• Libby Briggs

My Top Ten Films of the Decade

As we prepare to say goodbye to the 2010s’, it just wouldn’t be right to leave without remembering what an amazing decade in film it was. Whether you cleared your schedule to spend the day watching Scorsese’s The Irishman, hid under your covers from Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook, or watched the entirety of Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel thinking ‘oh, he’s in…’ or ‘that’s the actress from…”, we were always entertained.

To celebrate the end of an era and to welcome what’s to come in the next ten years, here’s my top ten films of this decade (I’m fully aware Ryan Gosling takes up 50% of this list, just let it be):

10. Drive (2011) Nicholas Winding Refn

To start our list, Ryan Gosling stars alongside Carey Mulligan and Oscar Isaac in this high-speed, thrilling crime drama about Hollywood stuntman who becomes a getaway driver by night. The stunning visuals and soundtrack make this film a gorgeous watch.

9. About Time (2013) Richard Curtis

Of all the romantic comedies the 2010s gifted us with, About Time outshines them all. Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) discovers the men in his family can travel in time and cue an extraordinary, ordinary life. Funny and charming, About Time is a unique and heart-warming love story, but keep the tissues around.

8. The Nice Guys (2016) Shane Black

Set in 1970s’ Los Angeles, The Nice Guys follows Jackson and Holland (Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling), a pair of private investigators as they search for a missing girl. It’s refreshing to see a comedy that doesn’t include the usual bunch of funny-guys and nobody could’ve been better suited to these roles. Crowe and Gosling are hilarious in every scene they share and help Shane Black to deliver the best comedy this decade.

7. Her (2013) Spike Jonze

This year might have thrown Joaquin Phoenix into limelight even more so with the release of Joker and even has some people anticipating an Oscar nomination. However, it was his performance in Spike Jonze’s Her, much earlier in the decade, that really stood out. Phoenix plays Theodore, a lonely writer who falls in love with his AI. It’s a beautiful film in so many ways, but again, keep the tissues close.

6. Blue Valentine (2010) Derek Cianfrance

To kick off the decade, Derek Cianfrance broke our hearts with Blue Valentine. Swapping from the past to the present, the film tells the depressing story of Dean and Cindy (Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams) as they slowly begin to fall out of love and their marriage crumbles. If you’re single, you’ll thank yourself for it once this film is over.

5. The Big Short (2015) Adam McKay

With an all-star cast including Steve Carell, Christian Bale, Brad Pitt, and Ryan Gosling, The Big Short was a hit. Sure, a film about a group of investors betting against the US mortgage market doesn’t sound all that exciting, but it really is. Don’t worry, all the complicated parts are explained (sometimes by Margo Robbie in a bathtub). The Big Short is funny, witty, and more thrilling than you might imagine.

4. La La Land (2016) Damien Chazelle

Following the slip-up at the Oscars, La La Land seemed like it might have started becoming a little bit of a joke. At least 9 out 10 people would’ve described it as ‘overrated’, but they couldn’t have been more wrong – there’s so much to love about this film. Starring Ryan Gosling (again) and Emma Stone as Sebastian and Mia, La La Land grows more stunning with every scene and song. Call it what you want, but it definitely deserves a place on this list.

3. Whiplash (2014) Damien Chazelle

Right after La La Land, Damien Chazelle makes his second appearance on the list. Whiplash might not be as cheerful and bright as his later film, but it’s certainly more thrilling. Andrew (Miles Teller) attends a prestigious music academy, only to be mentored by one of the scariest professors in the school (and on-screen) ever. Forget Voldemort, you’ll be having nightmares of J.K. Simmons flailing his hands around. Nevertheless, you can’t look away from the screen. Whiplash is passionate, intense, and chilling in the very best way.

2. Moonrise Kingdom (2012) Wes Anderson

While The Grand Budapest Hotel might have stolen the limelight this decade, it was his 2012 hit Moonrise Kingdom that really stole my heart. A bullied boy-scout and troubled pre-teen girl run away together, resulting in a village search. Every scene is like a perfectly painted picture and it’s gorgeous simplicity is like something straight out of a children’s book. With a cast including stars such as, Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, and Tilda Swinton, Moonrise Kingdom is inspiring and enjoyable from beginning to end.

1. Birdman (2014) Alejandro G. Iñárritu

Right at the top of the list goes my favourite film of the past ten years: Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance). This modern-day masterpiece never ceases to amaze, no matter how many times you watch it. Michael Keaton stars alongside Edward Norton, Zach Galifianakis, and Emma Stone as a forgotten superhero actor trying to remind Hollywood of his name. Iñárritu’s ability to engage an audience with a film with just a simple camera trick is so brilliant that we might as well be hiding backstage with the character himself.

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