Over the past ten days, I’ve counted down the top 500 best films of the past ten years. Now, we’ve finally reached the end. Here are the top ten best films of the 2010s.
- You Were Never Really Here
The sight of Joaquin Phoenix carrying his mother’s corpse to the bottom of the lake is one of the most striking images in the history of cinema. When people talk about movies being an experience, this is what they’re talking about.
- First Reformed
“I know that nothing can change, and I know there is no hope” isn’t just the truest line in any film ever written, but also the catalyst for the most honest depiction of faith to ever come from the medium.
The “all in one shot” style of filmmaking is more than a gimmick, and is the only way to tell this story and depict war with this amount of grace and brutality. The physicality of the performers is absolutely astounding, and the film’s potent, yet never obvious commentary on the small victories of war is powerful. Sam Mendes has time and time again proven to be auteur who can reshape any genre in his own image- it’s an astounding achievement.
The best James Bond film ever made, Skyfall delivers on any visceral thrillers we could’ve asked for from this series with phenomenal set pieces, whilst literally deconstructing Bond’s origins, because after over twenty films, we’re still wondering who this guy really is. Roger Deakins has shot one of the most beautiful looking movies of the decade, but credit is due to both Javier Bardem as the villain that really got under Bond’s skin and Judi Dench as the only woman he ever saw as his better.
- Blade Runner 2049
Quite simply, the greatest sequel ever made; this is a film that looks like a visual painting and utilizes every element of noir to be engrossing, shortly before dumping an emotional wall on anyone who’s ever wondered why the most beautiful things never last.
- The World’s End
A critique of nostalgia from the perspective of someone trying to relive their youth, The World’s End is the crowning achievement of Edgar Wright’s career, both as an emotional gut punch to all those who wish their life had been better and a joyous expression of an artist reveling in their own mythology.
- The Nice Guys
No film deserved to be a franchise more than this; I cannot express the amount of joy I’ve gotten from Ryan Gosling’s catalogue of great quotes in this film, or Shane Black’s eclectic mix of violence and sex into a film that manages to be both cynical and sincere.
- Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
A collection of thoughts, musings, and misadventures about the Golden Age of Hollywood and the innocence that ended with it, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a complete celebration of the era that doesn’t mock its history and codes all its humor in a warm blanket of sincerity. The end if among the most provocative things Tarantino has ever done, molding history into a more optimistic version of what it was.
- The Social Network
Whip smart and stunningly cool, The Social Network holds up a decade later as the film that disassembled what it’s like to communicate in a more connected world, and the doomed friendship that shaped the internet as it is. It’s scarily prophetic.
- The Big Short
The crowning achievement of modern cinema. Thrilling in its approach, hilarious in its presentation, and ultimately crushing in its finality, The Big Short is the epitome of what this decade was. Whether you view it as a pitch black satire, a searing political indictment, a meditation on failure, or a dark comedy about the consequences of greed, this was the film that presented the chaos of the world into a breathless surge of energy.