My 10 Favorite Movies of the Decade

As you get older, it’s harder for movies to have the same impact on you that they did when you were younger. That said, the past decade has had some of the best movies I have ever seen, and some of them have impacted me more than I ever thought they would. Looking at this list now, I see myself strongly favoring films by writer/directors, and if the film had different people in those roles, it was most likely a David Fincher joint.

Without further ado, here are my 10 favorite movies of the decade!

1. Scott Pilgrim vs The World

Scott Pilgrim vs The World is my favorite movie of the decade because it is the one movie where no matter what time it is, how I’m feeling, or how recently I’ve seen it, if you ask me if I’ll watch this film, I absolutely will. It’s funny and exciting in equal parts, and it speaks to fundamental human emotions in a truly unique way. Oh, and the visuals are inventive and unlike anything I’ve seen before or after. This is a true masterpiece.

2. The Shape of Water

You may go “ugh, isn’t that the movie where a lady ****s a fish?” but that sells this wonderful story woefully short. This is the story of several flawed outcasts who find each other, bringing meaning and love to each others’ lives. It’s the most beautiful movie I may have ever seen and I hope more people take the time to enjoy this film.

3. The Social Network

Not a documentary, but a dramatic retelling of the early days of Facebook, The Social Network is a film that has just gotten better with time. When it came out in 2010 Facebook was far from the disaster it is today, and as the public’s view of the company has changed in the past decade, this movie has aged well right along with those perceptions. Fincher’s direction, Sorkin’s writing, and Rezner’s music come together for a thrilling story that’s mostly people talking about code and legal documents.

4. Inside Out

I’m a huge Pixar fan, and while this decade had quite a few sequels come from the studio, their original films are always where I’m most interested. Much like Scott Pilgrim, Inside Out is a beautifully realized, specific vision that could have gone so wrong, but ticks every single landing as it goes. It culminates in a film that speaks well about emotional health to children, and maybe even more strongly to adults.

5. Black Swan

BlackSwan feels like a two hour nightmare that you don’t want to wake up from. Darren Aronofsky is on my short list of favorite all-time directors, and Black Swan is my favorite of his films. It’s weird and unsettling and unforgettable.

6. Baby Driver

Edgar Wright’s second film on my list, Baby Driver is a delightful ballet of motion and music. The film is precisely directed and choreographed to pair perfectly with a killer soundtrack. I said at the time that this is exactly what summer blockbusters should be like, and I still feel that way. It’s a rush, it’s fun, but it’s not dumb entertainment.

7. Blade Runner 2049

The most boring shot in Blade Runner 2049 would be the best shot in basically every other movie this decade. The movie is great, and the story is impeccable, but the visuals in this movie push it into the upper tier of films for me. I was in awe for this whole film, both from a visual perspective and from amazement that they not only lived up to the Blade Runner name, they made a better film than the original.

8. Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse

“I can’t believe this movie exists,” is the first thing I said at the end of this movie. I was absolutely floored by this masterpiece of animation and I loved that it had a story to back up the incredible visuals. It’s simply a remarkable film that I still can not believe anyone was able to pull off.

9. Gone Girl

My second Fincher movie of the bunch, Gone Girl is compelling from start to finish. Gillian Flynn adapts her book to the screen perfectly, and with the help of a cast firing on all cylinders, peels an onion of a plot that gets more interested the further it goes.

10. The Last Jedi

I know some people didn’t like it at all, but The Last Jedi has some of the best character work and most compelling story beats in the series. I loved The Force Awakens, but The Last Jedi pushed the series forward in ways that TFA didn’t attempt, and it got weird with things in a way that turned some people off, but I adored.

Podcast #214: My Favorite Non-Apple Tech Buys

Despite mostly talking about Apple stuff on this show, they’re definitely not the only tech stuff I buy and I wanted to spend today celebrating some of my favorite things from companies outside Cupertino.

Recorder on the Pixel 4 vs Dictation on iOS

I read this sequence from a recent blog post on this site and had the just released Dictation for iOS and Recorder for Pixel 4 listening at the same time. Here are the exact words I read:

It’s the end of the decade and I love lists, so today I’m starting a series of lists about my favorite things. Today we’re looking at my favorite albums from the past 10 years. What I learned more than anything with making this list is that 2010 and 2011 were more amazing than I gave them credit for at the time. 7 of the 10 albums below came out in those two years! Alway, I hope you like the list and check out one or two of these that you haven’t listened to yet.

And here is what Google Recorder captured:

It’s the end of the decade and I love lists so today. I’m starting a series of lists about my favorite things. Today we’re looking at my favorite albums from the past 10 years. What I learned more than anything making this list is that 2010 and 2011 were more amazing than I gave them credit for at the time. Seven of the 10 albums below came out in those two years. Anyway, I hope you like the list and check out one or two of these you haven’t listened to yet.

And Dictation for iOS:

It’s the end of the decade and I love lists so today I’m starting a series of less about my favorite things today we’re looking at my favorite albums from the past 10 years what I learned more than anything making this list is that 20 10 and 20 11 were more amazing than I gave them credit for at the time seven of the 10 albums below came out in those two years anyway I hope you like the list and check out one or two of these two haven’t listened to yet.

Both apps captured the general message well, but Google is so far ahead here it’s not even funny. I counted 5 errors in Dictation’s transcript and zero in the Recorder transcript.

Not only are the words more accurate in that transcript, it also includes punctuation that’s not too far off from the script. Dictation can only give me one loooong sentence, but Google mostly understood where each sentence ended.

I’m glad Dictation is out on the iPhone because the functionality is very nice, but Google should rightly be proud of what they have been able to do with voice detection on the Pixel 4.

My Favorite Video Games of the Past Decade

1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

I’ve said a lot on this game already, so seriously, watch the video series below, but I will say here that no game in my adult life has filled me with as much wonder and pure joy than this game. There were times playing this game where I thought “I could play this for 12 more hours straight and not get bored.” It’s a triumph of video game design and if you’ll allow the pun, breathed new life into the franchise.

2. Journey

Again, I’ll direct you to the video below, but suffice it to say Journey was a one-on-a-kind game and is an experience you can complete in just over an hour but will stick with you forever.

3. God of War

Ahem, video again on this one, but I’ll say here that this game was far better that it had any right to be. It completely transformed the series from something I was embarrassed to play in front of my wife to one that I look at as the pinnacle of the medium.

4. The Last of Us

Amazingly I don’t have a video on this one yet, but The Last of Us is a dark and horrifying tale of two people struggling to survive extraordinary circumstances in a world with very little hope or humanity left. It was a gorgeous story told through a gameplay loop that was truly addicting.

5. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain

Back on my video run here, but MGS5 is a beautiful mess of a game and while the story is rough, the gameplay on tap here is absolutely perfect. I don’t think I’ve enjoyed controlling a character as I did Big Boss in this game.

6. Portal 2

Portal 2 is one of those games I would love to play again, but I don’t have a way to do it. This game has more clever puzzles than the first game, it has a lot more of them, but almost more importantly, it has a wildly compelling story with spectacular characters who drag you through. The final moments of this game, which I won’t spoil here, stick with me to this day.

7. FTL: Faster Than Light

I sunk so many hours into this game it’s frankly ridiculous. I only ever “beat” the game a couple times, but the strategy + luck combo this game provided kept me coming back for “just one more try” over…and over…and over again.

8. Mass Effect 2

This game has everything: space, aliens, great combat, a compelling story, choices that matter. This is an all time classic and deserves all the accolades it has received over the years.

9. Firewatch

Another very short game on this list, Firewatch can also be played in one or two extended sittings if you’d like, and it compels you to do so right off the bat. This game tackles guilt in a way no other game has and it’s a story that I constantly think about. Oh, and how about that art style?

10. Horizon Zero Dawn

Closing out the list is a game that came out just a few days before Breath of the Wild. When this released I was amazed by it. It’s open world gameplay was fresh and exciting, and it told a story that wasn’t amazing but definitely got its hooks in me. Breath of the Wild of course took the crown for best game of that year…and the decade, but I will not soon forget my time in this wonderful game.

Other Amazing Games

A decade is a long time and there are far more that 10 games I’d like to call out, so here are a few other games that knocked my socks off.

  • Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
  • Titanfall 2
  • Doom
  • Everybody’s Golf
  • LA Noir
  • Spider-Man
  • Gris
  • Bloodborne

And if you were looking for mobile games, my favorites on iOS were:

  • Holedown
  • Desert Golf
  • Grindstone
  • Simple Rockets
  • Monument Valley
  • Alto’s Odyssey
  • Super Mario Run
  • Mikey Hooks
  • Plants Vs Zombies