaz in BJM.

Honorable Mentions

LOTR: The Two Towers

Super Troopers

Spiderman

The Bourne Identity

The Pianist

Insomnia

Road to Peridition

Top Three: 2001

3. The Royal Tenenbaums

There may be plenty of other great films that could have been put third on this list, but I’m going to be selfish. The Royal Tenenbaums is one of my all-time favorite movies, and I will take any excuse to have Wes Anderson mentioned. Gene Hackman and Anjelica Huston are absolutely amazing, Ben Stiller Gives an terrific deadpan role, and has some of the best scenes ever put to music (in my opinion)

2. Lord of the Rings

Peter Jackson was up for a challenge. LOTR is already a big time franchise, with fans all over the globe dying to see if he could live up to the classic J.R.R. Tolkien books. Well, Jackson, along with Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom, Sean Bean, Christopher Lee, and countless others did the impossible, and met the expectations. It’s an epic in every sense of the word and still stands today, over a decade later.

1. Amélie

Oh Amélie, how I love your distinct style, amazing visuals, and tremendous story. Yes, again, I might be taking liberties, but even if you hate it, you can’t deny that Amélie is a great film. It was the movie that made me realize that subtitles aren’t scary, but can actually add to the atmosphere of the movie. Just trust me. Go see it already.

Honorable Mentions:

Memento

Ocean’s Eleven

Donnie Darko

Monster’s Inc.

Shrek

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Spirited Away

Top Three: 1999

Say you’re putting 3 movies from each year in a time capsule. What ones would you want people to see? Forget critical acclaim. Forget the critics in general, what are the three best, most unforgetable movies from that year?

Today, Cameron Diaz is unrecognizable with frizzy hair, Haley Joel Osment doing what he does best, and Lawrence Fishbourne kicking some butt.

3. Being John Malkovich

How this movie got made is beyond me. It’s bizarre, clever, and quite honestly, a breath of fresh air. It doesn’t quite match the action and suspense of the other two on this list, but it’s too god not to be included in the years best. Once you see it, you’ll never see Cameron Diaz the same way again.

2. The Sixth Sense

I ‘d known the famed twist ending of M. Night Shaymalan’s masterpiece long before I had even seen the actual movie. But watching it was worth it, even knowing the big secret. To see the hints, subtle 1st time, only makes it look obvious what he was doing the second. Genius work, by a controversial director.

1. The Matrix

1990’s saw a boom in special effects. No movie showed off the computer skills than the sci-fi action flick The Matrix. Keanu Reeves won’t be getting any oscar nods any time soon, but for it’s groundbreaking action sequences, this is the greatest movie of ’99. Even by todays standards, they are still jaw dropping.

Honorable Mentions:

Fight Club

American Beauty

The Green Mile

Eyes Wide Shut

Top Three: 1931

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Say you’re putting 3 movies from each year in a time capsule. What ones would you want people to see? Forget critical acclaim. Forget the critics in general, what are the three best movies from that year? Today, the list is all classic in each genre: Horror, comedy, and suspense.

3. Frankenstein

The monster movie itself really owes everything to this ’31 classic. Boris Karloff brought the giant green monster to life and we can’t forget him since then. Although most people haven’t seen the whole movie, or even have never seen any of it, everyone knows about Frankenstein.

2. City Lights

To be included in my top 5 Chaplin films, you have to be pretty good. And in City Lights, Charlie is at his heart-tuggin’ best. Falling for the blind girl who later leaves him after she can see has melodrama all over it. But Chaplin makes it work, by making it funny and touching. Classic tramp.

1. M

I’ve already professed my appreciation for this movie and am currently looking to buy the criterion DVD of it. Not only is it a breakthrough in many familiar aspects of movies today, but it is a really moving and powerful film. Don’t let the whole child murderer plot scare you away from watching this extraordinary classic.

Top Three: 2003

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Say you’re putting 3 movies from each year in a time capsule. What ones would you want people to see? Forget critical acclaim. Forget the critics in general, what are the three best movies from that year?

Today, our first foray into the list is 2003.

3. Finding Nemo

The love between a father and son is one of a kind, even if both the father and the son are fish. Pixar’s 2003 classic tells the journey of a clown fish, who, with the help of an entire ocean of creatures treks on to find his kidnapped son. It was funny (Forgetful Dory completely steals the show), adventurous, and heartfelt.

2. Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

The finale that LOTR fans had been waiting for. The ending to Peter Jackson’s epic trilogy was a sight to behold. It put a nice shiny bow on any unfinished plot and of course that pesky ring that we were dealing with over 8 hours (At least the extended version viewers were). But seriously, this is many LOTR fan’s favorite one, and every movie fan should see this trilogy at least once.

1. Oldboy

This Korean flick isn’t seen as much as the other two, but not for lack of quality. Oldboy is the ultimate revenge movie, as a man is kidnapped and imprisoned for 15 years than freed. Of course, there are plot twists, but even without them it is still worth watching for its all too realistic depiction of violence, no matter how disturbing.

Honorable Mentions:

Big Fish

Old School

Lost in Translation

Seabuscuit

21 Grams

Kill Bill Vol. 1

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl