What is the iconic movie of the '00s?

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I don't mean a movie that is merely "of its time" but one that embodies -- in a necessarily reductive way -- what the first decade of the 21st century connotes in the popular imagination.

For example, for previous decades, I'd posit Saturday Night Fever (70s), The Breakfast Club (80s), and Reality Bites (90s). (It occurs to me that youth culture/music is a key element in all of these.)

sockless in moccasins (jaymc), Saturday, 21 April 2012 17:06 (2 years ago) Permalink

caek, Saturday, 21 April 2012 17:07 (2 years ago) Permalink

The Departed makes use of the Patriot Act and texting, but I don't know.

I thought 27th Hour was really early 00s when I saw it a few years ago, and not just because of all the Ground Zero references.

pplains, Saturday, 21 April 2012 17:09 (2 years ago) Permalink

The Departed makes use of the Patriot Act and texting, but I don't know.

See, I feel like this makes it a movie "of its time," but not one that screams "lol '00s."

The one I keep coming back to is Juno.

sockless in moccasins (jaymc), Saturday, 21 April 2012 17:11 (2 years ago) Permalink

Harold and Kumar Go to Whitecastle

Jeff, Saturday, 21 April 2012 17:14 (2 years ago) Permalink

Snakes on a Train!

aboulia banks (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 21 April 2012 17:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

if ever a thread needed imagebombing

The term “hipster racism” from Carmen Van Kerckhove at Racialicious (nakhchivan), Saturday, 21 April 2012 17:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

the matrix? all the stars are from the 80s and 90s, but bullet time is forever 00s.

Philip Nunez, Saturday, 21 April 2012 18:19 (2 years ago) Permalink

The Social Network could be remembered as such, despite the 2010 problem.

Träumerei, Saturday, 21 April 2012 18:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

transformers :(

the acquisition and practice of music is unfavourable to the health of (abanana), Saturday, 21 April 2012 18:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

I'd wanna say something along the lines of Ghost World or Eternal Sunshine or Lost In Translation, but none of those seem quite right in terms of capturing anything particularly zeitgeist-y. I looked through the list of highest grossing movies of the '00s for something resembling a pivotal shared film experience and there's almost nothing that isn't sci-fi/action/fantasy.

So I'll just go with Crash.

Potty Problems (Deric W. Haircare), Saturday, 21 April 2012 18:29 (2 years ago) Permalink

Reality Bites is more 'lol 90s' than 'iconic 90s movie,' it's 00s equivalent is probably Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist

some dude, Saturday, 21 April 2012 18:31 (2 years ago) Permalink

a lot of stuff iconically 90s seems 'lol 90s' Hackers, Singles, Swingers...

actually Pulp Fiction may be the ultimate 90s movie

Chris S, Saturday, 21 April 2012 18:38 (2 years ago) Permalink

re: pulp fiction, it's telling that its star and soundtrack are iconic some other decade.

Philip Nunez, Saturday, 21 April 2012 18:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

if you follow the trail of nostalgia, the extrapolated iconic 00s movie would be Breakfast Club: Special Edition with CGI Jar Jar Binks, with Joy Division doing the title theme.

Philip Nunez, Saturday, 21 April 2012 18:46 (2 years ago) Permalink

I have a feeling like the social network will be pretty hard to follow for a 15 y/o kid watching it in 2030

iatee, Saturday, 21 April 2012 18:46 (2 years ago) Permalink

as far as 00s... depends if it should reflect a wider experience or just 00s hip

for the latter I'd probably go with a Wes Anderson flick?... as kind of the blueprint for the aesthetic of 00s 'indie genre films', as well as really nailing the aesthetic of 00s indie/hip in general. Royal Tenenbaums maybe. Where the Wild Things Are failed as a film, but I think it really summed up the aesthetic/zeitgeist of mid-late-aughts indie as well - somewhere between Arcade Fire and AC

Chris S, Saturday, 21 April 2012 18:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

Philip - true, and that's very 90s (and maybe even more 00s, which is partly why I went with the very retro-looking Royal Tenenbaums)

Chris S, Saturday, 21 April 2012 18:50 (2 years ago) Permalink

a lot of stuff iconically 90s seems 'lol 90s' Hackers, Singles, Swingers...

actually Pulp Fiction may be the ultimate 90s movie

― Chris S, Saturday, April 21, 2012 2:38 PM (10 minutes ago) Bookmark

i'd say Clueless is a better fit for 'has the stench of 90s all over it but we're laughing with it, not at it' as opposed to Hackers or Reality Bites

some dude, Saturday, 21 April 2012 18:50 (2 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I was thinking maybe Royal Tenenbaums, except that it's so hermetically sealed off from any particular reference to the popular culture of its decade that it's almost the opposite of what I'd consider an iconic '00s movie.

Potty Problems (Deric W. Haircare), Saturday, 21 April 2012 18:52 (2 years ago) Permalink

There's also Mean Girls. Concerns youth culture, is still heavily quoted... maybe lacks defining scenes.

Träumerei, Saturday, 21 April 2012 18:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

I can answer that question for the '70s, but not for the '00s, other than to say it would probably be a film with some connection to Bush II and/or CGI.

clemenza, Saturday, 21 April 2012 18:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

wall-e

iatee, Saturday, 21 April 2012 18:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

Superbad maybe?

Mordy, Saturday, 21 April 2012 19:00 (2 years ago) Permalink

I dunno. I realized recently that I have no real concept of the '00s as a decade in the way that I have pretty firm concept of pretty much every decade of the 20th Century. I don't know if it's just that we're too close to it still to have any real perspective on it or if there really was less of a unifying cultural thread than in decades past. I mean, yeah, Dubya and 9/11 are kinda the looming spectre of the decade in America, but I don't have a firm grasp on how that figures into pop culture. It isn't as clear to me as Reagan and Thatcher's influence on '80s pop culture, f'rinstance.

Potty Problems (Deric W. Haircare), Saturday, 21 April 2012 19:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah, was just going to mention that. is there anything that could be said to be capturing a post-911 feeling, or can be said to be a product of it?

and yeah, defining the mass-culture vibe music-wise is tricky... there's post-Britney pop, rnb, crunk, post-grunge, emo

Donnie Darko kind of tapped into the emo/Hot Topic zeitgeist I guess - although again - and maybe it's fitting (not for emo but for the 00s) - it refers back to another era

Chris S, Saturday, 21 April 2012 19:05 (2 years ago) Permalink

I thought No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood closed out the Bush years perfectly--not sure I can explain why without sounding corny--but I don't know if they speak to the decade in any larger sense.

clemenza, Saturday, 21 April 2012 19:05 (2 years ago) Permalink

One of the Fast and the Furious films. Probably the first one.

stay in school if you want to kiw (Gukbe), Saturday, 21 April 2012 19:08 (2 years ago) Permalink

I can answer that question for the '70s, but not for the '00s, other than to say it would probably be a film with some connection to Bush II and/or CGI.

I hear what you're saying, and I'd be perfectly fine with Harold & Kumar Escape from Gauntanamo as well.

Andrew Farrell, Saturday, 21 April 2012 19:14 (2 years ago) Permalink

how about just a movie that gives a sense of a bloated, out-of-control capitalism heading over a cliff? just looking at the production value of something like Transformers (which someone mentioned already I think), or even its imagery... these massive, idiotic, grossly over-budgeted, catch-phrase spouting, shifting, industrial war machine abominations smashing into each other and crushing cities. I mean, films like that are still being made but there's kind of this sense now of it being made by and for people living in denial of the state of things maybe

Chris S, Saturday, 21 April 2012 19:14 (2 years ago) Permalink

as food for thought, here are the highest grossing movies/franchises of 2000-2009 that were not sequels or adaptations of something already well known by the end of the 20th century: Avatar, the Shrek movies, the Harry Potter movies, Finding Nemo, Up, the Twilight movies, Inception, the Meet The Parents/Fockers movies, The Hangover, The Incredibles, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Cast Away, Signs, Hancock, the Bourne movies, Wall-E, the National Treasure movies, How To Train Your Dragon, The Da Vinci Code, Kung Fu Panda, 300, The Fast And The Furious movies, Wedding Crashers, Ratatouille, The Mummy movies....

some dude, Saturday, 21 April 2012 19:15 (2 years ago) Permalink

some of those debatable as far as the 20th century caveat goes, but whatever, you get the idea

some dude, Saturday, 21 April 2012 19:16 (2 years ago) Permalink

lol what a decade

iatee, Saturday, 21 April 2012 19:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

As far as America's collective dream-life in the 2000s, Hostel and Hostel: Part II.

caro's johnson (Eazy), Saturday, 21 April 2012 19:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

It goes w/out saying we're talking American, mainstream and mersh, right?

War of the Worlds

World Congress of Itch (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 21 April 2012 19:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

or Munich

World Congress of Itch (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 21 April 2012 19:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

if not, what would it be? Cache?

stay in school if you want to kiw (Gukbe), Saturday, 21 April 2012 19:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

War of the Worlds. I like the Transformers argument as well.

stay in school if you want to kiw (Gukbe), Saturday, 21 April 2012 19:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

though if we're totally honest, it would probably be Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

stay in school if you want to kiw (Gukbe), Saturday, 21 April 2012 19:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

War Of The Worlds isn't even as iconic as its promotional junket

some dude, Saturday, 21 April 2012 19:24 (2 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, Harry Potter not entirely unknown in 1999. Bourne as well, but that is more of a niche.

Also there is to be a fair a distinction between "reflects the times" and "reflects what people went to see" - Reality Bites did well, but got about 5% of The Lion King's gross in 1994.

Andrew Farrell, Saturday, 21 April 2012 19:25 (2 years ago) Permalink

actually Bourne films probably pretty good.

stay in school if you want to kiw (Gukbe), Saturday, 21 April 2012 19:26 (2 years ago) Permalink

I think this question would best be answered by somebody in his/her 20s or 30s. When I thought about my No Country/There Will Be Blood answer, I realized that that's exactly the kind of answer you'd expect from a 50-year-old whose frame of reference is Nashville-era films. The people who are suggesting the likes of Harold & Kumar, The Hangover, Wall-E, etc. are undoubtedly in sync with the past decade in ways that go right past me. (Not meant as a Morbius-like dismissal, just an acknowledgement that I have only an intermittent connection with the zeitgeist or whatever you want to call it these days.)

clemenza, Saturday, 21 April 2012 19:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

How is Transformers different from Armageddon or Independence Day? Also in what way would it not work if it was set in, say, 1986?

Andrew Farrell, Saturday, 21 April 2012 19:31 (2 years ago) Permalink

Haha Christ is it Cloverfield?

Andrew Farrell, Saturday, 21 April 2012 19:32 (2 years ago) Permalink

I think there is a difference between 'iconic' in a 'wow that's a really good representation of life in that era*' and iconic as 'that film was thematically on board w/ bigger issues of that period'. like breakfast club vs wall street.

*for young white people

iatee, Saturday, 21 April 2012 19:35 (2 years ago) Permalink

so 8 Mile in both cases

some dude, Saturday, 21 April 2012 19:39 (2 years ago) Permalink

I'm sort taking it as "Lazy sitcoms of 2030 will use 'you look like you stepped off the set of _______' as a way to signify 'you look very 00s'"

Also yeah iatee completely otm regarding we are being asked to guess who will have 'won' the 00s, there were lots of other 70s/80s/90s.

Andrew Farrell, Saturday, 21 April 2012 19:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

trying to get a grasp on the 00s... so maybe 911, Paris Hilton, Reality TV, Internet 2.0, mega-Capitalism/pre-recession/bubble, Crunk, Post-Grunge, autotune, Emo/Scene/Mall-__, meme culture, Napster/file-sharing, digitalization, movie/tv remakes, teenpop, RnB, country, American Idol, and a growing awareness of/argument around hipsters/'indie' culture...

Chris S, Saturday, 21 April 2012 19:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

oh yeah, and 'metrosexual'

Chris S, Saturday, 21 April 2012 19:46 (2 years ago) Permalink

They missed a trick by calling it Step Up Revolution instead of Occupy Step Up.

Potty Problems (Deric W. Haircare), Saturday, 21 April 2012 21:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

that trailer is sooo cheeeesy

Chris S, Saturday, 21 April 2012 21:33 (2 years ago) Permalink

so bascially 00s was performance art and 10s is protest art.

stay in school if you want to kiw (Gukbe), Saturday, 21 April 2012 21:34 (2 years ago) Permalink

or Dance Dance Revolution: The Movie xxp

Chris S, Saturday, 21 April 2012 21:36 (2 years ago) Permalink

Brokeback Mountain

Jeff, Saturday, 21 April 2012 22:39 (2 years ago) Permalink

johnny crunch, Saturday, 21 April 2012 23:04 (2 years ago) Permalink

otm

1staethyr, Saturday, 21 April 2012 23:11 (2 years ago) Permalink

Scott Pilgrim is a good suggestion, pop zeitgeist wise. After all, this was the decade video gaming really became a big, mainstream thing and it kinda reflects that.

fix it with like some music glue (Trayce), Saturday, 21 April 2012 23:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

well, not in box office but yeah

stay in school if you want to kiw (Gukbe), Saturday, 21 April 2012 23:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

So actually in that line of thinking perhaps the answer should be some Uwe Boll POS. ha.

fix it with like some music glue (Trayce), Saturday, 21 April 2012 23:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

i accidentally domed your son, of course

a big fat fucking fat guy in a barrel what could be better? (Eisbaer), Sunday, 22 April 2012 00:08 (2 years ago) Permalink

The most iconic movie of the '00s is probably whichever remake was the most unnecessary and perfunctory and yet still hugely popular. Actually, the Pirates of the Caribbean movies kinda fit that bill in a way, inasmuch as it marked the point when the remake/adaptation virus devolved to the point of adapting amusement park rides (a devolution which continues with the upcoming slew of films based on Milton Bradley board games and then, one assumes, different varieties of soft drinks).

Now hold on just a dad-blamed minute there. Are you really suggesting in good conscience that a film based around AriZona Iced Teas is a bad thing?

dell (del), Sunday, 22 April 2012 00:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

*starts work on four loko: the movie*

johnny crunch, Sunday, 22 April 2012 00:25 (2 years ago) Permalink

haha

basically the '00's for me are one huge blur of Paris Hilton, electroclash and four loko

dell (del), Sunday, 22 April 2012 00:33 (2 years ago) Permalink

obv answer that fits jaymc's first post is Napoleon Dynamite

World Congress of Itch (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 22 April 2012 00:38 (2 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, but there's nothing very musically zeitgeist-y about Napoleon Dynamite. Although I have trouble thinking of a single movie from the '00s with a soundtrack that stands out in the iconic way that, say, easily a dozen '80s movie soundtracks did.

(Witness a flood of examples of iconic '00s soundtracks in 3...2...)

Toity Troubles (Deric W. Haircare), Sunday, 22 April 2012 00:42 (2 years ago) Permalink

napolean dynamite is super musically zeitgeisty, the biggest band of the 00s stole their look from the movie

iatee, Sunday, 22 April 2012 00:44 (2 years ago) Permalink

arctic monkeys?

johnny crunch, Sunday, 22 April 2012 00:46 (2 years ago) Permalink

Oh my gosh, that's who Chris Martin looks like! I can't believe I never saw it before!

Toity Troubles (Deric W. Haircare), Sunday, 22 April 2012 00:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

It's like a Magic Eye picture. Totally kicking myself now.

Toity Troubles (Deric W. Haircare), Sunday, 22 April 2012 00:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

Although I have trouble thinking of a single movie from the '00s with a soundtrack that stands out in the iconic way that, say, easily a dozen '80s movie soundtracks did.

See this is where Philip Nunez's suggestion of sneaking in The Matrix works...

Andrew Farrell, Sunday, 22 April 2012 01:27 (2 years ago) Permalink

Zeitgeisty by fiat: High School Musical.

But yeah I don't think music in film works the same way as it used to, though I couldn't say why right now.

Andrew Farrell, Sunday, 22 April 2012 01:32 (2 years ago) Permalink

hmpf u know the right answer 2 this is prob Borat

johnny crunch, Sunday, 22 April 2012 01:35 (2 years ago) Permalink

But yeah I don't think music in film works the same way as it used to, though I couldn't say why right now.

As with so much else, the short answer is "the internet."

improvised explosive advice (WmC), Sunday, 22 April 2012 01:49 (2 years ago) Permalink

I hate to say it. Garden state.

Jeff, Sunday, 22 April 2012 01:53 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah trying to think of a movie that was known for its soundtrack or a particular (new) song, and all I can think of is maybe Garden State with that Shins song

as far as something more pop, eh maybe Fast and the Furious w a Ludacris song or something?

I dunno, maybe the 00s are an unusual case, because as open-minded as you want to be, pop culture from the Hilton/reality tv era may have been so lame/embarassing/insubstantial/moronic/derivative that what mattered really wasn't at the center, and looking there could be missing the point... (I like Ludacris, but the bloated crossover dreck the film industry produced for the pop audience in the 00s seems to be the kind of bloated trash you can only enjoy in the way that you might enjoy a big budget Nic Cage flick. hard to say still, but I think that the 80s were maybe just objectively better at making loveable pop movies)

Chris S, Sunday, 22 April 2012 02:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

Less Than Zero (80s)
Fear (90s)
Havoc (00s)

caro's johnson (Eazy), Sunday, 22 April 2012 03:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

hmpf u know the right answer 2 this is prob Borat

― johnny crunch, Saturday, April 21, 2012 6:35 PM (2 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

yuppie bullshit chocolate blogbait (contenderizer), Sunday, 22 April 2012 03:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

oh man Havoc is terrible

stay in school if you want to kiw (Gukbe), Sunday, 22 April 2012 04:39 (2 years ago) Permalink

Is Havoc JGL?

sockless in moccasins (jaymc), Sunday, 22 April 2012 09:02 (2 years ago) Permalink

OK wait Barbara Kopple of Harlan County USA fame directed a remake of Thirteen starring Anne Hathaway as Evan Rachel Wood?

sockless in moccasins (jaymc), Sunday, 22 April 2012 09:04 (2 years ago) Permalink

By the screenwriter of Traffic??

sockless in moccasins (jaymc), Sunday, 22 April 2012 09:04 (2 years ago) Permalink

Channing Tatum AND Laura San Giacomo? What?

sockless in moccasins (jaymc), Sunday, 22 April 2012 09:04 (2 years ago) Permalink

Does Havoc get all Crazy/Beautiful at any point?

sockless in moccasins (jaymc), Sunday, 22 April 2012 09:06 (2 years ago) Permalink

I think this question is difficult because there are a shitload of movies from the 00s that are actually consciously reaching for iconic status, if not in a Saturday Night Fever way then certainly in a Breakfast Club/Ferris Bueller's day off way. Donnie Darko being probably the most obvious example. There are also films like Superbad that have an iconic character but aren't necessarily iconic in their own right.

This is excluding the massive blockbuster action adventure films because it clearly isn't one of those.

Napoleon Dynamite is a pretty good call actually. If there's any one cinematic or socio-cultural narrative I'd use to sum up the 00s it's 'geeks inherit the earth'.

Homosexual Satan Wasp (Matt DC), Sunday, 22 April 2012 12:46 (2 years ago) Permalink

Juno is a good nom for 'modern zeitgeisty soundtrack. I went to see my friend's high school students perform music and short plays at a downtown street fair on Friday. That anemic little Moldy Peaches song from Juno came on between plays and EVERY SINGLE KID sang along with it really loudly. I thought, oh shit, it's a generation anthem (surprising to me since the song sounds like it's embarrassed to exist, but these kids were BELTING IT).

does Red Stripe work like poppers? (Abbbottt), Sunday, 22 April 2012 15:19 (2 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I feel like we should probably be deferring to teenagers on this one. I doubt somewhat that the olds in the '80s were suggesting The Breakfast Club as an iconic movie of that decade ("Well, clearly, the correct answer is Hannah and Her Sisters.")

Toity Troubles (Deric W. Haircare), Sunday, 22 April 2012 16:15 (2 years ago) Permalink

the scene in havoc where anne hathaway and bijou phillips sing along to "can i get a..." is definitely emblematic of *something* about the 00s.

jesus christ (strongo hulkington's ghost dad), Sunday, 22 April 2012 16:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

we should probably be deferring to teenagers on this one.

Yeah. They have more of a tribal identity thing going, so they are more likely to even have an answer to this question. For contrast, would any of us be able to pick an 'iconic movie' for the decade of the 1930s? And if we did name one, would anyone who was alive then agree with us?

My own sense of the 00s is completely disengaged from the few movies I saw in theaters. To me they were just a means of spending 100 to 130 minutes being entertained. I never expected to be given a dose of the zeitgeist for the price of my ticket.

Aimless, Sunday, 22 April 2012 16:34 (2 years ago) Permalink

I suggested people in their 20s/30s--I think you need some historical perspective for a question like this.

clemenza, Sunday, 22 April 2012 16:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

ask generation spongebob, the answer will be spongebob.

Philip Nunez, Sunday, 22 April 2012 17:06 (2 years ago) Permalink

isn't it more comforting to find that there is no longer a single movie to speak to a generational audience, though? i'd feel really bad if any of sat night fever, breakfast club, or reality bites encapsulated anything about me or my peers.

Philip Nunez, Sunday, 22 April 2012 17:11 (2 years ago) Permalink

yuppie bullshit chocolate blogbait (contenderizer), Sunday, 22 April 2012 17:14 (2 years ago) Permalink

This is a really puzzling question. All of the biggest grossing films tend to be pulp exercises. In that Roger Corman documentary by the end of it they say that Hollywood has focused on previously cult-level exploitation pop films.

Emperor Cos Dashit (Adam Bruneau), Sunday, 22 April 2012 21:21 (2 years ago) Permalink

King of Kong

Jeff, Sunday, 22 April 2012 22:53 (2 years ago) Permalink

My personal answer for this is STEALTH because the ridic intelligent plane is suddenly "downloading all the music on the entire net!" Or maybe Fast & The Furious first for similar reasons, remember the VW dude was famed for being able to "find out anything about anyone on the internet."

Based on this, I would say that the most "LOL 00s" movie is Live Free or Die Hard, where the bad guys are able to manipulate to entire American infrastructure, including every traffic light and some random lights in a traffic tunnel, via hacking them through the internet. Also, it's a sequel that turns a late 80s/90s action hero who was defined as an everyman character into a cool, badass übermensch, which seems apt for 00s blockbusters.

Tuomas, Monday, 23 April 2012 12:12 (2 years ago) Permalink

Batman!

the pinefox, Monday, 23 April 2012 12:15 (2 years ago) Permalink

Anyway, Reality Bites might've been the 90s movie for Americans, but for Europeans it was surely Trainspotting, right? I can't remember any other movie whose themes, style, soundtrack, etc were so iconic of its era.

Tuomas, Monday, 23 April 2012 12:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

otm

diafiyhm (darraghmac), Monday, 23 April 2012 12:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

So true. CF every student's bedroom wall.

(Reality Bites was a tongue in cheek suggestion though right? Like, even back then wasn't it seen as try-hard..?)

sktsh, Monday, 23 April 2012 15:15 (2 years ago) Permalink


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