This decade has been an interesting one to say the least. We have seen some of the best horror films in recent memory, the rise of very promising directors, the artistic decline of the Fast and Furious franchise, and the conclusion of the Star Wars series. We have comprised a list of our favorite films of the last 10 years and we are excited to see what the next decade has in store.
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014): This is easily one of my favorites, mainly for the sense of nostalgia it had from the soundtrack. Not only that, but Tyler Bates really crafted an underrated score. Not to mention, it made us care for 5 random characters we barely knew at the beginning of the film, and showed how they came to work together. It took The Avengers several films before we even saw them on screen at the same time!
The Force Awakens (2015):This is another favorite of the past decade. At the time it was such a brand new experience for me, even though I’d spent the last month watching the previous films. What made it so great lay in the marketing. It welcomed both old and new viewers, and did well to give the sense of a great, vast galaxy, filled with possibilities. Not to mention, it shared a lot of the same adventurous, fun elements of past Star Wars films.
Interstellar/Inception: Christopher Nolan could probably sit in front of a camera and make it look incredible. I say that because Inception was such a mind-bending film conceptually and visually, on par with The Matrix. Hopefully he finds some way to revisit that universe. As for Interstellar, the vast abyss of outer space felt extremely real, especially during the more tense moments. The accuracy of what was depicted on screen is really admirable too. Really, I wonder what we did to deserve a filmmaker like that.
Parasite (2019): Joon-ho Bong’s latest hit and the first Korean film to win the Palm d’Or at Cannes, much can be said about this comedy thriller. But the things that stood out to me the most was the film’s excellent use of motifs and parallels to comment on the difference between social classes.
Inside Out (2015): This film has everything I look for in a fantastic animated movie. Endless creativity, relatable characters, and a powerful message. After rewatching the film a few weeks ago, I found myself resonating much more with it’s message that sadness isn’t always a bad thing.
The Greatest Showman (2017): It may have taken a few hits from critics, but it sure was a crowd pleaser taking the world by storm. Two years later and I’m still jamming out to this soundtrack. No matter what critics say.
Hereditary (2018): This movie completely knocked the wind out of me. I don’t scare easy but Hereditary was terrifying. It’s a terrifying portrayal of grief, motherhood, and familial relationships. All of the paranormal stuff is secondary. Hereditary made me feel horrible and I loved every minute of it. Also, the fact that Toni Collette did not win an Oscar for her performance is a hate crime against me personally.
Burning (2018): I went into Burning with no expectations or even really any idea about its plot but I was blown away. The cinematography, writing, and acting were all incredible. Every slow and brooding moment of the film feels necessary and methodical, and all of it culminates for an incredible movie ending. I could have sat through a couple more hours of the movie just to relish in Chang-dong Lee’s hypnotic storytelling for a little longer.
Moonlight (2016): I wonder if Barry Jenkins knew that he was inventing love when he wrote and directed Moonlight. It just does everything right—it unapologetically discusses toxic masculinity and approaches the life of a black man with a sincerity I have not seen in any other film. It’s the perfect movie, romantic and tender, all back-dropped by Miami’s beauty.
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015): This is one of a handful of films that I can genuinely say had me on the literal edge of my seat. It is exciting, action packed, rich in world building and a love letter to visual storytelling. I would hesitate in calling this a film. It is more of an experience. You are doing yourself a disservice for not watching it. Watch it now. Do it.
Inception (2010): This is the film that really solidified Christopher Nolan as one of the best directors out there. I never thought I’d see such a fun, introspective, high-concept film which in turn was a self reflective analysis on the art of filmmaking. Also, it’s a mind heist, the second coolest type of heist after a casino heist.
Moonlight (2016): I’m sure Val put it better than me. I think this might be one of the most heartfelt love stories ever put on film. It drew a tear or two out of the film bro.
The Handmaiden (2016): Park Chan-wook’s adaptation of Sarah Waters’ queer feminist mystery novel The Fingersmith works beautifully. Visually sumptuous, the film cleverly implicates viewers in the male gaze it critiques, a fact seemingly lost on too many reviewers.
Dunkirk (2017): I’m still enamored of the technical work on this film—innovative editing, sterling cinematography, precise sound design—all shot on film for IMAX projection. I’m not bothered by its absolute lack of character development. In fact, that’s part of what I find compellingly original about this picture.
Cold War (2018): Forced to pick a Pawlikowski film, most American film buffs would probably choose 2013’s Ida. But I found Cold War a powerful addition to the Polish East/West tradition evident in films like Wajda’s Danton (1983) and Kieslowski’s Three Colors: White (1994). It’s a film as much about the ways history shapes art as anything, and not just “history” but this specific European history. To watch it primarily for the tragic love affair is to miss how this film earns the overused term “tragedy.” It’s greatest flaw, an accusation rarely leveled these days, is that it’s too short.