1. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Ang Lee turns action into poetry and shares best-movie prize (close races are in) with…
A boy’s life in rock becomes a triumph for Cameron Crowe.
2. Gladiator: Ridley Scott’s sly epic makes a classic hero of Russell Crowe. Are we not entertained?
3. Traffic: And you thought they stopped making scorching muckrakers? Steven Soderbergh disagrees.
4. Billy Elliot: Stephen Daldry’s sleeper hit lets Jamie Bell dance to glory.
5. Croupier: A gamble from Mike Hodges and star Clive Owen that pays off as Y2K’s coolest bet.
6. You Can Count On Me: Kenneth Lonergan’s tale of siblings (Laura Linney and Mark Ruffalo) hits where it hurts.
7. The House of Mirth: The turn of the last century is revitalized by Terence Davies and fireball Gillian Anderson.
8. State and Main: David Mamet takes a comic bite out of the Hollywood hand that feeds him — ouch!
9. Best in Show: Blue-ribbon laughs as master satirist Christopher Guest goes to the dogs.
10. Requiem for a Dream: Darren Aronofsky’s virtuosity and the acting of Ellen Burstyn elevate a harrowing tale of addiction to exhilarating art.