My Top Ten Movies of 2002 - James Raffoul

2002, for films, was a tough year to choose from, when compiling the annual Top Ten. It was actually quite hard to find a Top 10 that I was 100% pleased with. It says a lot when One Hour Photo almost made it into the list.

Independents fared well and I loved Bend It Like Beckham. The best foreign language film, for me, would have to be 8 Femmes (reviewed on this site) for innovation and a beautiful cast, even though it was an old-fashioned murder mystery-whodunnit.

I visited the movies more than any other year before, but whether you agree or disagree, my list comes down to this. - and each film I will quite happily watch again. And again. Let me know what you think by mailing


Title: Black Hawk Down (15)

Dir: Ridley Scott

Gritty, realistic and even though the Americans were dumb in even getting involved, it's a powerful storyline, includes great cinematography and leaves your heart pounding with its action sequences.


Title: Insomnia (15)

Dir: Christopher Nolan

Pacino looks old and bedraggled, but still calls the shots as a cop who can't sleep in Nowheresville, Alaska, with what seems minimal effort. Williams has proved his versatility yet again. Drags in places, but leads to a fine finale.


Title: Road To Perdition (15)

Dir: Sam Mendes

Powerful, vengeance-fuelled tale that was sheer cinematic brilliance. Mendes, Hanks and Newman were all in respective fine form.


Title: Bend It Like Beckam (12A)

Dir: Gurinder Chadha

A well-timed release just before last year's World Cup undoubtedly helped this along, but it was also backed up by a well-oiled cast and crew to leave you rolling in the aisles. Hounslow's never been so cool.


Title: Ocean's Eleven (12A)

Dir: Steven Soderbergh

As cool as they come and as good as the original. Clooney, Pitt, Damon, Garcia, Roberts and others are on fine form and Soderbergh directs their egos with style. It all looks so easy.


Title: The Others (15)

Dir: Alejandro Amenábar

I don't know about you, but it scared the shit out of me so; it does exactly what it says on the tin. And Kidman still looks fine. Brilliant. (erm, this was released in 2001, but we'll let it pass! - ed)


Title: Signs (12A)

Dir: M Night Shyamalan

This film, for me, was the top thrill-seeker of the year. There are only about three notable jumps in the whole film but the way it plays with your mind throughout is superb. Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix hold it all together well... and crop circles will never be approached in the same way!


Title: Panic Room (15)

Dir: David Fincher

The claustrophobic feel to this film made it all the more edgy. Foster gave her finest performance since Silence of The Lambs (we'll forget Sommersby) and director David Fincher's use of camera technique and ability was right out of the top drawer. Dark and violent, but with humour.


Title: Gosford Park (15)

Dir: Robert Altman

Class. Style. Grandeur. All words reflecting sheer excellence that can only describe Robert Altman's masterpiece.


Title: In The Bedroom (15)

Dir: Todd Field

This is as tough to watch and as moving a film as you are likely to see. Tom Wilkinson deserved his Oscar nomination for this and should really have gone all the way. A gripping tale of a family's heartache after losing their only son to murder, which speaks volumes.

RELATED STORIES: Click here for the complete list of 2002 Top Tens...