The 100 Greatest Characters of the Decade
We count down the movie characters that defined the era 2000-2009
As we crest a brand new decade, we thought it high time to take one more look back at the 2000s (okay, the fact that it's January, the most boring month of the year, had something to do with it, too). Yes, it's another list, but this time we've sifted through a decade's worth of films in an attempt -- foolhardy, perhaps -- to pick the 100 greatest movie characters of the past 10 years. Some are obvious, some you may have forgotten; no doubt you'll agree with many and be puzzled at others. Well, that's the fun of lists, isn't it? So, let the the arguments begin...
100. Sulley (Monsters, Inc., 2001)
Who: Monstropolis' mighty scare champ whose life is turned around when he takes possession of the creatures most feared foe -- a human child.
Defining moment: Having his big furry heart melted by the little human pest.
Quote: "Look, it's empty. No monster in here! Okay, now there is. I'm not gonna scare you. I'm off duty."
99. Jesse James (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, 2007)
Who: The cowboy as proto A-list celebrity -- that he's a criminal just makes hearts beat faster, including that of the coward, who wants to bask in fame by assassination.
Defining moment: Jesse James, perhaps acting an self-destructive enabler, uses Bob for a throat-slitting demonstration -- and then gives his newly motivated cowardly assassin a pistol as a gift.
Quote: "I've been becoming a problem to myself."
98. King Leonidas (300, 2006)
Who: Tough-as-granite leader of the 300 spartans who'll face down a million man Persian army in the Battle of Thermopylae.
Defining moment: Leonidas kicks Xerses emissary into the eternal blackness of that well, demonstrating his understanding of diplomacy -- which goes something like: no retreat, no surrender, the best defense is a good offence, kill 'em all and let the demigods sort 'em out.
Quote: "This is Sparta!"
97. Edward Cullen (Twilight, 2008)
Who: Ageless, smouldery-sparkly reformed vampire with a taste for uplifting hair product and wooing lovesick teenage girls.
Defining moment: Revealing his true, glittering self to Bella in the dappled sunlight of the forest.
Quote: "And so the lion fell in love with the lamb."
96. Theo (Children of Men, 2006)
Who: Former activist turned bureaucrat turned reluctant savior of mankind when his still radicalized ex-wife pays him to transport the only woman to get pregnant in 18 years.
Defining moment:Theo braves full-tilt urban warfare between the British army and refugee rebels in Bexhill to free Kee and her new-born baby.
Quote: "This is the first baby born in 20 years and you want to name it Froley?"
95. James T. Kirk (Star Trek, 2009)
Who: The young hot-headed Starfleet recruit who was literally born to battle -- and who has a lifelong score to settle with Romulan Nero.
Defining moment: Assuming command of the Enterprise after Spock resigns the captaincy.
Quote: "Either we're going down... or they are -- Kirk out."
94. Queen Elizabeth (The Queen, 2006)
Who: Reigning English monarch facing her annus horribilis in the wake of Princess Diana's death.
Defining moment: The moment of eerie recognition between Elizabeth and the deer in the woods she's about to shoot.
Quote: "If you imagine I'm going to drop everything and come down to London before I attend to my grandchildren who've just lost their mother... then you're mistaken."
93. Ben Stone (Knocked Up, 2007)
Who: The lovable loser-stoner who just happens to knock up the sexy up-and-coming E! reporter.
Defining moment: Defining moment: In the diner, when Alison tells him she's pregnant and, after his initial "F--k off!" response, Ben rolls with it... like the affable teddy bear he is.
Quote: "But between you and me, it was the smartest thing I ever did, 'cause now you're here."
92. Larry Gopnik (A Serious Man, 2009)
Who: Jewish husband and father who can't understand how and why his marriage and career are coming apart at the seams when all he's ever tried to be is a serious man.
Defining moment: Larry hears the story of the Goy's teeth, expecting an answer that doesn't come.
Quote: "No, I-- well yeah! Sometimes! Or-- I don't know; I guess the honest answer is I don't know. What was my life before? Not what I thought it was. What does it all mean?"
91. Kim Jong Il (Team America: World Police, 2004)
Who: Despotic population-starving totalitarian dictator rendered oddly sympathetic via puppetry, songs and contrast with Hollywood douchebags.
Defining moment: Kim Jong Il reveals his sad-clown side with the song "I'm So Ronery".
Quote: "You are worthress, Arec Barrwin!"