Green Book didn't make the cut
November 8, 2019 12:52 PM   Subscribe

 
This is an interesting list given that 3 out of the 10 are terrible movies. BUT WHICH THREE?!
posted by gwint at 12:55 PM on November 8 [12 favorites]


BUT WHICH THREE?!

Wolf of Wall Street, Under the Skin, and The Master.
posted by hanov3r at 12:58 PM on November 8 [5 favorites]


I still feel thrilled about Moonlight winning Best Picture.

I would have rated First Reformed higher than Honorable Mention and added The Lobster somewhere in here.
posted by sallybrown at 1:01 PM on November 8 [3 favorites]


I don't think the writer of that piece about The Master knows what "marginalized person" means.
posted by tobascodagama at 1:08 PM on November 8 [2 favorites]


Annihilation only gets an honorable mention ? And where's Arrival ? Those were two of my favourite movies of this decade...
posted by Pendragon at 1:09 PM on November 8 [9 favorites]


BUT WHICH THREE?!

Wolf of Wall Street, Under the Skin, and The Master.


Close, but you didn't quiite sew it all together.
posted by gwint at 1:10 PM on November 8 [1 favorite]


Counterpoint: Under the Skin is amazing. Seconding The Lobster. I would also like to have seen The Invitation and Take Shelter but what can you do?
posted by grumpybear69 at 1:11 PM on November 8 [7 favorites]


I've never seen either Wolf or Moonlight although I should catch up with them. The other eight are all terrific although I don't know if they're the best of the last ten years.
posted by octothorpe at 1:20 PM on November 8 [1 favorite]


Not too bad I guess. Where's 'Mandy'? Or 'Blade Runner 2049'?
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 1:22 PM on November 8 [4 favorites]


Hm. I haven't seen Under the Skin or Inside Llewyn Davis, so it's hard for me to say if I'd replace either of those, but I can I do without Wolf of Wall Street and The Master. And for sure I'd want Certified Copy and La La Land on there.
Probably Dunkirk also, now that I think about it.
posted by dnash at 1:23 PM on November 8 [1 favorite]


The Social Network was 2010?!? I don't even remember where I saw it or who I saw it with. Wild.
posted by General Malaise at 1:24 PM on November 8 [1 favorite]


I'm a huge Cohen Bros. fan, but I don't like Inside Llewyen Davis. And I think Phantom Thread is hugely overrated. Moonlight and Mad Max: Fury Road are both timeless masterpieces.
posted by vibrotronica at 1:28 PM on November 8 [9 favorites]


I got married on the dingy club set of Inside Llewyn Davis and I still don't think it is one of the best of the 2010s.
posted by grumpybear69 at 1:32 PM on November 8 [13 favorites]


Everything else could be argued, but Mad Max: Fury Road is indisputable.
posted by CrystalDave at 1:38 PM on November 8 [28 favorites]


I watched all of the Under the Skin and The Lobster, which were both movies that felt actively uncomfortable and borderline hostile to watch, and I couldn't get through Inside Llewyn Davis. At least Under the Skin and The Lobster were interesting by virtue of their premises, and in the case of Under the Skin, bolstered by a genuinely unsettling and compelling lead performance. Inside Llewyn Davis was just boring for the 40 or so minutes I managed to watch. Still love Oscar Isaac's performance of Hang Me, Oh Hang Me though.
posted by yasaman at 1:40 PM on November 8 [4 favorites]


Mad Max: Fury Road seemed to me to be a 2-hour-long car chase scene without much substance. Visually very impressive, but apart from that, what am I missing?
posted by Turd Ferguson at 1:41 PM on November 8 [16 favorites]


1.5 female directors in the top 25.
posted by vunder at 1:41 PM on November 8 [7 favorites]


So few women. And it's not because they're not out there, it's because people making these lists just have a permanent failure to look at their lists and ask what they are overlooking. Here's a bunch of great films by women directors from the same time period.

We Need to Talk About Kevin
You Were Never Really Here
Meek's Cutoff
American Honey
The Nightingale
Lady Bird
The Kids Are All Right
The Arbor
Selma
Stories We Tell
Toni Erdmann
Eden
Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amselem
No Home Movie
Leviathan
Dreams of a Life
When I Saw You
Manakamana
Girlhood
Butter on the Latch
Burning Bush
Almayer's Folly
The Future
A Vingança de Uma Mulher
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Winter's Bone
Where Do We Go Now?
The Holy Girl
Hooligan Sparrow
Eat, Sleep, Die
Middle of Nowhere
Heart of a Dog
Coma
Belle
7 Letters

I can pick out at least five from this list that would rank in my top 10, and I can pick at least five off that list that I thought were terrific but hardly the best of the decade.
posted by maxsparber at 1:42 PM on November 8 [73 favorites]


I was surprised to see Silence in this list. I watched it in a theater after reading the book, and it's certainly a beautiful film, but I thought Scorsese let the European protagonists off too easily in comparison to the book, which does not shy away from depicting the moral failures of both the dominant Japanese culture and the European missionaries. I particularly disagree with the reviewer when they say, "There are no easy answers in the end, and 'Silence' doesn't pretend otherwise." I thought Scorsese's ending was a huge copout. Instead of forcing the audience to struggle with the same silence and ambiguity that the Christians in the film did, Scorsese gives us an obvious happy ending with information that no outside observer could have access to. Ultimately, Scorsese failed to uphold the central thesis of the book, which is that, just as God is meaningful even if he cannot be seen or heard, faith in God is meaningful even if that faith cannot be seen or heard.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 1:44 PM on November 8 [6 favorites]


Oh so that's what we're gonna do today....fight.

I see that someone decided arguing about best video games of the decade wasn't enough, we needed to add arguing about the best films.
posted by Fizz at 1:48 PM on November 8 [15 favorites]


. Visually very impressive, but apart from that, what am I missing?

Everything.

Starting with strong feminist themes and moving to complex character development communicated through actions and behaviors and facial expressions more than dialogue.
posted by soundguy99 at 1:49 PM on November 8 [27 favorites]


@Fizz, for you:

Top 50 animals, ranked.
posted by grumpybear69 at 1:50 PM on November 8 [13 favorites]


I think if we hadn't just gone through that 500 comment Scorsese thread, we'd have more energy here. Speaking of which, Silence was unmatchably bad.

maxsparber, please add Leave No Trace to your list, which absolutely belongs in the top 25.
posted by gwint at 1:52 PM on November 8 [8 favorites]


Mad Max: Fury Road seemed to me to be a 2-hour-long car chase scene without much substance. Visually very impressive, but apart from that, what am I missing?

Probably that there's a 1000 word essay about the film linked in the post?
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 1:53 PM on November 8 [9 favorites]


yeah I never got the Fury Road thing either. its like a music video for burning man alums...

very pleased to see Get Out on the list.
posted by supermedusa at 1:53 PM on November 8 [5 favorites]


From honorable mentions, slightly better representation of female directors at 8 of 45.

Babadook
The Farewell
The Love Witch
Madeline's Madeline
Shirkers
Stories We Tell
Zama
Zero Dark Thirty
posted by vunder at 1:56 PM on November 8 [5 favorites]


The Platypus.

Starring: James Belushi and Art Carney and Dustin Hoffman as "Bill".
posted by clavdivs at 1:58 PM on November 8


I usually don't wade into these fighty "best of" list threads but I can't resist registering my dismay that The Witch isn't even in the honorable mentions.
posted by treepour at 2:05 PM on November 8 [19 favorites]


Two Scorsese pictures. Yeah, if we didn't already know this list was drawn up mostly by men...
posted by holborne at 2:09 PM on November 8 [5 favorites]


No order for me:

Tree of Life
Drive
Meek's Cutoff
Upstream Colour
Mad Max: Fury Road (silent, b&w version)
Phantom Thread
Amour
Son of Saul
Get Out
We Need to Talk About Kevin
posted by dobbs at 2:10 PM on November 8 [2 favorites]


idk about the overall merit of phantom thread. that said , i think about the breakfast ordering scene like once a month and it makes me feel good to imagine myself there. not with the flirty bits, as in my head it’s me and my spouse at the table by the window. just the food bits. and the clothes. maybe a crossword.
posted by lazaruslong at 2:12 PM on November 8 [2 favorites]


Ugh wolf of wall Street was like listening to an annoying work acquitance tell a twenty minute exaggerated story about how wasted they got on the weekend and how utterly hilarious it was.
posted by smoke at 2:19 PM on November 8 [14 favorites]


I'm glad to see the Minding the Gap (the skateboarding doc) is getting some attention - it's in the Honorable Mentions and it was one of the options on an in-flight entertainment interface I saw last week. I don't know that it's best of anything in particular, but I found it moving and was glad to see it.

I haven't seen that many films after 2015 because family life got in the way but I liked The Favourite a lot more than I expected to.
posted by vunder at 2:19 PM on November 8


Man I'm gonna go home and watch Fury Road again
posted by soundguy99 at 2:22 PM on November 8 [6 favorites]


Yeah, if we didn't already know this list was drawn up mostly by men...

On the contrary. Of the listed contributors I count 8 men and 5 women, which is far closer to an equal balance than I think one might expect.
posted by dnash at 2:23 PM on November 8 [2 favorites]


I'm excited to see Cameraperson on the list. What a fantastic bit of filmmaking. I've been asked, what's it about, and don't really have an answer, certainly not one that satisfies. But it's just such a beautiful experience, if you can lock into it's wavelength, you're in for a very special movie.
posted by Carillon at 2:23 PM on November 8 [2 favorites]


Where's 'Mandy'? Or 'Blade Runner 2049'?

Blade Runner 2049 was surprisingly good--it didn't ape Ridley Scott's original, and was probably better than what Scott himself would have produced--but Mandy may rank as the decade's most overrated film (that didn't win an Oscar, anyway).
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:26 PM on November 8 [4 favorites]


But the decade isn't over yet! Are they so sure nothing from this holiday season will be worthy?
posted by PhineasGage at 2:27 PM on November 8


So...eight men and five women isn't mostly men? Ok.
posted by holborne at 2:30 PM on November 8 [4 favorites]


Is 61.5% of something mostly

Ok
posted by polymodus at 2:32 PM on November 8 [3 favorites]


One that really stuck with me in a haunting fashion was It Comes at Night. I must be an outlier, but it really had a lot to say to me about what it means to live in a society, and how tenuous but important the threads between people are. I remember leaving the movie theater in a daze and still am not quite sure why it didn't resonate with others.

Also I loved The Florida Project but I thought Tangerine was also really worth of inclusion on this list, certainly more than Silence.
posted by Carillon at 2:38 PM on November 8 [5 favorites]


Oh so that's what we're gonna do today....fight.

Well it is Friday. The alternative seems to be being productive at work. So, yeah, let's fight!
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 2:44 PM on November 8 [1 favorite]


Starting with strong feminist themes and moving to complex character development communicated through actions and behaviors and facial expressions more than dialogue.

And visuals. Entire backstory can be surmised from physical objects, costumes, make-up, etc. Immortan Joe's mask and badges. The war boys' appearance. The obese "mothers" producing milk. The blind dude rockin out with a flaming WAR GUITAR. And btw, this reminds me of a debate with a friend, who thought the war guitar was stupid, but I thought it fit perfectly; what better way to freak the shit out of your enemy?

So much visual depth and world building. It's a shame that Miller has been unable to do a sequel, and it looks like it may go to another director. Which would be a big mistake. Warner Bros, just give him all the money!
posted by zardoz at 2:44 PM on November 8 [5 favorites]


I'm pretty sure I have pedestrian film tastes. I'm done with gangsters and being sadder but wiser, and my own family was so dramatic that I've never felt the need to revel in a fictional one. Also, fuck horror. I've lived through real life horror, thank you no. So, I'm surprised and happy that Fury Road is on the list. I especially enjoyed the dialogue free monochromatic version that was put out. Also, more women should be on this list. Come on now, you know it's true. You can argue that you feel these actually we're the best that you've seen, but then I bet there's a large list of films by women that you haven't seen. Also, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, also brilliant, also monochromatic, perhaps that's a theme for me?
posted by evilDoug at 2:48 PM on November 8 [2 favorites]


I assume it is the aging but my consumption of movies the last decade has dropped to next to nothing. Still...Kelly Reichardt's Meek's Cutoff and Certain Women are as good as any of those on this list. I do wonder if they would work on somebody's big ass TV though. I cannot really imagine getting the same feeling of claustrophobic expansiveness from Meek's Cutoff on any medium but a big ass projection screen.
posted by Pembquist at 2:52 PM on November 8


Of the top ten, four of the ones I've seen (Inside Llewyn Davis, Mad Max: Fury Road, Under the Skin, and Get Out) made me think, "Yeah, OK, sure", and one (The Wolf of Wall Street) made me think, "Well, at least it wasn't a terrible movie and therefore completely insane choice." In terms of lists like this, I consider that an amazingly high level of quality. Usually there are multiple entries that make me wonder what the hell the listmakers were smoking.

Some which didn't make their Honorable Mention list but would have at least made mine include Zootopia, The Cabin in the Woods, Silver Linings Playbook, Her, The Lego Movie, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Logan, Wonder Woman, I Tonya, Thor: Ragnarok, The Disaster Artist, and Black Panther. I note that many although not all of those are from genres I would consider to be critically underappreciated in general.
posted by kyrademon at 2:53 PM on November 8 [5 favorites]


So nobody is missing Arrival on this list ? must be just me then...
posted by Pendragon at 3:08 PM on November 8 [15 favorites]


I'm very much missing Arrival on this list, it's absolutely on my top five movies of the last ten years list. (Which list is, in no particular order: Arrival, Moonlight, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Mad Max: Fury Road, and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse. Wait, make it six and add Get Out. Honorable mentions to Midsommar, Annihilation, Thor Ragnarok, Fast Color, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, and Black Panther.)
posted by yasaman at 3:22 PM on November 8 [7 favorites]


The Shape of Water is the best use of movie-making equipment that has ever been conceived, I'm stunned that it is not only not on this list but has not yet been mentioned in this thread until now.
posted by gloriouslyincandescent at 3:26 PM on November 8 [12 favorites]


My $0.02, I'm missing Arrival, and Mandy (which I think would be a great paring with Fury Road). And another shout out for The Love Witch.

Beasts of the Southern Wild is wasted as an honorable mention, it's in my top three, and Sorry to Bother You was fantastic, and exciting in a way most mainstream movies can't be today, because money.

And sign me up for the Mandy thread any time, fascinating to see the Husband Revenge trope through a feminist lens. Which is why I think it pairs well with Fury Road, and possibly, as a study in contrasts, The Love Witch.
posted by chromecow at 3:33 PM on November 8 [4 favorites]


Spiderverse was so good, I would put it on my top 10 and I don't even usually like superhero movies.

Moonlight was amazing, really indelible images.
posted by chaz at 3:35 PM on November 8 [5 favorites]


Of those top 10 at the top, the only ones I've actually seen were The Wolf of Wall Street, Mad Max: Fury Road and Get Out.

In fact, I've watched all 3 of these more than once. If "re-watchable" is a category, then I rank them in this order:

Fury Road - most re-watchable
Get Out - must see it more than once for it to really sink in
Wolf of Wall St. - almost unwatchable a 3rd time, although, like some movies, it has some utterly classic scenes.

As a whole, however, if I find myself wanting to skip over large portions of a movie on watching it over, it doesn't rise to the occasion. On the other hand, Groundhog Day fits the can-watch-it-over-and-over category, so maybe it's best to leave the listicles to more seasoned critics of cinema.
posted by Chuffy at 3:44 PM on November 8


Mad Max: Fury Road (silent, b&w version)

posted by dobbs


Can't recommend this enough. Have seen both versions, and I think this one is much better than the original cinema release. Only wish I had seen it first.

YMMV.
posted by Pouteria at 3:46 PM on November 8 [1 favorite]


I so love Under the Skin.
posted by hwestiii at 3:49 PM on November 8 [3 favorites]


For add-ons: The Lobster, VVitch, Into The Spiderverse.

re: Inside Llwelen Davis, I actually didn't like it, but it is thought provoking with some interesting scenes, and I still think about.
posted by ovvl at 3:50 PM on November 8 [1 favorite]


Get Out is a very good movie but in terms of movies-as-movies Us is a better movie and has more to say.

Fucking fight me.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 3:59 PM on November 8 [8 favorites]


they got #1 right.

I will now spend some time with the links and such before commenting further.
posted by philip-random at 4:00 PM on November 8


As to Arrival, it was a film I had been looking forward to seeing very much, but I regret to say that it was one of my most disappointing cinema experiences.

It was only one thing that let this otherwise well done and interesting film down, but it was a biggie. Why the hell was the lead character played in an almost constantly breathless, distracted, borderline panic attack manner?

Whatever effect the director/actor were trying to achieve didn't work for me at all. Just drove me up the wall.

Seen it twice, and it didn't improve for me the second time.
posted by Pouteria at 4:00 PM on November 8 [3 favorites]


Saw Mad Max: Fury Road and loved it. It was in a hoopty-theater with great sound, but it was ear-bleedingly loud. Too loud to fully enjoy.
posted by SoberHighland at 4:01 PM on November 8


For me personally, Mad Max Fury Road came heavily over-hyped. It's a decent intelligent action film with a distinctive context, but not quite mind-blowing or innovative. That said, I think I would really get a kick out of the B&W silent version(!) which sounds more my speed.
posted by ovvl at 4:01 PM on November 8


Mad Max: Fury Road (silent, b&w version)

Forgot to add that it is not actually silent, just the dialogue is silent. The sound effects are still there.
posted by Pouteria at 4:08 PM on November 8


But one of the great thing about Fury Road is the excellent soundtrack by Junky XL.
posted by Pendragon at 4:25 PM on November 8 [1 favorite]


Get Out is a very good movie but in terms of movies-as-movies Us is a better movie and has more to say.

Fucking fight me.


Nope, because you're entirely right.
posted by soundguy99 at 4:41 PM on November 8 [2 favorites]


I'm often astonished by how team Fury Road I am. I actually think that if there's one film from that last ten years that's remembered in fifty years' time it will be Fury Road. It is absolutely stunning.

That said, these days, I mostly read it in terms of alchemical symbolism, so it's possible I'm insane.

If you can find the b&w silent version, it's genuinely and surprisingly magnificent.

(It is one of the few films of the last few years I have to resist the compulsion to watch over and over in order to play other things and not bore my wife. The others are the last three Wes Anderson movies, both Paddington films and Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse, so the prognosis may not be good vis à vis my sanity. She loves all those movies, but not over and over again.)

In any case, Fury Road is glorious. Is surpasses and replaces not only The Road Warrior but possibly also Lawrence of Arabia.
posted by Grangousier at 5:10 PM on November 8 [5 favorites]


Add me for Winter's Bone and The Witch.

As for First Reformed, I'm glad it didn't get higher. If you're a fan, but haven't seen Winter Light by Bergman, see Winter Light and then decide how impressive First Reformed is.
posted by Fukiyama at 5:17 PM on November 8 [3 favorites]


I would probably include Arrival as I just really enjoyed it, and Winter's Bone for being plain great. However.

Paddington 2 is a film I would not ever have gone near and I watched it as it was the only thing on while I was stuck in a hotel room overseas on what was supposed to be a nice free weekend and was instead one of horrible illness. It's remarkable in creating a world where a talking bear can conceivably brighten the lives of all the people around him. Even bad Hugh Grant. I've watched the first one since and its not terrible but its not as good. I watched the second one again with family and everyone liked it. Its funny, witty, well plotted and paced. Really, its a remarkable achievement.
posted by biffa at 5:31 PM on November 8 [4 favorites]


Why the hell was the lead character played in an almost constantly breathless, distracted, borderline panic attack manner?

Because she's having a constant borderline panic attack because there are fucking aliens aliens from space and it's her job to talk to them somehow and figure out what they want and if she fucks up everyone might die. Everyone in that movie is in a state of near-constant panic, showing it in different ways, like people do.

It doesn't help that as she goes through the movie she's SPOILERS
.
.
.
.
.
.

.
.
.
Rewiring her brain to see through time and having what seem like vivid, intrusive hallucinations and dreams while still on the hook for not blowing up the world by misunderstanding what they say or mispresenting what we're trying to say. Never been in that position or had that experience but gotta expect it ain't good for the ol' anxiety.

Note that her character and mood seem different in the flashforwards where she's much more calm and acceptant because she knows it's what's going to happen.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 5:41 PM on November 8 [11 favorites]


Fury Road!!! My favorite movie of all time. I saw it five times before it left the theater. I just could not get enough of it.

IMO missing from this list are

Beasts Of The Southern Wild
The Big Short
Blade Runner 2049
Bad Times At The El Royal.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 6:03 PM on November 8 [1 favorite]


Arrival is a film where spoilers are toxic. The slow reveal is my personal fave WTF plot twist where I ask: "what was I seeing?" (There's a sorta genre where the twist reveal is the thing, like The Sixth Sense, or The Crying Game.)
posted by ovvl at 6:03 PM on November 8 [2 favorites]


BUT WHICH THREE?!

Melancholia, Once Upon A Time in Hollywood and The Master. Oh, and The Silence. Crap, that's 4. Still, all wildly overrated and self indulgent. And I like art films.

Get Out would have been a stone cold timeless classic if they hadn't tacked the happy ending on. But they did and it became more of a solid thriller, imho.
posted by fshgrl at 6:14 PM on November 8


Seeing Arrival two weeks after the 2016 election was like...explosive crying.
posted by sallybrown at 6:30 PM on November 8 [3 favorites]


I'm not even gonna mention which particular film on here I dislike the most, out of fear of y'all doxing me and burning my house down, but, having noped the fuck out of several of these films for their crimes against my viewership, let me just say that, if I ever wondered, I am now certain: modern cinema is Not For Me.
posted by glonous keming at 7:09 PM on November 8 [4 favorites]


Tree of Life, Mad Max: Fury Road, Get Out - excellent.
Under the Skin - very good. (Reminds me a bit of Annihilation and Mandy, stylistically)
Melancholia - I was impressed, but am not sure I need to see it again.
Act of Killing - ye gods, what a wild and powerful documentary!
Inherent Vice - I'm not sure Pynchon is filmable, but I appreciated the effort.
Social Network - a real mess. It's a horror film (check the musical cues), an open attack on geeks and tech, a typically Sorkin slop around a few facts and more wish fulfillment.

I'd have added to my list: The Lobster, We Need to Talk About Kevin, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night Winter's Bone, The Cabin in the Woods, Her, The Lego Movie, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Black Panther, and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse.

Haven't seen Moonlight, Inside Llewyn Davis, Phantom Thread, The Wolf of Wall Street, The Master, Roma.
posted by doctornemo at 7:26 PM on November 8


I was going to try to come up with my own top ten but Letterboxd informs me that I've watched 326 films released since 2010 so this may take a bit.
posted by octothorpe at 7:37 PM on November 8 [1 favorite]


several of these films for their crimes against my viewership, let me just say that, if I ever wondered, I am now certain: modern cinema is Not For Me

I wouldn't go that far, but I would say that most of the movies on this list I've seen are decent ideas that melted in the execution, at least the ones that aren't objectively terrible.

And to those saying you haven't seen Wolf of Wall Street, yes you have when it was called Animal House except Animal House wasn't based on a real person, and therefore the crimes committed weren't real.
posted by The_Vegetables at 7:57 PM on November 8 [2 favorites]


Well, I feel like a reasonably informed cinema viewer, having seen everything in the top ten but having seen only seven of the bottom fifteen (missed: Melancholia, Act of Killing, Parasite, Manchester [gave it a shot, my own grief doesn’t permit spectating here], Hollywood, Cameraperson, Not a Film, Separation) I think maybe I understand my own mind about this, as odd as it is to me. Fifteen years ago, one of the things I did for a living was write about film, and TV. That meant reviews for local outlets, festival reviews of obscurities that might get distro, and various interviews with directors and performers. I really enjoyed it and felt that film was a much deeper and critically engaging subject to write about than my first love, music.

These days? I dunno. All of the films I have seen on that list were competent, technically interesting, formally challenging works with excellent scripts and clear visual evidence of passionate craftsmen working to raise the bar.

But I kinda... don’t care that much anymore? I actually still love analyzing time/motion media. But I’m just not that passionate about it any more. So I can’t meaningfully rank the films I have seen. They were all pretty good and I enjoyed seeing them.

I don’t think I have watched a single one of them more than once.
posted by mwhybark at 8:10 PM on November 8 [2 favorites]


Shape of Water.
posted by Doleful Creature at 8:35 PM on November 8 [1 favorite]


It's a good list. I could quibble with the order a bit but really, most of the movies I'd personally rank are there, or at least in the honorable mentions. The only two missing completely that I'm unhappy with are The Witch (mentioned above) and Anomalisa.

I'm especially glad to see Under the Skin at #7. I distinctly remember immediately after watching it in the summer of 2014, kind of reeling and in shock, wondering if I had just seen something that might eventually be considered one of the best of the decade, or if it was just too weird and abstract for that. For a couple of years afterwards that seemed to be the case and no one mentioned it other than extreme experimental film lovers. But just this year, as more and more best-of-the-decade lists have started to appear, it does seem to be getting the mainstream love.

Also in regards to Fury Road, something I wasn't aware of until just recently - apparently everyone involved with the production became convinced that they were partaking in the creation of a genuine stinker. When filming wrapped there was a sense that the best thing would be for it to get dumped straight to streaming/dvd, receive minimal bad reviews, and quickly get forgotten. Miller disappeared with the footage for a year to do post-production and when he eventually returned with the final cut, there was a collective sense of 'WTF? How did he turn all that into that!?'
posted by mannequito at 8:43 PM on November 8 [9 favorites]


Agreed on Arrival being a huge miss. I really liked Under the Skin and Mad Max, Mad Max being the only movie I’ve actually bought in recent memory. I liked Cabin In The Woods a lot too but haven’t watched it since it was in the theater. Get Out was fine but Sorry To Bother You a bit better for a movie that had a lot of similar elements in my opinion. I have no interest in superhero movies so a lot of the last decade was a wash for me. Fortunately there’s been a lot of Wes Anderson and Coen Brothers for me to catch up on since I somehow missed a lot of those movies when they came out.

I really like science fiction as a genre and I wish there were a lot more of it getting made along the lines of Arrival. I fear that all the superhero and Star Wars films suck all the oxygen out of the room in that space though, so we’re just relegated to watching CGI generated actors punch each other for 180 minutes at a time for the foreseeable future.
posted by mikesch at 8:51 PM on November 8 [4 favorites]


Get Out would have been a stone cold timeless classic if they hadn't tacked the happy ending on. But they did and it became more of a solid thriller, imho.

I personally think it's better for the happy ending, because at the point that the audience is vividly imagining Chris's demise, the film proves to us that there was another possibility with a completely different conclusion. We basically end up experiencing both endings at once, as well as questioning why we had forgotten about all the setup leading to the happy ending. It also follows in a venerable tradition of African-American film, as one of the things that made Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song so memorable was precisely that the black protagonist didn't get killed by the police at the end, when that's what everyone was expecting.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 9:00 PM on November 8 [7 favorites]


I really like science fiction as a genre and I wish there were a lot more of it getting made along the lines of Arrival.

I dunno, lately there's been a good amount of adventurous science fiction being made compared to years past if that's your thing. It's often less action adventurey in the old Schwarzenegger vein and more conceptually strange, like Under the Skin, Annihilation, High Life, Interstellar, Upstream Color, Melancholia, Her, Gravity, and Bladerunner 2049. I'm sure most people won't like all those movies, but they are taking science fiction as a more serious genre on its face than it has been for a while, where whatever ideas that might be there, if any, had to be hidden behind the action.

There's still action oriented sci-fi movies too, some of the superhero films fit that and sometimes have some interesting ideas tossed around in their mix, even if they aren't often followed through very deeply, and there are other movies that kind of exist on the fringe of sci-fi, movies set in a world other than our own, but closely related to it without having fancy futuristic hardware or whatever like Into the Forest and some reboots that take their franchises in different and interesting directions, like the recent Planet of the Apes movies and Shin Godzilla, as well as a quite a bit of mid-tier, and we hope we can get a franchise out of this or find extended like streaming stuff in the Jupiter Ascending, Valerian, Dredd, and Oblivion mode. Science fiction is one genre that's as big as it's ever been I think and at least attempting some things it hasn't had much chance to try very often in the post Star Wars era.
posted by gusottertrout at 9:30 PM on November 8 [3 favorites]


the black protagonist didn't get killed by the police at the end, when that's what everyone was expecting

I wasnt expecting him to get killed, I was expecting him to get arrested, charged with murder and have no one believe his story. Then we find out the sherriff and DA are part of the whole scheme and there is another doctor and he didn't escaoe after all. Or if he does escape in the endq he had to escape the whole small town of strangers, not just the one creepy family. Y'know like a traditional horror movie ending!

I was kinda glad he didnt because I was worn out from the tension but having the comic relief show up to the rescue and no questions asked was kinda, I dunno rushed? Too simple for a complex story? Something lacking anyway.

I may or may not watch too many horror movies
posted by fshgrl at 9:53 PM on November 8 [1 favorite]


Melancholia is a classic, if only to get to see Udo Kier as a super-campy wedding planner.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 12:05 AM on November 9 [1 favorite]


Well thanks to this thread I knocked out another movie on my list to catch up with, Personal Shopper. So these lists right or wrong at least can spur action.
posted by Carillon at 12:40 AM on November 9 [2 favorites]


The fact that The Counselor (2013) wound up on most people's lists as something to dismiss fills my heart with dread for the future of our species. The most acutely delineated exploration of the unstoppable mechanism of tragedy since ol' Bill Shakespeare put quill to parchment says this kid. Pity and terror like ancients liked it.
posted by Chitownfats at 1:56 AM on November 9 [1 favorite]


I'm missing "The Big Short" the most in this list. Also really liked Foxcatcher and Moneyball (to just mention some films popping in my head right now which seem much better than some in this top ten)
posted by Kosmob0t at 2:26 AM on November 9


My top 10 might be:

Arrival
Annihilation
Boyhood
Crimson Peak
A Ghost Story
Gone Girl
Her
Mad Max: Fury Road
Moonrise Kingdom
Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse
Upstream Color
posted by octothorpe at 4:22 AM on November 9 [1 favorite]


It's interesting how few non-English language films are on all the lists. That's not intended as a judgement, by the way, but it is curious. I'm not sure what I'd include myself, but there are occasional appearances of... Roma, yes? A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (which is an American film in Persian) is there at least once, and I don't remember seeing but am guessing that Under the Shadow is there somewhere.

It's surprising to me, because I would expect to see French, Japanese and Italian films at least. Probably an Almodovar somewhere. Often a striking North African or Sub-Saharan film. I assume they're all still making films. As I say, I can't judge because my imagination doesn't stretch to it either, but I'm struck by how culturally sequestered I (and, apparently, this culture) seem to have become.
posted by Grangousier at 4:43 AM on November 9 [3 favorites]


the 18 hour twin peaks movie should be somewhere on the list. and yeah, annihilation should get more than an honorable mention - the creepiest "help me" ever uttered on film.
posted by sapagan at 4:46 AM on November 9


oh, also: hard to be a god (2013). probably the most difficult three hours i've spent watching a movie in recent years, but well worth it.
posted by sapagan at 4:52 AM on November 9 [6 favorites]


I don't think the writer of that piece about The Master knows what "marginalized person" means.

Freddie Quell is a social outcast because he’s a war veteran suffering from PTSD and other mental health issues.
posted by Apocryphon at 6:36 AM on November 9 [1 favorite]


I really liked Arrival too although I'd argue that the Ted Chiang short story was much better. Chiang is a modern master of the short mindbending scifi genre. My problem with Arrival was that the addition of crazed military members really ruined the calm zen feeling of the written story. And yes, the over caffeinated Amy Adams character didn't help either.

This has been a decade of incredible advances in animation. I agree with Inside Out but like others, I'd add The Lego Movie and Spiderverse to the list.
posted by ensign_ricky at 7:50 AM on November 9 [1 favorite]


oh, also: hard to be a god (2013). probably the most difficult three hours i've spent watching a movie in recent years, but well worth it.

oh my god how did i not know about this movie i’m watching it tonight
posted by Automocar at 8:19 AM on November 9


Had to pop back in to say that no one is giving Roma props, but I just loved it. AND one of my all time favorite movies, this little, quiet film that was so beautiful, A Ghost Story, was not on the list and it should have been. If you have not seen it, it's worth watching.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 8:51 AM on November 9 [1 favorite]


One of the best things about Mad Max: Fury Road is that now when I start watching a different apocalyptic movie and get bored, I start thinking about Mad Max instead. And sometimes, if I'm alone or the movie is especially tedious (hi Mortal Engines), I can stop watching the dull movie and watch Mad Max: Fury Road instead. That's my top film-viewing tip!
posted by grandiloquiet at 10:10 AM on November 9 [2 favorites]


One that's missing from all the lists is Border. Which I thought incredible.
posted by dobbs at 10:13 AM on November 9 [5 favorites]


Also: The Florida Project
posted by ovvl at 10:22 AM on November 9 [1 favorite]


The Favourite?
posted by acroyear2 at 11:48 AM on November 9 [3 favorites]


One that's missing from all the lists is Border. Which I thought incredible

I've never heard of this but it looks amazing. I'll definitely be watching it.
posted by fshgrl at 12:03 PM on November 9 [1 favorite]


Yeah, holy shit. That trailer for Border looks fantastic. It's on Hulu.
posted by mediareport at 12:15 PM on November 9


Girlhood was wonderful and deserves to be in the top 25, for sure, but my top 5 would definitely include Céline Sciamma's other brilliant film, 2011's gorgeously made, soulful Tomboy, a story of a young girl being himself in a new town. It's not only heartfelt, it also has subtly Hitchcockian suspense scenes that will blow you away. Just those two movies alone put Sciamma in the top tier of modern directors, so her absence here is such a shame. Can't wait for her new one, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, to get to a local theater soon.

Debra Granik's Winter's Bone and Leave No Trace are both smart and impeccably made films, as is Sean Baker's The Florida Project. They're such nuanced, fascinating stories - so much better than Wolf of Wall Street, Inside Llewyn Davis or The Master. It's embarrasing to see such fabulous arthouse work by searching, experimental directors ignored on lists like this in favor of dull stories told in familiar ways.
posted by mediareport at 12:40 PM on November 9 [3 favorites]


Oh wow! I'm definitely going to watch Border this week, thanks for mentioning it! It looks amazing!
posted by WalkerWestridge at 2:04 PM on November 9


oh, also: hard to be a god (2013). probably the most difficult three hours i've spent watching a movie in recent years, but well worth it.
posted by sapagan at 6:52 AM on November 9 [3 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]

Let's just say never ever ever watch Serbian Film if we're talking difficult. Just difficult in a different way. I LOVE the cinematography of Hard to be a God though.
posted by symbioid at 2:12 PM on November 9


That said, these days, I mostly read it in terms of alchemical symbolism, so it's possible I'm insane.


I'd be curious to hear your take on it through that lens, it's not one I've seen discussed but I absolutely adore Fury Road.

I love it for how deeply it digs into the relationships between power, scarcity, gender, technology, ability and community using almost entirely visual language rather than explicit description. I can imagine that a mystical/spiritual framework might fit well, given that.

Agreed with others' suspicions on its longevity as well -- it reflects a lot of cultural moods and undercurrents from these past few years.
posted by cwill at 5:16 PM on November 9 [1 favorite]


I really liked Arrival too although I'd argue that the Ted Chiang short story was much better.

The short story is excellent.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Story_of_Your_Life
posted by Pouteria at 6:42 PM on November 9 [1 favorite]


Frozen is missing.

I mean... I can go over all of these movies. I can give you my detailed analysis of why Under the Skin Is a magnificent failure. I can talk about how Fury Road is the last word on the “action” genre, requiring a whole new mode of filmmaking by virtue of its utter audacity. And I am not a Disney partisan, not by any means.

But Frozen needs to be on this list, right?
posted by mr_roboto at 12:12 AM on November 10 [1 favorite]


I'm not even gonna mention which particular film on here I dislike the most, out of fear of y'all doxing me and burning my house down

I *also* thought Inside Out was not very good.
posted by grumpybear69 at 7:19 AM on November 10 [2 favorites]


But Frozen needs to be on this list, right?

Frozen or Moana. That's a really tough choice.
posted by The_Vegetables at 8:03 AM on November 11


I forgot about The Martian! Seems like most everyone else did too. Not sure I'd go to bat for it being among the best of the decade, but it's certainly one of the most enjoyable, at least for me. Well-made, well-acted, good-hearted, and just fun to watch. For me, I feel like it's going to end up like The Mummy: a fun movie that I'll watch just about every time I see it's on, and will always enjoy. I feel like that's a tier of movie that we're seeing less and less of, so I feel very fond of movies that have that replay value, and which are just uncomplicated delights to watch.
posted by yasaman at 10:07 AM on November 11 [1 favorite]


Just watched "Border" on the recommendation of this thread. It was stellar!
posted by grumpybear69 at 10:52 AM on November 11


I think that Moana is the better movie as a whole, but the themes of Frozen were more important, especially in terms of how they pushed back against Disney's history. That falling in love at first sight is not actually a good thing, that the "nice guy" can actually be playing you, that your most important love can be a sisterly bond, that trying to control and hide away your daughter's power is not healthy, etc.
posted by tavella at 10:54 AM on November 11 [1 favorite]


Am I correct in understanding that there's a Black and Chrome edition of Fury Road that's an official release, but it is not silent? And that the only silent edition was a fan edit which has since been taken down?

If I am correct on these points, allow me to silently smile and point out that my MeFi Mail is open.
posted by SpiffyRob at 11:31 AM on November 11


Yeah, I have a copy of the Black and Chrome edition and it is exactly the same as the theatrical release but color graded to monochrome. I've seen a trailer for the silent version but I don't think it was ever officially released.
posted by octothorpe at 11:36 AM on November 11


Frozen or Moana. That's a really tough choice.

Not for me. Moana's script is as tight as a tiki drum, whereas I found Frozen to be a little more scattershot. Loved Moana's music, and the colors, and the animation. Watched it twice, would watch again.
posted by zardoz at 3:23 PM on November 11 [1 favorite]


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