We’re closing out a decade with this one. We’re ending the 2010s with my tenth annual Top Ten list. Can you believe that? I’ve been making these things for ten years. Which coincidentally matched up with the entire decade in film.
This year felt pretty underwhelming all throughout it. I know I say a version of that every year and it’s basically tradition for me to say that in this article. This year’s version means that, throughout the year, I was aware that I wasn’t liking stuff as strongly as I have in years past. Fortunately I did decide not to even consider this list until very late, so I didn’t do the thing I usually do of, “How am I gonna get ten films out of this?” This year was actually pretty easy for that. When I first started looking to do it, I came up with most of the list very quickly, and it turned out to be just one spot I had to put any sort of real consideration into.
The one thing I did notice was that I struggled to really figure out the lower tiers. There’s some stuff that went higher this year than it would have in other years just because there was so little for me to put above it. It felt like a much thinner year than others. But unlike other years, I do feel really confident about this list holding up over time. These are pretty consensus films for me, and it would surprise me to see more than one jump up and take the spot of some of the things on this list.
Overall, while it might be a bit top-heavy, and the year as a whole falls apart after the top 20-25, I do feel pretty good about this one and the cool stuff hidden inside it. So let’s get into this.
Here are my Top Ten Films of 2019: (more…)
So we now have all of the Top Ten lists finished. As of this moment, there are 89 of them (1930-2018). They will be here now, forever, for posterity. I’ll keep updating them as I watch new stuff, rewatch stuff I’ve seen and my opinions change over time. Of course, as I must always do when I finish something of this magnitude, I gotta analyze everything and look for cool trends and things. That was always the best part of doing science fair projects, analyzing all the data, and I’m still just trying to chase that high.
This data will only be for how the lists appear at this moment in time. I’m not planning to go back and alter it for every little change I make. Maybe in like five years I’ll do a bulk update, but let’s just assume I’m never gonna go back to this and treat it just as something cool to look at for right now. (Though I may update this in like, six weeks, once 2019’s list gets posted, giving us an even 90 years of lists.)
Also, yes, I wrote up 89 years of Top Ten lists (all of which contain at least 20 films apiece, most of which contain 40 apiece and some up to 80 apiece) and then went back and broke each one of them down in various ways. How could you expect anything less of me? (more…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)