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Six Directors Reveal Their Picks for the Best Movies of the 21st Century

Sofia Coppola
Getty Images

Earlier today, The New York Times published a fascinating, beautifully designed, and occasionally infuriating list of “The 25 Best Films of the 21st Century So Far.” Times critics A.O. Scott and Manohla Dargis named their picks, with Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood claiming the prize as the best film of the last 16 and a half years. Their list also surveyed some directors for contributions, and in a separate piece, the Times listed the favorites from a half dozen of the biggest directors working today.

The respondants included Antoine Fuqua, Paul Feig, Denis Villeneuve, Brett Ratner, Alex Gibney, and Sofia Coppola, who wrote “I usually like more subtle movies but can enjoy all kinds” as a prologue to these (apparently unranked) favorites:

  • Force Majeure
  • White Ribbon
  • The Savages
  • Head-On
  • Daddy’s Home
  • Under the Skin
  • The Incredibles
  • Together
  • Grizzly Man
  • Ida
  • Fish Tank
  • Ex Machina

There’s not a bad movie on that list. (I love the inclusion of the underrated Daddy’s Home, even if I wouldn’t call it one of the best movies of the decade.) And there were smart picks on the other lists as well. Feig liked Sing StreetMoon, and Casino Royale; Villeneuve cited Under the SkinChildren of Men, and Inception. Alex Gibney went to bat for City of God and Michael Clayton. Antoine Fuqua said Fences was his top pick. And Brett Ratner said the number one film was The Kid Stays in the Picture.

For the full lists from directors and the critics, head over to the Times. They’ll give you plenty to discuss with your movie-loving friends over the weekend.

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