Features Film

20 Best Films Of The Decade

Close-up Culture’s James Prestridge names his 20 best films of the 2010s.

Listen to our recap of the decade in film

Let us know your favourite film of the 2010s in the comment section below!

20. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

Martin McDonagh’s well-rounded film impressively shifts across different tones to give us a rewarding story of loss, violence and dark humour.

19. Inception (2010)

Did the spinning top keep going or did it stop? Christopher Nolan’s challenging film kicked off the decade with mind-boggling visuals and a labyrinth of a story.

18. A Star Is Born (2018)

Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga expertly strum the heartstrings in A Star Is Born. A brilliant blend of eye-glittering and tender moments.

17. Black Swan (2010)


Natalie Portman plays a ballerina who pushes herself to the edge of sanity in pursuit of the perfect performance. Director Darren Aronofsky and Portman make a dream team in capturing this dizzying and disturbing journey.

16. The Artist (2011)

The Artist is an ode cinema which will leave any movie-lover gleaming with joy. A special mention also goes to the brilliant Uggie, a dog who encapsulates this delighting experience.

15. Whiplash (2014)

A scarily intense student-teacher relationship is the focus of Damien Chazelle’s riveting film.

14. Marriage Story (2019)

Noah Baumbach’s faultless drama gives us both sides of a messy divorce. The film’s excellent script is backed up by incredible lead performances from Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson.

13. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

This chaotic and high-octane action film became an instant classic. It also features one of the best film characters of the 2010s – Furiosa (played by Charlize Theron).

12. Roma (2018)

Alfonso Cuarón’s masterpiece unfolds with engrossing cinematography and deeply moving storytelling.

11. The Social Network (2010)

David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin teamed up to deliver this fascinating study of one of the most important figures of the modern world, Mark Zuckerberg.

10. Two Days, One Night (2014)

An extraordinary Marion Cotillard performance leads this Dardenne brothers film about a woman racing against time to save her job. Powerful arthouse cinema.

9. Carol (2015)

Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett share electric chemistry in Todd Haynes’ exquistively shot romance-drama. It also has a heart-flutteringly beautiful closing scene.

8. Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

Denis Villenueve exceeded any expectations for this sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 film. A masterfully executed, big-scale film with an engrossing story, memorable characters and breath-taking visuals.

7. Wild Tales (2014)

Damián Szifron’s anthology film about revenge is a relentlessly enthralling and darkly entertaining experience.

6. A Ghost Story (2017)

A film featuring a bed sheet ghost has made it to number six on the list… Why? Because director David Lowery takes this amusing visual and uses it as an entry point to explore both the intimate and ethereal. A Ghost Story also gave us the best scene of the decade as M (Rooney Mara) eats a vegan pie.

5. The Look Of Silence (2015)

Joshua Oppenheimer’s follow up to 2013’s The Act Of Killing is a profound piece of work. The documentary follows a family that survived the genocide in Indonesia as they confront the men who killed one of their brothers.

4. Interstellar (2014)

Left to right: Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway in INTERSTELLAR, from Paramount Pictures and Warner Brothers Pictures, in association with Legendary Pictures.

Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar is a triumph of big-feel modern cinema. An exhilarating experience that brilliantly swifts between intimately human moments and awe-inspiringly cosmic sequences.

3. Birdman (2014)

Birdman is rewarding on so many levels – whether it is being watched critically or not. Alejandro González Iñárritu’s film delivers in stylistic genius, outstanding performances and fascinating themes.

2. Arrival (2016)

Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi mystery is soul-stirring and beautifully crafted film. Amy Adams’ central performance – which I picked as the best of the decade – captures the wonder and poignancy of Arrival.

1. La La Land (2016)

Damien Chazelle’s spectacular musical wins the decade. A magical reminder of the romantic power of Hollywood. As I stated in the podcast, I imagine the awe and excitement I felt watching La La Land for the first time was similar to those watching Casablanca in 1943 or Singin’ In The Rain in 1952.

Please note that Parasite is not on the list as its UK release date is in 2020.

Leave a Reply