The Best and Worst Movies of 2002 - Rolling Stone
Home Movies Movie News

The Best and Worst Movies of 2002

Forget easy. The movies that really matter this year are provocative and polarizing — they’re meant to rile you up

1. Gangs of New York: A landmark film from Martin Scorsese, who turns a tale of immigrant gangs in the 1860s into a hot-blooded epic for the ages. Ignore the love fluff with Cameron Diaz; Leonardo DiCaprio and a stupendous Daniel Day-Lewis bring history to raw life. No one dares more than Scorsese. Watch him fly.

2. Far From Heaven: The Twin Peak, along with Gangs, of the movie year is another period film — suburbia in the 1950s. The gifted writer-director Todd Haynes uses a disintegrating marriage (superb acting from Julianne Moore and Dennis Quaid as her closeted gay husband) to speak potently about the way we live now.

3. Adaptation: The most original and outrageous comedy of 2002. Twin writers (both Nicolas Cage) try to adapt a book about orchids (no sex, drugs or violence) into a Hollywood movie. Director Spike Jonze and writer Charlie Kaufman are true originals: They make hilarious satire out of the end of civilization.

4. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers: Part two of Peter Jackson’s film Trilogy of J.R.R. Tolkien’s books tops the original in thrilling spectacle. Tolkien gets fudged a bit, but the story’s themes remain powerful and resonant. Jackson delivers the goods in battle scenes that will take your breath away.

5. Y Tu Mamá También: Two Teen Horn-Dogs (Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal) hit the road with an older woman and learn to see beyond their hard-ons. It’s an erotic ride that Mexico’s Alfonso Cuarón elevates with unexpected feeling.

6. Chicago: A splashy, sexy knockout of a Musical about the corrupt heart of showbiz and, by extension, the world. A razzle-dazzle triumph for director Rob Marshall. Renée Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones are hot, hot, hot!

7. Talk to Her: It sounds bizarre: How do two men love two women — a dancer and a bullfighter — who are in comas? Spain’s Pedro Almodóvar tells you how in a one-of-a-kind film that brims over with magic and mystery.

8. Road to Perdition: Some people didn’t buy Tom Hanks as a hitman and found director Sam Mendes’ follow-up to American Beauty too arty. I found the film and Paul Newman, as the hitman’s surrogate father, indelibly moving.

9. About Schmidt: Jack Nicholson’s turn as a Nebraska retiree is a career high, but don’t discount the expansive human comedy that director-co-writer Alexander Payne has given him to play.

10. 8 Mile: With all the fuss about Eminem’s striking screen debut as a rapper much like himself, you might’ve missed the authenticity director Curtis Hanson built into the film. Look again.


Powered by
Arrow Created with Sketch. Calendar Created with Sketch. Path Created with Sketch. Shape Created with Sketch. Plus Created with Sketch. minus Created with Sketch.