AMP's 40 Great Japanese Films of the 00s (2000-2009)

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May 28, 2020
Panos Kotzathanasis

When someone talks about the Japanese movie industry in the 00s, inevitably the discussion goes towards anime, which, in the specific decade, accounted for 60% of the local film production. With films like Miyazaki’s “Spirited Away” and the rest of Studio Ghibli’s productions, along with masterpieces from Satoshi Kon, Mamoru Oshii, Katsuhiro Otomo and other great filmmakers, there is no wonder why the 00s were considered “Japanese Cinema’s Second Golden Age”, particularly for the penetration of local films in cinemas around the world.

However, anime were not the only story Japanese cinema had to tell in this decade. Yojiro Takita also won an Oscar, Shinji Aoyama and Naomi Kawase won at Cannes, Hirokazu Koreeda continued his successful festival run, Yoji Yamada made an exceptional trilogy of samurai films, Shunji Iwai directed one of the most critically acclaimed film of the decade, Kinji Fukasaku released his last film and Takeshi Kitano his most successful. Furthermore, cult (exploitation) and horror favorites Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Takashi Miike and Sion Sono established themselves as masters of the categories, while a number of independent directors also arose.

Without further ado, here is the list with the best films of the 00s, in random order, again with a focus on diversity, in a list that, once more, could feature many more titles.

20th Century Boys trilogy is counted as one entry.

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  1. 1 new

    Batoru rowaiaru

    2000 — a.k.a. Battle Royale, in 9 top lists Check
  2. 2 new

    Mandei

    2000, in 2 top lists Check
  3. 3 new

    Koroshiya 1

    2001 — a.k.a. Ichi the Killer, in 5 top lists Check
  4. 4 new

    Bijitâ Q

    2001 — a.k.a. Visitor Q, in 4 top lists Check
  5. 5 new

    Jisatsu sâkuru

    2001 — a.k.a. Suicide Club, in 2 top lists Check
  6. 6 new

    Nain souruzu

    2003 — a.k.a. 9 Souls, in 1 top list Check
  7. 7 new

    Riri Shushu no subete

    2001 — a.k.a. All About Lily Chou-Chou, in 3 top lists Check
  8. 8 new

    Yurîka

    2000 — a.k.a. Eureka, in 2 top lists Check
  9. 9 new

    2LDK

    2003, in 1 top list Check
  10. 10 new

    Tonî Takitani

    2004 — a.k.a. Tony Takitani, in 1 top list Check
  11. 11 new

    Kimyô na sâkasu

    2005 — a.k.a. Strange Circus, in 0 top lists Check
  12. 12 new

    Versus

    2000, in 2 top lists Check
  13. 13 new

    Masters of Horror: Imprint

    2006, in 0 top lists Check
  14. 14 new

    Metoroporisu

    2001 — a.k.a. Metropolis, in 2 top lists Check
  15. 15 new

    Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi

    2001 — a.k.a. Spirited Away, in 39 top lists Check
  16. 16 new

    Kumo no mukô, yakusoku no basho

    2004 — a.k.a. The Place Promised in Our Early Days, in 1 top list Check
  17. 17 new

    Mind Game

    2004, in 5 top lists Check
  18. 18 new

    Paprika

    2006, in 7 top lists Check
  19. 19 new

    Zatôichi

    2003 — a.k.a. The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi, in 6 top lists Check
  20. 20 new

    Okuribito

    2008 — a.k.a. Departures, in 8 top lists Check
  21. 21 new

    Aruitemo aruitemo

    2008 — a.k.a. Still Walking, in 7 top lists Check
  22. 22 new

    Tasogare Seibei

    2002 — a.k.a. The Twilight Samurai, in 10 top lists Check
  23. 23 new

    Kamyu nante shiranai

    2005, in 1 top list Check
  24. 24 new

    Dare mo shiranai

    2004 — a.k.a. Nobody Knows, in 8 top lists Check
  25. 25 new

    Kurôzu zero

    2007 — a.k.a. Crows Zero, in 0 top lists Check
  26. 26 new

    Kiraware Matsuko no isshô

    2006 — a.k.a. Memories of Matsuko, in 1 top list Check
  27. 27 new

    Always san-chôme no yûhi

    2005 — a.k.a. Always - Sunset on Third Street, in 0 top lists Check
  28. 28 new

    Tokyo Sonata

    2008, in 3 top lists Check
  29. 29 new

    Jitsuroku Rengo Sekigun: Asama sanso e no michi

    2007 — a.k.a. United Red Army, in 2 top lists Check
  30. 30 new

    Mogari no mori

    2007 — a.k.a. The Mourning Forest, in 2 top lists Check
  31. 31 new

    20-seiki shônen: Honkaku kagaku bôken eiga

    2008 — a.k.a. 20th Century Boys 1: Beginning of the End, in 0 top lists Check
  32. 32 new

    20-seiki shônen: Dai 2 shô - Saigo no kibô

    2009 — a.k.a. 20th Century Boys 2: The Last Hope, in 0 top lists Check
  33. 33 new

    20-seiki shônen: Saishû-shô - Bokura no hata

    2009 — a.k.a. 20th Century Boys 3: Redemption, in 0 top lists Check
  34. 34 new

    Sakuran

    2006, in 0 top lists Check
  35. 35 new

    Chi to hone

    2004 — a.k.a. Blood and Bones, in 0 top lists Check
  36. 36 new

    Mibu gishi den

    2002 — a.k.a. When the Last Sword is Drawn, in 2 top lists Check
  37. 37 new

    Innocence

    2004 — a.k.a. Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, in 3 top lists Check
  38. 38 new

    Hauru no ugoku shiro

    2004 — a.k.a. Howl's Moving Castle, in 18 top lists Check
  39. 39 new

    Yôgisha X no kenshin

    2008 — a.k.a. Suspect X, in 0 top lists Check
  40. 40 new

    Linda Linda Linda

    2005, in 2 top lists Check
  41. 41 new

    Cha no aji

    2004 — a.k.a. The Taste of Tea, in 2 top lists Check
  42. 42 new

    Ai no mukidashi

    2008 — a.k.a. Love Exposure, in 3 top lists Check
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Last updated on Jan 9, 2022; source