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Best Movies of 2000

By Jeremiah Kipp

1. Waking the Dead. Political thriller? Romantic journey? Harrowing ghost story? Whatever key plot thread you opt to follow, Keith Gordon's richly layered, deeply haunting fable of lost love and rediscovered idealism confirms his status as one of the finest filmmakers working today. The poignant relationship between Billy Crudup and Jennifer Connelly is as believable, messy, adorable and raw as any on-screen coupling ever.

2. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Simply breathtaking. Whether skimming across rivers or balancing on treetops swaying in the wind, Ang Lee's romantic adventure is poetry in motion.

3. Jesus' Son. Why don't you stuff Requiem for a Dream in your pipe and smoke it? This was the definitive drug film of 2000. Billy Crudup, who had a terrific year, finds the perfect note of pathos and humor as a degenerate junkie. Watch his subtle shaving scene with drug icon Dennis Hopper, who has the memorable line "Talk into my bullet hole and tell me I'm fine."

4. Not One Less. Based on a true story, this inspiring crowd pleaser about a 13 year old schoolteacher in a remote Chinese village deserves to be seen in classrooms everywhere.

5. Spring Forward. Why aren't more movies this emotionally honest? Think of the rich, meaningful conversations you've had with friends, and you're on the right track.

6. Chicken Run. Cute and charming. Bring the kids, gov'nor. It's about time Nick (Wallace and Gromit) Park made a feature film.

7. Time Regained. Who had the audacity to film Marcel Proust's Remembrances of Things Past? Raul Ruiz, that's who!

8. The Idiots. What is this doing on my top 10 list? Either the worst garbage released this year or a five-star masterpiece which pushes the boundaries of cinema, you won't soon forget Lars von Trier's The Idiots.

9. State and Main. It's about purity. Frank Capra and Preston Sturges could have done no better. Interesting role reversal: Alec Baldwin is the pedophile, Philip Seymour Hoffman is the romantic lead. Who'd a thunk it?

10. The Original Kings of Comedy. Spike Lee directs this angry and painfully funny concert film with four of the most explosive stand-up comedians on the scene working their mojo. Watch out for Bernie Mac: he says the things you're afraid to say.

Honorable Mentions: (in order) Shadow of the Vampire; Pitch Black; Almost Famous; High Fidelity; Traffic.

Worst Film of the Year: Dungeons & Dragons

Best Badass Mofo: Vin Diesel in Pitch Black

Worst Badass Mofo: Bruce Willis in The Whole Nine Yards

Most Overrated: Requiem for a Dream, easily

Most Underrated: O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Wish I'd Seen: Croupier; Yi-Yi; Wonder Boys; Billy Elliot; Wonderland.

Article published 02.08.2001.

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