20 Most Original Movies Since 2000

There have been plenty of great movies so far this millennium, but how many have been truly original? Let's take a look.

Holy Motors We're fourteen years into the new millennium and there have already been thousands of movies released - admittedly a lot of them aren't particularly good and more than a few have been average at best, but amongst the detritus there have been some great movies which seems to indicate that cinema as a form of both art and entertainment is as strong as ever. But how many recent movies could be said to be truly original? How many film have broken new ground and served up a slice of cinema which is both provocative and innovative? As the medium enters its second century and the back catalogue of titles continues to grow - and as studios seemingly become increasingly wary of investing in original ideas and favour remakes and reboots instead - it's becoming much harder for filmmakers to push the boat out and attempt to break new ground. With production costs to think about, guaranteeing a return on the investment tends to take priority over artistic freedom. Harder, but not impossible. As the following 20 movies demonstrate, cinema since the year 2000 is capable of being just as original as it was in the decades which preceded it. By no means definitive, here are 20 of the most original movies since the year 2000.

20. Dogville (2003)

The Movie: A young woman called Grace Mulligan (Nicole Kidman) arrives in the sleepy mountain town of Dogville seeking refuge from murderous gangsters. After some deliberation, the townsfolk agree to put her up in exchange for her performing chores and other duties around the town. As the uneasy deal between the two parties begins to show signs of strain, the line between charity and exploitation begins to increasingly blur. What Makes It Original: Director Lars von Trier is no stranger to experimental cinema, having been a leader of the Dogme 95 movement which sought to reduce filmmaking to its essence. With Dogville, von Trier strips the form of its aesthetic baggage and locates the action on a minimalist set in which crude markings on the floor outline the town. The effect is to reduce our attention almost entirely to the performances and the story rendering all other details superfluous - it's a bold and effective gambit which recalls the "pure" form of theatre established by Bertold Brecht.

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