When the last decade ended, in 2009, I was finishing university studies and about to make a few major life changes. This time around I have much more ability to be reflective and to think about my favorite things from the past year and decade.
To that end, I have complied a list of my most memorable films from each year in this past decade, from 2010-2019. I really enjoy going to the cinema and watching a movie on the “big screen”. Films have a way of moving me out of my normal life and normal concerns and putting me into a new headspace, even if for just a few hours. I suspect that it does the same for most moviegoers.
For my end of decade list, I have a few comments about each film, and then will pick a top film from each year. That will culminate in a top film for the decade. It won’t be easy, considering my list and my tastes. Also, this is only the first five years. The second five will be a second post.
By the way, this is simply my list. Your list may, and probably should, look different. We all love what we love, and in our own ways. In fact, I would love to know your top films from the past decade, or any particular year. Leave a comment and let me know.
Toy Story 3
Iron Man 2
Scott Pilgrim vs the World
Toy Story 3 made me cry. I am not gonna lie. I really thought the toys were going to face their end, and I got choked up. It was an incredible story, and a great ending to the toy’s story. You’ll notice that Toy Story 4 won’t be on my list, and there is a reason for that. I think Toy Story 3 ended things so well. Iron Man 2 and Scott Pilgrim make the cut because I simply enjoy watching them so much. They are just so much fun. Inception is mind bending and fantastic. A great thrilling story that is a mystery at heart. And it has such incredible visuals. What’s not to love?
True Grit is a great character drama, so well cast, and wonderfully done. Tron: Legacy was the first film I saw in 3D, and the spectacle was well worth it. It is also a movie I will watch at almost any time. The music by Daft Punk is spellbinding. Beyond that, I love so many of the lines from the film. Top pick? It’s gotta be Tron: Legacy.
Battle: Los Angeles
X-Men: First Class
Captain America: The First Avenger
Cowboys and Aliens
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
I don’t go in for war movies as much as I did when I was younger. The human cost weighs too heavily on my soul. However, Battle:LA is a sci-fi war movie, and thus divorced from the usual “based on actual events”. I love Aaron Eckhart in this movie, and truly find it entertaining. Fast 5 proved that the Fast & Furious franchise could be something enduring, by taking the street racing genre to a heist film. Honestly, people though F&F was done until this movie. X-Men: First Class was the new beginning of X-Men films, and the amazing cast solidified the new series as well worth watching.
Captain America was a true period super hero film, though not the last. After a slight downturn with Thor and Iron Man 2, Marvel needed a hit to take them into Avengers and got it in spades. Many people dislike Cowboys and Aliens, but this is another film that I just really enjoy watching. A straight western, but with aliens, and with James Bond and Han Solo/Indiana Jones. What’s not to love? Finally, Sherlock Holmes with Robert Downy, Jr. I am a huge fan of both, and this film delivered on both in the same way the first Sherlock film did. Top pick? I’m going with Captain America on this one.
Cabin in the Woods
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Horror is not my genre, but then Cabin in the Woods isn’t straight horror. It is a blood soaked love letter to horror with zombies (sort of). Anyway, I just really, really love it. Plus, its by Joss Whedon and I enjoy most of his cinematic work. This feels like a spiritual end to both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Skyfall is one of my favorite James Bond films. It to me is classic Bond. I have been a Tolkien fan since the first Lord of the Rings film was announced, and I think this Hobbit film was a great adaptation. Also, the 3D High Frame Rate was completely breathtaking and immersive.
Avengers was the culmination of everything since Iron Man, and successfully blended five movies and six heroes into an ensemble film that was the best of all that had come before. Now that the Avengers saga that began in 2008 is mostly over, people forget what a huge deal Avengers was at the time. I saw this movie in theaters more than any other film to date (surpassing 2008’s Dark Knight). Top pick: Avengers.
Iron Man 3
Much Ado About Nothing
Only three films really captured me in 2013, not to say that I didn’t enjoy others. Iron Man 3, a Christmas film, really carried on the legacy of Avengers while truly being about Tony Stark and not Iron Man. There are so many things I enjoy about it. Much Ado About Nothing was the little project that Joss Whedon did in between shooting Avengers and editing Avengers. I enjoy Shakespeare and this is Shakespeare done extremely well. The Wolverine is a solid entry into the Hugh Jackman/Wolverine story. I like it because it explores Wolverine without his signature healing powers. Imagine creating a super hero, and then taking away his powers? Yeah, this went there. Top pick: Iron Man 3.
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Guardians of the Galaxy
Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies
Days of Future Past is an excellent, compelling story. The future X-Men go into the past to fix a mistake made by the past X-Men, but this isn’t a standard time travel flick. Both the old and new X-Men casts unite, and I love so much about this film. Best scene is young and old Charles Xavier having a conversation. It was an amazing trailer moment and incredible in the film. I cannot say enough about Andy Serkis and his work as Caesar the Ape in the latest Planet of the Apes films. This is my top one in that trilogy and the one I most often watch again.
Guardians of the Galaxy…Are you kidding me? What a gamble at the time, and what a hilarious, heartfelt, and fun movie. Yes. Yes. Yes. We. Are. Groot. Battle of Five Armies always makes me cry at the end. Always. From the death of Thorin to Bilbo’s farewell. It isn’t the best adaptation, but by the time I get there, I don’t care. Top pick? Guardians of the Galaxy.
There are the first five years of the decade. I will pick up with 2015 and the last five in my next post. Thanks for reading, and again, let me know what your picks would be.