Top Ten Movies of the Decade
10. Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)
Bio-pics used to be solemn, depressing little dramas. They were mostly intended to impress critics and win Oscars. “Bohemian Rhapsody” flipped the script. It is crowd-pleasing, funny, and it has a perfectly triumphant happy ending. And it got Gen Z kids listening to guitar rock!
9. Black Swan (2010)
A wildly entertaining art film about obsession. Easily Natalie Portman’s crowning achievement as an actress.
8. Searching for Sugarman (2012)
In the late 60s, Detroit’s Sixto Rodriguez recorded a few folk albums to zero acclaim. Soon he gave up music, bought a dilapidated house for $50 (seriously), and worked a blue-collar day job. Little did Rodriguez know, his records were smash hits in South Africa. Decades later, a few South Africans learned that their favorite artist was still alive and tracked him down. The result was heart-warmingly wonderful.
7. Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Martin Scorsese surprised us with this blockbuster. It has no gangsters and very little violence. At its heart, “Wall Street” is a love story about a man and his money, his best friend, and his drugs. Mostly his drugs. The scene where Leonardo DiCaprio snorts a vial full of coke – inspired by Popeye and his spinach – to save Jonah Hill’s life is the most ridiculous scene of the decade.
6. Breaking Dawn Parts 1 and 2 (2011, 2012)
Other sagas burn out by the end. The Twilight Saga saved its best for last. Jacob’s slow-burning character arc was emotionally satisfying. Bella’s amazing evolution from outcaste girl to brave wife to triumphant vampire was perfectly done. The grand finale was a reminder that not everything in life has to be a battle. Give Twilight and peace a chance.
5. Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2011)
What makes humans different than other animals? Werner Herzog argues that it is our need to produce art. He shows us the evocative cave paintings that humans made more than 20,000 years before the dawn of civilization. They lived in a world much colder and more savage than ours, but they were people exactly like us.
4. Nightcrawler (2014)
Writer/director Dan Gilroy’s vision of America is exceptionally dark. He observes that newsmakers literally make the news, and the world is scarier and more hateful as a result. He also observes that the amoral values of corporate profit have trickled down to the masses, who proudly exploit one another to make a buck.
3. Django Unchained (2012)
It was incredibly brave of Quentin Tarantino to make a movie about slavery. It was even braver to make the lead villain (Samuel L. Jackson) and most sophisticated character a slave.
2. Sorry to Bother You (2018)
An inspired comedy about race and call centers. It is relatable and timely, but also trippy, imaginative, and outrageous.
1. I, Tonya (2017)
With laughter and compassion, “I, Tonya” does its best to help us understand Tonya Harding and her ex-husband Jeff Gallooli’s points of view. By showing how irreconcilably different their stories are, the film makes a convincing point about how undependable our memories are and how the truth is merely a matter of perspective.
The only thing that’s certain in this crazy world is that America is eager to judge a lower-class woman for crimes she didn’t commit.