10. Frequency (Gregory Hoblit, USA)
Easily the most entertaining big-budget Hollywood film of the year. Hoblit’s time-travelling film is part “Back To The Future”, part “Quantum Leap”, and it all comes together with a great murder mystery plot.
9. High Fidelity (Stephen Frears, USA)
Stephen Frears’ honest if Americanised version of Nick Hornby’s novel is an enjoyable story of romance and music.
8. Best In Show (Christopher Guest, USA)
Christopher Guest and his usual band of character actors aim their collective improvised comedy routine at obsessive dog owners. The funniest film of 2000.
7. Remember the Titans (Boaz Yakin, USA)
“Remember The Titans” might be sentimental but its important message of integration and multicultural understanding isn’t preached or over done. Crucially, Yakin tells us a great story of an American high school football team and their rise to glory with all the blood, sweat and tears you’d expect from a sports movie. Coupled with that is the underlying but ever present racism that has been magnified by the school system’s recent abolishment of segregation. As two of the team’s best players – one white, one black – come to find friendship in each other, and a renewed strength of character on and off the field, the racial boundaries crack throughout the team and the local community.
6. Unbreakable (M. Night Shyamalan, USA)
“The Sixth Sense” was good, this is a masterpiece. You won’t see the ending coming. Ultimately the film completely strips a tired genre of its conventions and puts them back together again in a reenergised, reconstituted way. It’s best to know as little as possible about the film before seeing it.
5. Erin Brockovich (Steven Soderbergh, USA)
Steven Soderbergh brings Erin Brockovich’s real life tale of unemployed, single mum turned ace investigative lawyer to the big screen with the style we’ve come accustomed to. It’s a very uplifting film, injecting new life in the little guy versus big bully plotline.
4. American Psycho (Mary Harron, USA)
Christian Bale became an instant superstar as murderous sex fiend Patrick Bateman. Mary Harron’s film brilliantly investigates the obsessive nature of corporate upper-class America in the 1980s with suave sophistication and brutal violence.
3. Almost Famous (Cameron Crowe, USA)
Cameron Crowe’s semi-autobiography charting the young life of William Miller as he tries to forge a career in rock n roll journalism is a charming and touching tale of growing up and great music.
2. Memento (Christopher Nolan, USA)
One of the most original films ever made, Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece tells its intriguing murder mystery backwards.
1. Wonder Boys (Curtis Hanson, USA)
Curtis Hanson has remained the quiet genius amongst Hollywood directors, releasing films infrequently over a career spanning nearly 40 years. In the late 1980s he’s remembered for the Hitchcockian “The Bedroom Window” and pot boiling thriller “Bad Influence” by those lucky enough to see them. More people caught “The Hand That Rocks The Cradle” and “The River Wild in the early 1990s. But he finally received the recognition his directing prowess deserved when he released the massive critical hit “L.A. Confidential”. This was followed three years later with “Wonder Boys” which, for me, is his greatest achievement. Michael Douglas has rarely been better in the role of disgruntled writer Grady Tripp who has to deal with the various social problems of his friends and associates while trying to come to terms with his own neurosis. The film features a great script by Steve Kloves who brings Michael Chabon’s characters to vivid life. Robert Downey Jr.’s small but perfect performance is worth the price of admission alone.