The Top 10 Movies of the Decade

The 2010s will be recognized as a decade dominated by people like LeBron James, Drake, the overwhelming integration of streaming services and memes. Although sports, music, renovation, and social media are all vital aspects of modern culture; but I believe there's an argument for cinema as the most impactful medium and form of entertainment on both a spiritual and human level.

Watching a good movie can completely alter one's mood and emotional state for a day or a night's time. Experiencing a great movie can entirely adjust one's mindset for an elongated period of time, like a week or a month. However, becoming lost in a movie that transcends the ability to define the feeling it produces with one word is a blessing and a privilege that knows no expiration date.

With that being said, I felt obliged to construct a list of my favorite films of the last decade (the honorable mentions are not in any specific order), so that way I could share with you, my most valued reader, both my experience with these films and an idea for what you should watch in case you haven't seen any of them.

As always, thank you for reading and enjoy. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to you and your loved ones.


Good Time (2017)

Directors: Josh Sadie, Benny Safdie

Studio: A24

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 92%

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video

The Safdie Brothers and Robert Pattinson's cringe-fueled anxiety attack is as riveting as it is breathtaking. Good Time is by definition a "good time" but is far from the fun that one might anticipate from a film about bank robbery located in New York. I'll let my dear friend, and fellow Safdie brothers enthusiast, Jack Martin take it from here:

My pleasure. I have to give a shoutout to Hotto for telling me to watch Good Time because it introduced me to Josh and Benny Safdie, my favorite filmmakers right now.

Good Time doesn't let up from the start, taking you on a 100-minute long thrill ride throughout New York City as Connie (Pattinson) works to get his brother out of Rikers Island. The Safdies have mastered their way of storytelling, combining an electronic score and constant close-up and far tracking shots to create an intense sense of anxiety. They don't let you breathe, even for a second, making Good Time a gripping movie that I've been telling everyone to watch since my first viewing.

Mid90s (2018)

Director: Jonah Hill

Studio: A24

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 81%

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video

Jonah Hill's love letter to the 1990s and skater videos is hysterically wonderful, and also awfully heart wrenching. Loose ends are hardly tied up, as they often are in life, and Hill demonstrates with this film that his skills as a director are nearly parallel to his gift for acting.

Once again, I'd like to hand the Indie film baton to my man Jack Martin:

A24 is the best. Mid90s was my first conscious introduction to the production company and I haven't looked back since.

Jonah Hill crushes it in his directorial debut, making what almost feels like a documentary about skateboarding teenagers in the mid-90s. With a collection of (mostly) first-time actors rounding out the cast, performances felt natural and the chemistry between Stevie and Co. feels genuine. It's a short film, and while it's not necessarily a happy one, it makes me feel good after every viewing.

The soundtrack is absolutely killer, too.

Booksmart (2019)

Director: Olivia Wilde

Studio: Annapurna Pictures and United Artists Releasing

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 97%

Where to watch: Hulu, Amazon Prime Video

The only reason that Booksmart didn't make my official Top Ten is because I've only had the privilege to watch it once thus far. The "female version of Superbad" is outrageously funny, stunningly sympathizing, and an immaculately accurate representation of regret, graduating, moving on from loved ones, and maturation.

The Hateful Eight (2015)

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Studio: The Weinstein Company*

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 74%

Where to watch: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, iTunes

Tarantino's Western Who-Dunnit? film was brilliantly entertaining, but so absurdly long that Netflix bought the rights to the film and divided it into several different parts. Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walter Goggins, Tim Roth, and Channing Tatum collide for one of the most entertaining three hours of the last ten years.

*This hasn't aged well. Disgustingly evil people never do.

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Director: George Miller

Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 97%

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video, iTunes

George Miller’s reinvention of Mad Max is definable through the use of two words: pure chaos. Charlize Theron's ultimate female badass, Imperator Furiosa, takes this 2-hour adrenaline rush from an action movie filmed in the desert to a genre-defining benchmark with themes that emphasize oppression versus agency, and the limitless power of feminism.

The John Wick Trilogy (2014, 2017, 2019)

Director: Chad Stahelski

Studio: Lionsgate

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 88.3% (cumulative)

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video, iTunes

Keeanu Reeves’s revival to the Rushmore of contemporary Action cinema is a roller coaster ride of emotions, and, well, violence. There are moments with a little violence. A lot of violence. And an overwhelming amount of violence.

The stylistic approach that the Wick films employs is known as Gun-Fu, and I honestly don’t think there’s a better way to define these movies. Wick is an All-American Badass Motherfucker (if they’re in America, that is) whose comeback to the hitman game is inspired by vengeance for a fallen loved one.

10. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

Directors: Peter Ramsey, Bob Persichetti, Rodney Rothamn

Studio: Sony Pictures Releasing

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 97%

Where to watch: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video

The most original brainchild of the genius comic, Stan Lee, was not the highest grossing film of all-time (Avengers: Endgame), but was renovating piece of animation that challenged the idea and concept of what an animated movie should like and how it should behave.

Into the Spider-Verse took all of those typical conventions and flipped them on their heads by breaking the fourth wall, being visualized and stylized as an ode to the comic book medium that started this whole contemporary montage of heroics, and featured a nihilist Noir Spiderman voiced by Nicolas Cage and a happy-go-lucky Spider-Pig voiced by John Mulaney. Watching this movie makes you think someone slipped a tab of acid into your drink while you weren’t drinking through the inclusion of trippy (for lack of a better term) visuals that blur and smudge the canvas whenever deemed necessary by the animators.

Overall, this is one of the most memorable moviegoing experiences I’ve had in my life let alone the last ten years (granted, I was only 12 years old when the decade began).

9. The Social Network (2010)

Director: David Fincher

Studio: Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Releasing

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 96%

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video, iTunes

The Social Network is an even more fascinating film now than it was back in 2010 thanks and no thanks to everything that’s happened with Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg since then, but I don’t intend to dive into that here. Instead, I’d like to concentrate on the innate brilliance of the three most important people in this movie: David Fincher (director), Aaron Sorkin (writer) and Jesse Eisenberg (portrays Zuckerberg).

Fincher (also recognized for his work as the director of Netflix’s critically acclaimed series, Mindhunter) illustrates this film’s canvas with a decade-defining blend of darkness and light. Sorkin writes his dialogue at warp speed and a large portion of the 160+ page script is performed flawlessly by Eisenberg whose character seems more like a recently become sentient MacBook than he does a real-life human with, you know, blood and sexual urges and stuff.

Martian: I still can't believe London Tipton sucked off shitty Spider-Man in a bathroom in this movie.

8. Get Out (2017)

Director: Jordan Peele

Studio: Universal Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 98%

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video, iTunes

Jordan Peele’s directorial debut is what I would consider to be the pinnacle of the thriller genre. No, it’s not horror, although the themes are as damaging and revolting as the gore in the Halloween series.

This critically acclaimed film is one that’s stuck with its audience for years, and will last with them for decades on end. Peele brought an enlightening and refreshing perspective to a genre that had grown tired by providing a film that didn’t just succeed on the surface, but encouraged its viewers to dip below into the sunken place and grasp onto meaningful undertones.

7. The Favourite (2018)

Director: Yorgos Lanthimos

Studio: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 93%

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video, HBO Now, HBO Go

If I were to select one film from this decade that stood out in regards to stylistic direction blended with an unparalleled aesthetic, then I wouldn’t hesitate to name The Favourite as the one who wears the crown (although my number two on this list has a valid argument).

Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, and Rachel Weisz deliver hold-on-to-the-edge-of-your-seat performances in a film that’s set in a time period that I, for one, typically find boring and predictable, but these three female geniuses’s performances tied in with Lanthimos’s brilliant vision for direction backed by an acute script and plot makes this one of the most memorable artistic moments of the last ten years.

Colman is simultaneously punchable and pathetic as the Queen. Stone delivers a classic underdog performance whilst in competition with the lovely Weisz who is a formidable frontrunner for the crown. The title says it all, and I refuse to spoil this beloved movie because there are twists and turns that are as shocking as they are effective.

6. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

Director: Martin Scorsese

Studio: Paramount Pictures

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 79%

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video, iTunes

This nearly 3-hour expedition into the glorifications and horrifications of living a ludicrously lavish lifestyle is as much of a journey defined by chaos as it is a warning for addiction and abuse. Wolf is one of my personal favorite films on the behalf of two of my individual cinematic idols: Martin Scorsese (other favorites include Goodfellas, The Irishman, and Raging Bull) and Leonardo DiCaprio (other favorites include Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood, The Aviator, and The Departed).

But it’s not just the two-headed beast that makes this film special, it’s the performances from the supporting actors that takes it from the higher-ups to the top of the top. Jonah Hill delivers his best performance as Donnie Azoff, a coked up (slash quaaluded out) lunatic, that donates his entire life to DiCaprio’s Belfort purely due to the pursuit of unimaginable riches. Margot Robbie eats the screen alive in her breakout performance as Naomi, otherwise referred to as Duchess, in one of the sexiest performances (man or woman) in the postmodern era regardless of medium. The themes that her character stands for define the film’s essence: sex, lust, the best of the best, drugs, money, greed, and the fact that, in the end, everything comes to an end.

5. Frances Ha (2012)

Director: Noah Baumbach

Studio: A24

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 92%

Where to watch: Netflix, iTunes, Amazon Prime Video

Noah Baumbach's literal and figurative black-and-white love letter to New York, friendship, and maturation features what is hands down my favorite performance from a lead female actor this decade on the behalf of Greta Gerwig.

Gerwig, who plays Frances, seemingly plays herself as an independent 27-year old struggling to make ends meet in various New York areas (no thanks to her low income as an apprentice at a dance studio). Frances is lovable, relatable, and an all-around pleasure to spend an hour and a half with. She’s the kind of woman that reminds you how blessed we are to have cinema in our lives, and a point of remembrance for why we’re appreciative of the indie genre.

I'd feel guilty if I didn't mention how much I adore Adam Driver, and his character (who shall not be named for personal reasons) in this film in particular will go down as one of my favorite performances on his behalf. His 20-something New Yorker self is an artifacts dealer that is devoted to nobody other than his best friend, Benji (undateable), and his motorcycle. If you're looking for a movie that's quick, that will take your mind off of the remedial tasks of every day life, and that will make you supremely happy for an hour and a half, then I strongly encourage you to check this brilliant piece of filmmaking out.