Introduction

With the first decade of the twenty-first century concluding at the end of 2009, a lot of film critics and media sources are compiling lists of the best films of the last ten years. This is not one of those lists.

Instead, on todayís show Iíll be counting down a list of twenty-five films that were the decade. The following films have been assembled as a sort of cultural collage, representing the times through cinema. That means the list is not about quality. This is not a list of my favorite films of the past ten years, nor is it a list of the most prestigious motion pictures the decade has to offer. The following films have been assembled based on how they reflect the trends in cinema over the past ten years and how the films capture the culture in which we live.

A list like this of 1980s cinema might include a few critically acclaimed or award winning movies such as Out of Africa or Wall Street, but it would also include popular entertainment like Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Breakfast Club, Rambo: First Blood Part II and even Friday the 13th. A comparable list of 1990s films would likely include critical darlings like Pulp Fiction and The Shawshank Redemption but it would almost certainly have to name South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut, Natural Born Killers, and The Matrix. This list is about each filmís cultural impact, either on the film medium or on the culture at large, or its embodiment of the decade in which it was released.

What follows are twenty-five films that captured the essence of the first decade of the 21st century. These are the films that, for better or worse, defined the past ten years.