The 2010s for film: a public disaster to some, a raging success to others. However you see it, this last decade was one of extremes. On one hand, we were brought some of Hollywood’s biggest successes in an era of world-conquering superhero universes and a Star Wars revival — with all but three of the world’s top thirty highest grossing films of all time coming from before 2010 hit (inflation notwithstanding, of course). On the other hand, though, gross cases like Weinstein’s have brutally uncovered the dark underbelly of the industry, whilst fat cats like Disney seem to be dead set on monopolising the whole thing. Still, it’s by no means all bad. With watching films perhaps more popular than ever, the growth of modern technology has grown hand-in-hand with film-making prowess and we’ve got a bunch of memorable flicks in the process.

Imagine having a compendium list of the top 100 best films of this particular decade by two uninformed strangers you’d probably want to avoid in the street who open said list with a film about cowboys fighting cannibals. Well, that obscure wish has been granted! Here are ours at repress’ picks that took a literal month to decide. So skim, read, click away if needs be, just don’t @ us.


100. Bone Tomahawk (2015)

On paper, it sounds like one for the bargain bin; Kurt Russell + cowboys + cannibals. However, director S. Craig Zahler managed to blend these seemingly unemulsifyable genres almost seamlessly. Of course, shocking punctuations of extreme gore always help too.
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99. Four Lions (2010)

As Chris Morris’s first endeavour into movie direction – having previously directed some TV (Big Train big uP) – this was a mighty impressive debut. Being able to turn an issue such as terrorism, about as touchy as it can get, into something genuinely hilarious is also pretty damn impressive.
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98. Captain Marvel (2019)

Truly the kick up the arse the MCU needed, Captain Marvel is a similar flavour of Marvel fun, but with a protagonist you really enjoy watching. Even as a Brie Larson skeptic early in the decade, she really won me over here.
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97. It Chapter Two (2019)

There was some trepidation going into this sequel seeing as possibly what made the first film so special, its entertaining pre-teen ensemble cast, would not be in it; and while this was a worry, it was instantly swept away. The new adult cast, including Bill Hader at his peak, is just as fun, and this sequel, while still genuinely spine-tingly scary, is probably funnier than its predecessor, which came as a very welcome surprise.
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96. Turbo Kid (2014)

A film that piqued our interest in the whole cult, 80s, “oh do you remember thAt” kinda thing, Turbo Kid was lucky enough to be released just before it got over-saturated and boring, and batshit enough to be feverishly enjoyable regardless.
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95. ParaNorman (2012)

Laika Studios’ successor to the brilliant Coraline, ParaNorman plays out like a fun take on The Sixth Sense but put in a blender with dumb zombie movies. With some of the nicest animation of the decade, Laika tells this playful plot with a ghostly flourish and a great youthful energy at its heart.
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94. Arrival (2017)

Onto the brooding directorial stylings of Denis Villeneuve in Modern Foreign Languages lessons gone spooky. What may appear on the surface as Amy Adams taking alien language lessons for a couple hours, though, is an intelligent, aesthetically powerful piece of sci-fi masterclass, which, granted, may not be Villeneuve’s best yet, but is an integral part in his growing prominence behind the camera.
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93. At Eternity’s Gate (2019)

A performance-driven piece, though the beautiful cinematography throughout doesn’t hinder proceedings, At Eternity’s Gate centers purely around Willem Dafoe’s jaw-dropping turn as Vincent Van Gogh, cementing him as one of the best actors of his generation.
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92. John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

The first John Wick was a fun time, don’t get me wrong, but this was better. Keanu Reeves and his jolly pals do more stupid kung-fu gun-shooting fist-to-the-face absurdity than we could ever imagine and with the plot spiraling into ludicrous levels of ridiculousness and the fisticuffs getting yet bigger and more impressively choreographed, it’s about as fun as a straight-up action movie has got in a while.
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91. Drive (2011)

Now that Nicolas Winding Refn has established himself as one of the most stylish directors of the decade, it’s very easy to see how his debut piece, Drive, is such an aesthetic force of nature, with its understated cinematography and iconic soundtrack. It’s also notable for its blaring strikes of violence and for setting Ryan Gosling on his way to one of the strongest decades an actor could wish for.
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90. Wreck-It Ralph (2012)

After a dithering 00s, Disney picked up the pace the right way with Wreck-It Ralph, a film basking in the joys of arcade nostalgia and allowing its audience to do the same. John C. Reily is perfectly cast as the titular ‘good’ bad guy, while the visual gags and references throughout play to its schtick perfectly.
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89. Deadpool 2 (2018)

Just more Deadpool, really. And that’s by no means a bad thing, is it. While it may lack that fresh spark the original had in such abundance, this is about as strong a sequel as any and with about as much stupid as it could stuff into itself. Inclusions like the X-Force freshened things up, too, and Kiwi kid Julian Dennison showing us why he’s one of the most promising young actors of the day is always welcome.
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88. Avengers: Endgame (2019)

It was inevitable that the highest-grossing-film-ever-it’s-made-all-of-the-money-we-live-in-a-capitalist-nightmare was going to make an appearance on this list. To be fair, however, in terms of story-mapping, Endgame is a real triumph in universe-building and unconventional narrative which you might forget behind all of those merch sales. They nailed it.
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87. Kick-Ass (2010)

A few years before Deadpool, we got something in a very similar vein. Adapted from a comic book favourite, Matthew Vaughn kept faithful to the source content with one of the stupidest, most gruesome superhero flicks of the decade, starring Adam-Taylor Johnson in what is by far his best role and Chloë Grace Moretz before she got annoying and was still a genuinely promising rising talent.
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86. X-Men: First Class (2011)

An underrated entry into the X-Men franchise, First Class managed to bring a new precedent within a universe with already established characters and actors. With that, McAvoy, Fassbender and Lawrence, in particular, shone in their roles, even bettering Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen, in my opinion. One of the better superhero prequels you can hope for.
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85. Attack the Block (2011)

Here we see pre-Star Wars John Boyega in what remains his best role as the ringleader of a teenage London gang fighting big fuzzy aliens. With a playful and surprisingly heartfelt script, it ends up one of the better British comedies of the last ten years and an entertaining insight into that side of London culture.
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84. A Quiet Place (2018)

John Krasinski hit the jackpot with this one. From predominantly starring in comedies like The US Office he acted in his sophomore directorial effort, a horror-sci-fi set in a silent world, an ambitious and unique hook which resulted in a genuinely memorable flick that was as successful as it was in the box office for very good reason.
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83. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

We could pick at the flaws of this film all day, and indeed, it’s probably the weakest of the trilogy. Still, however clumsily the first parts of the film went about it, this gave us an ending that was genuinely satisfying, and the whole flashy crescendo that was the last hour or so of this film is about as entertaining as cinema gets and made this writer feel like an excitable kid watching Star Wars in the cinema for one last time. Well, hopefully the last time…
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82. Midsommar (2019)

Although not Ari Aster’s best (we’ll get onto that later…), Midsommar is about as ambitious as modern horror has got and with yet heaps more ambition on top of that ambition. One of the most exciting directors in the game today brings us a troubling nose-dive into the dark corners of paganism and ritual set entirely in bright, blooming summer’s daylight. A film hinged on unsettling juxtapositions and delivered with the confidence of Florence Pugh’s best performance to date — definitely one to give a try.
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81. Shazam! (2019)

Probably D.C.’s best effort in its fight against Marvel’s superhero empire, but from a radically different angle. Shazam! is just silly, and it wears its silly proudly on its sleeve, a genuine film-making effort that was clearly made with love — a refreshing take against the backdrop of monochrome we’re used to seeing.
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80. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

Maybe it lacks the excitement attached to Rey and Kylo Ren’s story, but it’s still a rather good time and very much holds it own against Star Wars‘ elite crop. In the end, it’s a missing piece of the Star Wars story puzzle directed extremely capably by Gareth Edwards (previously of mediocrity like Monsters and Godzilla). It’s a breath of fresh air, too, in that Edwards and co. managed to put together a Star Wars film without relying on huge lightsaber battles or an overuse of CGI.
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79. Ex Machina (2014)

Fronted by Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac on their strongest form, 2014 gave us a throwback to Isaac Asimov brand science fiction, and what we got was an ominous, isolating and head-ache-inducing modern classic in a fascinating exploration of the dangers of the advancement of A.I.
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78. The Lobster (2015)

The clinical approach to surreal comedy of Yorgos Lanthimos comes to a more mainstream edge in The Lobster, the anti-Valentines movie of the decade. Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz are both seethingly deadpan in their roles and their disjointed chemistry is a joy to watch. While its not as sour as Dogtooth, it was perfect run-up to what would be the director’s crowning achievement in The Favourite.
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77. You Were Never Really Here (2017)

Joaquin Phoenix had a bit of an under-the-radar start to the decade, but by the end he was, rightfully, back as one of Hollywood’s hottest properties. This is a nasty, gut-punch of a thriller, with Phoenix convincingly throwing (and taking) blows that’ll leave you tasting blood by the end of it.
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76. The Witch (2015)

A masterclass in slow-burn horror, The Witch doesn’t explode in the same way its spiritual successor The Lighthouse does, but its manipulation of sheer supernatural terror arguably sticks with you longer. The small cast are wonderful in their roles and the sparse soundtrack only add to the *evil* atmosphere this film cultivates with its imagery.
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75. The Book of Life (2014)

With production backing from Guillermo Del Toro of all people, this charming animated feature boasts a stunning visual palette and culturally rich narrative that draws from the folklore without totally westernising it (Radiohead cover notwithstanding).
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74. Ghost Stories (2017)

If you want some genuinely unsettling horror, you’ve come to the right place. Under the veil of a bleak, uncompromising artistic direction, Jeremy Dyson and Any Nyman both utilise and challenge typical tropes of the genre to equally successful effect with a no holds barred plot sprawling three brilliant scary stories in a very grey, wet British manner.
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73. Submarine (2010)

Another British production to be proud of, Richard Ayoade impressed just about everyone with his directorial debut: A bittersweet foray into the teenage condition and the struggles of a broken family in a fittingly Welsh setting — quiet and understated, but with a very real beauty hidden beneath the clouds.
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72. Let Me In (2010)

Chloë Grace Moretz featuring twice on this list? You what? Indeed, this was still before she believed her own hype and, hopefully, before everyone on the internet got creepy. Part of a genuinely strong cast, too, under the yet stronger directorial hand of Matt Reeves in a blood-sucking horror rich with imagery, adapting a modern Swedish classic to an American setting to surprisingly great effect.
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71. Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

I mean if you were to look at everything surrounding this flick, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was an unsolicited piece of blockbuster, overblown trash. However, in no small part due to the great performances (Paxton forever), throttling action and a sublime plot so bonkers it could’ve only come from Japan…. but none of this “Live.Die.Repeat” bollocks, aye? Pick a damn title.
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70. It (2017)

We weren’t necessarily expecting this one to actually be any good. But holy crap, they just went and did it. Coming in from the reigns of Stranger Things‘ success, this was another 80s throwback and a Goonies wannabe, but it still felt fresh. It is pure edge-of-the-seat shock horror pure cinema and one of the funnest blockbusters of the latter part of the decade that with its grand score and lively script genuinely feels like something straight out of that time, far more than just a nostalgic imitation.
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69. The Disaster Artist (2017)

The very likely true allegations against James Franco are made yet more disappointing coming since one of the more promising performances of the decade in his here as the famous and extravagant creator of The Room, Tommy Wiseau. That aside, however, The Disaster Artist remains an almost painfully hilarious ode to one of the greatest travesties in cinema history, and one of the better biopics out there.
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68. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

From one of the more versatile and plain brilliant directors of the current crop, this was Scorsese just having a party. From DiCaprio’s obvious relishing of his role as the sleazy drug-addled sex-addicted stockbroker to Jonah Hill clearly having some of the most fun of his life onscreen as a cousin-loving scumbag, the love that went into making this film is palpable and it’s the most ridiculously obscene embodiment of the most ridiculously obscene sector of American moneymaking. It’s just three hours of expertly crafted ridiculous obscenity. And it’s fantastic.
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67. It Follows (2014)

This decade really had a knack for bringing out the best in fresh talent with solid premises, must’ve been something in the water (or blood, mwahaha). That said, this indie thrill-piece quickly gained some steam once the ingenious plot, subverting the two hallmarks of horror (gratuitous sex and spooky followy OH MY GOD THAT TALL FUCKER WHERE ARE HIS EYES), hit the eyes (or LACK THERE-FUCKING-OF) and ears of audiences.
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66. War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)

The grand finale of one of the grandest trilogies to hit the big screen in the decade, and a grand finale at that. Andy Serkis is yet again brilliant at managing to stop his actual face from being onscreen in literally any film, with the CGI quite possibly the most impressive of any examples we can think of in the decade. This is no Avatar-style graphics demo, though, this is one of the biggest, best action sci-fi movies of the last ten years.
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65. Skyfall (2012)

This is still very much James Bond, action man shoots other action men and has sex with women, but this is a modern James Bond directed by Sam Mendes — a gritty, sinister Dark Knight-inspired action film and a coming of age for the old, old series. While the nostalgic nods to the Aston Martin and so on are still appreciated, this is the series very much modernising itself and simultaneously hitting its peak, with arguably the best 007 yet.
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64. The Death of Stalin (2018)

Armando Iannucci made his name with some of the best political satires of the century in Veep and, of course, The Thick of It. However, making TV about current political affairs and swearing is a very different kettle of fish to adapting historical politics into something equally silly and clever. Luckily, he nails it again, of course one of the strongest ensemble casts of decade will always help with that too.
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63. Prisoners (2013)

While Denis Villeneuve is more associated with his cerebral sci-fi odysseys, I’d argue that his greatest triumph is this truly pained crime thriller. Hugh Jackman gives one of his most underrated performances as a father who will stop at nothing to find his child. This ain’t Taken though, no slick fistfights — just the lengths a broken man will go.
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62. The Incredibles 2 (2017)

Given Pixar’s track record with sequels (if it ain’t Toy Story, don’t bother), you could be forgiven for not having the most faith in the follow-up to one of their best efforts, 2004’s The Incredibles. However, they managed, almost effortlessly, to bring us another great, varied, take on the characters, with some truly hilarious moments and awesome action. The Incredibles 2 is also wonderfully modernised in its approach to the family dynamic, which is what both films are metaphors for anyway.
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61. Your Name. (2016)

It’s truly rare to come across a love story as legitimately heart-wrenching, or as carefully crafted as the one in this masterful anime production, which is animated as beautifully as the story unfolds. Your Name. tells a unique and clever love story, too, which is told across a whimsical roller-coaster of unwinding knots, ancient spirits and long train journeys.
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60. Doctor Strange (2016)

Around this time in the decade, MCU fatigue had begin to kick in, with Avengers: Age of Ultron in particular hitting us in the mediocres. However, with a solid, if weirdly American, Cumberland Sausagebitch turn at the helm of it (and a bit of dodgy whitewashing), Doctor Strange managed to be breath of fresh air in the franchise — helped enormously by its mind-bending special effects.
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59. Seven Psychopaths (2012)

While perhaps not Martin McDonagh’s finest film yet, Seven Psychopaths pins Collin Farrell together with Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson and Christopher Walken, and it doesn’t get much better than that. Put that great cast in a blender with a spiraling story about an entourage of unsuspecting murderers and a very important shih tzu, and you’ve got yourself an absolute time.
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58. The LEGO Movie (2014)

One of the best-written kids movies of the century, The LEGO Movie, despite its very family-friendly, safe aesthetic (I mean what can you expect), is greatly entertaining for any age. It has brilliant voice acting, especially with Chris Pratt at his *peak*, which elevates the already funny one-liners to nigh-on hilarious. Plus, don’t @ me, one of the best twists of the decade.
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57. Super 8 (2011)

From lens-flare loving, Steven Spielberg worshiping J.J. Abrams, this was only his second foray into movie direction and while not in any sense groundbreaking, it remains one of the better sci-fi flicks of the decade. It was another Goonies or E.T. wannabe, maybe, but the kid ensemble cast here is about as entertaining and well acted as you’re gonna get, in a couple hours of just quality cinema spectacle.
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56. Shutter Island (2010)

Proof if proof were needed that Scorcese excels at pretty much anything he tries his hand at, this psychological thriller opened his decade up with some impressively complex narrative (a stunning twist) and an atmosphere created that feels endlessly uncomfortable. DiCaprio also shines in his starring role, delivering one of his more underrated roles with feverish intensity.
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55. Avengers: Infinity War (2017)

I imagine just about everyone was squirming in their seats with this one. The first half of the MCU’s decade defining 2-year-spanning Avengers party, and possibly the best. It didn’t finish the saga like Endgame did so dramatically, but what can be said for Infinity War is that things happened. Just thing, after massive thing. It was a colourful, explosive melting pot of superhero action and it was pure theater.
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54. Coco (2017)

Pixar made us all cry with Inside Out, so the bastards thought they’d just go and do it again and shove this lovely little Mexican boy’s turbulent and heartfelt story in our faces. Not that we’re complaining, of course. This story is rich with culture and feeling, a celebration of all things Mexico in an explosion of joyous colour and music.
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53. The Raid (2011)

A truly multicultural affair, Welsh director Gareth Evans brings us an Indonesian crime, martial arts modern classic, featuring some of the most jaw-clenching “ooooffff” moments in action cinema of the decade. The narrative, acting and cinematography all act as vehicles for the cacophonious avalanche of combat and injury, choreographed with both beauty and brutality.
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52. Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)

One of the best adaptations of Mark Millar’s work, Kingsman has the budget and the nuttiness to provide bonkers visuals with irreverant comedy, as well as action sequences and special effects befitting of a big blockbuster. The chemistry between Colin Firth and Taron Egerton is undeniable, while Samuel L. Jackson is having more fun onscreen than he has in a while. More than, say, RoboCop, at least…
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51. Hereditary (2018)

We told you we’d get back to Ari Aster’s best earlier and here it is: Another disturbing descent into the dark world of ritualistic paganism dipped in a pool of family tragedy — lovely business. Truly, though, Aster’s first dive into movie direction is one of the most troubling horror films in recent memory, and yet it remains enthralling in a story that unravels with both an expertly calculated building pacing job and a bold, intelligent style with a lasting impact.
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8 Comments

      1. Oh that is totally fair enough. To be honest, there were a lot of choices throughout that we both would have loved to be higher so there’s a lot of love for picks 1-100. Anything that’s made its way onto this list is class!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Alas, I’ve seen only 8 of the films on this list – Moonrise Kingdom, Lady Bird, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Life of Pi, La La Land, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and Birdman. I don’t see nearly as many films as I used to, unfortunately. A few I have seen that would be on my top 100 films of the decade (if I compiled such a list) include Spotlight, Call Me By Your Name, The Imitation Game and the Cate Blanchett films Blue Jasmine and Carol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It can be hard to find the time to fit in films sometimes, it must be said. We’ve both got millions on our watchlist still to get around to, so I’m sure you’re not alone there. Some good picks there, but you’ve got yourself some watching to do!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This list is massive! I love the eclectic mix of genres. It’s great to see underrated gems like Bone Tomahawk and Deathgasm too. Also, how is it that we’re barely three months past 2020?! This already is such a nostalgic trip, ha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I guess considering our tastes differ somewhat it makes for more of a mix of styles so it’s nice that we can give so many different things the recognition they deserve. And Deathgasm is absolutely genius.

      Liked by 1 person

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