100 Best-of-the-Best Films from the Last Ten Years

100 Best of the Best Films from the Last Ten Years
(Reviewed from a Mennonite/Anabaptist perspective)MennoBytes_SelfPortrait(Illustration courtesy of Joshua Byler, resident movie buff at MennoMedia, and yes, alert readers will remember you saw this before, here.)

Did you watch the Oscars this past Sunday? Did you enjoy drooling as hungry celebs pretended they were normal peeps grabbing pizza slices from a delivery man (who just happens to be the owner of an L.A. pizzeria chain), and taking selfies?

If you are a movie fan, or are a teacher or leader who has ever grasped for materials to use with youth, young adults, or any small group in search of something fun and different to discuss, keep in mind the hundreds of movie reviews Third Way Cafe has published for you with an eye towards Anabaptist/Mennonite/Christian values and viewpoints. Our reviewers are all Mennonite/Anabaptist writers—good writers too; the reviews are often entertaining to read in and of themselves. You’ll also run across movies you do NOT want to see, as well, and our guys (and one gal) will steer you clear. Or not.

Sample these fun reads from our current writers:

Jerry Holsopple, Gordon Houser, Vic Thiessen, Matthew Kauffman Smith, Michelle Davis Sinclair (soon returning from a maternity leave).

Here are ideas about how you can use Third Way movie (or other) reviews to prompt an awesome discussion:

  1. Think of or find a movie your group is talking about anyway. (What were the youth discussing last week??)
  2. Do a search at Third Way Café to see if we’ve done a review.
  3. Read the review, pick up the movie from Redbox or Netflix, preview it, then jot down a few study questions.
  4. You’ll likely have material for 2 – 3 weeks of youth sessions. (Or homework for homeschooled kids. Or family night popcorn and movies. Or date night on the cheap.)
  5. You can also use Third Way to update your queue or come up with your own “must see” list. Peruse Third Way Café’s “Top 10 Movies” of each year, going back to 2004. I’ve made it easy with links below (our reviewers pick their favorites from a wide field, not just Oscar nominees). Note that the shortie reviews included in these summaries are just one or two sentences, good for getting the gist of a movie and whether you might be interested. Then use the Search box right on the page to see if a particular movie has a full review on Third Way. Or do a Google search for any film using “Third Way Café Media Matters” + the title of a movie and you should come up with a good link. Or, from here, use the “find” tool on your browser and plug in the name of a movie and if it has been reviewed on Third Way, it should come up.

Here are the short summary lists, by years.
Media Matters Top 10 films of 2013
Media Matters Top 10 films of 2012
Media Matters Top 10 films of 2011
Media Matters Top 10 films of 2010
Media Matters Top 10 films of 2009
Media Matters Top 10 films of 2008
Media Matters Top 10 films of 2007
Media Matters Top 10 films of 2006
Media Matters Top 10 films of 2005
Media Matters Top 10 films of 2004

Want to get a fresh review every week? You’ll have a constant supply of sermon illustrations, attention grabbers for youth group or Sunday school, conversation starters at your break or dinner table. I should mention that we also review music, books, TV, advertising and other media as they pop onto the cultural radar. I remember with some amusement my daughter’s attempt (currently our lone female reviewer) to explain blogs back in 2006. She said “blog” sounded like a “collection of nasty stuff in a drainpipe. Or maybe what a cat does after eating something it shouldn’t.”

Blogs didn’t suffer any lag in popularity for her description. But our main diet on Media Matters is movies.

So it is with the reviews found at Third Way: they’ll probably never catch the notice of stars or critics or major media, but for your own homegrown thumbs up or down on hundreds of movies from the last ten years, there’s no better place to go than right here. And tell your friends, family, colleagues: speak it, blog it, tweet it, Facebook it.



Melodie Davis
Managing editor, including Third Way Cafe.