It happened pretty fast but the decade has entered its final stretch; we’re almost into the 2020s. As we head into Autumn we’ve decided to start celebrating early the best the noughties have had to offer, beginning with our 100 favourite films. From mind-bending sci-fi epics to heartbreaking coming-of-age dramas and colourful animated comedies, it’s certainly been a vivid and varied period for cinema. This list includes films released Jan 1, 2010 to Jul 31, 2019. We’ll share an updated edition in December or January with additions from the latter half of this year. But, for now, enjoy…
Everyone has it. The one film that makes them believe. Mostly you hear about Lean, Kubrick, Spielberg. But I’m a child of 1997, in the summer of 2010 I was twelve years old and for me that film is Inception. That’s when I started to believe in the possibilities of cinema. Two years after The Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan cashed the biggest blank check imaginable and brought to life a complex, intelligent and visually revolutionary $200m blockbuster. And in one of the few times in Hollywood history, it was an absolute inarguable success. An epic heist thriller set within the reaches of human consciousness and exploring the rules of architecture through dreaming, Inception set the tone for the decade that would follow, from its folding city streets to Hans Zimmer’s infamous “Brahm” noise. Every twelve year old deserves an Inception to move and inspire them. I’m so lucky I have the real thing.
Ellar Coltrane may be three years my senior, but Boyhood is the story of my childhood. Mason Junior’s Texas upbringing in this three-hour Richard Linklater masterpiece may have few direct parallels to my own, but as a chronicle of the early 21st century through a lens of small personal memories, it’s as profound an insight into my own early years as any work of American cinema is ever likely to be. Coltrane, Lorelai Linklater, Ethan Hawke and Oscar-winning Patricia Arquette play the central roles with unbelievable truth and naturalism. Boyhood is more fact than fiction, capturing Coltrane’s life in real time while seamlessly weaving in scripted narrative elements for the purposes of pacing — a violent stepfather, first heartbreak, a photography career — as if it were the most perfect, enchanting documentary ever made.
How do you possibly explain depression and mental illness to a child in a way that’s neither frightening nor flippant? By creating a colourful, dynamic animated visualisation of the human experience in which to construct a powerful narrative with an array of charming characters. Pixar’s Inside Out is richly affecting in its depiction of emotional internal life, both in its visual direction from Pete Docter and cast — among them Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Richard Kind.
The greatest love story of the decade belongs to two pre-teens on a small New England island. Sam and Suzie — Wes Anderson’s most genuine creations — meet backstage at a school play, exchange immaculately-inscribed letters and run away together into the forests and onto the beaches. Not without the interference of supervising adults: Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Edward Norton, Bruce Willis. It’s a study of pre-sexual romance and painful transition into adolescence told with Anderson’s renowned kindness of spirit and directorial attention to detail.
With the help of eagle-eyed writer/director Chris McQuarrie, Tom Cruise throws a middle finger to the comic-book movie machine by proving that he — and he alone — is the superhero the movies need. Hanging from a helicopter payload, motorcycling backwards around the Arc de Triomphe and HALO from a plane in a single unbroken take, Cruise defies gravity, insurance premiums and possibly criminal law in his sixth Mission: Impossible adventure, and raises the bar permanently for action cinema in the process. Fallout is a symphony of controlled chaos, a gleefully playful rollercoaster through the mind of one singularly ambitious movie star. If Hollywood still cares about the ‘summer movie’, then this is the best summer movie there’s ever been.
The spirit of Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire is reborn before our eyes as Damien Chazelle channels a deep passion for big-screen musicals and the art of moviemaking into a witty but genuine romance that will long outlive its well-remembered (almost) Best Picture win. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone ascend to greatness amongst the stars as they sing and dance through modern Los Angeles with dreams, ambitions and a love of cinema in their hearts. A preciously traditional movie that lunges forward into this millennium with every small idea.
A film that conveys the power of physical connection on the soul like no other, Barry Jenkins’ (miraculously) Best Picture-winning drama is a lyrical meditation on growing up outside the margins. Chiron is a young black man who’s evolution we chart through three distinct segments, played by three actors, as he transforms from a nervous child into a confident, gay adult. Moonlight isn’t political — but Chiron’s race and sexuality power the spirit of the film, an ode to those in society who are seen the least but feel the most.
The most intense, shocking edge-of-your-seat thriller this side of Se7en isn’t about a sadistic murderer or a major terror attack. It’s the story of a drum protege and his teacher: Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons, men of two different generations and behaviours who clash and battle in the pursuit of musical greatness. Damien Chazelle demonstrates an out-the-gate understanding of cinematic grammar like few debut directors this century (Whiplash is adapted from a short he directed, and the follow-up to his thesis feature).
Absolutely nobody loves cinema more than Martin Scorsese, and his most direct romantic note to the medium he helped redefine is also his most universally appealing film to date. Based on Brian Selznick’s Hugo Cabret, this 2011 adventure follows a young boy living in a Parisian train station who investigates the purpose of an Automaton left to him by his father, with the help of a retired Georges Méliès. Scorsese employs the strongest use of modern 3D to immerse the audience in the snow-laden streets of period Paris as Hugo escapes the attention of a slapstick conductor (Sacha Baron Cohen) and befriends a young girl (Chloe Moretz) and film historian (Michael Stuhlbarg). Sensitive and joyful, Hugo is likely the last children’s film that will ever be nominated for 11 Academy Awards. As it should be.
A mother and a daughter. A dynamic so under-explored in American cinema; so richly and devastatingly dug deep in Greta Gerwig’s marvellous 2017 coming of age drama. Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf abandon all previous persona and step into the roles of contrarian high schooler Lary Bird and her long-suffering working-class mother as they battle with the irreparable differences that unite them. Lady Bird seeks intellectual stimulation, sex, friendship, creative validation from a variety of great character actors — among them Tracy Letts, Timothée Chalamet and Beanie Feldstein — and we gaze into the abyss of 2002 adolescence soundtracked by Dave Matthews Band and presented with a realness only a filmmaker like Gerwig could possibly capture.
11. Steve Jobs
The most inquisitive director and screenwriter of their generation team up for a masterful, original take on the modern biopic. Danny Boyle and Aaron Sorkin’s portrait of Apple co-founder Jobs neither canonises the man nor interrogates his entitlement to legend; it explores with vivid cinematic tools (primarily a triptych of film formats) the progression of a man’s character throughout a successful and very public career. Michael Fassbender is sensational as Jobs, but the supporting cast — Ripley Sobo, Michael Stuhlbarg, Seth Rogen, Sarah Snook — give flavour to an epic but intimate character drama.
12. Call Me By Your Name
A romantic drama to rival the greatest of the genre, Luca Guadagnino’s Italian-set love story between Elio and Oliver (Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer, two monuments of male sensuality) is full of heartbreaking flourishes — not least Sufjan Stevens’ original songs — as it depicts a love that isn’t meant to last. Yet it’s arguably the bond between Elio and his father, the astonishing Michael Stuhlbarg, that provides the strongest and most unique relationship in the film. A wonderful work about men who love.
13. Before Midnight
The saddest but most grounded instalment in Richard Linklater’s masterful trilogy sees Celine and Jesse bring their kids on a holiday to Greece and explore the difficulties of their marriage until they reach near-breaking point. It’s a raw, startling vision of how relationships can change and self-destruct yet it’s never without hope, faith and a deep and abiding sense of romance.
Christopher Nolan uses space, time and Matthew McConaughey’s remarkable voice to tell a story of fathers and daughters, and the transcendent power of love, that only he could tell. Interstellar is Kubrick tribute and revolutionary art film disguised as sci-fi blockbuster. It’s most effective when rooted on the ground, in Cooper’s dystopian wheat fields and in Murph (Jessica Chastain)’s scientific research. But Nolan’s inter-dimensional visual effects are vividly realised and unforgettable. And Matt Damon plays the villain.
How do you reconcile half a century’s worth of casual misogyny and gung-ho chest-beating? With a slick but sombre reinvention of cinema’s most iconic character as a postmodern ‘difficult man’. Sam Mendes directs the hell out of the best Bond; a tirelessly exciting thriller that casts Javier Bardem in his strongest villain role since No Country and offers Judi Dench, at last, some actual acting to do as Bond’s boss M.
16. Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol
Before Fallout, our high watermark for Tom Cruise thrillers was set at Ghost Protocol; Brad Bird’s high-wire act first live-action feature that — while lacking much of a plot or even coherent script — strings together a series of mouthwatering set-pieces designed for the biggest screens in the world: a prison break set to Sinatra, a massive desert storm and — of course — Cruise’s Ethan Hunt clinging onto the Burj Khalifa for dear life. Harold Lloyd would be proud.
17. Muppets Most Wanted
As a film like Hugo proves, it’s bloody difficult to make a great (and successful) family film in the 2010s. But James Bobin managed it twice with his two exceptionally special Muppet big-screen outings. This sequel, originally intended to be called The Muppets… Again! is more than aware of its own cynical existence as yet another Muppet sequel — so it begins with a song about the subject. It proceeds to be a dastardly good-spirited and funny caper that pits Constantine, Kermit’s evil Soviet doppelganger, against our favourite band of felt-knit entertainers. Ty Burrell and Tina Fey deserve mention in brilliantly cartoonish supporting performances. Bobin should’ve made six more of these.
18. The Social Network
The Social Network is such an obvious choice for one of the decade’s best films, it’s easy to forget just what a good film it is. As with Steve Jobs, a Sorkin script is handed to a director who knows how to make every beat of a story seem astonishingly interesting; David Fincher stages disputes betwixt Mark Zuckerberg (Jessie Eisenberg) and the Winkelvoss twins (Armie Hammer squared) like they’re nuclear talks. But ultimately it’s the story of Facebook, the thing that destroyed our social lives, and then our ability to live altogether. And it becomes more of a horror film every year.
19. The Florida Project
The Florida Project’s title refers to the original blueprint plan for Walt Disney World, and Sean Baker’s film is very much the story of what happens just beyond the walls of the happiest place on earth. It’s the story of an impoverished mother and daughter living in a motel complex run by Willem Dafoe, and young Moonee’s ability to find adventure and magic in every corner of their dingy home. It’s warm and richly funny and has one of the most upsetting final 60 seconds in memory.
An intelligent and subtle drama about addiction that never leans into the guffawing of “Michael Fassbender Can’t Stop Having Sex” logline, the story of Shame is told with a sensitivity and brutality that sits with you for a long time.
21. Toy Story 3
On their long list of traumatic topics, Pixar eventually had to get around to “moving away to college”, and Toy Story 3 offers a hopeful vision for letting your childhood memories live on beyond your adolescence as Andy prepares to move out and his toys get distributed to a new home. Devastating.
22. The Muppets
Bobin’s initial reboot of the beloved brand is a sweet, sing-along sensation. Jason Segel and Amy Adams star as a young couple who help Kermit, Piggy and co. get back in the game. The Muppets establishes a vocabulary for 21st century Muppet movies — uncynical but conscious of joyfulness fatigue in Hollywood. “Man or Muppet” took home the Oscar for Best Original Song but there are half a dozen brilliant tracks that make this a profoundly rewatchable modern musical.
23. The Help
Sentimental and politically ageing poorly by the year, I have too much deep affection for Tate Taylor’s The Help not to include it on this list. Viola Davis, Emma Stone, Octavia Spencer, Jessica Chastain, Bryce Dallas Howard, Alison Janney, Sissy Spacek: it’s a who’s who of the greatest actresses around in unsubtle roles turned up to 12. Something of a female spin on The Shawshank Redemption with added racial inequality, it’s marginally more sensible than Green Book and significantly more affecting.
Adam Driver’s quietest, most affecting performance is as a New Jersey bus driver-turned-poet in Jim Jarmusch’s drama of manners. We witness a week in Paterson’s formulaic, repetitive life but gradually begin to identify the small beauties than inspire him and the smaller cracks that torment him.
25. Blue Jasmine
Woody Allen creates his most nuanced protagonist… ever(?) with Cate Blanchett’s Jasmine, a Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. She’s surrounded by a cast that includes Alec Baldwin, Sally Hawkins, Michael Stuhlbarg and Bobby Cannavale. It won Blanchett her second Oscar, deservedly; it’s a rich and wise character study like little Allen has done this century.
Bawdy and unsubtle as it is, Seth MacFarlane’s breakout swearing teddy bear hit remains a shameful comedic treasure. Mark Wahlberg peaked when he rattled off the white trash names. MacFarlane peaked when Ted, upon seeing Giovanni Ribisi’s villainous stalker in the distance, asks why Sinead O’Connor has come to visit him.
27. The Judge
David Dobkin’s corn-bloated melodrama has aged like a fine wine (more like a tonic wine): a deeply pretentious and overlong father-son legal drama, The Judge pushes similar buttons of commercial appeal as The Help, in no small part due to the exceptional watchability of its ensemble: Downey Jr, Duvall, Farmiga, D’Onofrio, Thornton and many more. A ridiculous but fabulously consumable product.
28. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2
David Yates may not be the most distinctive director to tackle the Potter franchise but his concluding chapter is hard to fault for visual and thematic victory. As a finally-redeemed Severus Snape, Alan Rickman is truly brilliant, but the entire cast — young and old — get moments to shine in a moving Final Chapter worthy of its name.
29. Inside Llewyn Davis
In the Coen Brother’s strongest film since A Serious Man, Oscar Isaac’s fictional Dylan contemporary embarks on a Quixotian quest across the east village and into the upstate badlands in search of a missing cat and a musical career.
A better Michael Mann movie than Mann himself could ever make again, Steve McQueen’s political heist movie is rich with racial and feminist subtext but, most importantly, a heart-pounding action thriller.
31. Lucky Harry Dean Stanton and David Lynch star in the former’s sensitive swansong.
32. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1 Harry, Ron and Hermione get lost in the woods and dance to Nick Cave. The most real depiction of friendship the franchise ever offered.
33. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping The Lonely Island turn their unique brand of parody pop into a fully-fledged musical comedy. Intensely rewatchable satirical mayhem.
34. Easy A Emma Stone’s breakout (best?) performance in a modern day homage to The Scarlet Letter. Painfully witty high school sex comedy, with great Stanley Tucci and Thomas Hayden Church supporting turns.
35. Columbus Contemplative drama about friendship and architecture with phenomenal work from Haley Lu Richardson and John Cho.
36. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Martin McDonagh’s Coen homage is a terrific moral drama in its own right, deservedly winning Oscars for stars Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell.
37. The Spectacular Now Teen romantic drama that abandons dreaminess and fantasy for an honest depiction of a difficult but powerful bond. Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley are remarkable, as always.
38. The Old Man & The Gun Like Harry Dean Stanton in Lucky, Robert Redford gets a sendoff role that pays tribute to his entire filmography. A charming and beautifully-directed little David Lowery project.
39. Margin Call The best movie about the 2008 financial crisis by far, JC Chandor rounds up Spacey, Irons, Bettany, Quinto and Tucci to explore the foolishness that led to economic collapse, Glengarry style.
40. Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Pretentious but impressive comment on the art of acting from Alejandro Innaritu and a fabulous Michael Keaton.
41. Room Lenny Abrahamson claustrophobically adapts the hit abduction novel with tremendous Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay mother/son chemistry that won the former the Oscar.
42. I, Daniel Blake Ken Loach has still got it. Tragic tale of the “benefits scroungers” the Daily Mail loves to whinge about that would make anyone want to vote for Jeremy Corbyn.
43. Incredibles 2 Brad Bird opts for a nontraditional superhero sequel that digs into the politics of its comic-book pastiche world. A little too smart for its own good, but undeniably another excellent entry into the Bird canon, if not a sequel quite worthy of The Incredibles.
44. If Beale Street Could Talk Symphonic love story told through micronarratives in the streets of Spanish Harlem. Beale Street could teach Terrence Malick a thing or two about how to film people dancing in the streets without making your audience cringe.
45. The Grand Budapest Hotel Painterly farce that earned Wes Anderson his first Best Picture nomination. Not the director’ best by far but a highly amusing period comedy with an astonishing aesthetic.
46. Arrival Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi is a true rarity: surprising and heartbreaking and entirely action-free. Amy Adams gives the best performance of her career as a linguist hired to translate alien symbols to ensure peace for mankind. Slight and powerful.
47. Time Out Of Mind Richard Gere is perfectly cast as an intellectual homeless man navigating the harsh landscape of a roofless New York life.
48. The Boss Baby A surprisingly affecting story about brotherhood is built into this viciously smart children’s satire of corporations, dog obsession and (arguably) Donald Trump. Deeper than you’d think. As funny as you’d hope.
49. Blue Valentine Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams are as electric as ever in this charged story of a young marriage on the rocks.
50. The Descendants George Clooney’s best performance as a father struggling through his wife’s final days, caring for two precocious daughters and searching for the man his wife has been sleeping with (a terrific Matthew Lillard).
51. A Date for Mad Mary A rare Irish drama that feels totally fresh and freed from the inner bubble of RTE-approved casting, Mad Mary is a truthful and superbly-performed story of self-reckoning set on the streets of Drogheda.
52. Dunkirk Christopher Nolan applies his ‘experimenting with time’ obsession to the war movie, producing a lean and thrilling battle drama that occurs almost in real-time and mostly avoids the Britannia jingoism of similar works.
53. Mary Poppins Returns Rob Marshall’s adoring sequel to the greatest of all Disney musicals really is a best case scenario: respectful, pleasant and incredibly harmless, it gives Dick van Dyke a great cameo and does absolutely nothing to diminish the impact of the original. That’s the most we could’ve asked for.
54. Iron Man 2 With the most personality of any Marvel Studios movie, the Justin Theroux-scripted Iron Man 2 casts Sam Rockwell and Mickey Rourke as two hilarious villains and works like clockwork.
55. The Ides of March Clooney’s sole triumph as director is this engaging political drama from House of Cards creator Beau Willimon, the ensemble of Gosling, Giamatti, Tomei and Seymour Hoffman undeniably doing much of the heavy lifting.
56. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Animals are rarely treated with as much curiosity and dignity as in Matt Reeves’ dystopian Dawn, pitching Caesar (Andy Serkis) as a simian Colonel Kurtz holding fort in the California forests against the last surviving humans. The strongest use of motion capture technology cinema has seen.
57. Star Wars: The Force Awakens J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars reinvention is not dissimilar to Mary Poppins Returns in its reverence for source material, but it’s a lot of fun all the same with a tuned-in Harrison Ford back as Han Solo, a hyper-intense Adam Driver villain performance and a truly marvellous score by John Williams.
58. Kingsman: The Secret Service Cocky and charismatic spy caper from Matthew Vaughn that tackles the British class system and American consumerism while also allowing Colin Firth to murder a few dozen right-wing fundamentalists in a church while “Free Bird” blares. A film that won’t be ageing well but absolutely thrilled me when I was 17.
59. Coco Pixar do the Inside Out thing for the concept of death and the afterlife through the lens of Mexico’s Day of the Dead. A lovely film and probably a lot for children to handle.
60. Me & Earl & The Dying Girl Charming teen cancer comedy that introduced the world to the delightful Olivia Cooke while celebrating the life-affirming effects of making a movie with your friends.
61. Booksmart Lady Bird’s Beanie Feldstein leads her own fabulous teen girl comedy as one of a studious pair (with Kaitlyn Dever) who decide to go wild on their last night of high school. Really enlightened and charming feature debut from Olivia Wilde.
62. The Avengers Joss Whedon’s industry-shattering Marvel teamup marked the beginning of the end for interesting blockbusters but there’s no denying its powerful entertainment value. Sparks fly between Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson and Mark Ruffalo while Tom Hiddleston inhabits a meme-friendly postmodern villain role. Jolly trash.
63. Megamind Ahead-of-its-time superhero comedy from DreamWorks that’s somewhere on the spectrum of The Incredibles and Despicable Me and far smarter than anyone remembers.
64. Get Out Jordan Peele’s Oscar-winning horror tackles racial conflict and white hypocrisy in post-Obama America with startling and darkly funny results.
65. Zootopia Colourful animal cineliterate escapades with one of the sexiest talking foxes in the movies — Jason Bateman’s Nick Wilde.
66. Blade Runner 2049 Villeneuve’s sequel is arguably superior to the original (exceedingly dull) Blade Runner, a distinctly experimental studio blockbuster that mainstream audiences would never — and weren’t expected to — appreciate.
67. Blindspotting Carlos López Estrada’s debut stands with the work of Jenkins and Peele in depicting with compelling fury the tragedies within modern African-American communities.
68. Frank Lenny Abrahamson’s strangest, most unnerving drama casts Michael Fassbender as a masked band leader intent on conquering the world but unable to conquer his vicious personal demons. A true ‘tragicomedy’ in the richest sense of the term.
69. The Dark Knight Rises Overly high expectations harmed Christopher Nolan’s rather excellent third Batman movie, as the years have passed its value has become clearer. A grim urban epic inspired by Metropolis and Dickens, it’s an extremely different type of movie to The Dark Knight, and it remains a fascinating one.
70. Les Miserables Tom Hooper is hardly a great auteur but his flashy, abrasive style has its use: in adapting the iconic musical he creates a canvas of melodrama that’s truly staggering, with heightened performances from Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway.
71. Rise of the Planet of the Apes Andy Serkis’ Caesar is introduced in this tight 90 minute Apes prequel, one of the most low-key but engaging Hollywood sci-fi works of the decade.
72. Prisoners Disturbing and obtuse Villeneuve thriller with a terrific ensemble and some traumatising twists.
73. Sing Street John Carney’s most effective, well-liked film is powered by his favourite music from the 80s and the stellar “Drive It Like You Stole It”. It’s overeager but hard not to fall for.
74. Moneyball Only Aaron Sorkin could make baseball trading this interesting. Moneyball teams up Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill and Philip Seymour Hoffman and it’s the only possible version of this film I would find remotely watchable. Sort of amazing.
75. Glassland Strong Irish family drama from Gerard Barrett that makes great use of Jack Reynor and Will Poulter’s very specific archetypes.
76. Love & Mercy Like Steve Jobs, a rare celebrity biopic that tries something new, this tells the life story of Brian Wilson through two narrative strands — he’s played by both Paul Dano and John Cusack.
77. Mid90s Jonah Hill’s directorial debut shows deep affection for the skateparks of his youth and is almost flawless in telling its simple narrative.
78. X-Men: First Class Matthew Vaughn’s 60s-set X-Men prequel is a stylish, sexy and culturally tuned-in alternative to standard franchise fatigue. The casting of Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy alone makes it a unique pleasure.
79. Thoroughbreds Darkly comedic take on modern teen indifference sees Anya Taylor-Joy and Olivia Cooke plot a murder out of boredom. Featuring a great final performance by the late Anton Yelchin.
80. 50/50 Something of a spiritual sequel to Seth Rogen and Adam Sandler’s Funny People, this Jonathan Levine comedy has become something of a Netflix-era cult classic thanks to its enduring central male friendship (Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt). Movies about cancer are usually hit or miss. Hit.
81. Support The Girls Concise, charming day in the life of waitresses in a Hooter’s style smarmy roadside bar, Support The Girls depicts female team camaraderie with a spirit typically reserved for male-focused sports movies. Regina Hall is remarkable.
82. Mr. Turner Mike Leigh delves into JMW Turner’s artistic career and private life and somehow makes a film that’s deeply interesting and hard to look away from. Timothy Spall takes most of the credit, snuffling and snorting around the screen as only he can do.
83. Looper Smart, original sci-fi that earned Rian Johnson his The Last Jedi laissez-faire cheque.
84. The Edge of Seventeen Hailee Steinfeld and Hayley Lu Richardson are delightful best friends in this more-memorable-than-most coming of age comedy.
85. Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation Very much Chris McQuarrie’s warm-up for Fallout, this has its moments but is a lesser Mission by some distance. Sean Harris makes for an amazing villain though.
86. Django Unchained Filthily fun Tarantino exploitation picture with great Waltz and DiCaprio nastiness.
87. Atomic Blonde Cerebral, Berlin-set spy thriller that uses Charlize Theron’s ferocious femininity as a physical fighting tool like few other female-led action movies. Exceptional soundtrack and beautifully shot and styled.
88. Christopher Robin Moving grown-up take on the Winnie The Pooh fable scripted by Alex Ross Perry, it’s hard to believe Disney greenlit something as overwhelmingly downbeat as this (they never will again).
89. Men in Black 3 Michael Stuhlbarg as a globe-headed alien medium provides the heart for this above-average summer adventure, a surprisingly enduring (and brief) time travel movie with a really strong script.
90. Bridge of Spies Spielberg’s best film this decade, a Coen Brothers-scripted, old-fashioned Cold War drama that gives Tom Hanks his most Jimmy Stewart-esque role ever.
91. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Operatic, nonsensical but intensely compelling comic-book epic from Zack Snyder. Nothing in this film is well done as much as fascinating to experience. Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor is a genuinely strong psychotic performance but it all turns bad in the final act as CGI takes over from character. Should not be disregarded as a significant picture in the superhero canon.
92. Boulevard Robin Williams’ last great performance as a depressed bank clerk who pursues a relationship with a young male prostitute. Moving and very much overlooked for awards consideration following Williams’ death in 2014.
93. The Revenant Leonardo DiCaprio braving the wilds of winter may be an Oscar-baiting gimmick but The Revenant remains a stunning directorial achievement from Alejandro Innaritu: shot almost entirely in natural light and reportedly a near-Apocalypse Now level difficult shoot.
94. Edge of Tomorrow Doug Liman brilliantly utilises Tom Cruise’s star persona in a character-driven time loop actioner that teams the Groundhog Day’d Cruise with a ruthless warrior (Emily Blunt) to defeat alien invaders. It sounds stupid, it looks a little too much like a video game, but it’s brutally well-structured and warms Cruise up nicely for his subsequent great performance in M:I — Fallout.
95. Mad Max: Fury Road Maximum steampunk flare inhaled from a spray canister. George Miller’s fire in a bottle epic depicts a vibrant and vicious Aussie apocalypse. It’s amazing nobody was killed on the set.
96. Gone Girl David Fincher’s most Hitchcockian film is a blackly funny sex drama sold as a murder mystery. Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike are superb in richly complex roles. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ score is perfect.
97. The Three Stooges Before Peter opened the Green Book, the Farrelly Brothers delivered a quite personal tribute to their most esteemed comedy heroes, a goofy bangs and whistles physical comedy that stars Larry David as a nun.
98. Anomalisa Charlie Kaufman takes his absurd surrealist vibe to the land of stop-motion. A very strange and sad film.
99. Leap Year Amy Adams and Matthew Goode are awkwardly charming in this deeply culturally-insensitive Irish-set rom-com. But by gorra I enjoy Leap Year and I’ve seen it more times than I would care to admit.
100. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules The closest the big-screen has come to specifically adolescent comedy brilliance of shows like Drake and Josh and iCarly, the second Wimpy Kid movie has superb slapstick and mid-pubescent romantic yearning performed by a winning ensemble of kids.
So that’s our long, weird list. What you do think are the strongest films of the last 10 years? Drop a comment below and let the arguments commence!