2010s

The Best Films of the 2010s Decade

Veteran filmmakers Terrence Malick and George Miller deliver career-defining masterpieces, Christopher Nolan’s films reach mind-bending new heights, and the wave of New Mexican Cinema hits its peak under the three amigos Cuarón, Iñárritu, and del Toro.

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Certified Copy (2010)

Abbas Kiarostami’s sleight of hand in Certified Copy is tremendously subtle, quietly swapping out key details of two strangers’ friendly, sparring relationship until they become something else entirely, and confounding us with a metaphysical shift in reality that ponders how authenticity can be drawn from emotional expressions and artefacts that aren’t truly original.

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Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

Such is Kathryn Bigelow’s fine control over action-driven sequences that even as Zero Dark Thirty delivers on its raw thrills, she also manages to coordinate them remarkably tightly in her narrative’s driving pursuit of justice, following the CIA’s lengthy hunt for Osama Bin Laden over ten gruelling years.

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Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (2011)

As an ensemble of men track down the body of a murder victim through the Turkish countryside, Nuri Bilge Ceylan languidly pulls together the stories of a suspect, a prosecutor, and a doctor in a meditation on generational sin and regret, using his archetypal characters and symbols to develop Once Upon a Time in Anatolia into a delicately existential fable.

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A Dangerous Method (2011)

All it took was a filmmaker with as intense a fascination in humanity’s primal fears and desires as David Cronenberg to craft such a thrilling drama out of founding psychoanalysts Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung’s contentious relationship, as A Dangerous Method compellingly turns these reserved historical figures into vulnerable subjects of its own psychological studies.

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The Souvenir (2019)

There is a quiet frustration in seeing haughty intellectual Anthony emotionally manipulate ambitious film student Julie in The Souvenir, and although it is clear which one Joanna Hogg holds more affection towards, her autobiographical self-reflection on toxic young love takes a touchingly nuanced understanding of the matter in its gentle pacing and affecting character work.

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Everybody Wants Some!! (2016)

The three days we spend within freshman Jake’s microcosmic college bubble seems to stretch out in eternal bliss, a period which Richard Linklater delights in with richly defined characters lightly treading the line between hedonism and intellectualism, evolving Everybody Wants Some!! into an unhurried study of Generation X masculinity in all its youthful idealism.

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