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Best movies of the century so far: Paul Kirkley’s top picks and a chance to vote for yours




We’re asking our readers to help us name the best movies of the century so far.

You can vote for your top five here or via the form below.

We’ll compile your votes, and reveal the ultimate list of the best movies of the century so far soon.

To give you some inspiration, we asked our columnist, Paul Kirkley, for his top five...

Paddington 2. Picture: StudioCanal/Jay Maidment
Paddington 2. Picture: StudioCanal/Jay Maidment

My top 5 films of the century

As a father of young children, it’s a rare treat for me to see a movie that doesn’t feature talking animals or a tie-in Lego set.

That said, the first two decades of the 21st century have proved to be a real golden age for family films, and I could easily have included Toy Story 3, Moana or Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse in this list.

But I thought I should probably have at least some films for grown-ups in there (even though my top choice was a no-brainer).

1. Paddington 2 (2017)

Paul King’s life-affirming ursine sequel offers the perfect blend of sentiment, smarts and gorgeous visuals (the pop-up book tour of London is stunning). It’s pure-of-heart hero (Ben Whishaw) is exactly the beacon of light we need in these troubled times, while Hugh Grant gives a career-best performance as the preening, narcissistic failing actor Phoenix Buchanan. Scientifically 10 times better than whatever old nonsense won the best picture Oscar that year.

2. Arrival (2016)

Denis Villeneuve brings us a close encounter of the existential kind in this terrifying, immersive but deeply thoughtful first contact movie, in which Amy Adams’ linguist attempts to communicate with the most convincingly realised alien visitors in Hollywood history, while also telling us something profound about our own species.

3. The Bourne Supremacy (2004)

The arrival of Paul Greengrass in the director’s chair lifts this adrenaline-fuelled franchise – in which an amnesiac Matt Damon attempts to discover more about his past life as a CIA assassin – to a whole new level of nerve-shredding tension. The ultimate action thriller, it left the Daniel Craig-fronted Bond reboot looking dull and flabby in comparison.

4. Fish Tank (2009)

This gritty drama, set among the run-down tower blocks of an Essex council estate, marked director Andrea Arnold out as a more nuanced, less annoying Ken Loach. Newcomer Katie Jarvis gives a phenomenal lead performance as troubled teenager Mia, in a gut-wrenching study of the ever-narrowing horizons that conspire to stop Britain’s underclasses even daring to dream of a better life.

5. Sing (2016)

While Pixar’s output remains the gold standard for animated cinema, this anthropomorphic musical comedy from rival studio Illumination deserves a lot more love. Whip-smart gags and sob-inducing emotional beats combine with more than 60 pop bangers: musical highlights include a pig, played by Reese Witherspoon, twerking her curly tail to Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off, while Taron Egerton gets in some practice for Rocket Man by performing I’m Still Standing, only this time as a gorilla. Joyous.

Now it’s time to vote for yours... simply fill in this form and let us know your favourites and look out for our list of the best movies of the century so far soon...

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