Welcome to my longest list to date, 250 of my favourite movies of the last decade 2010-2020, like every decade before has broken all the records, prices of cinema tickets go up all the time so movies gross more money. The ability to make films gets more expensive and yet at the same time modern technology means that we’re able to use a mobile device for an entire movie so the variety of talent and ideas get bigger.
I love to search out those slightly lesser know projects from all over the world and from all styles and abilities so this should be diverse. I don’t really like grading films, I’m happy to give my opinion on a movie but saying one is better than another can be troublesome for me, so the top 50 are slightly dearer to me but the other 200 are just as awesome as each other in my humble opinion.. Now this is all clear, buckle up for round 1..
Finally finished after the directors death, this second remake of an outstanding science fiction novel is very different but while the atmosphere is very different it’s so wonderful in its own right. A dark and vile medieval planet called Akanar is infiltrated by otherworldly scientists to help a medieval civilization and to rescue intellectuals. I needed a strong stomach to get through the disgusting medieval antics but it’s a very different breed of science fiction story, masterly retold by a fearless genius.
A mining accident sets off a chain reaction of misfortune involving the only survivor, a lonely wife and a teenage boy with blood on his hands, as they all try to deal with their secrets and interacting with each other means there’s nowhere to hide. Bittersweet and difficult movie with menacing overtones.
248 Dear God No (2011)
Outlaw biker gang known as The Impaler’s are on a murder spree massacre with rival gang, Satan’s Own. After seeking sanctuary in a secluded cabin deep in North Georgia they discover they have invaded the home of a twisted scientist who has a killing machine locked in his basement, a over ridiculous comedy horror that plays out like a mad comic/grindhouse horror.
Engaging performances from leads Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson in a high tension filled drama set around the aftermath of the collapse of society, a loner has his car stolen but he will do anything to track down it’s precious cargo, eventually teaming up with a wounded would be thief Rey (Pattinson) the duo stride on their mission against a backdrop of unsavory characters, in a delightful story partly from Joel Edgerton. This is the film where I realised that Robert could REALLY act and one of those endings which sparked a range of emotions.
Generally hated by the masses, I really enjoyed : Gonzalo López-Gallego’s found footage sci fi adventure which shows why there were no more Apollo missions and even why this one was scratched from the records. After landing on the barren mass the astronauts realise they might be totally alone. It’s a bizarre story but it works on some levels but just not a logical one. Despite this I still adore the idea of an unsuspected threat on the moon. Executed with style and talent considering the Found Footage aspect which might be easily fudged.
A man suffering from amnesia washes ashore and a young doctor nurses him back to health. His past resurfaces to haunt them both in violent fashion. Once the film gets going a creepy dark backstory leaks out of layers of violence is this man fights his old gang members like a battle royale. Fast killer action fights the film really is the edge that other can only just about touch.
A police chase after a deranged ice cream truck has captivated the attention of the greater Los Angeles area. Dozens of fame—obsessed teens flock to the streets with their video cameras and camera phones, hell—bent on capturing the next viral video. Definitely one for the fans, always rubbished by “Critics” but it’s really enjoyable if you’re into found footage shorts and I hope that it carries on.. But i doubt it 😦 a handful of dark derranged short horror movies that border on the questionable, my favourite is Parallel Monsters where a ma crosses into another dimension seeming much like his own, there some crazy demonic sexual craziness bubbling under the covers in this fast paced quirky short.
A jaded and brutal gun for hire (Joaquin Phoenix) is called by a local elected member to rescue his teenage daughter from a pedophile ring. Once he recovers the girl, everything begins to unravel as the abuse of power and corruption is uncovered in layers in a action packed psychological thriller. Phoenix gives one of his best performances in one of his most difficult roles as a suicidal but dedicated hire killer who spends his days looking after his mother while recovering from an abusive childhood and war, and by night he spends his time battering people to death with a hammer or his bare hands. A startlingly superior movie from director Lynne Ramsay, not for the faint hearted.
242 Cherry Tree Lane (2010)
Stark and brutal home invasion with a punch to the stomach effect and bitter ending. Not one for the squeamish as it’s totally unrelenting. A group of youth on the hunt for a “friend” only find his parents at home, frustrated they decided to stay and systematically torture them. Coming at the height of the hoodie crime wave this along with other classics like Eden Lake really highlighted a nation filled with fear of its own children. With it’s guttural ending there really is no end to how barbaric this film is, left me cold to the core.
A sort of LoFi SciFi horror movie that follows a pair of fellas, true friends, who navigate the United States during a pretty low key zombie outbreak, while they can usually run away or protect themselves, they do get careless and one things lead to another and they find themselves in a tight spot. Simple, fun and indie in its approach it’s hard not to fall in love with this break from the usual zombie horror movie.
A couple experiencing personal grief and possible mental problems after losing their child, find themselves fighting for their lives when their home is invaded, but the movie takes a turn and we start to see the bigger picture when the invaders true identities are revealed. Generally slated but I loved every minute of the more inventive and unique b movie home invasion flick for me to date. A brave movie from Todd Levin.
A bloody intense feature and phantasmagorical horror concerning three youths whose greed lures them into an inescapable nightmare. Trapped in a dark labyrinthine styled mansion owned by a former ballet instructor they learn her dark secrets but can they ever escape her grasp. This movie totally bored me on the first watch but after a re watch and giving it some time the imagery really grew on me and now I think I really like it, at times it can grate but it’s a very important movie in the genre as it’s strong narrative and chilling atmosphere really wins over all the rest.
238 La Loi du Marchè / The Measure of a Man (2015)
Blistering drama from Stèphane Brizè, following the lowest point of Thierry Taugourdeau’s life, masterfully acted by well respected Vincent Lindon. A factory worker is laid off and trying to make ends meet in working class France, it’s deeply moving and at times just plain depressing watching him fight a system that’s not there to help the needy. Simple and effective.
237 Howl (2015)
This power packed werewolf movie , for me, is like a second Dog Soldiers, dark British humour twinned with a few people trapped in a remote location, using what you can to fight and stay alive antics and big ‘owling things. It’s scary with wonderful character design and no loose ends in the story, awesome brutal fun from Paul Hyett who had a good decade with work on Attack the Block, and other solid movies, The Seasoning House and The Convent.
236 The Goob (2015)
Basically a version of Dummo, based in rural Norwich. Goob ends school for the summer and has to do a lot of growing up, falling in love and dealing with an older jealous dick head who preys on everyone around him. Goob dreams of better things but is always brought back to ground by the pains of adulting. It’s sublime and charming while having a shocking edge, it’s really something that we need more of in British Cinema.
Niles from Frasier AKA David Hyde Pierce stars as a gentleman who’s house is invaded by a runaway gangster, but the tables turn when he insists on carrying on with his pre-planned dinner party, wildly funny dark comedy horror with bite and lots of shocking dance moves, brilliant psychological comedy thriller,that makes it’s audience question everything.
Kooky craziness with no personal boundaries in this sloppy serial killer comedy drama with vivacity. A father and son duo carry out walking disco tours when they fall in love with the same girl, all of this happens in a city gripped with fear over a killer who likes to cover himself with grease, you’ve probably not seen anything like it…
233 We are still here (2015)
Todd Geoghegan thrilled audiences with his slow burning retro ghostly story of a house which demands a sacrifice every 30 years. The film is bolstered by classic horror actors such as Barbara Crampton, a progressive step back to the golden era of horror with amazing results without a lavish budget, atmospheric and really creative.
232 ABCs of Death 2.5 (2016)
Another less official complication of 26 short movies to make us laugh, cry and fear the dark again, this time, despite the name, this movie is 26 films depicting the letter M, just as important as all of the other films, but will we ever see a third?
231 Take Shelter (2011)
A man is convinced that his apocalyptic visions are an omen and beings to build a shelter for his family, but the obsession begins to take over and everyone assumes his has a mental illness, in this elaborate and somber movie starring Michael Shannon, he has to decide if the shelter is to protect his family or maybe it’s him they need protection from. A brilliant LoFiSciFi from Jeff Nichols.
230 Flutter (2011)
British dark tale, slightly comedic starring Joe Anderson and Luke Evans, as race track buddies who get a new bookie called Stan, a beautiful; woman who’s willing to make a few extra bets off the track, the devilish and deadly new game threatens the friends and the lives of their loved ones. A superb little movie with some sterling highlights, especially the bunny race from the world of any Faustian nightmare.
229 A torinói ló / Turin Horse (2011)
Bella Tarr’s final film before retiring and leaving us all longing for solid cinema. It is a meditation on Nietzsche who, in Turin in 1889, was said to have seen a horse being thrashed, and protectively threw his arms around the beast, an event which led to the demise of the man. This black and white, near silent movie is a huge requiem for man, god or the universe. A highlight in a blinding career, that we can only hope see’s an encore one day. One of the handful of movies which made my Atmospheric Black Metal OST list. Check it out here.
228 Topos / Moles (2012)
In a post-apocalyptic universe, two worlds exist. On the surface, a regime that isolates the individuals, while underground a whole city is condemned to crawl through tunnels. Yet the Mole who lives underground will climb up to fulfill his dreams and his dream is to dance. Slightly tongue in cheek, very peculiar, I love the lo fi nature of this strange movie, worth the chase of finding a copy.
227 The Cage fighter (2018)
A docufilm filled with hope and dreams sealed in a bitter capsule, Jeff Unay presents a very personal diary of a fighter trying to return to the cage despite his families wishes and old father time. Filed with all the blood sweat and tears of Rocky but with real difficult speeches from the family, tough at times but utterly rough gold.
226 Gerald’s Game (2017)
Based on a Stephen King story, this small scale suspense thriller, is told from two very distinct and strange points in a woman’s life, a troubled childhood point which changed her forever and the most frustrating and scary point in her life as an adult. Her husband Gerald tries to rekindle their relationship with a kinky sex same, after tying her up, he dies and she’s left handcuffed to a bed, while trying to free herself she starts to drift in and out of her own psyche. It’s such a simple set up but with amazing results, a slow burner that comes together and introduces a totally bizarre gentle giant, the Moonlight Man.
225 La piel fria / Cold Skin (2017)
A Lovecraftian style horror starring David Oaks and Ray Stevenson. When an arctic observation post is found unmanned a new expert has to take over the remote post on a desolate island, on his first night he discovers why the island is bare when he encounters a race of being from the deep ocean. Teaming up with a fellow lighthouse keeper they battle each night against hordes of creatures while his curiosity is peaked to investigate and learn more about them. It’s a layered horror, with a mix of drama, steampunk and battles both on mass and one on one, while the underwater scenes are well crafted and dreamy, an unexpected pearl from Xavier Gens with Steampunk aesthetics.
Summarised version of the 5 hour mini series was condensed down to 1 165m movie, which is how I was introduced to the whole shebang. An epic movie, starring Édgar Ramírez as the gangster No.1 is a violent and detailed history of one crazy man and the calamity that he caused worldwide. It’s pretty detailed and fairly accurate, but it had a perfect atmosphere of it’s era, something between Munich and Zodiac.
223 Leatherface (2017)
A bloody and violent origin story of Leatherface, co starring Stephen Dorff as the officer on the hunt for the teenage future killer. A off key follow up the iconic series which is loathed by a lot of horror fans but for me this step in a different direction is exactly the breath of fresh air that this somewhat stale series needed. Co directed by Alexndre Bustillo the French edge is apparent in the American landscape but the tones are very gory and more psychologically sinister than the average horror.
222 It Stains the Sands Red (2016)
Possibly my favourite zombie movie of the decade for its rare approach of having very few zombies and a unlikely heroine. A Vegas stripper is attacked and then hounded by a lone random zombie as she treks through the desert with the hope of finding her daughter. Her solitary journey with her zombie admirer is strangely comic and yet really engrossing. A very unusual set up, layered on an awesome desert soundtrack, it’s like a walking road movie with so much character.
221 An Incident In Ghostland (2018)
A mix of all the horror house movies blended into one gothic style thriller when a family move into a relatives house they are attacked before they can unpack but the nightmare has only just begun, a mix of psycho, Texas Chainsaw and with a guest appearance from HP Lovecraft there’s so much to live about this rabbit hole of a movie.
220 The Guest (2014)
A soldier introduces himself to the Peterson family, claiming to be a friend of their son who died in action. After the young man is welcomed into their home, a series of accidental deaths seem to be connected to his presence. Probably the movie which cemented Dan Stevens in the hot flicks list, a crazy action movie that jumps around from wow to wtf and back again.
219 Let us Prey (2013)
A mysterious stranger in a remote police station takes over the minds and souls of everyone.After a random stranger (Liam Cunningham) is picked up by a rookie cop (Pollyanna McIntosh) his presence starts a chain reaction of violence through the night, The small Scottish town has something incredibly dark and ancient going on. The retro feel of this blood stained drama is perfect, so well crafted, great acting and a versatile story bringing a lot of qualities and symbolism going on.
218 Burning Shadow (2018)
A dreamy nightmare which sees a young man risk it all for the love of a girl for sale. A risky deal with a secretive barman and a doppelganger encounter are all facets of this strange out of place drama.
A dark retelling of Edgar Allen Poe’s unfinished story, originally based on a few diary entries the story ends on day three, but Robert Eggers picks up and takes it on a wild ride of tentacles, mermaids, blood, mistrust and ancient Gods, A masterful retelling that confuses reality and passion in a most profound way.
A strange road movie centering on two teenage boys, one is in exile as his parents are dealing with first world problems, young Maik becomes friends with an enigmatic Russian kid who starts at his school, the two end up on the road, making friends and discovering what life is all about. It’s fun, there’s lots of comedic moments but it has a few strong messages about finding yourself once you lose yourself.
A girl is caught between the life that took her brother and her own inability to strike out on her own. In her grief, she finds solace in the dark music of Black Metal and dreams of becoming a rock star. Really emotive movie, and if you’ve seen any other Icelandic movies you’ll recognise someone, great to see metal being reviewed in a positive light.
Two high school girls, the short and exceptionally quick to anger Popuko, and the tall and much more calm Pipimi, do insane things and swear like sailors in this absurdist comedy filled with references and meta humor. There’s not much to the Pop Team apart from the fact that they are cute, aware that their comic strip is shit and are nearly as adorable as me.
Upon returning from a hunting expedition, King Louis XIV feels a sharp pain in his leg. He begins to die, surrounded by loyal followers in the royal chambers. Another of Albert Serra’s’ instant classics, with some long shots, and a slow decline of an historic figure, opulent and a delight to fully submerge yourself in.
A group of students decide to investigate a series of strange videos originating from the darkest corners of the internet. When the friends discover an ancient curse, they unwittingly unleash a terrifying demonic force. This is a tour de force in the realms of Found Footage, once it gets going it never slows down and has some great disturbing imagery.
211 En duva satt på en gren och funderade på tillvaron / A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (2014)
Roy Anderson evokes a feeling of home and nostalgia in this surreal drama which sees Sam and Jonathan, a pair of hapless novelty salesman, embark on a tour of the human condition in reality and fantasy that unfold in a series of absurdist episodes. Bold imagery and s unique stage set up allows two scenes to run in each frame, stunning work.
A man and woman both seeking a sort of refuge from the world, accidentally collide and form a strong friendship against all odds. A film that gets lost in its own Eden like landscape, with minimal dialogue but so much strength is displayed through some on point acting, it’s hard not to fall in love with it, from Turkish Director Pelin Esmer.
Already back with Peter Strickland with another masterpiece that stars Toby Jones as an Englishman is hired to create sound effects for a Giallo styled horror film studio in 1970s Rome, but the job ends up taking a heavy toll on his mental health. There’s a huge language divide which Toby attempts to overcome but during his limited time and understanding he slowly works out dark undercurrents at the studio but diving in so deep to the unknown project it seems to leech through via sound alone, changing the world around him, dark and disturbing in the best possible way.
A young Clerk and wannabe writer is suffering from a mediocre career and crippling seizures, but when a local investigator witnesses one of these episodes, he realises that Nikolay Gogol’s visions contain clues to real crimes, and the duo head out to track killers, a beautifully crafted period fantasy piece that sparked a trilogy of movies, there are 8 books in total and I can only hope that this carries on. Much like Wolfhound it has a touch of everything.
Fact based drama based on the law flouting Bondurant Brothers: bootlegging siblings who made a run for the American Dream in Prohibition-era, starring some big named including Tom Hardy and Guy Pearce, among many others as a clash between righter and wronger opens up a huge rift in rural America, Bloody, tense, compelling and yet intimate enough to touch the heart, John Hillcoat’s superb novel adaptation.
A hotel owner and landlord in a remote Turkish village deals with conflicts within his family and a tenant behind on his rent. A proud man who writes a local column while living with a young wife has trouble dealing with any form of change or progression. A long drama but worth every difficult second and painful confrontation.
205 Mandy (2018)
If Beyond the Black Rainbow was Panos Cosmastos’s electro film, this is his Metal installment. A star studded cast and dazzling rainbow effects with the addition of Heavy Metal Comic/Movie style animations spliced between, the ultimate Hard Rock fantasy battle enrages when Mandy is spotted by Children Of the New Dawn’s prophet like lead singer. Once shit starts to go down, Nicolas Cage actually pulls out the stops and becomes a metal psycho hero and the movie gets bloody and weird, a blend of arthouse and grind house with lashings of grotesque, check out the extremely bad ass chainsaw battle at the end, even if it’s not your thing.
I’m a sucker for entertaining historical biopics and for me this one really stood out, not only are the portrayal of the main characters are really on point but there are only very few factual differences for the sake of good cinema, but nothing as obscure as Legend that fabricated throughout. Following the rivalry between Nicki Lauder and James Hunt, Daniel Bhrul and Chris Hemsworth managed to both really pull off some sterling performances Ron Howard’s thrilling character study.. Nicki Lauder is impressed and so am I.
203 The Patron Saints (2011)
A passionate documentary about a nursing home, lead by one of the younger disabled residents and his room mate, the audience have the opportunity to meet and recognise the golden years of some of the most vulnerable of society, some depressing and others strangely uplifting. A remarkable set of skills really allows for a documentary to be this powerful.
202 Baskin (2015)
Combing gory thrills with a heavy atmosphere and deliberate pacing this outstanding horror plays with traditional folklore and a newer style of found footage horror as a group of police officers accidentally enter the gates of hell the 5 man team stare into a netherworld of the grotesque mine wrenching horrors. From Can Evrenol this is the ultimate police raid to remember.
201 Perdizioni Mortali /Tulpa (2012)
Giallo revival movie with all the classic signs of greatness, leather gloved killer and blood to name a few, from Federico Zampaglione, a movie that centre on a business woman (Claudia Gerini) who frequents a mysterious nightclub for dangerous fun until a killer being targeting people from the club. It’s a stylish and unforgiving thriller with sexy danger at every turn.