J.T.'s "Cry Me A River" Is His Finest Work

by Courtney Lindley

The year 2002 was quite a big one for Justin Timberlake. It was the year J.T. decided to break free from the reigns of his legacy, *NSYNC, to debut his solo album, Justified ( which, yes, was the one that featured Timberlake's monster hit "Cry Me A River.") Coincidentally enough, it was a justified move on his part. He'd been with the band since '97, but ever since he sang falsetto on "I Want You Back" with his frosted tips and robotic dance moves, the world knew he was destined for greatness. Destined for a long and eminent career in the music business. Destined to become best friends with Jimmy Fallon, star in movies, and wed Jessica Biel.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's take it back to 2002. Because something else huge happened that year — something that shook the core of America's pop institution. Shortly after they decided to stop wearing denim together in public, Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears called it quits.

And then, by some magical twist of fate, Timberlake decided to do the unthinkable. Drop what some would call a message to Spears, via the music video "Cry Me A River," otherwise, known as the ultimate break-up power anthem. But it turns out that the video was more than just a diss — it was also an early '00s masterpiece. Let these 18 moments prove that in fact, "Cry Me A River" is Timberlake's finest music video work. Ever.

1. This Emotional Window Roll Down

I do this literally ever time I show up places. To set the mood.

2. This Brow Furrow

Doesn't seem so weird that he went on to have an acting career now, does it?

3. This Facial Expression, Whatever It Is

I feel like is the moment when Timberlake would call me a "sly dog" and pat me on the back.

4. This Break-In Strategy

Badass. But also SO illegal.

5. This Hand Motion For "Cry"

We didn't know what it meant, so thank you for clearing that up.

6. This Dangerous Entrance

Apparently Timberlake doesn't succumb to the bone-chilling fear of being stabbed by glass.

7. This Dance Move

Stealing it. Stole it. Done.

8. The Matrix


9. The Matrix: Reloaded


10. The Matrix: Revolution

WHY? Also, me when I get home from anything/everything.

11. This Act of Rebellion

Never liked that photo anyway.

12. When The Revenge Begins

So scandalous.

13. This Lip Bite

It's on.


We interrupt your regularly scheduled lip biting programming to bring you Timbaland and his look of judgment/sick beats.

15. This Clear Stand-In For Spears Exiting Her Vehicle

The hat is a dead giveaway that there was no subtlety here at all.

16. This Falsetto/Angst

I have empathetic angst just looking at this. Unfortunately I can't hear him, but my dog said it was pretty on point and I'm taking his word.

17. This Sad Face


18. When Spears, I Mean The Random Girl, Finds The Evidence

Wonder what degree that burn's in.

Timberlake, you're a real modern-day Picasso.

OK, maybe more like a Renoir.

Images: justintimberlakeVEVO/YouTube (19)