And Then I Woke Up: The Ten Best Films Of The Noughties

Join us in our decade-based film retrospective, as we delve backwards all the way from 2009 to 1910. Most decade-based best movie lists grant you a whooping 50-100 entries, which makes perfect sense given all the years you have to take into consideration. But what if you were defining a decade in just ten films? Showcasing the very best of its cinematic offerings? Which movies would you recommend to somebody who might only watch ten movies from a given decade? First off, it’s the Noughties.

The Noughties, for anyone who is still confused by that term (although I doubt anybody is), is the years 2000 through 2009. And although there will always be a nostalgic clamoring for the golden days of cinema – a time when all ideas seemed fresh and groundbreaking, and sequels and franchises were a little less… everywhere – the Noughties have proven themselves a spectacular era of filmmaking, albeit a decade somewhat lacking in identity.

There has been innovation, of course, what with the rise of digital filmmaking, James Cameron’s Avatar, and Pixar’s string of acclaimed masterpieces. This decade, too, saw the rise of the superhero film, a subgenre which continues to dominate the box office with relentless force (and shows no sign of slowing down). And yet both independent and studio films have continued to find audiences in projects of all shapes and sizes. Here’s what we’ve come up with, although everybody’s list is sure to be completely different.

Continue reading on the next page…

Comments (38)

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  1. Matthewsays:

    Damn good list… only other film I might include somewhere is Pan’s Labyrinth.

  2. Franksays:

    What a cliche filled list. Booooring.

  3. szoresays:

    There will be blood was good, but it should have been the son killed in the end, not the preacher.

  4. ZODIAC! About time that film gets some more praise.

    1. missmichelesays:


  5. Ryansays:

    Great list childeren of men, zodiac, Lost in translation great movie. No country for old men overrated.

  6. Mohitsays:

    Zodiac was truly a brilliant movie. I thought of this movie again and again for almost 2 weeks. Truly a masterpiece.

  7. greg gsays:

    The Dark Knight is the best film on the list hands down. I love The Fellowship, but The Return of the King is the greatest LOTR film. Overall, this list fell off the boat and missed water.

    1. Eustace Cromartiesays:


    2. Akash Vijaysays:

      No no no no Return of the King was the weakest of the trilogy. The Two Towers was the best.

  8. Aero027says:

    As much as I want to like No Country for Old Men, and There Will be Blood…I honestly just don’t get either film. I admit they are great stories, turned into well crafted films but both films lost me at the end. Hell No country lost me halfway through, and I consider myself to be a rather astute film watcher. Perhaps someone on here can explain the meaning of the films, and how they lend themselves to their places on this list.

    1. missmichelesays:

      i agree with you on “no country for old men”. i didn’t get the ending at all.i feel stupid admitting it,lol. but “there will be blood” really spoke for itself. i didn’t have a hard time understanding that film at all. i found it to be very well written.

      1. DoctorXsays:

        The ending ruined it for me too and for many others. For that fact alone it shouldn’t be on this list when there were so many other good movies, If you are going to make an “exclusive” list then most every should enjoy it from beginning to end.

  9. manosteelesays:

    I’m glad you included the very underrated “Children of Men.”

  10. Scottysays:

    For once I thought to have found a website that says all I’m thinking. I totally agree with almost every list. But then there is that one misstake that ruins it all. To name Children of men in the list of best movies. What a drag that one was.

  11. sensays:

    Lost in Translation = Lost in Pretentiousness. The Matrix… how could you not include this movie in your list? It is an allegory of the era we live in. But, good call on Children of Men.

    1. Ted_kazynskisays:

      The matrix came out in 1999, and the sequels were really shitty.

  12. Ted_kazynskisays:

    Lord of the rings is boring and shitty…… And Batman talks like he constipated.

  13. Ari Squaredsays:

    Loved There Will Be Blood (completely uninfluenced as before seeing it absolutely no knowledge of its existence). Would have put Donnie Darko on too.

    1. missmichelesays:

      i love that movie myself and never had heard of it until i was flicking through channels one night for something to watch. after that,i watched it almost every time it was on till it stopped showing.(i am talking about “there will be blood” of course.) donnie darko is a good movie too.

  14. Great list.

    Too bad there’s no love for The Departed, Pan’s Labyrinth, and Inglourious Basterds.

  15. missmichelesays:

    ‘children of men” and “there will be blood” are def 2 of the most underated movies of all time. good to see them on the top of the list.daniel day lewis is an acting god. i wish hollywood would talk about him more. won’t happen though. he’s not public enough with his personal life.

  16. T.E.says:

    There is no way the Incredibles deserves to be on this list.

    1. Akash Vijaysays:

      I agree. I don’t know why people go crazy after incredibles.

  17. w h o k n o w ssays:

    I’m probably one out of a handful of ppl who think The Dark Knight & Lost In Translation are overrated.. they’re ok but not top 10 worthy… what about Traffic or Requiem For A Dream or The Departed… this list is irrelevant

    1. Akash Vijaysays:

      Sure you want to replace them with The Departed and Requiem for a Dream- 2 of the most overrated movies of the most 20-30 years, particularly the Departed which was just shit. A disgrace to Scorsese’s legacy.

  18. anton dubrovskysays:

    WOW ; aced it!! im impressed

  19. Eustace Cromartiesays:


  20. TrenchAcesays:

    Children of Men was unbelievable. The cinematography was Hitchcock-esque
    and the uncut getaway scene reminded me of the opening scene from Touch of Evil, or the movie Rope.

    However, There Will Be Blood is pure and complete, utter shit. It’s shows such an obvious anti-religious, anti-corporate typical Hollywood biased message and just pisses me off more than anything. The only silver lining in that very dark cloud is the acting of Daniel Day-Lewis, which is outstanding as always. But great acting in a shitty movie is still a shitty movie.

  21. Ian Smithsays:

    Good list, though the fact that both District 9, Pan’s Labyrinth and Moon were completely left out is a shame. As much as I love Children of Men (and it definitely deserves a place on this list), District 9 showed us thing we haven’t really seen before.

  22. Matt Kennedysays:

    WAY OFF! Children of Men? Lost in Translation? Bollocks!

    I love comic books and super hero films, but INCREDIBLES isn’t as good as WALL-E or UP or TOY STORY 3 or FINDING NEMO, or PERSEPOLIS (all animated films released between 2000-2009).

    The Coen Bros and PTA get way too much love. No Country for Old Men is a good movie, as is There Will be Blood, but the rewatchability of both films pales in comparison to GLADIATOR, or SIDEWAYS, or CASINO ROYALE or CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON (and the film that many feel is superior, HERO).

    City of God is excellent, but far less enjoyable than AMELIE or PAN’S LABYRINTH, and indicative of how few foreign films were even considered. To me, a list of the best films of the Noughties (or Oughties) is moot without including OLDBOY. And IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE (2000) is one of the greatest films of all time. Considering how Departed was not listed, it’s not as bad that INFERNAL AFFAIRS (the original HK film of which Departed was a remake) wasn’t included.

    DARK KNIGHT really was one of the best films of the decade–no argument there, but it would have been good to see DONNIE DARKO on that list, too. And while I’ll probably catch hell for saying so, Mel Gibson’s THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST is a timeless classic and a masterpiece, as was APOCALYPTO.

    1. DoctorXsays:

      Oh my…

  23. DoctorXsays:

    Shrek?? Way better than The Incredibles! Shrek was one of the first adult children films and spawned creators to rethink fairy tales into entertainment.

  24. DoctorXsays:

    Shrek?? Way better than The Incredibles! Shrek was one of the first adult children films and spawned creators to rethink fairy tales into entertainment.

  25. DoctorXsays:

    Shrek?? Way better than The Incredibles! Shrek was one of the first adult children films and spawned creators to rethink fairy tales into entertainment.

  26. TKFilmssays:

    “Lost in Translation”, are you kidding me? Yes, a cute little film, but hardly in the company of Ten Best in the 00’s. Two of the most beautifully acted, written, and directed films of that decade are “The Hours” and “Brokeback Mountain”. Oh, that’s right, films with a gay theme are not eligible in any of you decades’ best list. Others are, however, you may not be aware of the fact that your homophobia is showing through.

  27. BANEsays:

    Dark Knight should be higher, and where’s Pan’s Labyrinth? Like the list but in reality there is no top 10 if you’re a REAL fan of the CINEMA!

  28. Akash Vijaysays:

    Other the Incredibles which shouldn’t be here, Fantastic list. Love to see There Will Be Blood, No Country for Old Men, The Dark Knight and Children of Men here. LOTR IMO should be much much lower.

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