Top 100 Best Movies of the 2010s: 20-11

rocketman-nypost

(Source: New York Post)

20. Rocketman (2019) – I have been waiting for my whole life to see an Elton John biopic. Years after being in development hell, Dexter Fletcher has made one only the singer himself really deserves. Rocketman is more than just a biopic. It’s also a jukebox musical and fantasy wrapped into one. Taron Egerton gives enough charisma and energy as Elton, as he rises to fame while taking his descent into sex and drug addiction. Not to mention, he does his own singing to give the movie enough authenticity. I don’t think a gay actor would play the singer justice. To quote Fletcher in an interview with Peter Travers, “As a director, I have no right to inquire what an actor’s sexuality is…It’s just none of my business.”

lady-bird-hr

(Source: The Hollywood Reporter)

19. Lady Bird (2017) – Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut is a love letter to her hometown of Sacramento. The result couldn’t be more electrifying. This coming-of-age story stars Saoirse Ronan as a senior at an all-girls Catholic high school as she goes through life throughout her school year; applying to New York colleges, developing romantic relationships with sweet-boy Danny (Lucas Hedges) and the too-cool-for-school bass player Kyle (Timothee Chalamet), and, more importantly, getting the respect from her mother (Laurie Metcalf). 

I have never seen a high-school movie over the past ten years so funny and brutally honest. The highlight is the relationship between Lady Bird and her mother. It’s clear that the two love each other, but Lady Bird wishes her mother would understand what she’s going through. She is not upset about politics at all. She’s a smart girl with good intentions and a good friend in Julie (Beanie Feldstein). Even when Lady Bird writes her essay about her love for Sacramento, she’s surprised, admitting, “I guess I pay attention.” With an excellent cast, an offbeat sense of humor, Sam Levy’s smooth cinematography, and Gerwig’s confident direction, Lady Bird is a powerhouse of a movie.

A STAR IS BORN

(Source: Variety)

18. A Star is Born (2018) – There were three different versions of A Star is Born–the 1937 original, starring Janet Gaynor, and the popular remakes in 1954, starring Judy Garland, and 1976, starring Barbara Streisand and Kris Kristofferson. Years after being in production hell, Bradley Cooper directs himself and Lady Gaga in a version that would have easily been too corny. What Cooper and his brilliant cast here is something extraordinary. As Jackson Maine, Cooper gives a realistic portrayal of how a singer drifts away further from his lover by alcoholism and drug addiction. Sam Elliott’s Bobby is trying to everything he can to help his younger brother. All the songs are originals and the drama is hard-hitting without being too manipulative. If there is another version of A Star is Born in the future, this will be a tough one to beat.

brooklyn-santafenewmexican

(Source: Santa Fe New Mexican)

17. Brooklyn (2015) – Saoirse Ronan has come a long way since her breakthrough role in 2007’s Atonement. The Irish actress pays tribute to her parents (who moved from Ireland to the Bronx in the 1980s) in this lovely, old-fashioned love story based on Colm Tóibín’s novel of the same name. Ronan gives the performance of her career as Eilis, an immigrant who falls in love with an Italian-American plumber named Tony (Emory Cohen, also just as good). However, things get complicated when she hears the news about her family back home. As much as Brie Larson deserved her Best Actress win, it’s a shame to see Ronan get snubbed. I have never seen a movie featuring dark humor and tons of charm that tackles homesickness so realistically. As Father Flood (Jim Broadbent) tells Eilis, “Homesickness is like most sicknesses. It will make you feel wretched, and then it will move on to someone else.”

irishman-flipboard

(Source: Flip Board)

16. The Irishman (2019) – Martin Scorsese’s return to his familiar roots of GoodFellas will more than likely be his last. It doesn’t necessarily mean he has lost his mojo. The Irishman is a gangster epic that you forget it’s three-and-a-half hours long. Based on the novel, I Heard You Paint Houses, the movie stars Robert De Niro (in his best performance in years) as Frank Sheeran, a truck driver working as a hitman for Russell Buffalino (Joe Pesci, great seeing him back in the spotlight).

Yes, the de-aging effects might a teeny bit distracting, at first. But–once the movie pulls you in, you forget all about it. The Irishman contains the usual brutality and dark humor of Scorsese’s predecessors. However, there is something in it that feels quite fresh. The cast could not be better–De Niro, Pesci, Al Pacino (superb, in his first Scorsese film ever, as the hot-tempered Jimmy Hoffa), Ray Romano, Bobby Cannavale, Anna Paquin, and Harvey Keitel among others. With great cinematography, brilliant editing by Thelma Schoonmaker, and witty dialogue, The Irishman is one not to be missed on Netflix.

arrival_denofgeek

(Source: Den of Geek)

15. Arrival (2016) – I will never forget the first time seeing Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi extravaganza in theaters. After a round of overblown, action-heavy films in the genre, he and screenwriter Eric Heisserer craft a more thought-provoking science-fiction story that tackles serious topics such as connection and time. The lovely Amy Adams gives an understated performance as Louise, a linguistics professor studying the aliens with the help from a handsome physicist (Jeremy Renner) and an Army colonel (Forest Whitaker). The final act really hits home. Sorry, Christopher Nolan, but Arrival is what Interstellar should have been.

jojo-rabbit-hr

(Source: The Hollywood Reporter)

14. Jojo Rabbit (2019) – What surprises me about this movie is how Taika Waititi got away with directing and starring in a movie about a Nazi boy having Hitler as his imaginary friend, or how Germany was not ashamed to release it, despite its satirical subject matter (unlike Russia banning The Death of Stalin in 2017). Nevertheless, it is a bold move by the New Zealand director to poke fun at Nazi Germany and Hitler; something it has been done since film first existed, which was famously done by Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator

With a talented cast, Waititi’s sassy rendition of the Nazi dictator provides enough to have audiences in stitches. One thing I did not expect, however, is the enormous heart surrounding the horrors of Nazi Germany. Roman Griffin Davis’ Jojo is a shy boy obsessed with the Nazis. When he discovers his mother (Scarlett Johansson) is harboring a Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie, a young actress to look out for in the coming years) in the attic, he must come to the reality of the whole situation. Jojo Rabbit might not be for everybody, but it certainly won me over.

hugo-nyfa

(Source: New York Film Academy)

13. Hugo (2011) – Martin Scorsese has decided to create his first family film after making a lot of movies for adults, so his daughter can finally see a movie of his that she can discuss with friends about. Not only that, it’s his first movie in 3D. Based on Brian Selznick’s book, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, this movie is a beautiful love letter to early cinema. Featuring imaginative sets, wonderful visuals, a gifted cast, Hugo is an absolute treat for the ears and eyes. 

moonrise-kingdom-vulture

(Source: Vulture)

12. Moonrise Kingdom (2012) – Believe it or not, this is the movie that introduced me to the wonderful, zany world of director Wes Anderson. There is so much to like about his nostalgic romance between two 12-year-olds–boy scout Sam Shakusky (Jared Gilman) and Suzy Bishop (Kara Hayward)–who decide to escape to go deep into the forest while the local police officer Ken Sharp (Bruce Willis) and Suzy’s parents (Frances McDormand and Bill Murray). Robert Yeoman’s cinematography gives the movie a dreamlike quality; every shot looks so much like a watercolor painting coming to life. The star-studded cast, including Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton, and Bob Balaban, is so deadpan it’s hard to resist their presence. This is a movie that gets so much better with each repeated viewing.

la-la-land-denverpost

(Source: The Denver Post)

11. La La Land (2016) – This is the movie I have seen the most in theaters (a total of FIVE times). Writer-director Damien Chazelle (who, at age 32, became the youngest person to win Best Director) pays tribute to musicals of the past for his follow-up to Whiplash. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are magical as Sebastian and Mia, two people who meet by chance in the city of dreams, which is Los Angeles. There has never been a movie where this city has been portrayed so beautifully. If you pause the movie at any time, you are looking at a work of art. The music numbers are catchy, the sets are immaculate, and Justin Hurtwiz’s score is some of the best I’ve heard. An instant classic, for sure!

 

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Top 100 Best Movies of the 2010s: 30-21

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(Source: Los Angeles Times)

30. Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse (2018) – This movie surprised the hell out of me! It’s the first movie to win Best Animated Feature after PIXAR has won so many. Into the Spider-Verse is an eye-popping feast that feels like a comic book coming to life. With humor, colorful action, and a massive voice cast including Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Shameik Moore, and Nicolas Cage, this is the best mash-up of different Spider-Mans from different universes that I would be interested in exploring in the future (I think a live-action Spider-Man Noir would be fantastic). The post-credits sequence? Priceless!

avengers-endgame-screengeek

(Source: Screen Geek)

29. Avengers: Endgame (2019) – This marks the end of an era for the MCU. Don’t get upset. There is plenty more in store for this ongoing franchise. Clocking in at three hours, Endgame goes by like a breeze. It has humor, heart, gut-wrenching emotion, action, and visual beauty. I couldn’t have asked for a better send-off for these characters.

captain-phillips-variety

(Source: Variety)

28. Captain Phillips (2013) – Tom Hanks’ portrayal of Captain Richard Phillips has been debated whether he is considered a hero or not. My theory is that he is–more or less–a normal everyday person doing his job. However, he sacrificed his entire life to help the crew get out of harm’s way when Abduwali Muse (Barkhad Abdi, in an impressive acting debut) and his group of Somali pirates hijack the Maersk Alabama. The handheld camerawork can get a little distracting at first, but director Paul Greengrass knows a thing or two to keep the tension up. The fact that this movie is based on a true story makes it all the more incredible. The final act will leave you speechless.

guardians-nypost

(Source: New York Post)

27. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) – A lot of you might be surprised to see this ranked higher than Avengers: Endgame. I can’t help but love this movie. Co-writer/director James Gunn brings the most unusual band of misfits to life, which became one of the year’s biggest sleeper hits. The razor-sharp dialogue, slick sense of humor, wall-to-wall action, amazing soundtrack, and excellent performances by Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, and a scene-stealing Dave Bautista all overshadow the otherwise fantastic visuals. Guardians of the Galaxy is a movie I would have seen a hundred times, if it came out when I was ten-years-old.

separation-nytimes

(Source: The New York Times)

26. A Separation (2011) – Asghar Farhadi’s drama from his native Iran is a gripping outlook on the struggles of a middle-class family trying to do what’s right for their daughter. The acting feels incredibly real, Farhadi’s direction (through a series of long takes and behind windows) showcases the Iranian culture in the most subtle way. A lot of people might be thrown off by the film’s ambiguity, but it works for a movie like A Separation, one of the masterpieces in world cinema.

boyhood-letteboxd

(Source: Letterboxd)

25. Boyhood (2014) – Richard Linklater’s 12-year odyssey of a boy growing up into a young adult in Texas is a miraculous achievement. He uses the same cast including Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke, different scenarios that are relatable and never feels manipulative, and self-referential. Clocking in at almost three hours, Boyhood goes by like a breeze.

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(Source: Vox)

24. If Beale Street Could Talk (2018) – Barry Jenkins adapts James Baldwin’s novel of the same name for his follow-up to Moonlight (which will appear later on the list). The result is a poetic, hard-hitting, and breathtaking movie where the characters’ expressions, at times, speak louder than words. Featuring a more diverse cast than his predecessor, everyone shines, no matter how brief their performances might be. Regina King steals the show as Tish’s (KiKi Layne) mother, who supports her daughter, although her lover is in jail for a crime he did not commit in 1970s NYC.

cold-war-stone

(Source: Rolling Stone)

23. Cold War (2018) – Best known for the award-winning film Ida, Polish filmmaker Pawel Pawlikowski dedicates his latest film, Cold War, to his parents. Filmed in gorgeous black-and-white, this love story set over the course of fifteen years in Europe during the Cold War is nothing short of extraordinary. It captures love in the most realistic way. Tomasz Kot and Joanna Kulig are never better as the star-crossed lovers Wiktor and Zula, where their love story travels from the Polish countryside to a Paris jazz club. Great stuff!

marriage-story-nbcnews

(Source: NBC News)

22. Marriage Story (2019) – In my entire life, I rarely cry in movies. Noah Baumbach’s latest film destroyed me, and I mean it in the best possible way. Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver play Nicole and Charlie Barber, a couple fighting custody for their child while filing for divorce. The supporting cast, with the likes of Laura Dern, Alan Alda, Ray Liotta, and Wallace Shawn, is also memorable. There are plenty of scenes that should be studied in acting classes, especially the argument between Driver and Johannson. With a deadpan sense of humor, Randy Newman’s delightful score, and terrific editing, every bit of Marriage Story feels raw and relatable. This is the most mature movie Baumbach has ever made. I hope the Criterion Collection won’t overlook this one.

intouchables-nytimes

(Source: The New York Times)

21. The Intouchables (2012) – If a lot of you thought The Upside was a complete waste of time, watch the original French film that started it all. I have never seen a more beautiful friendship portrayed in film over the past ten years. Francois Cluzet and Omar Sy have such terrific chemistry as paraplegic Philippe and ex-con Driss, who embark on a journey on what it means to be alive. This funny, uplifting film became a smash hit worldwide, it became the first film to be recognized at the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. Well-deserved, to say the least!

 

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Top 100 Best Movies of the 2010s: 40-31

goodtime-nytimes

(Source: The New York Times)

40. Good Time (2017) – I had a fantastic time with this crime drama from directors Josh and Benny Safdie. I have never seen a movie so gripping yet so engaging. I’m so glad Robert Pattinson has left his Twilight years far behind him. He has never been better as a New York robber who will stop at nothing to rescue his mentally disabled brother (Benny Safdie) after a bank robbery goes wrong. Good Time is one fast-paced, noirish thriller with vivid cinematography by Sean Price Williams, confident direction by the Safdies, and a gifted cast including Barkhad Abdi and Jennifer Jason Leigh in minor yet effective roles.

ThorRagnarok-verge

(Source: The Verge)

39. Thor: Ragnarok (2017) – After the disappointment of Thor: The Dark World, Taika Waititi decides to give a sequel we all deserve. A sequel that never takes itself too seriously and has an absolute blast with its material. Although the movie is visually stunning and action-packed, this movie showcases its true superpower: a sense of humor. Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Mark Ruffalo, Tessa Thompson, Jeff Goldblum among others have such great comedic timing and not ashamed to improvise. Did you know the line, where Thor refers to The Hulk after he makes his grand introduction, “We know each other! He’s a friend from work” was suggested by a kid from the Make-A-Wish Foundation?

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(Source: Letterboxd)

38. Oslo, August 31st (2011) – Nothing but a perfect end-of-summer treat, this Scandinavian drama about Anders (Anders Danielsen Lie), a drug addict getting out of rehab to find a job and encounter old friends. This is a stunning, subtle, sympathetic film of redemption. Nothing more or less.

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(Source: The New York Post)

37. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) – Wes Anderson has been an American indie cinema icon since the 1990s, after the failure of Bottle Rocket and the success of Rushmore. Heading into the 21st century, he has created some of the quirkiest and most unique films of all-time. The Grand Budapest Hotel became his first ever to receive a well-deserved Best Picture Oscar nomination. Ralph Fiennes plays one of the best characters in all of Wes’ films as M. Gustave, a smooth-talking, womanizing concierge at a European hotel who is falsely accused of killing his lover Madame Desgoffe und Taxis (Tilda Swinton, in a role originally going to be played by Angela Lansbury). With the help of his lobby boy Zero (Tony Revolori), he must break free from prison and prove his innocence. 

hellorhighwater-vox

(Source: Vox)

36. Hell or High Water (2016) – David McKenzie’s neowestern contains as much grit as No Country for Old Men and as much wonder as Unforgiven. Hell or High Water contains one of the best screenplays of the past ten years, kudos to the great writing by Taylor Sheridan. It’s a shame Ben Foster and Chris Pine didn’t earn any Oscar recognition as two brothers pulling a series of bank heists in order to save their family ranch in Texas. They both balance tenderness with roughness to a T. Jeff Bridges provides plenty of laughs as the Texas Ranger trying to catch the brothers before their next robbery. The final scene between him and Chris Pine is something to behold. A perfect end-of-summer feat!

inception-fsr

(Source: Film School Rejects)

35. Inception (2010) – Christopher Nolan makes some of the most ambitious films ever made. Inception is one helluva trippy, spellbinding adventure into the subconscious. It’s one of those movies where you must watch from the very beginning, or else you will have no idea what is going on. Leonardo DiCaprio leads a stellar cast as Dom Cobb, a leader of an espionage team who steal other people’s dreams. Featuring mind-blowing action with barely a hint of CGI, brilliant cinematography by Wally Pfister, fantastic score by Hans Zimmer, and a narrative that makes you think to no end, Inception will stick with you for days.

nebraska-nytimes

(Source: The New York Times)

34. Nebraska (2013) – Bruce Dern has been in movies for a long time. This is one of his finest performances of his entire career as Woody Grant, an elderly man who takes a road trip with his son David (Will Forte) from Billings, Montana, to Lincoln, Nebraska, to claim a million-dollar sweepstakes prize. On their way, they stop at his family’s house. Shot in gorgeous black-and-white, Alexander Payne’s story is a good slice of Americana with a dry sense of humor and a sense of realism. The acting is so superb they feel like real people going on their everyday lives. Although the movie is rated R, it’s a perfect movie for mature teenagers.

sing-street-imdb

(Source: IMDb)

33. Sing Street (2016) – After his American debut of Begin Again, John Carney returns to his native Ireland for this musical set in 1985. This is a wonderful movie about chasing your dreams. With a talented cast of child actors, wonderful music (containing classic pop songs and toe-tapping original music numbers), and a feel-good narrative, Sing Street is guaranteed to leave a smile across your face long after the credits start to roll. I’m as shocked as everyone else this didn’t receive any Oscar recognition.

philomena-imdb

(Source: IMDb)

32. Philomena (2013) – Here’s a devastating movie that will make you feel good at the end. It follows the true story of British journalist Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan) helping an Irish woman named Philomena Lee (Judi Dench) find her son, who was given up for adoption when she lived in an orphanage years ago. Their journey takes them as far as Washington, DC. They begin to learn the shocking truth about Philomena’s son and each other. 

babydriver-nytimes

(Source: The New York Times)

31. Baby Driver (2017) – This is one of those movies where it gets better with each repeated viewing. Baby Driver is something only Edgar Wright can make. Years after getting it developed, it has never looked more thrilling. Ansel Elgort leads a stellar cast featuring Lily James, Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, and Kevin Spacey in this darkly comedic and suspenseful car-ride with a kick-ass soundtrack. Seeing it at home will never be the same as seeing it in theaters, particularly the scene during a warehouse shootout where the gunshots go in sync with the music. Remember: “The moment you catch feelings is the moment you catch a bullet.”

 

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Top 100 Best Movies of the 2010s: 50-41

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(Source: The Hollywood Reporter)

50. Ford v. Ferrari (2019) – There are several movies over the past ten years that were worth seeing on the big screen. Clocking in at two-and-a-half hours, James Mangold’s return to biopic-territory drives by (no pun intended) like a breeze. I have never heard of the story behind the 1966 24-hour race at Le Mans until walking into the theater. This is an exhilarating and downright hilarious movie with superb performances by Matt Damon and Christian Bale (rare to see him perform with his native British accent nowadays). Also, big thumbs up for actually filming the climactic race in Le Mans.

lincoln-nytimes

(Source: The New York Times)

49. Lincoln (2012) – From Young Mr. Lincoln to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Abraham Lincoln has been portrayed and parodied hundreds of times since the beginning of the 20th century. However, no other movie would have this much power that Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner bring here. Even as a child, I imagined Lincoln to have a high-pitched voice (without even knowing, years later, that he actually did). Daniel Day-Lewis perfectly embodies the 16th president of the United States, with his tall stature, killer sense of humor, and his love for public speaking. Leading a stellar cast including Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tim Blake Nelson, and David Strathairn, this is a patient and timely portrait of a legendary man’s final months in office.

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(Source: NPR)

48. 12 Years a Slave (2013) – Steve McQueen’s Oscar-winning film is far from easy viewing. At the same time, it’s an uplifting odyssey of Solomon Northup (a superb Chiwetel Ejiofor), an African-American violinist from upstate New York encountering the horrors and unexpected sympathies as a slave on his road to freedom. An all-star cast with the likes of Michael Fassbender as a vicious slave owner, Lupita Nyong’o, Brad Pitt, Paul Giamatti, and Benedict Cumberbatch all carry through in a movie so disheartening and beautiful.

Selma-collegian

(Source: The Collegian)

47. Selma (2014) – For her portrait on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s quest for civil rights in Alabama, director Ava DuVernay takes David Webb’s screenplay to make the most powerful film on the subject. David Oyelowo’s portrayal of King is a gentle soul, who is a caring husband and an ambitious leader in the Civil Rights Movement. With a gifted supporting cast including Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King and Tom Wilkinson as LBJ, a lot of research was done to get the history 100% accurate. It all worked out beautifully. Selma is required viewing for American history classes.

midnight-in-paris-comingsoon.net

(Source: ComingSoon.net)

46. Midnight in Paris (2011) – Woody Allen has made some of the greatest films since the 1970s–Annie Hall, Manhattan, Hannah and Her Sisters, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, and Blue Jasmine. Coming from somebody who loved all those movies, Midnight in Paris is probably his magnum opus. It’s a downright charming, witty story about an American screenwriter named Gil (Owen Wilson, who has never been better), who moves to Paris with fiance Inez (Rachel McAdams). One night, while resting after a late-night stroll through the city, he mysteriously goes back to the 1920s, and encounters several historical figures including F. Scott Fitzgerald (Tom Hiddleston) and Ernest Hemingway (Corey Stoll). This movie contains themes that are familiar with his other movies involving characters in love affairs and Gil’s love for this magical era is infectious. There is a line from Hemingway that is not only, but also rings true about writing: “If it’s bad, I’ll hate it because I hate bad writing, and if it’s good, I’ll be envious and hate all the more.”

"Manchester by the Sea" Casey Affleck, from Roadside Attractions press site

(Source: Boston Herald)

45. Manchester by the Sea (2016) – Kenneth Lonergan’s drama set in New England is about as hard-hitting as it is engaging. Casey Affleck received a well-deserved Oscar for his performance as Lee, a janitor from Quincy returning to his home in Manchester-by-the-Sea setting up funeral arrangements for his brother Joe (Kyle Chandler) while looking after his nephew Patrick (Lucas Hedges). Through a series of flashbacks, we quickly begin to learn how and why Lee has left his home after all these years. Talking too much about it will ruin the whole movie. 

skyfall-chicagotribune

(Source: Chicago Tribune)

44. Skyfall (2012) – Daniel Craig is arguably the best James Bond since Sean Connery. He gains enough charm of Connery, as well as having the violent side of Timothy Dalton. Casino Royale served as my proper introduction to the ongoing franchise with its incredible stunts and the most intense game of poker ever witnessed on film. After the disappointing Quantum of Solace, Sam Mendes and Roger Deakins both take the franchise to another level with Skyfall. From beginning to end, this is a gripping, stunning ride of getting rid of someone from M’s (Judi Dench) past. As Rauol Silva, Javier Bardem gives enough complexity to his delightfully over-the-top performance. Skyfall is up there with Casino Royale, Goldfinger, and GoldenEye as one of the best in the series. Bring on, No Time to Die!

john-wick-imdb

(Source: IMDb)

43. John Wick (2014)/John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)/John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019) – This exhilarating trilogy showcases how awesome Keanu Reeves truly is. It tackles the familiar concept of “bringing back the past” in a unique way. Chad Stahelski (who worked as Reeves’ stuntman in The Matrix) is behind the director’s chair to give some of the most amazing action in recent years. Sprinkled with dark, deadpan humor and suave energy from its talented cast with the likes of Ian McShane, the late Michael Nyqvist, Laurence Fishburne, Willem Dafoe, Halle Berry, and John Leguizamo. The first had a simple revenge plot, while the sequels up the ante. I mean, how can you not get excited seeing our action hero riding on a horse through the streets of NYC?

Image result for captain america civil war airport

(Source: The Wrap)

42. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)/Captain America: Civil War (2016) – After his introduction in the flawed yet entertaining origin story from 2011, “The First Avenger” returns to get caught up on American society in The Winter Soldier. This is where directors Anthony and Joe Russo introduce a more political vibe in the MCU. Although it contains plenty of humor, it surprised me on how dark it becomes. Robert Redford couldn’t be any better in a villainous role. 

Its follow-up–Civil War–ups the ante in a showdown of terrific proportions. It features characters we know as well as some new ones and some of the best action set pieces in the franchise. The titular battle showcases the most thrills and laughs the franchise has to offer. Thank goodness Chris Evans decided to play the most badass Avenger after the disastrous Fantastic Four films. Oh–and take out the tissues. You might need them.

shape-of-water-vox

(Source: Vox)

41. The Shape of Water (2017) – There is a familiar theme in the films of Guillermo del Toro: the real monsters are more human than one might expect. His Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water, is a fantasy, romance, Cold War thriller, and a delightful tribute to the Golden Age of Hollywood all wrapped into one. Sally Hawkins leads a talented cast as Elisa, a mute janitor at a government facility, who gains a connection with a sea creature known as the Amphibian Man (Doug Jones), which is obviously inspired by The Creature from the Black Lagoon. Dan Laustsen’s cinematography and Alexandre Desplat’s Oscar-winning score are enough to carry the beauty and madness of this movie.

 

100-91 90-81 | 80-71 | 70-61 | 60-51 | 50-41 | 40-31 | 30-21 | 20-11 | 10-1

Top 100 Best Movies of the 2010s: 60-51

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(Source: TimeOut)

60. Before Midnight (2013) – It’s crazy how this love story started in 1995 with Before Sunrise, where two strangers meet by chance on a train to Vienna, and decide to spend the entire night walking and falling in love in the city. We reunite with them nine years later in Before Sunset in Paris, even with the limited time they have. 

In 2013, Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke, and Julie Delpy make magic yet again in Before Midnight. We see Jesse and Celine as an unmarried couple taking a vacation in Greece, where they begin to get on each other’s nerves. This is where these characters begin to write themselves. It’s amazing how much they have evolved. Even though I prefer Sunrise slightly more, this movie still tackles thought-provoking topics as well as the honest truth about relationships. People who are over 40 can relate to Jesse and Celine in these movies.

BLINDED BY THE LIGHT

(Source: The Rolling Stone)

59. Blinded by the Light (2019) – This movie would have been okay if it was set in a small town in the Midwest, but it won’t have as big of an impact as Gurinder Chadha brings to the screen in this movie based on Sarfraz Manzoor’s memoir. As a big fan of Bruce Springsteen, I knew I was in for a treat. 

Viveik Kalra is a revelation as Javed, a Pakistani teen having big dreams in a boring British town while he gets bullied by his peers and his dad is out of a job. It’s not until a classmate Roops introduces him to the music of The Boss. Javed asks, “Whose ‘Boss’?” Roops’ response: “The Boss of us all.” From there, Javed quickly understands what his music is telling him. In a movie that could have been manipulative, Chadha hits the tone perfectly. It’s a shame it didn’t receive a lot of attention in theaters. Blinded by the Light will have you smiling through the entire running time.

paterson-adam-driver-vanityfair

(Source: Vanity Fair)

58. Paterson (2016) – I have never heard of Jim Jarmusch before walking into see this movie. This movie is as charming as it is poetic. Adam Driver is a delight as Paterson, a bus driver from Paterson, New Jersey, who happens to be a poet. We follow a week in the life of this character; each day has a surprising occurrence that will make you laugh or feel relaxed. Featuring delicious symbolism, this is certainly a great film to revisit once every year.

blade-runner-2049-variety

(Source: Variety)

57. Blade Runner 2049 (2017) – It has been 35 years since Ridley Scott brought the future to life on Blade Runner, which became one of the quintessential sci-fi films of all-time. Now–Denis Villeneuve brings it back to life with a violent, gorgeous, and thoughtful adventure that couldn’t be more satisfying. Ryan Gosling is no stranger to playing dark characters. Leading a massive ensemble, his portrayal of Officer K is the most understated of his career. It’s great to see Harrison Ford back as Deckerd. Roger Deakins’ cinematography is simply out-of-this-world!

bridge-of-spies-nydailynews

(Source: New York Daily News)

56. Bridge of Spies (2015) – Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, and the Coen brothers. It’s clear there are going to make something truly special in this thriller set during the Cold War. Everything about this feels so right–from its witty, fascinating screenplay to the marvelous, old-fashioned sets to Janusz Kaminski’s fantastic cinematography. Not to mention, the excellent performances by Hanks as lawyer Jim Donovan and Mark Rylance as Soviet spy Rudolf Abel (who won an Oscar in an upset). God bless you, Spielberg!

drive-hollywood-news

(Source: Hollywood News)

55. Drive (2011) – Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn directs Ryan Gosling in the most complex performance of his career. Here, he plays a Hollywood stunt driver by day, and a getaway driver by night. After a heist goes awry, he must do whatever it takes to protect his neighbor Irene (Carey Mulligan) from the ones responsible. Refn is the perfect director for this movie, with its thrilling, practical action, retro-style music, clever use of lighting (e.g. the scene in the elevator), subtle performances from a stellar cast, and its dark sense of humor.

booksmart-wrap

(Source: The Wrap)

54. Booksmart (2019) – Believe the hype! Booksmart certainly is Superbad for the new generation. It’s hard to make a crude comedy without getting too offensive. First-time director/co-writer Olivia Wilde generates some of the biggest laughs while giving a familiar plot that somehow feels fresh. Leading a great cast (including a scene-stealing Billie Lourd), Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein are pitch-perfect as two overachieving friends who decide to spend one wild night on the last day of school; resulting in one surprise after another. The chemistry between the two is nothing short of infectious. Be prepared for a nonstop riot!

life-of-pi-time

(Source: TIME)

53. Life of Pi (2012) – This is a character study that is visually stunning as it is haunting. It might follow the classic survival formula, but Ang Lee’s adaptation of Yann Martel’s “unfilmable” novel of the same name does it in a most unique way. Suraj Sharma plays Pi, a boy from Pondecherry, India, whose family decides it’s time to move their zoo to Canada. After they get shipwrecked, Pi’s faith is tested many times while out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean all alone in a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. Filled with symbolism, thought-provoking themes, and beautiful CGI, this is a survival tale to die for. The ending will question the vast contradiction between myth and reality. 

“Above all, don’t lose hope.”

knives-out-cinemablend

(Source: Cinema Blend)

52. Knives Out (2019) – Before we see him in his last outing as James Bond in a few months, Daniel Craig plays the famous Southern detective Benoit Blanc in Rian Johnson’s witty, old-fashioned whodunit. It’s a movie that requires your close attention. There are so many twists and turns on every corner; all of which are more engaging than the last. The massive cast delivers excellent performances including Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Ana de Armas, Chris Evans, and Christopher Plummer. Definitely something Agatha Christie would love!

PhantomThread-thewrap

(Source: The Wrap)

51. Phantom Thread (2017) – Daniel Day-Lewis has been some amazing films over the years. His final film before retirement, Phantom Thread, goes down as one of his absolute best performances. As fashion designer Reynolds Woodcock, he showcases a lot of charm and despair. Sprinkled with dark humor and Paul Thomas Anderson’s wonderful cinematography and directing, I imagine this is what 50 Shades of Grey would look like without the kinky sex.

 

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Top 100 Best Movies of the 2010s: 70-61

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(Source: Forbes)

70. Edge of Tomorrow (2014) – More or less a sci-fi/action version of Groundhog Day, Doug Liman and co-writer Christopher McQuarrie adapt an Americanized take on the beloved Japanese manga, which has earned a cult following.. This D-Day allegory has a ton of thrills and laughs, with Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt both kicking some alien ass and the late Bill Paxton showing his inner R. Lee Ermey. I’m so glad there is going to be a sequel in the coming years.

mi-nydailynews

(Source: New York Daily News)

69. Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018)/Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011) – I have a feeling this action series has gotten better after Mission: Impossible III. It’s impossible to choose which one of these is better than the other. They are both fantastic movies on their own right. For Brad Bird’s live-action debut, Ghost Protocol is an absolute thrill-ride from beginning to end, and the sequence at the Burj Khalifa is one of the most stunning action set pieces in recent memory. With Fallout, Christopher McQuarrie ups the ante after directing Rogue Nation with a narrative that makes people think, as well as having audiences on the edge of their seats (a rarity for summer blockbusters). On the verge of 60, Tom Cruise can do no wrong when it comes to performing his own death-defying stunts.

Film Title: Green Book

(Source: The Atlantic)

68. Green Book (2018) – Despite the controversy leading up to its Best Picture win, Green Book might have a similar plot to another Best Picture winner Driving Miss Daisy. However, this is a timeless story we hardly see in the mainstream anymore. Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali have terrific chemistry as “Tony Lip” Vallelonga and Dr. Don Shirley, who encounter racial tension in the Deep South during the 1960s. Tony reluctantly agrees to become a chauffeur for Don, a black pianist. Quickly, they both learn of their differences and become great friends in Peter Farrelly’s first solo feature with plenty of humor and heart. The moral of the story: Do not mess with the “bullshit artist”.

hacksawridge-imdb

(Source: IMDb)

67. Hacksaw Ridge (2016) – There have been so many great movies set in World War II. Mel Gibson’s return to the director’s chair is no exception. It tells the unbelievable true story of Desmond Doss (a fantastic Andrew Garfield), a Seventh-Day Adventist who, despite his religious beliefs, goes to an Army boot camp to be a combat medic. They come to the test with Sgt. Howell (Vince Vaughn, providing some good laughs) and Capt. Glover (Sam Worthington) before eventually going to Okinawa. This movie would have easily been too manipulative, but Gibson and his team all hit the right notes with a great old-fashioned drama and a hard-hitting war movie. The Battle of Okinawa is the most graphic war sequence since the landing on Omaha Beach in Saving Private Ryan

rider-irishtimes

(Source: The Irish Times)

66. The Rider (2018) – While working on her film debut Songs My Brothers Taught Me, writer-director Chloe Zhao met rodeo-clown Brady Jandreau in South Dakota. He taught her many things living on a farm in the Midwest including how to ride a horse. She based her film, The Rider, on Jandreau after suffering those severe head injuries. It’s a beautiful, insightful outlook on life. The performances by non-professionals feel like real people.

the-town-imdb

(Source: IMDb)

65. The Town (2010) – Ben Affleck’s second directing feat (three years after the marvelous Gone Baby Gone) is another wonderful homage to his native Boston. Affleck and Jeremy Renner both give complex performances as two friends with a life in crime. Their thick Boston accents give the movie a lot of personality. From the opening bank heist to the thrilling chase through North End, the action is brutal as it is unflinching. The cast including Blake Lively, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, and Pete Postlethwaite (playing one of his last roles before passing away from pancreatic cancer in early 2011) give enough realism to make The Town an engaging and tough crime thriller.

hftw-nytimes

(Source: The New York Times)

64. Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016) – Taika Waititi’s indie comedy from his native New Zealand mixes the beauty and humor to a T. The jokes never let up. It contains some hilarious references to films such as The Lord of the Rings and Terminator 2 and a gag involving a warthog. Behind all the deadpan wackiness, it has a big heart involving caring for and being there for loved ones. Julian Dennison is a hoot as Ricky, a juvenile delinquent escaping from welfare services with his new stepfather (Sam Neill, who keeps a straight face throughout the whole film) through the forest.

babadook-slate

(Source: Slate)

63. The Babadook (2014) – This Australian fright flick takes a more subtle approach when it comes to scaring its viewers. Essie Davis (of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries fame) gives a distressing performance as a suburban mother whose life is turned upside-down when she reads her young son a scary storybook about a monster who preys on its victims when they believe the monster’s existence. The titular monster becomes a metaphor for grief. I have never seen a horror movie so startling yet so captivating. Definitely a must-see for horror fans.

roma_hr

(Source: The Hollywood Reporter)

62. Roma (2018) – Alfonso Cuarón is the only Mexican director to win two Oscars for directing–Gravity and this movie. This black-and-white Netflix original is a one-of-a-kind experience of grand proportions. Inspired by Cuarón’s early life in Mexico City, every single shot is nothing short of breathtaking. It’s clear he learned a thing or two from his collaborator Emmanuel Lubezki; there are some amazing long tracking shots. The actors are all great, particularly Yalitza Aparicio as the protagonist Cleo, a maid who gets pregnant during the city’s political uprising. It’s shocking as it is fantastic. I’m so glad the Criterion Collection is releasing Roma on home video soon.

lighthouse-vox

(Source: Vox)

61. The Lighthouse (2019) – Robert Eggers’ follow-up to The Witch might be filmed in Nova Scotia, but The Lighthouse captures its Maine setting to a T. There are plenty of disturbing images to keep everyone awake at night, and the black-and-white cinematography with its 1:19.1 aspect ratio is enough to feel anxious. Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe are terrific as two lighthouse keepers who get on each other’s nerves once a massive storm rolls in. Sprinkled with dark comedy and shocking mysteries with its characters, this is psychological horror at its finest.

 

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Top 100 Best Movies of the 2010s: 80-71

kinopoisk.ru

(Source: IndieWire)

80. All Is Lost (2013) – Robert Redford has played such wonderful roles since the 1950s. All is Lost is no exception. He’s the only actor in J.C. Chandor’s film about Our Man (as he’s known in the credits) trying to survive in the Indian Ocean after a shipping container damages his boat. Containing no dialogue (except for a voiceover monologue in the beginning and a sudden emotional outburst), Redford gives a physically demanding performance, as we sympathize with Our Man to safety, despite losing his potential hope. It might not move at a fast pace, but patient viewers will be on the edge of their seats and appreciate its ambiguity. The ending will stick with you days after watching it. Redford has left a great legacy after his retirement.

PERKS-nytimes

(Source: The New York Times)

79. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012) – Stephen Chbosky adapts his own book into one of the more surprising high-school movies I have seen in recent years. Logan Lerman gives a heartbreaking performance as Charlie, a high-school freshman making friends with two half-siblings (Emma Watson and Ezra Miller, equally great). Not only that, he has a dark secret that might surprise audiences. Although not fully implied, the movie does hint Charlie is suffering from post-traumatic stress. When he has his eventual breakdown, using clever angles, it’s upsetting. In the end, however, it’s nothing short of extraordinary.

worlds-end-screencrush

(Source: Screen Crush)

78. The World’s End (2013) – Edgar Wright’s last movie in the “Cornetto” trilogy, in my opinion, tops both Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. It reunites Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and Martin Freeman, as well as newcomers such as Rosamund Pike and Pierce Brosnan. Not only is the movie about a group of friends going on a pub crawl funny, but it’s also surprisingly poignant. A lot of people might be thrown off by its apocalyptic subplot, but I think this is what This Is the End should have been, instead of being something lazy, immature, and completely random. The World’s End is unsettling and action-packed (the bathroom fight is one of the most awesome fights I’ve ever seen in a movie). This contains probably my favorite “jumping the fence” gag.

farewell-indiewire

(Source: USA Today)

77. The Farewell (2019) – Earlier this year, A24 has released a movie for the entire family. The Farewell, based on director Lulu Wang’s life, is an emotional powerhouse of a movie. Awkwafina is a revelation as Billi, a young Chinese-American woman who travels to China after hearing her grandmother being diagnosed with cancer. The shocking part is no one in her family has told her the sad news, so they all reunite for a wedding to make up for it. The results are nothing short of witty and enchanting. It showcases the difference between Eastern and Western cultures and the need for the truth.

true-grit-imdb

(Source: IMDb)

76. True Grit (2010) – I recently watched Joel and Ethan Coen’s remake of the 1969 classic Western for the first time since seeing it in theaters. I almost forgot how much I loved this movie. The performances from Jeff Bridges as the hard-drinking, one-eyed gunslinger Rooster Cogburn, Matt Damon as Texas Ranger LaBeouf, and Hailee Steinfeld, in her first acting role, as Mattie Ross all make this movie worthwhile. Roger Deakins’ beautiful cinematography, the directors’ trademark dark wit, the supporting cast including Josh Brolin and Barry Pepper, the brutal violence and tension are enough reasons why this remake is darker and superior than the original.

inside-out-businessinsider

(Source: Business Insider)

75. Inside Out (2015) – It sure does take lots of guts for a grown-man to cry his eyes out. Inside Out destroyed me (I mean that in the best possible way) the first time around. It’s great to revisit the wonderful world inside the brain two more times in theaters. With beautiful animation, excellent voice performances from Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, and Phyllis Smith among others, humor to win over kids and adults, and enough emotion to even it out. In a world of sequels, it’s refreshing to see something original from PIXAR for a change.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

(Source: Collider)

74. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)/Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)/War for the Planet of the Apes (2017) – The 1968 original Planet of the Apes is a sci-fi classic with thought-provoking themes of religion, imaginative sets, superb acting, and contains one of the greatest plot twists of all-time. More than 30 years and some lackluster sequels (and Tim Burton’s remake) later, Rupert Wyatt steps into the director’s chair to reboot the franchise with Rise of the Planet of the Apes. With it being a great build-up to the sequels, Matt Reeves takes the series to a whole other level with Dawn (the best in the entire franchise) and the emotionally resonant War. Featuring beautiful visual effects (Andy Serkis is the man!), excellent action, great acting, and nods to Apocalypse Now and the Bible, these movies are those rare remakes that surpass the original.

take_shelter_hr

(Source: The Hollywood Reporter)

73. Take Shelter (2011) – Jeff Nichols is one of the most versatile filmmakers in the American arthouse scene. Mud, Midnight Special, and Loving are all overlooked yet they are some of the most engaging films of the past ten years. However, his masterpiece, in my opinion, is Take Shelter, starring frequent collaborator Michael Shannon as Curtis, a construction worker from Ohio who has hallucinations of a powerful storm that has yet to come. His anxiety is all the more engaging as the film progresses. The symbolic images will want you to go back to revisit Take Shelter time and time again.

land-of-mine-npr

(Source: NPR)

72. Land of Mine (2016) – This Danish war film is set after World War II, where a group of German prisoners of war are trained by the Danish army to dig up 1.5 million mines along the North Sea. There is plenty of tension involved in this forgotten chapter of WWII history where you see these youths risking their lives of deactivating the mines without getting blown up. At its core, this is a story of revenge. Rex Reed said it best in his review, “This is a great film, sensitive and sympathetic to all survivors of all wars everywhere, and a plea for humanity in all of us in the hope that it never happens again.”

zootopia-usatoday

(Source: USA Today)

71. Zootopia (2016) – Another animated movie that surprised me. It contains a narrative that is part-buddy-comedy, part-murder-mystery, and part-social-commentary. Its timely message of how prejudice can lead to racism is brought to life brilliantly in a movie with gorgeous animation, lovable characters, and a talented voice cast led by Jason Bateman and Ginnifer Goodwin. I think this movie is more suited for adults, since a lot of pop culture references (The Godfather and Breaking Bad) will go over the heads of younger children.

 

 

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