Watch a movie on your laptop, on your iPad, even on your phone. The world didn't end with Y2K, as the turn of the century made entertainment available at any time. James Cameron finally nailed the whole 3D technology thing with his billion-dollar blockbuster Avatar, war films (Blackhawk Down, In the Valley of Elah, The Hurt Locker) made a comeback post 9/11 and Iraq War, and low budget, torture-filled horror (Saw franchise, Hostel) made a killing at the box office, all of which seemingly reflected the mood of the country.
Meanwhile, American indie directors like Paul Thomas Anderson and Quentin Tarantino increasingly embraced classicist blocking and mis-en-scene with roots in the 1930s, a new generation of indie filmmakers led by the likes of Wes Anderson and Sofia Coppola emerged, an all-time great martial star emerged in Tony Jaa, Wong Kar-Wai found yet more romance mining Hong Kong's past and future, Danny Boyle pushed innovation in digital cinema, South Korean auteurs created new ways of being brutally violent and simultaneously hilarious, and Michael Haeneke quietly went about proving he's one of the best filmmakers in the world.
And, lest you forget, the Three Amigos of Mexico innovated cinematic narrative, visual language, myth-making, and the correlation between violence and pathos in such a way that the total effects of it probably won't be understood until Alfonso Cuaron, Guillermo del Toro, and Alejandro González Iñárritu are willowy haired old men.
United States: There Will Be Blood, Inglorious Basterds, Ratatouille, Avatar, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Traffic, Memento, No Country For Old Men, Wall-E, Saw, Ocean's 11, A Beautiful Mind, Gladiator, Mulholland Drive, The Departed, The Hurt Locker, Juno, Almost Famous, Minority Report, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Lost In Translation, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Dark Knight, Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2, Little Miss Sunshine, Up, Million Dollar Baby, Brokeback Mountain, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Grizzly Man, Garden State, Adaptation, Requiem for a Dream, Erin Brockovich
World Cinema: Amelie, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Snatch, About Elly, Slumdog Millionaire, District 9, A Prophet, 28 Days Later, In The Mood For Love, Old Boy, Spirited Away, Tell No One, The Protector, Millions, The Host, City of God, Heaven, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, The White Ribbon, The Piano Teacher, Cache, Code Unknown, The Beat That My Heart Skipped, Memories of Murder, Infernal Affairs, Irreversible, Dancer in the Dark, 4 Months 3 Weeks and 2 Days, Gomorrah, Before Night Falls, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Hero, Mother
Three Amigos Films: Y Tu Mama Tambien, Children of Men, Pan's Labyrinth, The Devil's Backbone, Amoresperros, Hellboy, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, 21 Grams, Babel, Blade 2, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
UNDERRATED GEMS: Notre Music, I Heart Huckabees, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Brick, Stranger Than Fiction, Bug, Gerry, Rules of Attraction, Laurel Canyon, The Act of Killing, Lymelife, Bubble, Me and You and Everyone We Know, Chop Shop, Silent Light, The Son, Elephant, Whale Rider, The Secret of the Grain, 2046, Exiled, Triad Election
TOP FILM DIRECTORS OF THE 2000s: Christopher Nolan, Quentin Tarantino, The Coen Brothers, Ang Lee, Wes Anderson, Stephen Spielberg, Paul Thomas Anderson, Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood, Cameron Crowe, Peter Jackson, Ridley Scott, David Fincher, Guillermo del Toro, Ron Howard, James Cameron, David Lynch, Kathryn Bigelow Gus Van Sant, Steven Soderbergh, Alfonso Cuaron, Michael Haeneke, Wong Kar-Wai, Johnnie To