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Best Of The Decade Pt. 1

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Amy & Paul kick off a new decade-spanning miniseries, where they'll pick their favorite films from each year of the 2010s! This episode covers the years 2010-2012, and they'll advocate for knotty films from cinema's modern masters, a balls-to-the-wall cult comedy, and a nearly-forgotten Best Picture winner among many others.

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So what's everyone's 2 top choices for 2010, 2011, and 2012?

I will admit that these years were in the depths of my anti-movies phase, where I mainly just watched things I previously knew/liked (like Harry Potter or Coen Bros. etc.). So a lot of my knowledge of these years either came in watching stuff later, and there's still plenty of holes. That said, here's my ideas, am curious what you guys choose here.

2010

I think I'd probably agree with Amy and go with The Social Network, though looking at my ratings, it's probably my 6th or 7th favorite film of the year. But I think above all, it can be the one that's elevated to a thing like an AFI list.

My personal top-rated film of 2010 is Toy Story 3, though, and I think if they wanted to represent the series or Pixar with it, I'd be fine with that, but I do think it's odd to pick the middle film of a series, so I'm not picking that. But out of the other things that I like and wouldn't mind elevating, I'd lean to either Never Let Me Go (though unsure if it's because I like the book) or Black Swan.

2011

Whoa, looking at my rankings for 2011, I have not seen much that's worth noting. (I've mostly just rated HDTGM movies haha.) When Amy picked Young Adult, I was like, it's good but, AFI good? And I have it as my 3rd fave film of the year. ūüėē¬†Still don't think it's AFI good though. And looking across some of the 2011 films in general that I haven't seen, very few of them stand out to me.

My personal best-rated films are Yelling To The Sky and Scorsese's George Harrison documentary; neither of which I'd pick for this.

So I think my choice is going to be Bridesmaids too, and maybe Drive (but I'd like to watch that again before saying definitively). I basically have to punt this year for need of more exploration. Give me suggestions please!

2012

So my fave film of 2012 is definitely Moonrise Kingdom, but again it's maybe my 5th fave Wes Anderson and wouldn't choose it for this purpose to rep him or the year. There were some good blockbusters (The Avengers, Dark Knight Rises, and Skyfall), even big things like Lincoln.

I think though I'm leaning to picking Frances Ha to represent mumblecore first, and on the other side of that spectrum, I'll go with one of the big mainstream ones: Lincoln. I remember going to see Lincoln right after the 2012 election, for which I'd spent like 13 months working for the Obama campaign and the movie really felt right to come out then. I'm hardly a huge Spielberg guy, but this one I loved.

tl;dr

my choices

2010: Toy Story 3, Never Let Me Go

2011: Bridesmaids, Drive

2012: Frances Ha, Lincoln

 

 

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2 hours ago, AlmostAGhost said:

Give me suggestions please!

My Top 20 for 2011 (some are not American, of course):

1. Drive (Nicolas Windig Refn)
2. Melancholia (Lars Von Trier)
3. The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick)
4. A Separation (Asghar Farhadi)
5. Bridesmaids (Paul Feig)
6. Margaret (Kenneth Lonergan)
7. Bernie (Richard Linklater)
8. 50/50 (Jonathan Levine)
9. Cabin in the Woods (Drew Goddard)
10. The Skin I Live In (Pedro Almodovar)
11. Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen)
12. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (David Fincher)
13. A Dangerous Method (David Cronenberg)
14. The Descendants (Alexander Payne)
15. The Guard (John Michael McDonagh)
16. From Up On Poppy Hill (Goro Miyazaki)
17. Attack the Block (Joe Cornish)
18. Captain America: The First Avenger (Joe Johnston)
19. The Future (Miranda July)
20. Moneyball (Bennett Miller)

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I like THE SOCIAL NETWORK a lot, not to mention WINTER'S BONE and TOY STORY 3.  But my top movie for 2010 has to be BLUE VALENTINE -- and NOT just because I'm one of the executive producers of the film.  The fact is, I genuinely believe it's a great movie, even though it's unanimously agreed to be the worst date movie of all time.  And I can testify that it's had a real impact on the zeitgeist.  I teach in the graduate film school at Columbia, where I'm now used to the fact that my students haven't even heard of most of the movies I've worked on, including films like THE CRYING GAME that did very well at the time.  But they've ALL seen BLUE VALENTINE.  It's just become one of those seminal films that keeps bobbing to the top of the cultural current, while other movies sink.

For 2011, my pick is a movie that neither Paul nor Amy mentioned:  Richard Linklater's BERNIE.  It's a unique hybrid of drama and documentary, with career-best performances by Jack Black and Shirley MacLaine, and a wonderful turn by Matthew McConaughey.  Unlike most hybrid films, it's also really funny.  I'm a big fan of BOYHOOD and other Linklater movies, but this one might be my favorite.  My 2011 runner-up would be J.C. Chandor's MARGIN CALL, which nailed the US financial crisis four years before THE BIG SHORT came out.

In 2012, I'm with Amy on DJANGO UNCHAINED -- but I have to echo AlmostAGhost in his celebration of MOONRISE KINGDOM.  Not only is it Wes Anderson's single strongest film, but it's also my daughter Maude's favorite movie of all time.  She's seen it well upwards of 10 times, and it just keeps getting better.  2012 is also the year of Benh Zeitlin's astonishing BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, which is unlike any other movie ever made.

Moving forward in the decade, 2013 was an epic year for movies -- probably the best single year since 1999.  Four of those films actually tell versions of the same story, at least metaphorically.  I think 12 YEARS A SLAVE, ALL IS LOST, CAPTAIN PHILLIPS, and GRAVITY are all really about the dilemma of the filmmaker as an artist, cast adrift and/or imprisoned by the unfeeling system of commerce.  (I asked J.C. Chandor directly if that was in the back of his mind while making ALL IS LOST, and he readily agreed that it was.  I wonder if Steve McQueen, Paul Greengrass, and Alfonso Cuaron would say the same.)  They're all great movies, but this is one year that the Academy Awards really got it right.  12 YEARS A SLAVE is a flat-out masterpiece, and my Movie of the Decade.  Much as I love DJANGO UNCHAINED, I think McQueen's movie is the most incisive and uncompromising film ever made about slavery in America.  My runner-up for 2013 (over such formidable contenders as the other three isolated-artist films, AMERICAN HUSTLE, and INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS) has to be Spike Jonze's HER, which truly captured our doomed romance with technology in a way that feels more prescient with every year that passes.

2014 wasn't a cornucopia like 2013, but it still had some worthy films, including WHIPLASH, WILD, a little-seen gem by Eliza Hittman called IT FELT LIKE LOVE, and an even littler-seen gem by Shannon Plumb called TOWHEADS.  My film of the year would be Richard Linklater's recklessly brilliant BOYHOOD ... if Amy and Paul didn't frown on double-dipping directors.  But since I've already picked a Linklater, I'll have to go with Ana Lily Amirpour's feminist Muslim noir vampire flick, A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT.  Set in Iran, but entirely shot in California (in lustrous black-and-white), Amirpour's debut crashes through genre boundaries as if they had never existed.

For 2015, I'll jump on the Paul Scheer bandwagon, and pay tribute to a great American comedy:  Paul Feig's SPY.  There is simply nothing wrong with this movie; it has big laughs, a beautifully constructed story, deft action sequences, and a peerless central performance by the great Melissa McCarthy.  My runners-up would be INSIDE OUT (the best Pixar movie to date), ROOM, the underseen BEASTS OF NO NATION, and the criminally underseen ANOMALISA -- but I hope Paul joins me in honoring SPY.

2016 is a toss-up between two remarkable films:  Barry Jenkins' MOONLIGHT, which deservedly won the Oscar; and Denis Villeneuve's ARRIVAL, the single smartest science fiction movie since 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY.  I love both of these movies without reservation, and can't choose between them.

By contrast, 2017 is a slam dunk.  Jordan Peele's GET OUT is the movie of that year, and it's certainly in my top five for Movie of the Decade.  Most films have a hard time getting even one genre right.  By contrast, GET OUT is simultaneously a great horror movie, a great satirical comedy, and a great movie about race in America.  I teach the film every year at Columbia, and every time I see it I'm knocked out all over again by its savage intelligence and formal control.  2017 also brought us LADY BIRD, the bizarre gem A GHOST STORY, and two Marvel movies that are unquestionably works of cinema, whatever Martin Scorsese thinks: LOGAN and THOR: RAGNAROK.  But GET OUT so dominates the year for me that I actually had to look up which movie won Best Picture instead.  (It was THE SHAPE OF WATER.  Simply not in the same league.)

2018 was NOT a great year for movies, sad to say.  I did love Josephine Decker's remarkable MADELINE'S MADELINE, as well as the film I was rooting for at last year's Oscars, Alfonso Cuaron's ROMA.  (For our purposes, ROMA might count as a Mexican movie, even though the money came from US companies Netflix and Participant; similarly, Yorgos Lanthimos' THE FAVOURITE just doesn't count as an American film.)  But the movie of the year was another exploder of categories -- an animated movie, a Marvel movie, and part of a long-running franchise.  I'm talking, of course, about SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE.  If you haven't watched it, stop what you're doing and watch it right now.  If you have watched it, I bet you're already thinking about watching it again.  Movie of the year, hands down.

As for 2019, things are looking up.  I'm curious to hear Amy and Paul's picks, not to mention yours!

 

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I'll have to look at my list of what I chose for my top 10 of the decade (close to being decided, though I won't be getting to most 2019 movies until 2020), but of the three years, I noticed my choice for the movie of the decade, The Act of Killing, is listed as 2012, though I think of it as a 2013 film since that's when it became more widely available in the US. (It looks like 2012 is making up a disproportionately large part of my list).

Unsurprisingly, I'll be more focused on "best of the decade" rather than "afi list", but I'll point out that both The Act of Killing and Melancholia (which other people are listing) are from Denmark, so neither should be eligible for the list - for those who are more interested in that angle.

(Admittedly, I'm bad at keeping up with recent movies, so my list is looking more US/UK-centric than I would like, but it is what it is).

IDK, when I'll get a chance to write up my picks for these years.  I've got a thing this weekend and my weeknights are full.

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14 hours ago, sycasey 2.0 said:

2011: Drive, Melancholia

I now realize that Melancholia may not be eligible, since it's an entirely European production (with some American actors). So my replacement would be The Tree of Life.

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2010

I'd probably have to nominate Social Network but it's definitely not my favorite. I think it certainly defines the decade more than any other movie. Blue Valentine would be a close runner up. 

My favorites from 2010 would be either True Grit, Scott Pilgrim, or Tron Legacy which is also a great use of 3D.

2011

This is tougher to narrow down to a nominee or two. Fast Five and Young Adult are both great. I also really liked Pariah, Drive and Higher Ground. I'd be fine with any of these getting more recognition.

2012

There's nothing from 2012 I'd honestly love to see on a list of best movies. I love Silver Linings Playbook, End of Watch, Spring Breakers, Dredd, Stories We Tell, but I don't think any of them do anything vital to cinema that aren't done well by other American movies.

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I wanted to point out an observation that Paul and Amy have missed twice; that the film "The Social Network" can easily be viewed as a modern-day updating of "Citizen Kane". Both are the story of how an ambitious entrepreneur's drive for wealth and success can't fill the deep seated  void of loneliness he feels at his core.

I enjoyed Paul commenting on how fraught the biopic genre is, and how "the Social Network", as with all "true story" movies, is blemished by the looming question of what degree has it stylized the truth to. This helps to highlight part of what is so great about "Kane". Namely, that Orson Welles chose to Make his lead character a proxy stand-in for William Randolph Hearst, and not Hearst himself. This freed him up to indulge in more hyperbole and speculation, and though Hearst still wasn't very happy about it, this has perhaps helped the film be embraced as a classic in a way that most biopics are not.

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15 minutes ago, alexkirtoon said:

I enjoyed Paul commenting on how fraught the biopic genre is, and how "the Social Network", as with all "true story" movies, is blemished by the looming question of what degree has it stylized the truth to. This helps to highlight part of what is so great about "Kane". Namely, that Orson Welles chose to Make his lead character a proxy stand-in for William Randolph Hearst, and not Hearst himself. This freed him up to indulge in more hyperbole and speculation, and though Hearst still wasn't very happy about it, this has perhaps helped the film be embraced as a classic in a way that most biopics are not.

It's an interesting point, but then again William Shakespeare wrote some history plays (basically the biopics of his day) that are definitely not historically accurate but are still great works. And yes, Shakespeare definitely knew they weren't accurate -- he wrote them that way so the current royal family would remain happy with him. I think that given enough time the historical accuracy doesn't matter that much.

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1 hour ago, alexkirtoon said:

 enjoyed Paul commenting on how fraught the biopic genre is, and how "the Social Network", as with all "true story" movies, is blemished by the looming question of what degree has it stylized the truth to. This helps to highlight part of what is so great about "Kane". Namely, that Orson Welles chose to Make his lead character a proxy stand-in for William Randolph Hearst, and not Hearst himself. This freed him up to indulge in more hyperbole and speculation, and though Hearst still wasn't very happy about it, this has perhaps helped the film be embraced as a classic in a way that most biopics are not.

It's written by Aaron Sorkin. I have absolute faith that he did not adhere to the truth whenever he felt it would get in the way of the story he wanted to tell.

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Does anyone else think the films in this decade are far inferior to the films of the previous decade?  I remember in June 2017 when Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott of the New York Times published their list of the top 25 films of the 21st century so far, they had a pretty even split between years, but my personal top 25 had 21 films from 2000-2009 and only 4 films from 2010-2017.  Maybe it's a lack of mid-budget original films getting made, as many filmmakers would claim.  Maybe it's not an issue of quality and it's more an issue of how being a decade older has changed the way I perceive and interact with culture.

And to that end, although I enjoyed this episode of the podcast, I'm of the mind that 2011 and 2012 were terrible years for movies, and that 2010 looks overrated now with the benefit of hindsight.  The 2011 Oscar Best Picture nominees are so bad, they almost made people second guess expanding the number of nominees.  Of those, I enjoyed Hugo and Midnight in Paris, but I'd hardly go out on a limb to stump for either.  Yeah, I know some people love The Tree of Life (beautifully shot, but left me empty and bored), or Moneyball (meh, Billy Beane never made a World Series; come at me), or War Horse (it's weird how much some people love horses).  And while I don't hate The Artist, I have to imagine it was left off the AFI list because it doesn't qualify as an American film (not that I'd vote for it on the list anyway).  And of the non-Oscar-lauded films, I see the love for Drive, but I found it all style and far too little substance.  I still haven't seen Bernie and Young Adult, but the support for those makes me want to check them out.  If I'm being honest, I'm not inclined to float anything from 2011 for inclusion on the AFI list, but if I must, it sort of has to be Bridesmaids, for all the reasons mentioned here and on the podcast.

2012 is better, but Argo winning Best Picture still leaves it with a bad taste in my mouth.  Of the 10 films picked by the AFI in 2012, I think Moonrise Kingdom is great, but not the Wes Anderson I'd most support for inclusion.  I enjoyed Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook and Beasts of the Southern Wild, but not passionately enough to push for them.  I did, however, really love what Kathryn Bigelow did with Zero Dark Thirty, controversies and all.  Besides the AFI top 10 and Best Picture nominees, I loved The Master (which should have been both on the AFI top 10 and a Best Picture nominee), but it wouldn't be my top PTA pick, even of this decade.  Similarly, Skyfall was great, but I'm not sure Bond movies qualify for the list, and it'd be hard to pick this one as the representative even if they did.  I don't think they mentioned The Avengers on this episode, and while the quality of that film has been wildly debated, it's undeniable that its success has changed the entire film industry.  So my nominees, if I had to pick any, would be Zero Dark Thirty for its quality and The Avengers for its impact, though I also like AlmostAGhost's endorsement of Frances Ha as being a mumblecore rep.

And then let me circle back to 2010, a traditionally celebrated year in cinema.  The AFI top 10 are exactly the 10 Best Picture nominees, except with The Town replacing The King's Speech which apparently was judged to not be an American film.  The lineup looked great at the time, with Fincher, Aronofsky, Russell, Nolan, and the Coens all putting up serious films.  But in retrospect, the films by Russell, Nolan, and the Coens were nowhere near their best.  Now, Black Swan is actually my favorite Aronofsky film, so I was happy to hear Paul speak in favor of it.  But The Social Network is hard for me to get behind, for a couple of reasons.  The biggest reason is just my absolute fatigue with Aaron Sorkin.  The overwhelming sameness of the dialogue in his scripts is tiresome to me, as is his tendency to insert himself into all his recent screenplays.  Mark Zuckerberg doesn't speak in The Social Network with Mark Zuckerberg's voice, but with Aaron Sorkin's.  So I might not love this film even if it were a story about a fictional stand-in for Zuckerberg.  But then in addition, it bugs me that this has become scripture in a lot of people's eyes on who Zuckerberg is.  The reality is that Sorkin's version of Zuckerberg is nothing like the real Zuckerberg, on both sides of the spectrum.  It goes too hard on him by portraying him as a love-sick loser when in reality he was in a committed relationship (albeit with some STEM-dude weirdness, which, speaking as a STEM dude, is not atypical).  But more than that, it goes way too easy on him in a few ways.  It portrays him as a Randian genius who deserves all the money he made, and it decries those who seek to get their hands on what is rightfully his, as well as the system that allows it.  It portrays him as someone whose motivations were sympathetic, as his company sought to connect people, as he personally had troubling connecting with people.  It portrays him as someone not fueled by greed, but someone manipulated into it by Sean Parker, to whom he wanted to seem cool.  I mean, it's such a sympathetic view of Zuckerberg that he screened it for Facebook employees when it came out.  So despite it being an extremely well-made film, I reject the notion that it's important or timely or representative of the decade.  At any rate, my 2010 nominee would be Scott Pilgrim vs. the World because it's super fucking rad.  Also, Easy A still holds up really well.

I'm looking forward to hearing the episodes to come though, because I think 2013-2016 are all considerably better years.

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@bleary

While I agree I liked 2000-2009 more, and I I'd have to go over my list more, but 2010 and 2011 looked weak (I'm not aware of people saying 2010 was a good year for film.  I want to say 2013 or 2014 was the year people talked a hour of really good films).

Wrt The Master, while one might prefer, say The Phantom Thread, or wouldn't put it on an all time great list because you might choose, say, There Will be Blood, if you think it's one of PTA's greats (admittedly, I'd currently place it behind only TWbB, so I probably like it more), that still means it's a great movie, and contributes to the riches in a given year.

Based off of what my notes for the decade's best, and cross-referencing some things I saw, re-looking, this is what I saw for 2012 (note: like I said, I think of The Act of Killing as 2013, so it's inflating 2012 due to its original release date):

(I guess this is relevant for @AlmostAGhost as well)

2012
Making my best of decade list
The Act of Killing
The Master
It's Such a Beautiful Day
--- 
Might make my best of decade list
Berberian Sound Studio
--
Not making my best of decade list, but were really awesome and contributed to a great year)
Amour
Frances, Ha
Leviathan (experimental, fishing boat documentary)
Holy Motors (don't know if it was great, but was entertainingly odd)
-----
Solidly good and enjoyable
Cosmopolis
56 & Up
Moonrise Kingdom
 

The one thing sticking out for me for 2010 not mentioned yet is Greenberg, though your mileage on that depends on how you feel about peek-jerk Baumbach.

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Looking at my letterboxd entries, some movies of note (some filtered out because they've already been mentioned)

2010

(It looks like I haven't seen that many movies from 2010)

Meek's Cutoff

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

Certified Copy

Poetry

Winter's Bone

Greenberg (which I particularly love)

The first four are all legitimately solid films of dramatic or artistic note (in the dramatic sense, if that makes sense).

Winter's Bone was a really well made neo-noir.

Greenberg, I already mentioned. I just like movies about unlikable people being unlikable in a way that seems painfully true to life (and being unforgiving)

 

2011

The Big Serious Movies:

Melancholia (I think this is the Lars von Trier movie, of the ones that I've seen that works best for me. Dogville also maybe. )

Tree of Life (which I didn't jive with mentally, but that might have just been my mental state while viewing)

The Turin Horse (which might be too minimalist, dialogue-wise, for some people, but all that wind was pretty audacious)

A Separation (which I thought was good. I think other people at the time liked it more than me. Granted, I don't live in Iran, so the should I stay or should I go dilemma wasn't as pronounced. Maybe it'll become more relevant for the US in the years to come).

Contagion (outbreak procedural from Soderberg who always does good movies for me, but never best movies of the year for me)

(Out of those, the two I could see myself revisiting are Melancholia and The Turin Horse)

--------

Fun or good genre movies from 2011

Cabin in the Woods

Kill List

Manborg (you can watch the trailer for this and get an idea of what this one is like. It is goofy.)

Killer Joe (Friedkin has a late career mini-resurgence. Just don't expect The Exorcist or The French Connection here. This is a small movie).

-----

Smaller indie films

Take Shelter

Martha Marcy May Marlene

The Color Wheel

And I wrote down Alps, but like The Killing of Sacred Deer, was a Lanthimous film I didn't really connect to.

So, 2010 looks like the more ambitious movies turned out better for me, but the surrounding movies of 2011 were more successful. Though the two big ones from 2011 (Melancholia and The Turin Horse) were comparably very memorable in terms of experience.

 

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On 12/6/2019 at 7:00 PM, bleary said:

Does anyone else think the films in this decade are far inferior to the films of the previous decade? 

Not really, no. I'd put my top films from each of these years against those of any other year. If we're talking about the Oscar nominees, then I would say 2011 is weaker than the other two.

(And in terms of "weak years," I'm not sure any of these are weaker than 2005.)

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2 hours ago, sycasey 2.0 said:

Not really, no. I'd put my top films from each of these years against those of any other year. If we're talking about the Oscar nominees, then I would say 2011 is weaker than the other two.

(And in terms of "weak years," I'm not sure any of these are weaker than 2005.)

I'll agree that the 2011 Oscar nominees (in 2012) are particularly terrible, but I will pick 2011 as a year I like more than 2010 and 2012.

For me, 2011 has Fast Five, Oslo 31 Aug, Take This Waltz, The Muppets, The Raid, Another Earth, Pariah, Drive, Shame, A Separation, Higher Ground, Young Adult, Attack The Block, Weekend, Winnie The Pooh, Tyrannosaur, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Source Code, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes.

Obviously, the Oscars aren't going to pick or even consider some stuff I named for big awards. That's a whole different discussion on how/why the Oscars make bad decisions. But looking through my Letterboxd, 2012 is definitely my favorite of the years we're covering here. 

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On 12/8/2019 at 10:52 AM, sycasey 2.0 said:

Not really, no. I'd put my top films from each of these years against those of any other year. If we're talking about the Oscar nominees, then I would say 2011 is weaker than the other two.

(And in terms of "weak years," I'm not sure any of these are weaker than 2005.)

It does raise the question of how one thinks of years being strong in the context being a decade.

If a year had a single film that one might consider a masterpiece level, but was pretty shallow in depth of good movies (eg a handful of so-so to decent movies), vs, no movie you'd definitely put on a best of decade list, but has lots what of you'd consider "solid to really, really good movies," which one would you think of as being stronger?

In terms of Bleary's question about the two decades, for the 2000's my mind immediately rattled off Mulholland Drive, Inland Empire, There Will be Blood, No Country for Old Men, A Serious Man, In the Mood for Love. Those are some heavy hitters off the top of my head. A couple I'd consider for all time bests. (I didn't look at how any of those years stacked up in terms of everything else that came out in them).

The 2010's so far, it's been The Master, Inside Llewyn Davis, The Act of Killing/The Look of Silence, (and then throw in Inherent Vice and The Phantom Thread to emphasize that I think a solid case could be made that PTA was better this decade than last, even if I think TWbB was his best), but then after that, there are movies that I really liked and stuck with me, but I wouldn't consider for a top 10 of all time best movies (in terms of say, a BFI poll).

(Of course, reflecting personal biases of tastes in films).

The Act of Killing/The Look of Silence do seem to stand out in its own mental state in terms of evaluation because I think it was a lightning in a bottle type of situation for a documentary. 

One thing I think we definitely *did* get this decade was a rise of high brow/arthouse slow-burn, cerebral horror (lots of it coming from A-24).

*Looks at 2005*

The Squid and the Whale

*Looks at 2005 again, including movies I haven't seen*

Cache

Three Times

And after that....

Sheesh. Yeah, there are some good/potentially good ones there, but for an entire year, that looks like some slim pickings.

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I think 2005 has a few good movies

Brokeback Mountain, Brick, Grizzly Man, Cache, The Proposition, The New World, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, A History Of Violence, L'enfant, Capote, The Descent, Munich, 49 Up

I think it's biggest fault is nothing Is really put up as truly great except Brokeback Mountain but there's still plenty of good stuff there.

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15 hours ago, grudlian. said:

I think 2005 has a few good movies

Brokeback Mountain, Brick, Grizzly Man, Cache, The Proposition, The New World, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, A History Of Violence, L'enfant, Capote, The Descent, Munich, 49 Up

I think it's biggest fault is nothing Is really put up as truly great except Brokeback Mountain but there's still plenty of good stuff there.

Yeah, every year has good movies. But in terms of strong contenders for Best Picture or the AFI list, basically only one.

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28 minutes ago, sycasey 2.0 said:

Yeah, every year has good movies. But in terms of strong contenders for Best Picture or the AFI list, basically only one.

I think Brokeback Mountain, The New World, Munich and Capote are all the kind of movies the AFI seriously considers to be contenders. The AFI is a bit heavy on melodramatic dramas (that aren't true melodramas in my mind). So, I'd see any of those being in their short list for voters. If they were making a list right now, I could see them putting on Good Night and Good Luck as a political response. Of all those, I'd only want to seriously put up Brokeback Mountain and The New World.

And yet, I wouldn't be surprised to see Crash make their list.

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23 hours ago, ol' eddy wrecks said:

In terms of Bleary's question about the two decades, for the 2000's my mind immediately rattled off Mulholland Drive, Inland Empire, There Will be Blood, No Country for Old Men, A Serious Man, In the Mood for Love. Those are some heavy hitters off the top of my head. A couple I'd consider for all time bests. (I didn't look at how any of those years stacked up in terms of everything else that came out in them).ÔĽŅ

The 2010's so far, it's been The Master, Inside Llewyn Davis, The Act of Killing/The Look of Silence, (and then throw in Inherent Vice and The Phantom Thread to emphasize that I think a solid case could be made that PTA was better this decade than last, even if I think TWbB was his best), but then after that, there are movies that I really liked and stuck with me, but I wouldn't consider for a top 10 of all time best movies (in terms of say, a BFI poll).

(Of course, reflecting personal biases of tastes in films).

This was my thought process, and you even nailed a few of the movies I was thinking about.  Mulholland Dr is my favorite film of the 21st century so far, so I very heavily feel the lack of David Lynch films in this decade.  Similarly but from the writing side, Charlie Kaufman wrote Adaptation., Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Synecdoche, New York in the 2000s, possibly all of which would land in my top 25 films of the century.  Now, when 2015 comes up for discussion, I'm going to ride hard for Anomalisa, but it's still tremendously disappointing that only one of his scripts got made in the 2010s.  So there's this category of filmmakers whose output just got completely shut off in the 2010s.  Next, there are filmmakers whose work just seemed to get precipitously worse from 2000s to 2010s.  I'm thinking of Cameron Crowe here, who started the century with Almost Famous and Vanilla Sky and has devolved into We Bought A Zoo and Aloha.  I'm thinking of Ang Lee, who went from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Brokeback Mountain to Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk and Gemini Man.  I'm thinking of Christopher Nolan, who made Memento and The Prestige in the 2000s, which I find leaps and bounds better than Inception and Interstellar (Dunkirk was solid, but I'm not sure I'd take it over either of his better two Batman movies, which were 2000s).  Then there are a lot of filmmakers who produced solid work in both decades, but for whatever reason, I'm just more drawn to the 2000s work.  For the Coens, I loved Inside Llewyn Davis, but the run they went on in the late 2000s with No Country For Old Men followed by Burn After Reading followed by A Serious Man is just insane.  For Fincher, I take Zodiac over The Social Network.  So that's where I'm at.  (The notables that I didn't mention like PTA or Wes Anderson were left out because I think their outputs across the two decades are roughly the same in quality.)

I won't wade into the 2005 vs 2011 debate except to say that I do slightly prefer 2005.

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19 minutes ago, bleary said:

This was my thought process, and you even nailed a few of the movies I was thinking about.  Mulholland Dr is my favorite film of the 21st century so far, so I very heavily feel the lack of David Lynch films in this decade.  Similarly but from the writing side, Charlie Kaufman wrote Adaptation., Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Synecdoche, New York in the 2000s, possibly all of which would land in my top 25 films of the century.  Now, when 2015 comes up for discussion, I'm going to ride hard for Anomalisa, but it's still tremendously disappointing that only one of his scripts got made in the 2010s.  So there's this category of filmmakers whose output just got completely shut off in the 2010s.  Next, there are filmmakers whose work just seemed to get precipitously worse from 2000s to 2010s.  I'm thinking of Cameron Crowe here, who started the century with Almost Famous and Vanilla Sky and has devolved into We Bought A Zoo and Aloha.  I'm thinking of Ang Lee, who went from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Brokeback Mountain to Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk and Gemini Man.  I'm thinking of Christopher Nolan, who made Memento and The Prestige in the 2000s, which I find leaps and bounds better than Inception and Interstellar (Dunkirk was solid, but I'm not sure I'd take it over either of his better two Batman movies, which were 2000s).  Then there are a lot of filmmakers who produced solid work in both decades, but for whatever reason, I'm just more drawn to the 2000s work.  For the Coens, I loved Inside Llewyn Davis, but the run they went on in the late 2000s with No Country For Old Men followed by Burn After Reading followed by A Serious Man is just insane.  For Fincher, I take Zodiac over The Social Network.  So that's where I'm at.  (The notables that I didn't mention like PTA or Wes Anderson were left out because I think their outputs across the two decades are roughly the same in quality.)

It's fairly common for artists coming off their peak years to produce lesser work as they get older. You don't think there are new filmmakers coming along who are also making exciting work, though? We just might not recognize who the great ones are yet, because we need to see more work from them.

I have to note that the Coens also released Intolerable Cruelty and The Ladykillers in the 00's, likely two of their worst efforts (in fact I would peg those as their two worst).

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1 minute ago, sycasey 2.0 said:

It's fairly common for artists coming off their peak years to produce lesser work as they get older. You don't think there are new filmmakers coming along who are also making exciting work, though? We just might not recognize who the great ones are yet, because we need to see more work from them.

Sure, I definitely do, but not particularly from 2010-2012.  We'll talk about Ryan Coogler and Steve McQueen in 2013, Ava DuVernay and Damien Chazelle in 2014, Sean Baker and Marielle Heller in 2015, Barry Jenkins in 2016, Greta Gerwig and Jordan Peele and Chloe Zhao in 2017, etc.  And I'll definitely be throwing support behind some of those films in later episodes.  But at the same time, in the context of 2000s vs 2010s, there are some people on this list that I love, but from whom I still think their best work is yet to come.  For example, I think Ava DuVernay is an incredible director, but I don't think she's made her masterpiece yet.  Ditto for Ryan Coogler and, to a lesser extent, Sean Baker (I don't think we'll be disappointed in the long run if we find out that Tangerine and The Florida Project were his masterpieces, but I'm still hoping for more on the horizon).

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2 minutes ago, bleary said:

Sure, I definitely do, but not particularly from 2010-2012.  We'll talk about Ryan Coogler and Steve McQueen in 2013, Ava DuVernay and Damien Chazelle in 2014, Sean Baker and Marielle Heller in 2015, Barry Jenkins in 2016, Greta Gerwig and Jordan Peele and Chloe Zhao in 2017, etc.  And I'll definitely be throwing support behind some of those films in later episodes.  But at the same time, in the context of 2000s vs 2010s, there are some people on this list that I love, but from whom I still think their best work is yet to come.  For example, I think Ava DuVernay is an incredible director, but I don't think she's made her masterpiece yet.  Ditto for Ryan Coogler and, to a lesser extent, Sean Baker (I don't think we'll be disappointed in the long run if we find out that Tangerine and The Florida Project were his masterpieces, but I'm still hoping for more on the horizon).

Ah, got it. Yes, fair enough.

I suppose in this stretch Refn would have been the new guy I was most excited about, but nothing else has excited me like Drive did.

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26 minutes ago, bleary said:

This was my thought process, and you even nailed a few of the movies I was thinking about.  Mulholland Dr is my favorite film of the 21st century so far, so I very heavily feel the lack of David Lynch films in this decade.  Similarly but from the writing side, Charlie Kaufman wrote Adaptation., Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Synecdoche, New York in the 2000s, possibly all of which would land in my top 25 films of the century.  Now, when 2015 comes up for discussion, I'm going to ride hard for Anomalisa, but it's still tremendously disappointing that only one of his scripts got made in the 2010s.  So there's this category of filmmakers whose output just got completely shut off in the 2010s.  Next, there are filmmakers whose work just seemed to get precipitously worse from 2000s to 2010s.  I'm thinking of Cameron Crowe here, who started the century with Almost Famous and Vanilla Sky and has devolved into We Bought A Zoo and Aloha.  I'm thinking of Ang Lee, who went from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Brokeback Mountain to Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk and Gemini Man.  I'm thinking of Christopher Nolan, who made Memento and The Prestige in the 2000s, which I find leaps and bounds better than Inception and Interstellar (Dunkirk was solid, but I'm not sure I'd take it over either of his better two Batman movies, which were 2000s).  Then there are a lot of filmmakers who produced solid work in both decades, but for whatever reason, I'm just more drawn to the 2000s work.  For the Coens, I loved Inside Llewyn Davis, but the run they went on in the late 2000s with No Country For Old Men followed by Burn After Reading followed by A Serious Man is just insane.  For Fincher, I take Zodiac over The Social Network.  So that's where I'm at.  (The notables that I didn't mention like PTA or Wes Anderson were left out because I think their outputs across the two decades are roughly the same in quality.)

I won't wade into the 2005 vs 2011 debate except to say that I do slightly prefer 2005.

I agree with a lot of what you're saying here.

For Lynch, whom I had a very strong love for, I can't say I'm missing his movies being made. I've seen a lot of his shorts this century and it seems like his work is getting increasingly inscrutable. The themes and ideas he explored in the 80s and 90s are gone (or I'm not picking them up in his work) and in their place are, well, I don't know.

Cameron Crowe, I've found, always makes a movie slightly worse than his last movie. At least the other directors you named have had ups and downs. Crowe just keeps going downhill for me.

For the most disappointing drop off 00s to 10s, I'm putting Peter Jackson up there. LOTR to Hobbit should be mostly equal in quality and oof, they are not. 

6 minutes ago, bleary said:

Sure, I definitely do, but not particularly from 2010-2012.  We'll talk about Ryan Coogler and Steve McQueen in 2013, Ava DuVernay and Damien Chazelle in 2014, Sean Baker and Marielle Heller in 2015, Barry Jenkins in 2016, Greta Gerwig and Jordan Peele and Chloe Zhao in 2017, etc.  And I'll definitely be throwing support behind some of those films in later episodes.  But at the same time, in the context of 2000s vs 2010s, there are some people on this list that I love, but from whom I still think their best work is yet to come.  For example, I think Ava DuVernay is an incredible director, but I don't think she's made her masterpiece yet.  Ditto for Ryan Coogler and, to a lesser extent, Sean Baker (I don't think we'll be disappointed in the long run if we find out that Tangerine and The Florida Project were his masterpieces, but I'm still hoping for more on the horizon).

With Ava DuVernay, I really hope she gets back to projects that feel more personal to her. I don't think Wrinkle In Time is terrible (and I place a lot of the blame on Disney), but I also don't want her to do big budget projects at the risk of losing her voice. Ryan Coogler was able to go from Fruitvale Station to bigger budget features and keep a voice of his own even in a Marvel movie (DuVernay was doing an adaptation which isn't the same thing but still, Coogler was doing franchise films). I just get worried seeing her potentially swallowed or steamrolled.

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