My Top 10 Movies of the Decade! (2010 – 2019)

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New Year’s Eve is all about countdowns. As the decade just came to a close, I’d also like to countdown my top ten favorite films from the ten years that just passed (2010 – 2019).

In 2010, I began a journey to watch every wide release movie in theaters and blog about each one (my New Year’s Resolution), which I successfully accomplished (exactly 140 movies). That challenge forced me to write about movies, something I’d never done before. At first the content was rough, but over time I continued to learn and study film and how to become a better writer/critic.

Needless to say, this past decade was seminal for me as a writer and a movie lover, finding a way to incorporate both passions into my everyday life some ten years later.

This list I’ve made is in no way meant to be objective. It’s also not a list of movies many would consider the “best”, but I do. They’re the best to me and that’s always going to be different.

As of this posting, I have a master list of my favorite 203 movies of all time, which made this list easier to compile. But of those 203, 79 of them are from the 2010s (mostly because I’ve easily seen more from that decade than any other).

As I reflect on my growth as a cinephile, I have no choice but to look at the ten movies that I’ve most enjoyed, and in many cases, changed me in one way or another, from the last decade.

Here are my Top 10 Movies of the 2010s:

 

10. Moneyball (2011)

moneyball

Synopsis:

About the Oakland A’s General Manager, Billy Beane, as he controversially uses deep analytics to generate a winning team. The A’s go on to break the record for longest winning streak in Major League Baseball history.

Why I love It:

Originally from the Oakland area, I actually attended the game depicted in the movie. It was one of the most magical sports memories I have. Director Bennett Miller perfectly captures that magic from that day and the sensation everyone felt. Regardless of my emotional connection, this movie is top notch on a technical level too. Aaron Sorkin’s incredibly deep script makes a would-be dry topic so unbelievably interesting. Moneyball is probably my favorite sports movie ever.

 

9. Robot & Frank (2012)

robot frank

Synopsis:

Frank, a curmudgeonly old man with dementia is given a robot by his adult children to help him out around the house. Frank is a former jewel thief and employs the robot to help him on one last heist.

Why I Love It:

The friendship between Frank and his robot is truly entertaining and heartwarming, with an unbelievable sense of relationship development. An odd premise executed in the most fun way possible, Robot & Frank takes a what-if scenario and hits every mark along the way. This is perhaps the most unexpected movie on my list, and a film I’ve always been inexplicably fond of. I remember watching this movie in theaters with a smile on my face the entire time. Go check this one out!

 

8. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

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Synopsis:

The second installment for the Planet of the Apes quasi-reboot, this film is set ten years following the events of the previous film, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, after a flu wipes out many of the world’s humans. The apes, led by their most sentient being, Caesar, have colonized in San Francisco, but are faced with the threat of nearby humans who have discovered their whereabouts.

Why I Love It:

The original Planet of the Apes series is one of my favorites of all time, and this new trilogy is easily one of my favorite trilogies as well. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes possesses the perfect essence of what this franchise is all about. Featuring characters you love, as well as heartbreaking and uplifting results, this film is a true emotional ride unlike most others.

Read my review here: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) | Movie Review

 

7. Brigsby Bear (2017)

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Synopsis:

The film follows James Pope, a man-child who’s obsessed with the children’s TV show, Brigsby Bear Adventures, only to eventually realize that the show is made solely for him by his parents.

Why I Love It:

Written and starring Kyle Mooney, who, in my opinion, is the funniest comedian in the industry right now, Brigsby Bear exudes his same sense of subversive surrealism, constantly getting to the joke within the joke. Mooney’s style of comedy is perfect for finding the very specific tone for this unique movie, which walks the thin, and undiscovered, line between irony and nostalgia. The film is incredibly deep and often times buries its humor only for those who are looking for it to find.

Read my review here: Brigsby Bear (2017) | Movie Review

 

6. Fast Five (2011)

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Synopsis:

The fifth installment in the Fast & Furious series, Dom Torretto and his heist gang head to Rio where they seek out one last job to end all jobs, earning them their freedom for good.

Why I Love It:

Fast Five was the first Fast & Furious movie I watched in theaters. I had never seen any of them before, but my wife and I decided to binge the first four in preparation for this one. After the experience of watching the midnight premiere, we couldn’t stop thinking and talking about the movie. Literally. We were completely blown away unlike any big budget action movie had ever done for us before. I remember my best friend half-jokingly attributing the film’s success to being rooted in the word of mouth spread by me and my wife.

The movie brings a whole new layer to the franchise. One that finds the sweet spot between where the series was in the past and what it eventually turned into. Sadly, the movies will likely never be as good as Fast Five (due to Paul Walker’s death, and other things), but for once, we got to experience how perfect these films could actually be.

 

5. How to Train Your Dragon (2010)

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Synopsis:

A young viking leader must kill a dragon as his rite of passage into adulthood. But instead, he meets and befriends the most feared dragon of all and tries to change the culture of his viking tribe by making them see dragons as friends, not enemies.

Why I Love It:

Every time I watch this movie I get the same feeling as when I first saw it in theaters. How to Train Your Dragon evokes emotion unique to most other films. Not only does it provide a fantastic story of friendship and cultural impact, but compliments those deep themes with a visually stunning world, a magnificent musical score, and lovable characters. When we see films about people who make a difference, the changes are big, but realistically can’t reverse the mindset of an entire society. But because our protagonist’s universe is so small here, he’s able to have an impact on literally everybody’s way of thinking and feeling. You gotta love this one.

 

4. Peanut Butter Falcon (2019)

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Synopsis:

Zak, who has Down Syndrome, escapes from his caretakers and starts walking to Florida in hopes of becoming a professional wrestler. Along the way he meets a troubled man, Tyler (Shia LaBeouf), who helps him on his journey.

Why I Love It:

I might be falling prisoner to the present with this pick, but I’ve been obsessed with this movie ever since I watched it a few months ago. LaBeouf is notably my favorite actor and this may be at the top of my list of his films. No, I don’t love ALL of his movies, but his presence always helps. Though Peanut Butter Falcon never has to lean on his talent, nobody else could’ve played this role as good as LaBeouf. The appeal truly lies in his dynamic chemistry with the lead actor, Zack Gottsagen, an actual person with Down Syndrome. The two characters rely on one another symbiotically. I’m not sure if there are too many other movies that can make me laugh and cry just as evenly as this one does.

Read my review here: Peanut Butter Falcon (2019) | Movie Review

 

3. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

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Synopsis:

In a very post-apocalyptic world, Tom Hardy plays Max, a vigilante of sorts who forms an alliance with the freedom warrior, Furiosa (Charlize Theron), in an attempt to help five female slaves escape the clutches of an evil tyrant.

Why I Love It:

Arguably the best action movie of all time, the adrenaline in Mad Max literally never stops. Fury Road possesses a very cut and dried premise that gets expanded upon with a deceiving amount of depth. Entertaining from start to finish, seemingly every second of this film is memorable even years later. Visually stunning and brilliantly acted–even though it doesn’t have to be–Mad Max: Fury Road is a perfect movie.

Read my review here: Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) | Movie Review

 

2. Midnight In Paris (2011)

midnight

Synopsis:

A struggling writer travels to Paris with his fiancée to get inspiration. His experiences in the city help him realize that maybe he and she vary greatly in their perspectives and what they want out of life.

Why I Love It:

I don’t love watching the same movie twice in a row–especially close together. But upon watching Midnight In Paris for the first time back in 2012, I watched it two more times within a week or so. I couldn’t get this film out of my head. Something about it spoke to me. The movie helped influence me to pursue writing more heavily–especially screenwriting. Easily my favorite romantic comedy of all time (and perhaps the only one on my all-time list), the film is more than just a cheap popcorn flick. There’s a twist on reality that happens that I wouldn’t dare give away.

 

1. Toy Story 3 (2010)

toy story 3

Synopsis:

The third installment to the beloved Toy Story series, Andy is readying to move away for college and must figure out what to do with all of his toys.

Why I Love It:

Talk about perfect movies. Objectively the best animated movie of all time, Toy Story 3 redefined what it meant to be a cartoon. Each and every moment is as brilliant as the last, and captures exactly why we loved the first two films and the characters they introduced all those years before. 15 years was a perfect gap between the first and third movies, as the audience who grew up with Toy Story in 1995 was at a completely new stage in their lives in 2010, and so were the characters in the story. The order of the rest of my top ten list may change, but I’m sure Toy Story 3 will always remain my number 1 movie of the decade because of just how much it means to me on a personal level.

 

Honorable Mentions:

-Seven Psychopaths (2012)

-Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

-The Nice Guys (2016)

-Little Monsters (2019)

-Despicable Me (2010)

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