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Let's Talk About... The Best Films of the Decade! 2010-2019

lets-talk-about-the-best-films-of-the-decade-2010

Coming to an End.

Wow. To think that a whole decade has gone by already just blows my mind. I mean really think about it. That’s ten years of ups and downs, smiles and frowns, laughs and tears, achievement and tragedy, love and hate, pride and regret, and a whole lot of unpredictability that we now look back upon in amusement and melancholy. At the beginning of the 2010s I was an 18-year-old boy graduating from high school and moving onto art school. Now at the end of the decade, I’m nearly 28 and the whole world is different to me now. Life seems to do that without us realizing it. We go from day to day not catching onto the fact that the smallest of details are evolving our lives into something else, maybe something better or something worse or somewhere in between. Before we know it, it’s 2019 and we aren’t kids anymore; hell, some of us might have kids or even grandkids now. We look in the mirror to find that we aren’t the same person that we once were because we’ve grown into someone else. Relationships amongst certain individuals have come and gone, our current friends were total strangers a decade ago, and our homes have shifted in location from where we once found comfort.

Do me a favor and let that sink in before going into the next decade. Keep in mind all the little things, all the people in your lives, all the ups and down you’ll face, and cherish them. Yes, including the hardships because as odd as it sounds, they’re memories to learn from. Every memory, good or bad, has value. Love as much as you can love, enjoy every single instance possible, be in every moment and don’t let life slip by because it can definitely breeze quite swiftly. Don’t be the one that reaches the year 2029 looking back at all the wasted opportunities. Seize the day, the moments, the people, the world, everything. Not every day will be perfect, not every move made will be the right choice, not every year will work out as according to plan. That all does not matter because this is your life, live it the absolute best way that you can and try not to let anyone take that away from you. Feel every emotion in the book; don’t be afraid to be sad or angry, but also don’t let those emotions rule the person inside either. Be your best you, flaws and all.

And to end this bit of “philosophical mumbo jumbo” off properly… I would like to site the profound teachings of the great Bill S. Preston Esquire and Ted Theodore Logan.

Be excellent to each other.

— Bill S. Preston Esquire

Party on, dudes!

— Ted Theodore Logan

lets-talk-about-the-best-films-of-the-decade-2010

We’re Talking Movies Now

For myself, a major part of the memories experienced were witnessing the wonderous sites inside the cinema. Let me say that there were some truly marvelous pictures to see from this particular decade. So much so that I decided to comprise a little list of what I consider to be the best films of the entire decade. Before getting into it, I do need to bring up some of the criteria I personally made for this list to meet in order to not make this article as long as the bible… or as long as my review of A Madea Family Funeral. Both about the same length. A big rule that I made for myself was to only pick ONE movie per year between 2010 and 2019. So I can’t list two or more from any single year, as much as that may kill me, but I have to keep this as concise as I can because I tend to go overboard with talking about movies and if I start listing off multiple flicks from each year then this article will never get finished. Although I have allowed myself to insert an ‘Honorable Mentions’ section for every year listed.

One tidbit for the readers to take note of is that I have not seen everything to come out in the decade. So if there are some great masterpieces that are not listed or mentioned in this article then I simply may not have seen the movie or maybe I did not enjoy it as much as other people may have. For instance; in the last ten years I still haven’t gotten around to viewing The King’s Speech, Winter’s Bone, Eat Pray Love, The Fighter, The Artist, War Horse, Nebraska, The Theory of Everything, Selma, Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, Room, The Post, Phantom Thread, and probably a bunch more that slipped by me over the years. Although if there are some that someone reading this believes should be included or mentioned, by all means, comment them down below!

Sorry I haven't seen it yet!

Sorry I haven't seen it yet!

Another factor to notice is that there will probably not be any major mainstream comic book adventures or all that many of the obvious Oscar contender types either. So apologies in advanced that Black Panther nor Green Book will be featured on my list. This is strictly what I see as the best or my favorites from each year of the decade. Some might fall under the action genre, others may be dramas or thrillers, could be some sci-fi epics; there’s no specific category for the films on here to meet, if I enjoyed it above most others then it makes it on the list. Simple as that. As much as I do have a blast at the Marvel movies, Star Wars, or what have you, they didn’t make the cut here. Again I say, apologies to anyone who disagrees and please proceed to the comments to explain why I’m wrong. As long as you’re nice about it, don’t be a d*ck!

Lastly, this is all based on my own opinion. Therefore, none of these selections should be perceived as any sort of official list. What I may adore, others may loathe and vice versa. This is a totally subjectively based article for me to look back and have fun reminiscing on some of the great works of art that stuck with me over the last ten years… before I start on my list of what haunted me during those years next. Anyways, without further ado, here is my list of the “Best Films” of the decade. Enjoy!

2010

Honorable Mentions:

  • Black Swan
  • Kick-Ass
  • The Town
  • Daybreakers
  • Tron Legacy
  • Blue Valentine
  • Insidious
  • True Grit
  • Shutter Island
  • 127 Hours
  • The Social Network

Inception

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The Plot: A thief (Leonardo DiCaprio) who steals corporate secrets through the use of dream-sharing technology is a given the inverse task of planting an idea into the mind of a C.E.O.

My Thoughts: Selecting an official “Best” movie for 2010, I won’t lie, was exceedingly difficult for me and was the reason why this list I’m writing has been in limbo for the basically two weeks at this point. Major reason being that I didn’t want to be totally clichéd in claiming Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi/crime thriller spectacle to be the clear choice when it has been said so many times before. Then after revisiting the picture for the first time in years, I came to the realization that there really isn’t a film that could do much better than Inception. Although I was extremely close to listing Ben Affleck’s The Town in the official spot, Inception took first place from the very moment I hit ‘play’.

Inception; what can I say about it that hasn’t been said already? The premise of a heist movie taking place within peoples’ dreams is simple yet brilliant. The action and visual effects are some of the most breathtaking that have ever been projected onto the big screen. The characters are all memorable and a blast to watch, including Leonardo DiCaprio in one of his many Oscar snub performances and is acting his heart out in some emotionally raw scenes. The editing of the movie is some of the most intelligently thought out for film as well, because even when the audience is fairly certain the events transpiring are taking place in the real world, the editing seems to continuously create the illusion of a dreamlike narrative; subtly keeping the narrative coherent yet strangely vague in certain transitions to allude that maybe the characters are actually still asleep. Leaving room for about a decade’s worth of debate on the matter.

Christopher Nolan crafted what is no short of a masterpiece that represents exactly why we love going to the theater; to see these grand scale ideas that are simplified enough to be fun and complex enough to be thought-provoking. Then of course the ending is possibly one of the most referenced film conclusions in the last 50 years, for good reason as it is a great way to cut to credits having left the audience still on the edge of their seat and somehow totally satisfied. Original, fun, creative, riveting, and clever from start to finish; Inception is my (as well as most everyone’s) best flick of 2010. If you haven’t been privileged to checking this gem out already, do yourselves a favor and find this as soon as you can to celebrate the closing of this decade!

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2011

Honorable Mentions:

  • Drive Angry
  • Attack the Block
  • Thor
  • Fast Five
  • Drive
  • X-Men: First Class
  • Super 8
  • Kill the Irishman
  • Killer Elite
  • Hugo
  • The Muppets
  • Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

I Saw the Devil

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The Plot: A secret agent (Byung-Hun Lee) exacts revenge on a serial killer (Min-sik Choi) through a series of captures and releases.

My Thoughts: While 2011 was slightly burdensome to decide my favorite movie, admittedly Drive was so freaking close to making the cut, I Saw the Devil was the one movie that thrilled and disturbed me so much with its brutal take on revenge that I still haven’t gone back to see this movie since my one and only viewing all those years ago. Regardless of the fact that it’s been several years since I last saw this movie, I vividly remember every bloody minute. Not only is this a story about one man’s quest for vengeance on a serial killer who butchered his wife, but showing just how far down the rabbit hole one can go when they’ve lost someone they love. As well as the cost of their own soul when forgiveness is no longer an option.

At the beginning of this darkly twisted tale it is extremely easy to sympathize with the husband, played by Byung-Hun Lee, as anyone can connect to that anger and hurt of losing a loved one. However, as this widower becomes more obsessed in his extensive torture of this homicidal monster, the more we see the honorable man he once was slowly lose his humanity. This man’s tragic descent into abandoning his own morals, becoming as evil as the very man he despises, is borderline impossible to watch in parts. Then when it comes to the action and gore, wow! I mean, it is literally heart pounding to witness these terrifying atrocities unfolding before us. Showing exactly how depraved people can be to one another is something that horror delivers best; I Saw the Devil is one of the most pure examples of showing that world is a scary place and this film perfectly highlights just how horrible it can get.

2012

Honorable Mentions:

  • The Grey
  • Chronicle
  • The Cabin in the Woods
  • Safe
  • The Avengers
  • Skyfall
  • Prometheus
  • ParaNorman
  • The Raid: Redemption
  • Looper
  • Argo
  • Seven Psychopaths
  • Killer Joe
  • Django Unchained

Dredd

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The Plot: In a violent, futuristic city where the police have the authority to act as judge, jury and executioner, a cop named Judge Dredd (Karl Urban) teams with his trainee (Olivia Thirlby) to take down a gang that deals the reality-altering drug, SLO-MO. Locked inside what is known as a Mega-block, a city within one building, Dredd and Anderson have only one way out; that way is through this crazed gang run by the ever sadistic Ma-Ma (Lena Headey).

My Thoughts: As great as some of the other movies are in my honorable mentions, Dredd quite effortlessly tops them all. With the exception of The Raid, Dredd is one of the only picks from 2012 to be hands down one of the greatest action movies ever made. Dredd is a hundred stories of a blood-soaked good time with Karl Urban completely owning the role of the titular character and providing several inventive new ways of shooting people in the face! Visually speaking, the film is stunning in its carnage and creative use of slow motion via this futuristic drug used throughout the narrative. The story could not be simpler inside this post-apocalyptic world where criminals run ramped, locking our two heroes inside a giant skyscraper and the only way out is going through the dozens of this psychotic gang trying to kill them. The gang’s only problem, they chose to f*ck with the wrong cop; Judge Dredd gives no leniency to anyone breaking the law he holds so dear. Ergo, they are all screwed. Although the intense villain of Ma-Ma, played by Lena Headey, does definitely give Dredd a run for his money as she’s not to be trifled with either.

The action is awesome, the special effects are awesome, Karl Urban is awesome, Lena Headey is awesome, Olivia Thirlby as Anderson (Dredd’s psychic partner) is awesome, the gore is awesome. The whole damn movie is awesome! If anyone reading this article hasn’t already checked out Dredd and loves action movies, stop reading this and go watch Dredd! There is no excuse to ignore this movie; find it, buy it, rent it, whatever you have to do in order to see this badassery! Remember kids, you are not the law… Karl Urban is!

2013

Honorable Mentions:

  • Welcome to the Punch
  • Oblivion
  • Pain & Gain
  • Mud
  • The Conjuring
  • Pacific Rim
  • Fruitvale Station
  • Rush
  • Don Jon
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
  • Gravity
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Frozen
  • American Hustle
  • The Wolf of Wall Street
  • The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
  • Lovelace