14 Best 'Must-See' Films Since The Year 2000
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14 Best 'Must-See' Films Since The Year 2000

These movies would be great additions to your film library!

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14 Best 'Must-See' Films Since The Year 2000
Wikipedia Commons

I'm an absolute cinephile; I enjoy a great movie in order to take the edge off. I've compiled a list of the 14 best movies I have ever seen (in no particular order) that I believe everyone should see.

1. "Children of Men" (2006)

Directed by: Alfonso Cuarón

Written by: Alfonso Cuaroón

Starring: Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, Clare-Hope Ashitey, Michael Caine, Chiwetel Ejiofor

This is Alfonso Cuarón’s adaptation of the P.D. James’ novel of the same name. Theo Faron, a former activist, lives in Great Britain in the year 2027 in a world where no humans have been born for 18 years. The film explores themes of faith and hope. The cultural references add to these themes in very creative and subtle ways. "Children of Men" is one of the many underappreciated films in recent memory.

2. "The Dark Knight" (2008)

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

Written by: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan

Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart

Christopher Nolan’s adaptation of the DC Comics caped crusader is honestly the best superhero franchise of all-time. In the second installment, the film explores themes of civil liberties and terror. Even deeper, the film explores good and evil as well as the gray. "The Dark Knight" is probably the best installment of the Nolan Batman trilogy.

3. "Batman Begins" (2005)

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

Written by: Christopher Nolan, David S. Goyer

Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Gary Oldman

With "Batman Begins", Christopher Nolan reinvented the superhero film genre. Nolan explores fear and the role it plays in shaping us as humans. The Nolan Batman trilogy is a better treatment of the classic DC hero than the current DC Expanded Universe. "Batman Begins" is a must-see for any cinephile.

4. "Pan's Labyrinth" (2006)

Directed by: Guillermo del Toro

Written by: Guillermo del Toro

Starring: Sergi López, Maribel Verdú, Ivana Baquero, Doug Jones, Ariadna Gil

Guillermo del Toro’s dark fantasy film is about a young girl, Ofelia, living in post-Civil War Spain in which the dictator, Franco, has established his fascist regime. Del Toro used his various notes and doodles in his notebooks to produce the film. There are also critiques of Catholicism, in which del Toro was raised. "Pan’s Labyrinth" can be an absurd film at times, but it is certainly a must-see.

5. "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" (2004)

Directed by: Michel Gondry

Written by: Charlie Kaufman

Starring: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Mark Ruffalo, Elijah Wood

This is, by far, one of Jim Carrey’s best performances other than "The Truman Show". The film explores the psychological aspects of love and regret in relationships. A must-see tear-jerker film; it's guaranteed you will definitely need the tissues.

6. "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" (2004)

Directed by: Alfonso Cuarón

Written by: Steve Kloves, JK Rowling

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Timothy Spall, David Thewlis, Gary Oldman, Michael Gambon

"Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" is probably the best installment of the "Harry Potter" film franchise. Alfonso Cuarón natured the film franchise from its light fantasy beginnings. The tone of the third installment was darker than the previous two. This change mirrored the tone of the story development in the books.

7. "Inglorious Basterds" (2009)

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

Written by: Quentin Tarantino

Starring: Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Michael Fassbender, Diane Kruger, B.J. Novak

"Inglorious Basterds" is, to borrow a word from the film, Tarantino's "masterpiece". This movie is a culmination of Quentin Tarantino's long filmmaking career. The use of Tarantino's classic "ultra-violence" juxtaposes the audience's love of violence in film with the Nazi's love of violence. If you watch Tarantino, this is his one film you don't want to miss.

8. "Interstellar" (2014)

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

Written by: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Bill Irwin, Ellen Burstyn

"Interstellar" is another Christopher Nolan film. Taking inspiration from Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey", Nolan creates a spectacular visual masterpiece. The film explores, like its influence "2001", what it means to be human. It also explores stranger concepts, like time and the science of black holes and wormholes.

9. "The Royal Tenenbaums" (2001)

Directed by: Wes Anderson

Written by: Wes Anderson, Owen Wilson

Starring: Danny Glover, Gene Hackman, Anjelica Huston, Bill Murray, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Stiller, Luke Wilson, Owen Wilson

Wes Anderson can be a divisive filmmaker. His style is unique to him. "The Royal Tenenbaums" is a perfect example of Anderson's work. The comedy about a dysfunctional family is full of bright colors and comedic framing. It is a must-see movie with a full all-star cast.

10. "No Country for Old Men" (2007)

Directed by: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

Written by: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin

The Coen Brothers are one of the best filmmaking duos in Hollywood. Their film adapted from the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name, and it highlights some of their best work. The film follows the story of a farmer and a sheriff who get involved in a case concerning lost drug money and a hired assassin. The themes of self-determination and destiny are explored, bringing together an almost perfect piece of art.

11. "Arrival" (2016)

Directed by: Denis Villeneuve

Written by: Eric Heisserer

Starring: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whittaker, Michael Stuhlberg, Tzi Ma

"Arrival" was a breakout film of 2016. Based on a short story by Ted Chiang, the film tells the story about a linguistic professor employed by the U.S. military to decipher the language of aliens that have mysteriously landed on Earth. The film explores how humans view time, also exploring the "Sapir-Whorf hypothesis".

12. "The Prestige" (2006)

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

Written by: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Scarlett Johansson, Michael Caine, Rebecca Hall

This film is based on a novel of the same name. Christopher Nolan creates a masterpiece. The film structure is superb, and it is based on the three elements of a magic trick. That is perfect as the film revolves around the careers of two rival magicians. Watch closely, or you may miss the important parts. After watching the film, you will want to watch it over and over again.

13. "The Master" (2012)

Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson

Written by: Paul Thomas Anderson

Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams

Paul Thomas Anderson's film about a WWII veteran that joins a spiritual cult-like organization. The film has overtones of the founding of the Church of Scientology. Also, the themes of masculinity are explored, and we see how PTSD affects soldiers after they come home from war.

14. "The Revenant" (2015)

Directed by: Alejandro G. Iñárritu

Written by: Mark L. Smith, Alejandro G. Iñárritu

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter

Finally, this film is where DiCaprio won that overdue Academy award. And that award was well deserved for this film; the role he played is probably his best. The film itself, which won Best Picture, is a masterpiece. Themes of humanity and vengeance are explored in this movie based on real life events.


Runner-ups: "The Wolf of Wall Street", "Hot Fuzz", "Memento", "Mad Max: Fury Road"

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