Why would anyone make a list of 100 movies? Well, as the decade draws to a close, I have developed an incredible love of cinema over the last ten years. Lists are hard, and they are virtually outdated as soon one sees something great upon publishing said list. But they can also be evergreen. They can encompass a moment in time that a decade from now one can look back and recognize they were in a specific place in their own lives. Most importantly on a personal note, I love movies. What better way to celebrate some of the decades best, then boiling it down to a list of 100.

The 2010’s brought new achievements in cinema. Cultural touchstones that now will been engrained in our lives going forward. The latter half of the 10’s signified a desire to guide film audiences to more diverse places. All African-American and Asian casts are representing groups previously left aside. Female directors are getting more and more recognition and bigger projects. More interesting voices are getting to tell stories. Films are more widely distributed to give movies like Boyhood, Birdman and Spotlight a place at the table.

The decade also brought forth more franchise IP than we ever seen. Star Wars was rebooted, the Marvel Cinematic Universe dominated the movie landscape and numerous attempts were made to start similar shared universes to little success. The MCU, like the films or not, is undoubtedly a movie achievement unlike any other this decade or in movie history. 

Streamers got into the game with Netflix becoming a place for Oscar favorites and the debate rages on for theatrical vs. streaming. Surely, there will be more to come that debate at the turn of the decade.

Master directors found themselves perhaps working at their very best in 2010’s. Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan and many others ushered in some of the decades best and most popular movies. Under the radar auteurs like the Safdie Brothers and Barry Jenkins cemented their place as the industries best. The arrival (pun intended) of Denis Villeneuve ushered in a new Speilbergian type filmmaker, crafting some small foreign dramas, and big blockbusters, redefining what we can accomplish with them.

Largely it was a underwhelming decade of Oscar winners. Leo finally got his due, but so did several other largely forgettable Best Picture winners. We hotly debated the diversity of film’s most prestigious award and significant changes have resulted to the betterment of the Academy. 

It was a wild ride. And I’ve attempted to encapsulate an objective but also subjective look at the decade. A perfect example is 2018’s Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse. It is a movie that was not on my top ten of its year of release. But, it is impossible to deny its impact on the culture and its groundbreaking animation. So as you read this list, keep in mind these 100 movies are mix of my own personal favorites, and movies that are important to the decade as a whole. I won’t bog you down with paragraphs for each film. That would take all night to read. Which means I should probably say something about the film that tops this list. 

Few films encapsulate the decade better than David Fincher’s The Social Network, my number one movie of the 2010’s. When it debuted in 2010 it was billed as “the Facebook movie” and despite an incredibly effective teaser trailer, many wrote this film off from the outset, including myself. We all should’ve known better. David Fincher crafted a film that still feels of its time. It’s astute commentary on the social media age may never fade as we get deeper into our own online lives. The Social Network foreshadowed our addiction to said online lives through an addiction of a different type. Mark Zuckerberg’s own obsession with being validated as an outcast at Harvard, drives the movie. He wants to prove he belongs along with his friend, in Harvard’s most elite social circles. A streak of jealously and a fragile ego leads him to dump that only friend out in the cold for a billion dollars seemingly without any kind of remorse and the drop of hand. The stirring and magnetic performance from Jesse Eisenberg profiles a man who’ve in the years since has become one of the most polarizing figures of the decade. 

WARNING: Video contains NSFW language

The fact that Facebook was born from toxic masculinity to a degree, speaks to this decade in a way no other film has achieved. Facebook has very much become the symbol of the worst parts of our society. Comment sections have become miniature war zones spewing hatred from often anonymous sources. If you’re having a politically charged argument at your family holiday party, it’s probable it can be traced to an article on Facebook from sources where the truth is skewed and is virtually impossible to verify. Fincher and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin knew this and their film has become the ultimate time capsule for the 2010’s. Politics and future predictions aside, it’s also just really great cinema with excellent performances, a razor sharp script and worthy of the modern American classic designation. 

Obviously, I can’t recommend checking out the movies on this list highly enough. Lots are mainstream. But there are some under the radar choices as well I’d recommend seeking out. So without further adieu, let the debate begin! 

100. Support The Girls (Andrew Bujalski, 2018)

99. Amour (Michael Hanke, 2012)

98. Cries from Syria (Evgeny Afineesky, 2017)

97. High Flying Bird (Steven Soderbergh, 2019)

96. Mission: Impossible – Fallout (Christopher McQuarrie, 2018)

95. Jackie (Pablo Larrain, 2016)

94. Shutter Island (Martin Scorsese, 2010)

93. Spring Breakers (Harmony Korine, 2012)

92. CitizenFour (Laura Poitras, 2014)

91. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, 2015)

90. Force Majeure (Ruben Ostlund, 2014)

89. True Grit (Joel & Ethan Coen, 2010)

88. Oslo, August 31st (Joachim Trier, 2011)

87. The Big Short (Adam McKay, 2015)

86. 12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen, 2013)

85. Zero Dark Thirty (Kathryn Bigelow, 2012)

84. Krisha (Trey Edward Shults, 2015)

83. First Man (Damien Chazelle, 2018)

82. Winter’s Bone (Debra Granik, 2010)

81. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey & Rodney Rothman, 2018)

80. Creed (Ryan Coogler, 2015)

79. Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky, 2010)

78. Nightcrawler (Dan Gilroy, 2014)

77. Skyfall (Sam Mendes, 2012)

76. The Fighter (David O. Russell, 2010)

75. The Death of Stalin (Armando Ianuuci, 2018)

74. Side Effects (Steven Soderbergh, 2013)

73. Upstream Color (2013, Shane Carruth)

72. Django Unchained (Quentin Tarantino, 2012)

71. Zama (Lucretia Martel, 2017)

70. Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)

69. The Lobster (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2015)

68. Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

67. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010)

66. Silence (Martin Scorsese, 2016)

65. Gravity (Alfonso Cuaron, 2013)

64. 45 Years (Andrew Haigh, 2015)

63. Dogtooth (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2010)

62. O.J. Made in America (Ezra Edelman, 2016)

61. Holy Motors (Leos Carax, 2012)

60. Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer, 2013)

59. Avengers: Endgame (Joe & Anthony Russo, 2019)

58. The Rider (Chloe Zhao, 2018)

57. Heaven Knows What (Josh & Benny Safdie, 2014)

56. Us (Jordan Peele, 2019)

55. An Elephant Sitting Still (Hu Bo, 2019)

54. Interstellar (Christopher Nolan, 2014)

53. Cold War (Pawel Pawlikowski, 2018)

52. Arrival (Denis Villenueve, 2016)

51. The Act of Killing/The Look of Silence (Joshua Oppenheimer, 2012/2014)

50. Carol (Todd Haynes, 2015)

49. Inside Out (Pete Docter, 2015)

48. Gone Girl (David Fincher, 2014)

47. Phantom Thread (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2017)

46. Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

45. Silver Linings Playbook (David O. Russell, 2012)

44. Moneyball (Bennett Miller, 2011)

43. Get Out (Jordan Peele, 2017)

42. Meek’s Cutoff (Kelly Reichart, 2010)

41. La La Land (Damien Chazelle, 2016)

40. Parasite (Bong Joon-ho, 2019)

39. Before Midnight (Richard Linklater, 2013)

38. Whiplash (Damien Chazelle, 2014)

37. Birdman, or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance (Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu, 2014)

36. Sicario (Denis Villenueve, 2015)

35. Short Term 12 (Destin Daniel Cretton, 2013)

34. Toy Story 3 (Lee Unkrich, 2010)

33. The End of the Tour (James Pondsoldt, 2015)

32. Take Shelter (Jeff Nichols, 2011)

31. Everybody Wants Some!! (Richard Linklater, 2016)

30. The Descendants (Alexander Payne, 2011)

29. A Ghost Story (David Lowery, 2017)

28. Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino, 2019)

27. If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins, 2018)

26. Three Identical Strangers (2018)

25. Minding the Gap (Bing Liu, 2018)

24. Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villenueve, 2017)

23. Burning (Lee Chang-dong, 2018)

22. Waves (Trey Edward Shults, 2019)

21. Roma (Alfonso Cuaron, 2018)

20. The Souvenir (Joanna Hogg, 2019)

19. Hell or High Water (David Mackenzie, 2016)

18. Good Time (Josh & Benny Safdie 2017)

17. The Irishman (Martin Scorsese, 2019)

16. A Separation (Asghar Farhadi, 2011)

15. Moonlight (Barry Jenkins, 2016)

14. Leave No Trace (Debra Granik, 2018)

13. The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011)

12. The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese, 2013)

11. Incendies (Denis Villeneuve, 2010)

10. Columbus (Kogonada, 2017)

9. Inception (Christopher Nolan, 2010)

8. Her (Spike Jonze, 2013)

7. Dunkirk (Christopher Nolan, 2017)

6. Drive (Nicholas Winding Refn, 2011)

5. Inside Llewyn Davis (Joel & Ethan Coen, 2013)

4. Manchester by the Sea (Kenneth Lonergan, 2016)

3. Spotlight (Tom McCarthy, 2015)

2. The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2012)

1. The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010)

What are your favorite films of the decade? Let me know below! Here’s to a new decade.

Note: As more 2019 films on come out this list is subject to change.

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