250 critics, programmers, academics, and distributors have spoken.
Sure, the decade is officially not over, but we couldn’t help but be quick on the trigger and survey the industry about the best of the past ten years.
This past fall, World of Reel conducted a poll of critics, programmers, academics, filmmakers, and others to identify the top films of the decade thus far.
And the winner is…George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road”. After dropping jaws back in the summer of 2015, George Miller’s stunning action movie bested Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life” by a mere 9 votes. It appeared in almost 1/4 of the lists, and was voted best movie of the last 10 years.
Critics’ selections were, understandably, all over the map, with thousands of titles to choose from in this eclectically diverse decade, but a handful of films appeared with some frequency on these lists.
“Fury Road” was hailed immediately upon its release, ditto most of the films that cracked the top 10 of the poll. But, more interestingly, it was Kenneth Lonergan’s “Margaret” (#15) which seems to have aged best, 8 years since its controversial and much-delayed release. Interestingly, an actual TV show snuck into the top 20 as David Lynch’s groundbreaking “Twin Peaks: The Return” (#17) continues to make an impact and blur the lines between cinema and television.
When splitting the ballots between genders, female voters had considerably more love for Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” and Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight,” both of which came just a vote shy of tying “Mad Max: Fury Road” for the top spot. Whereas, when it came to male voters, Peele’s film barely made the top 20 and “Moonlight” narrowly snuck into the top 10. Also of note, Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master” was barely recognized by the female contingent of the poll, but did place at the sixth spot overall when all 250 lists were combined.
Below, we list the movies that appeared most frequently on critics’ decade-end lists. The list was, quite simply, ranked by the frequency with which films appeared in ballots. Voters were asked to submit five movies, unranked. The dates of eligibility were based on U.S. release dates, which started on January 1st, 2010 up until April of 2019.
01. Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller)
02. The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick)
03. Moonlight (Barry Jenkins)
04. Boyhood (Richard Linklater)
05. The Social Network (David Fincher)
06. The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson)
07. Roma (Alfonso Cuaron)
08. Phantom Thread (Paul Thomas Anderson)
09. A Separation (Asghar Farhadi)
10. Inside Llewyn Davis (Joel Coen)
10. Get Out (Jordan Peele)
12. Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer)
13. Carol (Todd Haynes)
13. Margaret (Kenneth Lonergan)
15. Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade)
16. Uncle Boonmee (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
17. Twin Peaks: The Return (David Lynch)
18. Her (Spike Jonze)
18. Call Me By Your Name (Luca Guadagnino)
20. The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer)
20. Inception (Christopher Nolan)
20. Holy Motors (Leos Carax)
21. La La Land (Damien Chazelle)
21. 12 Years A Slave (Steve McQueen)
23. Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami)
24. The Florida Project (Sean Baker)
24. Amour (Michael Haneke)
25. Ida (Pawel Pawlikowski)