Pic of the Day: “Kid, what’d you get?” “I didn’t get nothin’. I had to pay fifty dollars, and pick up the garbage.” (50th Anniversary)
Mike’s Top Ten of 2018
As of the original postings of these lists, this is the most recent year. We’re under a year since my initial list has been posted, so not a whole lot of time has gone by for me to have changed my opinion from what it was then. Though I will say, enough time has gone by for me to call myself out on my bullshit and cut the pretense.
Though admittedly, I find that most of the time when things change on the lists, it’s not because I was forcing something on that shouldn’t have been there, it’s usually because I’m under the gun when I choose the list. I often have just finished watching mostly everything from the year (sometimes I don’t even get to do that) and some of the choices I have to decide on based on a single watch. I’m usually cramming second watches for things (if I even can) within a two day period, and usually I’m somewhere else, around friends or family and I have to do it all on the fly. So things end up on that are just easy choices that I don’t have to stress over. And most of the time they turn out to be the right choices over time. But sometimes I do admittedly need that extra space of a year or more to really know what my true feelings are. So as such, while you won’t see too many changes from the list you saw in December, some things will shuffle around a bit and what I kind of figured to be true at the time has held out to be true now. So really, the moral of this is — time wins out. The truth always gets revealed over time.
As for 2018 as a whole… I didn’t like it at the time. I thought it was an incredibly weak year without too much memorable stuff in it. Now, of course, having a year to let this movies sit, it feels like a really respectable top ten list that’ll hold up just fine. The lower tier stuff, it’s just gonna take time to figure out where that shakes out in terms of a strong or weak year. Ultimately, I’m pretty pleased with how these ones are holding up for me so far. (more…)
Pic of the Day: “I feel terrible, like there’s a weight on my chest.” “A heart’s a heavy burden.” (15th Anniversary)
Mike’s Top Ten of 2017
This is one of the strongest years of the decade. I wouldn’t have immediately pegged it as one of those, but it is. It’s deep. There’s a lot of great stuff here, and this top ten could easily have been swapped out for a bunch of the 11-20.
At the time of the initial posting of this list, we’re not that far removed from these films coming out, but it does feel like some of the choices on it are undisputed great movies. Some are films that people generally like, even if they won’t appear on everyone’s lists, and there’s maybe one or two that I know are gonna go down as the films of the decade over time even though they weren’t as universally well-received.
I will also say that this the only year of this decade that has, at this point, managed a film that has found its way to my list of all-time favorite films. It’s a good year. (more…)
Pic of the Day: “Here they are again, folks! These wonderful, wonderful kids! Still struggling! Still hoping! As the clock of fate ticks away, the dance of destiny continues! The marathon goes on, and on, and on! HOW LONG CAN THEY LAST?” (50th Anniversary)
Mike’s Top Ten of 2016
I didn’t know what to write for 2016 for the longest time. But as I started writing up all the films, I realized what it is — this is a sneaky strong year. The top ten didn’t immediately strike me the way something like 2015 does as being the obviously strong year from an entire decade. But when I look at it… there are movies here that I love beyond words that, to me, are gonna stay among my absolute favorites. And the more I look at the lower tier stuff the more I realize there are some really amazing gems to be found here that deserve to be seen.
The year will always be remembered for the top two films, which will be forever linked in people’s minds, but really when you look at it… if you’re trying to find an amazing movie that might be slightly off the beaten path, 2016 is the place to look. There’s stuff up and down this list that’s just tremendous that it feels like almost no one knows about or bothered to see when it came out. This is my ‘drum beating’ year, with stuff that I’m trying to help get noticed and become a movie people either later realize is great or just get seen by more people.
Also what I love about this top ten list in specific is that it has a nice mix of obvious stuff that everyone loves, stuff that is slightly off the beaten path that makes you think ‘oh, that’s good, but top ten? Wow’, plus stuff that almost no one knows about and then stuff where you go, “You know what? That is a really great movie and I never considered it that way.” It’s a really eclectic list, and it’s another year that has an 11-20 (and even a tier two!) full of stuff that could also be in the top ten. I’m a huge fan of this year and it took me going back to reconsider it all to realize that. This is one of the strongest years of this decade. (more…)
Mike’s Top Ten of 2015
2015 is one of the strongest years of this decade, if not the strongest year. I’ve got at least two separate legitimate top ten lists with the films of this year. If I took my 11-20 and presented it to you as if it were the list of another year, it would look totally fine and no one would even question it. That’s how strong this year is.
Though the one thing that has remained constant for me after all this time, despite how many amazing films there are and how easy it is for stuff to be swapped out for something else, is my #1. I don’t think anyone else would have it close to their #1 film of the year, and I was steadfast about it from the jump. I knew it was my #1 movie and nothing was able to change that. No matter what great other stuff there is and no matter how highly the rest of the films from this year are regarded over time, my #1 is gonna be my #1. And I take great comfort in that.
I should also mention how much other fantastic stuff there is this year in the lower tiers as well. This is a good place to find some great hidden gems to check out. Some years there’s only a handful. Here, you can throw a dart and pretty much whatever you hit is worth seeing. That’s a strong year. (more…)
PIc of the Day: “Look I probably should have told you this before but you see… well… insanity runs in my family… It practically gallops.” (75th Anniversary)
Mike’s Top Ten of 2014
2014 is kind of a patchwork year. There’s a small handful of films a lot of people will agree on, but past that it gets uneven. Though I think the great stuff does tend to rise to the top and the year does get weaker as it goes along. Which, I guess is kind of what one would hope for with any year.
Looking at my list for this year, every film in my top ten is by a director who has already had a top ten movie before (save one, which is by a director who would have later top ten movies, since this was his first major feature). Which, to me, marks it as one of the weaker years of the decade, with me going to the well of ‘old reliables’, knowing that the people who tend to make good films helped bail it out. Otherwise, it does tend to get thinner earlier than most other years do. (more…)
Pic of the Day: “It never seems to occur to you gentlemen that there might possibly be some men who would enjoy being my husband, even if I were not a Queen. My face isn’t actually painful to look at. My complexion’s quite good. And in case your too serious-minded to notice such things, let me inform you my legs are perfect!” (90th Anniversary)
Mike’s Top Ten of 2013
I don’t particularly remember 2013 in terms of my top ten list. I remember the year feeling like it was weak. Which I must say about almost every single year initially, which has to be because I’m forced to assess as year as a whole just as its coming to a close rather than having had the proper time to let stuff settle as it ought to.
This year in particular I know has a major change to it, which is that it’s the second time ever alongside the first list I ever posted on this site that a surefire top ten film didn’t get seen before the year was out. The first year, technically the list got posted after the year was over and I wasn’t as efficient in seeing things as I became over the course of the decade. Which is what makes it even more stunning to me. Even by 2013, I knew that if anything felt like it had a chance at the top ten, I made sure to see it. And yet, I posted 2013’s list and literally the next day I saw the movie. It’s the most significant top ten moment for me out of all the lists. It won’t seem so major on paper, since I quickly went in and made it my #11 for the year at the time, but that’s the biggest alteration in the history of the lists.
Aside from that, most of the list is basically the same as I had it. My “#11” and #12 moved up and other stuff moved down, which is par for the course. It feels like a generally pretty solid list of ten, and there’s some cool stuff down below. Overall this feels like one of the more average years for the decade. (more…)
Pic of the Day: ♫ “You don’t have to protect me I’m not afraid / Please don’t shut me out again / Please don’t slam the door / You don’t have to keep your distance anymore / ‘Cause for the first time in forever / I finally understand / For the first time in forever / We can fix this hand in hand” ♫
Mike’s Top Ten of 2012
2012 is the first (and perhaps only) year from this decade where the top ten list I posted at the time exactly matches my top ten now. I knew immediately what my ten favorite movies were that year, and that hasn’t changed. And, in all likelihood, that won’t change. These ten are pretty much my ten. My goal in writing up the list each year is to try to best guess what films are not only my favorite films at the moment, but also which ones are going to continue being my favorite films over time. Some years turn out better than others. And as it stands, this might be the only one of the decade where I ended up being completely right all the way through.
Which is impressive to me, because there are two choices on this list that are not mainstream choices for top ten films. I don’t think you’ll see those on most people’s lists. And if you do, chances are they won’t be around a lot of the other stuff I’ve also chosen. But I love them, and would 100% call them two of the top movies of the year.
I’m a big fan of this list. (more…)
Pic of the Day: “Mr. Bond, you defy all my attempts to plan an amusing death for you” (40th Anniversary)
Mike’s Top Ten of 2011
Love me some 2011. I moved to LA midway through this year, so a lot of the movies in the top ten were ones I saw right as I got to LA, which gives them an extra sense of specialness to me.
As a year… I forget how strong it is at the top. It feels like just another year to me when I think about it in the abstract, but here, I could legitimately almost make two separate top ten lists with the movies in the top 20.
This was my first official top ten list created after this site was in existence. So in a way this was the one where my knowing it was gonna go on here affected the decision-making. For better or for worse, I guess. Mostly I’m just happy that a lot of my choices are still ones I would put on the list. But it’s also a strong enough year to where anything that got swapped out is basically a toss-up situation anyway. So it’s hard for me to be disappointed with anything that made it on. (more…)
Pic of the Day: “Cody Jarrett…” “He finally got to the top of the world… and it blew right up in his face.” (70th Anniversary)
Mike’s Top Ten of 2010
The original 2010 Top Ten List was the very first article I posted on this site. So it’ll always be a special year for me. It was the year I really started taking movies (and watching new movies) seriously, and was the first time I really was prepared to pick my favorites for a given year because I watched the majority of stuff that came out.
Looking at the list for 2010 as it stands now… most of it’s the same. Which I like. I like knowing that my favorite films then are largely still my favorite films now. And the changes that were made were either minor or were things that were always gonna happen when time passed. Also, looking at this year, I’m fairly confident 90% of this list will remain as top ten films in perpetuity. It’s a real strong year at the top, and most of those top films are indisputable. (more…)
Mike’s Top Ten of 2009
Out with a bang. The 2000s ends with some real great stuff. What I love most about this year is that, back then if you asked me what my top ten was, I’d have given you a very reasonable set of movies, with a very reasonable choice at #1 and things generally in the places you’d expect them to be based on some populist idea of what the best films were. Though deep down in my heart, I knew what would happen over the next few years. I knew which movies were gonna be my actual favorites and wind up becoming the real top choices. And lo and behold, a decade later, that’s what happened.
I feel like my list is very specific to me and my tastes, and while most people could agree that the majority of it is made up of good movies, I’m not sure most people would have this specific set of ten films. Though maybe I’m wrong. Honestly, all I care about is the fact that #1 is one of the most underrated films of the past 25 years, and I cannot stress how emphatically I have chosen it as my #1 film of this year. (more…)