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Best Films of the Past 20 Years

AnotherDawgAnotherDawg Posts: 6,761 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
edited February 2020 in Off Topic

If you're not a film lover then don't waste your time reading any further. If you are, this is meant to be a fun thread to help pass the time until we get to the 2020 football season, with all the promise it holds.

I thought I would list the Best Picture winners from the past 20 years, along with the top grossing films, my own favorites, honorable mentions, and comments.

The OP is really long, so I'll break it up into 5-year groupings. Then I'll try to stay out of the way and let other folks weigh in.

Feel free to criticize my picks, or list your own favorites, or post whatever comments you like.


Best Picture Winner: Parasite. Top grossing film: Avengers- Endgame. My favorite: 1917. Honorable mention: Ford vs. Ferrari, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Knives Out.

Comments: I thought Joaquin Phoenix was amazing in Joker but I didn't consider it a great film. I did not see Little Women but I've heard it was excellent.


Best Picture Winner: Green Book. Top grossing film: Avengers- Infinity War. My favorite: First Man. Honorable mention: Bohemian Rhapsody, A Star is Born, A Quiet Place.

Comments: One of the weakest fields in the history of Best Picture candidates, and First Man was not even nominated. Mind-boggling.


Best Picture Winner: The Shape of Water. Top grossing film: Star Wars- The Last Jedi. My favorite: Dunkirk. Honorable mention: Baby Driver, Molly's Game.

Comments: Arguably the worst best picture winner in history.


Best Picture Winner: Moonlight. Top grossing film: Captain America- Civil War. My favorite: Arrival. Honorable mention: Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, La La Land, Manchester by the Sea, Sully.

Comments: OK, maybe The Shape of Water wasn't the worst best picture winner in history.


Best Picture Winner: Spotlight. Top grossing film: Star Wars- The Force Awakens. My favorite: Spotlight. Honorable mention: The Big Short, Bridge of Spies, The Martian, Whiplash.

Comments: The Academy got it right!!! I don't know what it is about Spotlight, but I've probably watched it 10 times by now. Probably thanks to the compelling subject matter, and stellar performances from a half dozen great actors, most of whom are not terribly well-known to the average movie-goer.


Fascinating to note the top grossing films of the past five years. Expect more of the same.

I'll save 2010-2014, 2005-2009, and 2000-2004 for the next few days.



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    AnotherDawgAnotherDawg Posts: 6,761 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Yeah I think I agree. The Right Stuff is better than First Man. Totally different films though. And I just couldn't find a better movie in 2018.

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    SquillDawgSquillDawg Posts: 1,438 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I should have clarified the reason I linked them was they were both "space race" movies.

    Speaking of which, I was reading about Hidden Figures and was surprised to learn the part at the end when John Glenn says to "get the girl to check the numbers", that actually happened. The whole conversation is nearly verbatim. I assumed it was creative license.

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    AnotherDawgAnotherDawg Posts: 6,761 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Yes- I gathered as much. And you could probably do a whole separate thread on that subject. "Best space movies ever made." Fact based and science fiction as well. Would probably generate an even wider range of disparate opinions than this thread.

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    SquillDawgSquillDawg Posts: 1,438 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    For whatever reason, I haven't seen Green Book, so I can't comment on that. I loved A Star is Born and would pick that as the best of the year.

    Bohemian Rhapsody was fun in some aspects, but they so went out of their way to make Freddie look like an ahole that it taints the movie for me. Particularly because none of that was true. He was the last of the group to do a solo project and they made him look like he was breaking up the band. I'm fine with creative license, but the fact that he wasn't diagnosed until like 3 years after Live Aid was too much for me to ignore.

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    SquillDawgSquillDawg Posts: 1,438 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Holy crap, do NOT make me try to pick my favorite space movie. Impossible. Unless Earth Girls are Easy counts? Yes? No? Whatever!

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    MinnesotaDawgMinnesotaDawg Posts: 552 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Good thread. Should be fun.

    As an observation....these last five years have not been very good ones for films. Feel like over the last decade, the best original stories are being told via television--typically in limited episode seasons.

    Watched all the Best Picture nominees this year. Have an appreciation for 1917....but don't feel compelled to rewatch. For pure entertainment and movie-going pleasure, Once Upon in Hollywood was my favorite this year by a long shot.

    Little Women was fine....but frankly, I thought the mid-90s adaptation with was just as good, if not better.

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    AnotherDawgAnotherDawg Posts: 6,761 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Thanks for the comment on Little Women. One thing I hope to get out of this (selfishly) is some feedback on films that I have not yet seen.

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    JoelSidneyKellyJoelSidneyKelly Posts: 3,678 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited February 2020

    The standards for what makes a film great have evolved (or devolved) since the Golden Age. I genuinely prefer the style of storytelling from the classics (GWTW, Casablanca, most Hitchcock movies) to the modern style (F&F, Harry Potter, Saving Private Ryan).

    I accept the changes in the motion picture industry as a microcosm of life and acknowledge that I am changing, too, but I lament that I have seen all of my favorite films many times and have no expectations that a new flick will capture my affection in quite the same way GWTW did.

    Pulp Fiction was great but (shock) 26 years old. I enjoy most of David Lynch’s movies (but for different reasons). And I thought My Fat Greek Wedding was refreshing. And some new movies (There Will Be Blood) I find very entertaining but nothing I would describe as “epic” has happened in quite a long time.

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    texdawgtexdawg Posts: 11,581 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate


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    KaseyKasey Posts: 29,050 mod

    For me the problem is there’s mainly two kinds of movies: big budget movies from existing IP (comic books, sequels) or micro budget movies that go direct to video or I don’t get around to seeing.

    a movie like Knives Out, an original and character driven smart movie for grown ups, is more and more rare. The death of DVD sales and the rise of the China box office means less of these. Sure Tarantino and Scorsese will get green lit for their stuff, but we aren’t cultivating much creativity.

    someone like Ryan Coogler, great director...with interesting ideas, still has to do a Marvel movie or something in the Rocky extended universe. Snooze.


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    HipdawgHipdawg Posts: 88 ✭✭✭ Junior

    Top movies for me are Apocalypse Now, Jaws, Raiders, Stalag 17, original planet of the apes, back to the future.There is more and this is a subjective conversation. Also the movies today are not daring enough but definitely want to see 1917. Sorry but not interested in cgi and thought the Joker was slow and predictable and not worth hoopla.

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    SquillDawgSquillDawg Posts: 1,438 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Great point on the inverse of movies and TV. This century has seen TV taken to another level while movies are more of a cash grab than ever. I still love both, but I can easily list off great TV in the last 20 years, but movies require a lot more thought.

    I'll end there and keep this thread about the movies.

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    tcdawg94tcdawg94 Posts: 393 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I don't know where to even start. I live movies of all types. I'm 100% with you on your pick of Arrival for a myriad of reasons.

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    HipdawgHipdawg Posts: 88 ✭✭✭ Junior

    How could I forget The Road Warrior. There will be blood was good that won best actor and best cinematography.

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    PTDawgPTDawg Posts: 2,169 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I thought La La Land should have won in 2016. It was modern but had a classical Hollywood vibe that went beyond just being a musical. The character interaction, dialogue and chemistry between the leads was spot on. For reference, Casablanca is my favorite movie of all time. They just don't make movies today with that kind of dialogue.

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    how2fishhow2fish Posts: 3,726 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    To me Open Range is one of the best in the last twenty years.

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    FritzKevinFritzKevin Posts: 7 ✭ Freshman

    Spotlight is the movie I liked most in the past two decades, from how the story was portrayed to how the actors just pulled me into the story and events, everything. A fine piece of cinema.

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    Casanova_FlatulenceCasanova_Flatulence Posts: 3,126 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Not sure about pulling together a whole list of great films over the last twenty years, but if you're a fan of good Satire then JoJo Rabbit is for you. Great movie!

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    mantis_toboggan69mantis_toboggan69 Posts: 264 ✭✭✭✭ Senior

    Not 100% to do with the subject, but the Coen Brothers, David Fincher, and Judd Apatow are my top 3 directors of the 21st century. The Coen Brothers and Fincher have each directed so many great films and Apatow’s movies are traditional critic darlings, but he’s produced so many more classics than the next director in the genre.

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