(This article is part of our Best of the Decade series.)
It’s hard enough picking favorite films from one year, so how was I ever going to do it for a whole decade? The answer: don’t.
My selection of ten films are not my favorite films of the decade as it stands at the time of writing. Instead, it’s ten films that throughout the last ten years were at one point on my favorites list. They aren’t ranked numerically, but are placed in order of when I first watched them. Enjoy.
Honorable Mentions: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013), Captain America: Civil War (2016), John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017), Inception (2010), Logan (2017), Marvel’s The Avengers (2012), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), The Adventures of Tintin (2011), Furious 7 (2015), Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018), Tag (2018), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011), Skyfall (2012)
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)
This film is an absolute blast. I just happened to be in Vancouver when they were filming parts of this film, so I stood outside in the nighttime cold and watched Tom Cruise shoot the same brief moment over and over again. In the film, it’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment. I always walked through the set cause our hotel was on the other side. It was a pretty surreal experience, and even cooler to see that brief clip up on the big screen a year later.
I’m a huge Back to the Future fan. A lot of that love is geared towards the story Zemeckis and Gale crafted, and Michael J. Fox’s unforgettable performance as Marty McFly. However, I also love the concept of time travel. Looper was the first time-travel film since Back to the Future to really grab my attention. Bruce Willis gives one of his best performances of the decade, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emily Blunt are right behind him. I also appreciated how they handled the concept of time-travel even if it sort of falls apart in places.
Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
I had previously watched the first, second, and fourth installments in The Fast and the Furious franchise and found them to be disposable, yet enjoyable watches. Fast Five changed the name of the game, and Fast & Furious 6 solidified it. Fast & Furious 6 is my favorite in the series because it has the best cast. Brian and Han are still part of the team, and we have Letty back as an opposing threat. Plus, the timeline finally caught back up to Tokyo Drift and introduced us to another Shaw brother. Oh, and #JusticeForHan.
Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
This decade has actually delivered quite a few time-travel movies I found myself watching and rewatching. Edge of Tomorrow takes Groundhog Day‘s premise and shoves an alien down it’s throat. Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt are stellar co-leads and it’s nice seeing Tom Cruise (initially) in a role that goes against his usual confident, action hero persona. There’s a lot of fun to be had with a character reliving the same day, and Edge of Tomorrow doesn’t waste the premise.
Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)
Ah, Kingsman, my second love. It was the first movie I ever saw twice in theaters. It absolutely blew my mind. Taron Egerton’s performance was amazing. Colin Firth nailed Harry Hart (especially in “The Church Massacre” scene). There was enough action, laughs, and sexual tension to have me engaged throughout the film. Although my love for the picture has waned in recent years, it is still the only film to have ever come close to matching what I felt when I first watched Back to the Future.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)
After growing up with them as Hermione Granger and Percy Jackson, it was nice to see Emma Watson and Logan Lerman playing regular high-schoolers in this small budgeted drama. I don’t feel like there are many coming-of-age dramas from this decade that tap into the emotions of teenagers better than this one.
Game Night (2018)
One of the best times I had in theaters, and easily one of my favorite comedies. Rachel McAdams is everyone’s favorite actress/wannabe girlfriend (or is that just me?), and Billy Magnussen continually stole every scene he was in. But what makes this film work is the cast ensemble. The core six have amazing chemistry with one another, and it’s a lot of fun watching them bounce off each other. I definitely hope to have game nights half this entertaining when I’m older.
Midnight In Paris (2011)
Surprise! It’s another time-travel film! This had been on my radar for some time, so I finally decided to give it a watch last year. I instantly connected with Owen Wilson’s author character, and found myself learning more than watching. And yes, Rachel McAdams is in this one too, but this time I think I’d pass on wanting to be her girlfriend.
Happy Death Day (2017)
Okay, I’m only just now realizing how many time-travel films I have in my top 10. However, just like Edge of Tomorrow, Happy Death Day takes the Groundhog Day premise and puts its own unique spin on it. Tree Gelbman is right up there beside Marty McFly in terms of favorite time-travel leads. Probably my favorite part of the whole film is when it does a montage of her waking up and walking outside of the building, with each time more crazier and hilarious than the last.
Knives Out (2019)
This is a film I believe needs to be seen in theaters. It’s an original whodunnit that Hollywood does not seem to make anymore. Rian Johnson assembled a who’s who of A-list talent with a murder mystery that leaves you second-guessing yourself until the very end. Daniel Craig chews the scenery as Detective Blanc, and it was nice to see Chris Evans slip back into the sort of role that made him famous pre-Captain America. I definitely cannot wait to rewatch this when it hits home video.
What do you think of my favorite films from the last decade? Anything you think I missed?