10. Inglourious Basterds (2009)I have no doubt that this one will eventually climb the list and be higher than ten but I'm always a little gunshy about placing recent movies on best of lists. Time will tell whether this is really Tarantino's masterpiece but it's pretty damn close.
9. Mean Girls (2004)It's not just how funny it is, it's how clever it is. When I first saw this Tina Fey-written satire about teenage hierarchies, I thought it was one of the best teen movies ever. Now, I think it's the best.
8. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)Great old-fashioned movie making about the Napoleonic wars. Weta's effects department, pitch-perfect acting, and Peter Weir's visual eye as a director, transports you to a different place and different time.
7. Casino Royale (2006)The Bond film I'd been waiting for for years. The action scenes are amazing and the pace is perfect (a little long in the third act). It was just great to see the little moments, like Bond checking into a hotel. And Daniel Craig is easily the best Bond since Connery.
6. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001, 2002, 2003)Peter Jackson got all the huge moments right--the Balrog, the battle of Pelennor Fields--but he also got the little moments right, like the feel of The Shire and the design of the leaf clasps for the costumes. And Howard Shore delivers an unbelievable score.
5. The Incredibles (2004)Everything that's great about James Bond films, superhero stories, mid-century design, and animation in general combined in Brad Bird's genius-level kids film. I'm not sure I will ever see an animated film I love more than this.
4. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)I know this was not original but it was original to me. The action scenes are the best of the decade, the two love stories are heartbreaking, and the direction by Ang Lee is his most assured work ever.
3. The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)A movie that says something entirely new about love. When I first saw it, my only reservation was Jim Carrey's performance as Joel, but now I think he's perfect. Kate Winslet astounds as Clementine.
2. Kill Bill (The Whole Bloody Affair) (2003,2004)It's like an incredible mix-tape filled with sound and image, some stuff that is new, some that is familiar, all of it awesome, and then at the very end, you realize that everything on the mixtape connects together and makes sense, that the sum is much greater than its parts.
1. Mulholland Drive (2001)A devastating romance, and one of the best depictions of dreams versus realities. And Naomi Watts gets my vote for performance of the decade.
runners up: The 40 Year Old Virgin, The Bourne Identity, Children of Men, Death Proof, Gosford Park, Michael Clayton, Pan's Labyrinth, Shaun of the Dead