In late ’09 I posted a tally of the 42 Best Films of the First Decade of the 21st Century. A little more than four months from now we’ll be at the halfway mark of the second decade — 2010 through 2014 or five years. Obviously I should wait until late December but here’s a temporary list of the best so far, and then I’ll update between Christmas and New Year’s Eve….fair enough? Doing a decade or half-decade sum-up requires harshness. You throw out everything except the real dead-to-rights bell-ringers. Every year people put certain films on their Ten-best lists because they feel they should (peer pressure, ad pressure, political correctness). Two or three years later those “should” choices go right out the window.
So far the 2010 to 2014 list includes 35 films. Some of these will have to get chopped by year’s end. The five best of the last four years and eight months (in this order & including not-yet–opened festival viewings): Tie between The Wolf of Wall Street and The Social Network, followed by Leviathan, Zero Dark Thirty, A Separation.
Best of 2010 (in this order): The Social Network, The Fighter, Black Swan, Inside Job, Let Me In, A Prophet, Animal Kingdom, Rabbit Hole, The Tillman Story, Winter’s Bone (10). Best of 2011 (ditto): A Separation, Moneyball, Drive, Contagion, X-Men: First Class, Attack the Block (6). Best of 2012: Zero Dark Thirty, Amour, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Barbara, The Grey, Moonrise Kingdom (6). Best of 2013: The Wolf of Wall Street, 12 Years A Slave, Inside Llewyn Davis, Her, Dallas Buyers Club, Before Midnight, The Past, Frances Ha (8). Best of 2014: Leviathan, Locke, Wild Tales, Ida, The Grand Budapest Hotel (5).
42 Best of the First Decade (’00 to ’09): Zodiac, Memento, Traffic, Amores perros, United 93, Children of Men, Adaptation, City of God, The Pianist, The Lives of Others, Sexy Beast, Avatar, There Will Be Blood, Michael Clayton, Almost Famous (the “Untitled” DVD director’s cut), 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, Collateral, Dancer in the Dark, A Serious Man, Girlfight, The Departed, Babel, Ghost World, In the Bedroom, Talk to Her, Bloody Sunday, No Country For Old Men, The Quiet American, Whale Rider, Road to Perdition, Open Range, Touching the Void, Maria Full of Grace, Up In The Air, The Hurt Locker, Million Dollar Baby, The Motorcycle Diaries, An Education, Man on Wire, Revolutionary Road, Che and Volver.