Monday, March 30, 2015

Top 15 Films of the 2010s (so far)

We’re a few months past the halfway point of the 2010s, and I thought it’d be fun to take a look back over the past five years and highlight which films I’ve loved the most. It’s funny, while I typically remember 2010 as a weak year for films, after drafting this list, that’s clearly not the case. Most of these movies are about pain. Others are about love. Few, but some, are just plain damn fun.

15. Magic Mike (2012)
dir. by Steven Soderbergh
Yes, really. For one, Magic Mike is a master class in modern cinematography. The harsh color grading, the placement of the camera (notice how Soderbergh, who shot the film himself, isn’t afraid to let the room be the most prominent factor in the shot above), the stark contrast – I’m in love with all of it. I unapologetically, absolutely love this film.

14. Animal Kingdom (2010)
dir. by David Michôd
Animal Kingdom is here for many reasons, it’s complete lack of character empathy chief among them. No character in this film is safe. They may go at any moment, for any reason, which creates a lasting unease over the entire film. And that cast… it couldn’t possibly be any stronger.

13. The Master (2012)
dir. by Paul Thomas Anderson
This one takes more out of me every time I watch it. It’s impossible to not get emotional during Philip Seymour Hoffman’s final scene. What power that man had.

12. Black Swan (2010)
dir. by Darren Aronofsky
Do contemporary gothic mind fuck horror films get any better than Black Swan? Perfect. Yep. It was perfect.

11. Dogtooth (2010)
dir. by Yorgos Lanthimos
I’ve seen a lot of movies. And I have never in my life seen anything remotely like Dogtooth. Equally unique, bizarre and terrifying, this film is a mesmerizing exposé of the macabre.

10. Warrior (2011)
dir. by Gavin O’Connor
I was so emotionally gutted the first time I saw Warrior that I convinced myself I didn’t really like it. It was too real for me, so I retreated from it and tried to pretend it didn’t exist. But when I braved it a second time, I found myself uncommonly moved. Rarely do I connect with films as intensity as I do with this one. And that ending… it still knocks the wind out of me. 

9. Spring Breakers (2013)
dir. by Harmony Korine
For its revolving and relentless editing alone. This flick barely gives us a moment to breathe, while its florescent photography dazzles throughout. Open your mind, don’t take it literally, and invite yourself into a brave new teenage wasteland.

8. The Tree of Life (2011)
dir. by Terrence Malick
A masterpiece of poetic realism. What does it all mean? Where are we going? Do any of us ever really know? Exactly.

7. Incendies (2010)
dir. by Denis Villeneuve
Denis Villeneuve has gained recent domestic notoriety by making Prisoners and Enemy back-to-back, but jump back a few years and you discover his masterful French/Canadian film, Incendies. The film is a nightmarish family tree thriller that stuns from opening frame to last. Damn near impossible to guess where it’s going.


6. Blue Valentine (2010)
dir. by Derek Cianfrance
Many films have fun with the honeymoon phase of a relationship. The flowers, the songs, the talks, the love. Few are confident enough to embrace the emotional hell that many relationships evolve to. Blue Valentine displays both with equal weight. The bliss is as honest as the agony.

5. Upstream Color (2013)
dir. by Shane Carruth
I’ve seen Upstream Color dozens of times and I still feel like I’m uncovering it. As a film, I’m so entranced by the mysticism of its story. As a production, I remain wholly inspired by how this film was made. Shane Carruth wrote, directed, produced (for about $100,000), shot, edited, scored, starred in, marketed, and promoted Upstream Color by himself. Why? Because he could. And his credo in interviews is that if he can, there’s no reason anyone else with talent and drive can’t as well.

4. Rust and Bone (2012)
dir. by Jacques Audiard
The biggest criticism Rust and Bone received was that it showcased a love shared by two unlikeable people. While some find that a fault, I found it inspiring. So often in (American) romance movies, we watch as unlikeable people are made good through love and/or tragedy. Not Rust and Bone. Stéphanie (Marion Cotillard) and Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts) go through hell in this film, and rarely show signs of change. Their attraction is animalistic, stripped of the bullshit materialism we so often see in movies. I love how Rust and Bone embraces pain so brazenly, as if there is literally no other way to tell its story. Stéphanie and Ali are by far my favorite screen couple so far this decade.

3. Boyhood (2014)
dir. by Richard Linklater
Boyhood has the audacity to explore the ordinary. The film is expert at flirting with clichéd sensation (What’s going to happen with that saw?! When is the drunk step father(s) going to hit them?! Look, he actually didn’t sell the GTO!), then casually stepping back to observe the normalcy of life. Boyhood will always be remembered for how it was made, as it deserves to be. But I’ll always be in love with the tenderness of its story.

2. Somewhere (2010)
dir. by Sofia Coppola
Somewhere is one of the best films about isolation that I’ve ever seen. It’s slow yet alive, methodical yet disorderly. It’s a cinematic poem of what it feels like when you don’t (or can’t, or won’t) connect with anything around you. This film should have launched Stephen Dorff (back…?) into the A-list, because his performance as Johnny Marco is a thing of quiet, nuanced, and haunting power. I love to follow this man.

1. Shame (2011)
dir. by Steve McQueen
Steve McQueen’s Shame is one of my Top 10 films of all time. As far as my tastes are concerned, movies just don’t get any better. The film is so aware of what it’s doing, so confident in its merciless method of storytelling. For me, the movie making bar was reset in December 2011, when I sat motionless in a dark movie theater and let this film wash over me. I had never seen anything like it before, yet, at the same time, it was the kind of movie I knew I was born to make. I’ll be working the rest of my life trying to live in the shadow of this painful, beautiful film.

You May Also Like
Top 42 Things I Love About Shame (that no one talks about) 
Top 37 Things I Love About Somewhere (that no one talks about) 

91 comments:

  1. MY TOP 15 OF 2010s

    01) NADER AND SIMIN (ASGHAR FARHADI, 2011)
    02) TOY STORY 3 (LEE UNKRICH, 2010)
    03) LA VIE D'ADELE (ABDELLATIF KECHICHE, 2013)
    04) THE WOLF OF WALL STREET (MARTIN SCORSESE, 2013)
    05) NIGHTCRAWLER (DAN GILROY, 2014)
    06) HEADHUNTERS (MORTEN TYLDUM, 2011)
    07) DE ROUILLE ET D'OS (JACQUES AUDIARD, 2012)
    08) SEARCHING FOR THE SUGAR MAN (MALIK BENDJELLOUL, 2012)
    09) THE ARTIST (MICHEL HAZANAVICIUS, 2011)
    10) THE IMITATION GAME (MORTEN TYLDUM, 2014)
    11) ARRIETTY - THE BORROWERS (HIROMASA YONEBAYASHI, 2010)
    12) AMOUR (MICHAEL HANEKE, 2012)
    13) NEBRASKA (ALEXANDER PAYNE, 2013)
    14) DRIVE (NICOLAS WINDING REFN, 2011)
    15) THE KING'S SPEECH (TOM HOOPER, 2010)

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    1. Nice picks. Love that Rust and Bone makes the cut. A Separation is so good.

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  2. With the exception of Spring Breakers (which I still haven't seen), I agree with this list.

    In a few days, I'm going to start serious work on my list of the best 150 films from 2000 to 2015 for my upcoming 15th anniversary this coming July.

    As for the 2010 films,

    my top 5 are:

    1. Somewhere
    2. The Tree of Life
    3. Drive
    4. Holy Motors
    5. Her

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    1. LOVE that Somewhere is on top right now. Can't wait for your 150 list. That's going to be so epic.

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  3. I didn't even realize we are almost halfway through the 2010's until now. Damn, time really does fly faster and faster the older you get. But anyway, that was a great list. I love almost all of those movies myself as well. I still really need to see Shame though. I own the blu-ray so i have no excuse anymore. Let's see if i can come up with a list myself anyway.

    15. Killing Them Softly (2012)
    14. The Master (2012)
    13. Foxcatcher (2014)
    12. Warrior (2011)
    11. Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)
    10. Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014)
    9. The Perks Of Being A Wallflower (2012)
    8. Gone Girl (2014)
    7. Her (2013)
    6. Seven Psychopaths (2012)
    5. Life Of Pi (2012)
    4. The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013)
    3. Mud (2012)
    2. Django Unchained (2012)
    1. Drive (2011)

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    1. Great picks, love to see Warrior there. Killing Them Softly was close to making my list as well. I just rewatched that and I think it is so damn perfect. Can't wait to hear what you think of Shame!

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  4. Great list sir. Love the screenshot you have for Dogtooth - classic! A couple of surprises on here, didn't expect Warrior or Animal Kingdom or Incendies for sure. I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on some of the films I have here (I'm sure you've seen most if not all of them already lol).

    1) Boyhood (Richard Linklater)
    2) The Hunt (Thomas Vinterberg)
    3) The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson)
    4) Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky)
    5) Nightcrawler (Dan Gilroy)
    6) Once Upon A Time In Anatolia (Nuri Bilge Ceylan)
    7) Stray Dogs (Tsai Ming-Liang)
    8) Leviathan (Andrey Zvyagintsev)
    9) Holy Motors (Leox Carax)
    10) 12 Years A Slave (Steve McQueen)
    11) Dogtooth (Yorgos Lanthimos)
    12) To The Wonder (Terrence Malick)
    13) Mud (Jeff Nichols)
    14) Martha Marcy May Marlene (Sean Durkin)
    15) Cold Fish (Sion Sono)

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    1. Thanks man! Dogtooth is insane, and I love that damn still. I dig all the films on your list, but still need to see Anatolia, Stray Dogs and Cold Fish. Anatolia in particular is one I've been meaning to get to for a while. Good stuff man.

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  5. I must say I always like reading your lists but at the same time I feel a lot of envy because of your ability to see so many films. How do you manage to do that? I'm only 23 and I try to watch as many films as I can but I still feel like I saw my first film just yesterday.

    Also I wan to congratulate you on the way you choose the images accompanying each entry. It makes me want to see the films listed even more.

    I see that everyone shared their top 15 so here is mine:

    15. Hugo
    14. Black Swan
    13. Gone Girl]
    12. Drive
    11. Whiplash
    10. Stories We Tell
    09. The Social Network
    08. The Master
    07. The Grand Budapest Hotel
    06. The Hunt
    05. Under The Skin
    04. Her
    03. Before Midnight
    02. Zero Dark Thirty
    01. Boyhood

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    1. I spend a stupid amount of time picking out screencaps for each film, so I'm thrilled that you appreciate them!

      In terms of how much I watch... I dunno, people prioritize their time in different ways, and I've always made movies come first (or very close to first). They're my education, my inspiration, my fun and my guidance. But I've been watching a lot less new films lately. It's funny how making and releasing a movie makes it much harder to free up time to watch new ones.

      Love your list. Whiplash FTW!

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  6. Love your list. Here is my Top 15:

    1.Blue is the Warmest Color
    2.Birdman
    3. Shame
    4. The Social Network
    5. The Master
    6. The Place Beyond The Pines
    7. Boyhood
    8. Silver Linings Playbook
    9. Drive
    10. Black Swan
    11. Whiplash
    12. Martha Marcy May Marlene
    13. Perks of Being a Wallflower
    14. Inception
    15. Prisoners

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    1. Great stuff man, love that Shame cracks the top 3. And Drive... that flick is just so damn cool.

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    2. Absolutely. I just did another Tribute To The Fallen post. This time on Shame in case you are interested.

      http://filmguyreviews.blogspot.com/2015/05/oscars-tribute-to-fallen-shame-2011.html

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  7. Half way through the 2010's already! Time is flying. I've seen most of your list, Warrior is near the top of my (never-ending) to watch list. Here's my top 15:

    15. The Lego Movie
    14. Rush
    13. The Wolf Of Wall Street
    12. Toy Story 3
    11. Boyhood
    10. Looper
    9. Interstellar
    8. Drive
    7. Her
    6. The Descendants
    5. Prometheus
    4. Birdman
    3. Under The Skin
    2. Prisoners
    1. Inception

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    1. Time is just cruising... it's insane! Nice picks here, Inception is such a fun puzzle to dive right into. Can't recommend Warrior highly enough. So good.

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    2. I've watched Warrior and Dogtooth now. Warrior I liked but it didn't wow me (although it's certainly well above average for a fighting film). Dogtooth... well what can you say about that one, it was all kinds of wrong but also oddly compelling, lol. I didn't know what was going to happen next!

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    3. So happy you gave them a shot! I had the same reaction to Warrior the first time, but now... man, it slays me. Hits very, very close to home for me. And Dogtooth is just straight bonkers. Love it.

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  8. So glad to see Breakers, Color, Warrior and Master getting some love. I still need to see Magic Mike. I am the biggest MattMac fan in the world and I haven't seen what everyone says is his best performance.

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    1. He's So. Good. in that movie. My favorite MattMc performances are True Detective, Killer Joe, then Magic Mike. Priceless.

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  9. I've seen most of these. I'm in huge agreement on Incendies and Black Swan.

    And most everyone has listed their own Top 15 of the most recent decade, too. When I see things like this I wonder how out of the mainstream I am because I rarely ever try to put together ranked lists, and these quick responses make it appear that most folks already had their lists ready and waiting for comparison.

    One of the reasons I rarely do it (I say "rarely" since I am literally posting reviews for my Top 10 films of 2014 right now) is that my opinion varies depending on how I am feeling that day. A list of my best whatever, when compiled a week later, would differ at least a little, and might differ a lot a month later.

    Leveraging my Letterboxd ratings, I have had four 5-star films so far in the 2010s and none of them appear on your Top 15 - Toy Story 3, The Artist, Hugo, and The Avengers. I have an additional sixteen 4.5 star films in the 2010s and herein lies the challenge with ranking them to pick the top eleven to add to the 5-star films. (The Black Swan and Incendies are among them - the only ones that are on your Top 15.)

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    1. It took me weeks to get my list the way I wanted to, but it's pretty cool that so many people had their lists ready to go. Of your 5-star films, I absolutely adore Hugo. I rewatched that the other night and it's such a special film.

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  10. This is a really great list man. I love how personal and wildly uncompromising your picks always are. Here's my Top 15:

    1) The Master (2012)
    2) Shame (2011)
    3) Blue Is The Warmest Color (2013)
    4) Inception (2010)
    5) The Tree Of Life (2011)
    6) Black Swan (2010)
    7) Inherent Vice (2014)
    8) Gone Girl (2014)
    9) Enemy (2013)
    10) Drive (2011)
    11) Her (2013)
    12) Boyhood (2014)
    13) The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013)
    14) Looper (2012)
    15) Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

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    1. Thanks buddy! I think if I made this list on January 1, The Master wouldn't have been on it. But I've watched it twice since then, and it gets better and better every time. PTA packed so much into that one.

      LOVE that Enemy cracks your Top 10.

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    2. It's crazy how rewatching a film may give you the opportunity to appreciate it more, right? I mean I almost regret leaving a comment on your post about the top 15 films of 2014 for the same reason, just because my list would be so much different than the one I created for that post. Inherent Vice would be my #1 above Boyhood, I would give a higher ranking to Birdman, things like that. And I guess if I made a list about 2014 films or top 15 films of the decade 5 years from now it would be different as well. It's quite fascinating because it just goes to show how many things you can appreciate when rewatching a film and how many factors play their game when you watch it for the first time. And The Master, what a cinematic marvel it is. There aren't many films like this anymore, honestly. Orson Welles' and Nicolas Roeg vibes everywhere. PTA is really a genius.

      Enemy is among the best films I've seen in my entire life, such an exciting mindfuck. I have a thing personally for those Fincher-ian and Lynch-ian films, so I was really amazed with the vision Villeneuve showed with this. I'll keep an eye on everything he's going to watch after this and Prisoners. Love Incedies as well, his filmography is really astonishing. There's a crime film he's recently shot with Emily Blunt and Josh Brolin called Sicario, can't wait!!!

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    3. * I meant "everything he's going to do" His sci-fi project with Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner also sounds extremely interesting as well.

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    4. I JUST heard about Sicario and I'm so excited for it. Sounds amazing. And I get what you mean... it's hard to post lists like these because the choices could change from day to day. But the point is, they're all amazing films, you know? Regardless of the order, I'm so happy that film is still alive and well and original. Even if we have to look a little harder for the masterpieces :)

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    5. Literally agree with your every point here. SO well said.

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  11. For a little while now I've wanted to see the best of 2010s on your blog for quite some time, but thought I would have to wait till 2020 to see it, so happy you made this list. First off love the list, so many good choices on here, will get to all the ones I haven't seen in a couple of weeks (gotta finish high school first, it's crunch time).

    First, what in the hell is Dogtooth? That just looks messed up to all hell.

    I have to say my favorite thing about this list might be Warrior. It's a great movie to watch with your brother, and I love showing my brother great movies, and this is probably our favorite to watch together. It honestly has brought us closer together and given us an activity we can both enjoy and love, movies. My brother's movie viewing spectrum has broadened indirectly as a result of me finding your blog, and honestly I love it, I constantly have new stuff for us to watch thanks to you. But Warrior I think started that all when I showed him that.

    Spring Breakers I watched because of this blog and found it so engrossing to watch, I love its spot on the list. I was never planning to see it for it looked like a party movie with lots of boobs (this was when I started to get into much deeper films) but your blog again convinced me to try it, and I'm glad I did.

    Tree of Life never gets enough love, so awesome that it's on here. Honestly Terrence Malick just deserves more love overall. I know I became a big fan after Thin Red Line.

    Incendies is a film I NEED to get to, I love the hell out of Prisoners and Enemy, and need to watch the rest Denis Villeneuve's films. Damn video store won't carry it near me, probably have to shill out 3 bucks or whatever for iTunes soon.

    Blue Valentine, Upstream Color, and Rust and Bone are near the top of the to watch list, will get to them soon.

    Boyhood I completely understand why it is on the list, just so damn good, re-watched it recently and it got better again. Aspects of it just mirror my life right now so well, I just find it really connectable.

    Somewhere I will get to soon.

    Shame, could it be anywhere else? Honestly I have fallen in love with this movie (again thanks to you), and as soon as I saw the shot from it at the top of the page, knew it would be at number 1. It's just...I can't...IT'S TOO DAMN GOOD I CAN'T EVEN TALK ABOUT IT. I really have no way of talking about this film after having seen it I appreciate it too much. If you ever really take any of my countless "thank you"s to heart, take this one, thank you for introducing me to Shame (screw senior project, I'm actually going to watch Shame right now).

    So instead of listing my Top 15 of 2010s so far here, could I borrow your idea for a post on my blog? I'll give you credit for the idea and everything, it's just such a good idea. If not, it's fine I'll list them here then (I have to think about the list first, gonna be a hard one).

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    1. Geordan, your comments are always so kind. Really man, comments like these are so validating, it makes running a blog worth it. Thanks again. And trust me, I take ALL of your thank you’s to heart.

      Dogtooth is… fuck man. I don’t want to even describe what it’s about. Just go in blind and I promise you’ll be stunned. It is so damn unique.

      Warrior still hits me so hard. So so good.

      And it thrills me beyond belief that I introduced you to Shame. I’ve seen that movie so many times and it has never gotten old. It’s like a great textbook to me. I study it repeatedly.

      And hell yeah man, have at this list, can’t wait to see your picks!

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  12. Wow. Hard to believe this decade is already so far along. Shame is a wonderful pick for your top spot. So much going on there. Love seeing Spring Breakers and Warriors here since they are atypical of the movies you'd expect to see on a list like this. Lots of good stuff, here. Haven't even thought about ranking them myself. That means I have no clue what my list would like, but 15 I would certainly consider for mine (that you didn't mention) include...

    Fruitvale Station
    Blue is the Warmest Color
    The Wolf of Wall Street
    Gone Girl
    Blue Ruin
    Django Unchained
    Beasts of the Southern Wild
    12 Years a Slave
    Tyrannosaur
    Drive
    Martha Marcy May Marlene
    Winter's Bone
    Inception
    Toy Story 3
    Kick-Ass

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    1. Tyrannosaur... man, that's a rough ride there, but I so appreciate that one. Great pick. The Wolf of Wall Street was very close to making my list. I love love love that film.

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  13. Ooo nice list. I recently saw Incendies and it totally blew my mind! Also love the inclusion of stuff like Dogtooth, Spring Breakers, Blue Valentine, Black Swan AND Magic Mike, of course!
    I will maybe make this list once I start blogging again but I don't know how to rank it :/

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    1. Incendies is so good, right? It was tough to rank this list, for sure. But it's always a fun exercise.

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  14. Great list! Agree The Tree of Life, Boyhood, Incendies, Black Swan, and Warrio are best of the decade. I haven't seen Magic Mike and Animal Kingdom yet.

    This is sooo difficult for me to do myself, because a film only shows its true worth to me on a second viewing and most of my best loved from this decade I've only seen once. I guess you've watched your top 15 several times?

    I did compile a tentative top 50 of the 2010s a few weeks ago:
    http://letterboxd.com/mas365/list/the-decade-so-far-top-50-work-in-progress/

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    1. Thanks man! Time really is the best factor to measure art, which is probably why there's only one film from 2014 on my list, you know? But yeah, I've seen all of the films I picked multiple times. It would be embarrassing to admit how many times I've seen Shame and Upstream Color in particular. I've only seen Dogtooth twice, but that was plenty.

      Going to check out your list now!

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  15. Love the list! Especially your inclusions of Magic Mike, Animal Kingdom and Rust and Bone, I feel like most people wouldn't put films like those on their list, but I'm happy there's a lot of variety here.

    My own list is probably not final as I still have lots of movies to see (will definitely look up Dogtooth, Incendies and Upstream ASAP), but here's a tentative Top 15:

    1. Boyhood (2014)
    2. The Tree of Life (2011)
    3. Amour (2012)
    4. The Social Network (2010)
    5. Gravity (2013)
    6. Somewhere (2010)
    7. Before Midnight (2013)
    8. Melancholia (2011)
    9. Zero Dark Thirty (2012)
    10. Gone Girl (2014)
    11. Hugo (2011)
    12. Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
    13. A Separation (2011)
    14. Rust and Bone (2012)
    15. Blue is the Warmest Colour (2013)

    It must have been difficult whittling down to only 15. Will you be doing one for performances as well? Or that would be even harder to compile than this one?

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    1. Thanks! Ohhh performances would be damn tough. I thought about it, but yeah, that's so difficult. Love that Somewhere cracks your Top 10. What a special film that is. Ahh, I just adore it. I rewatched Melancholia last night and I liked it even more. It's so tame for LvT, but so unique.

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  16. There's some great films on here! I love that you included Dogtooth. I'm using that in one of the upcoming Thursday Movie Pick themes. That movie is just so bizarre and intense.

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    1. Such a crazy film. Can't wait to read what you write about it!

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  17. Love this. I don't think any of these would actually land on my list, but I still love these!

    I'd probably go with:

    1) Mommy
    2) Laurence Anyways
    3) The Social Network
    4) Blue is the Warmest Color
    5) Beginners
    6) Mysteries of Lisbon
    7) Moonrise Kingdom
    8) Declaration of War
    9) Toy Story 3
    10) Blue Valentine
    11) Everybody Else
    12) Gravity
    13) Stories We Tell
    14) Rust + Bone (we share this one!)
    15) Frozen

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    1. Ah, crap...I forgot about everything else from this year that isn't Mommy...and quite frankly most of them would rank in there over half of that stuff so...

      1) Mommy
      2) Laurence Anyways
      3) The Social Network
      4) Blue is the Warmest Color
      5) Beginners
      6) Mysteries of Lisbon
      7) Moonrise Kingdom
      8) Birdman
      9) Declaration of War
      10) Under the Skin
      11) Toy Story 3
      12) Gravity
      13) Blue Valentine
      14) Gone Girl
      15) Everybody Else

      UGH...I think...something like that or nothing at all like that!

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    2. Nice picks. I still haven't seen Mommy! Can't wait to catch that one. We still have Blue Valentine in common!

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  18. I love this list. Boyhood, The Master, Upstream Color, and Incendies are all on my list too. Boyhood is my favorite of the decade so far. Though I'm still tinkering around with the rest of the movies on my list. It should be up in April.

    It's great that you have films like Somewhere, Shame and Upstream Color in your top 5. I've seen you rave constantly about those films on this blog. Makes me really want to watch them again.

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    1. So glad you dig my picks man. It was cool to finally create a list that celebrates all the movies I've been praising for the past few years. Can't wait to see yours, by the way. Let me know when you post it!

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  19. Shame was a tough movie to watch. I should see it again soon, and I should give Somewhere a shot.

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    1. I think you'd appreciate Somewhere. It has a lot to say about isolation and depression, without actually saying it, you know? Be very curious to hear your thoughts on that one.

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  20. I LOVE Incendies. And watching The Honourable Woman (a TV masterpiece), also starring the great Lubna Azabal, has made me want it to rewatch it again.
    I also love Animal Kingdom, Black Swan, Warrior, Shame, Spring Breakers and The Master. And i ABSOLUTELY ADORE De Rouille et d'Os and Blue Valentine. They're two of the movies that have made me FEEL the most.
    I actually am quite astonished at how many of my favourite movies feature in this list. I only disagree on Upstream Color (you made me put my expectations too high, and while I admire the feat I really don't like movies without at least a glimpse of an argument -yeah, okay, a man puts worms inside people and then transfers a part of them to pigs so he can grow plants and cultivate more worms-) and I haven't seen yet The Tree of Life, Magic Mike, Dogtooth or Somewhere. I'm extremely curious of the last 3, but I'm definitely not getting near Malick.

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    1. Fair enough about Upstream. That, like many of the flicks here, are really polarizing. I honestly don't know if Somwhere would do it for you. It is very slow and very patient, so if you're not a Malick fan, I don't know if it'd work for you. But I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.

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  21. Selected 15 Films of the 2010’s (so far)

    This was a difficult choice as I rarely look at the dates on movies! Your list was very inspirational as I had only seen a handful of the movies, (some items to add to the “to watch” list) and it was a pleasure to see Kynodontas on there but I thought it was a 2009 release!? My bad if it is 2010 then it will definitely make my top 10 and is in my top 30 of all time!! I adore that film to so many levels. I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon and chuck in my Selected 15 films although the list is rough and off the top of my head, and I’m typing on my mobile so please excuse any strange auto corrections!

    01.Runsdkop 2011
    02.Jagten 2012
    03.The Hunter 2011
    04.Holy Motors 2012
    05.A Field in England 2013
    06.Mandariindi 2013
    07.Blutgletscher 2013
    08.Essential Killing 2010
    09.Kill List 2011
    10.Mientras Duermes 2011
    11.Les 7 Jours de talion 2010
    12.Beyond the Black Rainbow 2010
    13.Bellflower 2011
    14.Beasts of the Southern Wild 2012
    15.Thanatomorphose 2012






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    1. Years for foreign films are tricky. I think Dogtooth came out in Greece in '09, but I go by US release dates. It competed for the 2010 Oscar for Best Foreign Film, so I'm counting it for this decade. Love your picks by the way. Great to see foreign cinema represented so well there.

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  22. Interesting list! I agree with about half of it, but properly dislike a good chunk of these as well (particularly your bottom 2). My list is something like:

    15 either CALVARY or INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
    14 A SEPARATION
    13 WHIPLASH
    12 STRANGER BY THE LAKE
    11 SHAME
    10 ONCE UPON A TIME IN ANATOLIA
    9 12 YEARS A SLAVE
    8 SCOTT PILGRIM VS THE WORLD
    7 BLACK SWAN
    6 SPRING BREAKERS
    5 UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES
    4 THE SOCIAL NETWORK
    3 THE WOLF OF WALL STREET
    2 LAURENCE ANYWAYS
    1 HOLY MOTORS

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    1. Love that Holy Motors tops your list. I really need to see Once Upon a Time in Anatolia.

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  23. Tought i would pop in and share my toughts.Except the first one they are all in a random order. Great list by the way, Alex

    1.The Master
    2.Tinker, Tailor, Soildr, Spy
    3.Force Majeur/Turist
    4. Gangs Of Wasseypur part 1&2
    5. Map To The Stars
    6. Her
    7. Silver Linings Playbook
    8.Shame
    9.Whiplash
    10. Little Children
    11.Dogtoth
    12. Udaan
    13. 500 days of summer
    14. The Lunchbox
    15.Birdman

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    1. Good stuff man. So cool that Shame makes your list. Thanks for the comment!

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    2. John Smith: Dude... I just watched the one of the greets movies ever... I'll put it in instead of the Lunchboc which i don't understand putting in the first place.

      The movie is called Playe (2011) and it is by Ruben Östlund. It is among my top 5 of this decade!

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    3. Oh damn, I really want to see that now. I LOVED Force Majeure.

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  24. I take away 500 days of summer and put in Blue Valentine

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  25. Well I didn't see every film from 2010s but from the ones I saw here's my top 10 favorite films of 2010s.
    2 Everything 2 Terrible Tokyo Drift
    The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie!
    Howl
    Jackass 3D
    Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
    Rampart
    We Bought a Zoo
    The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2
    The Dance of Reality
    The Cobbler

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    1. Interesting list. I've seen some rough reviews of The Cobbler, but I'm still interested to check it out.

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    2. Don't do that. It's in this list because I laughed a lot at how bad it is. It was the experience, not the quality. But 2 Everything 2 Terrible Tokyo Drift is incredible and is my favorite of the Everything is Terrible. Most of this films are here because of my overall experience.

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    3. Okay, whew, I wondered if you were kidding on some of these haha. 2 Everything 2 Terrible Tokyo Drift sounds really interesting.

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  26. God I love this list. I can't argue with your top 4: Shame, Rust & Bone, Boyhood and Somewhere. I am slightly surprised you haven't included Blue Is The Warmest Colour which is drifting around my number 1 at the moment. And I adore that inclusion of Spring Breakers. Beautifully written Alex!

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    1. Thanks Angela! Blue is the Warmest Color is incredible, regardless of whether or not it's listed here, you know? Such an original and beautiful film. And that ending... that shit is life. Love that film.

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  27. Excellent list! I did pretty well - the only ones I didn't see are animal Kingdom, Dogtooth and Upstream Color. Love the inclusion of both Black Swan and Shame - my favorite movie and my #2 all time favorite male performance respectively

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    1. I thought you'd like those :)

      I'd love to hear your take on Dogtooth. Flick is fucked up crazy.

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  28. This list is SO great! I love so many of these, and it's awesome to see films like Spring Breakers, Dogtooth, and Warrior on here.

    My top 15 at the moment would be:

    1. Holy Motors
    2. Mommy
    3. Black Swan
    4. Hugo
    5. The Tree of Life
    6. Fish Tank
    7. Somewhere
    8. Gravity
    9. Cloud Atlas
    10. Before Midnight
    11. Certified Copy
    12. The Hunt
    13. Amour
    14. The Turin Horse
    15. Drive

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    1. Thanks man! Dude, I STILL need to see Mommy. No excuses anymore, I need to check that one out ASAP. I didn't know whether or not to count Fish Tank (is it a 2009 release...?) But if I did, it would definitely crack my Top 10.

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    2. Mommy is Dolan's best film yet. Hope you get to see it soon. I went by Fish Tank's US release date, but you could easily go by its original '09 release.

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    3. Man, I should've gone by Fish Tank's US release date too. I love, love, love that film. I'm going to do a whole Dolan weekend soon. Crush 'em all out.

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  29. Surprised, yet pleased to see Spring Breakers make your list! The editing alone is fantastic!! :)

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    1. I agree! That movie rocks. One of the best edited films I've ever seen.

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  30. Would still love to see a top 15 of each decade passed especially after this. You talk about these films with such vigor and passion it would be awesome to see what you thought of everything we all loved way back when :D

    And you did get me into Deliverance and Traffic in a massive way, BTW, so congrats :)

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    1. Thanks man! What a nice comment. I definitely will get cracking on those lists. So glad I could shed light on Deliverance and Traffic for you. Two of my all time favorites right there.

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    2. I cant believe i never discovered them before! Traffic has just got such a rich rawness to it's drama, and hell both are shot gorgeously. Deliverance again succeeds because it is REAL, and totally agree about that zoom. the best. :D

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    3. Awesome man. So happy you appreciate things like that zoom shot. That is everything right there. Just... VROOM, a savior is among us. Love it.

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  31. (I'll comment on this list in a few months. I still need to check a lot of these and other films.)
    Interesting that Mommy didn't make your list. I thought was great. The prologue is unnecessary, the movie runs too long, and the opening twenty minutes may well be a deal-breaker for you, but it's perfectly performed by Suzanne Clement, Antoine Olivier Pilon and especially by Anne Dorval, it's fantastically looking (shot by the same DP of Incendies), and it's hilarious and quite brutal at the same time. If you like it, let me know that.

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    1. I still haven't seen Mommy! Which is ridiculous. Need to get on it ASAP.

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    2. (ASAP=As Soon As Possible, never knew that.)
      I'm so curious about it. I think that you'll like it, I've read people that love it (A Fistful of Films, The Cinematic Spectacle). I'd also recommend Tom at the Farm, which is kind of gimmicky (don't search about that), but still great.

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    3. I've seen every other Dolan film, just have yet to tackle Mommy. I need to give them all a rewatch and do a Directors profile on him.

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  32. Great list here man, I'm not too far off from a lot of these choices. The 2010s just seem like they're gonna keep getting better and better. It's a good time to be a fan of film. Mine is as follows.

    1.Shame
    2. Drive
    3. The Wolf of Wall Street
    4. Birdman
    5. Moneyball
    6. Detatchment (Tony Kaye is so great. Fuck anyone who says different)
    7. The Social Network
    8.The Master
    9. Spring Breakers
    10. Prisoners

    Magic Mike is dripping with great cinematography, as to be expected from Steven Soderbergh. It's hard to tell people you like that movie as a 20 something black dude, this is my struggle. I think Side Effects is criminally underrated. Man was truly a master of the craft.

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    1. This comment rocks. A perfect Top 10 list followed by the line, "It's hard to tell people you like that movie as a 20 something black dude, this is my struggle." Fucking priceless.

      But seriously, I always love your comments, and so appreciate your praise for Soderbergh. Thanks for your insight!

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  33. Brilliant list! Especially Spring Breakers (inspired choice), Shame and Black Swan! :)

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    1. Thanks man! So happy you like the list.

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  34. I lot of good movies, and a lot I assume are good movies. Need to see Spring Breakers. I so meant to see Somewhere when it first came out.

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    1. Love both of those. Very different types of films, but Somewhere... man. I really identify with that one.

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  35. Hey, Alex! Sorry I haven't been commenting in a while.

    Cool list. Really interesting and honest choices there, one of the reasons why your blog is so addictive. Looking through the list and the comments, my wishlist practically doubled.

    My own list is something like this (only 1-8 are in any definitive order, the rest can be taken with a grain of salt).

    1) Under the Skin
    Everything you said about you and Shame applies here. When I saw Under the Skin in the theater, I was floored. If I can make anything half as good as this, I can die happy.
    2) Her
    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a film that captures the romanticism of being in love better than this. You really feel it here, you know?
    3) Beasts of the Southern Wild
    For my money, this movie beats Malick at his own game. Cinematic poetry at its best. I can’t wait for Benh Zeitlin’s next film. Sadly, though, he seems to have disappeared entirely, and the most recent news stories I could find about him was shortly after Beasts came out (perhaps he really is going the Malick route). Well, even if Beasts is his sole effort, it still cements him as one of the best in my book.
    4) Amour
    Like Her, this film really captures a feeling, but rather than romanticism, it goes for the harsh truth, not just of being in love, but of being alive. I have never been more aware of the fact I’m gonna die someday than when I was watching this film. Also, even though I’ve only seen three of his works, Michael Haneke quickly jumped up to being one of my all-time favorite directors, right up there with Kubrick.
    5) Seven Psychopaths
    I love this movie waayyyyyy more than I probably should, but I think it’s the one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. It’s like if Quentin Tarantino made Adaptation. And that graveyard scene deserves to go down in comedy history as one of the finest moments of dark comedy. “You can’t hurt the animals in a movie, okay, just the women.” The only screenwriting advice you’ll ever need. Hilarious.
    6) Moonrise Kingdom
    This is my second favorite Wes Anderson film, behind Rushmore. The story and style complement each other perfectly here. Every time I see it, I can’t resist falling in love with the little world it builds.
    7) Whiplash
    Similar to Mad Max: Fury Road, this also has non-stop adrenaline throughout. I once took band as an extracurricular activity, and Terrence Fletcher hits it right on the head. And I was in elementary school!
    8) Birdman
    Long takes, outstanding performances, a damn good story with just a hint of meta. In short, cinematic greatness.
    9) Mad Max: Fury Road
    I just saw this the other day, so perhaps I’m jumping the gun a bit, but this is hands down one of the best action movies in years. Non-stop adrenaline throughout, and Charlize Theron kicks a lot of ass here. Also, remember when I said that I had a major pet peeve with accelerated frame rate? Well, this is the exception, as the technique’s use here is perfect.
    10) Hugo
    I’m going to repeat a phrase I read a lot in reviews of this. “The reason we go to the movies.” Enough said.
    Honorable Mentions: Melancholia, Foxcatcher, Nightcrawler, The Place Beyond the Pines, Toy Story 3, The Babadook, Kill List

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    1. Hey Nickolas, all good man! This is such an epic comment, thanks for leaving it!

      Love your list, couldn’t agree more about your thoughts on Hugo. I enjoy that one so much more every time I watch it. Same with Under the Skin. It’s so singular and hypnotic. Never seen a film remotely like that one. Shit man, just typing about it now makes me want to rewatch it.

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  36. Considering your comments on Shame, it would be interesting to see your top 10 favorites re-visited someday, as you said the same thing about Dog Day Afternoon a while back, yet it missed the spot. A top 20 or 30, perhaps? ;D Would love to see it.

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    1. Was thinking about posting my Top 11-20 for my blogiversay next month! Both of those films would definitely be on it.

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