Favorite Films 

of 2002





As suggested from the Film Main Page, I have chosen to list my favorite movies as seen based on the calendar year rather than on the film released year.    So, you will occasionally see a film in my favorites list that was technically released a year earlier.   Unfortunately, for the non industry film fans seeing all quality films on scheduled released dates is particularly tough, especially since many are only submitted to film festivals or selection committees at year end.   

I viewed 66 films from 15 different countries on the large screen in 2002.    The films highlighted below are films that I can confidently recommend seeing to a large audience.   The top twenty is well represented in genre and origination country (ten different countries represented).  Anyway, here are the twenty films that I found most enjoyable or thought provoking this year.  

Dana also picked her favorite films this year, check out her list (Dana's Favs of 2002)

1. Henry Bean's
The Believer

What happens when a Jewish intellectual infiltrates a Nazi gang?  The film strives to understand the reason for the hatred, so that you can best combat it.  An outstanding film that was quickly shelved after September 11 because of its portrayal of  a synagogue bombing.   

2. Hillary Birmingham's

A superbly acted film that that sat on the shelves for over a year while movie execs figured out how to market it.  A story of regret and longing in a small farming community.

3. Alfonso Cuaron's
Y Tu Mama Tambien

  *Talk Cinema Film

The teenage road movie that never got made in the US.   This Mexican film rings just as true outside of its homeland.

4. Christine Jeff's

  *Talk Cinema Film

A New Zealand coming of age story that packs quite a punch.   Sometimes life can be pretty harsh.


5. Carlos Carrera's
The Crimes of Father Amaro

  *Talk Cinema Film

Another outstanding Mexican film that makes great social and political commentary.  This film is now the all time highest grossest film in Mexico despite the fact the Catholic church tried to stop its release.

6. Ray Lawrence's

This Australian film noir of sorts about failed marriages, lost loves and missing persons is quite an intriguing tale.

7. Lone Scherfig's
Italian For Beginners

Denmark's latest contribution to the Dogma Films, is the first film from the consortium that is upbeat.   Who says a love story shot with DV can't be entertaining.


Martin Scorsese's
Gangs of New York

This timeless film makes excellent social commentary today about the futility of war and the mindless actions of a crowd. 


Mohsen Makhmalbaf's

  *Talk Cinema Film

This timely Iranian film provided in excellent look into the desolate situation in Afghanistan.  Interestingly, this film was boycotted by the US Iranian community as a known political assassin plays a lead role in the film.


Tom Hunsinger & Neil Hunter's
The Lawless Heart

  *Talk Cinema Film

This outstanding English film shows three different points of view on a simple issue made complex by social pressures:  one of two gay lovers dies with no clear will, who should receive the inheritance?   

Marc Forster's
Monster's Ball

Halle Berry's breakthrough performance came in a good film whose title suggests the party given on the final night for death row inmate.

Mira Nair's 
Monsoon Wedding

This Indian film about an arranged marriage is funnier and addresses more complex issues than the other blockbuster wedding film of the year, My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Laurent Cantet's
Time Out

  *Talk Cinema Film

This French film addresses the social pressures of loosing your job and being the sole breadwinner of family with children.

Spike Jonze's

Charlie Kaufman's latest unique story which is loosely based on Susan Orlean's non fiction book, "The Orchid Theif," but more overtly is commentary about writing a film.

Paul Thomas Anderon's
Punch Drunk Love

Adam Sandler's first piece of drama is very well done in this strange tale of finding oneself and love.  

Fabian Bielinsky's
Nine Queens

Nothing is as it seems in this stylish Argentinean film about con men and the tricks play.

Dylan Kidd's
Roger Dodger

This clever screen writing and directorial debut centers around a young boy being taught how to pick up the ladies by his suave uncle.

Brian De Palma's
Femme Fatale

Classic De Palma where nothing is as it seems, but this time as added bonus the beautiful Rebecca Romijn-Stamos plays the principle deceiver.

Jake Kasdan's
Orange County

I have always been a big fan of scripts by Mike White, this comedy proved to be no exception.

Guillermo del Toro's
The Devil's Backbone

This Spanish horror film centers around a young boy living in an orphanage during the Spanish Civil War.


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This page was created on: January 26, 2003

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