8. Brick (2005)
High school teenager Brendan finds his former girlfriend Emily dead. This leads Brendan on an investigation of his High School to figure out what happened.
Brick is probably one of the most unique mysteries to come out of the 2000s, this is mainly due to the film noir quality that it has. The idea of making a film noir set at a high school with teenager characters is the most unique aspect of this film, and feels fresh thanks to a smart script and directing by Rian Johnson.
The dialogue and the character types all feel as if they came from a classic film noir, while never deviating from the fact that the characters are teenagers- and unlike a lot of other teen based mysteries like Nancy Drew-this movie is dark and exposes the gritty side of crime.
Brick is a completely unique mystery that looks and feels unlike any other film made in the past decade. It’s fresh and creative with its setting and characters and deliverers a completely engrossing experience.
9. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004)
Giant robots are attacking New York City and the world’s top scientists are disappearing. Polly, a newspaper reporter, is investigating these disappearances along with Joe-the titular Sky Captain-as they both try and figure out why these scientists are disappearing.
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow is one of the most entertaining films to come out of the 2000s, as it evokes the high octane thrills and adventure of films like Indian Jones.
The uniqueness of the visuals blend a 50s sci-fi look with futuristic technology that makes the movie feel like a loving tribute to that era’s sci-fi. The use of giant robots and laser guns further act as homage’s.
While some of the special effects might feel a bit dated by today, the film itself does not. The entertainment of watching something that feels like a 50s sci-fi adventure serial is the movies strongest aspect. It really does have the entertainment value of movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark or the Star Wars movies have.
10. Donnie Darko (2001)
Strange things have been happening to teenager Donnie Darko after he encounters a man sized bunny named Frank. Frank tells Donnie of impending doom that will take place in 28 days. Donnie tries to figure out what it all means, while also encountering other strange and unusual events that don’t quite seem right.
Donnie Darko is probably the most well known cult movie to come out of the 2000s, as the movie has this strange quality to it that more than likely requires more than one viewing just to figure out what’s happening- and that’s largely due to the intriguing script by writer and director Richard Kelly and the fact that his script has so many different layers to it. However, this is more than likely why this movie has become such a cult phenomenon, because of how smart and unique it is.
Donnie Darko is an incredibly original film that’s so different from a lot of the other films made during the 2000s, and it’s disappointing that director Richard Kelly hasn’t done that much since this movie.
11. Saawariya (2007)
Indian cinema has produced some of the most memorable movies made in the past two decades, making lavish song and dance epics that are true international classics- while also producing memorable actors and actresses like Kareena Kapoor and Shah Rukh Kahn. Some of these spectacular films include classics like Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Lagaan or Kal Ho Na No. Yet there are quite a few instances where critical or commercial success doesn’t necessarily happen- Saawariya is one of those instances.
Saawariya was a box office flop when it first came out and was equally panned by critics, and although the story might not be original- due to the fact that it’s a typical boy meets girl story that Indian cinema is known for- the thing that really makes this movie memorable is the cinematography and use of color.
This movie is absolutely beautiful and that’s largely due to the overabundance of blue and the overall dream like quality to it. Meanwhile, the song and dance numbers are pretty good, not the best that Indian cinema has to offer, but certainly not bad.
Saawariya is a classic example of style over substance, but that’s no good reason why this movie should have been panned. The beautiful cinematography and the decent song and dance numbers make this movie a lot better than what critics say.
12. Kamikaze Girls (2004)
Kamikaze Girl describes the life of a strange girl obsessed with the Rococo era of France- as well as the fashion from that era. One day she meets this biker girl and the two become friends with each other- despite the fact that they are almost complete opposites.
This movie is definitely Japanese, in terms of its style and overall weirdness. The directing is sometimes very over the top and the art style is bright and colorful. But at the same time, it’s just such an entertainingly fun movie, filled with wackiness and a strong likeability for the characters.
The best way to describe this movie would be to compare it to the movie Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, as both movies have that over the top sugar rush energy to them, while also being very entertaining in their sheer craziness. Kamikaze Girls is just a fun over the top movie filled with candy coated visuals and an energy all its own.
13. Pretty Persuasion (2005)
Kimberly is a fifteen year old high schooler who accuses her English teacher Mr. Anderson of sexual harassment. Her two other friends, Brittany and Randa, also accuse Mr. Anderson of the same thing, but is everything as it seems? Or are these three girls making it up in order to get back at Mr. Anderson?
Pretty Persuasion is a hilariously dark comedy that acts as a satire on American culture-satirizing topics like racism and pedophilia. Nothing is off limits to this movie, as much of the humor is very off color and dark. Pretty Persuasion definitely shares a lot of qualities with the classic dark comedy Heathers, as both satirize teenage and high school culture in a dark way.
The cast in this movie is fantastic, Evan Rachel Wood, Elisabeth Harnois, and Adi Schnall are very good in their roles- given the fact that these characters are not exactly likeable; especially the main character Kimberly. The adult cast members are also great, as Ron Livingston and Jane Krakowski are both very good in their roles.
However, it’s really James Woods that gives the best performance, playing Kimberly’s horribly over the top racist father, as this character is almost cartoonishly over the top, but definitely gives a hilarious performance.
This movie might not be for everyone, as topics like pedophilia, sexual harassment, racial insensitivity and racism are not funny and should be treated very seriously. Pretty Persuasion definitely crosses the line a lot of the time, but it’s not meant to be taken seriously- as the movie is a satire, and should be treated as such. Yet this movie definitely works as a satire on these serious issues, while also being outrageously dark and off color.
14. La Antena (The Aerial) (2007)
The people in a city in Argentina can no longer speak after having their voices stolen. Now a family is trying to get the people’s voices back after discovering a boy who has the ability to speak.
This is a very unique movie, as it’s almost entirely silent and shot in black and white- so it’s made to look like a movie from the 20s. The most unique aspect about La Antena is that it’s made to look like an early film noir/ German Expressionist film, taking strong visual influences from films like Metropolis or Cabinet of Dr. Cagliari. Because of these classic influences this movie is very stylish and beautiful looking; although it does feel a bit slow at times.
Esteban Sapir creates a totally stylish and original silent film that feels like a lost Fritz Lang expressionist film and definitely worth checking out.
Author Bio: Antony Copsey is an up and coming writer, who is studying communications at Rowan University at Glassboro, New Jersey. He is a huge fan of watching movies and writing about them, as well as writing his own material