Top 10 Films of the Decade (2010 – 2019)

List compiled by Eddie on 06/12/2019

And just like that, the decade between 2010 and 2020 draws to a close.

Where has that time gone you may ask? It’s a question that can’t easily be answered but one thing we movie fans can do is now debate what we perceive to be the best cinematic offerings of that time period.

Safe to say there are no proper definitive answers, as there have been numerous movie delights over the last 10 year’s and each and every one of us I am sure will have wildly varying lists.

Below is a collection of films that have made an impact on me, films I personally feel strongly towards, I am sure there are many reasons why other films could take their place but I trust it creates a respectable debate regardless!

Happy reading, happy watching and here’s to the next 10 years of cinema!

P.S – What’s up with this Damian Chazelle guy? He must really know how to make a good movie!

Disclaimer – plot summaries from IMDB

10. Son of Saul (2015)

Director: László Nemes  Cast: Géza Röhrig, Levente Molnár, Urs Rechn

A Jewish-Hungarian concentration camp prisoner sets out to give a child he mistook for his son a proper burial.

A stunning single shot film, László Nemes haunting Hungarian World War 2 film is unlike anything I’ve seen before. Grips you and doesn’t let go from the moment you are first thrown into Saul Ausländer’s horrifying journey through a Nazi occupied concentration camp over the course of a few hours.

Read my review here

9. Gleason (2016)

Director: Clay Tweel  Cast: Steve Gleason, Mike Gleason, Scott Fujita

After he is diagnosed with ALS, former professional football player Steve Gleason begins making a video diary for his unborn son, as he, his wife, and their friends and family work to raise money for ALS patients as his disease progresses.

A gut-punch of a documentary, Gleason is a film you will not soon forget and a loving ode to family, life and love. Taking a warts and all approach in its examination of ALS, Clay Tweel’s doco is a must-watch for young and old, just be prepared for some ugly crying.

Read my review here

8. First Man (2018)

Director: Damian Chazelle  Cast: Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy

A look at the life of the astronaut, Neil Armstrong, and the legendary space mission that led him to become the first man to walk on the Moon on July 20, 1969.

A film that is likely to forever remain criminally underrated, director Damian Chazelle gave audiences a Neil Armstrong biopic that refuses to take the typical standard approach and along the way places us into the action in a way that will likely take us to outer space in a fashion that will be as close we will ever get to reaching the stars. An absolute masterpiece that was tailor made for IMAX viewing.

Read my review here

7. Hereditary (2018)

Director: Ari Aster  Cast: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Alex Wolff

A grieving family is haunted by tragic and disturbing occurrences.

Debut director Ari Aster completed a masterful entry into Hollywood with his haunting and drama focussed horror effort Hereditary. Featuring a collection of standout performances, highlighted by the Oscar worthy Toni Collette as grieving mother Annie and Alex Wolff as haunted teenager Peter, Hereditary heralded in the entrance of a very exciting directing talent.

Ready my review here

6. The Raid (2011)

Director: Gareth Evans  Cast: Iko Uwais, Joe Taslim, Yayan Ruhian

A S.W.A.T. team becomes trapped in a tenement run by a ruthless mobster and his army of killers and thugs.

Putting most Hollywood action films to shame (John Wick withstanding), Indonesian action film The Raid is a genuine adrenaline rush of a film. From the moment the first bullet is fired through to the films epic final battle, The Raid is a non-stop ride of carnage, mayhem and flying fists, all expertly handled by its cast and visionary director, Welsh filmmaker Gareth Evans.

5. Joker (2019)

Director: Todd Phillips  Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz

In Gotham City, mentally-troubled comedian Arthur Fleck is disregarded and mistreated by society. He then embarks on a downward spiral of revolution and bloody crime. This path brings him face-to-face with his alter-ego: “The Joker”.

Changing the face of comic book adaptations and movies forever, Todd Phillips stripped back and haunting take on DC Comics villain The Joker is a masterful achievement. Featuring one of the all-time great performances in the form of Joaquin Phoenix as the mistreated and misunderstood Arthur Fleck, Joker is Hollywood filmmaking of the highest order and a film that stands out from the loaded comic book cinematic cannon.

Read my review here

4. Whiplash (2014)

Director: Damian Chazelle  Cast: Miles Teller, J.K Simmons

A promising young drummer enrols at a cut-throat music conservatory where his dreams of greatness are mentored by an instructor who will stop at nothing to realize a student’s potential.

Who would’ve thought a film about a drumming student would become such a nail-biting thriller? Thanks to two career defining turns from Miles Teller and the Oscar winning J.K Simmons, Damian Chazelle’s frighteningly well-written and directed film is gripping viewing and a unique experience that stands the test of time. Certainly my tempo.

Read my review here

3. The Tree of Life (2011)

Director: Terrence Malick  Cast: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain, Tye Sheridan

The story of a family in Waco, Texas in 1956. The eldest son witnesses the loss of innocence and struggles with his parents’ conflicting teachings.

With Terrence Malick, you either love him or you hate him, so anyone that doesn’t enjoy the Texan filmmakers particular style of filmmaking will never see any merit in The Tree of Life, an achievement that many say is his most accomplished all round feat. Beautifully filmed and acted, The Tree of Life is a life-affirming tale that seems to operate in a whole different universe, making this a cinematic feast for the ages.

2. La La Land (2016)

Director: Damian Chazelle  Cast: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone

While navigating their careers in Los Angeles, a pianist and an actress fall in love while attempting to reconcile their aspirations for the future.

I think I am right in saying that it became somewhat in-vogue/the cool thing to do to talk down Damian Chazelle’s reimaging of the Hollywood musical, a lovingly crafted and whimsical love story set against the back drop of the movie making dream factory, but for those that fell head over heels for the story of Mia and Sebastian, La La Land is an unforgettable journey and a cinematic delight.

Read my review here

1. Interstellar (2014)

Director: Christopher Nolan  Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine

A team of explorers travel through a wormhole in space in an attempt to ensure humanity’s survival.

I can still picture the day that I sat in my IMAX seat, left completely awe-struck by the film I had just seen on a seven-storey high screen, that film was Christopher Nolan’s epic space thriller Interstellar. A film that many choose to pick a part, rather than simply be taken away by, Interstellar is premium cinema full of heart, soul, a classic Hans Zimmer soundtrack and more ideas than most Hollywood films could only dare dream of, proving that Christopher Nolan is a once in a lifetime type of filmmaker.

Read my review here

Next Best –

  1. Arrival (2016)
  2. Inception (2010)
  3. Warrior (2011)
  4. The Social Network (2010)
  5. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
  6. Incendies (2010)
  7. Nightcrawler (2014)
  8. Ex_Machina (2014)
  9. Gone Girl (2014)
  10. The Revenant (2015)

Honourable Mentions – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Avengers: Infinity War, We Need to Talk About Kevin, Django Unchained, The Master, Shutter Island, The Glass Castle, Blue Valentine, Her, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, 12 Years a Slave, Shame, Prisoners, The Act of Killing, Animal Kingdom, The Wolf of Wall Street, Dunkirk, Blade Runner 2049

What are your favourite films of the decade? Let me know in the comments below!

31 responses to “Top 10 Films of the Decade (2010 – 2019)

  1. Some very interesting choices here at a glance, though the only ones I can say would overlap with my own list, when I eventually get around to it (probably early next year), are Whiplash and Nightcrawler, which I see you have at 17. 2014 was a particularly strong year overall. Nice to see Ex Machina mentioned too, a slightly underrated film whose praises I like to sing.

  2. Excellent list! While I don’t agree with all of them (most of my favorites are in your 11-20 list), it’s nice to see a very thoughtful list with some surprises and not the usual films. Very cool!

    • Thanks Food. It’s so tough doing lists like this as there are so many worthy candidates but all these film’s have stuck with me in some way.
      E

  3. Great list – thanks. I’ve only seen First Man, Joker, La La Land, Interstellar, Inception, Mad Max, The Revenant – often with my wife whose style of review is to fall asleep if she doesn’t like the movie. She definitely didnt like The Revenant and it was even not easy to fall asleep in it. It didn’t do a great deal for me too except its cinematography which was exquisite. She really liked Joker however. Inception we can watch any number of times, and I liked First Man too – again, great filming. Mad Max was really well done too and had a nostalgia element of the fisrt Mad Maxes I remember watching as a kid. La La Land felt cute but not so thrilling (especially to her!). You’ve left a very interesting list – lot to see!! I think I would have liked Roma on the list.

    • Roma was a great film mate, if I was basing this list around craft it would’ve been right at the top, it’s a stunningly well shot and put together film.
      E

  4. Thanks for the top 10. I’m going to add all of them to my watch list. Amazed that I haven’t seen any of the top 10! I go to the movies here in NZ fairly regularly.

  5. Tree of life is one of those rare movies that I’ve turned off. Normally once i start a movie i finish it – but could not bring myself to wasting any time with that one.

    Interesting list still – a few surprising choices with movies i felt were good but didnt consider them to be in the top 10 movies of the last 10 years.. however i prob havent actually given it any thought and may have come to similar conclusions!

    • Be keen to hear back from you on some of your choices. Hope the Raid might make it in.

      You must be looking foward to Malick’s new film out in cinemas early Jan.
      E

  6. La La Land, Inception, Joker, The Master, 3 Billboards = BOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

    The Raid, Whiplash, Blade Runner 2, Wolf of Wall Street, Gone Girl = YAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!!!

    … not QUITE my tempo.

    Also, what’d ya think of Parasite (2019)?

    • Thanks man! It’s a hard list to get right and I know it’s not definitive but hopefully people can find some films here to go and check out.
      E

    • Glad to have you on board Guru, I’ve had many an argument about my love for this film but to me it’s one of the best I’ve seen, especially on the big screen.
      E

  7. I have to admit that I haven’t seen a lot of these and since I had my son in 2016 I have missed out quite a lot on the latest releases. I think my list would include:

    – Her
    – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri
    – Lawless
    – Blue is the Warmest Colour
    – A Separation
    – Boyhood
    – A Most Violent Year

    • Abbi I am so stoked you’ve placed A Most Violent Year down! What a great film. I can honestly say I barely know anyone that has watched it sadly.
      I strongly recommended catching Gleason out of this list I put down if you’ve not seen it.
      E

      • Totally! I think it got 2 noms but not for area’s it should’ve been nominated in.
        Isaac’s performance in that was amazing. I am a big fan of JC Chandor, his one of the best director’s working at the moment.
        E

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