The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far

The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far

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As the dust cleared from our Best of 2014 features, 2015 previews and awards season coverage, we realized something terrifying: we’re now halfway through the current decade. Five years have passed since the 2010s began, we’re all sixty months (or sixty two?) older, and literally thousands of movies have hit theaters in that time.

So what better time to take stock of the decade thus far? Box-office returns might have been dominated by superheroes, ice princesses and dystopian teen-on-teen murder, but once you look outside the multiplex (or even, very occasionally, within it), it’s clear that cinema is as healthy as it’s ever been, with everyone from A-list auteurs to foreign-language first-timers delivering stunning, boundary-pushing work.

But after re-running our best of the 00s series, we began to wonder: what were the very best of the films of the last five years? And so a weeks-long process of arguing began— at first, we narrowed down a long list of hundreds of films, then our final list of 50 (going by U.S. release year, which in some cases followed a 2009 release elsewhere, just so you know), which we’ve ranked by the highly unscientific process of shouting at each other until everyone was happy/equally miserable. Below, you can find the first part of that fifty, running through to number 26, and part two (and our extensive honorable mentions), will follow tomorrow. Take a look and let us know your own favorites in the comments section.

50. “Spring Breakers” (2012)

Harmony Korine’s raison d’être is the beauty of trash and the poetry of transgression. He’s dumpster-dived this preoccupation every which way, in one instance literally with the sublimely damaged “Trash Humpers,” but he still manages to make each examination compelling, urgent and hilarious. “Spring Breakers” is no different, looking at the human garbage that constitutes the hedonistic culture of spring break through trippy celebratory goggles. Synthesizing Korine’s pastiche-y influences, “Spring Breakers” melds the cacophony of dubstep, hallucinogenic binges, adolescent vitality and hip-hop white trash swagger with the tone-poem reflection of Terrence Malick. It’s Korine’s most entertaining and watchable film to date, containing a tour de force turn from James Franco and gorgeous work from Korine’s two yin/yang composers, Skrillex and Cliff Martinez, who articulate his candy-colored vision to perfection: it’s the sweet spot where the vile and the beautiful merge to make something divine.

49. “Drive” (2011)

Giving the crime movie a well-deserved amphetamine-kick up the backside, Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Drive” (about a getaway driver, Ryan Gosling, who becomes unexpectedly involved in the life of his beautiful neighbor Carey Mulligan) wasn’t original in its separate elements: virtually every plot beat had been deployed somewhere before, and its neon-lit, synth-scored aesthetic called back to classic Michael Mann, Walter Hill and William Friedkin pictures of the ’70s and ’80s. But somehow, the Danish madman repackaged those elements into something that felt incredibly fresh, with a brace of fine performances (Bryan Cranston and Albert Brooks proving particular highlights), grotesque violence and a fairy-tale romanticism melding with one of the most striking looking and sounding movies of the last few years, one that’s set to be ripped off by filmmakers and commercials for years to come.

48. “Boyhood” (2014)

A decade-plus-spanning project begun at the turn of the millennium, it’s barely six months since “Boyhood” hit theaters (and only days since it was mostly ignored by the Oscars), but Richard Linklater’s film already feels like  a film that’ll define the decade. Like a scripted take on the “7 Up” series, tracking a boy (Ellar Coltrane) from the age of six to eighteen as well as his family and shot at annual intervals, this process let Linklater use the signature low-key, intimate, beautifully observed style he’s honed over twenty years, but blown up to a grander scale by virtue of the film’s virtually unique conceit. Time-travel movies remain popular in the genre world, but none of them can match the weight and cumulative power of what Linklater managed here, making the simple story of a single family into a Great American Novel by letting it unfold at its own pace.

47. "Tom at the Farm" (2013)
It was a toss-up for us between this entry from Xavier Dolan (the only film on this list without a proper U.S. theatrical release) and his more recent "Mommy." But though we adore the latter film, it’s a messier, less disciplined affair than the masterfully unsettling ‘Tom,’ which marks the biggest step up for Dolan. It’s the deceptively simple story of a young man (Dolan himself) who travels to the country for his lover’s funeral, only to discover that the grieving mother had no idea of her son’s sexuality, and his volatile brother wishes it to stay that way. What could turn into a black comedy or some sort of French farce (there’s even a fake girlfriend) uncoils in a much weirder and yet more insightful way, as currents of grief, guilt, deceit and lust roil around and builds to a paranoid pitch amid leaden skies, fields of corn and dusty barns.

46. "Birdman" (2014)

Not quite sure when or where the critical backlash against Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s "Birdman" began, but it will probably only gain pace now that it’s a Best Picture winner —how terribly de trop! But round here, ‘Birdman”s rep as a gonzo blast of kinetic, self-referential fun is assured; it’s a shot in the arm and a slap round the chops, and despite all its evident artistry (dazzling Emmanuel Lubezki camerawork, the famous one-take-style "gimmick," the high-strung performances), the film wears its lack of self-seriousness like a badge of pride. Perhaps it doesn’t have the lingering sustain of other films on this list, but it makes up for that by a) giving us a bigger, buzzier rush of delight in the moment than almost any other film on this list and b) Michael Keaton.

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Oogle monster

I’m really hope these films make the top 25: Blue Valentine, Blue Jasmine, Young Adult, Gone Girl, The Master, The Social Network, The Fighter….

right right

Selma in the top 50…well, I don’t think it’s a film anyone will be talking about 5 years from now. Guess I’m glad to see Night Moves, which suffered from too little hype, but whatever, not sure why I’m evening commenting. The Playlist has consistently indicated its taste hits that perfectly dull middlebrow-cinephile sweet spot, and this list will surely be no different. Bring on Toy Story 3, Guardians of the Galaxy, and A Most Violent Year and/or Whiplash


Drive and Spring Breakers both feel way too low on the list


    I also could not believe Drive was so low

Nathan Duke

Can’t believe that Boyhood, Drive and 12 Years a Slave would be so low. And I’d remove Inception, Martha Marcy Mae Marlene, Spring Breakers and Mother. Hoping to see in next installment: The Social Network, Winter’s Bone, Melancholia, The Tree of Life, Take Shelter, The Master, Zero Dark Thirty, Inside Llewyn Davis.


I stopped reading after Spring Breakers

concerned citizen kane

so let me understand this list correctly: you’re placing Bridesmaids – an hour and a comedy whose centerpiece involves a woman in a wedding dress running out into the middle of a Beverly Hills Blvd. and shitting herself – eighteen places higher than Boyhood? A movie that literally changed the way we think about movies? 12 years in the making?

I’m not shitting (no pun intended) on Bridesmaids, I think it’s a funny movie and though I’m skeptical this will happen I hope it opens the door for more female-driven Hollywood comedies, but you’re really going to put a Paul Feig movie over a Linklater one? That’s like ranking Working Girl over Berlin Alexanderplatz.

A better movie than Bridesmaids in my opinion that mines some of the same territory is Enough Said. That should be #48, and Boyhood has got to be top 15.


    Dont use puns. And especially dont draw attention to your shitty puns by saying “no pun intended”.


Wow Boyhood is already way too low. I don’t like to be one of those moaning people but wow.


I don’t know why even opened this in the first place. It is even more shockingly irrational than I ever thought it could be.


Yay! Only a few critics really pegged the right character of Scorsese’s work to compare to Lou Bloom in "Nightcrawler". A lot of lazy critics immediately said Travis Bickle, but no… it’s Rupert Pupkin (and "King of Comedy") all the way.


Night Moves, really? I thought it was great at first but the ending blew it for me. The whole second half was kind of shaky.


Black Swan, The Ghost Writer, Certified Copy, The Social Network, Enter the Void, Inception, Blue Valentine, Toy Story 3, Scott Pilgrim vs the World, Animal Kingdom

Drive, Beginners, The Kid with a Bike, We Need to Talk About Kevin, Bridesmaids, Melancholia, The Help, Bullhead, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Weekend

Amour, The Grey, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Looper, Rust & Bone, Life of Pi, NO, Untouchables, Skyfall, How to Survive a Plague

The Wolf of Wall Street, Nebraska, Blue Jasmine, The Great Beauty, Stories to Tell, Her, Don Jon, Short Term 12, Inside Llewyn Davis, Philomena

Birdman, Boyhood, The Grand Hotel Budapest, Mommy, Under the Skin, Only Lovers Left Alive, Two Days One Night, Foxcatcher, Whiplash. Wild Tales


I’d change the order of most of these.

Ray H

A few movies I don’t care for. From the list so far, the only ones that I feel are too low are Drive and Tinker Tailor which I’d put in my own top 10.


I’m really hoping to see Ulrich Seidl’s paradise trilogy, or at least it’s first part on this list. They are truly vital films that reflect some big themes in western society.


So yeah, who am I kidding.


I agree with this list completely. Night Moves definitely deserves to be ahead of Drive. Bridesmaids definitely deserves to be in front of Boyhood. Thank you writer for this brilliant article. I can’t wait for the second part. My only wish is the brilliance of this well thought out piece will continue and name John Wick for the first 25 spots.


Selma ranked above 12 Years A Slave, Birdman, and Boyhood? I really cannot deal with Indiewire. I too through. Now to forgive myself for even reading this trash and commenting.


‘Martha’ and ‘Mother’ should definitely be in there and’Uncle Boonmee’ should be much higher. That film is a masterpiece.

Will C

Adding the voices of people hoping for "The Tree of Life", "The Social Network", "Melancholia" and "The Master" on tomorrow’s list.

Will C

* Adding to the voices.


Yeah these lists are subjective so we of course won’t agree but here’s’ my opinion from 2010 not in any order: Django Unchained in place of 12 years a slave hands down, the 1st grader was a beautiful film, The Skin I Live In and Nightcrawler though not traditional horror films belong in that category, Snowpiercer, Kick ass, Blue Jasmine should be on the list, Before Midnight, Black Swan, Kill List, Biutiful, Hobo with a shotgun, Pariah, sound of my voice, the east, your highness, killer joe, 50/50, in the land of blood and honey, compliance, We Are What We Are the Mexican version, sinister, the paperboy, middle of nowhere, gravity, under the skin, dallas buyers club, the counselor, kidnapped for Christ, the sacrament, free angela and all political prisoners, Mumia: Long Distance Revolutionary, the signal, belle, Freeway: Crack in the system, dear white people, the hunt, war witch, Richard pryor: omit the logic, marley, blackfish, pussy riot: a punk prayer, Gideon’s army, gasland, beats rhymes & life: the travels of a tribe called quest, chico & rita, luv, fruitvale station, mother of George, Selma, life above all


Boyhood over Birdman.


I’d like to see Short Term 12, Before Midnight, Silver Linings Playbook, The Town, Mud, Beast of the Southern Wild, The Way Back, Fruitvale Station, Dallas Byers Club, St. Vincent, The Hunt, Incendies, and Biutiful


I like the list, but I would have placed "Margaret" much higher.

John Denver

Come on guys, its time to cut the bollocks about Selma. The idea that its a better piece of work than Birdman, Boyhood and 12 Years a Slave is simply ridiculous. It’s a good film, but that is all, and not a particularly cinematically interesting or provocative one at that.


"Her" better be in the top 5 or I’m filing a protest lol. Can’t believe how low Boyhood is on this list. Also, "Before Midnight" better be on here too, dammit lol


My picks for the next part: Life of Pi, The Tree of Pi, This is the End, The World’s End, Captain Phillips, The Social Network, Under the Skin, Grand Budapest


The Tree of Life*. And Argo, Lincoln, Toy Story 3

critics’ love for bridesmaids is more baffling to us regular people than critics’ love for, say, uncle boonmee who can recall his past lives


quisiera ver la segunda parte de the best films of the decade (los 1° 25 films)


Wow, you’ve truly got appalling taste in films.


There doesn’t seem to be a lot of love for foreign cinema so far.

And I know it’s a matter of opinion, but no way is Night Moves or Spring Breakers better than The Snowtown Murders, Lore, Animal Kingdom or Bullhead.

I’m also expecting to see The King’s Speech, Nebraska, and The Place Beyond The Pines.


Spring breakers is a masterpiece, feels way too low


‘It’s lack of self-seriousness…’ on Birdman, really? Hahahahaha…


My list would have Boyhood in the top 25…Maybe even top 15. The rest of the list I more or less agree with. I probably would have Spring Breakers a little higher than this list as well…Such a good film. I was pleasantly surprised to see Martha Marcy May Marlene on the list. Probably the one that shocked me the most.


There haven’t even been 50 worthy films so far this century!

TC Kirkham

I think it deserves to be much much higher, but thanks for including "Tom At THe Farm" on the list…now if we could just get the film it’s overdue US release so we can continue to point out what a masterful film it is…and get it noticed by far more people than have seen it as yet…::sigh::


The Master is PTA at the height of his powers. Certainly deserves a spot in the top 5.

Gimme a break

What’s up, hipsters?

Nathan Duke

Am I mistaken, or were Winter’s Bone, The Social Network and Take Shelter not on there? They certainly belong on the list over Upstream Color, which I think is the most overrated movie of the decade by a landslide. I’d have The Tree of Life, Melancholia and Boyhood in the top 10. Glad to see Once Upon a Time in Anatolia on there.


Hell yeah Holy Motors


Just to echo a few other people, in my opinion "The Master" should definitely be in the top 5. It’s probably PTA’s masterpiece.

But I’m very happy to see Upstream Color and Frances Ha listed so high on the list!


Also shouts out to Kill List! That movie is so haunting and amazing, definitely my favorite horror movie of the decade (although it plays around with genre so much I’m not sure if it really counts as horror).


really?American Hustle couldn’t make the list?


Wow… no The Social Network. That’s just nuts. NUTS, people!

R Zrike

Inception and Birdman should have been higher in my opinion (they’re two of my all time favorite movies). Although, I do like that Foxcatcher got that high up on the list because I felt that it didn’t get the appropriation it deserved. I think people were turned off by its pace.

R Zrike

Just remembered: where in the world is The Social Network and Whiplash?


I’m happy with the list, but where’s Winter’s Bone? Best performance by Jennifer Lawrence so far.

cüneyt cebenoyan

this is a ridiculous list. full of crap


No the social network?

Listen To Eagulls

Really Spring Breakers over A Most Violent Year, The Cabin In The Woods, Whiplash, Prisoners, Silver Linings Playbook or even Kingsman? Thats the only complaint but besides that, not bad of a list.


I find it funny when people make lists like this and I can’t help but wonder if they’ve only seen a lot of these films just once. When I say something is the best/my favorite, it usually means it has a high level of rewatchability, hence some of my favorite films from the 90s are The Big Lebowski, Pulp Fiction etc. I want to see all these Playlisters that sit down and watch A Seperstion a few times a year. With that being said, my list would include: Inception, The Social Network, Drive, Looper, Django Unchained, The Worlds End, Interstellar, Grand Budapest, Nightcrawler, Whiplash, just to name ten.


And I just noticed they included Moonrise Kingdom but not Grand Budapest. Ridiculous.


1. Turin Horse (Bela Tarr); 2. Tree of Life (Terrence Malick); 3. Separation (Asghar Farahdi); 4. Upstream Color (Shane Carruth); 5. Manuscripts Don’t Burn (Mohammad Rasoulof); 6. Double (Richard Ayoade); 7. Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (David Lowery); 8. Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson); 9. Beasts of the Southern Wild (Behn Zeitlin); 10. Meek’s Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt)


11. Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen); 12. Winter’s Bone (Debra Granik); 13. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (Nuri Bilge Ceylan); 14. Melancholia (Lars von Trier); 15. 12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen); 16. Tabu (Miguel Gomes); 17. Frances Ha (Noah Baumbach); 18. Master (Paul Thomas Anderson); 19. Olive Kitteridge (Lisa Cholodenko); 20. Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson)


21. The Tale of Princess Kaguya (Isao Takahata); 22. Uncle Boonmee (Apichatpong Weerasethakul); 23. Ida (Pawel Pawlikowski); 24. Black Swan (Darron Aronofsky); 25. Birdman (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu); 26. Gravity (Alfonso Cuaron); 27. Kids Are Alright (Lisa Cholodenko); 28. Drive (Nicolas Winding Refn); 29. Foxcatcher (Bennett Miller); 30. Like Father, Like Son (Hirokazu Koreeda)


31. American Hustle (David O. Russell); 32. A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (Ana Lily Amirpour); 33. Blancanieves (Pablo Berger); 34. True Grit (Coen Bros); 35. Strange Case of Angelica (Manoel de Oliveira); 36. Holy Motors (Leos Carax); 37. Inside Llewyn Davis (Coen Bros); 38. Shame (Steve McQueen); 39. Magic in the Moonlight (Woody Allen); 40. Blue Valentine (Derek Cianfrance)


41. Night Moves (Kelly Reichardt); 42. Fighter (David O. Russell); 43. Social Network (David Fincher); 44. Silver Linings Playbook (David O. Russell); 45. Ghost Writer (Roman Polanski); 46. I’m So Excited (Pedro Almodovar); 47. Django Unchained (Quentin Tarantino); 48. In Another Country (Hong Sang-Soo); 49. Samsara (Ron Fricke); 50. Babadook (Jennifer Kent)

Nathan Duke

I’d say my 10 would be: The Tree of Life, 12 Years a Slave, The Master, Boyhood, The Social Network, Zero Dark Thiry, Drive, Melancholia, Winter’s Bone, Inside Llewyn Davis. Others immediately afterward: Carlos, Amour, Black Swan, Holy Motors, Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, Take Shelter, A Dangerous Method, Beasts of the Southern Wild, American Hustle, Birdman, Inherent Vice… and many others.


Umm why aren;t Short Term 12 and Starred Up on this list???


Francés Ha better than The Master? …A separation better than The Past?… Where is Clouds of Sils Maria or Summer Hours from Assayas? Where is Unforgivable from Andre Techine or Beyond the hills or Les Salauds. No Like Someone in love from Kiarostami? (Certified copy was only an excercise) Her, really? Taboo??? Is way too soon to make this kind of list. Till now is so difficult to understand the nineties. 2000 is a complete mistery but there a few trully masterpieces. Ten at most. Bad homework!

people complaining about those lists is really annoying but i am gonna do just that: richard linklater and wes anderson are probably two of the best filmmakers of the decade so far, too bad you couldn’t find places for before midnight and the grand budapest hotel in your list (and yes, boyhood is awfully low). the social network’s absence is also really strange.


Assayas is highly overrated. His movies are slow, talky and boring, I’m not sure why critics like him but audiences stay away in droves. He’s only ever made one film that showed a profit. It’s a wonder he continues to get financing. As long as he can find French corporations that are looking for tax write offs, I guess he will continue, but he doesn’t belong on any Best Of lists. The rest of the films Citizeneight lists are also not the least bit popular and don’t stand the test of time, either.


LOL. A Prophet? Is that a joke? What a snoozy, overlong and cliched film. I’ll accept it, but Leviathan? Absolutely not. I know the Cannes jury gave it a prize but this went beyond being just the feel bad movie of the year into derivate, predictable drivel. You guys really are drinking the bathwater on this one. (1) It is not a good film, (2) you overhyped whatever merits it actually had into the stratosphere, (3) the writing for the female lead in that movie is offensively stupid. What starts interesting becomes a facile representation of half a character.

Rest of the list seems pretty good overall. I’ve seen all but seven, largely due to your historically on-point coverage. I don’t at all agree with @Right Right who thinks Whiplash (ugh what an ugly, warped theme and disgusting sense of "jazz") and Guardians of the Galaxy (are you 12? you must be 12) belong on this list.

I think you missed Goodbye to Language 3D, Force Majeure, Only the Young, and The Fighter. Good choice for #1.

Good talk.


The Social Network? It’s better than so much films from that list.

skip james

Where is Short Term 12?

I had to ask..

This is so not worth it..
I wonder how you got free pass to put this out.

Whoever claims to be stud enough to pull a 50 ´s list of the decade.. must at least pay respect for the art enough to stud a little more before pretending to form opinions or start debates..

The way it looks, the title should be "the 50 best movies of the decade that i happened to have a copy of"..

I thought I´d at least see our Park chan wook´s there.. but not even that.. what a shame.


"Under the Skin" is terrible. I’m glad "Inherent Vice" is so high, but "Nightcrawler" should be much much higher. Also, "Rango" is missing.

Brent Holcomb

Life of Pi deserves to be ranked among the best of this decade. The artistry it took to create that genius piece of art is undeniable. I love your acknowledgement of Her, Brokeback Mountain, Gravity, and Under The Skin.


no Beast of the southern wild, the social network, we need to talk about Kevin, Oslo August 31st. Why!!!!


Stuff like this invariably leaves things out, but I am dismayed by the omissions of Toy Story 3 and The Social Network.


Wow, no The Social Network, not even among the honorable mentions or anything? Did all of you just forget or something? That’s crazy. I also would have put The Wind Rises and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya right up near the top, but I know I’m a minority on those.

Blah Machine

Whiplash is missing. The Master should be in the top three. Take Shelter, Beginners, Argo, The Wolf of Wall Street, The Town, and Exit Through the Gift Shop should all be part, but what do i know?


Sort of disappointing. I wanted to see AMERICAN HUSTLE, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, LES MISERABLÉS, THE IMPOSSIBLE, ARGO, SWEENEY TODD (among others) on this list…

Kirk Marshall

There seem to be a few egregious omissions here, for reasons of both cinematic/pop.-cultural value, even in the context of the prefatory note appended to the list citing those titles which "just missed the mark": you guys need to reconsider/reformulate inclusion of "The Social Network"; "Toy Story 3" (!); "The Lego Movie"; "Rango"; "The Illusionist" (dir. Sylvain Chomet); "Wolf Children" (dir. Mamoru Hosoda); "The Grand Budapest Hotel"; "Winter’s Bone"; "Mud"; "Take Shelter"; "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" (dir. Fincher); Hugo"; "True Grit"; "Locke" (dir. Steven Knight); "Calvary"; "Looper"; "Monsters"; "A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night"; "Nebraska"; "Midnight In Paris"; "Blue Jasmine"; "Skyfall"; "Beasts of the Southern Wild"; "Seven Psychopaths", "The Immigrant"; "Django Unchained", *ad infinitum* *ad nauseum*. I appreciate that the underlying impetus or primary objective here is to engage in some excitable discourse while debating the relative merits of a subjective cross-section of contemporary cinema; but if you’re going to collectively resort to championing the canonising principle by adhering to the tenets of a 50-strong listicle, in an effort to circumscribe the watershed films of the past five years, you’re gonna have to do better than this.

John Denver

Selma better than Winter Sleep? Enough said. This is a joke of a list based on that alone.



David Wachtel

I’m surprised you didn’t include Denis Villeneuve’s Incendies (2010) and Chan-wook Park’s Stoker (2013).

David Wachtel

I’m surprised this list didn’t include Denis Villeneuve’s Incendies (2010) and Chan-wook Park’s Stoker (2013).


Foxcatcher? Naaah, come on!


No way The Social Network isn’t on this list.


can we take this list seriously if there’s no The Social Network here? incredible!


I had to check the list twice, but how in the world did The Social Network get left off this list?


This is a frustrating list. You have most of my favorites of the decade on here–Spring Breakers, Melancholia, Upstream Color (so glad that was so high), Holy Motors, etc…but you swapped out the great Meek’s Cutoff for the solid but less memorable Night Moves, put the absurdly overrated Blue is the Warmest Color and the solidly overrated Under the Skin in the top 10. And I like A Separation too, but #1? I would go with Melancholia as my #1–the final shot is one of the best final shots in any film, ever.


Guys, it’s time you all realized that it’s ridiculous to get up in arms about a movie list. Make your own. Then you will be happy. No one else is going to make a list that you completely agree with.


A lot of my top choices made the list but I was happiest to see Zero Dark Thirty and Blue is the Warmest Color. Not listed that would make a similar list of mine include: The Bling Ring, The Social Network, Blue Jasmine, Samsara, and Another Year

Corrects, Stop Whining

"Guys, it’s time you all realized that it’s ridiculous to get up in arms about a movie list. Make your own. Then you will be happy. No one else is going to make a list that you completely agree with."



Olivier Assayas, Claire Denis, Christian Mungiu, Andrei Zviagintzev or Christian Perzold are among the beat directora working in cinema. Their body of work go beyond lists like these. I dont think they kick out audiences. They have fans and followers all around the globe. In one of them and I can tell they are beyond labels or VIP sections. This list is incomplete, uneven, loose, not very accurate. But above all is not the time to make it.


A Seperation best movie of the decade so far. surely not.
aside from that I dont like the inconsistency compared to other lists. movies were ranked differently e.g. in the 2014 list, this ‘shouldnt happen’

Peter Polak

Great list. I personally would change a few things. I wouldn’t include Bridesmaids or Selma on the list. I also really hated Melancholia but I understand why people like it. Most of all I’m very disappointed that a movie I would put in the first position is not at all on this list. "The assassination of Jesse James by the coward Robert Ford" is my personal best!

Joel Scott

I actually agree with almost all 50. It’s always hard when such a subjective art form can mean so much to so many different people for entirely unrelated easons, to group together as the ‘best of’ anything longer than a year. 10 is almost impoasssibly daunting. I felt like this was a pretty damn good representation of many different types of cinephile, in an order that felt considered for once, not just cobbled together. I dig this one alot.


Not adding the Social Network even in the Honorable mentions seems kind of insulting, IDK, that’s just my opinion


the giant list of honorable mentions and personal favorites at the end shows how baffling this task must have been and how inaccurate and arbitrary the results are. This list feels like you pulled names out of a hat. The numbering often makes little sense, even for a subjective endeavor. There’s no consistency to your choices. Come on Indiewire.


Cannot believe Drive is so low on the list!!


Playlist is probably my favorite website but boy,you guys suck at making lists!


I hate to add to the chorus on this, but the lack of THE SOCIAL NETWORK is so weird to me. I like that you have DIFFERENT choices than most lists will have, but that’s a bit of a modern classic that doesn’t deserve critical contrarianism. But DOGTOOTH and UNDER THE SKIN being so high is great to see.


No Social Network? I trusted you all.


What about "Let the Right One In"??? Unforgivable…


Made a mistake… it’s from 2008! :P




Another great list! I haven’t seen around 10, including the top two. The disdain for ‘Spring Breakers’ is perplexing, I would have had higher up. My 20 would include: Grand Budapest Hotel, The Act of Killing, 5 Broken Cameras, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Spring Breakers, Inherent Vice, Holy Motors, Exit at the Gift Shop, Snowtown, Computer Chess, Nightcrawler, Citizenfour, 12 Years A Slave, Inside Llewyn Davis, Drive, Shutter Island, The Tree of Life, Moonrise Kingdom, Under the Skin, Blue is the Warmest Colour.

Bingo Bongo

Interesting list however I can’t believe Gravity was mentioned. While technically brilliant it had a terrible script and the performance from Sandra Bullock was over the top and poor at best. 2 thumbs down!


Becker’s Le Trou must be included among seminal prison films!


I’m pretty happy with this list, although a little disappointed not to see my favorite film of the decade so far, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, mentioned in the list or in the honorable mentions. Also glad the list made me aware of Bong Joon-Ho’s Mother.


This is a really great list, and I’m particularly happy that Dogtooth, Under the Skin, and Upstream Color were ranked so highly.

I’d for sure move Beginners, Blue Valentine, and Enemy from Honorable Mentions to main list, and maybe add Blue Ruin, Calvary, Home, Let Me In, and/or I Killed My Mother.


What about The Artist, ARGO and Skyfall???? I loved Martha Marcy, Melancholia and Two Days One Night..


Another absolutely ridiculous list. Where the f*ck are Blue Valentine, The social network ?? And please STOOOOOOOOOOOP with that "Black Swan" piece of shit.

Merrill Womach

I was pleasantly surprised to see some of the titles on here, and disappointed to see some others made the list. I was also surprised to see a complete omission of anything from the wave of mumblecore films that cropped up about ten years ago. In my opinion A Separation isn’t nearly as good as most of the films on this list, but most egregious is placing Stories We Tell as the second best documentary of the decade. I’ve never seen a documentary claiming as much self-importance in my life, and the staged "home videos" was deceptive and only added padding to a drawn out story.


cake-jennifer aniston


I think Mark Romanek’s Never Let Me Go is significantly better than a lot of films on this list (including the criminally overpraised Drive). One of those films people are going to discover years from now and wonder just how the hell it managed to slip through the cracks.


Greta Gerwig collaborated with Baumbach on Frances Ha. She did not just inspire him. They wrote the film together.


Mediocre, at best, Selma is in the list but you did not include masterpieces like ‘El Secreto de Sus Ojos’, ‘Nebraska’, ‘Babel’, ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’, ‘Blue Jasmine’,’The Grand Budapest Hotel’, ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ and so many others? I wouldn’t include ‘Black Swan’, ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ (not when you could have had ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ instead), ‘Melancholia’ and ‘Bridesmaids’. At least you included ‘The Hunt’ and ‘Certified Copy’….


wtf? what the problem whith Tarantino?


There are several I would have loved to see here, at the very least as honorable mentions: Of Gods and Men, Margin Call, Somewhere, Beasts of the Southern Wild. I guess maybe I would have added Interstellar. I enjoyed Inception, but surely Interstellar was more inventive, if the ending was more treacly.


I loved this selection, but I was surprised when I didn’t find The Grand Budapest Hotel.


My exception to most of the fims selected, none cound compare to,#1 Doubt #2 Brokeback Mountain#3 Love, Actually,#4 The Talented Mr.Ripley #5 War Horse #6The Kings Speech #7 The Fighter #8 Midnight in Paris #9 The Queen #10 The Wind before the Barkey,


I just don’t know who is the idiot that made this list. Obviously it’s based on some personal preferences, not on quality of cinema!


Leaving off The Social Network was like spitting in the face of Millennials everywhere.. that is OUR movie..


La Vie d’Adèle (Blue is the Warmest Color) should not be on this list. Kechiche recuperated a story made by a lesbians for lesbians and turned it into hegemonic male-gaze-focused pornography made by and for straight men. It’s disgusting.

Otherwise, from those I’ve seen I agree, except there are so, so many better Quebecois mvoie than Tom à la Ferme. Try Le Vendeur or La Donation or Tout ce que tu possède or Incendie or Monsieur Lazar or Rebelle.

Frankly Over

You got it "Right Right", I don’t know why I’m even commenting either. Indiewire certainly hits "that dull middlebrow-cinephile sweet spot." Slobbering over PTA (some people who run this site also run PTA’s fan site) and excluding Byzantium, Dormant Beauty, and Life of Riley shows that they have 100% zero taste. That’s zero. Just cool cynical movies for the mid-brow nerds who are obsessed with celebrity.

Brandon T

My top 10 for the decade is…

1) Under the Skin
2) Amour
3) Blue is the Warmest Colour
4) All is Lost
5) Whiplash
6) A Seperation
7) The Wind Rises
8) The Double
9) The Social Network
10) Gravity


"Spring Breakers" is way too low IMO. But that’s the thing about lists: No one will ever agree on anything. Thanks for the list though, as it’s given me a number of films that I need to see, but either hadn’t heard of (a few), or just hadn’t gotten around to seeing yet. It’s nice to see both "Under the Skin" and "Blue Is the Warmest Color" in the Top 10 — they both were exceptional.

Sam O

even though there were some really amazing films mentioned on this list, where were The Social Network, Toy Story 3 and most importantly, Whiplash?!


Sean Penn’s, "The Pledge"

Dick Poop

Such a pretentious list. Where is Wolf of Wall Street and The Social Network? You guys suck.


Did really NOT see The Grand Budapest Hotel in here?


Francis Ha, Inside Llewyn Davis, Under the Skin, Upstrea Color and The Master way over 12 Years a Slave? Who made this list? The guys from the Filmspotting podcast?


Nice Top. On my list: The Wind Rises & Restless. And maybe O Estranho Caso de Angélica, Hereafter, Jersey Boys American Sniper, The Immigrant, Essential Killing, How Do You Know, Into The Abyss, Toy Story 3, Chronicle, The Day Je Arrives, Cosmopolis, Keep The Lights On, It Follows, Jauja…


I think all of the films in this list are great. But I find it hilarious that you guys say that you had to come around on The Master, as though you’re shocked it proved its relevance to you, when nearly every year-end poll placed it number 1 or 2 that year. I also don’t trust any list spanning this time period that leaves The Tree of Life out of the top ten. What are people trying to prove? Its clearly one of the two or three most ambitious, crowning achievements of the past five years, already highlighted as such by its placement in Sight and Sound’s Best Films of All Time poll in 2012. And having Boyhood so low is also ridiculous, especially when you don’t make up for it with Before Midnight.


Also, if The Turin Horse doesn’t make this list it certainly doesn’t represent worldly cinephelia as I understand it.


Ink, Safety not guarantied, Jeff Who Lives At Home, The Brass Tea Pot?


"Then there were the films that we perhaps admire more than we truly love, the hardcore cinephilia manna that are astonishing feats, but ultimately didn’t quite find enough favor to make our final list." And yet those are exactly some of my favorites of all the movies mentioned, even more so than those that made the actual list.


Hmmm.I have to say I’m a bit disappointed that Locke is not in here.A shame,’cause it’s a magnificent film.I’m happy to see Under the Skin and A Separation so high though,as they’re,in my opinion,two films that will be remembered in a long time from now as a testament of this cinema-wise so far amazing decade.

Harry Clouston

Correct me if I’m wrong but I’m pretty sure ‘A prophet’ came out in 2009 not 2010…….


Very nice list, very vague descriptions, though.


A list without Before Midnight… Can’t be right.


I found the bottom half of this top 50 way more credible than the top.


No Django? Or did I miss it?


Is this a serious list? Boyhood in the 48th place, while Under the Skin and Inherent Vice are placed among the top ten. What a bad joke.


What a terrible list……………. Inception is garbage….


Should have been The 50 Best Arthouse Films Of The Decade So Far, as there was maybe one on it that would have been in a real cinema. And the writing was awful. Instead of describing a whole bunch of nothingness it would have been great to get some more plot info. By the way "Under the Skin" was terrible. The book is much better.


Intouchables? Interstellar? Django Unchained? Guardians of the Galaxy? The Dark Knight Rises? Dawn of the Planet of the Apes? Rise of the Planet of the Apes? Toy Story 3? Song of the Sea? The Fault in Our Stars? Warrior? How to Train Your Dragon? How to Train Your Dragon 2? X-Men: Days of Future Past? Mommy? Gone Girl? The Avengers? Captain America: The Winter Soldier? Iron Man 3? The Grand Budapest Hotel? Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2? Shutter Island? Prisoners? The Perks of Being a Wallflower? Dallas Buyers Club? Edge of Tomorrow? Skyfall? Gravity? The Fighter? Captain Phillips? Tangled? Frozen? The Lego Movie? Wreck-It Ralph? Argo? Kick-Ass? End of Watch? 127 Hours? The Town? The Conjuring? Cloud Atlas? Looper? Mud? Take Shelter? Crazy, Stupid, Love? Predestination? The Way Way Back? Lincoln? Still Mine? Limitless?

Max Crawler

All movies except Inception,HER and Zero Dark Thirty makes you yawn. Upstream color! Seriously?

Matt Somogyi

There Will Be Blood? Inglorious Basterds? The Social Network? As to how something as mundane and meandering as PTA’s Inherent Vice trumped his masterpiece from seven years earlier is beyond questioning for me. I suppose the purpose of this list was to have as wide of an umbrella in world cinema as possible, but still…


No Life of Pi? I mean, really? It’s a great list but leaving that out, my friends, was your biggest fault.


A truly terrible list for the most part.


Martin Scorsese’s "return to form"?? After what, the BRILLIANCE of "Hugo" – a movie that is jaw-droppingly left OFF your list, for one reason or another dozen reasons… ( though I’M thinking it has something to do with the fact that it wasn’t a three hour meditation on lesbian politics or whatever; just… wasn’t SERIOUS enough for y’all. Come to think of it… there isn’t a single movie on here that could be considered thoroughly mainstream – despite the incredible climb in quality of MANY blockbuster flicks lately – EXCEPT, of course, for the wonderful "Inception". for SHAME!! "Hugo" is (maybe) Scorsese’s latter-day masterpiece. Certainly a superior film in every way than the over-the-top excesses+ of ‘Wolf of Wall Street’


and I APOLOGIZE for the roughly hewn grammar, sentence structure… pretty much everything BUT the opinion in the above comment, there. It WAS rather rant-ish, I admit freely.

bitch nga

who wrote this list and what was the criterion? Useless list.


The other commenters were being too nice. This list is terrible.. It looks like it was designed by some wine drinking pretentious movie snob that enjoys foreign films because they are different.


"The Tree Of Life" should be on top.

Christian Ghosn

Where is Whiplash? What’s wrong with you people. Also Incendies is better than everyone of these movies.

Raimundo Mackenna

Where is Calvary (John Michael McDonagh)?


I’m extremely surprised that Interstellar isn’t on this list. Yet spring breakers is? Looks like it’s the last time I’ll visit this website


There were several baffling inclusions and questionable omissions, but that’s to be expected from a subjective list of films spanning 10 years. However, I was excited to see two of my favorites in this time span (A Separation, Dogtooth) at the top of this list. There are very few films that truly wow me, but both of those did.

Jason Keller

I have looked at a lot of these "Top Movies of whenever" posts tonight, and I have seen a few similarities between a few of the websites, but only on about half have I seen American Sniper, which according to IMDb is number 31 in top money makers of all time. Other movies that I have consistently not seen were Avatar or any one of the Lord of the Rings movies. Whoever wrote this left out some really good movies from the decade that were considered some of the best stories to ever be put on screen, and put on some that I have never heard of much less want to see.

Pedro Briggs

A list without Before Midnight cannot and should not be taken seriously…


Blah. I actually hated most of these self important, critic appropriate pieces of bunk. I especially hated Drive, and 12 years of being black, I am surprised you didn’t have Children of Men listed. that another critic only made for liberals nonsense.


I’m really shocked that Dogtooth is second. I remember watching it forthe first time and I really didn’t have any nice feelings towards this movie.


"nice feelings" are not a criteium to have for me when it comes to liking a movie. I don’t have any nice feelings for Eraserhead but still think that it is a fantastic movie. Personally, I can live with dogtooth up there. It was really a kind of unique movie.
Btw. could you keep this list updated at the end of every year please?


2 Paul Thomas Anderson movies, and neither is There Will Be Blood. Interesting.


Alan–Because There Will Be Blood wasn’t from this decade.

Anwesh Pambhoi

Whiplash and The Social network deserve to be here…also add Mad Max Fury Road


nice to see spring breakers but it deserves a higher spot #justiceforspringbreakers

Cesar Sa

"Gravity" shouldn´t be on a list that doesn´t feature "Interstellar" much higher up on that list. Apart of this omission- a sound list!


If Spring Breakers is on this list In Bruges and Looper definitely deserve a spot


Is there any other kind of movies but dramas? There’s so little genre variety on your list. They’re all award-bait dramas and occasionally dramedies.


Spring Breakers is a awful film.


I love this list so much! the best one yet but I would have loved to see;American hustle, short term 12, about time and Liberal arts. Boyhood, melancholia and spring breakers should be higher!


How is Frances Ha higher up the list than Nightcrawler? Nightcrawler had a plot, actual characters with motivations, and intrigue. Frances Ha was pointlessly stupid.


The fact that inception is one of the only good movies up there n u think it should be removed…..


Cloud Atlas. Just because people didn’t get it doesn’t mean it wasn’t brilliant. A monumental achievement in storytelling and film making.


Of the films I’ve seen, Drive is easily the best, should be in the top 10 at least, not just top 50.


worst list


i thought DRIVE and IRREVERSIBLE, were two I’d rank much higher

Steve Barr

You have got to be kidding me. No one thought to even mention James Gray’s The The Immigrant! Harvey Weinstein must be loving you guys!


Reading this made my eyes bleed. Some great films which i was able to read reviews for elsewhere. Trying far too hard.


Missing (in my humble opinion) : La Sapienza; Timbuktu;
Tangerine; Alps; Dear White People; Carol; The Assassin

Gregg Em

Would’ve liked to have seen Inherent Vice at number one. A film that unravels like an onion on repeat viewings, you could probably watch it for the next 50 years and see something different each time. Also, Blue Valentine, The Wolf of Wall Street, Carnage and Young Adult should have been included


Ah so this is where all the self-important autistics hang out, hello broken people!

Robert Reynolds

Overall very good. I would remove Moonrise Kingdom, Selma, the Master (even though PS Hoffman is the best actor I ever saw) And Her. I would add Young Adult, interstellar (great!), Moneyball, and Revenent. Thanks for not putting Winters Bone in as that was a completely over rated bunch of junk without any kind of real story.



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Annoyed Guy

What a GOD AWFUL pretentious list. The number of artistic, unorthodox narrative films on this list is just screaming for some hipster, intellectual cred.


Glad you kept crap like Crash, Slumdog Millionaire and The Fighter off the list. And thank God you put Bridesmaids in. Otherwise you might have looked pretentious.


    Absolutely right crash not on here???


Wow. I know film quality is very subjective, but there are a lot of really bad movies on this list.


the comments on this list is reason enough for me to not read this publication (?) and avoid film snobs at all cost. God, get a fucking life.


Who wrote this list? some 18 year old intern? this movie selection makes you want to vomit for the most part, get an education and then comeback…


No fu king way under the skin is in the top 50. What a snooze of a film.

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