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Lexi's Oughts of the Aughts (Top Ten Movies of the Decade)

By Lexi Feinberg

1. Almost Famous
"Blue jean baby, L.A. lady, seamstress for the band," sings a band of ‘70s rockers on a tour bus, shortly after a heated argument. It's one of many beautiful moments in a film that celebrates nostalgia, dreaming and the dynamic force of music. No movie in the 2000s is more flat-out delightful. Buy it on Blu-ray

2. Requiem for a Dream
On the flip side, we have a truly disturbing movie, and the most effective "don't do drugs" campaign out there. There are three junkies on display who are stripped of their dignity and, in one case, an appendage. The standout is the amazing Ellen Burstyn as an aging widow who gets hooked on diet pills, to dire effect. (And yes, she lost the Oscar, to Julia Friggin' Roberts.) Buy it on Blu-ray

3. Brokeback Mountain
This is not simply a "gay cowboy" movie, but a tragic story of love that cannot survive in a world of bias and fear. The acting and direction are effectively minimalist, shying away from shameless manipulation and sensory overload. You won't soon forget the haunting score by Gustavo Santaolalla or the image of Ennis (Heath Ledger) sobbing on his dead lover's coat. Buy it on Blu-ray

4. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Director Michel Gondry and writer Charlie Kaufman are a creative dream team. Together, they created a masterpiece about love and loss, which tackles a common theme (heartache, yawn) in an original way (the science of memory removal, not yawn). A better movie about breakups does not exist. Buy it on Blu-ray

5. The 40 Year Old Virgin
True, "Funny People" sucks, but Judd Apatow created this hilarious movie and produced "Freaks and Geeks," so let's give him a pass. Steve Carell shines as an adult who can make a perfect egg salad sandwich but can't find his way around a bedroom. Watching him scream "Kelly Clarkson!" while being waxed never seems to lose its thrill. Two hours of comedic gold. Buy it on Blu-ray

6. American Splendor / Ghost World
I know, I know, this is cheating, but trying to separate the two is like telling Lady Gaga to act normal. It's not going to happen. Both are based on comics, both are well-acted depresso-comedies, both hold up surprisingly well over time. Treat yourself to a double-feature one Friday night - and don't forget the pina colada-flavored jelly beans. Buy the DVDs: American Splendor, Ghost World

7. Amores Perros
It took me years to see this movie (dead dogs? Count me out) but I'm glad I did. It's a brilliant flick that features three interesting, distinct stories all related to a car accident in Mexico City. An acting powerhouse and as gritty as gritty gets. Buy the DVD

8. Million Dollar Baby
Just when you thought "Rocky" was the only way to do a boxing movie. Hilary Swank proves that "Boys Don't Cry" was no fluke, and Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman show that they can be interesting even when talking about socks (literally). Warning: It's a really heavy flick, but excellent. Buy the Blu-ray

9. Spirited Away
A unique, fascinating fairytale that is propelled by the boundless imagination of writer-director Hayao Miyazaki. Who knew anime could be so cool? Buy the DVD

10. Mulholland Drive
It's 2010 and I still have no idea what this movie is about. And I still totally love it. Buy the DVD

What did you think?

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