Critics Poll 2001

Critics Poll 2001

Marjorie Baumgarten

Near Misses: Black Hawk Down, In the Mood for Love, Gosford Park, The Devil's Backbone, Amores Perros

Most Overrated Films: Moulin Rouge, Mulholland Drive, Amélie

Most Underrated Films: The Mexican, Our Song, Our Lady of the Assassins

Acting Kudos -- Male: Denzel Washington (Training Day), Billy Bob Thornton (The Man Who Wasn't There), Russell Crowe (A Beautiful Mind)

Acting Kudos -- Female: Charlotte Rampling (Under the Sand), Thora Birch (Ghost World), Sissy Spacek (In the Bedroom)

Best Director: Agnès Varda (The Gleaners and I), Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring), Guillermo del Toro (The Devil's Backbone)

Best Screenplay: Terry Zwigoff & Daniel Clowes (Ghost World), Wes Anderson & Owen Wilson (The Royal Tenenbaums), Dominik Moll & Gilles Marchand (With a Friend Like Harry ...)

Worst Film: Pearl Harbor. The number of gross miscalculations -- both artistic and tactical -- made by the producers of this movie far exceeds all decent limits.

Wild Card: A year of many terrific ensemble movies: The Royal Tenenbaums, Gosford Park, In the Bedroom, Our Song, Bully, The Anniversary Party, Tape, Ocean's Eleven, Panic

Critics Poll 2001

Steve Davis

Near Misses: Ghost World, The Man Who Wasn't There, Shrek, Bridget Jones's Diary

Most Overrated Films: A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, Mulholland Drive, Planet of the Apes

Most Underrated Films: Bandits, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Sordid Lives

Acting Kudos -- Male: Gene Hackman (The Royal Tenenbaums), Tom Wilkinson (In the Bedroom), John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch)

Acting Kudos -- Female: Sissy Spacek (In the Bedroom), Nicole Kidman (The Others), Marisa Tomei (In the Bedroom)

Best Director: Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge), Todd Field (In the Bedroom), Alejandro Amenábar (The Others)

Best Screenplay: Christopher Nolan (Memento), Wes Anderson & Owen Wilson (The Royal Tenenbaums), Terry Zwigoff & Daniel Clowes (Ghost World)

Worst Film: A tie: Glitter (poor Mariah Carey -- no wonder she had a nervous breakdown) and Planet of the Apes (monkey-see/monkey-doodoo from Hollywood's product marketers)

Wild Card: Best Year for Nicole Kidman's Career: Two smashing performances (Moulin Rouge, The Others) and a divorce from Tom Cruise

Marrit Ingman

Near Misses: Ali, L.I.E., The Royal Tenenbaums

Most Overrated Films: Hannibal

Most Underrated Films: The Pledge

Acting Kudos -- Male: Ben Kingsley (Sexy Beast), Gene Hackman (The Royal Tenenbaums)

Acting Kudos -- Female: Sissy Spacek (In the Bedroom), Reese Witherspoon (Legally Blonde)

Best Director: Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge)

Best Screenplay: Christopher Nolan (Memento)

Worst Film: Cut. This dreadful Aussie slasher could be the worst movie nobody saw, but I think there was another person in the back row.

Wild Card: Best Animal Actor: As the third-string reviewer, I see a lot of movies with dogs and cats. "Widget," of Gosford Park, prevailed this year.

Kimberley Jones

Near Misses: The Devil's Backbone, The Anniversary Party, Together (Tillsammans), Spy Kids, Ali

Most Overrated Films: Memento, The Man Who Wasn't There, The Business of Strangers

Most Underrated Films: Bubble Boy, Wet Hot American Summer

Acting Kudos -- Male: Gene Hackman (The Royal Tenenbaums), Tom Wilkinson (In the Bedroom), Jamie Foxx (Ali)

Acting Kudos -- Female: Audrey Tautou (Amélie), Tilda Swinton (The Deep End), Nicole Kidman (The Others)

Best Director: Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring), Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amélie), Todd Field (In the Bedroom)

Best Screenplay: Terry Zwigoff & Daniel Clowes (Ghost World), Wes Anderson & Owen Wilson (The Royal Tenenbaums)

Worst Film: Pearl Harbor. A ridiculously bad brain-fart from Michael Bay (or: The Ego That Just Won't Quit). Tripe.

Wild Card: "A fine idea but a brilliant mistake": Big-concept films like Moulin Rouge, Vanilla Sky, and The Man Who Wasn't There won points for their ambition but extravagantly flopped in their execution.

Marc Savlov

Near Misses: The Anniversary Party, Sexy Beast, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Mulholland Drive, The Man Who Wasn't There

Most Overrated Films: A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, From Hell, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Most Underrated Films: Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, The Tailor of Panama, The Man Who Wasn't There

Acting Kudos -- Male: Billy Bob Thornton (The Man Who Wasn't There), Alan Cumming (Spy Kids, The Anniversary Party), Ben Kingsley (Sexy Beast)

Acting Kudos -- Female: Audrey Tautou (Amélie), Vanessa Bauche (Amores Perros), Tara Reid (Josie and the Pussycats)

Best Director: Guillermo del Toro (The Devil's Backbone), Ridley Scott (Black Hawk Down), Wes Anderson (The Royal Tenenbaums)

Best Screenplay: Guillermo Arriaga (Amores Perros), Ken Nolan (Black Hawk Down), Baz Luhrmann & Craig Pearce (Moulin Rouge)

Worst Film: The Majestic. Frank Darabont falls hook, line, and sinker for the antiquated notion that all this country needs is a spirit-rousing, rose-tinted, and entirely plastic declaration of American principles. We need a hell of a lot more than that, Frank.

Wild Card: The One Film You Must Never, Under Any Circumstances, and Especially If You've Had a Few Glasses of Merlot, Watch in the Wake of a Disastrous Romantic Break Up: Moulin Rouge. (Trust me on this.)

<i>Sexy Beast</i>
Sexy Beast

Russell Smith

Near Misses: Moulin Rouge, Pitch People, The Others, The Shipping News, Shrek

Most Overrated Films: Blow, Mulholland Drive

Most Underrated Films: Pitch People, Vertical Ray of the Sun, With a Friend Like Harry...

Acting Kudos -- Male: Denzel Washington (Training Day), Robert De Niro (The Score), Ethan Hawke (Tape, Training Day)

Acting Kudos -- Female: Charlotte Rampling (Under the Sand), Thora Birch (Ghost World), Leelee Sobieski (My First Mister)

Best Director: Richard Linklater (Waking Life), Terry Zwigoff (Ghost World), Jonathan Glazer (Sexy Beast)

Best Screenplay: Daniel Clowes & Terry Zwigoff (Ghost World), Stephen Belber (Tape), Richard Linklater (Waking Life)

Worst Film: The Wash. Further proof, if more was really needed, that the enchantments of the dope-smoking ne'er-do-well lifestyle are best appreciated from within.

Wild Card: Chrome-Domed Comeback Codgers of the Year: Marlon Brando (The Score), Ben Kingsley (Sexy Beast), Michael Jordan (Washington Wizards)

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