Yowza, this is good! This used to be considered a rare example of a good sequel, now Google 'good prequel' or 'best prequel' and this is all people can seem to think of.
Still the greatest road movie ever made.
Still an impressively good adaptation of an impossible-to-adapt book. It still feels so fresh, and the special effects still work so well, that it's hard to think that this is sixteen years old.
I don't understand why this isn't the most beloved movie ever made, up there with the Godfather and Star Wars. Maybe the world wasn't ready. Maybe humanity just doesn't deserve this. I'll be happy to watch this every few years for the rest of my life.
The idea of a Hollywood film about the most horrible event in human history used to bother me. It bothers me still that Spielberg, after making this film, decided that he owned WWII and the Holocaust, and started criticizing others for making the sorts of films he built his career on. On the other hand, not everyone is going to be able to sit down a read a book about the Holocaust (it's not easy), so this is a movie to make sure people remember. I also like the fact that an anti-Nazi movie is always hovering around the top of the IMDB 250.
Fun! In the fifteen years after The Matrix, The Sixth Sense, and Fight Club hit it big within a few months of each other, there were about 4382094832 "it reality real?" movies and most of them were pretty awful, but this is everything a plot-twist movie should be: character-driven and fun to watch a second time.
Although the Muslims in medieval Spain left behind an expansive literature, little of it has been translated into English (although quite a bit has been translated into Spanish and French). Not only is this a readable and interesting history, but the translator has included a lot of well-chosen excerpts of other works in the appendix. It also deals extensively with the Almohads and the last Emirate of Granada, which both tend to be neglected in English-language scholarship.