The Top 100 Films of the Decade (2010 – 2019)
Choosing the best films of the decade was no small task. The best thing I can do at this point is to stop. Looking at a decade’s worth of films and trying to narrow down all the great movies I saw to merely 100, let alone rank them in some kind of order, is the kind of thing that will endlessly mess with my mind. So, I have to stop. I can keep rearranging some picks, but there’s no point in doing this over and over again. As of now, I’m pretty confident about the region where all of these films are placed (though don’t get me started on all the movies occupying slot 101).
The truth is, this past decade was full of incredible movies. Many stood out for a good reason, and if a chunk of the films some may expect to see near the top end up being there, that doesn’t make this list boring. Really, it goes to show the sort of consistency in opinion there is when it comes to certain films transcending individual reviews and being elevated as future classics. At the same time, whether the films presented ended up in the top ten, the top 25, or the lower half of the list, this is a list of films that delivered something strong enough to stand out in a way that reflects quality filmmaking that stuck with me. So, here are my picks for the top 100 films of the last decade, from 2010 to 2019.
10. A Most Violent Year (2014)
100. Nebraska (2013)
"Have a drink with your old man. Be somebody."
99. Shin Godzilla (2016)
"What is that glow?"
98. The Red Turtle (2016)
97. Steve Jobs (2015)
"Musicians play their instruments. I play the orchestra."
96. Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)
"I see that I am a little piece of a big, big universe, and that makes it right."
95. The Favourite (2018)
"There are limits to what one can give."
94. Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)
"I used to encourage everyone I knew to make art; I don't do that so much anymore."
93. Force Majeure (2014)
"I'm a bloody victim of my own instincts!"
92. Slow West (2015)
"That kid was a wonder. He saw things differently. To him, we were in a land of hope and goodwill."
91. Hell or High Water (2016)
"I've been poor my whole life, like a disease passing from generation to generation. But not my boys, not anymore."
90. The Lost City of Z (2017)
"The river will be our home for the next two years. We shall not fail. Mankind awaits our discoveries."
89. Lady Bird (2017)
"What if this is the best version?"
88. Take Shelter (2011)
"You think I'm crazy? Well, listen up, there's a storm coming like nothing you've ever seen and not a one of you is prepared for it."
87. Love & Mercy (2014)
"When did you first start hearing voices?"
86. mother! (2017)
"You never loved me. You just loved how much I loved you. I gave you everything. You gave it all away."
85. Bellflower (2011)
"Your car is really badass dude. We could just get in the car, put the flamethrower in the trunk, leave town. Do you know how awesome it would be if we like went to some small town and went to one of the local bars, pulled up in that car? People would be like 'Holy shit, who are these guys?' and we would be like 'Come outside and take a look at our flamethrower". Dude, I don't think you realize how cool your car is."
84. The Witch (2015)
"Did ye make some unholy bond with that goat?"
83. Tangerine (2015)
"The world can be a cruel place."
82. Chef (2014)
"I may not do everything great in my life, but I'm good at this."
81. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)
"Sir, Hunt is the living manifestation of destiny - and he has made you his mission."
80. Only Lovers Left Alive (2014)
"That certainly was visual."
79. Rango (2011)
"I think the metaphor broke my spleen."
78. Midsommar (2019)
"So we just gonna ignore the bear then?"
77. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
"There are still faint glimmers of civilization left in this barbaric slaughterhouse that was once known as humanity... He was one of them. What more is there to say?"
76. The Avengers (2012)
"We have a Hulk."
75. Lincoln (2012)
"Do you think we choose the times into which we are born? Or do we fit the times we are born into? "
74. Enemy (2013)
"Control, it's all about control."
73. 1917 (2019)
"If you fail, it will be a massacre."
72. 13 Assassins (2010)
"Compared to fighting a wild bear these wounds are nothing."
71. Life of Pi (2012)
"I suppose in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go, but what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye."
70. Looper (2012)
"I don't want to talk about time travel because if we start talking about it then we're going to be here all day talking about it, making diagrams with straws."
69. Minding The Gap (2018)
"Your whole life society tells you, like 'oh, be a man, and you are strong and you are tough and margaritas are gay' you know, like. You know. You don't grow up thinking that's the way you are. When you're a kid, you just do, you just act and then somewhere along the line, everyone loses that."
68. Upstream Color (2013)
"I have to apologize. I was born with a disfigurement where my head is made of the same material as the sun."
67. If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)
"I hope that nobody has ever had to look at anybody they love through glass."
66. The Wind Rises (2013)
"Airplanes are beautiful, cursed dreams, waiting for the sky to swallow them up."
65. 12 Years A Slave (2013)
"I don't want to survive. I want to live."
64. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
"I am Groot."
63. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
"Sell me this pen."
62. Free Solo (2018)
"I work through the fear until it's just not scary anymore."
61. Four Lions (2010)
"I think I'm confused, but I'm not sure!"
60. Black Swan (2010)
"I just want to be perfect."
59. The Grey (2012)
"Once more into the fray. Into the last good fight I'll ever know. Live and die on this day. Live and die on this day."
58. The Fits (2015)
"Is she alright?"
57. Cloud Atlas (2012)
"Just trying to understand why we keep making the same mistakes... over and over."
56. Girl Walk All Day (2011)
55. Us (2019)
"There's a family in our driveway."
54. Ex Machina (2014)
"Isn't it strange, to create something that hates you?"
53. The Act of Killing (2012)
"Actually, the people you tortured felt far worse, because you knew it's only a film. They knew they were being killed."
52. Selma (2014)
"One struggle ends just to go right to the next and the next. If you think of in that way, it's hard robe, but I don't think of it that way. I think of these efforts as one effort and that effort is for our life. A life as a community, a life as a nation."
51. The Illusionist (2010)
50. Whiplash (2014)
"Not my tempo."
49. Certified Copy (2010)
"I'm afraid there's nothing very simple about being simple."
48. Black Panther (2018)
"You're a good man with a good heart. And it's hard for a good man to be king."
47. The Raid: Redemption (2012)
"Pulling a trigger is like ordering a takeout."
46. Midnight in Paris (2011)
"If it's bad, I'll hate it because I hate bad writing, and if it's good, I'll be envious and hate it all the more. You don't want the opinion of another writer."
45. Paddington 2 (2018)
"Aunt Lucy said, if we're kind and polite the world will be right."
44. Attack the Block (2011)
"This is too much madness to explain in one text!"
43. Zootopia (2016)
"Life isn't some cartoon musical where you sing a little song and all your insipid dreams magically come true. So let it go."
42. The Lego Movie (2014)
"I only work in black and sometimes very, very dark grey."
41. La La Land (2016)
"How are you gonna be a revolutionary if you're such a traditionalist? You hold onto the past, but jazz is about the future."
40. Uncut Gems (2019)
"This is me! This is how I win."
39. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)
"How are things coming along in the hand me your gun and your badge?"
38. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014)
"How did we end up here? This place is horrible. Smells like balls. We don't belong here."
37. Drive (2011)
"I give you five minutes when we get there. Anything happens in that five minutes and I'm yours. No matter what. Anything a minute on either side of that and you're on your own. I don't sit in while you're running it down. I don't carry a gun. I drive."
36. Phantom Thread (2017)
"Don't pick a fight with me, you certainly won't come out alive. I'll go right through you and it'll be you who ends up on the floor. Understood?"
35. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)
"Heeded my words not, did you? Pass on what you have learned. Strength. Mastery. But weakness, folly, failure also. Yes, failure most of all. The greatest teacher, failure is. Luke, we are what they grow beyond. That is the true burden of all masters."
34. The Tree of Life (2011)
"Help each other. Love everyone. Every leaf. Every ray of light. Forgive."
33. Cold War (2018)
"Are you interested in me, because I have a talent or in general?"
32. Snowpiercer (2013)
"We go forward."
31. Coco (2017)
"Remember me, though I have to say goodbye. Remember me, don't let it make you cry. For even if I'm far away, I hold you in my heart. I sing a secret song to you, each night we are apart."
30. Son of Saul (2015)
"Rabbi, Help me bury a body."
29. Get Out (2017)
"I would have voted for Obama for a third term if I could."
28. The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019)
"You don't get to hate it unless you love it."
27. Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
"Do animals talk in this dimension? Cause I don't wanna freak anyone out..."
26. Dunkirk (2017)
"You can practically see it from here."
25. Fruitvale Station (2013)
"I'm good, I'm good, I'm gonna be good."
24. The Shape of Water (2017)
"When he looks at me, the way he looks at me... He does not know, what I lack... Or - how - I am incomplete. He sees me, for what I - am, as I am."
23. Melancholia (2011)
"Life is only on Earth. And not for long."
22. Zero Dark Thirty (2012)
"You must be pretty important. You got the whole plane to yourself. Where you wanna go?"
21. Gravity (2013)
"I hate space."
20. Parasite (2019)
"You know what kind of plan never fails? No plan. No plan at all. You know why? Because life cannot be planned."
19. Blindspotting (2018)
"You are a convicted felon, Mr. Hoskins. You are now that until proven otherwise. Prove otherwise at all times."
18. Nightcrawler (2014)
"My motto is if you want to win the lottery you've got to make money to buy a ticket."
17. Her (2013)
"We are only here briefly, and in this moment I want to allow myself joy."
16. Paterson (2016)
"Sometimes an empty page presents more possibilities."
15. Once Upon A Time In... Hollywood (2019)
"You're Rick fucking Dalton. Don't you forget it."
14. Boyhood (2014)
"Who do you wanna be, Mason? What do you wanna do? "
13. Hugo (2011)
"I would recognize the sound of a movie projector anywhere."
12. Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)
"I didn't choose the skuxx life, the skuxx life chose me."
11. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010)
"We are Sex Bob-Omb and we are here to make you think about death and get sad and stuff."
10. A Most Violent Year (2014)
"When it feels scary to jump, that is exactly when you jump, otherwise you end up staying in the same place your whole life, and that I can't do."
9. ParaNorman (2012)
"There's nothing wrong with being scared Norman, so long as you don't let it change who you are."
8. Inception (2010)
"Dreams feel real while we're in them. It's only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange."
7. BlacKkKlansman (2018)
"With the right white man, we can do anything."
6. A Separation (2010)
"What is wrong is wrong, no matter who said it or where it's written."
5. Moonlight (2016)
"At some point, you gotta decide for yourself who you gonna be. Can't let nobody make that decision for you."
4. Django Unchained (2012)
"Gentlemen, you had my curiosity, now you have my attention."
3. Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
"I don't see a lot of money here."
2. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
"Oh, what a day... what a lovely day!"
1. The Social Network (2010)
"If you guys were the inventors of Facebook, you'd have invented Facebook."