Movie Rankings: 2002, 2001, 2000

2002.

10. SIGNS. This is still my favorite M. Night movie.  It had a solid moving story, it was legitimately scary, and the ending was great.

9. TREASURE PLANET. Highly underrated Disney classic with gorgeous animation and design.

8. LILO AND SITCH.  Stitch is probably my favorite Disney character.

7. BLADE II. The first movie was a shocking surprise just for being a watchable comic book movie, the first ever, but the sequel blows it out of the water thanks to Guillermo Del Toro.  Everything about this movie works!

6. STAR TREK NEMESIS.  I actually like this movie!  It’s got a solid villain and some cinematic action sequences, which is more than can be said for most Trek movies.  I think it’s unfairly vilified.

5. SPIDER-MAN.  Unpopular opinion: this movie is good but not great.  Tobey is not my favorite Spidey, he barely cracks jokes in the suit, the Green Goblin Power Ranger looks dumb, and way too much time is spent on the origin story.

4. HARRY POTTER CHAMBER SECRETS. This movie had much more plot, action, and drama than the first movie, which was mostly a series of character introductions and classroom scenes.  It’s still unnecessarily long, however.

3. MINORITY REPORT.  This is mostly a perfect movie with astonishing concepts, visuals, and action scenes.  Spielberg at his best.  It only falters with the final act.  A fascinating vision of the future.

2. STAR WARS ATTACK OF THE CLONES.  Oh, how it pains me to list a Star Wars movie in second place!  I actually do like this movie more than most.  While the Anakin/Padme romance is very bad, everything else is great.  This is a better movie than TPM in a lot of ways.  The action scenes are absolutely iconic; Coruscant speeder chase!  Asteroid field chase!  Obi vs. Jango!  Battle of Geonosis!  Yoda vs. Dooku!  The overuse of CGI does look pretty dodgy by modern day standards unfortunately.

1. TWO TOWERS.  Star Wars is my first love, but LOTR is a very close second.  FOTR was a deeply meaningful movie for me, seeing my beloved book on film for the first time, and this just deepened that love with major battle sequences the first film lacked.

2001.

10. JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK.  Clerks is the best Kevin Smith, but this one is the most fun.  A hilarious crossover melding together all four previous movies.

9. JURASSIC PARK III.  Oh, what a disappointment after the first two!  It’s not a bad movie, but it’s just a small-scale story following a handful of people with none of the scope or meaning of the previous films.

8. TOMB RAIDER.  The first ever good video game movie!  It’s actually fun!

7. BLACK HAWK DOWN.  A classic and realistic war is hell movie.

6. ATLANTIS LOST EMPIRE.  One of the most underrated Disney films ever.  Atlantis is my all time favorite myth and the Mignolia art design was gorgeous.  I love this movie!

5. HARRY POTTER 1.  It’s one of my all time favorite franchises but the first movie is glacially slow.  It’s a series of character introductions and schoolroom scenes.

4. MONSTERS INC. One of Pixar’s best.  I particularly love how the entire thing is a metaphor for the oil crisis.

3. OCEAN’S ELEVEN.  A perfect movie of intricate plotting, twists, style, humor, character, and celebrity.  

2. THE MUMMY RETURNS.  I think this is almost as good as the original.  Even the annoying little kid works.

1. FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING.  The movie I have seen the most times in a theater in my life.  My favorite childhood book on the screen for the first time.  Pure magic.

2000.

10. CROUCHING TIGER. I haven’t seen this in decades but I remember it being amazing.

9. GLADIATOR. A great realistic history lesson in addition to a thrilling revenge story.

8. SCREAM 3. I recall this being a good ending to the trilogy.

7. SHANGHAI NOON. The first movie was just ok but I remember this being a legimately fun action comedy.

6. EMPEROR’S NEW GROOVE. A hilarious Disney classic.

5. PITCH BLACK.  A wonderful original sci-fi horror adventure that gave the world Vin Diesel.

4. TITAN AE. I love this movie!  Great underappreciated!

3. CHARLIE’S ANGELS. An incredibly fun action romp with truly great action scenes.

2. X-MEN. A crowning achievement as the first good comic book movie (not counting Blade which doesn’t look like a comic).

1. O BROTHER WHERE ART THOU. This is still my favorite Cohen Brothers movie.  It is a perfect combination of hilarious comedy, period piece drama, one of the best soundtracks ever, Clooney’s best performance, an adaptation of the Odyssey, and a showdown with the devil.

Movie Rankings: 2005, 2004, 2003

2005.

10. THE ISLAND.  Is it the best Michael Bay movie?  No.  Does it have tons of gorgeous over the top action set pieces with a sci-fi twist that nonetheless look absolutely realistic?  Oh yes!  And the story was pretty interesting to boot.

9. KING KONG.  I dearly love Peter Jackson and his films.  There is an amazing 90 minute adventure movie lurking inside this bloated beast.  That half of the movie I absolutely love.  The action scenes on Skull Island are classic PJ.  But the other half of the movie, full of ponderous character scenes starring characters I don’t care about, completely drags it down.  LOTR earned the right to be three hours long, but this did not.

8. NARNIA. I haven’t seen these in forever but I recall the first one being very good.

7. SIN CITY.  Haven’t seen it in years but I recall it being amazing and an astonishing achievement at being a shot for shot recreation of a comic book.

6. HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE.  It took a lot of liberties with the source material, but I found the changes to be a necessary evil in order to make a functioning movie.  I think it honored the spirit of the book and did the best job possible.

5. WAR OF THE WORLDS.  Another movie I haven’t seen in years, but I remember it being an instant classic.

4. BATMAN BEGINS.  After Batman and Robin, my hopes for this movie, a drawn out ‘realistic’ origin story, were low.  But it does an astonishing job at making a well-worn rehashed tale interesting and gripping.  It made me actually care about Bruce before he put on the mask.

3. SERENITY.  I enjoyed Firefly but also thought it was mildly overrated.  The movie, however, is a perfect summation of the property and a great story in every respect.  Peak J*ss Wh*don.

2. HARRY POTTER GOBLET FIRE.  I haven’t seen these movies in years but I do remember this being a great one, though a let down after the amazing Azkaban.

1. STAR WARS REVENGE OF THE SITH.  Was there any doubt?  This movie had an impossible task of wrapping up a six movie franchise, being the final Star Wars movie made for all time, and delivering on all the hanging questions set up by the first two movies and endless tie-in material.  I think it does a great job!  This is my favorite SW movie.  It’s not perfect (the character work and dialogue is not ideal), but the sheer volume of characters and plot and action and events and worlds and aliens and detail is just mind-blowing.  And on a personal level, it succeeds just for having a massive fight between my two favorite characters, Yoda and Sidious!


2004.

10. SHAUN OF THE DEAD.  I think this movie is overrated, it’s just a zombie movie, but Edgar Wright certainly added astonishing visual flair.

9. DAY AFTER TOMORROW.  Not a great movie, but a fun disaster movie.

8. CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK.  I actually really enjoy the setting and concepts in this movie and I’m sad we never got to see a continuation.

7. SKY CAPTAIN.  A very fun low budget green screen Indiana Jones pulp adventure.

6. VAN HELSING.  I actually like this movie!  It’s no The Mummy but it’s got a lot of fun sequences and it’s great seeing all the classic monsters interacting with each other.

5. I ROBOT.  Another better than expected movie with some really neat set pieces.

4. KILL BILL 2.  A vast, vast disappointment after the superlative first chapter.  There’s not a single big set piece in this movie, it’s all smaller character conflict.  There’s no spectacle.

3. HELLBOY.  This is one of my all time favorite comic books, and this is half of a good adaptation.  It’s also half of new, traditional, newbie friendly material.

2. THE INCREDIBLES.  A perfect Pixar movie and a great superhero adventure.  At the time it was ground breaking, but now we have a gluttony of great superhero films.

1. HARRY POTTER PRISONER AZKABAN.  Alfonso Cuaron made the best looking and most stylish chapter in the entire saga.  This is where the story, and the series, gets great.


2003.

10. SINBAD.  A forgotten animated classic.

9. TOMB RAIDER 2. About as good as the first one.

8. TERMINATOR 3.  Nothing can ever touch T2 but this is a very solid movie on its own merits.  There are a lot of great action scenes and the ending reveal that they were never going to stop Judgment Day, only survive it in hiding, was beautiful.

7. X-MEN 2.  I think this movie is great but overrated.  There are great sequences within it, and it’s better than the first, but it still lacks strong villains.  Fighting humans is never interesting.

6. KILL BILL 1.  My favorite Quentin Tarentino movie.  A classic of truly inventive action and style.

5. MATRIX REVOLUTIONS.  A deeply disappointing conclusion to a classic trilogy.  The majority of the movie doesn’t take place in the Matrix and the big battle of Zion stars C list characters.  But it’s still a solid ending.

4. FINDING NEMO.  My favorite Pixar movie.  Every moment is iconic and classic.

3. PIRATES OF THE CARRIBBEAN.  A shockingly good movie.  A perfect comedy adventure.

2. MATRIX RELOADED.  Another perfect movie that expands on the original in so many wonderful ways.  The action is astounding and classic and the plot twist at the end is an all-timer.

1. RETURN OF THE KING.  But nothing can top the conclusion of LOTR.

Movie Rankings: 2008, 2007, 2006

2008.

10. SPEED RACER.  A dazzling  Wachowski Brother visual treat, even if I didn’t care about the story.

9. INCREDIBLE HULK.  The worst MCU movie but still entertaining.

8. WALL-E.  Another great Pixar movie, but half of it is a silent movie starring two robots.

7. THE MUMMY 3.  A vast disappointment after the first two, but still fun.

6. KUNG FU PANDA.  A fun kids movie with great visuals and action.

5. TROPIC THUNDER.  This movie is truly hilarious while also managing to be a good action movie parody.  And so many celebrities!

4. HELLBOY LOST ARMY.  A vast improvement on the first film.  It feels much closer to the comic and more of a Del Toro movie.  

3. INDIANA JONES 4.  I actually love this flawed movie.  It was so magical to have Indy back, even if the story wasn’t as great.  I do think it has some truly iconic set pieces though; the Area 51 chase and the jungle car chase.

2. THE DARK KNIGHT.  An amazingly well written Batman movie and a great portrayal of the Joker.

1. IRON MAN.  But I have to give the top spot to the movie that birthed the MCU.  This movie works on every level with fun and charm and action and changed movies forever.

2007.

10. THE SIMPSONS MOVIE.  I’m a die hard Simpsons fan  I’ve seen every episode.  This is a perfect distillation into a movie format.

9. SWEENEY TODD.  One of my all time favorite musicals.

8. NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN.  Not a “fun” movie, but a masterpiece of dialogue and style.

7. SPIDER-MAN 3.  I like this more than most.  At least with three different villains it kept the plot moving with regular action, unlike the first two.  Getting Venom on screen, even in this lame version, was a huge nerd moment.  “Evil” Tobey is still ridiculous though.

6. 300.  Zach Snyder’s visual masterpiece.  A comic book come to life.

5. HOT FUZZ.  My favorite Edgar Wright movie by a mile.  Hilarious fun and even has good action.

4. DIE HARD 4.  I truly love the first three movies.  This is not as good, but it is a lot better than it has any right to be.  It’s a pretty good action flick with a pretty good villain plot.

3. PIRATES OF THE CARRIBBEAN 3.  I truly love the first two and went into this with high expectations that were not met.  It was a disappointment on nearly every level, but it’s still a good movie.

2. HARRY POTTER ORDER PHOENIX.  My 2nd favorite book of the series and a great movie.

1. TRANSFORMERS.  I only had vague childhood memories of the cartoon but the combination of nostalgia with Bay-sanity makes for a true crowd pleaser.

2006.

10. TALLADEGA NIGHTS.  Another hilarious Will Ferrell comedy.

9. HAPPY FEET.  A delightful children’s movie with incredibly good CGI.

8. THE PRESTIGE.  One of the better Christopher Nolan movies with a great plot twist.

7. BORAT.  This movie makes me laugh harder than anything else; and it also has a moral message by satirizing ignorance.

6. CRANK.  This is a delightful insane and over the top movie.

5. V FOR VENDETTA.  Haven’t seen it in years, but I recall it being a great adaptation of an excellent comic book.

4. MISSION IMPOSSIBLE III.  J.J. Abrahams makes an amazing first movie with great action and visuals.  I enjoy this far more than the first two.

3. X-MEN LAST STAND.  I enjoy this movie more than most.  It’s definitely got some terrible choices in it, but the sheer number of characters (Beast!  Juggernaut!  Danger Room Sentinels!) made it a winner at the time.

2. CHILDREN OF MEN.  Alfonso Cuaron makes a perfect film full of realism, mystery, astounding camera technique, truly moving moments, and also great action.

1. PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 2.  I love this movie.  It’s a sequel that expands on an amazing first chapter in so many wonderful ways.  It’s chock full of truly iconic sequences with inventive action and humor.

Movie Rankings: 2011, 2010, 2009

2011.

10. PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN 4.  A massive disappointment after the original trilogy, but not a bad movie by any stretch of the imagination.

9. X-MEN FIRST CLASS.  A pretty good reboot of the franchise set in the 60s.  I definitely prefer the originals but it is cool to see the origin of Xavier and Magneto’s relationship.

8. TIN TIN.  Peter Jackson and Stephen Spielberg team up to create an immensely fun globe trotting family adventure with astounding visuals and set pieces.

7. KUNG FU PANDA 2.  A great sequel to a great movie with a great villain.

6. TRANSFORMERS 3.  Probably the best Bay-formers movie.  Some truly epic action scenes at the end as the villains stage a full out invasion.

5. MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 4.  Brad Bird creates the best MI movie by far full of instantly iconic big set pieces.

4. FAST FIVE.  This is when the Fast franchise became amazing.  It went from a street racing franchise to a globe trotting Avengers style James Bond franchise and it’s delightful.

3. CAPTAIN AMERICA.  A great introduction to the character and a great WWII story.  Such an earnest and moral character could have been a big misstep in this day and age but the MCU handles him with perfection.

2. THOR.  Another great character introduction that shows the MCU can go big and crazy and cosmic and still work.  Also the introduction to the MCU’s greatest villain in Loki.

1. HARRY POTTER DEATHLY HALLOWS 2.  The best Harry Potter movie and a non-stop action thriller to bring the franchise to a satisfying and thrilling conclusion.

2010.

10. OWLS OF GAHOOLE- Astonishingly gorgeous CGI for a great family adventure story that is willing to go to dark places.

9. A-TEAM.  Not familiar with the source material, but this is a really fun action adventure with great humor and set pieces.

8. TANGLED.  A modern day Disney classic.

7. TOY STORY 3.  I am not a big fan of the first two movies but this had a great story with very mature themes and some great adventure.

6. HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON.  A delightful family adventure story.

5. IRON MAN 2.  Definitely one of the weaker MCU movies with very forgettable villains.

4. INCEPTION.  My favorite non-Bat Nolan movie.  A masterclass in action and suspicious and plotting.

3. SCOTT PILGRIM.  Another Edgar Wright classic that truly feels like a comic book come to life.

2. HARRY POTTER DEATHLY HALLOWS 1.  While the trio hiding in the forest and turning on each other is tedious, the rest of it is a wonderfully dark adventure that completely jettisons the series format for a full out war.

1. TRON LEGACY.  I dearly love this movie.  The villain’s plot is ridiculous, but everything else is perfection.  The visual design and score is second to none.  I still listen to this soundtrack on the reg.  The action is incredible.  This is a perfect blend between honoring the original and delivering something new.  Jeff Bridges is not a glorified cameo but just as important to the movie as the new lead character.

2009.

10. LAND OF THE LOST.  I actually think this is a reall funny movie!  I have no knowledge of the source material.

9. SHERLOCK HOLMES.  Ritchie and Downey are a great combination to reinvent Sherlock.

8. UP.  Great Pixar movie with a fun adventure quest.

7. DISTRICT 9.  A stellar combination of amazingly realistic CGI with a morality tale.

6. HARRY POTTER HALF-BLOOD PRINCE.  My least favorite of the later books and movies because it’s just a throwback school story for the most part.

5. TRANSFORMERS 2.  There’s definitely ridiculous excess at work, but it remains a visual masterpiece of Bay-hem that expands the scope with more characters and more global locales.

4. WATCHMEN.  As perfect an adaptation as any movie could hope to be of the greatest comic book of all time.

3. TERMINATOR SALVATION.  I think this movie is greatly underappreciated.  Rather than being another mindless remake of T2, they actually did something different and showed the future war for the first time.  The action and spectacle is absolutely amazing and it’s an interesting story that takes the franchise in a new direction.

2. STAR TREK.  A delightful reinvention of the franchise into a Star Wars-y epic action piece with a ton of great character and humor.  Way more cinematic than any Trek movie before it.

1. AVATAR.  James Cameron once again creates an iconic (if unoriginal) sci-fi movie that became the highest grossing movie in history for a reason.  The world of Pandora is a revelation to behold.  And while the story doesn’t really do anything groundbreaking, it still works.

Movie Rankings: 2014, 2013, 2012

2014.

10. GODZILLA.  The human characters are boring but this movie did a wonderful job of building the mystery, scale, and spectacle of a skyscraper sized monster more than any other movie.  

9.  AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2.  There’s a lot of bad in here.  Way too much of the movie is a emo stalker love story.  Electro’s character is ridiculous.  The last minute tacked on Green Goblin II appearance is terrible.  Putting that aside there is some great Spidey action in here.

8. BIG HERO 6. A great Disney (secretly Marvel!) superhero animated adventure.

7. HOW TO TRAIN DRAGON 2.  This is an incredibly dark and mature sequel with an amazing story, action, humor, and some truly shocking twists.

6. DAWN OF PLANET OF THE APES.  My favorite Apes movie by far.  First, the CGI is 100% photorealistic.  It’s astonishing.  But more importantly, this tells a wonderful story of how an uneasy peace devolved into war through mistrust and misunderstanding.

5. EDGE OF TOMORROW. I normally hate time loop stories but this milks it for all it’s worth with a ton of great action and humor.

4. X-MEN DAYS OF FUTURE PAST.  The best X-Men movie!  It was a huge deal to have the original cast come back, though disappointing that only Wolverine actually travels back in time.

3. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY.  The MCU’s most daring big swing paid off perfectly.  They went full on sci-fi and everything is delightful and hilarious.

2. WINTER SOLDIER.  One of the best of the MCU.  Another wonderful vehicle to make Cap an interesting character with amazing action and truly world-shattering consequences to the franchise.  Who ever though they would destroy SHIELD when the SHIELD television show had just started?!  Daring!

1. HOBBIT BATTLE FIVE ARMIES. Certainly the worst example of Jackson excess and I love every second of it.  The White Council vs. the Necomancer is one of those scenes i dreamed about as a child and seeing it on screen was absolutely magical.  The ridiculously large scale battle, which looks bigger than the one in ROTK, is just pure spectacle.

2013.

10. FROZEN.  While a little overrated, it’s still a Disney classic and cultural juggernaut full of iconic songs.

9. GRAVITY.  Alfonso Cuaron creates an unbeliveably kinetic realtime edge of your seat experience unlike any other.  The special effects look absolutely real.  There’s even some theming and symbolism in the mix.

8. THOR DARK WORLD.  One of the weakest MCU films with perhaps the worst villain, but there are still great character and comedy bits and some great action scenes.

7. PACIFIC RIM.  Not terribly original, but a very fun Del Toro action flick with great spectacle.

6. WHITE HOUSE DOWN.  This movie is so much sheer fun and I’m surprised it’s not more popular.  It’s Die Hard in the White House!

5. FAST FURIOUS 6.  This might be my favorite Fast movie.  It’s got all the best characters and perhaps the series best villain in Owen Shaw and his team, along with some of the greatest set pieces in the franchise.

4. MAN OF STEEL. I’m not a fan of grim and gritty takes on superheroes but this movie still works for me… mostly.  Despite the dark subject matter Supes does remain an aspirational figure, and killing Zod is actually true to the comics.  It’s definintely the best solo Superman movie ever and the first one to truly deliver on the spectacle and power the character should possess.

3. IRON MAN 3.  I think this is a mostly successful movie and while the Mandarin twist initially irked me, I do appreciate it now.  I do wish Tony had spent more time in the armor though.

2. STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS. Aside from the ridiculous ending, I love this movie!  Peter Weller and Cumberbatch were superlative villains.  The action was epic and incredible.  Even more importantly, they brought in Section 31 from DS9!  The ending is still dumb though.

1. HOBBIT DESOLATION OF SMAUG.  With the caveat that this is not a faithful adaptation of the book but a what if exended version… this movie is pure magic.  There’s a lot more action and epicness than the first movie.  We get Legolas, Lee Pace, and Evangelline Lilly.  And the “extended” scene of the Dwarves fighting Smaug in the Lonely Mountain is my all time favorite “addition” that Jackson made to the trilogy.

2012.

10. JOHN CARTER.  Too long and too serious, but a truly epic sci-fi adventure.

9. CLOUD ATLAS.  Another Wachowski masterpiece full of beautiful moments, but it is overly long and overly complicated.

8. CABIN IN THE WOODS.  A classic pastiche of every horror movie trope imaginable.

7. WRECK IT RALPH.  A great parody of video games.

6. SKYFALL.  Definitely the best of the Daniel Craig era with a great villain, great set pieces, and an actual feeling of something momentous occuring in the franchise.

5. DARK KNIGHT RETURNS.  A disappointing conclusion to the Nolan trilogy but full of great individual moments.  Doing Knightfall and No Man’s Land (each fully year long storylines) in a single movie results in a rushed and unsatisfactory telling and an overlong movie, but it was great to see a live action version of these events.  

4. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN.  Garfield is a much better Spidey than Maguire, but having to sit through a prolonged origin story yet again is tedious, and the Lizard is not a great villain.  Still, the Spidey action is a vast improvement over the Rami trilogy.

3. PROMETHEUS.  There are some plot holes but this is a wonderful continuation of the Alien franchise that does something new and original rather than doing another rehash of Aliens.  The mystery of the Engineers and the origin of the xenomorphs was the great unanswered question of the original movies and this film addresses that subject with a great sense of wonder and mystery.  I’m still disappointed we never got a proper sequel to this.

2. HOBBIT UNEXPECTED JOURNEY.  As a die hard Tolkein fan, I dearly love the Hobbit movies not as a faithful adaptation but as a delightful “what if?” extended version of the original story, remaking it to better fit the style and tone of LOTR.  And it’s magical to see it on the screen.

1. THE AVENGERS.  A perfect movie.  A perfect script.  A moment realized on screen that I never hoped to see.  The movie that changed the MCU from a middling success into the juggernaut that defines movies to this day.