Song of the Day #4,228: ‘Tulou Tagaloa’ – Moana soundtrack

Best Movies of the 2010s
#1 – Moana (2016)

I really fought the urge to rank Disney’s Moana as my #1 film of the 2010s. I tried every other film in my top five at this position. The rational part of my brain told me I couldn’t call a movie in which the third lead is a chicken the best of the decade.

But ultimately the decision came down to one thing. If I were asked to create a list of my ten favorite movies of all time, I would put Moana on it. I would consider the other titles on this list, maybe even include one or two of them depending on my mood, but Moana would definitely be there. And therefore it’s here.

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Song of the Day #4,227: ‘The Death of Queen Jane’ – Oscar Isaac

Best Movies of the 2010s
#2 – Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

My second favorite film by my favorite filmmakers had to be near the top of this list, right?

The Coen Brothers had an excellent decade, starting with True Grit in 2010 and culminating with 2016’s Hail, Caesar! and 2018’s The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (which appeared earlier on this list, putting them next to Greta Gerwig as the only directors to show up twice).

But their bona fide masterpiece of the 2010’s was Inside Llewyn Davis, a melancholy ode to a struggling folk singer in early-60s Greenwich Village.

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Song of the Day #4,226: ‘This Eve of Parting’ – John Hartford

Best Movies of the 2010s
#3 – Lady Bird (2017)

Greta Gerwig is one of two directors to land two films on my Top 20 of the Decade (both in the Top 10, no less). Even more impressive, these are her first two movies. Only one other film on this list (Jordan Peele’s Get Out) was a directorial debut.

I can make an argument that Little Women is a superior technical achievement, given its large cast, multiple locations and dual timeline structure, but Gerwig’s Lady Bird is an even more emotionally resonant work.

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Song of the Day #4,225: ‘Celebrate’ – Lorne Balfe

Best Movies of the 2010s
#4 – The Florida Project (2017)

For a couple of months at the beginning of 2018, I watched The Florida Project nearly every day. After missing its 2017 theatrical run, I caught up with Sean Baker’s tragicomedy on a long flight and was instantly blown away. When I returned home, I bought the Blu-ray and had the movie on repeat every free moment I got.

More than anything, I just wanted to spend time with its characters — Halley and Moonee, a mother and daughter living in a cheap motel outside of Disney World. Baker and his actors (newcomers Bria Vinaite and Brooklynn Prince) so effectively brought this world to life that I couldn’t bear to leave it.

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Song of the Day #4,224: ‘When I Was Older’ – Billie Eilish

Best Movies of the 2010s
#5 – Roma (2018)

Before diving into my top five movies of the last decade, I have to say that ordering these titles was truly a bitch. I have had each of the five in the top spot at one time or another, and every time it felt exactly right. These are five very different films, all perfect in their own unique ways.

Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma is the most ambitious achievement of the bunch — the capital-F Film. It earned Cuaron Oscars for Direction, Cinematography and Foreign Language Film, and had a fighting chance of becoming the first non-English movie to win Best Picture.

But don’t hold any of that against it!

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Song of the Day #4,221: ‘Ali Baba’ – Louie Ramirez

Best Movies of the 2010s
#6 – Chef (2014)

In 2011, Jon Favreau directed Cowboys & Aliens, a big, dumb, expensive studio movie that failed to connect with critics and audiences alike. That movie is not on this list.

Cowboys & Aliens is, however, indirectly responsible for my #6 film, 2014’s Chef. That’s because Favreau, tired of the creative constraints accompanying big-budget moviemaking, decided to go back to basics, writing and directing a cheap, personal movie instead. And that movie is a goddamn marvel.

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Song of the Day #4,220: ‘Soju One Glass’ – Choi Woo-shik

Best Movies of the 2010s
#7 – Parasite (2019)

Last year was so great it has landed two films on my top ten of the decade list. It’s tied with five other years with three titles overall in my top 20. As I mentioned in the Knives Out post, I believe 2019 will be looked back on as a landmark year for cinema the way 1999 is now. I wonder if there is something special about the final year of a decade or if it’s just a coincidence. Probably just a coincidence.

My favorite film of 2019 was Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite. I seem to share that opinion with many critics and audience members alike, based on the film’s performance in top ten lists, award shows, Rotten Tomatoes and the box office. Sometimes a movie works so well you just can’t deny it.

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