The Rewind

My 5 Favourite Movies Of The Decade - Mick's Picks

My 5 Favourite Movies Of The Decade - Mick's Picks

As the 2010s draw to a close we're putting together a new series on 'The Rewind' where our team of writers pick their five favourite movies of the past ten years. These are not definitive 'five BEST movies' selections but are rather personal preference, with a myriad of different selection reasons that each writer will detail.

Today's top five comes from Mick McCarthy.


An interesting decade for film.

In the 2010s, television was king. The scale of TV reached new heights with Game of Thrones, while storytelling in the form of Breaking Bad, Mad Men, The Handmaid's Tale, True Detective and Succession made film seem almost quaint. More and more, filmmakers and viewers want to spend more time with their stories and characters, and easy access to on-demand TV has accelerated that trend.

That said, cinema's demise has been on the cards as long as there's been cinema, and yet it's still here and thriving. Maybe it's to be in a different form going into the 2020s - Netflix have been responsible for the most talked about film of the last months of the decade (The Irishman) and probably the best (Marriage Story). Perhaps our new cinemas will be our big screen TVs in our sitting rooms.

But movies are still being made, and are still great. No matter how many times you hear directors and actors tell you, "that wouldn't get made today", the 2010s prove film is still very much alive.

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My Top Five shortlist very quickly became a longlist.

The 2010s will be remembered as the peak of the comicbook movie. The Marvel Cinematic Universe went into overdrive with the Avengers saga. Some were massive hits without much to them. Others were subversive classics. Black Panther and Captain America: The Winter Soldier are two films that particularly stand out. Outside of Marvel, Logan and Joker took fascinating and darker looks at well told stories.

For children's films too, the decade will stand test of time, with underrated Disney classics like Coco, Moana, and Big Hero 6 easily living with sequels to established greats in Finding Dory, Toy Story 3 and The Incredibles 2. Emily Blunt bringing Mary Poppins back to life was also one of the nicer surprises of the last ten years.

Established franchises also made a comeback this decade. Creed was a surprisingly successful rebooting of the Rocky franchise, while Skyfall was perhaps the best James Bond film ever. Stars Wars also returned in a big way with mixed results, but their stripped down Rogue One story will live on as possibly the best pure film in the Star Wars canon.

Comedies certainly struggled over the last ten years, with a severe drop off from the Apatow inspired 2000s. There were some gems in there though, such as Bridesmaids and Lego Movie. Grand Budapest Hotel and Brendan Gleeson's The Guard came very close to making this list, while Wolf Of Wall Street could be considered the funniest film of the decade even if it can't be classed wholly as a comedy.

But it was in drama where the list somehow got whittled down to five. Not as easy task. Inception, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Dallas Buyers Club, and Warrior came closest of the films not already mentioned to making it.

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But enough of the honourable mentions. Here are my five favourite films of the 2010s:

5. A Quiet Place

One of the most incredible cinema experiences I've experienced. It's hard to know how this film stands up as a television watch, but in the cinema it was unique and absolutely thrilling.

The popcorn munchers and crisp packet rustlers were quickly shamed into silence as this insanely quiet film created an eerie tension in the screen. With silence as the norm, every noise was a weapon John Krasinski used to perfection.

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Emily Blunt and Krasinski, doubling as lead actor and director, are brilliant throughout, while the tension only increases after an early shock takes you out of your seat.

It was let down a bit by an overly "action film" ending and news of a sequel for 2020 has me scratching my head, but for the cinema experience alone, A Quiet Place was a very hard film to beat in the last ten years.

4. Get Out

Having never been a fan of horror, I am as surprised as anyone to find two of the genre in my top five. In fact, my natural aversion kept me away from this classic for far too long. In truth, the genre is irrelevant to what is a brilliant film.

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What starts with some awkward racial tension quickly reveals itself as something more, and the moment you realise what exactly is going on is thrilling.

Get Out has it all - great acting, great story, a lot of laughs, action, scares, and twists.

3. Whiplash

When an obsessive character meets a perfectionist bully.

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Two of the acting performances of the decade from Miles Teller and JK Simmons brings this movie to another level. Don't worry if you don't care about classical drumming, make it your business to see this film if you haven't already.

2. A Star Is Born

The big studio movie, the third remake of the same film - this just shouldn't have been this good.

Bradley Cooper was a revelation as director, lead actor, and very believable washed out Eddie Vedder style lead singer, while a whole new side of Lady Gaga massively confounded expectations. An incredible (and addictive) soundtrack glues it all together.

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This film hit home. It left cinemas full of viewers in tears and was the talk of the town for weeks. Then everyone turned against it because that's what happens when a big studio movie is too popular.

But trust your instincts on this one. Before all the reviews and undermining, I loved this film, and I bet you did too.

1. Manchester By The Sea

Casey Affleck's real life issues took the gloss off this film in 2016, but his performance could not be ignored, with an Oscar and Golden Globe fully deserved. Kenneth Longergan's script and directing is also superb, with a well paced and expertly revealed story slowly explaining the unquenchable sadness and grief of a broken man.

Affleck's scene with Michelle Williams on the street might be the most moving scene of the decade. It's actually hard to breathe through it.  Pain is more explicitly portrayed here than in any scene of physical torture even filmed.

It's my favourite film of the decade - but I'll never watch it again.

 

SEE ALSO: My 5 Favourite Movies Of The Decade - Maurice's Picks

 

Michael McCarthy

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