And the best films of the decade are …

Ian McKellen and the rest of the “Lord of the Rings” cast made a series of movies that helped define the decade.

During a good year, compiling a list of the period’s top 10 movies can be one of the most frustrating exercises a writer can attempt.

The reason? Artistic endeavors aren’t designed to be competitive, and top 10 lists have an inherently competitive spirit.

Imagine, then, the difficulty in coming up with a list of the top 10 films of an entire decade. When trying to complete this task for the years 2000-09, it occurred to me that I might be attempting the impossible.

Still, I trudged forward, whittling a once-lengthy pool of contenders to the modest collection of movies you see below.

In my humble opinion, this list represents the absolute best that we’ve seen during the past 10 years.

1) ‘Lord of the Rings’ Trilogy

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