1. Memento (2000) - This movie still blows me away every time I see it. It is just so expertly made and crafted, excellently acted and directed, and is just a perfectly made movie.
2. Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (2001)- While I refuse to lump the trilogy as one movie mainly because I think the first installment is the best of the three. The story, the direction, the special effects, the action, the characters . . . everything about it is fantasy perfection. The trilogy starts off with one hell of a bang.
3. The Last Samurai (2003) - This movie hit home mainly because I love samurai flicks. I enjoyed the story, the characters, LOVED the action, and I enjoyed a lot of the subthemes the movie offered.
4. The Dark Knight (2008) - Yes, this movie blew me away as well. From the darkness of the entire movie, to the symbolism, to the great direction and cinematography, and of course the great performances - lead by Heath Ledger's great turn as the Joker.
5. The Incredibles (2004) - This movie was just so much fun to sit through and watch . . . every second. The story was excellently crafted, the action great, the humor hilarious, and the CGI and action sequences were fantastic. One of Pixar's best.
6. King Kong (2005) - This fantasy flick had everything: a great story with great direction, great action and special effects, interesting characters, but the movie also had heart and I think that's what separates this from most others in the genre.
7. No Country for Old Men (2007) - Yet another movie that's filled with deep symbolism, great acting and directing, and hidden themes that take some thinking and discussing to get to and understand. Movie also delivers plenty of suspense and some great quotes.
8. Sin City - (2005) - The movie is just so visually stunning that it's hard not to admire it. The stories are engaging, the characters are worth following, and the movie's style makes the movie worth watching alone.
9. Kill Bill: Vol. I (2003) - Tarantino knows how to direct with style, and this movie has a lot of it. Its story is engaging, the action intense and stylistic, and leaves you wanting more with Vol. II.
10. City of God (2002) - This movie is defined by its story above anything else, and what a hell of a story: follows gangs in 1970s Rio de Janeiro. The movie also has great characters, breathtaking scenery and cinematography, and is simply entertaining as hell to watch.