Doing lists of the best things of the decade seems to be in vogue right now and seeing as it doesn't involve a lot of thought I figured I'd follow suit.
1. Sin City (2005 dir. Robert Rodriguez/Frank Miller/Quentin Tarantino)
Based on Frank Miller's neo-noir series of graphic novels this is a visual feast. I hadn't read the comics before seeing the film so had no pre-conceived ideas about what it should look like but as far as I can tell it's pretty much spot on. Love the ensemble cast and the Tarantino style story segments. Thrilling stuff.
2. City of God (2002 dir. Fernando Meirelles/Katia Lund)
Brazilian drama about organised crime in Rio de Janeiro. Very few genuine actors used, most of the cast came from the Rio favelas which makes for a gritty and authentic feel that really aids the story telling. Close run thing between Sin City and this for the number one slot.
3. Walk The Line (2006 dir. James Mangold)
Johnny Cash biopic which focuses on the love affair between Cash (brilliantly portrayed by Joaquin Pheonix) and June Carter (an equally great performance from Reese Witherspoon).
4. Black Hawk Down (2001 dir. Ridley Scott)
Film about the Battle of Mogadishu and the US effort to capture a Somali warlord. Ridley Scott is one of my all time favourite directors and managed to create a conflict based movie that compares well with the very best war movies.
5. The Man Who Wasn't There (2001 dir. Joel & Ethan Coen)
Another noir film in which Billy Bob Thornton plays a laconic, chain-smoking barber who blackmails his wife's boss in an attempt to raise money to invest in a dry cleaning company. Filmed in colour but transferred to black and white it has the feel of a 1940s classic which is enhanced by a wonderfully understated performance from Thornton.