It’s hard to believe that another decade of movie history is coming to a close.
So, as film buffs love to do, it’s time to rank the best of everything we’ve seen.
What are the best movies of the past 10 years? To answer that, I compiled a Top 100, ranked with a special balance of Blockbusters on the Fives and Auteurs In Between.
That means every five entries, you’ll get a beloved blockbuster crowd-pleaser. In between, you’ll get a taste of master artists that have shaped the medium.
So, without further ado, here are the best movies of the 2010s.
Top 100 movies of the decade
100. The Force Awakens (2015) – J.J. Abrams
The decade’s domestic top-grosser passed the torch to a new generation of “Star Wars” fans, building on nostalgia while creating compelling new heroes.
99. Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) – Coen Brothers
The Coens put Oscar Isaac on the map as a struggling busker trying to make it in Bob Dylan’s Greenwich folk scene.
98. Marriage Story (2019) – Noah Baumbach
Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver depict the most painful divorce since Bergman’s “Scenes from a Marriage.”
97. Lady Bird (2017) – Greta Gerwig
Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf believably bicker in Gerwig’s semi-autobiographical coming-of-age indie.
96. Ford v. Ferrari (2019) – James Mangold
Christian Bale and Matt Damon shine in this true story of Ford challenging Ferrari at the Le Mans race of 1966.
95. Bridesmaids (2011) – Paul Feig
Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Maya Rudolph, Rebel Wilson, Ellie Kemper and Jon Hamm delivered comedy gold.
94. Manchester By the Sea (2016) – Kenneth Lonergan
Michelle WIlliams shined as Lonergan’s Oscar-winning script unraveled the most horrific family tragedy imaginable.
93. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) – Martin McDonagh
Frances McDormand won an Oscar as a grieving mother seeking revenge for the rape and murder of her daughter.
92. BlacKkKlansman (2018) – Spike Lee
Spike Lee finally won his overdue Oscar for co-writing this true story as John David Washington infiltrates the Klan.
91. The Farewell (2019) – Lulu Wang
After comedy in “Crazy Rich Asians,” Awkwafina turned introspective to hide her grandmother’s terminal diagnosis.
90. Trainwreck (2015) – Judd Apatow
Amy Schumer and Bill Hader crack us up with surprise turns by the NBA’s LeBron James and WWE’s John Cena.
89. Dallas Buyers Club (2013) – Jean-Marc Vallee
Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto won Oscars running experimental HIV drugs for the director of “Big Little Lies.”
88. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) – Wes Anderson
Anderson won his Oscar after quirky comedies like “Rushmore,” “The Royal Tenenbaums” and “Moonrise Kingdom.”
87. Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012) – Benh Zeitlin
Child star Quvenzhané Wallis shines in this bayou coming-of-age fable that won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance.
86. Creed (2015) – Ryan Coogler
Michael B. Jordan resurrected the “Rocky” franchise across Sylvester Stallone in a tear-jerking comeback.
85. Skyfall (2012) – Sam Mendes
Adele’s Oscar-winning song kicks off this 007 favorite as Daniel Craig battles Javier Bardem’s maniacal Bond villain.
84. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) – Martin Scorsese
Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill overdose in Scorsese’s ode to excess that put Margot Robbie on the map.
83. The Big Short (2015) – Adam McKay
McKay’s Oscar-winning script breaks down the 2008 mortgage crisis using layman cutaways instead of jargon.
82. Margin Call (2011) – J.C. Chandor
Jeremy Irons leads a deep cast in this gripping take on the 2008 financial collapse that remains Chandor’s best.
81. The Way Way Back (2013) – Nat Faxon, Jim Rash
Allison Janney and Sam Rockwell are both at their comedic best in this star-studded coming-of-age family comedy.
80. Deadpool (2016) – Tim Miller
Ryan Reynolds’ raunchy superhero passion project hilariously broke the fourth wall like no X-Men film before.
79. The Greatest Showman (2017) – Michael Gracey
“Dear Evan Hansen” duo Pasek & Paul pen the songbook for Hugh Jackman’s dazzling circus biopic on P.T. Barnum.
78. Locke (2013) – Steven Knight
Tom Hardy rivets in this driving British mystery set entirely behind the steering wheel of a car using Bluetooth calls.
77. Drive (2011) – Nicolas Winding Refn
Ryan Gosling played a strong, silent type as a Hollywood stunt man turned getaway driver in this stylized art flick.
76. American Sniper (2014) – Clint Eastwood
Bradley Cooper showed his dramatic potential as the deadliest sniper in U.S. history in this complex post-9/11 biopic.
75. Wonder Woman (2017) – Patty Jenkins
Gal Gadot charmed while Jenkins directed precision action to prove the viability of female-driven tentpoles.
74. The Big Sick (2017) – Michael Showalter
Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter and Ray Romano yanked the rom-com genre right out of coma.
73. The Shape of Water (2017) – Guillermo del Toro
This bizarre Best Picture showcased Sally Hawkins as a mute janitor in an inter-species romance with a fish man.
72. Lion (2016) – Garth Davis
Child star Sunny Pawar was adorable as a lost Indian boy in this inspiring film starring Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman.
71. Roma (2018) – Alfonso Cuaron
Cuaron’s love note to his own childhood in 1970s Mexico City features gorgeous black-and-white cinematography.
70. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) – James Gunn
Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana anchor this beloved superhero flick set to an awesome mixtape of classic rock tunes.
69. Silver Linings Playbook (2012) – David O. Russell
Jennifer Lawrence won her Oscar amid a dysfunctional football family the same year she played Katniss Everdeen.
68. Ex Machina (2014) – Alex Garland
An Oscar-worthy Alicia Vikander plays the most believable A.I. robot since Michael Fassbender’s “Prometheus.”
67. Carol (2015) – Todd Haynes
Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara forge a forbidden romance in this richly-colored tapestry of 1950s Manhattan.
66. Gone Girl (2014) – David Fincher
David Fincher cast Rosamund Pike as the most unforgettable femme fatale since Glenn Close in “Fatal Attraction.”
65. Joker (2019) – Todd Phillips
Joaquin Phoenix rivals Heath Ledger with a disturbingly realistic origin story that won the top prize at Venice.
64. Life of Pi (2012) – Ang Lee
Ang Lee deservedly won his second Best Director Oscar for this shipwreck adventure fantasy shown in magical 3D.
63. Son of Saul (2015) – Laszlo Nemes
Hungary’s Oscar-winning Holocaust drama uses its tight aspect ratio to hint at the horrors lurking just off screen.
62. Ida (2013) – Pawel Pawlikowski
Holocaust memories haunt this bleak black-and-white masterpiece by the stunning Polish director of “Cold War.”
61. Loving (2016) – Jeff Nichols
Joel Edgerton delivers his career-best role across Ruth Negga in a historic interracial marriage case in Virginia.
60. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) – Matt Reeves
Andy Serkis deserved an honorary Oscar for his motion-capture ape Caesar in this stunning sci-fi prequel.
59. The Kids Are All Right (2010) – Lisa Cholodenko
Mark Ruffalo plays the biological father to Annette Bening and Julianne Moore’s children born via artificial insemination.
58. Blue is the Warmest Color (2013) – Abdellatif Kechiche
Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos rip our hearts out in this Cannes’ Palme d’Or winner about young lesbian lovers.
57. Love & Mercy (2015) – Bill Pohlad
John Cusack and Paul Dano portray Beach Boys genius Brian Wilson, loved unconditionally by Elizabeth Banks.
56. Snowpiercer (2013) – Bong Joon-ho
This South Korean sci-fi action flick comments on class divides as Chris Evans fights his way through train cars.
55. The Martian (2015) – Ridley Scott
A stranded Matt Damon cultivated the surface of Mars in the most rousing space rescue flick since “Apollo 13.”
54. Lincoln (2012) – Steven Spielberg
Daniel Day-Lewis won his third Best Actor Oscar teaching us Euclid lessons as the best president in U.S. history.
53. Dunkirk (2017) – Christopher Nolan
Nolan recreated the harrowing Dunkirk rescue by intercutting a week on land, a day at sea and an hour in the sky.
52. The King’s Speech (2010) – Tom Hooper
Colin Firth deservedly won a Best Actor Oscar as a stuttering King George IV on the brink of WWII in this Best Picture.
51. The Imitation Game (2014) – Morten Tyldum
Benedict Cumberbatch shines as math genius Alan Turing, who cracked the German Enigma code to help win WWII.
50. Avengers: Infinity War (2018) – Joe & Anthony Russo
The villain shockingly won as Thanos’ snap set up “Endgame” to become the top-grossing global blockbuster ever.
49. Short Term 12 (2013) – Destin Daniel Cretton
This SXSW champ launched Brie Larson, Rami Malek and Lakeith Stanfield in a center for troubled teens.
48. Green Book (2018) – Peter Farrelly
Viggo Mortensen & Mahershala Ali make buddy-comedy magic in this controversial Best Picture champ.
47. The Help (2011) – Tate Taylor
Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer carry this star-studded drama about house servants in the segregated U.S. south.
46. Hidden Figures (2016) – Theodore Melfi
Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monae and Octavia Spencer shine a light on the true story of unknown NASA heroes.
45. Coco (2017) – Lee Unkirch, Adrian Molina
Pixar’s groundbreaking Latino-voiced animation boasts wonderful music and builds to a tear-jerking “Remember Me.”
44. A Star is Born (2018) – Bradley Cooper
Lady Gaga belts the Oscar-winning “Shallow” as Bradley Cooper directs with symbolic background fatalism.
43. 1917 (2019) – Sam Mendes
Mendes pays tribute to his grandfather by filming the World War I trenches to appear as one immersive long take.
42. Fruitvale Station (2013) – Ryan Coogler
There would be no “Black Panther” without this Sundance indie about the shooting of an unarmed black man.
41. Hell or High Water (2016) – David Mackenzie
Jeff Bridges tracks Chris Pine and Ben Foster’s bank robbers with western echoes of “No Country for Old Men.”
40. Moana (2016) – Ron Clements, John Musker
“Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda pens a songbook of “How Far I’ll Go” and The Rock’s “You’re Welcome.”
39. Moneyball (2011) – Bennett Miller
Aaron Sorkin and Steve Zaillian adapt the hit baseball novel into a stat-crunching home run for Brad Pitt.
38. Captain Phillips (2013) – Paul Greengrass
Tom Hanks improvised PTSD after Barkhad Abdi’s sympathetic Somali pirate insisted, “I am the captain now.”
37. Nightcrawler (2014) – Dan Gilroy
Jake Gyllenhaal is a creepy TV news cameraman who gradually loses his morality by altering crime scenes.
36. Prisoners (2013) – Denis Villeneuve
Jake Gyllenhaal helps Hugh Jackman, Maria Bello, Viola Davis and Terrence Howard search for their abducted kids.
35. A Quiet Place (2018) – John Krasinski
John Krasinski turns a creature feature into a silent horror masterpiece as wife Emily Blunt delivers a bathtub birth.
34. Whiplash (2014) – Damien Chazelle
J.K. Simmons won an Oscar as a brutal drill instructor for Miles Teller’s hungry drummer in this Sundance champ.
33. Django: Unchained (2012) – Quentin Tarantino
Jamie Foxx leads a slave revolt against Leonardo DiCaprio’s plantation in Tarantino’s Oscar-winning script.
32. Mudbound (2017) – Dee Rees
WWII buddies return to Mississippi to realize home is worse than the “why we fight” ideals that we project overseas.
31. Force Majeure (2014) – Ruben Ostlund
This Swedish gem explores a moral dilemma after an avalanche interrupts a family vacation in the French Alps.
30. Inside Out (2015) – Pete Docter, Ronnie Del Carmen
Amy Poehler leads a voice cast in Pixar’s Oscar-winning animation that creatively explores human emotions.
29. Amour (2011) – Michael Haneke
Haneke casts a pair of aging French legends to epitomize the marriage vow of “in sickness and in health.”
28. Captain Fantastic (2016) – Matt Ross
Viggo Mortensen shines as a single father raising his six kids off the grid in the woods of the Pacific Northwest.
27. The Descendants (2011) – Alexander Payne
George Clooney should have won an Oscar as a father raising daughters during his cheating wife’s coma.
26. La La Land (2016) – Damien Chazelle
Chazelle won Best Director in Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling’s bittersweet musical ode to the fools who dream.
25. Frozen (2013) – Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel flipped Disney princess conventions voicing independent sisters singing “Let It Go.”
24. Parasite (2019) – Bong Joon-ho
Korean master juxtaposes two families of different economic means in this twisted Cannes Palme d’Or winner.
23. The Artist (2011) – Michel Hazanavicius
Who would’ve thought that a French silent film could win Best Picture a full 84 years after the first talking picture?
22. The Master (2012) – Paul Thomas Anderson
Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams brainwash Joaquin Phoenix in this daring critique of religious cults.
21. The Tree of Life (2011) – Terrence Malick
Malick’s lyrical mood piece is the most ambitious film since “2001,” intercutting suburbia with the universe’s formation.
20. Black Panther (2018) – Ryan Coogler
Chadwick Boseman leads Marvel’s only Best Picture nominee in a watershed Wakanda moment for people of color.
19. Birdman (2014) – Alejandro G. Inarritu
Michael Keaton plays an ex-superhero star staging a Broadway play as Inarritu shoots in one continuous single-take.
18. Her (2013) – Spike Jonze
Joaquin Phoenix falls for Scarlett Johansson’s Siri in this Oscar-winning script on our digital dating culture.
17. Selma (2014) – Ava DuVernay
David Oyelowo brilliantly becomes Martin Luther King Jr. in his quest to pass the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
16. Argo (2012) – Ben Affleck
Alan Arkin, Bryan Cranston and John Goodman bolster this underdog Best Picture on the Iran hostage crisis.
15. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) – George Miller
Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron lead a feminist uprising in the best chapter of Miller’s dystopian action franchise.
14. Arrival (2016) – Denis Villeneuve
Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner communicate with aliens in this sci-fi gem that deserves repeat viewings.
13. American Hustle (2013) – David O. Russell
Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence expose the artifice of the American Dream.
12. Twelve Years a Slave (2013) – Steve McQueen
Chiwetel Ejiofor endured, Michael Fassbender terrified and Lupita Nyong’o earned an Oscar in this Best Picture.
11. A Separation (2011) – Asghar Farhadi
Few filmmakers have documented a crumbling marriage better than this Oscar winner by the Iranian master.
10. Inception (2010) – Christopher Nolan
Nolan explores dreams within dreams in this visionary sci-fi action blockbuster that left our heads spinning like a top.
9. Zero Dark Thirty (2012) – Kathryn Bigelow
Jessica Chastain hunts Osama bin Laden as Bigelow thrillingly directs a night-vision climax for SEAL Team 6.
8. Black Swan (2010) – Darren Aronofsky
Natalie Portman earned an Oscar in Aronofsky’s deadly duality thriller with the ballet backdrop of “Swan Lake.”
7. The Social Network (2010) – David Fincher
Aaron Sorkin caught the social-media zeitgeist with Jesse Eisenberg perfectly cast as a fast-talking Mark Zuckerberg.
6. Room (2015) – Lenny Abrahamson
Brie Larson won an Oscar as a captive woman raising her son with no concept of the outside world beyond their room.
5. Gravity (2013) – Alfonso Cuaron
Cuaron won an Oscar directing Sandra Bullock in this 90-minute panic attack where 3D made sense in zero gravity.
4. Spotlight (2015) – Tom McCarthy
This journalism Best Picture recounts the Boston Globe’s investigation into child sex abuse by the Catholic Church.
3. Moonlight (2016) – Barry Jenkins
Jenkins’ upset Best Picture artfully presents three stages of life to shatter stereotypes of race and orientation.
2. Boyhood (2014) – Richard Linklater
Linklater shot this longitudinal study in time-capsule snippets over 12 years to literally watch a boy grow up on screen.
1. Get Out (2017) – Jordan Peele
Suspenseful on first watch, this horror film reveals itself as a masterpiece of double meanings on repeat viewings.
Happy new year! Here’s to another decade of great movies.
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