10 Pretty Good Movies You Might Have Missed: 2002

Well, it is that time again; the time when all the critics make their lists of the ten best films of the year and invariably these include truly horrible films in amongst the gems. Why should my list be any different? However, I am too humble, or something, to proclaim that these are the ten best films of the year. Like the title says, they're pretty good and worth a look. In the interests of variety, I didn't even include films that were necessarily my favorites. I omitted Brotherhood of the Wolf, which I loved, because it was actually advertised on the telly. Spirited Away I liked a lot and my family loved but it was released here, in a minor way, but if you are reading this site and lived in the US you went and saw it or are buying it as soon as it comes available in a region 1 DVD.

Most of these films I saw on DVD, though I did include one I saw at an arts cinema because it had no publicity, was only there a week or two and if you live in the US and don't live near and art theater you were screwed. Several were region 2 or 3 so folks with region 1 players may have to wait awhile.

As mentioned previously, these films were selected for variety. Hopefully, there is something for everyone. Without further ado, here they are in alphabetical order:


2009 - Lost Memories DVD cover

I watched this again to confirm its place on the list. It's definitely not a great movie but the view of the afterlife is sufficiently alien to westerners to make it fascinating. More...

2009 - Lost Memories

2002 DVD cover

Time travel, plenty of action and a fascinating mystery. More...


Avalon DVD cover

A Japanese movie in Polish with gorgeous music in English; it sounds intriguing before you even know it is about virtual gaming. More...

Big Shot's Funeral

Big Shot's Funeral DVD cover

A noble and, at times, extremely funny rant about commercialism. More...

Kick the Moon

Kick the Moon DVD cover

I had to include a Korean gangster movie. My Wife is a Gangster had the funniest moments and coolest fight sequences but it also had scenes that were painful to sit through. Hi Dharma was a bit dull which let it down to My Boss, My Hero or Kick the Moon.

My Boss, My Hero and Kick the Moon have similar venues and characters. Both deal with high school students and gangsters. I had a watch off and while My Boss, My Hero is quite amusing, Kick the Moon has characters, particularly Gi-dong, the teacher who can't believe he's not still top dog, that just ring true. It also is better at showing the gangsters paying the penalty for their nefarious ways.

Man of the Century

Man of the Century DVD cover

I saw this reviewed on Ebert in 1999 and thought it sounded great but it never came near me so I didn't get to see it until is came out on DVD last year. It's the story of Johnny Twennies (Gibson Frazier), a New York newspaperman who behaves as if he is leading a sheltered life in the 20s. Unfortunately, it is 1999 and things have changed.

Good goofy fun and great 20's music.

My Life as McDull

My Life as McDull DVD cover

This is a marvelous, until the end which lost me, animated film from Hong Kong that is fun for the whole family, or, at least, all readers. More...

Read My Lips

Read My Lips poster

Deaf office manager and butt Carla (Emmanuelle Devos) hires ex-convict Paul (Vincent Cassel) as her assistant. He does his best but he's not really cut out for office work though Carla finds uses for his more reprehensible skills. When a loan shark calls in an old debt, forcing Paul to work in a night club, he's happy to go. At the nightclub he conceives a plan for a big score but it relies on Carla's lip reading talent.

When I saw this, I wasn't sure if I liked it or not but I wanted to see it again. It's fascinating (and it has Vincent Cassel).

Tears of the Black Tiger

Tears of the Black Tiger DVD cover

If you only see one Thai cowboy musical this year make it Tears of the Black Tiger. More...


Versus DVD cover

Need more action? Want more viscera? This Japanese yakuza/samurai/zombie flick has got you covered. More...

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