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.