The Barracuda 100 films of the 21st Century

You will probably have seen the BBC list of top 100 films of the 21st Century. Like all such lists it generated a lot of debate. It contains a lot of great films, a lot of films I haven’t seen (I’ve done about half of them) and a lot of films I don’t want to see. It was a bit, well, film critic in its taste (erm, unsurprising as it was compiled form film critic choice, but you know what I mean). Genres, such as horror or action, tend to be dismissed by critics.
It got me thinking how my list would compare. Now there are a lot of gaps in any list I would create: I watch a lot of films but I don’t watch a LOT of films, so there are many great ones that I’ve missed. Secondly I was raising my daughter for much of the 00s so my cinema going experience was often limited to Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squequal (not a contender). Thirdly, I’m biased towards certain types of movies. So what you have is not so much 100 Greatest Films of 21st Century but 100 Films Martin has Seen that He Remembers and Thought Were Good.
In compiling the list I deliberately didn’t select films because of what they might represent in cinema terms. For example you might argue the Kings Speech was a vey influential film in that it made studios realise that people over the age of 50 went to the cinema also. I also allowed myself repetitions, rather than one film standing for a genre (so for example there are three examples of what is labelled French Extremism in my list because they’re all good movies). My only criteria were that they were good films, well made, which I can recall and would recommend. Coming up with 100 films is quite difficult, so some in my list I wouldn’t deem “great”, but rather just good, neat films.
While I doubt you’d like all of my list, my bet is that you’d have more enjoyment watching them than the BBC list. But you might not learn as much about cinema. I haven’t ordered them, because that would require too much internal debate.
For what it’s worth then, the Barracuda Top 100 Films of the 21st Century:

12 Years a Slave
21 Jump St
25th hour
8 mile
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
A History of Violence
A Prophet
The Act of Killing
Anchorman
Anvil: The Story of Anvil
Ashes of Time Redux
Atonement
Battle Royale
Before Sunset
Best in Show
Blue Ruin
Bombon el Perro
Bourne Identity
Brick
Burn after Reading
Calvaire
Calvary
Coherence
Confessions
Dark Water
Dead Mans Shoes
Dead Snow
Descent
Dogtooth
Eye in the Sky
Frank
Gladiator
Grand Budapest Hotel
Harry Potter Deathly Hallows pt 2
Headhunters
Hidden
High Tension
Hugo
Hunger Games
Hurt Locker
I Saw the Devil
Ichi the Killer
In a World
Inception
Inglorious Basterds
Inside Llewyn Davis
Inside out
It Follows
Ju-on: The Grudge
Juno
Kill Bill v 1
Kill list
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Kumiko Treasure Hunter
Lady Vengeance
Lego Movie
Let the Right One In
Leviathan
Little Miss Sunshine
Locke
Lost in Translation
Mad Max: Fury Road
Martyrs
Minority Report
Mulholland Drive
Nebraska
Never Let Me Go
Nightcrawler
Notes on a Scandal
Oldboy
Only God Forgives
Only Lovers Left Alive
Pan’s Labyrinth
Persepolis
Poetry
Raid
Rain
Rec
Searching for Sugar Man
Sexy Beast
Shaun of the Dead
Shrek
Sicario
Son of Saul
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter.. and Spring
Straight Outta Compton
Tale of Tales
Tale of Two Sisters
The Drop
The Witch
These Final Hours
This is England
Touching the Void
Up
Versus
Voices
Watchmen
Whale Rider
Wild tales
Wolf Creek

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7 Responses to The Barracuda 100 films of the 21st Century

  1. Jim Groom says:

    What a list! This must have taken some time and I really appreciate it given, like you, I was raising 3 kids and getting to the movies was a rare treat the last 16 years. I counted 35 movies on your list I have seen, so I have a nice batch to draw on for catching up. I have a list of my summer watching coming out in a couple of weeks, and that will tell the tale of my watching the last 16 years, old gold cinema. A lot of re-watching 70s and 80s US films, accompanied by a ton of 50s, 60s, and 70s Italian and French films. I simply don’t have the time and inclination to explore contemporary films given how little of what I’ve seen hasappealed to me. Although I know that’s a cop out, you only discover great films by watching a ton or having excellent filters. Of the 35 films I have seen you have listed, Sexy Beast, 25th Hour, Gladiator, Minority Report, and Watchman are a few I return to regularly in my mind. You are doing a lot of hard work for me in this post, and I really appreciate that. I come with old man biases, but nothing like a guide to help me through!

    • admin says:

      Thanks Jim – it was a work conducted while walking the dog. There’s probably 5 or 6 categories in here so if you like my choices in one you may like those others, but there may be whole categories you don’t care for. Let me know if agree with any or rabidly disagree and want compensation for being forced to view them.

  2. Jim Groom says:

    Can we work out the parameters for compensation before I start watching? 🙂 Also, you got a top 10 of your 100? 🙂

    • admin says:

      Man, you are _demanding_ – luckily I don’t have any other commenters to contend with, so, off the top of my head I’d say:

      The Act of Killing
      Calvary
      Dark Water (or Confessions)
      Descent
      OldBoy/Lady Vengeance
      Martyrs
      Mulholland Drive
      Nightcrawler
      Pan’s Labyrinth
      Tale of Tales

      A lot of those are quite violent/disturbing I’ve realised! On a lighter touch – I am a big fan of the Jump St movies if you haven’t seen them, Frank is lovely, Hidden and Headhunters are both good thrillers, Nebraska is a sweet movie and Only Lovers Left Alive is a fun watch.

  3. Paul says:

    Thank you! My Netflix queue had been getting low. My wife may end up hating you though.

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