I am one of those people who loves lists. I am always making lists (if only you could see the volume of sticky notes displaying To Do reminders scattered around my condo…), I live for checking things off of lists, and I also enjoy reading other people’s lists. So when I saw that the folks over at Yahoo! Movies released a list of 100 Movies from the last 20 years that they felt everyone should see before their time on this planet is up, I was all over it.
Before I discuss my opinions of Yahoo’s list, however, I should mention that about eleven years ago when my husband and I were first dating, he was in the process of trying to watch the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 Best American Films, which came out the year prior in 1998. I think he got through nearly all of them, but I traveled too much for work back then so I still have several titles to check off. Since that point in time, the AFI leveraged the hype around its inaugural list into an annual celebration of film called the “100 Years…” series. My favorite in the series so far has been the “100 Years… 100 Movie Quotes” list that debuted in 2005. Can you guess what #1 was? I’ll give you a hint… it’s from a movie I’ve mentioned before on this site because it holds the film record for Most Tickets Ever Sold in the U.S. (take that, Avatar!).
Anywho… the AFI updated their 100 Greatest list in 2008 (only three films kept their original positions), and now the Yahoo! Movies editorial staff seems to be attempting to start up a series of their own, as their Modern Classics list, released yesterday, is a follow-up to their All-Time Greats list.
You can scroll through the Modern Classics list here. After you’ve done so, I’d love to hear if you think those 100 titles represent the best of the past 20 years. I haven’t seen many of the foreign films, so I can’t speak to those. I agree with all of the dramas listed… except Michael Clayton — that seemed out of place, as did the omission of Up in the Air, which I do think will eventually come to encapsulate what “these economic times” were like for future generations. I’m more befuddled by the comedies chosen. While I liked Anchorman and The 40-Year-Old Virgin, I would always choose to watch Old School and The Hangover if I’m in the mood for Dudes Behaving Badly tomfoolery. I would also switch out Wall*E for Up.
What do you think about the list? What was snubbed? What didn’t deserve a spot? And how depressed are you after realizing that we haven’t had an absolutely incredible year in cinematic achievement since 1999?