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

eot-forbes

(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.

 

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

Top 15 Best Movies of 2018

2018 has, yet again, released a myriad of amazing movies; several of which made history. My list comes to showcase how miraculous and powerful these movies on my list are. Keep in mind, I haven’t seen every great movie that has come out. So–don’t get upset when movies such as Cold War, If Beale Street Could Talk, and The Favourite are absent from the list. Let’s not waste any more time and dive right into my list of the top fifteen best movies of 2018. First things first…

Honorable Mentions: Avengers: Infinity War, Deadpool 2, First Man, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Hereditary, Isle of Dogs, Lean on Pete, Searching, Thoroughbreds, Three Identical Strangers, Tully, Widows

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(Source: The New Yorker)

15. Mission: Impossible – Fallout – The popular action-film franchise has been getting better with each entry. Starting off as a remake of the television show from the 1960s, the series has gotten a different director for each sequel to give them their own distinct style. I still think Ghost Protocol is my favorite in the franchise, but Fallout has so much going on it feels like I’ve been on a massive roller-coaster ride. Filled with twists and turns, death-defying stunts, and almost wall-to-wall action. Kudos to Tom Cruise, for risking his entire life taking on roles like IMF agent Ethan Hunt. Another kudos to director Christopher McQuarrie for making the most exhilarating thrill-ride of the summer. I bet you can feel every bone breaking during the brutal bathroom fight.

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(Source: Forbes)

14. A Quiet Place – This will surprise anyone I prefer this movie over another great horror movie such as Hereditary. No offense, but A Quiet Place is a much more superior horror movie that could work as an old silent film. Starring and directed by John Krasinski, this movie contains no spoken dialogue (save for one scene), but the suspense is at an all-time high. While the concept concerning a world where monsters are blind yet extremely sensitive to sound might be similar to Signs and Tremors, A Quiet Place has never come out at a perfect time than in 2018.

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(Source: Variety)

13. Boy Erased – Lucas Hedges is joining the likes of Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet as one of the best actors of the new generation. After receiving praise in Manchester by the Sea and Lady Bird, he gives another phenomenal performance in Joel Edgerton’s excellent sophomore feature as Jared Eamons, a teenager who is forced by his parents (Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman, also astounding) to attend a gay conversion therapy program. The audience is with Jared every step of the way as he tries to convince his parents to accept for who he truly is. Through subtle yet unflinching flashbacks, Jared’s struggle of coming out truly shines.

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(Source: IMDb)

12. Black Panther – The MCU has become the highest-grossing franchise of all-time. Things have changed since the release of Iron Man in 2008. New characters have been introduced and the stakes have gone higher than before. Black Panther has broken records left to right; becoming the highest-grossing film not only in the franchise, but also directed by a black director and starring a mostly black cast. And for good reason!

Ryan Coogler is a great director to look out for. He envisions a world unlike any other; with its distinct culture norms, environment, and politics. Chadwick Boseman leads an excellent cast portraying one of the coolest superheroes I’ve seen on the silver screen. The movie is not without its sense of humor, dazzling visuals, and thrilling action set-pieces. Wakanda Forever!

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(Source: The New York Times)

11. Green Book – This movie surprised the hell out of me! This time, Peter Farrelly goes solo as the director for this true story about a friendship between white bouncer Tony Lip and black pianist Don Shirley–played to perfection by Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali. It does sound like a reversed version of Driving Miss Daisy, but this is an entertaining history lesson and road trip movie that is hard not to smile all the way through. Containing some laugh-out-loud moments, hard-hitting realism of the Civil Rights Movement, wonderful music, and dazzling cinematography by Sean Porter. A future Christmas tradition, for sure!

10-the_ballad_of_buster_scruggs

(Source: Phoenix New Times)

10. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs – No one can simply go wrong with Joel and Ethan Coen. From Fargo to The Big Lebowski to O Brother, Where Art Thou to No Country for Old Men, they have created some of the best movies ever made through their dark, deadpan humor, memorable characters, and stunning visuals. In their Western anthology film by Netflix, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is another marvelous achievement from the brother duo. Being their first film shot digitally, they bring forth six short stories that range from laugh-out-loud hilarious to straight-up tragic. It features a massive cast including Tim Blake Nelson, James Franco, Liam Neeson, Zoe Kazan, and Tom Waits, and visuals so beautiful each image is a work of art (I think this is the first of their movies to ever contain CGI). Here’s how I would rank each of the stories:

  1. All Gold Canyon
  2. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
  3. The Gal Who Got Rattled
  4. Meal Ticket
  5. The Mortal Remains
  6. Near Algodones

9-first-reformed-vox

(Source: Vox)

9. First Reformed – Known for writing the screenplays for Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, Paul Schrader directs this miraculous film about questioning one’s faith in a world where climate change is the norm. Starring Ethan Hawke, in one of the best performances of his entire career, as Reverend Ernst Toller of a small church in upstate New York, who helps a young woman (Amanda Seyfried, surprisingly superb) with an environmentalist husband. I have never seen a movie so grounded and so thought-provoking. I have a feeling this movie would be viewed in film criticism classes in high schools and colleges throughout America. The final ten minutes of First Reformed are some of the most intense I’ve seen this year; more so than a lot of action thrillers I’ve ever seen.

7-eight-grade-parade

(Source: Parade)

8. Eighth Grade – Yes, this movie might be rated R for its language and scenes involving and referencing oral sex. Bo Burnham’s directorial debut, however, should be required viewing for eighth-graders making the transition to high school. Elsie Fisher is straight-up fantastic as Kayla, a socially inept teenager who spends more on her iPhone and making inspirational videos on YouTube that receive little to no attention at all. She tries to get through her last week of middle school by becoming more open. It’s hard not to relate to this movie and look back at your time at middle school. Let’s hope Burnham directs and writes screenplays for more funny and poignant movies like Eighth Grade in the near future.

8-rider-atlantic

(Source: The Atlantic)

7. The Rider – Two movies featuring horses came out this year–Lean on Pete and this one. While the first was great and went into directions I haven’t expected, this one is easily the superior one. Being her second film, Beijing native Chloe Zhao has a great future as a filmmaker. The Rider is a stunning outlook on life, with The Wrestler being a big influence. Featuring a wonderful cast of non-professionals, their performances–particularly Brady Jandreau and his family–feel like real people. This is a special movie-going experience.

6-old-man-and-the-gun-atlantic

(Source: The Atlantic)

6. The Old Man and the Gun – 2018 contained two movies featuring two legendary actors playing criminals with a distinct charm. The more recent being The Mule, starring Clint Eastwood as a 90-year-old Korean War veteran unknowingly smuggling 200 pounds of cocaine for a Mexican drug cartel.

While there is plenty to like about Eastwood’s return to directing himself for the first time since Gran Torino, I prefer David Lowery’s magnum opus The Old Man and the Gun, starring Robert Redford in his (supposedly) last acting role. Based on the too-good-to-be-true story, it’s hard not to smile at our protagonist Forrest Tucker getting away with his bank robberies using his polite manners. Although John Hunt (Casey Affleck, delivering another marvelous performance) is on his tail, Forrest will be ready for his next escape after getting caught. It might not move at a fast pace, but this movie contains an offbeat sense of humor, terrific music, an excellent cast, and a vintage feel that gives subtle nods to Redford’s early work like The Sting. Great stuff!

5-leave-no-trace-sfexaminer

(Source: San Francisco Examiner)

5. Leave No Trace – Debra Granik returns eight years from directing the Oscar-nominated Winter’s Bone to write and direct another movie that is devastating and delightful. Leave No Trace showcases the slice of life in rural America. Ben Foster and Thomasin McKenzie (who is going to star in Taika Waititi’s upcoming WWII satire Jojo Rabbit, coming out some time next year) are the heart and soul of the movie as Will and Tom, the father and daughter who are succumbed to come to terms with society after living off the grid for some time. I’ve seen this movie twice in theaters, and I’m surprised it earned a PG-rating (i.e. pay attention to Ben Foster’s tattoos early on). No matter what the rating is, it’s a subtle and powerful film that will stick with me for the rest of my life.

4-blackkklansman-nytimes

(Source: The New York Times)

4. BlacKkKlansman – Who knew Spike Lee would make his grand return with this too-good-to-be-true story about Colorado Springs police detective Ron Stallworth infiltrating the local Ku Klux Klan? And who knew it would become a future American classic?

Like with his 1989 film Do the Right Thing, Spike shifts the tone for BlacKkKlansman almost seamlessly. You laugh so hard one minute and you get chills down your spine the next. John David Washington leads the cast with his badassery and humbleness as Stallworth. His scenes with Adam Driver’s Flip are electrifying. This movie is a wake-up call to where America is today with its race relations. The ending will leave you speechless.

3-wont_you_be_my_neighbor_dallasobserver

(Source: The Dallas Observer)

3. Won’t You Be My Neighbor? – The documentary everybody needs right now! Fred Rogers was easily the most down-to-earth human-being who ever lived. He had a way with children and taught them how to love and be loved. It makes sense how his Christian beliefs of “Love thy neighbor; love thyself” work perfectly to the show. Director Morgan Neville dives deep into the life of Fred Rogers and the effect he and his show had on everyone. No matter the age, everyone should watch at least one episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood to forget about the harsh reality of the outside world. Won’t You Be My Neighbor? came out at a great time!

2-star-is-born-vox

(Source: Vox)

2. A Star is Born – The fourth version of A Star is Born has been in production hell since 2010. With Clint Eastwood once attached to the project, Bradley Cooper eventually took over to direct himself in this marvelous film about the hardships of making it big in the music industry while facing one’s personal demons. This is what happens when musician Jackson Maine (Cooper) develops a relationship with aspiring singer Ally (Lady Gaga).

I had a bad feeling this movie would become a manipulative mess. What Cooper does here is anything but. Through his impressive direction and excellent performance as Jackson Maine, he gets the tone for every scene down to a T. From the music to the amazing performances (particularly from Lady Gaga, Andrew Dice Clay, and Sam Elliott), everything in A Star is Born works. It might not be easy-viewing, due to its depiction of alcohol and drug abuse, but it’s hard to look away. There might be another version of A Star is Born in the future, but this version will be hard to top. I get chills every time I listen to the soundtrack.

1-roma-playlist

(Source: Playlist)

1. Roma – Alfonso Cuarón’s latest is, by miles, the best movie of the year. Being his first film since Gravity, he takes a more personal approach in this Netflix original through his astounding direction, screenplay, and camerawork. Bringing 1970s Mexico City to pure life through the gorgeous black-and-white cinematography (after his collaborator Emmanuel Lubezki was unavailable), the story focuses on Cleo, a maid taking care a middle-class family during a rough time in history. With terrific performances from non-professionals, a straightforward narrative, outstanding attention to detail, there will never be another movie like Roma. There is so much that affected me on an emotional level. Definitely one to look out for during awards season.

There you have it! Don’t get upset that I didn’t include a movie you considered one of the best of the year on my list. Keep in mind, this is my list, not yours. I have my entire life to catch up on the movies I’ve missed.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my picks for the best and worst movies of the year. Please feel free to leave a comment on what you think are the best movies of 2018. I look forward to seeing more great movies in the coming year. Keep an eye out for changes coming to this blog in the new year. Have a Happy New Year!