It was one of the first movies that referred to 9/11 (the seminal event that occured the prior year). There were two incredible scenes in it: one in which Norton looks at himself in a restaurant mirror and goes on a big time rant. Watch it here. And the final sequence in which his father tells him all the things that are still possible in the young man's life. That can be viewed here.
The movie "Frailty" goes to some very dark places. Directed by actor Bill Paxton, it involves a serial killer who believes he is doing "God's work". A doozy of a twist is revealed at the end of the film. A high-quality indie can be found in the Jennifer Aniston movie "The Good Girl". It's a dark comedy, to be sure, but one that I ate up. Here's a scene from it. "Stealing Harvard" was a not-very-funny Jason Lee-Tom Green vehicle. George Clooney's "Solaris" had many points to make about memory and immortality, but was a tad too ponderous for its own good, in my view. Many of the people I was at the screening with lost patience with the film.
"Far From Heaven" was a very well-done Julianne Moore movie in which she was a 50's housewife who pines for something more. The movie was filmed in such a way that it felt as if it was actually made in the 50's (as opposed to the 21st century).
Here is the movie's trailer.
Adam Sandler showed dramatic range in the R-rated "Punch-Drunk Love". Check this scene out. "Super Troopers" was an OK comedy while "Tuck Everlasting" was quite blah. "Van Wilder" had a few laughs, but was nothing compared to Michael Moore's provocative "Bowling for Columbine". Adam Sandler's animated "Eight Crazy Nights" was a bit of a disappointment, but I loved the performance of Nicholas Cage as twins in "Adaptation" (though the movie did come off the rails a bit at the end).
I'll continue my overview of '02 in a future entry.