Cinema Connoisseur: The top 100 films of the past decade (#100 to 81)
100. The Prestige (2006) — Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale star as rival magicians who go too far in their game of one-upmanship to the point of jeopardizing the lives of everyone around them. Also stars Scarlett Johansson
99. Elf (2003) — Will Ferrell is Buddy the Elf, who makes his way from the North Pole to the big city to find his father. Sure it's silly, but most Christmas movies are, and this one is funnier than most.
98. Adaptation (2002) — Nicolas Cage plays real life screenwriter Charlie Kaufman who is struggling with adapting a successful book into a film. Cage also plays Charlie's fictional twin brother Donald.
97. The Simpsons Movie (2007) — It arrived about 10 years after The Simpsons' heyday, but it was still a very funny film that showed the family still has a lot left in the tank.
96. Mission Impossible III (2006) — This one unfortunately suffered from being released at a time when Tom Cruise was suffering a lot of backlash. That's a shame, because it was a very exciting film that was directed by J.J. Abrams (Star Trek, “Lost”).
95. I Am Legend (2007) — Will Smith is the last man on Earth who must fight off the victims of a man-made virus.
94. Tropic Thunder (2008) — Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr. portray actors in a big budget war picture who are forced to become real soldiers. Tom Cruise and Matthew McConaughey shine in smaller roles.
93. Funny People (2009) — A top comedian (Adam Sandler) finds out that he is suffering from a form of leukemia. He bonds with an up and coming comedian (Seth Rogen), and works to get his miserable life together. Not that this is saying much, but this is likely Sandler's finest film.
92. Catch Me If You Can (2002) — The true story of Frank Abagnale Jr. who, before his 19th birthday, successfully conned millions worth of cheques as a pilot, doctor, and lawyer. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Abagnale, and Tom Hanks plays the agent pursuing him.
91. Shrek The Third (2007) — Not up to the level of the first film of the series, but better than the second, this one sees Shrek contemplating fatherhood. The Gingerbread Man steals the show.
90. Michael Clayton (2007) — Nominated for Best Picture, this one sees George Clooney as a hired legal gun trying to clean up a messy situation involving a lawyer suffering from a mental breakdown, and the unscrupulous clients who may have caused it.
89. Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004) — The late David Carradine earned an Academy Award nomination for his role as Bill in this film. Uma Thurman plays The Bride, who is out for vengeance after Bill and his cronies left her for dead at her wedding.
88. Mystic River (2003) — Clint Eastwood directed this tale of three boyhood friends (Sean Penn, Tim Robbins and Kevin Bacon) who drift apart, but are brought back together after the murder of Penn's character's daughter.
87. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) — This comedy from the Coen brothers cast George Clooney as one of three prison escapees who search for a hidden treasure, and pose as a bluegrass country band.
86. Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004) — While this one didn't win many awards, it makes me laugh during repeated viewings as much as the first time I saw it. If dodgeball ever overtakes soccer as the world's most popular sport, this film can take the credit for it.
85. The Producers (2005) — Based on the musical of the same name….which was based on the 1968 film of the same name. Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane are fantastic as the schemers looking to stage a flop for tax purposes, and Will Ferrell is great as a Nazi with a song in his heart.
84. The Departed (2006) — Best picture winner about crooked dealings within the Massachusetts State Police featuring Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg, Alec Baldwin and Jack Nicholson.
83. The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005) — Steve Carell is too busy collecting action figures to engage in any hanky panky, until his workmates stick their noses in and make it their mission to find him a soul mate (or at least a bedmate).
82. The Wedding Crashers (2005) — Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn crash weddings to meet women — until Wilson's character breaks the crashers' code by falling for one of them.
81. Iron Man (2008) — Iron Man may only be the ninth or 10th coolest superhero, but his movie, thanks to the always terrific Robert Downey Jr., puts him near the head of the pack as far as comic book adaptations go.
Next week I'll countdown numbers 80 through 61.