Sean's Top 10 of 2002
In no particular order.............. the ten films that I enjoyed most over the last 12 months. Deliberately left out 'Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers' as I've not seen it yet - but, let's face it, it would be in here somewhere!
To most, the appointment of Brett Ratner to direct the third instalment of the Hannibal Lecter saga came as somewhat of a surprise. To his credit, Ratner turned in one of the most enjoyable thrillers of the year, pairing taut direction with wonderful performances from Anthony Hopkins, Emily Watson and, particularly, Ralph Fiennes. A most welcome return to form for everyone's favourite cannibal after the flabby 'Hannibal'.
Bill Paxton's directorial debut succeed where lots of psychological thrillers fail; really getting under the skin of the audience. Frailty covers theme's as diverse as mental health, family ties and Christian fundamentalism but never once patronises the viewer, leaving just the right number of questions unanswered for those discussions down the pub!
Finally swinging onto our screens after ten years in development hell, everyone's favourite web slinger produced the most accomplished comic book adaptation to date. Wonderful (if slightly overdone) special effects and a brilliant, scenery-chewing turn by Willem Defoe as the Green Goblin made this the popcorn movie of the summer.
An unexpected delight. The story of a stranded troop of soldiers against a howling pack of hungry werewolves brought to mind classic siege flicks such as 'Rio Bravo' and 'Assault on Precint 13'. Director/writer Neil Marshall kept all the tension screwed up to breaking point, whilst expertly tempering it with a shot of jet-black humour. Best British film of the year.
Richard Kelly's debut feature was the sweet, coming of age story of a troubled teenager, his near death experience and his secret trysts with a man-sized demonic rabbit. Truly unlike anything you've seen before, Donnie Darko deserves to make superstars of both Kelly and his leading man Jake Gyllenhaal.
Well, let's face it. Steven Soderbergh's remake of the 'classic' Rat Pack film couldn't help but be an improvement on the original. George Clooney and Brad Pitt have the absolute time of their lives as they lead a motley crew of assorted Hollywood A-listers in an audacious sting on three Las Vegas casinos.
The Royal Tenenbaums
Following on from 'Bottle Rocket' and 'Rushmore', director/writer Wes Anderson brought together a stellar cast for this tale of a flawed father trying to bring together his estranged, dysfunctional family. Beautifully observed and almost painful to watch, Gene Hackman deserved at least an Oscar nod for his portrayal of the ageing patriarch.
This was always going to be a big winner. Tom Cruise and Steve Spielberg team up for a sci-fi blockbuster - was anybody really surprised when it turned out to be such a big success? Perhaps what was surprising was just how good it was. A script full of twists and turns and a star-making performance by Colin Farrell - if you only saw one sci-fi thriller this year, it really should have been this one.
Die Another Day
Sue me. I'm sorry I didn't pick a more worthy film but, dammit, I enjoyed the 20th Bond flick more than almost any other film this year. Yes, it was loud. Yes, it was brainless and yes it probably served no other purpose than selling a few Aston Martins and a bucket load of Omega watches. But I loved it - a real return to form for the franchise and here's hoping Brosnan can do at least another one.... he could be the best Bond of all.
Attack Of The Clones
Guess I should apologise for this choice too! There are a few reasons why this one's here.......
1) It took away most of
the nasty taste left behind by 'The Phantom Menace'
Go figure/discuss/whatever - I expect your reports on my desk first thing in the morning.