21st Century Films

Fenster writes:

The dog ate my homework and I did not post to the recent UR list of the best turd-free films of the 21st Century.  Here’s my list, and it makes no pretense to best though they are pretty much my favorites.  For the most part the list is culled from my 5-star ratings on Movie Lens, which I have usually found a better predictive tool for personal preference than Netflix or other engines.

We don’t make a fetish of it here at UR but let’s face it we are a pretty diverse crowd and it shows in the film lists.  While tastes differ there is of course an underying unity of sorts in the selections, as it should be.


UR: Unity in Diversity Award Winner

Interesting to note that Lonergan’s Margaret shows up on all five lists.  And mulitple sightings of Oslo, August 31st; Summer Hours, Before Sunset, and Black Book.  Several listed Enter the Void while I listed Touching the Void.  No one picked Fill the Void, Beyond the Void, Call of the Void, or Pop Meets the Void.

In no particular order, and not limited to 20, and with links to a Fenster UR post as appropriate:


Margaret (Lonergan, 2011)
Bone Tomahawk (Zahler, 2015)
Touching the Void (Macdonald, 2003)
Before Sunset/Midnight (double feature) (Linklater, 2004/2013)
A.I. (Spielberg, 2001)
A Late Quartet (Zilberman, 2012)
Children of Men (Cuarón, 2006)
Sin City (Miller, Rodriguez, Tarantino, 2005)
A Serious Man (Coen Brothers, 2009)
Clouds of Sils Maria (Assayas, 2014)
Anomalisa (Johnson and Kaufman, 2015)
Going Clear (Gibney, 2015)
A Prairie Home Companion (Altman, 2006)
Foxcatcher (Miller, 2014)
The Place Beyond the Pines (Cianfrance, 2012)
Stories We Tell (Polley, 2012)
The Big Short (McKay, 2015)
A Royal Affair (Arcel, 2012)
Oslo, August 31st (Trier, 2011)
Summer Hours (Assayas, 2008)
Notes on a Scandal (Eyre, 2006)
Superbad (Mottola, 2007)
Black Book (Verhoeven, 2006)
In the Mood for Love (Kar-Wei Wong, 2000)
House of Sand and Fog (Perelman, 2003)


About Fenster

Gainfully employed for thirty years, including as one of those high paid college administrators faculty complain about. Earned Ph.D. late in life and converted to the faculty side. Those damn administrators are ruining everything.
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4 Responses to 21st Century Films

  1. Judith Sears says:

    I don’t think anyone listed In Bruges – definitely a keeper. Better than “Taken,” imho. Also, Margin Call and A Most Violent Year.


    • Fenster says:

      Good catch. I thought of In Bruges and Margin Call and was almost going to put them in. I forgot all about A Most Violent Year and would certainly have added it had I thought of it. No one does Sidney Lumet New York movies any more and this is as good as it gets in that vein. The Taken movies are fine for adrenaline pumping but I had a hard time suspending disbelief all the way through.


  2. Judith Sears says:

    Just thought of another one: You Can Count On Me is from 2000. DEFINITELY on my all-time list.

    What I should have said that In Bruges is better than Tarantino, imo. That’s a better comparison. Taken is just a thrill ride, which is okay, it just is what it is.


  3. Fenster says:

    We have similar tastes. YCCOM would be in any next ten I would have picked. I think I will see that one again.


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