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Saturday, June 8, 2019

100 Greatest Films of the 2010's

Trying to create a list of the 100 best films within a 10 year span is a daunting task. I have been working on this post for the past 8 months, and I will continue to tweak it as the year goes along (as I consider your feedback as well as to include more films from 2019 on the list). However, it is not the inherent time it takes to think and rank and write about 100+ films, it's knowing that you're going to be inherently wrong. Even when I floated my top 10 to my friends, people with similar movie tastes to me, I couldn't get a consensus. Yet despite this, I persevered, and moved forward. Every year I create my own personal Best Of lists, but that's not what I wanted this list to be. I wanted this list to be as objective as possible. I wanted to rank films solely on their quality and how well they've pierced our pop culture. I included my own biases of course, but I looked at many outside factors as well. How well received and talked about is the film on Twitter? Are YouTube videos or podcasts made to discuss the film? How often is it a cable rewatch? What did critics think of the film? What did the Academy Awards think of it? My friends? My parents? All of this went into consideration in trying to determine the absolute best films of the decade. Although I know you think I'm wrong, we're going to give it a shot anyways.


1) The Social Network (2010)
Directed By: David Fincher
Written By: Aaron Sorkin
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, & Armie Hammer
RT Score: 95%

Why It's Great: The Social Network is the culmination of the greatest writer of our time collaborating with one of the best filmmakers of our time to create the best film of a decade about the defining technological achievement of our time. This film not only has Aaron Sorkin's snappy dialogue (we get it right out of the gate with Eisenberg's Mark Zuckerberg discussing life at college with his then girlfriend Erica played by Rooney Mara) but Sorkin seamlessly interweaves the origin story of Facebook as being told through the lens of two different legal depositions. It's a bold storytelling device that is brilliantly executed. This incredible script combined with David Fincher, a man who makes a regatta race one of stand out scenes of the movie, and indelible performances, and you're left with the unequivocal best film of the past ten years.


2) Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Co-Written & Directed By: George Miller
Starring: Charlize Theron, Tom Hardy, & Nicholas Hoult
RT Score: 97%

Why It's Great: I have only seen this film once, and I was not the biggest fan of it, even I can marvel at its technical brilliance and realize how Mad Max: Fury Road has cemented this film as probably the best film of this generation. The film is basically one giant car chase scene, but it's so much more than that. Miller is able to introduce us and immerse us in this patriarchal world. The film is a feminist anthem about destroying a system and starting anew. We know so much about this world system without any overt exposition dialogue or clunky narratives. Miller shows us bits and pieces and nuances together to create something fully formed yet brief. It just is, and then we're thrust into action. It's no surprise this film took home 6 Oscars, because it is a technical sensation. Just a treat all around.


3) The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Directed By: Martin Scorsese
Written By: Terence Winter
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, & Margot Robbie
RT Score: 78%

Why It's Great: Whether it's the excess run time of the film, or the excess, abhorrent lifestyle of the real life of the main character (played by DiCaprio in the film) and how he's portrayed in The Wolf of Wall Street, you can't say that Jordan Belfort isn't at least interesting. I understand the criticisms, and truthfully they are all pretty much valid, but Martin Scorsese has created such a brilliant work of art that the film he gifted to us that we need to treat it like the bona fide masterpiece that it is. There have been so many films that have tried to be Scorsese (like Todd Phillips' War Dogs or Craig Gillespie's I, Tonya) or many films that would have been improved had Scorsese been behind the wheel (like Scott Cooper's Black Mass) that we need to reward Scorsese when he creates a quintessential classic for his oeuvre.