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10 Best Movies of the Decade

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There Will Be Blood

Peter Travers


There Will Be Blood
1/10 next

Two years after first seeing There Will Be Blood, I am convinced that Paul Thomas Anderson's profound portrait of an American primitive ? take that, Citizen Kane ? deserves pride of place among the decade's finest. Daniel Day-Lewis gave the best and ballsiest performance of the past 10 years. As Daniel Plainview, a prospector who loots the land of its natural resources in silver and oil to fill his pockets and gargantuan ego, he showed us a man draining his humanity for power. And Anderson, having extended Plainview's rage from Earth to heaven in the form of a corrupt preacher (Paul Dano), managed to "drink the milkshake" of other risk-taking directors. If I had to stake the future of film in the next decade on one filmmaker, I'd go with PTA. Even more than Boogie Nights and Magnolia ? his rebel cries from the 1990s ? Blood let Anderson put technology at the service of character. The score by Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood was a sonic explosion that reinvented what film music could be. And the images captured by Robert Elswit, a genius of camera and lighting, made visual poetry out of an oil well consumed by flame. For the final word on Blood, I'll quote Plainview: "It was one goddamn hell of a show."

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