The Top Ten Movies of 2000
According to Dave Flapan

10) Scary Movie

This film is a parody of the Scream series of movies, which themselves are satires of the entire horror genre.  Scary Movie embraces its topic of horror movies, in a similar way that the Airplane series embraced its topic of disaster movies.  Not all of the jokes work, but plenty do, especially the in-jokes.  It has all of the elements of the classic teen horror film, and they are all lampooned.

9) The Cell

Jennifer Lopez stars as a social worker who must get into the mind of a killer on order to reveal some secrets to save lives. A glorious specatacle, with imaginative and colorful sets to showcase the human mind. Deep, and makes you think.

8) Gladiator

A warrior film of epic proportions.  Russell Crowe gets his starmaking vehicle as Maximus, a slave who is forced to fight in Ancient Rome's Gladiator arenas.  Special effects are plentiful, yet seamlessly interwoven.  Joaquin Phoenix also shows potential as the nemesis of Maximus.

7) Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

This classic tale takes place in 1700s China.  But it is unlike any previously done in the genre.  The first highlight that must be mentioned is the fight scenes.  Encompassing martial arts moves, and weapons, they are non-stop action, choreographed and photographed with intensity.  Also included are two love story sub-plots.  The lush scenery is breathtaking.  Oh yes, the major plot consists of the theft and retrieval of a legendary sword.  This one has something for everyone.

6) Nurse Betty

Renee Zellweger plays a waitress who is enamored with a soap opera character (Greg Kinnear, in a refreshingly multi-faceted performance).  She goes to the city where the series is set, and happens to run into some of the cast.  She treats them like their characters, and is innocently oblivious to the reality that they are not who they portray.  Plenty of original twists to keep the story different and minimal on cliches.

5) Cast Away

Tom Hanks is a Type A Federal Express boss. When his plane goes down, he is the only one to survive on an island. A raw, emotional film, the island scenes are human and make you think. Tom Hanks, as usual, is excellent.

4) Traffic

One of the most heavily hyped and anticipated films of the year, this movie delivers. A talented cast tells 3 intense tales that all involve the illegal drug trades. Catherine Zeta-Jones is a high society woman who finds out that her husband is involved in a Mexican cartel. Michael Douglas (who recently married Zeta-Jones, they met on the Traffic set, but they have no scenes together) is the new U.S. drug czar. He fields and thinks of ideas to battle the drug problem. Irony creeps in when he is faced with his 16-year-old daughter, who is the All-American Girl, but has dallied with drugs. And we are treated to scenes in Mexico, mostly Tijuana, that depict the industry from that angle. The film offers no solutions, rather, it aims to show how exasperating this project really is.

3) Erin Brockovich

Erin Brockovich is a lawyer's assistant in California, who litigated against a giant corporation for poisoning a town's water supply.  Julia Roberts brings her trademark sass and attitude to her portrayal, with enough convincing to make us forget that we are watching the biggest female movie star, and to cheer her on against the suits.

2) Almost Famous

Cameron Crowe, a writer for Rolling Stone magazine in the 1970s, creates this semi-autogiographical tale of a tennaged writer for that magazine in the late 70s. He goes on tour with a rock band (the fictional Stillwater), hangs with them, shares in their glory and also their lows, and attempts to docuement it all for his new bosses. Great 70s vibe, and an Oscar-winning role for Kate Hudson.

1) High Fidelity

This one holds an extra special place in my heart, being filmed in Chicago, in several neighborhoods with which I am familiar.  Also familiar with the area, which no doubt contributed to its setting, is John Cusack.  Since Say Anything's Lloyd Dobler in 1988, Cusack has excelled at playing the romantic lead, albeit with issues.  His character here is no exception, as he takes us through his romantic history, imparting the lessons that he has learned.