20) Margin Call 2011
Why? Earlier in the list I already had The Big Short, which talked about the 2008 Crisis in a much different way than Margin Call. Margin Call did it dramatically, with a fake company, to showcase the ineptitude of those at the top, and how they could still screw over other people on the way to trying to save themselves.
I rated this higher featuring some good performances from various actors involved, and just in generally it is really thrilling for such a bland sounding topic.
Favorite moment? The day after.
19) 1917 2019
Why? You try to pretend your movie is done in one take, and I am going to enjoy it. Flex away your cinematographic and directorial skills to put that together. The story is a simple one, and through it we get to see the realities of the trench, just how much they worked like any movie before.
We see a lot of the biggest aspects of WW1, including the fear, the excessive death, and how hard it was to find an eventual resolution. This is my favorite war movie of the decade.
Favorite moment? The night time escape.
18) Baby Driver 2017
Why? Another movie with Kevin Spacey in the same article, ack! This was really hard to place in its original top list, due to scandals, but honestly, I still love this movie very much. Edgar Wright pieced together a high energy film, with a unique soundtrack that made me want to speed down the highway myself. Okay, that’s bad.
But a heist movie where things go bad, the bad guys are various level of bad, and a journey for redemption? What a hero arc.
Favorite moment? Hocus Pocus Focus escape.
17) Parasite 2019
Why? Come on, of course right? I mean, come on. Many are saying Parasite could be one of the best films of the decade, and there is a lot of reason for that. I often worry about getting caught up in “current year hype” and knowing how well 2019 films compare to the previous 9 is really hard. But I think Parasite is one of those keeper films. This movie will likely be fast tracked to some sort of American remake and it won’t be as good.
Thankfully, this version is so good, without going into too much detail, about Korean class warfare, that it feels universal regardless of where you are from.
Favorite moment? What’s in the basement?
16) Waves 2019
Why? See above. I don’t know if Waves should be this high, but it was my number one in 2019. I haven’t been able to rewatch it, and don’t know if it has staying power. But like Parasite, it told a classic tale of a rise and fall, but also included the potential rise again after the fact. After tragedy, we need to cope and move on, and Waves makes sure to focus equal attention on that aspect as well.
Beautifully shot and acted, it brought me to tears several times.
Favorite moment? The party aftermath.
15) Swiss Army Man 2016
Why? This film is one of the greatest and most original films I have seen in my life time. It is bananas to the wall, hell, to the ceiling, complete and utter madness. Paul Dano can practically do no wrongs when it comes to films in his career, and although Daniel Radcliffe is more hit and miss, this one is certainly a high hit for anyone who decides to accept its weird and give it a chance.
If it takes a lot of fart and masturbation jokes to discover what it means to be human, then sign me up for this evolved life.
Favorite moment? The soundtrack.
14) Les Miserables 2012
Why? No! Not the french remake that isn’t actually based on the book that came out in 2019, the goddamn musical! I had never seen the stage musical before seeing this film and was only slightly familiar with one of the songs, so I wasn’t sure what to expect on that Christmas morning in 2012. This film made me cry four times my first time in theaters, and from that I went on to watch it at least three more times in theaters. It was a day one buy when it hit Blu-Ray and has been seen several times over.
The songs have complexity, and it just hits you over the head over and over about how shitty this time in France was. Time machine? No thank you. And by having the actors sing live for the movie added such a personal touch that can only be recreated in real life.
Favorite moment? One Day More and Javert’s suicide.
13) Goon 2011
Why? It took a little bit for Goon to leak its way out of Canada into an American release, and I was excited to give it a shot. Little did I know it would become something I needed to see again after watching it by myself. I remember showing it to my dad later the same day due to how ridiculous it was, and funny, and strangely heart felt.
Seann William Scott made his career out of being a lovable idiot, and this role is another iteration of that, which he executes perfectly. An extremely quotable movie at points, it takes some extremes in the sport of hockey without breaking out into a musical.
Favorite moment? The Ross Rhea showdown.
12) About Time 2013
Why? About Time felt like it would easily fall into “Creepy movie territory” real quick. A romance where the guy can go back and time and just try again until he makes it perfect? No! Rapey! ack! And then despite starting with those elements, they make our hero the perfect gentlemen, going back to help everyone he can, even if it means setting himself back.
And by the end, with the implications of his travels, it is hard to not cry over the relationship he has with his father and the family he has created. It is an incredibly smart film given the stipulations it put into its time travel and how one should try and approach life no matter their circumstances.
Favorite moment? Ping pong.
11) Blindspotting 2018
Why? My top film of 2018 wasn’t able to make my top ten of the decade, despite being still a great film about an important subject matter. Gentrification is not an easy subject to make a comedy/drama about. So why not two people who have experienced it themselves growing up in radically different ways due to the color of their skin?
Daveed Diggs (who blew up thanks to Hamilton) and real life friend Rafael Casal give an emotionally charged performance in wake up police brutality, harsh sentences, and how felons are treated in our society. 2018 had a lot of social justice films that were top of the line, and this one was just on top of the pile overall.
Favorite moment? Post party arguments.
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