Greatest Films of the Decade (2010-2019) 100-76 | Awards Insights
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Greatest Films of the Decade (2010-2019) 100-76

Greatest Films of the Decade (2010-2019) 100-76

Greatest Films of the Decade (2010-2019) 100-76

As the decade draws to a close, I want to look back at the most critically-acclaimed and most-loved films of the decade. (Note: Even though there were some spectacular documentaries and shorts released this decade, I am limiting this list to feature-length narrative films.)

100. Kubo and the Two Strings

'Kubo and the Two Strings' (LAIKA)
‘Kubo and the Two Strings’

Directed by: Travis Knight

In a small village in an ancient mythical Japan, Kubo (Art Parkinson) and his magic shamisen unwittingly summon vengeful spirits who wish to harm him and his ailing mother. While on the run, he encounters magical creatures, and learns the truth of his earthly family’s connection to the heaven and stars. (LAIKA)

99. 127 Hours

'127 Hours' (Fox Searchlight)
‘127 Hours’ (Fox Searchlight)

Directed by: Danny Boyle

127 Hours is the true story of mountain climber Aron Ralston’s remarkable adventure to save himself after a fallen boulder crashes on his arm and traps him in an isolated canyon in Utah. Over the next five days Ralston (James Franco) examines his life and survives the elements to finally discover he has the courage and the wherewithal to extricate himself by any means necessary, scale a 65 foot wall and hike over eight miles before he can be rescued. Throughout his journey, Ralston recalls friends, lovers, family, and the two hikers he met before his accident. Will they be the last two people he ever had the chance to meet? (Fox Searc

98. Hugo

'Hugo' (Paramount)
‘Hugo’ (Paramount)

Directed by: Martin Scorsese

Hugo is the astonishing adventure of a wily and resourceful boy (Asa Butterfield) whose quest to unlock a secret left to him by his father will transform Hugo and all those around him, and reveal a safe and loving place he can call home. (Paramount Pictures)

97. Silver Linings Playbook

'Silver Linings Playbook' (TWC)
‘Silver Linings Playbook’ (TWC)

Directed by: David O. Russell

Life doesn’t always go according to plan. Pat Solatano (Bradley Cooper) has lost everything – his house, his job, and his wife. He now finds himself living back with his mother and father after spending eight months in a state institution on a plea bargain. Pat is determined to rebuild his life, remain positive and reunite with his wife, despite the challenging circumstances of their separation. All Pat’s parents want is for him to get back on his feet – and to share their family’s obsession with the Philadelphia Eagles football team. When Pat meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a mysterious girl with problems of her own, things get complicated. Tiffany offers to help Pat reconnect with his wife, but only if he’ll do something very important for her in return. As their deal plays out, an unexpected bond begins to form between them, and silver linings appear in both of their lives. (The Weinstein Company)

96. Lincoln

'Lincoln' (Dreamworks)
‘Lincoln’ (Dreamworks)

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

In a nation divided by war and the strong winds of change, Lincoln (Daniel Day-Lewis) pursues a course of action designed to end the war, unite the country and abolish slavery. With the moral courage and fierce determination to succeed, his choices during this critical moment will change the fate of generations to come. (Disney)

95. Winter’s Bone

'Winter's Bone' (Roadside Attractions)
‘Winter’s Bone’ (Roadside Attractions)

Directed by: Debra Granik

In this unflinching noir drama, a resilient teen (Jennifer Lawrence) goes on the trail of her missing, drug-dealing father when his absence threatens the family’s safety. (Netflix)

94. Midnight in Paris

'Midnight in Paris' (Sony Pictures Classics)
‘Midnight in Paris’ (Sony Pictures Classics)

Directed by: Woody Allen

This is a romantic comedy set in Paris about a family that goes there because of business, and two young people who are engaged to be married in the fall have experiences there that change their lives. It’s about a young man’s great love for a city, Paris, and the illusion people have that a life different from theirs would be much better. (Sony Classics)

93. Ex Machina

'Ex Machina' (A24)
‘Ex Machina’ (A24)

Directed by: Alex Garland

Caleb Smith (Domnhall Gleeson), a programmer at an internet-search giant, wins a competition to spend a week at the private mountain estate of the company’s brilliant and reclusive CEO, Nathan Bateman (Oscar Isaac). Upon his arrival, Caleb learns that Nathan has chosen him to be the human component in a Turing Test-charging him with evaluating the capabilities, and ultimately the consciousness, of Nathan’s latest experiment in artificial intelligence. That experiment is Ava (Alicia Vikander), a breathtaking A.I. whose emotional intelligence proves more sophisticated–and more deceptive–than the two men could have imagined. (A24)

92. Baby Driver

'Baby Driver' (Sony Pictures)
‘Baby Driver’ (Sony Pictures)

Directed by: Edgar Wright

A talented, young getaway driver (Ansel Elgort) relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. But after being coerced into working for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey), he must face the music when a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom. (Rotten Tomatoes)

91. Black Swan

'Black Swan' (Fox Searchlight)
‘Black Swan’ (Fox Searchlight)

Directed by: Darren Aronofsky

Nina (Natalie Portman) is a ballerina in a New York City ballet company whose life, like all those in her profession, is completely consumed with dance. She lives with her obsessive former ballerina mother Erica (Barbara Hershey) who exerts a suffocating control over her. When artistic director Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel) decides to replace prima ballerina Beth MacIntyre (Winona Ryder) for the opening production of their new season, Swan Lake, Nina is his first choice. But Nina has competition: a new dancer, Lily (Mila Kunis), who impresses Leroy as well. Swan Lake requires a dancer who can play both the White Swan with innocence and grace, and the Black Swan, who represents guile and sensuality. Nina fits the White Swan role perfectly but Lily is the personification of the Black Swan. As the two young dancers expand their rivalry into a twisted friendship, Nina begins to get more in touch with her dark side – a recklessness that threatens to destroy her. (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

90. Ida

'Ida' (Music Box Films)
‘Ida’ (Music Box Films)

Directed by: Pawel Pawlikowski

18-year old Anna (Agata Trzebuchowska), a sheltered orphan raised in a convent, is preparing to become a nun when the Mother Superior insists she first visit her sole living relative. Naïve, innocent Anna soon finds herself in the presence of her aunt Wanda (Agata Kulesza), a worldly and cynical Communist Party insider, who shocks her with the declaration that her real name is Ida and her Jewish parents were murdered during the Nazi occupation. This revelation triggers a heart-wrenching journey into the countryside, to the family house and into the secrets of the repressed past, evoking the haunting legacy of the Holocaust and the realities of postwar Communism. (Amazon)

89. Phantom Thread

'Phantom Thread' (Focus Features)
‘Phantom Thread’ (Focus Features)

Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson

Set in the glamour of 1950s post-war London, renowned dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis) and his sister Cyril (Lesley Manville) are at the center of British fashion, dressing royalty, movie stars, heiresses, socialites, debutants, and dames with the distinct style of The House of Woodcock. Women come and go through Woodcock’s life, providing the confirmed bachelor with inspiration and companionship, until he comes across a young, strong-willed woman, Alma (Vicky Krieps), who soon becomes a fixture in his life as his muse and lover. Once controlled and planned, he finds his carefully tailored life disrupted by love. (Focus Features)

88. True Grit 

'True Grit' (Paramount Pictures)
‘True Grit’ (Paramount Pictures)

Directed by: Joel and Ethan Coen

Following the murder of her father by hired hand Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin), 14-year-old farm girl Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) sets out to capture the killer. To aid her, she hires the toughest U.S. marshal she can find, a man with “true grit,” Reuben J. “Rooster” Cogburn (Jeff Bridges). (Amazon)

87. The Great Beauty

'The Great Beauty' (Janus Films)
‘The Great Beauty’ (Janus Films)

Directed by: Paolo Sorrentino

Journalist Jep Gambardella (Toni Servillo) has charmed and seduced his way through the lavish nightlife of Rome for decades. Since the legendary success of his one and only novel, he has been a permanent fixture in the city’s literary and social circles, but when his sixty-fifth birthday coincides with a shock from the past, Jep finds himself unexpectedly taking stock of his life, turning his cutting wit on himself and his contemporaries, and looking past the extravagant nightclubs, parties, and cafés to find Rome in all its glory: a timeless landscape of absurd, exquisite beauty. (Janus)

86. Son of Saul

'Son of Saul' (Sony Pictures Classics)
‘Son of Saul’ (Sony Pictures Classics)

Directed by: Lazslo Nemes

In 1944 Auschwitz-Berkenau, Saul (Geza Rohrig) decides to carry out an impossible task: offer a proper burial for the body of a boy he takes for his son. (Amazon)

85. Carol

'Carol' (The Weinstein Company)
‘Carol’ (The Weinstein Company)

Directed by: Todd Haynes

In an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s seminal novel The Price of Salt, CAROL follows two women from very different backgrounds who find themselves in an unexpected love affair in 1950s New York. As conventional norms of the time challenge their undeniable attraction, an honest story emerges to reveal the resilience of the heart in the face of change. A young woman in her 20s, Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara), is a clerk working in a Manhattan department store and dreaming of a more fulfilling life when she meets Carol (Cate Blanchett), an alluring woman trapped in a loveless, convenient marriage. As an immediate connection sparks between them, the innocence of their first encounter dims and their connection deepens. While Carol breaks free from the confines of marriage, her husband (Kyle Chandler) begins to question her competence as a mother as her involvement with Therese and close relationship with her best friend Abby (Sarah Paulson) come to light. (The Weinstein Company)

84. The Fighter

'The Fighter' (Paramount Pictures)
‘The Fighter’ (Paramount Pictures)

Directed by: David O. Russell

Mark Wahlberg stars in Paramount Pictures’ inspirational docudrama exploring the remarkable rise of Massachusetts-born lightweight title winner “Irish” Micky Ward. A determined pugilist whose career in the ring was shepherded by his loyal half-brother, Dicky (Christian Bale) – a hard-living boxer-turned-trainer whose own career in the ring was nearly sent down for the count due to drugs and crime. (Amazon)

83. Creed

'Creed' (Warner Bros.)
‘Creed’ (Warner Bros.)

Directed by: Ryan Coogler

Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan) never knew his famous father, world heavyweight champion Apollo Creed, who died before he was born. Still, there’s no denying that boxing is in his blood, so Adonis heads to Philadelphia, the site of Apollo Creed’s legendary match with a tough upstart named Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone). Once in a City of Brotherly Love, Adonis tracks Rocky down and asks him to be his trainer.

82. Paterson

'Paterson' (Amazon Studios)
‘Paterson’ (Amazon Studios)

Directed by: Jim Jarmusch

A quiet observation of the triumphs and defeats of daily life, along with the poetry evident in its smallest details.

81. Black Panther

'Black Panther' (Marvel Studios)
‘Black Panther’ (Marvel Studios)

Directed by: Ryan Coogler

When young King T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) is drawn into conflict with an old foe that puts his homeland Wakanda and the entire world at risk, he must release Black Panther’s full power to save them. (Amazon)

80. Drive

'Drive' (FilmDistrict)
‘Drive’ (FilmDistrict)

Directed by: Nicolas Winding Refn

Ryan Gosling stars as a Los Angeles wheelman for hire, stunt driving for movie productions by day and steering getaway vehicles for armed heists by night. Though a loner by nature, Driver can’t help falling in love with his beautiful neighbor Irene (Carey Mulligan), a vulnerable young mother dragged into a dangerous underworld by the return of her ex-convict husband Standard (Oscar Isaac). After a heist intended to pay off Standard’s protection money spins unpredictably out of control, Driver finds himself driving defense for the girl he loves, tailgated by a syndicate of deadly serious criminals. But when he realizes that the gangsters are after more than the bag of cash in his trunk-that they’re coming straight for Irene and her son-Driver is forced to shift gears and go on offense. (FilmDistrict)

79. Toni Erdmann

'Toni Erdmann' (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
‘Toni Erdmann’ (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Directed by: Maren Ade

Winfried doesn’t see much of his working daughter Ines (Sandra Huller). He pays her a surprise visit in Bucharest, where she’s busy as a corporate strategist. The geographical change doesn’t help them to see more eye to eye. Practical joker Winfried annoys his daughter with corny pranks and jabs at her routine lifestyle of meetings and paperwork. Father and daughter reach an impasse, and Winfried agrees to go home to Germany. Enter Toni Erdmann: Winfried’s flashy alter ego. Disguised in a tacky suit, weird wig and fake teeth, Toni barges into Ines’ work circle, claiming to be her CEO’s life coach. As Toni, Winfried doesn’t hold back, and Ines meets the challenge. The harder they push, the closer they become. In all the madness, Ines begins to see that her eccentric father deserves a place in her life. (Fox Searchlight)

78. Zero Dark Thirty

'Zero Dark Thirty' (Columbia Pictures)
‘Zero Dark Thirty’ (Columbia Pictures)

Directed by: Kathryn Bigelow

In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the CIA began interrogating suspected Al-Qaeda agents across the globe in a bid to locate the elusive bin Laden. Upon arriving at a CIA black site and witnessing the brutal interrogation tactics firsthand, driven CIA operative Maya (Chastain) aids her unpredictable colleague Dan (Jason Clarke) in gathering the intelligence that will help bring bin Laden to justice. Over the course of the next decade, numerous false leads and dead ends make the search seem more futile than ever. Meanwhile, numerous suicide bombings all across the Middle East and Europe hint that Al Qaeda won’t go down without a fight. Then, just when it seemed as if the trail of clues had finally dried up, an old piece of evidence leads Maya to a suspect who may work directly for the man charged with planning the worst act of terrorism ever committed on American soil. (Columbia)

77. Brooklyn

'Brooklyn' (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
‘Brooklyn’ (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Directed by: John Crowley

BROOKLYN tells the profoundly moving story of Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan), a young Irish immigrant navigating her way through 1950s Brooklyn. Lured by the promise of America, Eilis departs Ireland and the comfort of her mother’s home for the shores of New York City. The initial shackles of homesickness quickly diminish as a fresh romance sweeps Eilis into the intoxicating charm of love. But soon, her new vivacity is disrupted by her past, and Eilis must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within.

76. Hunt for the Wilderpeople

'Hunt for the Wilderpeople' (Piki Films)
‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’ (Piki Films)

Directed by: Taika Waititi

Ricky (Julian Dennison) is a defiant young city kid who finds himself on the run with his cantankerous foster uncle (Sam Neill) in the wild New Zealand bush. A national manhunt ensues, and the two are forced to put aside their differences and work together.