Co-opted directly from the youtube channel Screen Junkies because I disagree with essentially all of their picks. Whoops, sorry. You can’t win them all. And by you, I mean them. Check back in half a century and see who’s right.
These are movies from the 21st century that I think, decades from now, will be seen as classics.
Also: I’m only including movies I like. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind will probably continue finding a big fanbase. But I’m going to continue hating it.
- Spirited Away
Let it be known (again and again) that I’m a giant Ghibli enthusiast and Spirited Away is pretty decisively the best one. It’s magical and quixotic. The vibrant colors and pacing really suck you in into Chihiro’s world.
- The Dark Knight
Okay, this is one with which I agree. Because Heath Ledger’s Joker is amazing and this movie is captivating on so many levels- the artistry, characters, cinematography, plot. There are weak points but it was great when it was released and I don’t think that’s going to change.
- Finding Nemo
Okay, I don’t really love Finding Nemo. But it’s this one or WallE and I think Nemo has more classic-quality. Why don’t I like Nemo? It’s too sad. We’re all lost in a big ocean all on our own desperately looking for each other and I don’t think it generally ends this happily and so often we’re angry and hurting each other and then who knows when we’ll be scooped up by a boat and taken away or otherwise separated from the ones we deeply love?
- Casino Royale
Bond, James Bond. The only man who could make me agree with another item on the Screen Junkies list. Because Daniel Craig is excellent but also becauseI’m deeply in love with Eva Green. It’s just so good. And I also have to admit that I really like Skyfall. But Casino Royale is better. Mads is an excellent villain. Judy Dench is her brilliant self. The movie is beautiful. The plot is again, captivating. Also Eva Green.
- Slumdog Millionaire
Such a wonderful movie. It’s romantic and a love story but also gritty and real and strange. The plot and flashbacks and twists and eventual conclusion are stunning. The movie is gorgeous and heartbreaking. The music is also perfect.
- American Psycho
This one is already kind of classic. Which fits because it’s one of the older ones on this list, from the year 2000. It’s a devastating portrayal of the kind of mindless void of a certain kind of success and power gone oh-so-terribly-but-very-watchably wrong. And the business card sequence is genius.
- Mean Girls
It’s already a classic, at least among Millennials (don’t know about the rest of you) and my guess is that as we mature it will become a recognized classic (for better or for worse- I’m not a giant fan) along the lines of Heathers.
- The Lord of the Rings trilogy
This century’s answer to Star Wars.
- Pan’s Labyrinth
This is almost a bit too cultish to be on the list (that’s why Amelie didn’t make it (I cry inside)) but it’s just enough in the popular stream that I can wedge it in as my last pick. Gorgeous ad violent and fantastic and disturbing and sublime. Go watch it. I also really want to draw eyes on my hands and have that be the entirety of my Halloween costume. Don’t get it? Go watch it.
What am I missing?
(Besides the Harry Potter movies?)