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Father Geek's 21 Best New Films viewed on the Big Screen in 2002

Hey there, its that time of the year again... favorite films list time, and ol' Father Geek is here to give you his opinion. Now first off these are ALL films I've seen projected in theaters on the BIG screen with BIG sound in their final release form. I have seen hundreds of motion pictures in theaters this year. I saw 70 at the Sitges Film Festival in Spain alone, and 10 in the consentrated 24 hours of BUTT-NUMB-A-THON just a few days ago, and another 10 since then. I watch ALOT of movies in the theater environment... at press screenings, private screenings, test screenings, preview screenings, festival screenings, premiere screenings, and yes, even normal screenings that I fork over cold hard cash for.

I want to say right now that I don't really like this list making, I do it because it is expected of us (AICN writers) by our readers. I don't like comparing, judging the films I see... ranking them against each other. Really, how can you compare, say a vast sweeping fantasy like THE TWO TOWERS to a doco like BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE to a small first film like MAY to a musical like CHICAGO to a film in another language from a totally different culture like DOLLS, or 800 BALAS, or IRREVERSIBLE. You CAN'T! Its like ranking a Hamburger against a Quice against a Pecan Pie against a fine seven course French dinner. They're totally different things for totally different tastes and needs.

That said here is...

FATHER GEEK's "Top Twenty One Films of 2002"...

in alphabetical order... my ranking them beyond this changes with my mood, sooooo it would be meaningless to attempt to list them as best to poorest because my opinion would probably change before I even finished listing them...

800 BALAS (Bullets)...Alex de la Iglesia

ADAPTATION... Spike Jonze

AUTO FOCUS... Paul Schrader


CATCH ME IF YOU CAN... Steven Spielberg

THE CAT'S MEOW... Peter Bogdanovich

CHICAGO... Rob Marshall

DOLLS... Takeshi Kitano


FRIDA... Julie Taymor

GANGS OF NEW YORK... Martin Scorsese


INSOMNIA... Christopher Nolan

MAY... Lucky McKee

ONE HOUR PHOTO... Mark Romanek

THE PIANIST... Roman Polanski

SPIDER... David Cronenberg

SPIDER MAN... Sam Raimi

SPIRITED AWAY... Hayao Miyazaki

THE TWO TOWERS... Peter Jackson

Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN... Alfonso Cuaron

Now that that is over with... I've got a baker's dozen plus one of flicks that I saw this year that were a hell-of-alot of FUN... buuuuut that for some reason, or another I couldn't, or shouldn't put on the above list, however these are cool flicks that I enjoyed that deserve to be seen...

In NO paticular order they are:
  • Russian Ark
  • Deathwatch
  • Zu Warriors
  • Dog Soldiers
  • The Eye
  • The Ring
  • Dark Water
  • Reign Of Fire
  • Ichi The Killer
  • Red Dragon
  • Volcano High
  • Salton Sea
  • Rules of Attraction
  • Road to Perdition

Annnnd the WORST thing I saw in a theater this year? A dense, pretentious pile of steaming crap called...

La Vie Nouvelle

It will hurt you... your eyes will bleed!

One last note: I could have easily listed 50 or even 100 films that rate pretty damn well from last year (2002), when you see maybe 500 features, or more a year its very difficult to cut them down to just 20 or 30 titles, especially in a year as rich as this one internationally. I'm already thinking of enjoyable films like DAGON, SIGNS, DEVDAS, BELOW, etc... that deserve to be mentioned, also I see lots of movies well before their release dates, soooo flicks like BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF, DONNIE DARKO, THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE, BATTLE ROYALE, etc.... were 2001 films for me. This is a list of Cinema I experienced in 2002, not necessarily ones offically released stateside in 2002.

OK...OKKKKKKKK, if you're going to hold a gun to my head... my absolute faves, in order are: THE TWO TOWERS... THE PIANIST... SPIRITED AWAY... FRIDA... MAY... DOLLS... Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN... THE CAT'S MEOW... GANG'S OF NEW YORK... SPIDERMAN. There its done! These were my favorites the ones I can, and have watched over and over. They're not necessarily the absolutely best made, although some are, but ol' Father Geek finds them the most enjoyable for repeated screenings, which after all is what I think its all about.

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