The 10 Best Films Of 2005With 2015 upon us, we figured it was a good time to look back on the movies the millennium has brought us. And so we’ve dug into the archives and are re-running our Best of the 2000s pieces, from way back in 2009 when the Playlist was a little Blogspot site held together with tape and string. Each list runs down the top 10 films of each year (it’s possible that, half-a-decade on, we’d put them in a different order and even change some of the movies, but we wanted to preserve the original pieces untouched as far as possible). Check out 20002001, 2002, 2003 and 2004 if you missed them, and today we continue with 2005. The original piece follows below, and thanks to staffers past and present who contributed.

In creating and arguing over all our lists, 2005 was easily the most difficult year (we’d probably say that about every year), and it’s perhaps fitting that the mid-way point of the decade yielded the best crop of pictures. We could have easily listed 20 films here, but once again, stuck to 10. Uh… sort of…

Yeah, we did more than 10 for this particular year. Sue us, or get your own site. Globally, the Dardenne Brothers would win their second Palme d’Or of the decade at the Cannes Film Festival (“L’Enfant,” which wouldn’t be released in the U.S. until the following year), Michael Haneke would win Best Director (for “Cache“) and Jim Jarmusch‘s “Broken Flowers” would win the runner-up Grand Prix. And the American cinematic world would be forever embarrassed that Paul Haggis‘ “Crash” would win the Oscar for Best Picture, beating out frontrunner “Brokeback Mountain,” but Ang Lee would at least win Best Director for the film.

At the box-office, it was the same ol’, same ol’, and the top three grossing-films were big adventure/ fantasy films, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith,” and “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” Onwards…

null11. “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”
Presently, Robert Downey Jr. is one of the two or three biggest movie stars in the world. In 2005, he was a punchline, that guy that got fired from “Ally McBeal.” But everything changed when he paired with fellow comeback kid Shane Black (the writer of the “Lethal Weapon” series), with his first script in nearly ten years on “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.” A buddy comedy, a Hollywood detective satire and an honest-to-god noir movie all rolled into one, it’s outrageously, consistently funny, full of the kind of post-modern moments and smart-ass dialogue that filmmakers have been chasing without success since Tarantino broke through. The central mystery is a real head-scratcher, and the chemistry between Downey Jr. (at the peak of his abilities), Val Kilmer as PI Gay Perry, and Michelle Monaghan as love-interest Harmony, is tremendous. It was woefully underseen, theatrically at least, but is now enshrined as one of the decade’s great cult movies.

null10. “The Beat That My Heart Skipped”
Jacques Audiard‘s most satisfying synthesis of humanism and criminality is this character study, faithful to the spirit of James Toback‘s original (“Fingers“). At its center, twenty-something street thug Tom (Romain Duris) toils away his good soul by partaking in shady real estate deals. He’s devoted to his criminal father, and only the influence of his deceased mother, a concert pianist, can shake that devotion. When Tom learns he has a talent for music, his connection to his mother becomes stronger and he considers leaving his criminal life behind. This internal conflict of masculine/feminine parental devotion is far more passionately evoked than the sexual seduction in Audiard’s “Read My Lips.” Duris gives a virtuoso performance, Audiard’s direction has never been more sharply in tune, and the two create soulful, haunting music together.

null9. “Head On”
A sprawling and affecting musing on love, loss, hedonism and deliverance, Fatih Akin’s absorbing chronicle of self-destructive star-crossed lovers finally put him on the international map after three feature-length films. Oppressed by her strict, old-order family, a suicidal, 20-something Turkish girl (Sibel Kekilli) convinces a nihilistic alcoholic German-Turk (Akin regular Birol Ünel) —who’s given up on life after his wife’s death— to marry her as a means of escape. They share a marriage of convenience —that the brutish inebriated waste case takes for granted— but eventually her dynamism wins him over. Yet as their love is on the crest of coalescing, Ünel’s character accidentally kills a man in a fit of rage for admonishing their fraudulent scam and her previous promiscuity. Incarcerated for his actions, Sibel moves back to Istanbul to start a new life, leaving the caged Unel, who has found a purpose in life thanks to her letters, to pursue her years later when he is free. Raw and uncompromising and set to an ‘80s alt-rock soundtrack (Talk Talk, The Sisters Of Mercy, and more), the film flickers with sexual and romantic ardor.

  • Speed Racer

    ANY list which does not include \’The World\’s Fastest Indian\’ was obviously compiled by a completely moronic imbecile!

  • theschu

    That not so subtle dig at Spielberg\’s recent filmography makes me think it might be time for one of your in depth filmography looks.

  • Christopher Cantos

    Memories Of Murder was a 2003 film right? and Oldboy was 2004.

    I\’m with you on Cache. My first Hanake film. Man that was something

  • Igor Sousa

    I remember the first time I watched Caché I hated. I didn\’t know who was Michael Haneke. As I finally understood who the director was I just got haunted by the film.

    I\’d include 40 years old virgin which is the best comedy of the decade

  • Igor Sousa

    The Dardennes did not win two Palme in the decade. The first one was in 1998, Rosetta

  • aq

    Why are "Oldboy" and "Memories of Murder" in 2005? Aren\’t they films of 2003?


    2005 was an unforgettable year for me. The year i moved out.. my first year away from home. i went to see WALK THE LINE BATMAN BEGINS SIN CITY KINGDOM OF HEAVEN LORD OF WAR CINDERELLA MAN

  • immature

    2046 and Three Times may be better than the films on the bottom half of the list.

  • Erm…

    @Gustavo H Razera Dude. Calm down. I agree with you about Spielberg, but I disagree with how you respond to a ****in top ten list. Seriously dude. Calm the **** down.

  • John

    The New World takes place at Jamestown, not Plymouth Rock . . .

  • MishuPishu

    This one is just about perfect. Really glad to see "The Beat That Skipped My Heart" on here and the Korean films were so important to the changing landscape of film at the time – so influencial. And "Cache" was the film that finally got me hooked on Haneke. Also, Totally agree with yer assessment on Miranda July\’s film. We always need whimsical films that get it right. And I won\’t get into "Munich". You know how I feel about that one and I don\’t want to get angry tonight.

  • Gian

    Regarding \’The New World\’, you need to replace Plymouth Rock (Massachusetts/Pilgrims) with what you meant to say which was Jamestown (Virginia/John Smith, et al). Other than that, great list.

  • Major Kalas

    …nothing to complain about, just two things: "Munich" is in fact a remake of TV movie — and "Downfall" became a pop-culture phenomenon (that scene especially, you know what I mean)…

  • anonymous

    I think Pride and Prejudice deserves a mention. It was probably one of the best British period pieces in the last decade. I\’d have put Brokeback Mountain and History of Violence in the top ten.

  • Wes

    I still don\’t understand the hype over Oldboy and the other two in that trilogy. Pretty terrible, in my opinion. Still haven\’t seen: Walk the Line (James Mangold)
    Sin City (Frank Miller)
    King Kong (Peter Jackson)
    V for Vendetta (James McTeige)
    Munich (Steven Spielberg)

  • Wes

    Cache is terrible but interestingly so. Hanake is either interestingly terrible or amazing (see White Ribbon). Which means he is better than 95% of filmmakers around today. Yeah, I said that.

  • Wes

    History of Violence, Brokeback Mountain, Grizzly Man, New World, Squid and the Whale, Good Night, and Good Luck, Three Times, Capote, Match Point, and Broken Flowers.

  • PhotographicAmnesia

    My top 10
    10)Old Boy, Capote, Brick, Wedding Crashers, The Beat My Heart Skipped, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Nobody Knows, Match Point, Sin City, 1)Keane with an honorable mention for most disturbing going to Hard Candy

  • Gustavo H Razera

    \’"Munich" which is Spielberg\’s best (and least embarrassing) effort of the decade,"

    Let me guess: you\’re one of those idiots who think Spielberg ruined Kubrick\’s work in A.I. because of the ending, not realizing the ending was Kubrick\’s idea all along.

    This site remains a non-entity when it comes to criticism. Stick to the news, the only thing you\’re good at.

  • PhotographicAmnesia

    I know Im going up the raging river of opinion on this (and I\’m sure someone will attempt to pop my raft) but I found The New World to be like being stuck at a cocktail party full of narcissistic camera operators. I have no ride home and almost everyone in the room is standing on there own pedestal. While I\’m cornered for three hours with another legendary opinion of there ability to shoot pretty landscapes. And at any moment I could fall into the abyss of a boredom coma without them ever noticing. Nobody Knows and Lodge Kerrigans Keane would have definately squeezed into my top 10. With Keane a masterwork of hazing the barriers between sanity and reality. My heartache for those with mental illness and the lines between there reality and my perception of it have been blurred with a new compassion forever.

  • Nathan Duke

    \’Catch Me If You Can\’ was 2002. Also, \’The New World\’ was very good. Glad to see it get some love.

  • James

    So glad to see the general reassessment of THE NEW WORLD. The moment I saw it, weeks before it came out, I said it was one of the great films of the decade. I was promptly laughed at by most of my friends, including one who worked at New Line and had run the screening I was at. Glad to be vindicated by the passing years. 🙂

  • Julian

    You guys don\’t like Catch Me If You Can ?

  • yer

    Oh and \’Memories of Murder\’ is brilliant. It\’s Fincher\’s Zodiac 2 years early and even better at that.

  • yer

    I\’m so happy with the resurgence of The New World after the tepid initial reception it had. I remember it topping so many \’best of the decade\’ lists a few years ago. Glad to see it on here as well.

  • cirkusfolk

    Jarhead was easily my favorite film of the year. American Sniper wishes it was half as good. Rest of my list, Cinderella Man, Grizzly Man, The Squid and the Whale, Match Point, Wedding Crashers, Munich, The Matador, Proof, Wallace and Gromit and the Were Rabbit

  • daniel

    I love this lists, keep it coming

  • Nathan Duke

    I have to say – this list is my least favorite of the bunch so far. Several great films made the list, but the year\’s two best (in my opinion) didn\’t and some of those that made the list (I thought) shouldn\’t have been on it. I\’d remove "Oldboy" (which is good, but overrated) as well as "Junebug" and "The Beat My Heart Skipped" (both good, not great). My picks: Brokeback Mountain, A History of Violence, Cache, Grizzly Man, Munich, Good Night and Good Luck, Mysterious Skin, Match Point, The Squid and the Whale, Syriana, Kings and Queen, Tropical Malady, Memories of Murder.

  • Joey Lee