Best Movies 2006-2011: Why So Serious?

This last week, I took it upon myself to investigate and determine ONCE AND FOR ALL what was the best movie of the past 5 years (2006-2011). Granted, best is a meaningless word really. What does best mean to you other than your personal favorite? That being said, I have personal favorites among many forms that I would never suggest are the best of the lot.  So, best? I suppose it means that it has to be something or someone whose merits you could argue are better than others in its genre? Something that stands the test of time. Something that strikes a chord. Something where the writer and director and actors have all come together in perfect harmony and created something glorious. In the parlance of our times, Something SIIIIIIIIIICK…

Anyway, these were some of the answers my friends gave me when I popped the big question. What is the best movie of the past five years?

No Country For Old Men

There Will Be Blood

The Departed

The Prestige

The Lives of Others

The Wrestler

Blood Diamond

In Bruges

Pan’s Labyrinth

Son of Rambow

Wristcutters: a love story

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Persepolis

Wall-E

300

Avatar

District 9

Of course, these being my friends, I also received answers like Ghostbusters and Duck Soup. Yeah, I love them. Although I haven’t seen or didn’t enjoy some of the movies listed above, I could see them being considered the best. In my own head, the short list of my favorite movies of the past five years is as follows :

The Secrets in Their Eyes

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Inglorious Basterds

The Prestige

The Lives of Others

Little Miss Sunshine

The Dark Knight

I love them all but if forced to make a case for one, I would go with, drum roll please…

THE DARK KNIGHT.

Christopher Nolan’s ‘The Dark Knight’ came out in the summer of 2008 with almost unprecedented hype. Part of this was just due to the fact that it was marketed as the summer blockbuster of the year and it was also due to the sad passing of Heath Ledger some months before it’s release. For these reasons and more, this Batman movie (the first one without ‘Batman’ in the title) was hyped up to saturation point. And then it miraculously delivered. I remember I went into the theater almost angry. I had been through months of waiting. I had hustled for tickets. I got to the theater early only to have my friends show up late. And so it was that I ditched their front row seats and found myself sitting alone in the best seat in the theater (halfway up, bang in the center). And I loved it. From the very first shot, the slow steady zoom-in of the glass building and the window shattering, I was enraptured. I think it’s the best movie of the past few years because it’s almost impossible to make a huge pop-corn movie that is universally loved. People go into these things jaded. They want to rip the movie. It’s not smart enough for some. It’s too mass-marketed for others. It’s cliché. It’s guys in tights. The Dark Knight is incredible because it combines great acting and directing with a cracking script that perfectly mixes humor and drama, comic book madness and metaphors for modern life events. I think I love the movie more than most because there are anywhere between ten to twenty lines that stand out for me. Also, this movie stars the three-headed monster of Christian Bale, Aaron Eckhart and Heath Ledger, all perfectly cast. I have forever been obsessed with movies starring a trio of strong male leads (Quiz Show, LA Confidential). It’s just something I like. Perhaps it’s not the best. Maybe it’s just my favorite. Although I don’t think it’s that. Everyone loves to have their favorite movie be something independent, something cool – Forgetting Sarah Marshall or The Big Lebowski, something along those lines but The Dark Knight attempts more and delivers more than any other movie has in the past half a decade. It’s a monster. But it’s still goddamn good – and I don’t even like studio summer movies. It is literally the only summer movie hit I would ever call a favorite film.

So without further ado, here is a great scene from the film, a nice dinner conversation between Bruce Wayne, Harvey Dent and company. A complete non spoiler and it illustrates how well written and constructed the film is.

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3 thoughts on “Best Movies 2006-2011: Why So Serious?

  1. Love everything you listed yourself (excpet I haven’t seen Sarah Marshall). The Dark Knight in IMAX is the best cinema experience i’ve ever had. Also, like yourself it’s the only ‘blockbuster’ I would call an all-time favourite.

    I would also say:
    No Country For Old Men,
    There Will Be Blood,
    The Lives of Others,
    Waltz With Bashir
    Let The Right One,
    The Social Network,
    Senna

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