The Mandatory Top 20 Movies of the 2010s
The 2010s have delivered a monstrous amount of memorable movies. The sci-fi genre has blown up dramatically while the ever-consuming world of superheroes continues to provide more and more colorful capes. In the last decade, we’ve seen major advancement of futuristic, artificially intelligent worlds, real-life true stories of brilliant and despicable humans, and classic directors like Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, and Wes Anderson expand their storytelling repertoires by leaps and bounds. These are the top 20 films of the 2010s.
Cover Photo: Paramount Pictures
'The Grand Budapest Hotel'
Wes Anderson can typically do no wrong. In the case of The Grand Budapest Hotel, pure Wes Andersonian perfection was reached via a gorgeously shot, brilliantly directed, quirkily hilarious tale of a legendary concierge in a remote resort located way up in the mountains of fictitious-land. The movie looks absolutely amazing, and has an enormously talented cast lurking around every corner: Willem Dafoe, Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Adrien Brody, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton, and Tom Wilkinson.
'The Dark Knight Rises'
Years after we said goodbye to the Joker (RIP Heath Ledger), The Dark Knight Rises introduced us to one of the scariest villains ever created in the DC world: Bane. Played by Tom Hardy, this enigmatic bad guy created a pop-culture social wave of college bros collectively deciding to only speak in tough-guy Bane-voice for the remainder of their higher learning experience.
'The Social Network'
The Winklevoss twins may disagree with us, but The Social Network is probably best explained by this line: "If you had invented Facebook, then you would've invented Facebook." That single line basically sums up everything you need to know about the biggest internet creation not named Amazon. In that one line, we find out that the Winklevoss twins were about to get screwed, Mark Zuckerberg was/is a complete prick, and social media was going to ruin our lives.
Director, writer, and Oscar-winner Alejandro G. Innaritu, created an incredibly gorgeous and equally disturbing film when he procured The Revenant. The film won three Oscars: Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Achievement in Cinematography, while also being nominated for essentially every award imaginable. Leonardo DiCaprio finally got his statue for Best Actor and it was well-deserved after being humped to almost death up and down the forest by a giant bear. If you've got 2 1/2 hours of time to kill, definitely check out this instant classic.
Creepy Jake Gyllenhaal is always the best kind of Gyllenhaal. Nightcrawler gives us a glimpse of the dirty, slimy underworld of freelance crime chasers in Los Angeles. The idea of guys driving around L.A. with police scanners, racing to car crashes and murder scenes so they can capture the first video possible to sell to local news broadcasts, is just about the grossest example of humanity possible, second only to Trump supporters.
The geeky future of our social media and artificial intelligence existence is scarily on point with the plotline of Her. A man who decides to romantically date his computer's operating system's AI because he can't find a real girlfriend doesn't seem too far off given our current state of dating app technology.
Moonlight was an incredibly sad coming-of-age story told throughout several timelines of life. It explored sexuality, love, and real life growing pains. While not exactly a feel-good movie, it did win the Oscar for Picture of the Year, Best Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali), and Best Adapted Screenplay.
'Midnight In Paris'
Woody Allen, the long-time weirdo, sexually confused comedy writer, and director hit a home run with Midnight In Paris. Granted, it is probably the whitest movie ever made. The story follows a semi-successful writer who is engaged to a pretty, rich girl and whose in-laws-to-be belittle him at every chance. They take a business trip to Paris as a family where they hang out with two of the most pretentious people ever, while the main character, played by Owen Wilson, falls in love with the city and slowly falls out of love with his fiance. Magically, while moping around Paris at night, Wilson's character is transported to 1920s Paris where he meets all his literary heroes who change his outlook on life when he gets back to his present time. It's a magical, mystery tour of pretentiousness.
After all the Marvel superhero flicks and all the battles, Logan cleverly wrapped up the Wolverine storyline perfectly. It's an amazing last hurrah for one of the all-time great action characters.
What the hell is a dream within a dream within a dream? The answer is presented to you via Christopher Nolan's Inception. It's confusing as hell, it's packed with crazy cool action and skyscraper-bending special effects that'll keep you constantly unsure of who is who and what is actually real. It's perfect.
'Toy Story 3'
Toy Story 3 is hilarious and fun. Just admit it to yourself and we can all move on.
For every man who saw Gone Girl, there was an immense amount of terror that became attached to dating, marriage, and relationships with women thanks to Rosamund Pike's performance as a murderess. Gone Girl is so good that it somehow even made us root for Ben Affleck to win, a notion that still makes no logical sense.
Django is a top-tier Tarantino movie, combining action, blood, fights, antiheroes, and crazy aggressive dialogue. It won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and Christopher Waltz won Best Supporting Actor. It's the absolute best of the best.
A best-of list for the last 10 years of movies can't not include Bridesmaids. It's simply the comedy mecca of female ensemble cast movies. Bridesmaids is the cream of the comedy crop.
"Am I rushing or dragging?" Wow, that scene alone makes this film something special. The Farmer's Insurance spokesperson even won a Supporting Actor Oscar for his theatrical performance...and throwing of chairs, smacking of faces, and general assholery.
'Hell Or High Water'
This one is a bit of a sneaky burn, but absolutely terrific. The basic story of bank-robbing brothers in small-town Texas on a spree only opens the door for what's really motivating their crimes. It's heart-warming, sad, cool, funny, badass, smart and there's a solid twist in the end. Oh, also The Big Lebowski's The Dude plays an old Texas Ranger hunting the bad boys down. It's brilliant.
Deadpool is the most sarcastic version of a superhero movie ever produced, and Ryan Reynolds was born to play the main character. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll be grossed out and you'll probably wish you were Deadpool in real life after you're done watching it.
'Wolf of Wall Street'
It's all the Scorsese you could ever ask for in one unfavorable main character. Drugs, alcohol, sex, money, greed, women, pool parties, the FBI, yachts, and it's all a true story! Jonah Hill's performance as one of the weirdest guys ever is almost as memorable as the flying midgets party scene.
The last 10 years of film have shown us several versions of futuristic worlds. Ex Machina is a niche world that scares the hell out of most viewers. A highly advanced artificial intelligence robot (that more than passes the Turing test) murders its creator and escapes into the real world. Wow, this is how we're going to go extinct.
'Mad Max: Fury Road'
Mad Max is a long-time cult hit of a franchise, and if you want constant action, incredible cinematography, and very little dialogue, then Mad Max: Fury Road is your golden goose. It's a perfectly updated version of an old classic. Don't think about it too much. It's just fun as hell.