I expected compiling a list of the best movies of an entire decade to present a challenge, but to be honest it nearly fried my brain. The process involved several weeks, lots of research, rankings that begged 'til the last minute for multiple reevaluations and numerous frustrated exclamations of "Damn it, how could I forget that?!" Though this list is cemented in print, I'm probably still uttering that last statement, and as readers peruse my picks for the decade's top 100 I bet some will end up asking the same thing.

I expected compiling a list of the best movies of an entire decade to present a challenge, but to be honest it nearly fried my brain. The process involved several weeks, lots of research, rankings that begged 'til the last minute for multiple reevaluations and numerous frustrated exclamations of "Damn it, how could I forget that?!"

Though this list is cemented in print, I'm probably still uttering that last statement, and as readers peruse my picks for the decade's top 100 I bet some will end up asking the same thing.

For my part it was a very full 10 years, which no film lover can complain about, so I couldn't fit everything that came to mind. If I accidentally missed something, a little addle-headedness should probably be expected from someone who, if features were pounds, watched over a ton of movies in that time span.

With that disclaimer, here's my top 100 since 2000.


100. "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" (2008)

A break-up comedy this smart and funny doesn't need all the male frontal nudity, but I guess it doesn't hurt any.


99. "Fahrenheit 9/11" (2004)

Michael Moore's biggest box-office hit is also his most powerful piece of work, and a marked step up from the Chuck Heston haranguing at the end of "Bowling for Columbine."


98. "Let the Right One In" (2008)

The chill still lingers from this fresh vampire flick from Sweden, and an American remake's already on the way.


97. "The Cove" (2009)

A genuinely effective, eco-friendly action pic, made for one-two-hundredth the price of "Avatar."


96. "Food, Inc." (2009)

See this before you pick up your next burger.


95. "Little Miss Sunshine" (2006)

The "40-Year-Old Virgin" was the bigger smash, and I'll always love "I love lamp!" from "Anchorman," but this was the best work Steve Carell did on the big screen all decade.


94. "Mysterious Skin" (2005)

This heartfelt melodrama may be the best work that director Gregg Araki will ever do, but more great things are sure to come from star Joseph Gordon-Levitt.


93. "Lake of Fire" (2007)

This exhaustive documentary by "American History X" director Tony Kaye covers both sides of the abortion debate with respect, but without mercy.


92. "State and Main" (2000)

David Mamet's moviemaking satire is hilariously dead-on, and Alec Baldwin's egotistical star plays like a dirty-minded warm-up for "30 Rock's" Jack Donaghy.


91. "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room" (2005)

Alex Gibney's doc was among the first and best to lay bare the culture of greed, privilege and stripper addiction on which the American economy has shakily rested for years.