Top 100 Films of the Decade: 2010-2019

If you asked me in 2010 which studios’ films would be amongst my favorites over the next ten years, I probably would have answered two correctly: Fox Searchlight (11) and Sony Pictures Classics (7). Those are two independent shingles of big Hollywood names that have been pumping out quality pictures for decades. Next up would have been The Weinstein Company (5), Warner Bros. (4), Paramount (4), Universal (4), and Sony Pictures (3) because they were cinema. So why are they barely beating those other two combined? Because the game changed.

A24 (9) hit the scene in 2012 and bet big on artists. Drafthouse Films (3) bowed in 2010 before evolving to NEON (3) in 2017. Magnolia (6), IFC Films (5), and Oscilloscope (3) kept growing. And the streamers arrived with Amazon (4), Netflix (2), and Hulu (1) providing top-tier content.

It’s only going to get wilder as the behemoth that is Disney/Fox unveils its strategy while A24, NEON, and the like continue to fill the void Weinstein has left. I hope it all becomes even more chaotic than it already is because it means money will be thrown at filmmakers of all genders, sexuality, and backgrounds to bring audiences unique visions unlike any we’ve seen before. More competition is never a bad thing (especially when the likes of Disney continue seeking to destroy it).

Until then, however, here are the 100 films (in alphabetical order) that left their mark on me the past ten years. I cheated a bit by simply compiling all my revised Top 10s together, but the margin of error between a #8 selection and a #15 is so small that having a built-in cutoff didn’t sacrifice much (while saving me increased levels of stress whittling things down). I’m pretty happy with the mix. And if you’re desperate to know what my #1 is … just look at the header image. (It’s Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight.)

Au revoir, 2010s.


12 Years a Slave

  • 2013 | Steve McQueen | Fox Searchlight Pictures
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

50/50

  • 2011 | Jonathan Levine | Summit Entertainment
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

The Act of Killing

  • 2012 | Joshua Oppenheimer | Drafthouse Films
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

Ain’t Them Bodies Saints

  • 2013 | David Lowery | IFC Films
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

American Animals

  • 2018 | Bart Layton | The Orchard
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

Aniara

  • 2019 | Pella Kågerman & Hugo Lilja | Magnolia Pictures
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

Arrival

  • 2016 | Denis Villeneuve | Paramount Pictures
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

Beasts of the Southern Wild

  • 2012 | Benh Zeitlin | Fox Searchlight Pictures
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

  • 2014 | Alejandro G. Iñárritu | Fox Searchlight Pictures
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

Black Swan

  • 2010 | Darren Aronofsky | Fox Searchlight Pictures
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

Blue Valentine

  • 2010 | Derek Cianfrance | The Weinstein Company
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

Call Me By Your Name

  • 2017 | Luca Guadagnino | Sony Pictures Classics
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

Calvary

  • 2014 | John Michael McDonagh | Fox Searchlight Pictures
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

Carlos

  • 2010 | Olivier Assayas | IFC Films
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

Carol

  • 2015 | Todd Haynes | The Weinstein Company
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

Cloud Atlas

  • 2012 | Tom Tykwer, Lana Wachowski & Lilly Wachowski | Warner Bros.
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

Coherence

  • 2014 | James Ward Byrkit | Oscilloscope
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

The Diary of a Teenage Girl

  • 2015 | Marielle Heller | Sony Pictures Classics
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

Dunkirk

  • 2017 | Christopher Nolan | Warner Bros.
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

Enemy

  • 2014 | Denis Villeneuve | A24
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

Ex Machina

  • 2015 | Alex Garland | A24
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

The Farewell

  • 2019 | Lulu Wang | A24
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

The Fighter

  • 2010 | David O. Russell | Paramount Pictures
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

First Man

  • 2018 | Damien Chazelle | Universal Pictures
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

For Sama

  • 2019 | Waad Al-Kateab & Edward Watts | PBS
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

Frances Ha

  • 2013 | Noah Baumbach | IFC Films / Sundance Selects
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

Fruitvale Station

  • 2013 | Ryan Coogler | The Weinstein Company
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

Fury

  • 2014 | David Ayer | Columbia Pictures / Sony Pictures Releasing
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

Get Out

  • 2017 | Jordan Peele | Universal Pictures
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

Gisaengchung [Parasite]

  • 2019 | Bong Joon-ho | Neon
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

Hell or High Water

  • 2016 | David Mackenzie | CBS Films
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

Hellion

  • 2014 | Kat Candler | IFC Films / Sundance Selects
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

Her

  • 2013 | Spike Jonze | Lionsgate
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

High-Rise

  • 2016 | Ben Wheatley | Magnolia Pictures
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

Holy Motors

  • 2012 | Leos Carax | Indomina Releasing
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

Honey Boy

  • 2019 | Alma Har’el | Amazon Studios
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

Hunt for the Wilderpeople

  • 2016 | Taika Waititi | The Orchard
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

I Am Not Your Negro

  • 2016 | Raoul Peck | Magnolia Pictures
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

If Beale Street Could Talk

  • 2018 | Barry Jenkins | Annapurna Pictures
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

Inception

  • 2010 | Christopher Nolan | Warner Bros.
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

Inch’Allah

  • 2012 | Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette | Entertainment One
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

Inside Out

  • 2015 | Pete Docter | Disney / Pixar
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

Intouchables [The Intouchables]

  • 2011 | Olivier Nakache & Éric Toledano | The Weinstein Company
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

Io sono l’amore [I Am Love]

  • 2010 | Luca Guadagnino | Magnolia Pictures
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

It Comes at Night

  • 2017 | Trey Edward Shults | A24
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

Jackie

  • 2016 | Pablo Larraín | Fox Searchlight Pictures
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

Jagten [The Hunt]

  • 2013 | Thomas Vinterberg | Magnolia Pictures
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

James White

  • 2015 | Josh Mond | The Film Arcade
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

Jusqu’à la garde [Custody]

  • 2018 | Xavier Legrand | Kino Lorber
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

Lady Macbeth

  • 2017 | William Oldroyd | Roadside Attractions
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

Leave No Trace

  • 2018 | Debra Granik | Bleecker Street Media
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

Looper

  • 2012 | Rian Johnson | TriStar Pictures / Sony Pictures Releasing
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

Luce

  • 2019 | Julius Onah | Neon
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

Mad Max: Fury Road

  • 2015 | George Miller | Warner Bros.
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

Madeline’s Madeline

  • 2018 | Josephine Decker | Oscilloscope
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

Manchester by the Sea

  • 2016 | Kenneth Lonergan | Amazon Studios
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

Marriage Story

  • 2019 | Noah Baumbach | Netflix
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

The Master

  • 2012 | Paul Thomas Anderson | The Weinstein Company
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

Melancholia

  • 2011 | Lars von Trier | Magnolia Pictures
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

Midnight in Paris

  • 2011 | Woody Allen | Sony Pictures Classics
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

Minding the Gap

  • 2018 | Bing Liu | Hulu
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

Moonlight

  • 2016 | Barry Jenkins | A24
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

Mudbound

  • 2017 | Dee Rees | Netflix
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

Never Let Me Go

  • 2010 | Mark Romanek | Fox Searchlight Pictures
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

Oslo, 31. August [Oslo, August 31st]

  • 2011 | Joachim Trier | Strand Releasing
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

ParaNorman

  • 2012 | Chris Butler & Sam Fell | Laika Entertainment / Focus Features
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

Pariah

  • 2011 | Dee Rees | Focus Features
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

  • 2012 | Stephen Chbosky | Summit Entertainment
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

Portrait de la jeune fille en feu [Portrait of a Lady on Fire]

  • 2019 | Céline Sciamma | Neon
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

A Quiet Passion

  • 2017 | Terence Davies | Music Box Films
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

Rabbit Hole

  • 2010 | John Cameron Mitchell | Lionsgate
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

Relatos salvajes [Wild Tales]

  • 2014 | Damián Szifron | Sony Pictures Classics
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

Rundskop [Bullhead]

  • 2011 | Michaël R. Roskam | Drafthouse Films
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

Saul fia [Son of Saul]

  • 2015 | László Nemes | Sony Pictures Classics
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

  • 2010 | Edgar Wright | Universal Pictures
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

Selma

  • 2014 | Ava DuVernay | Paramount Pictures
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

Shame

  • 2011 | Steve McQueen | Fox Searchlight Pictures
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

Short Term 12

  • 2013 | Destin Daniel Cretton | Cinedigm
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

The Social Network

  • 2010 | David Fincher | Columbia Pictures / Sony Pictures Releasing
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

Sound of My Voice

  • 2012 | Zal Batmanglij | Fox Searchlight Pictures
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

Spotlight

  • 2015 | Tom McCarthy | Open Road Films
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

Spring

  • 2015 | Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead | Drafthouse Films
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

Spring Breakers

  • 2013 | Harmony Korine | A24
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

The Standoff at Sparrow Creek

  • 2019 | Henry Dunham | RLJ Entertainment
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

Steve Jobs

  • 2015 | Danny Boyle | Universal Pictures
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

Thelma

  • 2017 | Joachim Trier | The Orchard
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

  • 2017 | Martin McDonagh | Fox Searchlight Pictures
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

Toni Erdmann

  • 2016 | Maren Ade | Sony Pictures Classics
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

Transit

  • 2018 | Christian Petzold | Music Box Films
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

The Tree of Life

  • 2011 | Terrence Malick | Fox Searchlight Pictures
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

Under the Skin

  • 2014 | Jonathan Glazer | A24
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

Upstream Color

  • 2013 | Shane Carruth | erbp
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

Waves

  • 2019 | Trey Edward Shults | A24
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

We Need to Talk About Kevin

  • 2011 | Lynne Ramsay | Oscilloscope
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

Whiplash

  • 2014 | Damien Chazelle | Sony Pictures Classics
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

Wildlife

  • 2018 | Paul Dano | IFC Films
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

The Witch

  • 2016 | Robert Eggers | A24
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

The Wolf of Wall Street

  • 2013 | Martin Scorsese | Paramount Pictures
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review

Wonderstruck

  • 2017 | Todd Haynes | Amazon Studios
    ★ ★ ★ ½ | Review

You Were Never Really Here

  • 2018 | Lynne Ramsay | Amazon Studios
    ★ ★ ★ ★ | Review


List is also available on Letterboxd.

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