Films 2000s

The turn of the century and cinema was changing fast. The 2000s was the start of the interconnected franchise. The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter had shown that a long series of interconnected movies that struck a chord was a licence to print money over-and-over-again. Studios realised that a people who grew up reading comic books were now shelling out to see the films, and they took them seriously not as embarrassing reads. The groundwork was laid for the Marvel franchise to begin. But there was still room for great work: wonderful autobiographical work, personal epics, social issues films and political dramas among others from all around the world were released to critical and popular acclaim.


Almost Famous – Cameron Crowe’s autobiography of his life as a teenage journalist following a rock band around AmericaDirector: Cameron Crowe
Cast: Patrick Fugit, Kate Hudson, Billy Crudup
Amores Perros – a series of interconnected stories in Mexico city, all of them connected to dogs. Director’s edgy calling card Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Cast: Emilio Echevarría, Gael García Bernal, Goya Toledo
Chocolat – vomit-inducing sugar overload, as a chocolatier arrives in a small French town and changes everyone for the betterDirector: Lasse Hallström
Cast: Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon – smash hit martial arts film, as warriors feud over the ownership of a legendary swordDirector: Ang Lee
Cast: Chow Yun-Fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi
Erin Brockovich – true-life story of a brash legal aid who builds a case against a corrupt power company polluting a towns waterDirector: Steven Soderbergh
Cast: Julia Roberts, Albert Finney, Aaron Eckhart
Gladiator – Best Picture winning epic: a Roman General turned gladiator, wants revenge for the death of his familyDirector: Ridley Scott
Cast: Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen
Love’s Labour’s Lost – Kenneth Branagh’s old-school musical version of Shakespeare, an interesting semi-failureDirector: Kenneth Branagh
Cast: Kenneth Branagh, Natasha McElhone, Adrian Lester
Mission: Impossible: II – only bad film in the franchise: egotistical Tom Cruise vehicle about the hunt for a virusDirector: John Woo
Cast: Tom Cruise, Thandiwe Newton, Dougray Scott
Rules of Engagement – dreadful, border-line racist, courtroom drama about a colonel fireing in Iranian civiliansDirector: William Friedkin
Cast: Samuel L Jackson, Tommy Lee Jones, Ben Kingsley
U-571 – American sailors steal the Enigma machine so their code breakers can crack it. Didn’t go down well in the UKDirector: Jonathan Mostow
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Harvey Keitel, Bill Paxton
Vertical Limit – dreadful Wages of Fears rip-off, as mountainers carry explosives up a mountain to dig out stranded friendsDirector: Martin Campbell
Cast: Chris O’Donnell, Bill Paxton, Scott Glenn


Ali – Will Smith captures The Greatest in a film that misses the fire and passion of Muhammad AliDirector: Michael Mann
Cast: Will Smith, Jon Voight, Jamie Foxx
A Beautiful Mind – Best Picture winning, old-fashioned and sanitised biopic of troubled mathematician John NashDirector: Ron Howard
Cast: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Paul Bettany
Black Hawk Down – Immersive combat film, about the Battle of Mogadishu, brilliantly made, controversial for its politicsDirector: Ridley Scott
Cast: Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor, Eric Bana
Donnie Darko – landmark cult film: a disturbed boys imagines a huge rabbit who may be a herald of the end of the worldDirector: Richard Kelly
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Mary McDonnell
Enemy at the Gates – uninspired war epic, as sniper duel during the Battle of StalingradDirector: Jean-Jacques Annaud
Cast: Jude Law, Joseph Fiennes, Rachael Weisz, Ed Harris
Gosford Park – a murder takes place at a country house – but the real story is the vicious class differences Director: Robert Altman
Cast: Helen Mirren, Maggie Smith, Clive Owen, Alan Bates
Hannibal – belated sequel, a big stupid pantomime, based on a brash and dumb bookDirector: Ridley Scott
Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – first, and most consciously kid-friendly, of the mighty franchiseDirector: Chris Colombus
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring – first, and possibly most beloved, of the series – gets everything rightDirector: Peter Jackson
Cast: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen
Moulin Rouge! – brash, loud and wonderfully romantic jukebox musical, as a writer falls in love with a courtesanDirector: Baz Luhrmann
Cast: Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor, Jim Broadbent
Mulholland Dr – Lynch’s surrealist, dream-like masterpiece as two young women find love and mystery in HollywoodDirector: David Lynch
Cast: Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, Justin Theroux


About Schmidt – a retired meek widower travels to his daughter’s wedding, and comes to realisations about his lifeDirector: Alexander Payne
Cast: Jack Nicholson, Kathy Bates, Hope Davis
Catch Me If You Can – a young conman is pursued by a dedicated FBI Agent in this old-school caperDirector: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Christopher Walken
Chicago – Best Picture winning musical: its all about show not truth, as two women are tried for murderDirector: Rob Marshall
Cast: Renée Zellweger, Richard Gere, Catherine Zeta Jones
The Count of Monte Cristo – a man, wrongly imprisoned for years, vows revenge on the friend who betrayed himDirector: Kevin Reynolds
Cast: Jim Caviezel, Guy Pearce, Dagmara Dominczyk
Die Another Day – Brosnan’s swansong which starts daringly but swiftly descends into sub-Moore nonsenseDirector: Lee Tamahori
Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Halle Berry, Toby Stephens
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – second, slightly darker, entry in the franchiseDirector: Chris Colombus
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson
The Hours – high-brow, rather self-important, Woolf biopic, and musing on her Mrs Dalloway in multiple time periodsDirector: Stephen Daldry
Cast: Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers – the War of the Ring begins as Jackson expertly juggles multiple storylinesDirector: Peter Jackson
Cast: Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Andy Serkis
Minority Report – dark sci-fi noir: a police force arresting people for crimes they are yet to commit. Flunks the endingDirector: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton
The Pianist – hugely moving Holocaust drama as a Polish pianist survives the GhettoDirector: Roman Polanski
Cast: Adrien Brody, Emilia Fox, Thomas Kreschmann
Star Trek: Nemesis – franchise-killing bomb, as Picard takes on a clone of his younger selfDirector: Stuart Baird
Cast: Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Tom Hardy
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones – possibly even worse than the first one, a tone-deaf love storyDirector: George Lucas
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christiensen, Natalie Portman
The Sum of All Fears – decent attempted franchise relaunch as Jack Ryan scrambles to prevent a nuclear warDirector: Phil Alden Robinson
Cast: Ben Affleck, Morgan Freeman, Liev Schreiber
The Time Machine – disastrously awful version, made worse by being directed by Wells’ Great-GrandsonDirector: Simon Wells
Cast: Guy Pearce, Samantha Mumba, Jeremy Irons


City of God – set in Rio de Janerio; kids have little to choose than which gang to join in this episodic, influential, electric filmDirector: Fernando Meirelles, Katia Lund
Cast: Alexandre Rodrigues, Leandro Firmino
Cold Mountain – in the Civil War, a man deserts to return to his love in this slightly distant epic, too polished to be movingDirector: Anthony Minghella
Cast: Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, Renée Zellweger
The Core – hilariously silly sci-fi: scientists must drill to the centre of the Earth to start the earth rotating againDirector: Jon Amiel
Cast: Hilary Swank, Aaron Eckhart, Stanley Tucci
The Last Samurai – self-important drama, as a civil war vet joins a Samurai revolt in Japan, becoming… the last SamuraiDirector: Edward Zwick
Cast: Tom Cruise, Ken Watanabe, Timothy Spall
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King – epic conclusion, won Best Picture and every other award in sightDirector: Peter Jackson
Cast: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World – a personal fav, a Napoleonic naval captain pursues a French ship Director: Peter Weir
Cast: Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany, James D’Arcy
The Matrix Reloaded – pretentious and (whisper it) rather dull sequel that took all the faux-philosophy way too farDirector: The Wachowskis
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Carrie Anne Moss, Laurence Fishburne
The Matrix Revolutions – if you thought the above was bad… two films that near killed the franchise stone deadDirector: The Wachowskis
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Carrie Anne Moss, Laurence Fishburne
School of Rock – enjoyable comedy, as a slacker musician pretends to be teacher and forms a band with the studentsDirector: Richard Linklater
Cast: Jack Black, Joan Cusack, Mike White


The Alamo – faintly revisionist history, a notorious flop as it seemed, contrary to the poster, people had forgottenDirector: John Lee Hancock
Cast: Dennis Quaid, Billy Bob Thornton, Jason Patric
The Aviator – gorgeous homage to old-school Hollywood, a biopic of Howard Hughes, focusing on his passion and OCDDirector: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale
Collateral – a hitman hires a taxi driver to escort him from hit-to-hit and they strike up an odd near friendshipDirector: Michael Mann
Cast: Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett Smith
The Day After Tomorrow – ecological disaster devastates the world in this epic disaster movieDirector: Roland Emmerich
Cast: Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal, Emmy Rossum
Downfall – the last days of Hitler in shocking detail, in the definitive Hitler film, the first German film about the dictatorDirector: Oliver Hirschbiegel
Cast: Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Maria Lara, Ulrich Matthes
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – a man his his memory wiped of his ex – but changes his mind during the procedureDirector: Michel Gondry
Cast: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Elijah Wood
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – Cuarón completely changes the franchise, in its best entryDirector: Alfonso Cuarón
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson
Hellboy – colourful, fun and gently dark comic-book about a demon who fights on our sideDirector: Guillermo del Toro
Cast: Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, John Hurt
The Incredibles – a family of superheroes have to hide their powers, after superheroes are banned. Superb action comedyDirector: Brad Bird
Cast: Craig T Nelson, Holly Hunter, Samuel L Jackson
King Arthur – average Arthurian epic, with miscast leads and the knights as Roman cavalryDirector: Antoine Fuqua
Cast: Clive Owen, Keira Knightley, Ioan Gruffudd
Million Dollar Baby Best Picture winning sucker punch (literally) as a woman dreams of becoming a boxing champDirector: Clint Eastwood
Cast: Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank, Morgan Freeman
The Motorcycle Diaries – a young Che Guevara motorbikes over South America with a friend and becomes politicalDirector: Walter Salles
Cast: Gael Garcia Bernal, Rodrigo de le Serna, Mia Maestro
Troy – revisionist Trojan war epic. One of those epic films I have a real soft spot forDirector: Wolfgang Petersen
Cast: Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom
Vera Drake – a 1950s abortionist is arrested in this superb social issues drama, possibly Leigh’s best filmDirector: Mike Leigh
Cast: Imelda Staunton, Phil Davis, Peter Wight


Batman Begins – Batman goes back to basics in the first of Nolan’s extraordinary, genre redefining trilogyDirector: Christopher Nolan
Cast: Christian Bale, Liam Neeson, Michael Caine
Capote – austere biopic of Truman Capote, focusing on his writing of In Cold BloodDirector: Bennett Miller
Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Chris Cooper
The Constant Gardener – superb, emotional Le Carré film: a diplomat investigates his wife’s murder in KenyaDirector: Fernando Meirelles
Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz, Bill Nighy, Danny Huston
Crash – infamous Best Picture winner: racial tensions divide ordinary people in Los AngelesDirector: Paul Haggis
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Matt Dillon, Don Cheadle
Good Night, and Good Luck – earnest and liberal film as Edward R Murrow reports against McCarthyismDirector: George Clooney
Cast: David Strathairn, George Clooney, Robert Downey Jnr
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – Harry and friends face the return of Lord VoldemortDirector: Mike Newell
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint
A History of Violence – superb, complex thriller: a man’s defence of his diner leads to secrets about his past emergingDirector: David Cronenberg
Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Maria Bello, William Hurt, Ed Harris
King Kong – Jackson cashes in his chips to make the film of his dreams, an affectionate and romantic remakeDirector: Peter Jackson
Cast: Adrien Brody, Naomi Watts, Jack Black
Match Point – Allen’s tone-deaf London-based drama about a social climbing tennis coachDirector: Woody Allen
Cast: Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Scarlett Johansson
Memoirs of a Geisha – lush but totally empty romantic drama that takes a tourist’s eye to JapanDirector: Rob Marshall
Cast: Zhang Ziyi, Ken Watanabe, Gong Li, Michelle Yeoh
Munich – Israel sends assassins to wipe out Black September in this noble attempt to engage with terrorismDirector: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Eric Bana, Daniel Craig, Ciarán Hinds
Pride and Prejudice – decent but sometimes rather obvious adaptation of AustenDirector: Joe Wright
Cast: Keira Knightley, Matthew MacFadyen, Donald Sutherland
The Proposition – dark and violent Aussie western: a man is forced to hunt down his brother, a ruthless killerDirector: John Hillcoat
Cast: Guy Pearce, Danny Huston, Ray Winstone, Emily Watson
Red Eye – on an overnight flight, a sinister man orders a woman to do everything he says – or her father diesDirector: Wes Craven
Cast: Rachel McAdams, Cillian Murphy, Brian Cox
Syriana – dense political drama about the corruption of the international oil industryDirector: Stephen Gaghan
Cast: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Jeffrey Wright
Walk the Line – heartfelt Johnny Cash biopicDirector: James Mangold
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Reece Witherspoon


Amazing Grace – earnest, Sunday-afternoonish William Wilberforce biopicDirector: Michael Apted
Cast: Ioan Gruffudd, Romola Garai, Benedict Cumberbatch
Apocalypto – a man runs for his life in the Aztec empire, in this epic chase movie, unique for being in MayanDirector: Mel Gibson
Cast: Rudy Youngblood, Dalia Hernández, Jonathan Brewer
Blood Diamond – a father searches for his kidnapped son – but others are interested in the priceless diamond he carriesDirector: Edward Zwick
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Djimon Hounsou, Jennifer Connelly
Children of Men – fantastic dystopian sci-fi: in a future where humanity is infertile, a pregnant woman is in dangerDirector: Alfonso Cuarón
Cast: Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, Michael Caine
The Da Vinci Code – crap film version of a crap book that was a sensation at the time. Conspiracy about JesusDirector: Ron Howard
Cast: Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Ian McKellen
The Departed – Best Picture winning crime thriller: the robbers have a mole with the cops and vice versa. Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson
The Devil Wears Prada – a tyrannical editor at a fashion magazine terrorises her staffDirector: David Frankel
Cast: Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Emily Blunt
The Good Shepherd – strange mix of fact and fiction, in this clumsy history of the CIADirector: Robert De Niro
Cast: Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie, Robert De Niro
The Illusionist – an Austro-Hungarian mystic unearths political tensions in the EmpireDirector: Neil Berger
Cast: Ed Norton, Paul Giamatti, Jessica Biel
The Last King of Scotland – Idi Amin takes a Scottish doctor under his wing, who slowly realises Amin is a monsterDirector: Kevin MacDonald
Cast: Forest Whitaker, James McAvoy, Kerry Washington
Mission: Impossible: III – exciting return to form, as Hunt hunts down a arms dealer with a secret weaponDirector: JJ Abrams
Cast: Tom Cruise, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Michelle Monaghan
Notes on a Scandal – a teacher has an affair with a student – putting her in the power of a woman obsessed with herDirector: Richard Eyre
Cast: Judi Dench, Cate Blanchett, Bill Nighy
Poseidon – predictable remake that adds nothing to the originalDirector: Wolfgang Petersen
Cast: Josh Lucas, Kurt Russell, Emmy Rossum
The Queen – the crown hangs in the balance in the aftermath of the death of Princess DianaDirector: Stephen Frears
Cast: Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, James Cromwell
Thank You For Smoking – a corporate lobbyist is a mouthpiece for the smoking industryDirector: Jason Reitman
Cast: Aaron Eckhart, Katie Holmes, Maria Bello
The Wind That Shakes the Barley – Loach mourns the loss of the Socialist Republic of Ireland in the 1920sDirector: Ken Loach
Cast: Cillian Murphy, Pádraic Delaney, Liam Cunningham


American Gangster – in 1970s Harlem, a secretive Black gangster takes over the drugs trade, while a cop tries to identify himDirector: Ridley Scott
Cast: Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Chiwetel Ejiofor
Atonement – a couple are denied happiness after a series of misunderstandings at a house partyDirector: Joe Wright
Cast: Keira Knightley, James McAvoy, Saoirse Ronan
Beowulf – motion-capture retelling of the legend, gory but surprisingly thoughtfulDirector: Robert Zemeckis
Cast: Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, Angelina Jolie
Charlie Wilson’s War – a congressman wins secret funding for Afghan rebels against the USSRDirector: Mike Nichols
Cast: Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Philip Seymour Hoffman
Control – beautifully made and heart-rending biopic of Joy Division lead singer Ian CurtisDirector: Anton Corbijn
Cast: Sam Riley, Alexandra Maria Lara, Samantha Morton
Eastern Promises – chilling fairytale as a midwife’s hunt for a babies family leads to the dark criminal underbelly of LondonDirector: David Cronenberg
Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Naomi Watts, Vincent Cassel
Elizabeth: The Golden Age – belated sequel, more conventional than the first, that tackles the Spanish ArmadaDirector: Shekhar Kapur
Cast: Cate Blanchett, Clive Owen, Geoffrey Rush
Enchanted – delightfully affectionate live-action Disney spoof, as a princess falls from her fairy-tale world into oursDirector: Kevin Lima
Cast: Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, James Marsden
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – very well adapted from a sprawling novel, Yates’ first film in the seriesDirector: David Yates
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson
His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass – disastrous attempt to turn Philip Pullman into cheap Potter/Tolkien hybridDirector: Chris Weitz
Cast: Dakota Blue Richards, Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig
I Am Legend – after a deadly plague, only Will Smith survives in a world full of monstersDirector: Francis Lawrence
Cast: Will Smith
Mr Brooks – a respectable businessman is driven to acts of murder by his imaginary friendDirector: Bruce A Evans
Cast: Kevin Costner, William Hurt, Demi Moore
Nightwatching – a dramatic exploration of the Rembrandt painting, part bizarre conspiracy theory, part art lectureDirector: Peter Greenaway
Cast: Martin Freeman, Eva Birthistle, Johdi May
No Country for Old Men – Best Picture winning nihilistic thriller; a man finds a suitcase of money, chased by a ruthless hitmanDirector: The Coen Brothers
Cast: Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones
Stardust – charming romantic fantasia, as a young man protects a women who is literally a fallen star Director: Matthew Vaughan
Cast: Charlie Cox, Claire Danes, Michelle Pfeiffer
Sunshine – a space mission to restart the sun’s care with a nuclear bomb is mankind’s last chance to escape extinctionDirector: Danny Boyle
Cast: Cillian Murphy, Rose Byrne, Chris Evans
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street – bloody Sondheim adaptation of the serial killing barberDirector: Tim Burton
Cast: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman
There Will Be Blood – one of the greatest film of the decade, a ruthless oil man will sacrifice anything for fortuneDirector: Paul Thomas Anderson
Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano, Kevin J O’Connor
Zodiac – three men hunt for the Zodiac Killer in Fincher’s masterful true-crime thriller about the dangers of obsessionDirector: David Fincher
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jnr


Body of Lies – in an Middle East, a CIA agent battles terrorists… and the political incompetence of his handlers at LangleyDirector: Ridley Scott
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe, Mark Strong
Brideshead Revisited – terrible version of Waugh’s classic, that turns it into a bog-standard romantic plot-boilerDirector: Julian Jarrold
Cast: Matthew Goode, Hayley Atwell, Ben Whishaw
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – a man grows old backwards in this whimsical shaggy dog storyDirector: David Fincher
Cast: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Taraji P. Henson
The Dark Knight – possibly greatest ever comic book movie, exciting, intelligent and thrilling as Batman takes on the JokerDirector: Christopher Nolan
Cast: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman
Doubt – stagy, but very well acted, play adaptation; in the 1950s a nun suspects the priest at her school to be an abuserDirector: John Patrick Shanley
Cast: Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams
Frost/Nixon – very well made play adaptation about David Frost’s famous interviews with Richard NixonDirector: Ron Howard
Cast: Frank Langella, Michael Sheen, Kevin Bacon
Good – an intellectual joins the Nazi party because he feels he must – and becomes more and more corruptedDirector: Vincente Amorim
Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Jason Isaacs, Jodie Whittaker
Hancock – misfiring satire, about a drunken superhero who is coached to change into a hero we can respectDirector: Peter Berg
Cast: Will Smith, Charlize Theron, Jason Bateman
Hellboy II: The Golden Army – fantasy tinged sequel, even more personal, as Hellboy tries to stop an armyDirector: Guillermo del Toro
Cast: Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones
In Bruges – superb black comedy as two hitmen hide out in Bruges after a job gone wrongDirector: Martin McDonagh
Cast: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Ralph Fiennes
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull – fatally flawed Indy film that I’m not sure its makers wanted to makeDirector: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Harrison Ford, Shia LaBeouf, Cate Blanchett
Milk – van Sant’s heartfelt (if traditional) biopic rightly places gay-rights pioneer Harvey Milk back in the public consciousnessDirector: Gus van Sant
Cast: Sean Penn, James Franco, Josh Brolin
The Reader – dreadful, tasteless drama about a former concentration guard who seduces a young boy to read to herDirector: Stephen Daldry
Cast: Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes, David Kross
Slumdog Millionaire – Best Picture winner; in India a young man competes in a quiz show: his difficult life gives him the answersDirector: Danny Boyle
Cast: Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, Madhur Mittel


Avatar – James Cameron’s huge hit with small cultural impact: a man sides with his adopted culture on a rich alien worldDirector: James Cameron
Cast: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver
The Blind Side – sentimental family drama: a rich white woman adopts a struggling Black teenager with a gift for footballDirector: John Lee Hancock
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, Quinton Aaron
An Education – coming-of-age drama as a teenager flirts with abandoning university for an affair with an older manDirector: Lone Scherfig
Cast: Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard, Alfred Molina
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince – Harry faces terrible dangers as Voldemort’s plans are slowly revealedDirector: David Yates
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson
The Hurt Locker – Best Picture winning Iraq war drama, about a bomb disposal expert addicted to the rush from combatDirector: Kathryn Bigelow
Cast: Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty
The International – an Interpol agent investigates corrupt business practices. 70s style thriller, a guilty pleasure of mineDirector: Tom Twyker
Cast: Clive Owen, Naomi Watts, Armin Mueller-Stahl
Invictus – Mandela brings South Africa together by uniting the country behind the Rugby team at the 1995 World CupDirector: Clint Eastwood
Cast: Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon
Public Enemies – hyper-realistic biopic of John Dillinger and the FBI agent tracking him downDirector: Michael Mann
Cast: Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard
Sherlock Holmes – all-action Sherlock Holmes version, gothic buddy-movie with Holmes using his skills to win fightsDirector: Guy Ritchie
Cast: Robert Downey Jnr, Jude Law, Rachel McAdams
A Single Man – a grieving gay academic plans to end his life in this heartfelt emotional film.Director: Tom Ford
Cast: Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Nicholas Hoult
Solomon Kane – in the 1600s a mercenary is cursed by the Devil and tries to save his soul by fighting for goodDirector: Michael J Bassett
Cast: James Purefoy, Max von Sydow, Rachel Hurd Wood
Up in the Air – a consultant who flies across America, firing people for downsizing companies, questions his choicesDirector: Jason Reitman
Cast: George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick
Watchmen – reverent graphic novel adaptation that captures the visuals but not the depthDirector: Zach Snyder
Cast: Malin Åkerman, Billy Crudup, Matthew Goode
The White Ribbon – chilling parable: a village in 1900s Germany faces a series of outrages possibly carried out by childrenDirector: Micheal Haneke
Cast: Christian Friedel, Ernst Jacobi, Burghart Klaußner
The Young Victoria – affectionate costume drama on the romance between Victoria and AlbertDirector: Jean-Marc Vallée
Cast: Emily Blunt, Rupert Friend, Paul Bettany