As we enter a new decade, there are many films I can’t wait to see. Unfortunately, it will be a while before we can go to the movie theater again and the industry as we know it has been changed thanks to the coronavirus.
Last decade saw us get incredible films in theaters and it also brought all of the streaming services that are now a part of daily life such as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and more.
I thought I’d throw out some of the best films of the last decade according to me. If you favorite movie didn’t make the list, or one is on here that you scratch your head about…too bad.
These first 20 are films you HAVE to see if you haven’t yet:
Christopher Nolan is arguably the greatest filmmaker right now, and I think he’s on his way to becoming arguably the best of all time. Interstellar plays off one of the greatest motion pictures of all time in 2001: A Space Odyssey, and does so in flawless fashion. While Nolan is known most for the Dark Knight trilogy, this is his masterpiece in my opinion. Mainstays of his films like Michael Caine plus an incredible performance from Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and a surprise appearance and performance from Matt Damon.
There is only one movie I have ever walked out of and said “that was a perfect movie”. Spotlight is that film, which is why it won best picture and best original screenplay. A true story that is covered in an exceptional way and really shows the need for journalism in the world we live in. A perfect ensemble cast, each role cast perfectly. Mark Ruffalo should have won best supporting actor that year as well.
3. Blade Runner 2049
While I like the original Blade Runner, it was before my time and I didn’t get to experience it until later life. Now, Denis Villeneuve has cemented himself as one of the best directors working today (two films in my top 5). The cinematography from Roger Deakins was the greatest I’ve ever seen (until I saw 1917…which he also did), and he rightfully won the Oscar for it. Ryan Gosling had his best performance ever in my opinion. The look and feel along with story, acting, direction and more was all perfect. I do recommend watching the first before watching this to get a grasp on Harrison Ford’s character and the world that the story takes place in.
4. Ex Machina
Alex Garland hit a home run in his directorial debut. Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson and Alicia Vikander all put on an acting masterclass. It’s such a simple, yet complex film and was my introduction to A24 (which makes a few appearances throughout this list).
Another Denis Villeneuve film but his first major sci-fi movie. I never saw his earlier stuff, but Arrival just had something special to it in the trailers. He has since done Blade Runner (see above) and is now doing Dune which I can’t wait for. The twist in this movie is what really made it for me, rarely does a twist happen and I gasp and go “so that’s what that means!” I was blown away with this story, the acting and the direction.
The trailer for this film came out around the same time as a Star Wars trailer, and I immediately tweeted this:
The new Star Wars trailer was hype and everything, but Moonlight looks amazing. https://t.co/HqiUZ6Mtd0
— JON/LUNCEFORD (@jlunce) August 12, 2016
I knew this would be a special movie, and while Arrival was my favorite of the year that year, the top three were all incredible. Mahershala Ali was incredible in this (I loved him as Cottonmouth in Luke Cage right before this came out and as Remy in House of Cards), but I honestly think Janelle Monáe’s performance should get more praise than it does. And of course the three actors that played Chiron.
7. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Best Spider-Man movie ever. Fight me on it.
I mentioned Roger Deakins above, and he made this look outstanding. For those that don’t know, the movie is basically one continuous shot (edited to be that way of course). Also phenomenal acting job from the leads.
9. The Social Network
The first mainstream introduction for so many actors – Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake (as an actor), Armie Hammer and more. Expertly written, filmed, acted and of course directed by David Fincher who probably should have won the Oscar that year in hindsight.
10. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
The underrated part of this movie – Zach Galifinakis as a dramatic actor. As you can tell, I like cinematography and this was basically shown as one shot as well. This is the closest to watching a play as possible (and of course it’s about putting on a play). Ed Nortan, Michael Keaton, Emma Stone and more all put on great performances. Alejandro Iñárritu does a great job with the script and directing and rightfully won the Oscars for best picture, director, screenplay and cinematography.
11. The Big Short
13. Call Me By Your Name
14. La La Land
15. A Star is Born
16. The Disaster Artist
19. Baby Driver
20. The Last Black Man in San Francisco
Here are my top 21-100 over the last decade in alphabetical order because it’s impossible to rank every single position:
10 Cloverfield Lane
A Ghost Story
A Quiet Place
Avengers: Infinity War
Blue Is the Warmest Color
Crazy Rich Asians
Edge of Tomorrow
Guardians of the Galaxy
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2
If Beale Street Could Talk
Ingrid Goes West
Inside Llewyn Davis
Now You See Me
Ready Player One
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Sorry to Bother You
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
The Big Sick
The Dark Knight Rises
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Green Book
The Hunger Games
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
The Shape of Water
The Tree of Life
The Wolf of Wall Street
Toy Story 3
We Are Your Friends
We’re the Millers
So many great movies, it’s tough to just pick 100.
Movies that just missed the cut (next ten out): American Hustle, Big Hero 6, Boy Erased, Isle of Dogs, Knives Out, Limitless, The Lobster, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Toy Story 4, Zero Dark Thirty