Best Films of the 2000s: No. 10.

Taking a look back at the last decade of movies is an extremely enjoyable yet difficult task. To me, the list is far more than merely ordering the best films from each of the last ten years. For better and worse, the passing of time makes this list more objective, eliminating some of the in-the-moment passion, but also more subjective, as personal connections elevate great movies past others that lacked a connection. Rewatchability is also a factor, making certain films more powerful, memorable and enjoyable. Ultimately, the list emerges from a confluence of the best films and my favorite films.

Before getting to the Top Ten of the 2000s, here are a few movies that won’t be included, because they were released in the 1990s: Saving Private Ryan, The Sixth Sense, The Matrix. I would love to work them into a Best of the Decade list, but their time has passed. I feel old.

Now, on with the show...

No. 10

Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban

I still remember the thrilling moment early in Azkaban when I realized that director Alfonso Cuaron wasn't following in Chris Columbus' footsteps by merely telling the book's story with moving pictures. He was making a film, a clinic on how to adapt books to the screen. Take a good story and infuse it with cinematic flair. Use lush visuals, camera movements that breathtakingly sweep through the epic landscape of Hogwarts, vivid transitions that could almost be short films, and heartfelt moments that provide a massive yet concise narrative with a viable and visual soul. This was far more that just the best Harry Potter movie. It was a great film.

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