Top 10 best movies of the decade (2010’s)

It’s been a great decade for cinema. Here are my top 10 best films of the decade, along with some honorable mentions.

Over the last decade, I’ve really gotten to fall in love with film. Growing up, I would love watching movies, but I never really appreciated them for the art they are and how much of an impact they can have on a viewer. There have been many that have had that effect on me over the years and this list will be paying homage to those films. Keep in mind that this is my list and there are simply way too many movies that come out each year. So, you may not see the film you’re looking for and that’s okay since we all have different opinions.

Similar to my games list, I will be counting them down by year, starting in 2010. Then, I will rank each film by the one I think is best at the very end. Each year will also have a runner-up and some honorable mentions. Compared to my games list, however, I decided to go with six honorable mentions instead of three since there are simply too many films I’ve enjoyed. Let’s begin!

2010: Toy Story 3

It was an extremely long wait for Toy Story 3, but it was definitely worth it. Widely considered the best entry in the entire series, Toy Story 3 delivers the laughs, the nostalgia, and all the emotions. If you didn’t shed a tear by the end of this movie, then there has to be something wrong with you. All jokes aside, it’s an excellent tribute and farewell to a character I feel I grew up with, that being Andy. It’s a very touching animated film, perhaps one of the most touching, and one of Pixar’s best creations of all time.

Runner-Up: The Fighter

David O’Russell has directed some great films and among his best is The Fighter. I believe the boxing matches could’ve been better and a bit more realistic, but you don’t see this movie for the fighting. You see this for Christian Bale’s Oscar-winning performance. He elevates every scene he’s in and the cast along with him, which makes this one of the best viewings of 2010.

Honorable mentions

  • Inception
  • The Social Network
  • Blue Valentine
  • 127 Hours
  • How to Train Your Dragon
  • The Town

2011: Warrior

Similar to the fighter, you don’t watch this movie for the fighting. Although I think it’s the best representation of MMA in both film and television, it’s the story and the acting which truly stands out the most. I wish it got more love during its run in theaters, but it has gathered a certain fanbase as the years have gone by. Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton are outstanding in this movie as two brothers with a troubled past. But, Nick Nolte is the one who turns in the best performance. I still re-watch this every now and then not only because I’m a huge MMA fan, but because it’s one of my favorite films of all time.

Runner-Up: Drive

This movie isn’t for everyone, that’s for sure. But, it’s one I love watching from time to time because of how different it is. This is probably the film that put Ryan Gosling on everyone’s radar, showcasing there’s much more to his career than The Notebook. From there, he’s gone on to become one of the most respectable actors in the industry. There hasn’t been another film he’s been in, however, that draws the same intensity as Drive.

Honorable mentions

  • Moneyball
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  • Crazy, Stupid, Love
  • Captain America: The First Avenger
  • The Help
  • Bridesmaids

2012: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

This isn’t a film I expected to enjoy as much as I did. Not only is it one of the best coming-of-age stories I’ve ever seen, but it’s one I relate to in some ways since the main character, Charlie, is somewhat of an introvert looking to fit in. I won’t say I completely relate to every aspect of his character, but there are certain cases where I feel I experience what he goes through. Throw in a great soundtrack along with incredible performances from Emma Watson and Ezra Miller and you have one of the best films of the decade. In some ways, I think it’s even better than the book.

Runner-Up: Silver Linings Playbook

Although The Fighter is fantastic, this is probably David O’Russell’s best film to date. The chemistry between Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence pops out on the screen. It says a lot about Lawrence since this is the film that won her the Oscar. Silver Linings Playbook is simply watchable in every aspect as well due to Robert de Niro’s hilarious performance. I don’t think he gets enough credit for this one.

Honorable mentions

  • Marvel’s The Avengers
  • Skyfall
  • Looper
  • Django Unchained
  • Life of Pi
  • 21 Jump Street

2013: Prisoners

Plain and simple, this movie doesn’t get spoken about enough. Denis Villeneuve is one of the best directors working today and he has made potential masterpieces the last few years. However, by far, my favorite work of his has to be Prisoners. It’s an absolute shame Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal didn’t get any Oscar nominations for their roles in this film. These are some of the biggest snubs in the last decade. Paul Dano is also incredible in this movie. The story keeps you on edge throughout its entirety and seeing Jackman’s intensity in this film is something I had yet to see from him prior to watching it. I can’t recommend this movie enough.

Runner-Up: Dallas Buyers Club/Mud

Although he was great in The Lincoln Lawyer, Dallas Buyers Club is, in my opinion, the peak of the McConaissance. After all, it is the movie which won him the “Best Actor” award and with good reason. I’m thankful Matthew McConaughey made this movie because, in all honesty, I never really appreciated all the work he did prior to it. He seemed to be stuck in the romantic comedy genre. He has much more range than that, however, and he proved it with his portrayal of Ron Woodroof.

Another film that doesn’t get enough love, which also stars Matthew McConaughey, is Mud. It’s one of my favorite films of all time and one of his absolute best performances. It’s director Jeff Nichols’ best film to date and was a great starting point for young star, Tye Sheridan, who has gone on to do great things and I believe will continue to do so. The McConaissance was real in 2013.

Honorable mentions

  • 12 Years A Slave
  • Fruitvale Station
  • Man of Steel
  • The Spectacular Now
  • Gravity
  • Captain Phillips

2014: Whiplash

When I first saw Whiplash, I was absolutely mind-blown. I knew Miles Teller was a star in the making, but this movie really showed me how talented he really is. The insane part is it isn’t even the best performance in the movie. J.K. Simmons’ Oscar-winning turn as Terrence Fletcher is downright horrifying. He truly captured the essence of what his character is supposed to be and delivers a scary performance. I shouldn’t forget Damien Chazelle’s direction, who has a certain way of shooting scenes to build up the tension. The jazzy soundtrack also adds a nice touch to help the overall tone of the movie.

Runner-Up: Guardians of the Galaxy

If this movie came out any other year, it would be my favorite of 2014. This is a superhero movie that shouldn’t have worked, but did in every way imaginable. In reality, it’s a dysfunctional family comedy about a bunch of outcasts who come together and form a bond. In a way, viewers can relate to some of these characters and I still don’t think some people realize how important this film really is, at least to me. Throw in some fantastic fight scenes and great visuals, and I believe it’s one of the greatest superhero movies ever made.

Honorable mentions

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • Gone Girl
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  • Birdman
  • Big Hero 6
  • Edge of Tomorrow

2015: Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max: Fury Road is the best action film of the decade and it’s not even close. This film starts off guns blazing and it doesn’t hold back. There’s a reason why George Miller took so long to make this film, not only because he was looking for the right actor to take up the mantle of Max, which Tom Hardy is the perfect choice for, but also because this must’ve been an absolute pain to shoot and get right. But, it paid off in every way. The cinematography leaves you in awe and the set pieces are unlike something I’ve ever seen a movie. Charlize Theron as Furiosa should not be overlooked as well, because she’s also fantastic. A shame she wasn’t nominated for an Oscar.

Runner-Up: Creed

If I’m being honest, the idea of yet another Rocky movie, or at least one in the same universe, was one I wasn’t a fan of when I first heard about Creed. I’m a believer in letting some classics be just that. There’s no point of revisiting certain franchises with the risk of them not living up to the originals. But, Creed not only lives up to it, but in some cases, surpasses it. Ryan Coogler’s direction is remarkably well done, especially with the camera angles in the boxing matches. He also crafts a fantastic story. Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Johnson/Creed is one of the best performances of the year. It’s also very relatable for some people. As always, Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa is also great. I’m glad he was nominated for “Best Supporting Actor” as well.

Honorable mentions

  • Dope
  • Spotlight
  • Brooklyn
  • The Martian
  • Inside Out
  • Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

2016: La La Land

Damien Chazelle’s sophomore effort was a roaring success, considering it’s a musical. I was so excited for this movie not only because I’m a fan of musicals, but because of how much I love Whiplash. At this point Chazelle can do no wrong. Going back to La La Land, I still think this film is a masterpiece and, in my opinion, it should’ve won “Best Picture” after the mishap at the Oscars. The music is great, the chemistry between Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone is electric, and it’s the best shot film I’ve seen in a long time with the camera angles, cinematography, and set pieces. Let’s not forget to mention all the different feels it brings as you’re watching. The ending to this movie is a joy to watch, even though it can be a bit heartbreaking. This is another film I can’t recommend enough.

Runner-Up: Hacksaw Ridge

Say what you want about Mel Gibson, but there’s no denying he’s a gifted filmmaker. I’m in no way defending what he has done in the past, but to overlook Hacksaw Ridge is a mistake, at least in my opinion. It’s one of the best movies of that year and arguably Andrew Garfield’s best performance to date. It’s a fantastic war film and very gritty/brutal at times. It doesn’t hold back in that aspect and I feel it’s necessary for a film like this. It’s also a very touching story seeing what Desmond Doss was able to accomplish with his ideals and mindset.

Honorable mentions

  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • The Nice Guys
  • The Edge of Seventeen
  • Moana
  • Arrival
  • Captain America: Civil War

2017: Logan

I’ve gone back and forth about which is my favorite film of 2017. But, after multiple viewings, it has to be Logan. What a sendoff to Wolverine for Hugh Jackman, who puts his absolute all into this character for one final time. The rated-R rating really benefitted this film greatly, considering the story it tells and how it needed to go a certain way in order to create a more impactful, gritty message. It’s also a farewell to Patrick Stewart as Professor Xavier, which is also another incredible performance. Logan succeeds not only as a superhero movie, but as a hardcore drama as well, making it one of the greatest superhero movies of all time.

Runner-Up: Baby Driver

I absolutely loved Baby Driver. I think it’s Edgar Wright’s best film and that’s saying quite a bit since he has created some hits. But, this film is simply enjoyable in almost every aspect. The car sequences are an absolute joy to watch and extremely well done. I can’t forget the groovy soundtrack as well, which plays a major role in Ansel Elgort’s portrayal of Baby. The supporting cast is also great, particularly Lily James, Jamie Foxx, and Jon Hamm. I will definitely be re-watching this one for years to come.

Honorable mentions

  • IT
  • Blade Runner 2049
  • Wonder Woman
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  • Lady Bird
  • Thor: Ragnarok

2018: Ready Player One

This might not be the most popular pick for some, but it’s definitely my favorite film of 2018. Being a huge Steven Spielberg and pop culture fan, I loved seeing all the references and callbacks to some of my favorite franchises and series growing up. The concept of this movie is large in scale and in reality, I think it must’ve been a challenge to pull off on the big screen. Then again, it’s Spielberg we’re talking about here, and I don’t think there are many other directors who could’ve pulled it off. Ready Player One is a nerds dream coming to life in theaters and I didn’t have more fun with any other film that year.

Runner-Up: Mission: Impossible – Fallout

I think Fallout is the best Mission: Impossible film yet. Although Ghost Protocol and Rogue Nation are fantastic action films in their own right, I don’t think they do it as well as Fallout does. From the very beginning, you’re intrigued by the story and all the action sequences are very entertaining to watch. Henry Cavill’s August Walker is also fantastic. He doesn’t get enough credit for all the work he has done the last couple of years. As always, Tom Cruise is great as Ethan Hunt and I’m looking forward to even more films in this series.

Honorable mentions

  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • A Star Is Born
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse
  • Black Panther
  • Annihilation
  • A Quiet Place

2019: Parasite

Parasite is Bong Joon-ho’s best film to date. Honestly, that’s saying quite a bit, considering all the great work he has done in the past. But, Parasite was a huge pleasant surprise. It’s one I didn’t see coming and I feel caught almost everyone off-guard. It’s hard to put this movie in a box when it comes to the genre since it touches on so many themes. It’s a comedy, a drama, a thriller, and even a horror movie at times. The camera direction also elevates those specific themes in terms of the tone it’s trying to portray at that moment. An absolutely fantastic film and one of the greatest films of the decade. It’s basically a lock for “Best Foreign Language Film,” but I would love to see it receive a “Best Picture” nomination as well.

Runner-Up: Avengers: Endgame

Avengers: Endgame is the culmination of 11 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The payoff is extremely satisfying because of how it plays like a tribute to a number of important characters in this universe, especially Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers/Captain America and Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark/Iron Man. It’s a definite tearjerker, especially seeing Iron Man go, but it also shows how my investment in all of these films was worth it. Josh Brolin as Thanos is also fantastic and I somehow feel it won’t be the last we see of him.

Honorable mentions

  • FORD V. FERRARI
  • Uncut Gems
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home
  • Joker
  • A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
  • How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Here’s my ranking of all these films if I had to put them in order:

  1. Whiplash (2014)
  2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)
  3. Warrior (2011)
  4. La La Land (2016)
  5. Parasite (2019)
  6. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
  7. Logan (2017)
  8. Prisoners (2013)
  9. Toy Story 3 (2010)
  10. Ready Player One (2018)

What are some of your favorite films of the last decade? Feel free to comment down below and discuss!

2 thoughts on “Top 10 best movies of the decade (2010’s)

  1. I remember back in 2010 I hadn’t watched any Disney or Pixar films in years. Furthermore, I was so used to sequels from Disney being low quality, straight to video offerings. Because of that, I never even saw Toy Story 2, so I thought the idea of Toy Story 3 was a HUGE joke. Needless to say, it turned out to be one of the biggest surprises of the decade and forever changed how I look at sequels.

    Like

    1. That’s awesome to hear! I agree with the point about most Disney sequels, at least in the past, being low quality, but Pixar rarely disappoints, in my opinion. Plus, there was a huge gap between the release of 2 and 3, so my excitement was through the roof and they’re both fantastic. It’s also great that it changed your outlook on sequels moving forward. Thanks for reading and discussing!

      Like

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