Best of Screen
What does it say for 2001 that the newly expanded version of director Francis Ford Coppola's lush fever dream of a movie about the Vietnam War—first out in 1979—was this year's best picture? The rereleased version had 49 minutes of additional footage, including two fascinating new scenes with Marlon Brando.
Bridget Jones's Diary
We still crack up every time we think of Hugh Grant exclaiming, "Hello, Mummy," during a key romantic moment in this irresistible and smart adaptation of Helen Fielding's bestselling novel about a single woman (Renée Zellweger, left) in London.
Not just another teen movie. This quirky tale of two disaffected adolescent girls (Thora Birch and Scarlett Johansson) trying to divine their place in a post-high-school world delivered humor and pathos.
In the Bedroom
A couple (Sissy Spacek and Tom Wilkinson) find themselves leading lives of quiet desperation after their adult son is murdered. In addition to the superb acting, this small drama packed a huge emotional wallop.
The Man Who Wasn't There
In 1949, a barber (Billy Bob Thornton) turns blackmailer to raise money to open the first dry-cleaning shop in his small California town. In the skilled hands of filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen, this seemingly mundane setup yielded a rich, funny and yet powerfully moving movie, one in which all are eventually forgiven their trespasses.
Does everything a suspense thriller should do: intrigues, involves and keeps you guessing. The plot runs backwards—you really have to pay attention—and the hero (Guy Pearce) suffers from memory loss, so he tattoos important info on his body, including the small matter of his wife's murder.
Ring-a-ding-ding. If all big-star vehicles were this much fun, we'd never be at a loss for what to do on Saturday nights. Our favorite scene: George Clooney, Julia Roberts and Andy Garcia in a restaurant making like Casablanca.
Sean Perm directed this complex, engrossing psychological portrait of an ex-cop (Jack Nicholson) who's obsessed with tracking a child's killer. The pieces of the puzzle don't necessarily fit neatly together at the end, which is exactly the point.
Go for the green. This clever revisionist fairy tale was a kids' film that adults could enjoy just as much, if not more. The worthy message (looking different is okay) is vinegar-coated in such rude good humor that it goes down easy.
The Tailor of Panama
Pierce Brosnan, playing an amoral spy who could be James Bond's evil twin, sizzled in a sophisticated thriller based on a John le Carré novel.