Everyone has a list. Though it may seem a little early to mark the best of this century so far, there have been some excellent films released in the last 17 years. I thought it would be fun to take a look back at the centuries greatest films. So, I’ve compiled a six part series of the 25 greatest films in particular genres with the final list culminating in my take on the 25 best films of the 21st century so far.
Let’s start with comedy. Comedies are some of the hardest films to please crowds with. Good comedy isn’t always goofy slapstick nor is it always high brow humor. The genre is perhaps the most subjective of any movie genre. A sense of humor is fickle thing, what is funny to me, may not be funny to you. To me, good comedies make me laugh consistently, deeply and can be instantly quotable. There are several films that won’t make this list that would likely be on others. That’s part of why I’m writing this. I love to discuss movies and I would love to hear others lists or thoughts on my list. You may love some of the movies on this list, you may hate some. But in the end, these are the 25 films of the 21st century I believe have totally nailed it.
25. 21 Jump Street & 22 Jump Street (2012 & 2014)
Okay, so this list starts off with a bit of a cop out (no pun intended). Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum’s undeniably brilliant chemistry make these two films the funniest in recent memory. Self aware and staggeringly funny, this budding franchise one upped itself with its sequel. I had to include both because of the fact that the sequel is so good. The films really proved that Tatum had the ability to do more than just dance on screen. There might be more to come from this franchise and here’s to hoping we see more greatest from a third entry.
24. In Bruges (2008)
This movie may be a little higher on some film critics list. In Bruges isn’t for everybody but it has some truly wonderful dark comedy moments. A couple of outstanding performances from Colin Farrell and the criminally underrated Brendan Gleeson anchor this solid film from director Martin McDonagh. It’s a darker comedy than some might expect but McDonagh deftly balances that dry humor with gripping drama to craft a really solid film.
23. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)
By all accounts, Will Ferrell movies shouldn’t work. They are silly and often outlandish. Yet it is Ferrell’s no fear mentality that makes his films so infections. Ferrell’s long career has been filled with those type of characters, and rarely any as funny as Ron Burgundy. Anchorman is a consistently clever and insanely quotable movie. Few actors have the charisma to pull this role off. Adam Sandler tries to do it, but he just doesn’t have the it factor that Ferrell has. Ferrell has been apart some of the best comedies of 2000’s, even a few I unfortunately had to leave off this list.
22. Knocked Up (2007)
Though it’s female lead has since trashed this film for her perceived notion of the films treatment of its female characters, Knocked Up has aged well. Judd Apatow has crafted some of the best comedies of recent memory including a few on this list. The film is a really funny look at real world relationships and covers a subject matter rarely explored before on film. Seth Rogen gives a likable performance in this film but the true achievement of Knocked Up is the funny yet nuanced approach to its subject matter. Apatow is the king of finding laughs in relatively benign, every day life situations.
21. Ted (2012)
Leave it to Family Guy creator Seth McFarland to find humor in a talking, pot smoking teddy bear. Often what makes comedies funny is not only gut busting laughter, but a well established emotional connection with its characters. Ted does that. Even with the foul mouthed bear at the center, John (Mark Wahlberg) and Ted’s relationship is deeper than telling dirty jokes. Thus, Ted is a really funny comedy with some heart to boot. It’s sequel, while not as funny as the first is still really solid but not good enough to make the list. Ted is laugh out loud funny for all of its run time. You can see so far my taste in comedy isn’t real high brow.
Check out 20-16 on the next page!