Before we can fully immerse ourselves in 2020, I can’t help but look back at last year, and the last decade as a whole. And while I’m trying to catch up on a few more 2019 movies before releasing my Top 10 of last year, it’s hard to imagine any beating out these for best of the decade. My original list was nearly 30 movies, and it actually wasn’t too hard to narrow it down to 10. The hardest part was numbering them- the order changed numerous times. This is what I have for now, and like anything else, it’s subject to change. Keep in mind this is just one guy’s opinion, but feel free to leave your list in the comments, or on our Facebook and Twitter.
10. The Conjuring
Horror saw a bit of a resurgence this decade, and I believe that started with 2013’s The Conjuring. While it expanded (crumbled?) into a universe full of a bunch of entries that pale in comparison to the first movie, The Conjuring quickly became a favorite among many horror fans and movie fans in general.
9. Avengers: Endgame
While the vast majority of the MCU movies came out this decade, many of which could make a good case for being on the list, I don’t think there’s a better fit than Endgame. I almost cheated and combined it with Infinity War because I like both almost equally and they don’t work without each other. But this movie closed out a decade of Marvel movies on the highest of notes, bringing together all our favorite heroes in a thrilling and emotional finish.
If horror began its resurgence with The Conjuring, it hit full stride with Hereditary. Ari Aster’s 2018 film combines a paranormal cult movie with a family drama and it works perfectly. It’s scary, intense, heartbreaking, and is my pick for the best horror movie of the decade. While I’m not as big a fan of Aster’s follow up from 2019, Midsommer, I still can’t wait to see what he does in the future.
Christopher Nolan doesn’t have a big miss on his record, with three of his movies having an argument to be in a best of the decade list. My pick is for one of the most inventive and original movies that have come out in a long time, 2010’s Inception. I’ve seen it a bunch of times, not just because you have to see it a few times to understand what is going on, but because it’s a genuinely great watch.
6. The Revenant
It’s back to back Leonardo DiCaprio movies, with this one being probably the best shot movie of the decade. From the opening action scene tracking shot to the numerous scenery shots, everything about this movie is gorgeous, yet gritty. DiCaprio’s performance gets some hate as Oscar bait, but it’s outstanding, as is the performance from co-star Tom Hardy.
Sci-fi movies had a great decade, and this is far from the only one of the list. You know who else had a great decade? Director Denis Villeneuve. And spoiler alert- this isn’t the last time one of his movies is on the list. Arrival is a thinking man’s thriller for sure, allowing you to decide what exactly it all means.
4. Ex Machina
It’s another heady sci-fi flick, this time starring Oscar Isaac, Domnhall Gleeson, and Alicia Vikander. Despite the vast majority of the film taking place in one location with only those three, it builds so much depth and a tremendous amount of tension. It’s another one that forces you to think and come to a conclusion for yourself.
Music, and jazz in particular, is not something I’m into in the slightest, which makes it hard to believe I love this movie so much. A large part of it goes to the performances of JK Simmons and Miles Teller and the roller coaster ride their relationship goes through during the film.
Denis Villeneuve is featured twice in the top 5 for good reason as I believe he will be a defining director of this generation. Sicario is a masterclass of tension and I’ve discussed it numerous times (including a breakdown of the Bridge sequence). It does a great job of showing both the necessary and dark sides of the “War on Drugs” with some great performances as the cherry on top.
1. Mad Max: Fury Road
Fury Road is an absolute bonkers action movie featuring a car chase to a destination for the first half, followed by another car chase back for the second half. That’s all there is to the movie, a razor-thin plot for most movies, and yet it works perfectly here. It’s weird, full of great action and stunts, has great characters, holds up with repeated viewings and is my pick for the best film of the decade.
Overall it was a great decade in film. Drop a comment with some of your favorites and be on the lookout for a 2019 list in the coming weeks, not to mention the upcoming second annual Golden Donut Awards voting. We also might not be done with this decade, as you may see these movies and more in a March Madness bracket in the coming months. Be sure to follow on social media and subscribe to our newsletter below to make sure you don’t miss any of it!