It might be almost a month late, but here we are.
The 2010s was only the second full decade I have been alive for, and it was the decade where I found a love for movies of all sorts (thank you to Brunswick High School Film Lit teacher Raymond Luttner).
Because of that, I saw a whole, whole lot of cinema, plenty to easily make a list of 100 movies that I absolutely love. But when I say easy, I mean that there were well over 100 great films I saw, because choosing the 100, and then ordering them, was the furthest thing from easy I have likely ever done on this website.
But after hours and hours of placing, reordering and making some last minute adjustments, here is the list of my 100 favorite movies from these past 10 years.
NOTE: Just like with the Top Albums of the 2010s list, I was only 12 years old when the 2010s began, and though I have definitely done my best to round out the movies I have seen to ones across all 10 years, I likely missed some that happened earlier on.
So, let’s get into the list, starting with the first half coming 10 at a time.
100.) A Ghost Story (2017) — David Lowery directs one of the most original films of the decade, and one of the most beautiful. The pie scene remains one of the best in any movie ever.
99.) How to Train Your Dragon (2010) — A spot that really is here for the entire trilogy, the HTTYD saga remains some of the most beautifully animated movies ever, and the storyline and lovable cast of characters just add to it.
98.) The Avengers (2012) — If this was rated strictly on theater experiences it would be about 95 spots higher. This first gigantic Marvel Cinematic Universe effort had no business working as well as it did, and seeing all of these amazing heroes together in one place was worth the price of admission, even if the MCU made better films from here.
97.) Boyhood (2014) — Almost nobody could pull off what Richard Linklater did here, and to do it with over a decade of filmmaking made for some of the strongest, and most realistic, representations of family drama and emotional conflict this decade.
96.) The Hateful Eight (2015) — Quentin Tarantino doesn’t miss, even when the majority of a three-hour movie taking place in one location. Tarantino’s writing remains unmatched, and props to Ennio Morricone for one of the best musical scores of all-time.
95.) Us (2019) — The first entry from this past year is Jordan Peele’s sophomore directorial effort, and it’s a great one. Lupita Nyong’o’s dual performance will go down as one of the very best turns this decade to not get an Oscar nomination, and also has plenty more to offer with its writing, pacing and brilliant concept.
94.) Easy A (2010) — A pretty simple high school comedy, sure, but one that I still love to this day. This was the first time I realized how great Emma Stone can be in pretty much anything, and she truly carries what could have been a good, but forgettable movie into something terrific.
93.) Moana (2016) — It has a great story, tugs on the heartstrings and has some of the best music from any Disney film, but it is the stunning animation that really sets this one above so many. The shots of the water are jaw dropping, and the visuals just happens to be set to a terrific plot.
92.) The Gift (2015) — Joel Edgerton’s feature-length directorial debut is a stunning look at how one past mistake can ruin your life. The way Edgerton crafts the trio of main characters — also helped by Edgerton’s fantastic performance — builds the tension so well, and it makes for small, but thrilling cinema.
91.) Jackie (2016) — There is so much to love about what director Pablo Larrain does here in this criminally underrated film based on the days and weeks after John F. Kennedy’s assassination for first lady Jacqueline Kennedy, but it is Natalie Portman’s performance as the titular character that takes my breath away to this day.
90.) Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood (2019) — Tarantino’s second effort on here is one of his most laid back, easygoing efforts, at least for 99 percent of it. Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio both shine in this wonderfully fun, consistently intriguing nostalgic look at the Mecca for movies.
89.) Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) — As much as I love the sequel, there is a special place in my heart for the original Guardians film, mainly for how much it proved that Marvel could make a movie about literally anything. Each member of the Guardians feels perfect for the role, and the comedy between them all is amazing and effortless.
88.) Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (2018) — I think documentaries can be tough to put on lists like these. But this Mister Rogers doc is so well made, and hit my emotions so thoroughly, that I absolutely had to have it on here.
87.) Skyfall (2012) — Easily the best James Bond movie of the decade, Daniel Craig brings the iconic character to life fully here, but it is Javier Bardem’s villainous turn that puts it over the top.
86.) The Conjuring (2013) — There were definitely better horror films this decade, but of the traditional, jump scare type, none gets me more than this one. As cheap as I think jump scares can be, “The Conjuring” at least earns them through heavy tension and great acting by Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson.
85.) Enemy (2013) — My introduction to the king of this decade, director Denis Villeneuve, was this mind bender about spiders and twin Jake Gyllenhaals. It is all expertly woven together and has one of the scariest non-horror endings ever made.
84.) Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015) — Another unforgettable theater experience, this time for the return of one of the most beloved franchises ever made. “The Force Awakens” may not be perfect, but it is tons of fun and was the first legitimately good Star Wars movie in over 30 years.
83.) It Follows (2014) — This horror film features maybe my favorite horror concept of the decade, and the execution is pretty damn great too. The idea of a STD that you can’t hide from is pure terror, and the beautiful cinematography, as well as the direction by David Robert Mitchell, all makes it work excellently.
82.) Marriage Story (2019) — Only Noah Baumbach could make a movie about such a mundane, terrible part of this world into something full of life, emotion and beauty. He also gets the best out of his actors, especially Adam Driver and Laura Dern, who deliver two of the best performances from last year.
81.) 21 Jump Street (2012) — I never expected this Jonah Hill-Channing Tatum-Ice Cube comedy would work so damn well. And yet it does, strictly on the incredible comedic timing and delivery on its stars. And the hilarity certainly doesn’t stop with those three, as Dave Franco, Brie Larson and Rob Riggle all add to what truly was one of the best comedies of the decade.
80.) Creed (2015) — It is hard to top a classic like “Rocky,” but director Ryan Coogler truly does here, Sylvester Stallone has never given a better performance, and constant Coogler collaborator Michael B. Jordan is nearly as great in the lead. The fight sequences are remarkable, and this film truly brought an old, worn-out franchise back from the grave.
79.) Little Women (2019) — Greta Gerwig is one of the best directors in Hollywood, plain and simple. Her work in “Little Women” showed why, with brilliant character development and a real sense of what makes a fantastic movie. Saoirse Ronan, per usual, is amazing, but so are Florence Pugh, Timothee Chalamet, Emma Watson and everyone else involved in this lovely period piece.
78.) Prisoners (2013) — Villeneuve is on this list again, this time for a soul-crushing thriller that keeps you on your toes from start to finish. All the performances are great across the board, and it is wrapped up with some stunning cinematography by Roger Deakins.
77.) The Shape of Water (2017) — Another Oscar nominee, this time the Best Picture winner, and one of the weirder movies the Academy has ever selected. “The Shape of Water,” though, is equal parts weird and truly beautiful, and shows just how terrific Guillermo del Toro is when he is at his peak.
76.) The VVitch (2015) — Few things in this world have a better success rate than an A24 horror movie. Case in point, “The VVitch” (or The Witch, if you want to be less pretentious), a tense, gripping horror flick set deep in the past and that checks all the right boxes for scares. I will never forget about Black Phillip.
75.) Hell or High Water (2016) — One of the more underrated gems on this list, this movie feels as real as it gets when it comes to a heist movie, and has the terrific performances to back it. Both sides of this film feel complete, and when they finally collide, it makes for fantastic cinema.
74.) Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010) — A movie that has grown on me more and more as time has went on, Edgar Wright expertly brings this graphic novel to life in a way almost no other movie of this type has ever done. Sticking so close to the source material, and staying so true to what made it all great to begin with, paid off in strides.
73.) Thor: Ragnarok (2017) — I’m not sure Marvel has ever been funnier than it was here. Bringing Taika Waititi in to direct this goofy, yet still fully satisfying film was a genius decision, and it turned Thor into one of the more generic characters to one of my absolute favorites. Bonus points to Korg, you can never have too much Korg.
72.) The Edge of Seventeen (2016) — I never would have expected this movie to be here. It seemed like a fun, but nothing special coming-of-age film that wouldn’t leave much of an impact on me. Instead, it is a stunningly fantastic look at the high school age, fit with well-rounded characters and an imperfect protagonist, which is given a boost by a powerhouse performance from Hailee Steinfeld.
71.) A Star Is Born (2018) — Sure, I’ve never seen the past versions of this story, but that still does not take away how from how well crafted and well acted this rendition by Bradley Cooper is. Cooper and Lady Gaga are phenomenal, and the “Shallow” performance remains one of my favorite movie moments of the decade.
70.) Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) — Might not be the last you see of this trilogy. The first of the three films may not be the best of the bunch, but what it accomplishes in setting the tone and laying the groundwork is tremendous. There may not be a more impressive one-word phrase shouted in any movie this decade.
69.) The Other Guys (2010) — Is this movie stupid? Yes. Is this movie consistently hilarious from start to finish? Also yes. Will Ferrell may have had a less-than-impressive decade on the big screen, but he started the 2010s off with a bang, and his chemistry with Mark Wahlberg is terrific.
68.) Star Wars: Episode VII – The Last Jedi (2017) — Time for some controversy. As much as there are fans who want to make you believe this is the worst movie ever made and that everyone who saw it hated it, that is just not true. For as much of a rocky start that this film does have, it more than makes up for it with a back half that features the best moments this franchise has seen since “Empire Strikes Back.” Rian Johnson took risks, and almost all of them paid off.
67.) 1917 (2019) — I am a sucker for long takes, so Sam Mendes hit me right where I want with this war film, but this movie is also more than its magnificent camerawork done by Deakins. There is a poignant story at its core that fits well, and all the brilliant action set pieces just add to the beauty.
66.) Dope (2015) — A movie full of fun and full of something to say, Rick Famuyiwa directs a gem here, and is helped out by a terrific leading job by Shameik Moore. “Dope” has great music, a great tone and ends perfectly, and is just an all-around good time of a film.
65.) The Cabin in the Woods (2011) — One of my favorite commentaries on movies as a whole, “The Cabin in the Woods” both manages to perfectly critique horror films, while also making a movie that works on its own and is wholly original. You will never see another movie quite like it.
64.) Black Panther (2018) — Coogler is back here again, and again is getting the best out of Michael B. Jordan in his move into the superhero genre. But in this move, Coogler doesn’t forget his roots, brilliantly crafting racial themes and culture into Wakanda, as well as all of its core members.
63.) John Wick (2016) — Take a pick of your favorite, and that is the one that earns this spot. Because all three movies have been so consistently great, but not really all that different, I only used one spot for the trilogy, but that does not take away the phenomenal action and unique world that “John Wick” has built in the back half of this decade.
62.) Source Code (2011) — I love what Duncan Jones pulls off in this movie. For a film premise that seemed fun, Jones gets so much more out of it, and really brings in some impressive themes about humanity that I never would have expected.
61.) Baby Driver (2017) — An action film done completely right, “Baby Driver” is tons of fun, and is some of the best direction ever on a film of this type. Wright gets a top-tier performance out of Ansel Elgort, but my favorite part of this movie will always be its incorporation of music. Every time I revisit the movie, I notice another cool way that music perfectly ties the film together, and that is awesome.
60.) Fruitvale Station (2013) — Coogler, Jordan: welcome back again. This time, it is for Coogler’s feature-length debut, a haunting look at the life of a man who passed far too soon. There are so many ways this story could have been told, and Coogler picked the most humane, imperfect, and beautiful way to do it, and it shook me to my core upon viewing.
59.) The Lobster (2015) — Yorgos Lanthimos is a mad man, but he is also a genius. The premise of “The Lobster” is batshit crazy, and it all just works. The dark comedy aspects are incredible, and Colin Farrell really brings it home in the lead role. One of the best first halves of a movie this decade, and also one of the very best final shots.
58.) Booksmart (2019) — “Booksmart” freaking rules. Just everything about this movie is so much fun, and Olivia Wilde has proven more than capable as a director. Major credit to Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever, and major credit to everyone involved for making this a total blast of a film.
57.) 13th (2016) — The best documentary I watched this decade came from this Netflix original by Ava DuVernay on thee racist history of the 13th Amendment. This movie struck deep and hits all the emotions in the right ways, and all while giving fantastic information to help show why this amendment is so troublesome.
56.) The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) — Drugs, swearing and a whole lot of entertainment take up the three-hour runtime of this Martin Scorsese epic. Leonardo DiCaprio is the perfect man for the lead role, and with all the absurd chaos around the main storyline, this movie is constant entertainment throughout nearly all 180 minutes.
55.) Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) — A multi-layered, more than meets the eye story that is bolstered by one of the better ensembles of the decade, “Three Billboards” fits the billing, and manages to succeed in a variety of ways despite its ridiculously long name.
54.) Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) — Round two of the Apes trilogy finds the action mounted up, but with a brilliant story that shows the humanism of the new Apes colony, as well as the brutal savagery of the human race. There is so much going on in this film, and the genius of having protagonists and enemies on both sides of the fight works wonders for the storytelling.
53.) War for the Planet of the Apes (2017) — Yeah, these movies were that consistent. A near-perfect ending to this trilogy, “War” ramps up the emotions while still anteing up the destruction, and it is finally time for me to praise Andy Serkis’ work as Caesar throughout these films. It is one of the best characters of the decade, and it is all thanks to him. Stop being afraid to give Serkis an Oscar nom, Academy.
52.) The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) — Wes Anderson’s movies may all be similar, but “Grand Budapest Hotel” might be his best work to date. Everything that Anderson has done so well over the years just pops in this movie, and all the wacky characters and backdrops make for a hysterically fun tale that never stops surprising.
51.) Raw (2016) — There might be scarier movies out there, but none shake me to my core more than this French film. My friend and I (shoutout to Dan Misencik) were trying to hide our eyes from the screen any way we could from this film about a college student turned cannibal. And yet, it all feels so poetic and, in a sick, twisted way, beautiful. I will never shake the feeling that this movie caused the first time I saw it.
50.) Everybody Wants Some!! — Who needs drama and conflict? Apparently not “Everybody Wants Some!!”, which shines by having a lovable cast of characters, and for never really having a moment of negativity. This is simply a bunch of baseball players living it up before college classes start, and it is one heck of a time.
49.) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part 2 (2011) — The ending to the book-to-film adaptation managed to pay off massively, something that felt nearly impossible. The Harry-Voldemort fight was great, but Snape’s true desires was the clear moment that will never be forgotten, from both this film and the entire series.
48.) The Big Short (2015) — Adam McKay jumped from comedies to this, and boy am I glad he did. McKay’s comedic talents are still present, but put into this truly grim story about the 2008 recession, and somehow it is a combination for magic. Shoutout to the amazing fourth-wall breaks as well, what a brilliant idea.
47.) Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018) — Much like Tom Cruise, this franchise just won’t age normally. Somehow, the sixth installment of this decades-long film series is by far the best one, upping the ante on the action while making a gripping story that makes it all connect. Action-heavy movies, especially the sixth action-heavy movie in a series, were never supposed to be this damn good.
46.) 12 Years a Slave (2013) — A heartbreaking film to watch, but a very important one, Steve McQueen hits hards with this Best Picture winner, and does so while earning all the tears that are shed. Both Chiwetel Eijofor and Nyong’o were beyond exceptional in telling this true story.
45.) Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015) — This is a lovely film that is written with an original lens on what could have been a very cliched tale. Instead, Thomas Mann, Olivia Cooke and company bring something special with this movie, that turns from upbeat and charming to sad and crushing on a dime.
44.) Midsommar (2019) — I can’t say enough good things about what Ari Aster managed to pull off here, but it starts with making horror happen in the broad daylight, something that is so tough to pull off. While the horror is more felt in my mental state than in actual scares, it all works to build this bizarre festival up, and to have it all come smashing down. This film also has maybe the best opening sequence ever, and Pugh gives one of the best lead acting performances in any horror movie ever made.
43.) Interstellar (2014) — Christopher Nolan is one of the best directors of all-time, and he’s never been more ambitious than he was on “Interstellar.” And for the most part, it pays off, with unbelievably great visuals and a story at its core that really hits home, this movie is a spectacle above all things, and one I never wanted to look away from.
42.) Room (2015) — There is so much to appreciate with this movie, but the performances by Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay are at the very top of that list. Together, those two struck every emotional chord I have ever known, and made me sob for a large fraction of this movie. I have no regrets about that.
41.) Paddington 2 (2018) — Speaking of things I have no regrets about. “Paddington 2” is the textbook definition of what puts a smile on my face, something no other movie has done more. This movie is just so full of life and has such a great sense of what works that it is a complete ball of joy, only helped by the most committed Hugh Grant performance he has ever done. Please give me a Paddington 3, I need it.
40.) I, Tonya (2017) — The Tonya Harding story was always built for a movie. But this film, as the quote in the poster says, knocked it out of the park. And while Allison Janney’s performance is terrific, it is Margot Robbie as the titular character that gave one of my favorite performances of the decade. You were robbed of an Oscar, Margot, we all know it.
39.) The Spectacular Now (2013) — If it’s not obvious already, I am a sucker for coming-of-age movies done right. “The Spectacular Now” is exactly that, and takes something like drinking alcohol in high school, and turns it into something that feels all too real.
38.) The Favourite (2018) — Lanthimos’ wild vision is back on this list once more, and this time with a period piece that was done in only a way that Lanthimos can pull off. The twisting and turning of the plot line, and the insanely unpredictable character development makes for a wild film with loads of ups and downs, with Olivia Colman’s rendition of the Queen as the highlight amongst it all.
37.) This is the End (2013) — I love this movie so much. This comedy, which has a load of actors simply playing heightened versions of themselves, is true genius, while also being one of the funniest movies of the 2010s. The scene about who jacked off in the magazine is still an all-timer.
36.) Sicario (2015) — Villeneuve gets the help of Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin and Benicio del Toro to make this realistic, consistently tense film about the current state of the border between the U.S. and Mexico. This is not a pretty look at either side, but Deakins still manages to flex his unbelievable cinematography throughout it.
35.) Uncut Gems (2019) — One of the most relentless movies I have ever seen, the Safdie brothers followed up the delightful “Good Time” with one of the most frantic, positively insane movies ever made. Adam Sandler, I am sorry I ever doubted you in the past, because his performance in this movie is among my favorites ever.
34.) The Big Sick (2017) — To star in a movie about your own life is not necessarily new, but ‘The Big Sick” feels unlike any other romantic comedy. It has so, so much heart, and always feels like it is coming from the heart, and it also happens to be filled with loads of terrific comedic timing from Kumail Nanjiani and Ray Romano.
33.) Manchester by the Sea (2016) — This is a sad movie. But “Manchester by the Sea” works because of its realism to how grief is dealt with. Casey Affleck provides an unbelievably good performance, and is the center of, what I would consider, the very best scene of any movie this decade.
32.) The Revenant (2015) — The movie that finally own DiCaprio the Oscar happens to be a pretty damn good flick. While it is not an easy viewing, “The Revenant” is a rewarding one, especially because of the literal pieces of art created by Emmanuel Lubezki’s camera work.
31.) Birdman (2014) — Speaking of Lubezki, as well as director Alejandro Innaritu, they are back to back on this list for their remarkable movies. This one, which won Best Picture, is a phenomenal story of an actor trying to make it in theater, and all the hardships he is dealing with from his past life. The one-take cinematography is immaculate, as is the entire damn film.
30.) The Babadook (2014) — One of the scariest movies of the decade comes from director Jennifer Kent, who simply knows what makes my body quiver. “The Babadook” scares you through what you can’t see, and that is what makes it such a masterpiece in the art of suspense.
29.) Moneyball (2011) — The best sports movie of the decade lands here, with Bennett Miller’s excellent look into the Billy Beane-led Oakland Athletics. This movie makes things that are supposed to be mundane and turns them into art, and hits on all the sweet spots that I, a man who loves analytics, thoroughly ate up.
28.) Ex Machina (2014) — Before Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac and Alicia Vikander blew up this decade, they were all in this little film from Alex Garland, an underrated gem that is one of the best looks at Artificial Intelligence you will ever see.
27.) Get Out (2017) — Much has been said about Peele’s directorial debut here, about how brilliant his screenplay is and how amazing this movie is on a rewatch because of all the little details that come into play. And everyone who has said those things are absolutely right.
26.) Call Me By Your Name (2017) — World, meet Timothee Chalamet, the shining star from this emotionally stunning movie about love in unexpected places. This movie works slow, but all for the better, as every little thing feels impactful until the harrowing final shot of the movie, one that will likely leave you speechless.
25.) The LEGO Movie (2014) — Yeah, everything really is awesome about this movie. For a film that felt like a cash grab on arrival, not one thing about this animated delight feels lazy. From the incredible animation to the witty dialogue to the gut punch of emotion toward the end, all of it just works for these little blocks.
24.) Inception (2010) — Nolan started this decade trying to melt our brains into mush, and with that spinning top, he certainly did just that. But Nolan’s vision here is so well realized, with each move this main cast makes actually making sense within the logic of the film, and for a concept this out there, that is freaking incredible.
23.) Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) — They don’t make many animated movies like this one. In fact, they don’t make many superhero movies as lively, heartfelt and truly great as this gem that came seemingly out of nowhere to steal my heart.
22.) Thoroughbreds (2017) — The most underrated movie of the decade, in my opinion, “Thoroughbreds” is funny, sad, twisted and fucking awesome, and everything that it goes for, as far as poignant themes or a strong one-liner, lands in stride.
21.) Hereditary (2018) — My goodness Ari Aster, you really are insane. I found that out during “Hereditary,” a great drama first and a horrifyingly scary film second. Whichever you are looking for, this movie has it, and my god Toni Collette is fantastic in this as well.
20.) Her (2013) — Spike Jonze’s vision of what the future may look like is one of the, in my opinion, most realistic visions there has been, and he just so happens to make it into a phenomenal movie. Credit to Joaquin Phoenix as well for killing it in the lead role, per usual.
19.) Avengers: Infinity War (2018) — Marvel had some pretty great movies this decade, and “Infinity War” is one of the best. Thanos had been one of the most hyped up characters in the history of cinema, and he still managed to be better than even I expected. And of course, the final moments of this movie will live on as some of the most stunning of any scene this decade.
18.) Gone Girl (2014) — I miss David Fincher, who hasn’t made a movie since unleashing this masterpiece six years ago. “Gone Girl” builds and builds on a story you think you know, then turns a total 180 in the middle and gives you a different great story that you had no idea about. And it all works. Somehow, someway it works.
17.) Captain America: Civil War (2016) — Back to Marvel again, this time on what might be their most solid, front-to-back outing thus far. To paint both Captain America and Iron Man in the right at the same time feels impossible, yet I manage to see both sides of the argument every time I watch it. And the Russos made the politics in a superhero movie fun, while also delivering on the fight scenes, with the airport fight being one of my favorite moments ever in a superhero flick.
16.) Inside Out (2015) — Pixar is at its best when it is building on an original idea, which was the case here with “Inside Out.” It is fitting that a movie entirely about your emotions managed to make me laugh more and (definitely) cry more than almost any film this decade.
15.) Django Unchained (2012) — Tarantino’s best work of the 2010s came from “Django,” a movie I loved to watch about as much as characters in the film liked saying racial slurs. Jokes aside, this 165-minute epic is held up by multiple incredible performances, with Tarantino’s signature dialogue continuing to impress.
14.) Blade Runner 2049 (2017) — It felt like a sequel to this sci-fi classic was impossible. But with Villeneuve at the helm, nothing is impossible. And so here is “Blade Runner 2049,” a sci-fi masterpiece that both can stand on its own, while also paying respects to the original. The visuals here are something to behold, and the development of the story ain’t half bad either.
13.) Looper (2012) — “Looper” is another sci-fi masterpiece that has no business being as good as it is. But Rian Johnson doesn’t care, constantly surprising in this one, and bringing the life back into Bruce Willis, who hasn’t acted this well in a movie since. Everything about this film rules, and the premise alone is worth every penny.
12.) Eighth Grade (2018) — Bo Burnham managed to make a better movie in his directorial debut than nearly any director will ever make over their career. That is how good, and how real “Eighth Grade” is, and how perfect the movie is with how awkward, anxious, and, occasionally, awe-inspiring everything feels when you are 13.
11.) La La Land (2016) — Musicals are back thanks to this gem from Damien Chazelle, and not because of perfect singing. No, “La La Land” works on the struggles that come with trying to make it, and the wonderful ride that love takes you on. It is the things that Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone sing about that draw you in, not just the vocals, and that is just some of the beauty of what Chazelle works into the best modern musical of the decade.
10.) Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Everything needed to work for Marvel to pull off this end to an era. And, against all odds, it did. Make fun of the oversaturation of superhero movies all you want, you’re probably right, but that doesn’t take away from what the MCU pulled off here with “Endgame,” a brilliant conclusion to a beloved era, capped off with a grandiose finale and true, raw emotion that you just don’t see in movies of this scale.
9.) Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Man, what a rush this movie is. From the very first shot, “Fury Road” ropes you in, and it rarely lets you breathe from there on out. This movie is action first, think later, and it works in thanks to magnificent action set pieces and a pace that might make you sweat. This is a roaring good time of a movie, and I will never forget the flaming guitar man held up by bungee chords.
8.) Parasite (2019)
I saw “Parasite” a few months back, and there has not been a day that has went by without me thinking about just how perfect of a film it truly is. Bong Joon Ho directed the shit out of this movie, and explained the wealth gap, and what troubles can come from it, almost effortlessly throughout a plot that always keeps the audience guessing. What a brilliant, brilliant film that has so much to say, and has such an intelligent way to say it.
7.) Arrival (2016)
Villeneuve is back on this list one last time, this time for his best work yet. Alien movies have happened, but never like this. Never with this much thought about the political climate and never with this level of concept executed at such a high level. Amy Adams gives a powerhouse performance here, and is one of a million things that goes right to make this film as thought provoking and mind-blowingly good as it ended up.
6.) Moonlight (2016)
Director Barry Jenkins knew he was telling an important story with “Moonlight,” and he managed to tell it in a way that was so refreshing, and so powerful, that it became one of the most moving films of the decade. This three-part film is beautiful, truly beautiful, to the point where you really do forget that Chairon is played by three different actors. This is a movie that needs to be seen, and one that hits to the roots of a story that is told far too little.
5.) Spotlight (2015)
Making investigative journalism this exciting to watch is impressive on its own, but what “Spotlight” pulls off more than anything else is just how important journalism can be. This film is invigorating from the very opening scene in a police office, and keeps you wanting a resolution to this horrific problem until the credits roll. Like “Moonlight,” this is an important film, and it is as powerful as it is expertly crafted.
4.) Dunkirk (2017)
Nolan’s finest hour this decade, and maybe in his career, came with his war epic, “Dunkirk.” I figured Nolan wasn’t going to tell this like a typical war film, but to do what he did with manipulating the timeline, and for it to still all make sense and stitch together perfectly, is unbelievable, and it made for 90 minutes where I continuously held my breath. The visuals and the score all just added to the atmosphere of tension, and it was one of the best theatrical experiences of my entire life.
3.) Toy Story 3 (2010)
Sure, I was just turning 13 when this came out, so am I biased? Possibly, but I have seen “Toy Story 3” countless times since, and it always holds up exactly how I remembered it. Though it ended up not being the end of the series, this film still knocked its ending out of the park, and really showed how much I, as well as anyone watching, truly loved these characters, and wanted to see them happy. That ending is always a gut punch, even as I approach the age of 23.
2.) Whiplash (2014)
I think “Whiplash” was the movie that made me the movie fan I am now. I left that theater and just needed to read as much as I possibly could on how it was directed, how the actors got into character, the editing, everything. Chazelle packed a massive punch with this film, and Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons bring the masterpiece to life. Simmons especially gives truly one of my favorite performances of all-time, and just dominates every scene he is in. “Whiplash” is a special movie, a one of a kind that, even with remarkable scene after remarkable scene, manages to finish out with a grand finale that tops all of it.
1.) The Social Network (2010)
When I think of a film that has everything working, a movie that brings together powerhouse performances with an unbelievably tight script and fantastic music, cinematography, all of which are combined with cunning direction, I think of “The Social Network.”
Everything works in this movie, and I mean everything. The pacing is both quick and, at times, patient enough to allow for revelations. The shots and the score both add to the frantic pace, and also allow for some deep, heart-shattering moments. Jesse Eisenberg was seemingly born to play this role, and David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin, two completely contrasting styles, manage to play off each other like a pair of master musicians.
There is not a scene out of place, not a moment wasted in this movie, and it represents everything that I love about cinema. Mark Zuckerberg becoming more of a real-life asshole since the release has only helped build up this impeccable tour de force, my favorite movie of the 2010s.