When I was set the task of listing what I consider the best films of the past decade I immediately had a problem. Best and favourite are two vastly different things and the criteria for best is quite stringent whilst favourite is easy as you can’t argue with favourite so [NOT for the first time – Ed] I ignored the criteria set by our immortal leader and set about listing my favourite films of the last ten-ish years. You remember about a sentence ago when I used the word easy? Yeah, that was a mistake wasn’t it. I need to keep this list down a relatively easy number to stomach for you, our dear reader (mum), but I love about a million things. I almost had my number one straight away but when I checked the release date it was 2009, so that’s that ruined already, sorry Duncan Jones it was going to be Moon but now it won’t be. So where shall I start? To the DVD shelves Batman! [That was 1989 - Ed]
(All synopsis and date info from IMDb)
10 – Zero Dark Thirty (2012)
Dir: Katherine Bigelow
Wri: Mark Boal
"Maya is a CIA operative whose first experience is in the interrogation of prisoners following the Al Qaeda attacks against the U.S. on the 11th September 2001. She is a reluctant participant in extreme duress applied to the detainees but believes that the truth may only be obtained through such tactics. For several years, she is single-minded in her pursuit of leads to uncover the whereabouts of Al Qaeda's leader, Osama Bin Laden. Finally, in 2011, it appears that her work will pay off, and a U.S. Navy SEAL team is sent to kill or capture Bin Laden. But only Maya is confident Bin Laden is where she says he is."
9 – The Guilty or Den Skyldige (2018)
Dir: Gustav Moller
Wri: Gustav Moller, Emil Nygaard Albertsen
"Alarm dispatcher Asger Holm answers an emergency call from a kidnapped woman. When the call is suddenly disconnected, the search for the woman and her kidnapper begins. With the phone as his only tool, Asger enters a race against time to save the endangered woman. But soon he realizes that he is dealing with a crime that is far bigger than he first thought."
8 – Inception (2010)
Dir: Christopher Nolan
Wri: Christopher Nolan
"Dom Cobb is a skilled thief, the absolute best in the dangerous art of extraction, stealing valuable secrets from deep within the subconscious during the dream state, when the mind is at its most vulnerable. Cobb's rare ability has made him a coveted player in this treacherous new world of corporate espionage, but it has also made him an international fugitive and cost him everything he has ever loved. Now Cobb is being offered a chance at redemption. One last job could give him his life back but only if he can accomplish the impossible, inception. Instead of the perfect heist, Cobb and his team of specialists have to pull off the reverse: their task is not to steal an idea, but to plant one. If they succeed, it could be the perfect crime. But no amount of careful planning or expertise can prepare the team for the dangerous enemy that seems to predict their every move. An enemy that only Cobb could have seen coming."
7 – Arrival (2016)
Dir: Denis Villeneuve
Wri: Eric Heisserer (screenplay), Ted Chiang (story)
"Linguistics professor Louise Banks leads an elite team of investigators when gigantic spaceships touchdown in 12 locations around the world. As nations teeter on the verge of global war, Banks and her crew must race against time to find a way to communicate with the extra-terrestrial visitors. Hoping to unravel the mystery, she takes a chance that could threaten her life and quite possibly all of mankind."
6 – Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance (2014)
Dir: Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Wri: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Armando Bo, Alexander Dinelaris Jr, Raymond Carver (story)
"Riggan is a man struggling to make his mark in the world. Having achieved fame as "Birdman", he voluntarily walked away from the on-screen role, and battled the inner voices that had him believe he was more powerful than anyone could imagine. Old, irrelevant, but still driven, Riggan has chosen to pursue his dream of honouring the man who inspired him over 20 years ago. Riggan and those around him are all facing similar battles but seem to be unaware of any but their own. Determined to make his play a success, he overcomes obstacle after obstacle in order to ensure it is a success on the stage. Surrounded by his daughter and the actors he's chosen, Riggan works to come to terms with the realities of life. Moments of brutal honesty affect him and those around him. Nearly everyone finds themselves in both positions, of giving and receiving the words they need to hear in that moment. Riggan attempts to let himself truly feel what he needs to so he can find inner peace and freedom. Opening night finds him offering the performance of his life for more reasons than one, and the success of that night will make or break the future of his play. Like everything else, his handling of events is affected by demons only he is aware of."
5 – American Woman (2019)
Dir: Jake Scott
Wri: Brad Ingelsby
"In a small, blue-collar town in Pennsylvania, a 32-year-old woman's teen daughter goes missing and she is left to raise her infant grandson alone. The story is told over the course of 11 years, from the time her daughter vanishes, through the trials-and-tribulations of subsequent years looking for closure, leading up the long-awaited discovery of the truth."
4 – Whiplash (2014)
Dir: Damien Chazelle
Wri: Damien Chazelle
"A young and talented drummer attending a prestigious music academy finds himself under the wing of the most respected professor at the school; one who does not hold back on abuse towards his students. The two form an odd relationship as the student wants to achieve greatness, and the professor pushes him."
3 – Mute (2018)
Dir: Duncan Jones
Wri: Michael Robert Johnson, Duncan Jones
"Berlin. Forty years from today. A roiling city of immigrants, where East crashes against West in a science-fiction Casablanca. Leo Beiler (Skarsgard), a mute bartender has one reason and one reason only for living here, and she's disappeared. But when Leo's search takes him deeper into the city's underbelly, an odd pair of American surgeons (led by Rudd) seem to be the only recurring clue, and Leo can't tell if they can help, or who he should fear most."
2 – The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2018)
Dir: Terry Gilliam
Wri: Terry Gilliam, Tony Grisoni
"Toby, a cynical but supposedly genius film director finds himself trapped in the outrageous delusions of an old Spanish shoemaker who believes himself to be Don Quixote. In the course of their comic and increasingly surreal adventures, Toby is forced to confront the tragic repercussions of a film he made in his idealistic youth - a film that changed the hopes and dreams of a small Spanish village forever. Can Toby make amends and regain his humanity? Can Don Quixote survive his madness and imminent death? Or will love conquer all?"
1 – The Social Network (2010)
Dir: David Fincher
Wri: Aaron Sorkin (screenplay), Ben Mezrich (book)
"On a fall night in 2003, Harvard undergrad and computer programming genius Mark Zuckerberg sits down at his computer and heatedly begins working on a new idea. In a fury of blogging and programming, what begins in his dorm room soon becomes a global social network and a revolution in communication. A mere six years and 500 million friends later, Mark Zuckerberg is the youngest billionaire in history... but for this entrepreneur, success leads to both personal and legal complications."
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Images - IMDb