Tuesday, December 31, 2019

10 Things I Love About the 2010s: The Best Movies of the Decade


Another decade, another round of truly great movies. It was HARD narrowing down this list. But I did it anyway. Ask me next year and this list could probably change, but these are my favorite movies of the decade as of December 31st, 2019. See you in 2020. 






1 Mad Max Fury Road (2015)

What I Said Then: “..it is one ludicrous and thrilling ride filled with jaw-dropping camerawork, effects, and production value that completely blows the original films out of the water.”
And Now: “Fury Road” still holds up as an amazing piece of action filmmaking. Part big budget spectacle part weirdo art house flick, this film is essentially one long, exciting car chase set to an awesome Junkie XL score that hardly ever lets up for a second. And the fact that it actually has something to say about society – the roles of men and women, about the environment, etc – goes to show how truly special this fourth Mad Max entry truly is. There’s nothing quite like it and I’ll be damned if there ever will be again.



2 Bridesmaids (2011)

What I Said Then: “a flat out funny and heartfelt romp that will have you laughing hysterically one moment and then practically tearing up the next.”
And Now: “Bridesmaids” continues to be one of my all-time favorite comedies. Kristin Wiig is so freaking hilarious and it’s amazing how big Rose Byrne and Melissa McCarthy became after turning in steal-stealing performances here. The film was so much more than just a female version of “The Hangover.” Does anyone even remember or quote “The Hangover” anymore? I pretty much quote “Bridesmaids” on a daily basis, now if you’ll excuse me it’s New Year’s Eve and I’m ready to paaaaaarrrrrr-tttttyyyyyyyy!



3 Avengers: Endgame (2019)

What I Said Then: “It’s no easy task weaving elements and characters from a series of 21 feature films that connect, overlap, and converge into a three hour mega-finale that is everything you want it to be and more. It’s – dare I say it – a perfect closing saga.”
And Now: Yeah this movie came out 8 months ago and yes it’s one of the best movies of the decade. I freaking love this movie so much. I’ve watched it over and over again since it’s release and I never get sick of it. In fact, I even watched in a plane ride when there was literally hundreds of other options. “Avengers Endgame” is the perfect three act movie and each part is expertly crafted for maximum emotion and entertainment. I still cry every. Single. Time. I think it’s officially time to admit that it’s my favorite Marvel movie, sorry “Winter Soldier;” move down the bench!


4 Hereditary (2018)

What I Said Then: “The film is a searing tragedy about the horrors of loss and grief and morphs into horror of a different nature. It’s destined to be a modern genre classic.”
And Now: I honestly never thought I could ever watch “Hereditary” a second time because it disturbed me so much. But I’ve gotten over that and watch it regularly. It’s so freaking good; it’s the best horror film of the decade. Toni Collette’s performance is so exquisite; she just punches you in the gut. The imagery is so memorable and shocking; then there’s the music, the atmosphere, the naked old people, Ann Dowd, etc. Ari Aster is a genius.



5 The Conjuring (2013)

What I Said Then: “It’s a film that can arguably hold up against such classics as The Exorcist, The Omen, and Poltergeist. It has everything you could ask for in a great horror film.”
And Now: If Hereditary is the best horror movie of the decade “The Conjuring” is certainly a close second. “The Conjuring” is pretty much a perfect movie with a delectable 70s vibe and proof that the studio horror film isn’t dead. The film is proof that you can have a decent budget ($20 million) and not waste a single dollar. Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson are great as the real life “ghost hunters” The Warrens. Everyone in Connecticut knows about them (I’ve seen their lectures many times) and they finally got to go mainstream. I still can’t believe that James Wan who went so over-the-top with his debut “Saw” that he restrained himself enough to make such an emotionally satisfying family drama that also just happens to be scary as hell. Anyone wanna play Hide and Clap??


6 Gravity (2013)

What I Said Then: “There aren’t enough adjectives in the galaxy to describe how wonderful ‘Gravity’ is.”
And Now: “Gravity” still remains one of my all-time favorite movie theater going experiences. I saw this movie four times in IMAX 3D and it was simply breathtaking each time. Sure it loses a bit of that wonder at home, but it no less emotionally gratifying. Essentially a disaster movie in space, I’m still not quite sure how Alfonso Cuarón pulled it all off. Sandra Bullock is fantastic, the music score from Steven Price is so exciting and some cues literally bring me to tears. I’m always a big ol’ mess when this movie ends; you feel like you’ve been on this scary journey with Sandra and I haven’t been the same since.


7 Whiplash (2014)

What I Said Then: “It’s almost Hitchcockian in its approach to enthrall you with this fascinating cat and mouse game between a borderline sadistic college music professor and an in-it-to-win-it student.”
And Now: What a gift to cinema Damien Chazelle is. He has hit home run after home run and it all started with “Whiplash” (though, fun fact: “Whiplash” was not his first feature, that would be “Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench”). A steering drama about a music student and his masochistic professor functions like a thriller and offers moments of true suspense and a completely rewarding final act. You could almost forgive Chazelle for only telling stories about white dudes.



8 Prometheus (2012)

What I Said Then: “‘Prometheus’ might just be a modern sci-fi horror classic.”
And Now: I called it a classic then and I’d call it a classic now. The sometimes unfairly maligned “Prometheus” stands as a great piece of thrilling sci-fi filmmaking and anyone who hates on it is only mad because it’s not the movie they thought it would be. It turns out it’s not really a direct prequel to “Alien” and the less you think of it that way the more enjoyable it really is. So what if it gets a bit bogged down in muddled mythology Ridley Scott has still concocted some truly memorable moments, some of which are simply terrifying. I’m looking at you med pod abortion scene! I find the film simply entertaining and daring in its decision to ask more questions (who are we, why are we here dammit??) than it answers. God forbid you’re forced to actually think for a minute while digesting horrifying moments of sci-fi terror.


9 Get Out (2017)

What I Said Then: “The best horror films are a reflection of their time and ‘Get Out’ is no exception.”
And Now: Was there any film more relevant in the 2010s than “Get Out?” The biggest real-life twist of the decade is that we are in fact, NOT living in a post-racial America. In fact, the country is just as racist as its ever been. And “Get Out” is a perfect reflection of that. It’s a disturbing film from comedy guy Jordan Peele about a Black guy who goes home with his wife girlfriend for the weekend to meet her parents. But don’t worry, her dad would vote for Obama a third time if he could. It only gets worse from there for our hapless hero. This modern “Twilight Zone” take on “The Stepford Wives” is a witty delight from beginning to end and brought a new modern horror master in Peele who also hit big with his equally good second feature “Us.”


10 Love, Simon (2018)

What I Said Then: “The equally sweet and cheesy “Love, Simon” is not only influenced by 80s and 90s teen films but it’s actually three great films in one.”
And Now: “Love, Simon” is a very important movie for me. It actually shaped what I see as the second chapter of my life and I’m eternally grateful for it. The film really is a fun ode to those 90s teen films except it offers the type of point-of-view those movies never got around to showing. Simon is a closeted teen who falls for an anonymous classmate who is also closeted and his life gets turned upside down when another student threatens to out him. Greg Berlanti’s modern take on teen romance is funny and witty and is sheer bliss from beginning to end. And let’s not forget the film pivotal scene in which Simon and has a heart to heart with his mom. Jennifer Garner has never been better. I’m not cyring, YOU’RE CRYING!


You didn't think I'd actually stop at ten did you??


11 Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Well this used to be my favorite Marvel movie! A perfect example of a sequel completely blowing the original out of the water. The 3 Days of the Condor vibe is palatable.

12 Us (2019)
There is so sophomore slump when it comes to Jordan Peele. Lupita is amazing. The score is fan-freaking-tastic. This is one of my favorite movies to discuss. Don’t @ me.

13 La La Land (2016)
I’ll never understand why people dislike this movie so much. The music, the colors, the score. I love the scrappy quality. I don’t care that Emma and Ryan aren’t great singers but they’re likable and charming as hell. Who the hell did you want in this? Christina Aguilera and Justin Beiber??

14 Inception (2010)
BRAWWWWWNNNNN. This movie is mindbogglingly good once you figure out exactly what’s happening. I always appreciate what Christopher Nolan is doing. Keep doing it.

15 It (2017)
Make Clowns Scary Again. Accomplished. Another example of studio horror done right. The kids and Bill Skarsgard are fantastic.

16 Hidden Figures (2016)
The Help in space! No but really, I love this more and more every time I watch it. Taraji’s bathroom monologue is so moving; it’s this close to curing racism. (One can dream)

17 Baby Driver (2017)
Sure it has Kevin Spacey but it has cool car chases, cooler editing, and is the definition of fun.

18 Insidious (2010)
This is when I realized that James Wan actually knows what he’s doing. Rose Byrne might be my favorite find of the decade.

19 Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
It’s retro cool and just the shot in the arm the Marvel movies needed.

20 This Is the End (2013)
I was obsessed with this hilarious meta disaster comedy when it came out. I still think it’s fun and rather clever.

21 Mission Impossible – Fallout (2018)
How does these movies keep getting better as they go on. This ending alone is the definition of a nailbiter. The whole thing is impeccably filmed and wholly entertaining and thankfully the least confusing

22 Prisoners (2013)
Still ashamed I missed this intense sleeper drama in the theater. Melissa Leo (not to mention her soda bottles) has never been more terrifying.

23 The Help (2011)
I rolled my eyes while watching this movie with about a dozen housweives in the theater, but I’ve warmed up to it. Jessica Chastain is gloriously over-the-top. The third National Treasure should be about Octavia Spencer because she is one.

24 Marriage Story (2019)
I’ve watched this twice already and loved it even more on a second viewing. The divorce paper serving scene is a stand out scene of the entire year. And this movie made me fall in love with the song “Being Alive.” Thank you Adam Driver, thank you.

25 You’re Next (2011)
This clever twist on the home invasion thriller is actually a dark family comedy in disguise. Adam Wingard could do no wrong (unless you count Blair Witch, ugh).

26 Happy Death Day (2017)
What a sheer delight from beginning to end. Sure it’s not actually scary but I wanna be best friends with Jessica Roth’s character and I’d like to think she’d wanna be best friends with me. (And for the record I loved the wackado sequel)

27 Black Panther (2018)
Representation can go a long way when it comes to a fun, action spectacle. This film is like weird superhero conglomeration of Star Wars and James Bond while somehow being better than those.

28 Inside Out (2015)
One of the most flat out clever and fun Pixar movies which is saying something in a roster of films that are nothing but clever and fun. Pixar has suffered from sequelitis this decade but it’s nice to know they still know how to knock it out of the park.

29 Manchester by the Sea (2016)
Oh god this movie wrecked me. I don’t know how I can watch it over and over again but I do. Grief porn at its best. But still surprisingly humane and funny.

30 127 Hours (2010)
Another one that wrecked me. I never thought watching James Franco stuck under a rock could be so entertaining, suspenseful, and moving. This one still brings me to tears at the end. I blame Sigur Ros.

31 Coco (2017)
Another colorful and fun Pixar outing. Another bittersweet ending. I cry a lot at movies don’t I?

32 Midsommar (2019)
Ari Aster is back again with something completely different from “Hereditary” but no less disturbing. The opening sequence is brilliant and jaw-dropping. The daylight has never been scarier.

33 Deadpool (2016)
What a great decade for super hero movies. Ryan Reynolds was born to play this character. Irreverent, and violent; two of my favorite ingredients. And Bea Arthur references. You can’t ask for more.

34 Easy A (2010)
Here’s the sitch MELODY BOSTIC….For a second I thought the teen movie was dead. But hello Emma Stone and her winning personality and beautiful big eyes. I knew she was destinite for bigger and better things ever since she got head butted by drunk Jonah Hill in Superbad.

35 Room (2015)
What could have easily been a Lifetime movie-of-the-week was turned into a moving, cinematic tour-de-force. Jacob Tremblay gives one of the best kid performances of all time.

36 Moonlight (2016)
Such a moving cinematic piece of art. The three act structure was an interesting take on a life rarely seen in mainstreen films. I could feel this movie.

37 Halloween (2018)
God bless American icon Jamie Lee Curtis. I’m pretty sure she’s my favorite actress of all time. I know she hates horror movies so much, but bless her for going back to the Laurie Strode well yet again. Somehow this all worked and was completely satisfying. I can’t wait for Halloween H60.

38 Neighbors (2014)
Jesus Christ how many times do I mention Rose Byrne on here? She’s amazing. This movie is way better than it has any right to be and proves that Zac Efron is more than hot abs, a cute face, a nice butt, muscular arms, a sexy voice, perfect hair, perfectly straight teeth, a nice thick neck, broad shoulders, gorgeous eyes, etc...

39 Ready Player One (2018)
The decade was not kind to Steven Spielberg fans in my opinion. If anyone tells you that War Horse, Lincoln, or The Adventures of Tintin is their favorite Spielberg movie then run away. This nostalgia porn is super fun and I dug every minute. The Shining sequence is worth the price of admission alone.

40 Arrival (2016)
I’m still bitter that Amy Adams got snubbed at the Oscars.

41 The Big Sick (2017)
I’m still bitter that Holly Hunter got snubbed at the Oscars.

42 Skyfall (2012)
The movie that made me actually like James Bond movies.

43 Tickled (2016)
What a freaking bizarre story in this fascinating investigative documentary.

44 Nightcrawler (2014)
I’m still bitter that Jake Gyllenhaal got snubbed at the Oscars.

45 The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
This movie gave us Leonardo DiCaprio blowing cocaine in a hooker’s ass AND Margot Robbie. Thank god.

46 Call Me by Your Name (2017)
I’ve really warmed up to this 80s gay romance. I found it hard to relate to wealthy, literate Americans living la dolce vita in Northern Italy. The soundtrack really is great.. And then there’s the whole peach thing...

47 Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
A movie that could give you a seizure during the opening credits, this wacky take on the Spider-Man character is filled with gorgeous animation and a truly fun and original storyline.

48 Argo (2012)
Ben Affleck was born to direct. The Town is probably number 51 on here for the record. I love the 70s style here. Pure cinematic bliss.

49 Unstoppable (2010)
The only true Speed sequel as far as I’m concerned.

50 mother! (2017)
I was super excited to see it. I didn’t get it. And then once I did get it I freaking loved it. I get why people hate it but they’re wrong. Bonus points for Kristin Wiig’s bizarro cameo.

Other movies that came so close but I feel like I can’t not mention them…. 50/50, The Town, Birdman, Boyhood, The Dark Knight Rises, Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri, The Fighter, Piranha 3D, Guardians of the Galaxy, It Follows, Interstellar, Gone Girl, A Quiet Place, A Star is Born, Under the Skin, The Shallows, Drive, The Kids Are Alright, Shame



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