Skip to main content

Best of the Decade: The Top Ten Films of the 2010s

As the 2010s draw to a close, it's time to look back on the best films of the decade. 

10. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

The 2010s at the movies were defined by the massive success of the superhero genre. For me, the best superhero flick of the decade was Christopher Nolan's trilogy capping The Dark Knight Rises. The scale was epic and comic book-y, but the human drama was real and powerful. Watching this movie is really fun, but not because they shoehorn in a joke every five minutes to keep the tone light like the factory-made Marvel movies. Also, Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle is a really underrated performance. Every minute she's on screen is terrific. 

9. Muppets Most Wanted (2014)

It's been a decade of real ups-and-downs for the puppet-filled comedy group. It started out strong with a comeback in The Muppets (2011), but the lukewarm box office receipts for the sequel basically killed their viability as a big screen franchise. They tried television again with a funny and exciting show The Muppets (2015), but that only lasted one season due to disappointing ratings. And since then, it's been pretty quiet on the Muppet front. To me, the pinnacle of the Muppet rebirth period has to be Muppets Most Wanted, a goofy romp with great songs. I loved it so much when I first saw it, I felt the need to start a blog and tell the world about it. Read my very first ChannelTim post here

8. Cold War (2018)


Paweł Pawlikowski's stunning Cold War is a reminder that short movies are better. The plot, an ill-fated love story between musicians, spans decades and countries, but the movie clocks in at a tight 88 minutes. It's not padded out to add to its self-importance, it relies simply on a story with a searing emotional center, two terrific performances from Joanna Kulig and Tomasz Kot and stunning black-and-white cinematography.
7. Bridesmaids (2011)


One of the funniest movies of the decade, Bridesmaids is probably also one of the most influential films of the decade. R-rated comedies, often starring women, are basically the only type of comedy that Hollywood produces anymore, as studios hope to recapture the magic of Paul Feig's film. Few have been able to, however,  but it doesn't matter since Bridesmaids (which has an amazing cast including Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne and Melissa McCarthy) has an endless rewatchability quality. 
6. Two Days, One Night (2014)


Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne's particular style of naturalistic depictions of Belgium's working class reached a new height when they made the unexpected choice to have international superstar Marion Cotillard star in one of their films. The result was an unforgettable film about economic constraints on the bonds of community, with an incredibly human performance from Cotillard at its center. 
5. Allied (2016)


For anyone counting, yes, this is the third Marion Cotillard movie on this list. What can I say, the woman makes good career choices! I loved Allied when it came out, and my love has only grown with repeat viewings. It's a beautifully-made spy thriller and I would love to see Hollywood make more movies like it.

4. Personal Shopper (2017)


Olivier Assayas made several films this decade about the ways technology has changed communication, our relationships and our relationship to culture. The most arresting of these of examinations is Personal Shopper, a movie that hauntingly teases out the distance between ourselves and other people that exists even as we connect through our phones and computers. 
3. Gone Girl (2014)


David Fincher is a director whose work often does not connect with me as much as it seems to with other people, but he has made some undeniably brilliant films, including his adaptation of Gillian Flynn's novel Gone Girl. A surprising but effective match of material and director, Gone Girl takes aim at a bunch of crime story tropes and does so with impeccable style. And few performances are as instantly iconic as Rosamund Pike playing Amy Elliot Dunne. 
2. Somewhere (2010)


For the purposes of this list, I decided to it limit it to one film per director. That left me with the impossible choice of which Sofia Coppola film to include, as she is my favorite living director and made three very good films this decade. I heavily considered choosing the wildly under-appreciated The Bling Ring, but, ultimately I have to go with Somewhere, which I consider to be her masterpiece. 
1. Mistress America (2015)


Few voices have come to define this decade in film more so than that of Greta Gerwig. Both in her own films and her collaborations with Noah Baumbach, Gerwig has consistently enchanted audiences with sharp and witty films. My favorite of these is Mistress America, a high-spirited and hilarious comedy that is also poignant and wise. I'll never understand why this one did not get as much attention as Frances Ha and Lady Bird

Thank you for reading my list of the top ten movies of the 2010s! Leave a comment or share your own list below!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

"My Mind Turns Your Life Into Folklore": Why Taylor Swift's "Gold Rush" Is a Song About Songwriting

"My mind turns your life into folklore." That line, from the song "Gold Rush," is the only time the word "folklore" is spoken on either of Taylor Swift's 2020 records, Folklore and Evermore , the latter of which is where the song appears. The presence of the line indicates that "Gold Rush" is a pivotal song not only in Swift's lockdown duology, but in her maturation as a songwriter.  Swift's early albums often drew heavily from her own experiences, with fans and the media scouring her lyrics for clues as to which ex-boyfriend her numerous breakup songs referred. Her tumultuous dating life made as many headlines as her music, in part because it informed so much of the music. The discourse was often ridiculous and reductive, and thankfully, that period of her career is over (Swift has been in a relationship with the actor Joe Alwyn since 2016).  Both of her 2020 albums have their fair share of autobiographical songs, but they also see

Every Julie London Album Ranked

Last month, for school I had to write a long research paper about 17th century Flemish flower paintings, which was a bit outside my comfort zone. So, I needed writing music and a lot of it. After listening a bit to Amazon Music's playlist "Big Band Christmas", I came across the song "Warm in December" by Julie London. It was a name I'd heard before, but I knew next to nothing about her. But the song was good enough to send me to Wikipedia, where I learned that London released 30 albums in the 14 years between 1955 and 1969. Most of the material she recorded was standards, the kind I spent most of 2020 listening to, so I decided that listening to London's entire discography (in order) would be perfect for writing my paper. Now, the paper's done ( I got an A), and I'm left with many, many thoughts about Julie London.  A film actress before releasing her first album, Julie is Her Name , in 1955, London had a mega-hit single with "Cry Me a River

Ranking the "Mission: Impossible" Films Worst to Best

The Mission: Impossible movies, based on the 1966-73 television series, are about Ethan Hunt and the Impossible Mission Force doing something that seems impossible at first, but always ends up being possible. Tom Cruise stars in all the films as Ethan, and other members of the team are Luther (Ving Rhames) and Benji (Simon Pegg). I like the Mission: Impossible movies because each film has a different director and thus each one has their own distinctive feel. Sure, there are a couple of constants (Cruise is in them all, they all are spy/action movies, and they all have people wearing masks - a nod to the TV show),  but going into a Mission: Impossible movie you are never quite sure what you are going to get.  Sometimes it's a silly fun spy franchise, other times it feels like nothing more than an excuse for Tom Cruise do to some sort of crazy stunt. Since the first film was released in 1996, there have been five movies, with a sixth on the way. Here's how I would rank the m