Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Decades of Cinema - 10 Best of 2010 - Present

Previous decades lists are: 1920's1930's,1940's1950's1960's1970's1980's1990's and 2000's.

Here are my ten favorite films released between 2010 and today.

10. Inside Llewyn Davis 

The Coen brothers have been making amazing films for over 30 years, and their most recent example of this was the underappreciated 2013 gem Inside Llewyn Davis. Yet another movie by them that balances the laugh out loud comedy with a shocking amount of nuance, leaving bits and pieces to dig up with each revisit. 

9. Inception

The movie that single-handedly brought me back out to the cinema again after a multi-year hiatus following the birth of my daughter. One look at the trailer for Inception and I knew it would demand a giant screen, and boy did it. An incredible achievement from Christopher Nolan that is just as fascinating no matter how many times you see it unfold. 

8. Life of Pi

I don't have religion in my life, but every so often I feel like I find God in a film. Life of Pi is one of those experiences (with another one at the top of this list). This is a profoundly beautiful picture.

7. Cloud Atlas

Incredibly epic yet at times painfully intimate. Ambitious almost to a fault, but I forgive it. Cloud Atlas is a superb adaptation of a book that seemed impossible to translate coherently to film, yet it was done. I was blown away the first time I saw this film, and with each subsequent viewing my admiration grows.

6. Take Shelter

Director Jeff Nichols handles the subject of mental illness with grace and class and a stunning level of maturity considering it was only his second feature film. Michael Shannon wasn't even nominated for an Oscar for his lead performance, yet he not only should have been, he should have won the damn award. Take Shelter is brilliant and has one of the great endings in recent memory. 

5. Drive

I am a married heterosexual man, but I am not afraid to use the word sexy to describe Ryan Gosling in Drive. Seriously, Nicolas Winding Refn crafted a masterpiece here that is so damn, for lack of a better word, cool I can barely wrap my mind around it. From beginning to end I am intoxicated by the neon glow, the incredible score and the subtle but perfect performances. Drive is the type of movie that makes me wish I could create one of my own.

4. Boyhood

I never thought a film could capture the authenticity of life in such a way, but Boyhood is moving in its simplicity. It isn't a film about milestones, it is the story of those other days that mean so much but seem to slip through the cracks as time goes by. The underlying message is one that I found very powerful as I watch my own daughter grow up so fast: time is relentless.

3. Gravity

Sure, on the surface it's a film about a woman trying to survive a catastrophe in space, but what is really on display is so, so much more. Gravity is a heartbreaking but life affirming metaphor for grief and just how challenging to overcome it, and to say I was moved by the journey of Dr. Ryan Stone is an understatement.  

2. The Social Network

As a super fan of David Fincher, I don't say these words lightly: The Social Network is his masterpiece. The origin story of Facebook and its rise to internet domination doesn't sound appealing on paper, but it touches on familiar themes of loyalty and betrayal and it does so perfectly. The Oscar winning screenplay from Aaron Sorkin, the Oscar winning score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, and the unfortunately not but should have been Oscar winning direction from Fincher, all of it added together is essential cinema.

1. The Tree of Life

The Tree of Life is not only my favorite recently released film, it is my favorite of all time, period. It is profound poetry in motion, a movie that literally taught me to embrace and appreciate the miracle of existence. 

So that's it, the end of my Decades of Cinema lists. I would love to hear some feedback on my picks from all of the decades, find out which ones you love, which ones you loathe and everything in between.


  1. Looking back at my 10/10 ratings for this decade, here are some of my favorites:

    Take This Waltz
    13 Assassins
    The Perks of Being A Wallflower
    Scott Pilgrim vs The World
    About Time
    The Social Network
    Midnight In Paris
    Before Midnight

    I know some of these are also favorites of yours.

    1. Oh yeah, Take This Waltz I really enjoyed, Whiplash is brilliant, Perks is incredible, Scott Pilgrim is awesome, and I was a fan of Midnight in Paris for sure. Oh, and the Before trilogy is sublime. If I were to do a top 20 of this decade so far, I wouldn't have much trouble filling in the next ten with some of these.

      The only I haven't seen on here are 13 Assassins (which I believe is a Takeshi Miike?) and About Time.