my favorite movies of the decade
the list is ranked, but only in the loosest, broadest sense. my top ten feel the most solid to me, in part because I wrote them and submitted them to BW/DR and now I cannot undo that. everything that happens after that is… who can say? it was not so simple as culling down my top ten list from every year. there are movies I’ve forgotten about, movies I’m not sure about, movies I might need another decade to sit with.
here’s what felt timely and wonderful and moving and interesting to me. it was a great decade for movies. I loved watching them, and I loved writing about them. I am 100% right.
a few honorable mentions, arranged by year:
Weekend, Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol (the Jeremy Renner performance of the decade), Fast Five (peak dumb), Young Adult, Skyfall, Spring Breakers, Short Term 12 (the Brie Larson performance of the decade), Under The Skin, Nebraska, John Wick, Two Days, One Night, Sicario (on one hand, reprehensible, and on the other hand, Blunt and Deakins), 45 Years, Far From The Madding Crowd (jk?), Moonlight, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (*chef’s kiss*), Call Me By Your Name, Dunkirk, Lady Macbeth, Support The Girls, Burning, Paddington 2 (look…), Uncut Gems (this decade’s A Serious Man), The Farewell, and Transit.
25. Everybody Wants Some!!
Tyler Hoechlin, a guy I never think about even though we both have Hoe– last names, is so great, and Glen Powell is a star and Wyatt Russell breaks my heart. a really lovely ode to being hot and young. wonder if I’ll ever be either!
24. Crimson Peak
when was the last time you rewatched this? it not only holds up, but somehow keeps getting better and better upon every rewatch. the monsters are beautiful and the Jessica Chastain is in sicko mode. my favorite Guillermo del Toro of this decade!
maybe it is “embarrassing” to “love” “Christopher Nolan movies,” but I do not give a shit! it would be fun to relive the summer that I saw this in theaters four times. what a ride.
Carol lives in New Jersey, and so do I.
21. Slow West
lush and gorgeous and violent and pointless. my kind of western! Ben Mendelsohn wears the big coat.
20. Inside Llewyn Davis
ooh, I just love the scene where Llewyn goes to his ex-girlfriend’s house and just wants to put his stuff down for a second because he is so tired. who among us has not wanted to just put their stuff down for a second because they are so tired? if I think about this movie too long, I get cripplingly sad, xoxo.
19. 20th Century Women
basically a miracle.
18. Sleeping With Other People
the meltdown that Adam Brody’s character has in the beginning of the movie is worth the price of admission alone. that said, this, to me, is a truly great romantic comedy: messy and legitimately funny and genuinely romantic. I saw it in theaters, and then I walked around the block several times, and then I deleted the phone number of someone who had been horrible to me.
I played drums in high school, but it went normal for me actually. jk, everything that is worthwhile about my work ethic came from my high school music education which also fundamentally broke me as a person (way more than the internet ever can or will). and that rules!
16. Obvious Child
affecting and joyful. one of the most gorgeous Richard Kind performances ever committed to film. I dunno, it’s all handled so elegantly, with grace and humor and compassion. I never agreed that it was a “subversive” romcom just because it dealt honestly with abortion; I think that only enriched the text of what it is. the scene where Slate is crying in the doctor’s office because an abortion is the same price of her rent just guts me every time. anyway, I agree that most comedians just want to end up with a consultant or whatever.
15. Minding The Gap
14. Magic Mike XXL
art! legitimate art! Joe Manganiello deserved at least a Golden Globe nomination. again, I am right!
13. Gone Girl
so nasty and meticulous and funny and brutal. the Ben Affleck performance of the century so far (last century’s was Shakespeare In Love).
I’ll tell you in person.
11. First Reformed
we are so fucked :)
10. The Handmaiden
my favorite “we gotta get over on all these guys” of the decade, and that’s including the movie where someone says “we gotta get over on all these guys” which did, in fact, come out this decade. gorgeous and really funny and dare I say, almost too porny, but also the actual best time I had at the movies this past decade.
9. Anna Karenina
When I am feeling sad, bored, depressed, sick, stupid, useless, whatever, this is the movie I watch. an incredible Jude Law performance, an incredible Matthew Macfadyen performance, an incredible Domhnall Gleeson performance, an incredible Alicia Vikander performance, a totally fine Aaron Taylor-Johnson performance (thighs thicc :/), and an incredible Keira Knightley performance! I love it! Leave me alone!
8. Get Out
Daniel Kaluuya gives the best performance of the decade, maybe even the century.
7. Frances Ha
my name is Frances. :)
6. Phantom Thread
I can’t believe this movie exists.
5. Cloud Atlas
I believe wholeheartedly that this is the most 2010s movie of the 2010s. I wish I had the time, space, energy to write about it, but I think that might take another decade to figure out. Cloud Atlas could only exist now, and I sadly believe no other film will come close to its ambition ever again. messy and imperfect and absurd, and an almost impossible sell to even my most beloved friends, so I have no idea how this actually came to exist. the world (the worlds) on screen are so lush and loved, and the movie’s core conceit — that an act of goodness can ripple across time and place — is perhaps the most optimistic outlook on what’s to come in our lives. and, all said and done, my favorite score of the decade.
4. Force Majeure
I somehow formed my entire personality around this movie for the last five years of my life, and I can’t wait to see what happens to me next.
3. The Lost City Of Z
there’s a conversation between Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam) and his wife Nina (Sienna Miller) approximately 12 minutes into the movie that is so tender and golden and lived-in. I cry every time even though I know it’s coming. at the end of the day, the jungle will come for us all, but you’re welcome to go out and meet it halfway. I love Robert Pattinson’s tiny glasses.
2. The Social Network
can someone make one of those bad sans serif shirts for me that says, “JESSE & ANDREW & JUSTIN & ROONEY & ARMIE & MAX & RASHIDA”? thank you for all of the good quotes from the past ten years.
1. Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller)
it’s a poem, stupid.