MovieGainz Top 32 of the Decade – 2010-2019

Here we present to you our Top 32 Films of the Decade from 2010-2019.

32. Skyfall

With stunning cinematography and amazing action sequences – Sam Mendes delivers the best Bond film in the franchise.

31. La La Land

Damien Chazelle truly crafted a modern classic which flourishes in every aspect of its filmmaking.

30. Blindspotting

Funny, stylistic, and fascinating on many levels, ‘Blindspotting’ is thematically aware of the changes brought about by social, economic, and cultural shifts in society. This is a film for all adult ages; it enriches views, it widens narrow mindsets, and it doesn’t point fingers. ‘Blindspotting’ is the film we missed in 2018, but it sure as hell won’t miss this list.

29. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Feels a lot longer this came out – equally as memorable by giving a near-perfect send-off to a spectacular franchise.

28. The Dark Knight Rises

The epic conclusion to The Dark Knight trilogy, Christopher Nolan was able to deliver a comic accurate adaptation of the Knightfall comic arc which was paired with one of the best scores in recent memory from Hanz Zimmer.

27. Prisoners

Denis Villenueve masterfully creates a crime-thriller by building a suspenseful atmosphere around a layered script that unravels its puzzle slowly.

26. Avengers: Endgame

This movie had it all, epic moments, lots of laughs and the occasional pull on the heart string. The Russo Brothers was able to deliver a satisfying end to the Infinity Saga. 

25. Arrival

Another Denis Villeneuve film, ‘Arrival’ is a thought-provoking sci-fi classic that explores time and how we are bound by it. One of the best sci-fi films of the decade!

24. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

With a more realistic and political spin on Captain America tied in with amazing one on one fight choreography, the Russo Brothers were able to deliver one of the MCUs best movies in the franchise.

23. Drive

This is that film that makes every young man wanna be a silent brooding type. It’s also a film that has perhaps one of the most killer senses of style seen in film this decade; good thing it also has substance to back it up. ‘Drive’ may not be a 200MPH film, but its impact on us sure left a mark.

22. Sicario

Tyler Sheridan, Denis Villeneuve, and Roger Deakins collaborate to form a gripping tale of fatherhood, deception, brutality, and a stark look into the bloody side of the modern Western frontier. ‘Sicario’ is a thriller, but when the credits roll and you’re left thinking about the state of the world, it’s hard not to think the film is a horror.

21. The Tree of Life

In the beginning there was nothing but a spark, a tiny speck, then planets formed, as did the oceans… on and on… eventually we see the first life forms. Eventually, the life of a human… a boy, then, him as a man. This is the ‘Tree of Life’. It’s to be experienced and almost impossible to describe. A film that makes you feel small, but makes you feel human.

20. The Handmaiden

This South Korean Mystery Romance film is the marriage between the thematics of female sexual liberation and a mind-boggling series of narrative twists that keep your brain in free-fall for the entirety of the film’s runtime. One of our favorite Korean films of all time.

19. Marriage Story

Noah Baumbach delivers an authentic real divorce story, with fantastic performances from its cast, helping make this film different from regular divorce movies.

18. A Star is Born

Bradley Cooper stuns us with his directorial debut in ‘A Star is Born’, committing to authenticity in its filmmaking and storytelling whilst bringing out an astounding first time performance with Lady Gaga.

17. Ford V Ferrari

The high octane, adrenaline fueled racing pieces helps make ‘Ford v Ferrari’ one of the best car films we have seen in recent memory. The excellent chemistry between Matt Damon and Christian Bale elevates the movie even further.

16. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Stunning animation, perfectly timed humor, a great voice cast and just an overall fun story, ‘Into the Spider-Verse’ can be considered the best Spider-Man film we have been given so far.

15. Whiplash

Tense, superbly acted, and narratively grounded – ‘Whiplash’ perhaps stands as one of the most surprising films of the decade, bringing about two stellar performances to form an orchestra of perseverance, ego, and hunger… to be the best. ‘Whiplash’ is one of those films where you sit down with a glass of whiskey and allow it to take you on its journey.

14. The Revenant

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu & Emmanuel Lubezki team up with Leonardo DiCaprio to create a gritty revenge/survival film. The cinematography creates some of the most beautiful sequences in film and the performances only make the film more immersive.

13. Logan

It’s only fitting that Hugh Jackman’s last outing as Wolverine is one of the best comic-book films ever made. 20th Century Fox & James Mangold go all in with this film making it as brutal and honest as ever – Jackman’s final performance is as powerful as it is heart-breaking.

12. Toy Story 3

A decade after Toy Story 2, Lee Unkrich brings us a fitting end to the Toy Story franchise. The animation team at Pixar out did themselves as they continue to revolutionise the animation genre. Tom Hanks and Tim Allen reprise their roles as Woody & Buzz and help cement them as one of the best animated characters of all time. It’s not a Pixar movie if it doesn’t have emotional beats, from the teasing of the toy gang getting burned to the gut wrenching final scene as Andy ‘passes the torch’ to Bonnie.

11. Blade Runner 2049

This sequel to the classic sci-fi – classic merges sleek futurism, an absorbing premise, and a tantalizing comment on who we are, what we are, and what makes us human. ‘Blade Runner 2049’ is so triumphant that it perhaps overshadows the original. This is reference grade material for visuals. The bar at which every other sci-fi film will be judged against.

10. Manchester by the Sea

This raw tale of a man in self-isolation carries with it humor, emotional weight, and perhaps the greatest performance of the decade by one Casey Affleck. By the end of this film you’ll feel worn, torn, and somehow, happy. This may be one of the truest depictions of depression ever seen on screen.

9. The Wolf of Wall Street

How do you make stock markets and trading interesting? Team up Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio that’s how! ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ brings it’s insanity and humor to help make this one of the best movies of the decade, mainly helped by an Oscar worthy performance by Leonardo DiCaprio and the breakout of Margot Robbie. This film will be a joy to watch as time goes on.

8. Dunkirk

Christopher Nolan continues to impress as he expands on his range with war film ‘Dunkirk’. With a focus on practical sets & props, the film becomes extremely immersive alongside some of the best sound-design in a film. Nolan understands the essence of authenticity in film-making as ‘Dunkirk’ places the audience right in the middle of the war. Crafting a non-linear script that operates with three timelines as the co-exist and eventually merges is some of the best displays of how powerful can be when all aspects work together in harmony. ‘Dunkirk’ is one of the best war films ever made.

7. Once Upon a Time In…Hollywood

Arguably, Tarantino’s most personal and mature film as we journey into the golden age of Hollywood to near-perfection. Tarantino breathes life into his characters making them extremely compelling and real – whilst painting the picture of 1969 Hollywood with such accuracy. ‘Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood’ explores failing to reach the heights you had hoped for in your career and knowing that it’ll all be okay because the world wouldn’t be the same without you. It also features the most talented casts in a decade and that last 30 minutes alone are enough to justify its position on this list.

6. Parasite

We need not say more… Parasite has taken the world by storm. But we have loved this film since we first saw it in July last year. This film is more than one thing, it’s a collection of many. From wealth to status, from family to strangers… this is perhaps the most human thriller we’ve ever seen and certainly one of the most complex.

5. Interstellar

Christopher Nolan brings us his epic space thriller as he takes us across the galaxies in search for a new home. An incredible cast led by Matthew McConaughey makes this film even more special. Nolan teams up with Hans Zimmer once again who composes a bombastic and tense score which drives the intensity and heart rate for its scenes right up. With a realistic take on space science and its killer emotional moments, ‘Interstellar’ will stand the test of time as one of the best space movies ever made.

4. The Social Network

There isn’t too much to say about this film that hasn’t already been said, in saying that, this film is near-perfect. Aaron Sorkin helms the script incorporating a tight structure with intricate dialogue that has a rapid-fire pace and is sharp and polished. The screenplay is one of the best of the decade balancing all the elements with captivating characters and engrossing story beats. David Fincher has impeccable direction as all the pieces that make this film great are all working simultaneously and it is endlessly engaging to watch. The cast matches the quality of the script and the score is sensational – as it livens up the atmosphere with energy. This is a perfect example of when the director, writer, cast, cinematographer and composer are all on the same page.

3. Inception

This film is particularly special, sparking a passion in film for us. We couldn’t keep this film out of the Top 3 simply because each aspect of its filmmaking is excellent. Inception is one the best modern blockbusters that have ever graced the screen as it holds one of the most innovative concepts and executes it superbly. As the storytelling is structurally told in several layers at one time, the editing allows the audience to be able to follow the grand scheme of things in relation to story but also provide a close look to the each sequence shown on-screen. Inception rewards intellect as it  explores dreams and goes deep into the consciousness of the human mind. It’s an edge of our seat experience as the film engrosses you from its technical mastery to its visual grandeur.

2. Mad Max: Fury Road

Not just a guns blazing testosterone fueled ride to the finish line. Mad Max: Fury Road is everything masculine that could possibly be dreamed up and served on a platter to audiences through the guise of an action film. Beneath its blackened soot lies an intelligent comment on male dominance, their aggressive competitiveness with one another, and their hunger to own the world. Everyone and everything in the mad world of Mad Max can be taken and owned. This is a visually engorging experience and one that we will watch over and over for years to come.

1. 1917

“Is it possible that in the final weeks of 2019, one of our greatest films of the decade is released”, a line from our review and boy how accurate that is. Sam Mendes take a bow. Coming up with an idea to have a war film shot in one take and pulling it off takes something special. Another man who should take a bow is cinematographer Roger Deakins. The way he works the camera to pan across lakes, go through windows and zoom across the landscapes along with the visually appealing flare scene is just amazing.  The sheer physicality Mendes puts his actor through is enormous where us as a viewer can feel the physical toll they are going through. This was felt especially in the final sprint scene, a scene which the whole movie was building towards. A truly intense moment paired with a great physical performance from George McKay and a brilliant piece of score from Thomas Newman which slowly builds towards the triumphant moment. ‘1917’ is not only our top film of the 2010’s but could also possibly be the best film of all time.

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