Advertising

Last Updated on December 17, 2020

20 21st Century Movies Picked By Top Film Directors You Don’t Want To Miss

20 21st Century Movies Picked By Top Film Directors You Don’t Want To Miss
Advertising

Film directors including Antoine Fuqua, Sofia Coppola, Paul Feig, Denis Villeneuve, Brett Ratner and Alex Gibney recently spoke to The New York Times about their favorite movies of the 21st century to date.[1] Below, I highlight 20 of the choices. This is an excellent place to start if you’re looking for great movies you haven’t seen or haven’t even heard of.

Antoine Fuqua’s Selected Films

Antoine Fuqua himself has directed Training Day, The Magnificent Seven, and other films. His selections included:

Fences (2016)

    Set in 1950s Pittsburgh, the film takes a passionate look at former Negro-league baseball player Troy Maxson (Denzel Washington) as he fights to provide for those he loves in a world that threatens to push him down. Fences was also directed by Washington. It’s adapted from a play by August Wilson, who Fuqua says “would be proud” of the output.

    Watch Fences here.

    Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

      Fuqua’s comment on the movie,

      “It took us into a world that I have never seen before and executed it in a visceral, gritty way. It was not only moving, but it was heartfelt, dangerous and entertaining.”

      When a penniless, eighteen year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai comes within one question of winning a staggering 20 million rupees on India’s Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, a police investigation reveals his amazing story. Slumdog Millionaire won eight Academy Awards®, including Best Picture of the Year and Best Director, Danny Boyle.

      Watch Slumdog Millionaire here.

      Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

        Fuqua on this movie,

        “A world undiscovered by some, in our own backyard. And it doesn’t use the tricks of Hollywood.”

        Newcomer Quvenzhané Wallis is Hushpuppy, the tenacious six-year-old force of nature in an isolated bayou community. When her tough but loving father Wink (Dwight Henry) succumbs to a mysterious malady, the fierce and determined girl bravely sets out on a journey to save him. But Hushpuppy’s quest is hindered by a “busted” universe that melts the ice caps and unleashes an army of prehistoric beasts.

        Watch Beast of the Southern Wild here.

        Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

          Fuqua notes it does something a lot of movies don’t,

          “sustained intensity and tension, even when it was only two people in the room talking.”

          For a decade, an elite team of intelligence and military operatives, working in secret across the globe, devoted themselves to a single goal: to find and eliminate Osama bin Laden. It’s the story of that search and ultimate raid/assassination.

          Watch Zero Dark Thirty here.

          Sofia Coppola’s Selected Films

          Coppola is best-known for Lost in Translation, as well as being the daughter of Oscar-winner Francis Ford Coppola. Here are some of her selected films:

          Advertising

          Force Majeure (2014)

            Here’s how Coppola commented on the film,

            “I loved the little moments, the details that said so much.”

            This is the story of a model Swedish family—handsome businessman Tomas, his willowy wife Ebba and their two blond children— on a skiing holiday in the French Alps. The sun is shining and the slopes are spectacular but during a lunch at a mountainside restaurant, an avalanche suddenly bears down on the happy diners. With people fleeing in all directions and his wife and children in a state of panic, Tomas makes a decision that will shake his marriage to its core and leave him struggling to reclaim his role as family patriarch.

            Watch Force Majeure here.

            The White Ribbon (2009)

              Coppola loves the black-and-white photography.

              In a village in Protestant northern Germany, on the eve of World War I, the children of a church and school run by the village schoolteacher and their families experience a series of bizarre incidents that inexplicably assume the characteristics of a punishment ritual.

              If you like old-time photography to convey the WW1 sense, this may be for you too.

              Watch The White Ribbon here.

              The Savages (2007)

                Coppola loved the acting of the two main performances, by Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

                Until recently, all John and Wendy Savage (Hoffman, Linney) had in common was a lousy childhood and a few strands of DNA. But after years of drifting apart, they’re forced to band together to care for the elderly, cantankerous father who made their formative years “challenging.” In the process, both of these aimless, perpetually adolescent forty-something’s may just, at long last, have to grow up!

                If you love good acting, this is a good film to try out.

                Watch The Savages here.

                Paul Feig’s Selected Films

                Paul Feig is considered one of the best comedy directors working today — especially for women — having helmed Bridesmaids and Ghostbusters, among others. His selected films are:

                Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

                  Feig on the movie,

                  “One of those movies I could watch over and over again, because it was just so out of left field. In comedy, we feel that we’ve seen it all and done it all, but then an original voice comes in and you go, damn.” It is truly an original movie.

                  From the rural town of Preston, Idaho, comes Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder). With a red ‘fro, his moon boots, and illegal government ninja moves, he is a new kind of hero. When his friend Pedro (Efren Ramirez) decides to run for class president, it is Napoleon to the rescue to help him triumph over adversity.

                  Advertising

                  Watch Napolean Dynamite here.

                  This Is The End (2013)

                    Feig says,

                    “They pulled off all those elements that seemed like they couldn’t work — it was emotional and funny and they did it playing themselves.”

                    While attending a party at James Franco’s house, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel and many other celebrities are faced with the apocalypse. Kevin Hart and others make appearances.

                    Watch This Is the End here.

                    Amelie (2001)

                      This film was nominated for five Academy Awards, and Feig says,

                      “it’s so literal and yet stylish. You fall in love with her immediately.”

                      A painfully shy waitress working at a tiny Paris café, Amelie makes a surprising discovery and sees her life drastically changed for the better. From then on, Amelie dedicates herself to helping others find happiness…in the most delightfully unexpected ways.

                      Watch Amelie here.

                      Denis Villeneuve’s Selected Films

                      Denis Villeneuve is most recently the director of Blade Runner 2049. He has also worked on films including Arrival. His selected films are:

                      A Prophet (2009)

                        Villeneuve pulls out one scene for The New York Times, 

                        “The deer being killed in slow motion by a car in “A Prophet” (2010) remains one of the most powerful cinematic shots of the last decade.”

                        An impressionable and vulnerable Arabic man gets thrust into a hellish prison, and ironically discovers greater opportunities for success than he ever possessed outside of the bars.

                        Watch A Prophet here.

                        Dogtooth (2009)

                          Villeneuve says,

                          “The madness in “Dogtooth” (2010) is the most refreshing thing I’ve seen in a long time. Yorgos Lanthimos may be one of the most exciting filmmakers working today. I’m still laughing at the crazy adults running to catch airplanes falling into their garden, because their father convinced them that they were fruit dropping from the sky.”

                          Three teenagers live isolated, without leaving their house, because their over-protective parents say they can only leave when their dogtooth falls out.

                          Advertising

                          Watch Dogtooth here. 

                          Dogville (2003)

                            Villeneuve on the movie,

                            “The idea of making a set without walls to show the cowardice of a community was genius.”

                            When a beautiful young Grace (Nicole Kidman) arrives in the isolated township of Dogville, the small community agrees to hide her from a gang of ruthless gangsters, and, in return, Grace agrees to do odd jobs for the town’s people. But as the search for her intensifies, they demand a much better deal. What they don’t know is that Grace has a dangerous secret, and their quiet little town will never be the same.

                            Watch Dogville here.

                            Brett Ratner’s Selected Films

                            Brett Ratner is famous for working on the Rush Hour films as well as Hercules and other big box office movies. His selected films are:

                            The Kid Stays In The Picture (2002)

                              Ratner simply calls this “one of the greatest documentaries ever made”.

                              Success. Scandal. Sex. Tragedy. Infamy. Robert Evans knew them all, and in this provocative and compelling documentary, he reveals how one of the greatest winning streaks in Hollywood history almost destroyed him. From his early acting days to his stellar rise as head of production at Paramount and involvement in a well-publicized cocaine sting, Evans’ meteoric career reveals the moviemaking industry during one of its most glamorous and scandal-filled periods.

                              If you enjoy documentaries, consider it.

                              Watch The Kid Stays in the Picture here.

                              The Pianist (2002)

                                Ratner on the movie,

                                “It will go down in history as one of the greatest Holocaust motion pictures ever made.”

                                The Pianist, stars Adrien Brody in the true-life story of brilliant pianist and composer, Wladyslaw Szpilman, the most acclaimed young musician of his time until his promising career was interrupted by the onset of World War II. This powerful, triumphant film follows Szpilman’s heroic and inspirational journey of survival with the unlikely help of a sympathetic German officer.

                                Watch The Pianist here.

                                Borat (2006)

                                  Ratner calls it legitimately “one of the best comedies ever made.”

                                  Sacha Baron Cohen brings his Kazakh journalist character Borat Sagdiyev to the big screen for the first time. Leaving his native Kazakhstan, Borat travels to America to make a documentary. As he zigzags across the nation, Borat meets real people in real situations with hysterical consequences.

                                  Watch Borat here.

                                  Alex Gibney’s Selected Films

                                  Alex Gibney has directed the film Taxi to the Dark Side. These are some of his selected films:

                                  Advertising

                                  City of God (2002)

                                    Gibney references the opening scene, featuring a chicken and a knife, as classic.

                                    The streets of the world’s most notorious slum, Rio de Janeiro’s “City of God” are a place where combat photographers fear to tread, police rarely go and residents are lucky if they live to the age of 20. In the midst of the oppressive crime and violence, a frail and scared young boy will grow up to discover that he can view the harsh realities of his surroundings with a different eye, the eye of an artist.

                                    Watch City of Gold here.

                                    Michael Clayton (2007)

                                      Gibney makes an interesting point about what you can learn from this film,

                                      “Great take on corruption. My favorite scene is when [George Clooney] takes care of a client who is too arrogant to know how much trouble he is in. Want to understand the 2008 financial crisis? Watch this scene.”

                                      Clayton cleans up clients’ messes, handling anything from hit-and-runs and damaging stories in the press to shoplifting wives and crooked politicians. Though burned out and discontented in his job, Clayton is inextricably tied to the firm.

                                      Watch Michael Clayton here.

                                      Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)

                                        Gibney argues that this movie can make you think about major societal issues,

                                        “I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about torture. This film gets deep into the horror of it all and the imagination that’s needed to survive it.”

                                        Following a bloody civil war, young Ofelia enters a world of unimaginable cruelty when she moves in with her new stepfather, a tyrannical military officer. Armed with only her imagination, Ofelia discovers a mysterious labyrinth and meets a faun who sets her on a path to saving herself and her ailing mother. But soon, the lines between fantasy and reality begin to blur, and before Ofelia can turn back, she finds herself at the center of a ferocious battle between good and evil.

                                        Watch Pan’s Labyrinth here.

                                        No Country for Old Men (2007)

                                          Gibney gives it high praise,

                                          “The ultimate post-9/11 film that has nothing to do with Al Qaeda or the politics of the Iraq war. It’s about a brutal force of terror that can’t be bargained with and can only be understood with the wisdom of a lawman philosopher.”

                                          When a man stumbles on a bloody crime scene, a pickup truck loaded with heroin, and two million dollars in irresistible cash, his decision to take the money sets off an unstoppable chain reaction of violence. Not even west Texas law can contain it.

                                          Watch No Country for Old Men here.

                                          There’s a good chance you haven’t seen all these films, or even heard of them. But people who love and respect the craft of filmmaking as their own career point to these as stellar movies made since 2000. Give them a chance. You may even learn quite a bit about history or new parts of the world in the process.

                                          Reference

                                          More by this author

                                          Anna Chui

                                          Anna is the Chief Editor and Content Strategist of Lifehack. She's also a communication expert who shares tips on motivation and relationships.

                                          The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You The Purpose Of Friendship: The Only 4 Types Of Friends You Need In Life How Self-Doubt Keeps You Stuck (And How to Overcome It) How to Live Life to the Fullest and Enjoy Each Day 30 Books Everyone Should Read At Least Once In Their Lives

                                          Trending in Leisure

                                          1 What Should I Do Today? 30 New Things To Do Today 2 Enjoy Crafting With This App, It Offers 1000+ All Level Crafting Lessons Online 3 How to Have a Great Dining Experience the Budget-Friendly Way (From a Restaurant Insider) 4 Let This “5 Minute Journal” be Your Kids’ First Ever Mindfulness Journal 5 Walking 2 Dogs or More has Never Been Easier With This Smart Leash

                                          Read Next

                                          Advertising
                                          Advertising

                                          Last Updated on July 12, 2021

                                          100 Incredible Life Hacks That Make Life So Much Easier

                                          100 Incredible Life Hacks That Make Life So Much Easier
                                          Advertising

                                          Want to learn some quick and easy life hacks that are easy to do, low cost and saves you time?

                                          By tweaking little things in your daily life, it can make your life much more convenient!

                                          Here’re 100 of the most practical life hacks so you can just pick up any of them right away!

                                          83 tie a small piece of bright colored fabric

                                            84 write random letter

                                              85 use a rubberband

                                                86 dorm smell bad

                                                  87 lean your phone on your sunglassess

                                                    89 how to waterproof your shoes

                                                      90 take a picture of the name card

                                                        91 iron inside out

                                                          92 old newspaper

                                                            93 tumble try shoes

                                                              keep a card like this

                                                                SONY DSC

                                                                  94 soap bar

                                                                    95 make a hole

                                                                      96 drop the battery

                                                                        97 use a coozie

                                                                          98 when taking a picture

                                                                            use a clean dust pan

                                                                              try a pants hanger

                                                                                use your cellphone light

                                                                                  use a spring from an old pen

                                                                                    quick and easy iphone speaker

                                                                                      user binder clips

                                                                                        wrap a wet paper towel around your beverage

                                                                                          put pancake mix in a ketchup bottle

                                                                                            clean out an old lotion bottle for your beach

                                                                                              use a muffin tin to serve condiments at a bbq

                                                                                                doritos are great for kindling

                                                                                                  use nail polish to identify different keys

                                                                                                    use a hanging shoe rack to store cleaning supplies

                                                                                                      freeze grapes to chill white wine without

                                                                                                        use paper clips to organize your cables

                                                                                                          almost finished your jar of nutella

                                                                                                            sick of having a box full of tangled

                                                                                                              unroll the rim to increase the capacity

                                                                                                                cut open toilet paper rolls and use as a cuff

                                                                                                                  remove the stem from strawberries

                                                                                                                    turn an old bottle into a simple little cord holder

                                                                                                                      for iced coffee and iced cappuccino, use frozen coffee cubes

                                                                                                                        how to fold a fitted bed sheet

                                                                                                                          tired of snoozing past your alarm

                                                                                                                            place a rubber band around an open paint can to wipe your brush on

                                                                                                                              ut a wooden spoon across a boiling pot

                                                                                                                                use bread clips to save flip-flops

                                                                                                                                  take pictures of friends holding items

                                                                                                                                    how i always know which headphone is the left one

                                                                                                                                      put a stocking over the end of a vacuum

                                                                                                                                        How to make sure you drink enough water

                                                                                                                                          user a can opener to open blister

                                                                                                                                            good sandwich guide

                                                                                                                                              turn your muffin pans upside down

                                                                                                                                                50 pounds of groceries and living on the 5th floor

                                                                                                                                                  the right way to make a blt

                                                                                                                                                    add one teaspoon of baking soda

                                                                                                                                                      38

                                                                                                                                                        hair straighteners equals to collar irons

                                                                                                                                                          stack your clothes vertically to see them all

                                                                                                                                                            the right way to make cookies in the summer

                                                                                                                                                              how to clean a blender

                                                                                                                                                                the right way to eat a popsicle

                                                                                                                                                                  use bread clips to label and organize power cords

                                                                                                                                                                    to get the built up residue off of your shower head

                                                                                                                                                                      user a hair clip to orgainize long wires

                                                                                                                                                                        a frozen saturated sponge in a bag

                                                                                                                                                                          rub stuck zipper teeth with a graphite pencil

                                                                                                                                                                            use a soda pop tab

                                                                                                                                                                              50

                                                                                                                                                                                51 How to multiply large numbers in your head.

                                                                                                                                                                                  52 How to open a bottle if you dont have a corkscrew.

                                                                                                                                                                                    rub a walnut on damaged wooden furniture

                                                                                                                                                                                      kids fall out of bed

                                                                                                                                                                                        use toothpaste to clear up hazy car

                                                                                                                                                                                          58

                                                                                                                                                                                            59 keep pizza out while driving home

                                                                                                                                                                                              60 put your straw through the tab to keep it from rising

                                                                                                                                                                                                hold oreos with a fork so your fingers

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Never lose your remotes again

                                                                                                                                                                                                    hiding your emergency money

                                                                                                                                                                                                      use a bread tab to hold your spot on a roll

                                                                                                                                                                                                        if you are at a hotel and run out of chargers

                                                                                                                                                                                                          keep a square of cardboard in a ziplock bag

                                                                                                                                                                                                            If you need to pee or smoke at a bar

                                                                                                                                                                                                              drill holes in the bottom of your garbage

                                                                                                                                                                                                                use an accented letter as your passcode

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  use a squeeze ketchup bottle top with your shopvac

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    do something unusual when locking the door

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      when heating leftovers space out a circle in the middle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        dont burn yourself in those hard to reach candles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          put a small amount of water in a glass when you microwave your pizza

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            75 use a piece of paper to organize

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              use half a pool noodle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                pencil case to store cables

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  78 clothespin to hold nail

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    79 make blts

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      80 take a picture of your fridge

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        81 fill plastic water bottles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          82 right ways to eat chips

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            99 if your plug keeps failing

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              100 put the banana on the wire

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                88 before you throw away a post it

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Source: Reddit LifeProTips

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  There you go, 100 awesome life hacks that you can try right now to make your life a lot easier!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  More Amazing Life Hacks for An Easier Life

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  50 Top Parenting Tricks and Hacks That Will Make Life Easier And More Fun

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  30 Brilliant Camping Hacks I Wish I Knew Earlier

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  20 Popular Life Hacks From the Internet Debunked (or Verified)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Read Next