25. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn – I am not particularly a Trekkie, and those of you out there who see how low this one is ranked might shutter in horror or rage in anger or disbelief, but I have never found it comparable to Star Wars. Yet despite that, it doesn’t mean that they weren’t fantastic movies, and more important, science-fiction commodities. According to my Trekkie friends, Wrath of Kahn is the best one to date, with Shatner and Nimoy leading the way. All I can say is that hopefully, the new Star Trek series’ second movie will be as good, considering the unexpected promise of the first one. If not, we’ll always have Wrath of Kahn.
24. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers – Once again, I am going to give a little secret away, all three Lord of the Rings movies are on the list. While maybe not as whimsical as the first or as final as the third, The Two Towers got treated like a classic middle child, and I’m not quite sure why. I love the huge battle scene at Helm’s Deep, and thought there were some incredible special effects. More importantly, while most part 2’s of any series tend to be simply connectors; this could have stood on its own for its incredible movie magic.
23. Minority Report – This little Steven Spielberg gem seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle of his incredible collection, and I’m not sure why. Sure, Spielberg hasn’t done much since then, and Tom Cruise went koo koo, but Minority Report is one of the most underrated films of the last decade. Set in the future, Minority Report sometimes plays like an action movie, but with a Spielberg touch it is transformed from the normal drab into a high flying sci-fi adventure. While it only managed one measly Oscar nomination for Sound Editing, it deserved a whole lot more, simply for being really cool.
22. X2: X-Men United – This is a personal favorite, and might surprise some to be seen so high on the list, but there is good reason for it. Before Brett Ratner destroyed the franchise by forgetting about a thing called a script and settling for popcorn trash, Bryan Singer created one of the most entertaining, thought provoking, and psychologically stunning movies of all time, and one of the greatest comic book adaptations ever created. It balanced perfectly the geekiness of the cool powers and special effects, with the tense and psychological aspects of mutations, military power, and sorrow. Hopefully one day, there will be another X-Men offspring that recaptures this particular moment in the franchise.
21. Avatar – Simply put: the highest grossing film of all time. But money and 3-D glasses weren’t the only reasons that we loved Avatar this past year. We loved it because it changed movie making forever, we loved it because it transported us to another world unlike we had ever seen since the first Star Wars, and we loved it because, despite constant trashing of Jim Cameron’s writing abilities, it gave us a heartfelt story twisted with an environmentally-friendly message, and captured the hearts of millions of people all over the world. We’ll call that last sentence Faulknarian.