With the coming of a new decade, we take a look back to the films you really should’ve seen but probably missed.
2000 American Psycho, (Directed by Mary Harron)
Before Batman, Christian Bale had a penchant for chainsaws.
Based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis, this cult classic follows Patrick Bateman; a successful Wall Street banker by day and psychotic serial killer by night. A lot less gory than the book, black humour and a deadpan performance from Christian Bale.
2001 Amelie (Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet)
French cinema at its best.
Loving the simple things in life, Amélie Poulain takes great pleasure in returning a lost object to its long lost owner. After seeing the happiness of the reunion, Amélie sets out on a mission to help the people in her life find love, whilst a chance encounter sparks a romantic adventure for herself. With the help of a distinctive Parisian soundtrack, this inventive film really will make you laugh, cry and fall in love with all things French.
2002 City of God (Directed by Fernando Meirelles)
A true story where gangs and children walk hand in hand.
This movie offers an insight into life in one of the world’s most notorious slums: Rio de Janeiro. A battle for survival, it’s true story of a young man who grew up where innocence is replaced by a life of violence, gangs and drug warfare. The protagonist’s interest in photography brings the reality of life in the slums to the forefront of the city’s media.
2003 Thirteen (Directed by Catherine Hardwicke)
Do you remember being thirteen? Bet you weren’t as wild as this pair.
This critically acclaimed film was co-written by, then, thirteen year old Nikki Reed (who stars alongside Evan Rachel Wood) and is based on her own experiences. It’s a provocative and disturbing journey into a young girl’s quest to be cool, as her helpless mother (a superb Holly Hunter) watches her daughter spiral into a world of sex, drugs and crime.
2004 Closer (Directed by Mike Nichols)
Natalie Portman sheds her prim image, along with her clothes.
Centred around two couples who inter-connect when infidelity rears its head. Closer is a refreshingly candid look at modern relationships. One break-up scene in particular is outstanding when a husband bluntly asks his wife to describe the details of her affair. The all-star cast gives an engaging performance, reminding us that all is certainly not fair in love and war.
2005 A History of Violence (Directed by David Cronenberg, 2005)
A thriller about mistaken identity. Or is it?
Tom (Viggo Mortensen) is living a quiet life with his family until the self-defence killings of two robbers change everything. Following national media attention, a threatening stranger appears. Convinced that Tom isn’t who he says he is, a stream of threats and intimidation towards his family follows and finally forces him to confront his true identity.
2006 The Departed (Directed by Martin Scorsese)
A classic tale of Good Cop, Bad Cop.
Scorsese won his first Oscar for this slick crime thriller based on the Irish mafia. Two undercover cops in Boston infiltrate the mob, run by Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson). However, Costello soon sniffs a rat and much blood is shed in this complex game of cat and mouse.
2007 Teeth (Directed by Mitchell Lichtenstein)
Not even a dentist will go near these pearly whites.
A dark satirical horror about Dawn, the typical girl next door, who discovers something disturbing about herself. Using her new found secret, she begins to get back at all those men in her life who have wronged her. Lichtenstein’s wincingly gory (especially for the men) is a true cult classic and worth a watch even just for the gasp factor.
2008 Man on Wire (Directed by James Marsh)
A compelling ensemble of visual arts, it’s one you didn’t want to miss.
A Frenchman, Philippe Petit becomes delirious with ambition when he hears that the world’s tallest building is being built in New York. An amateur wirewalker, he aspires to walk between the twin towers of the World Trade Centre. This film follows his journey. An eclectic and artistic collaboration that makes your heart beat with excitement and awe.
2009 Where the Wild Things Are (Directed by Spike Jonze)
Real life hard? Jump into your imagination and meet your monsters.
Follow Max on his heartbreaking journey from being a lonely and misunderstood young boy to living with monsters. An adaptation from a children’s book, this film explores a youngster’s retreat into an imaginary world to escape life. Becoming king of the monsters, Max overcomes many of his own demons. This is a truly uplifting film that will mesmerise children and adults alike.
Words by Melissa Wong, Colleen Reid and Emma Smith
Photography: Alicia Warner