We’re now nearly 17 years into the 21st century, and the cinematic landscape has changed drastically since the year 2000. The highest grossing movie of that year was How the Grinch Stole Christmas, followed by Cast Away—a lengthy drama starring Tom Hanks with minimal dialogue. Indeed, in the entire box office Top 10 of 2000 there’s only one superhero movie and one sequel—the rest are dramas, comedies, and original stories. Contrast that with 2016 where only three of the Top 10 were original stories, four were superhero movies, and the highest grossing film of the year was a Star Wars prequel.
But that’s not to say there haven’t been great films in the interim, and certainly there are movies being made today that will stand the test of time. The New York Times published their list of the top 25 movies of the 21st century so far today, and with it have also published lists from a variety of filmmakers including Denis Villeneuve (Arrival), Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation), Paul Feig (Bridesmaids), and Antoine Fuqua (Training Day).
The NY Times published lists from six filmmakers in all, with some further explanation on a few titles, but here’s a selection that comes with its own set of surprises. Note: Fuqua is the only one who ranked his choices.