2019 is wrapping up and, like I’m sure many others will its time to look back on the decade of the 2010s. Movies are always one of my favorite subjects so this seems like as good a time as any to address my favorite movies of the last decade. Trust me, my opinion is going to be far from the definitive list. I’m all about the big budget spectacle so a lot of these choices may be obvious, but there are some on here that I think few people will have on their lists. These are just the movies I enjoyed the most in the last 10 years. In no particular order. Feel free to leave your own favorites in the comments. There is no fixed amount. These films were the ones I felt worthy of highlighting. I said I was going to post on Saturday but I got it finished up early so I figured I’d put it out now.
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
After ridiculously high buzz from critics I figured it was probably my in my best interest to check out Mad Max: Fury Road during its opening weekend, and man I’m glad I did. This one of the most high energy action movies I’ve ever seen. The plot was simple and the characters were really fun. I watched it 3-4 times shortly after it landed on bluray, and while I’ll never get that first theater experience again its still pretty fun to watch at home. Its a true underdog story after years in development hell. There was one point where Mel Gibson may have been Max, then Heath Ledger was going to play the role up until his death, eventually the role went to Tom Hardy. There are some issues that will likely mean we’ll never get a sequel, which is okay, because I’m honestly convinced they could never top it.
Baby Driver (2017)
Baby Driver was the first Edgar Wright film I got a chance to see theatrically and it ended up being my favorite movie of the year when it came out. The chase scenes are great whether they are on wheels or foot. It has one of the best soundtracks of the decade and all the characters are fun. The attention to detail and the editing are both very impressive. That Ansel Elgort kid is great in this even though he’s a total douche in real life.
For as dark as this movie is I’ve gone back and watched Prisoners again 3 or 4 times, and I always seem to get more out of it. This was the movie that sort of introduced Denis Villeneuve to the world, and ever since he’s been giving us some top notch movies. It makes you wonder what you would do if you were in the situation Hugh Jackman’s character is in. Makes you wonder how far you would go to save a loved one. The movie went without a single Oscar nomination, which is a shame. Still, this one has always been my favorite Villeneuve film, although Arrival is a close second.
Black Panther (2018)
When Black Panther got an Oscar nomination last year it sort of seemed like everyone just decided “well, I guess we have to hate it now”. Personally I think its the best MCU movie yet, even it doesn’t have the big moments of Avengers team up movies all the characters are fully realized. It was very timely and it weird to say this, but Black Panther himself may have been one of the weaker characters in the movie. The ensemble around him is that good.
One of the best theater experiences I’ve ever had. Interstellar is an epic movie and its among my favorite movies from Christopher Nolan. Matthew McConaughey at the peak of the McConisance is the best McConaughey. Few people can get the studios to stand behind a big original movie like this, so I’m glad Nolan uses his credibility to bring us great original projects. Some people have problems with the ending, but man its a hell of a ride.
Me and my buddy went to see Zootopia at like 1 in the afternoon on a Sunday. We were the only adults there that weren’t with kids. Then we spent the whole movie laughing harder than the kids did. I don’t care if its a kids movie. I love it anyway. Its got a fairly simple, kid friendly message, but its the first time I’ve really loved an animated movie in a long time.
I really relate to Seth MacFarlane’s form of humor, so I was massively excited for his directorial debut Ted. I know it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I still consider it to be hilarious. Studio comedies are so hit and miss now, but this is one of the best of the decade if you just want to laugh as far as I’m concerned. I come back to it on a consistent basis and get lots of laughs. I like the sequel more than most people too.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)
Even though its set in the 90s I’ve always seen The Perks of Being a Wallflower being MY coming of age movie because it came out around the same time I graduated from high school. The characters are relatable and it doesn’t gloss over significant issues. Still, its one of those movies that puts a smile on your face when all is said and done.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
There had to be one Star Wars movie. The Force Awakens still stands as my favorite Star Wars movie of the Disney era. I remember getting myself stressed out in the days before the release of the movie because I so desperately wanted it to be good. It totally lived up to the hype and it was full of fan service, which was nice after such a long break. Plus, I fell in love with the new characters almost instantly. I still consider it to be one of the most rewatchable Star Wars movies.
Hacksaw Ridge (2016)
Mel Gibson got to experience a bit of a comeback with Hacksaw Ridge. A war film that took on a very simple premise, but it was still so powerful. Gibson may be a less reputable person, but he sure knows how to make a damn fine movie. Andrew Garfield acts his ass off in it too. I really hope that Mel Gibson gets back in the director’s chair again soon. Vince Vaughn is sort of an MVP of this one too.
Brigsby Bear (2017)
Brigsby Bear probably has the lowest budget of all my choices. I was so surprised by how much I was going to relate to this movie. Its a little independent movie that shows you how great it is to create, and be a fan of things. If you’ve never seen it I recommend checking it out and avoiding any spoilers, but its a very original and heartwarming movie. Its also got a very good Mark Hamill performance that few people noticed because it came out around the same time as The Last Jedi.
A Star is Born (2018)
I live in a town that is about an hour away from a movie theater. So I was very surprised that A Star is Born had so much buzz in my little town. That motivated me to check it out and it was a hell of a ride. Its got one of the coolest opening scenes I’ve seen in a theater, the opening performance almost felt like a real concert. All the music is great, and Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper are awesome. I did have some problems with the ending because I felt like it was a bit overdramatic, but this is movie I’m going to keep coming back to.
Deadpool spent years in development hell and fans were disgusted with how he was portrayed in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but still Ryan Reynolds stuck with the character and was able to give us one of the more authentic comic book hero performances yet. The plot behind Deadpool is pretty simple, but it proved to be so rewatchable for me. At first I thought it was a decent, but not particularly memorable movie. Now I love it. Some say the sequel was better, not me.
10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)
I don’t care for the first Cloverfield, but 10 Cloverfield Lane is one of my favorite movies. It was a complete secret until a trailer debuted a month before the movie was set to come out. Just for the ballsiness of the marketing campaign I had to see it. Apparently this movie was a film that was completely done and then JJ Abrams added the monster element to the movie after it was already finished. There is definitively a LOST influence, which is another JJ Abrams project. John Goodman is an actor I’ve always loved and he’s great in this.
Cancer movies are often emotionally manipulative garbage, much like dog movies, but 50/50 had an authenticity that other films don’t have. It certainly has some emotional moments too, but it earns them. Its also a pretty good bro-movie, and there are some good laughs. I really enjoy Seth Rogen, even at his worst, but he’s a lot more mild in this movie than he is when he’s a lead. Joseph Gordon-Levitt steals the show as well. JGL really had as good of decade as anyone. He was in several pretty big movies over the last 10 years.
Sing Street (2016)
Sing Street is one of the more underappreciated films of the decade. Its a easy film to enjoy. Its easy to relate to and its got a great soundtrack of classic songs and original songs. John Carney mostly direcst films that involve music. There is definitely a lot of nostalgia in this, even if you didn’t grow up in the 80s. I really liked Begin Again too, he makes charming movies that make you happy and there is nothing wrong with that.
Hereditary has a complex plot that isn’t going to work for everybody. If you’re a mainstream movergoer you’ll probably hate it, but this movie was legitimately horrifying at spots. Its a film that has been examined a lot since its release. Toni Collette gives and amazing performance and it was a crime that she wasn’t nominated for an Oscar just because of the stigma around horror movies. Hereditary also would have functioned as a great family drama without including the horror elements. Its not a film I’ll return to often, but its very well done.
For some reason I wasn’t entirely in love with Moneyball the first time I saw it. I caught it on Netflix a couple of times over the years and its really grown to become a favorite. I’m not a big baseball fan, but baseball movies often end up being some of my favorite movies. Moneyball is now sort of labeled as an “anti-sport” movie. Aaron Sorkin co-wrote the script and its so well written. It gives the audience a glimpse into the war rooms of a Major League Baseball team. Brad Pitt’s performance is one of his best ever here and this is probably going to go down as one of the best sports movies of all time.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)
This year was the first time I actually went to the theater to check out a Quentin Tarantino movie. It was such a great experience. Personally, I think Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is possibly Tarantino’s most accessible film to date. It shows off how much of a film nut he is. Its a bit long, but I can handle that because the film creates a world that you just want to live in. Leonardo Dicaprio and Brad Pitt have something to offer once again. Both give performances that are among their best. Plus, its got an amazing ending.
That’s my list. Please list some of your favorites of the decade. This list took me a long time. I’ve been thinking about what to include for a few months now. If there are worthy movies you find missing its possible. There are still so many movies from the past decade that I haven’t seen.
What are your favorite movies of the last decade?