Greatest Films of the 2010s
Greatest Films of the 2010s

Greatest Films of the 2010s
2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019


Academy Awards for 2017 Films
Title Screen Film Genre(s), Title, Year, (Country), Length, Director, Description

Blade Runner 2049 (2017), 164 minutes, D: Denis Villeneuve
This sci-fi sequel set 30 years after Ridley Scott's earlier classic Blade Runner (1982) was a long-awaited addition to the franchise. In the story set in the year 2049, a Nexus-9 replicant LAPD 'blade runner' K (Ryan Gosling) was on the hunt for Sapper Morton (Dave Bautista), an older breed of rogue replicant, and was able to 'retire' (kill) him at a protein farm. He discovered a box buried in the ground (containing the remains of a female replicant who died during a caesarean section) and a date (6-10-21) (presumably the date of the child's birth) carved at the base of a dead tree trunk. His boss Lt. Joshi (Robin Wright) feared that if replicants could reproduce, it would mean trouble. He was sent on a new mission - to find the possible replicant child and kill it. The deceased female mother was identified as Rachael (designed by Dr. Tyrell from the previous film) who was romantically tied to former blade runner Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford). Meanwhile, super-strong replicant enforcer Luv (Sylvia Hoeks) was dispatched by powerful replicant maker CEO Niander Wallace (Jared Leto) to steal Rachael's remains and to follow K to Rachael's child. One of K's additional clues was his memory (implanted?) of a carved wooden toy horse, and he soon began to suspect that he was Rachael's child who was raised in a San Diego orphanage. Dr. Ana Stelline (Carla Juri) - a replicant memory designer/creator, confirmed K's suspicions, and tests at K's headquarters confirmed that he was a rogue replicant. The trail led to Deckard who was in hiding in the ruins of Las Vegas, where he admitted he was the father of Rachael's child. However, a spoiler twist in the solution of the puzzle revealed that Dr. Stelline was actually Rachael's child. In the conclusion, K fought off the efforts to interrogate and kill Deckard by Luv and Wallace, but was mortally-wounded during his valiant rescue efforts. After K was able to eliminate Luv before he died, Deckard was freed and he met his daughter for the first time, as the film ended.

Call Me By Your Name (2017, It./Fr./US), 132 minutes, D: Luca Guadagnino
This artsy coming-of-age romantic drama followed the development of a love relationship between two males, based upon a 2007 novel by André Aciman. In northern Italy in 1983, a romantic summer entanglement occurred between introspective, gifted, musically-talented 17-year-old Jewish-Italian Elio Perlman (Timothée Chalamet) and 24 year-old graduate student assistant Oliver (Armie Hammer), working with Elio's father (Michael Stuhlbarg) - an archaeology professor. The film followed the slow development of their forbidden love, and Elio's struggle (during his first real love experience) to deal with his strong, crazy and unexpected homosexual feelings. After they slept together for the first time, Oliver told Elio: "Call me by your name and I'll call you by mine."

Coco (2017), 105 minutes, D: Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina
Disney/Pixar's 19th computer-animated film, highlighted by an all-star Latino voice cast. In a colorful coming-of-age story inspired by the 'Day of the Dead' Mexican holiday, aspiring 12 year-old musician Miguel (voice of Anthony Gonzalez) was being brought up in a Mexican family of zapateros (shoemakers), who had for generations banned playing or listening to music. They reasoned that decades earlier, Miguel's great-great-grandfather left his great-great-grandmother Imelda (voice of Alanna Ubach) and their young daughter Coco (voice of Ana Ofelia Murguía) (Miguel's wheelchair-bound great-grandmother) to become a musician, and they were cursed. However, in secret, Miguel idolized deceased singer/actor Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt) from his hometown, and played a guitar. Magically somehow, on the 'Day of the Dead,' Miguel was accidentally transported to the Land of the Dead. There, he met deceased skeletal relatives and was told that the key to returning to the Land of the Living was to receive a dead ancestor's blessing. He sought after de la Cruz, whom he mistakenly believed was his great-great-grandfather. He was helped by Héctor (voice of Gael García Bernal), a trickster who encouraged Miguel to help him get back to the Land of the Living - and was revealed to be his actual deceased musician great-great-grandfather. Miguel returned to his family and reversed their ban on music, while Hector was able to see his daughter Coco once again.

Darkest Hour (2017, UK), 125 minutes, D: Joe Wright
This British historical war drama and biopic was set in May 1940, and followed the rise of Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman) during his early days as Prime Minister during WWII. It also detailed the War Cabinet Crisis, while Nazi Germany's Wehrmacht swept across Western Europe and threatened to defeat the United Kingdom. In scenes of political dialogue, debate and confrontation, the iconoclastic Churchill courageously stood steadfast against Hitler's forces, as in the sequence of his "Blood, toil, tears, and sweat" speech. He resisted the superior Axis forces to the end, and was opposed to others who recommended negotiation and appeasement policies, such as Neville Chamberlain (Ronald Pickup), toward the Nazis (his famous "We Shall Fight" speech - "We shall fight on the beaches"), even though the UK was vastly outnumbered and faced certain defeat and surrender.

Dunkirk (2017, UK), 106 minutes, D: Christopher Nolan
Based on a real-life incident during WWII, director Christopher Nolan's vividly-presented war drama (told in a tricky, time-bending fashion) chronicled one of the turning points of the war in 1940 when 300,000 Allied soldiers were surrounded and trapped on Dunkirk beach in France, and sought evacuation by land, sea, and air. The gripping, violent, and intense tale followed British soldiers who sought to find a way to cross the Channel back over to England, including one brave British private named Tommy (Fionn Whitehead). Civilian volunteers with their own boats ferried some soldiers across, while others hid inside an abandoned beached trawler while awaiting the tide to rise to carry them over. In one particular instance, civilian sailor Mr. Dawson (Mark Rylance) with his son Peter (Tom Glynn-Carney) on his boat Moonstone, rescued a shell-shocked downed fighter pilot from a wrecked ship. British spitfire aircraft valiantly attempted to defend the crossing. One fighter pilot named Farrier (Tom Hardy) flew across the Channel to Dunkirk, but then his fuel ran out just as an enemy plane attacked. He landed on the beach and was forced to set fire to his plane before being taken prisoner by the Germans. Also on the beach, Royal Navy Commander Bolton (Kenneth Branagh) was waiting on the dock to help in the evacuation of the French.

The Florida Project (2017), 111 minutes, D: Sean Baker
In this realistic drama, six-year-old Moonee (Brooklynn Prince) lived with her unemployed single mother Halley (Bria Vinaite) for $38/night in a cheap motel in Kissimmee, Florida, one of a number of Orlando-area motels close to Walt Disney World. Most of the residents in the Magic Castle Motel - purple in color, infested with bed-bugs and managed by protective and patient father figure Bobby Hicks (Willem Dafoe) - were unemployed, marginalized or working-class individuals who couldn't afford security deposits and were on the verge of homelessness. To avoid being considered full-time residents, the motel tenants had to vacate one night each month. The film followed the lives of a trio of mischievous, unsupervised kids (portrayed as "Little Rascals" from Our Gang) who were motel residents, including Moonee and her two main friends: downstairs neighbor Scooty (Christopher Rivera), and Jancey (Valeria Cotto) (in the next-door motel Futureland), who often found themselves involved in dangerous misadventures. Desperate for food and rent money after losing her job at a strip club, Halley began to prostitute herself, eventually leading to the DCF and the police taking Moonee away for foster care. The film ended with Moonee and Jancey running away to the Magic Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World.

Get Out (2017), 104 minutes, D. Jordan Peele
Director Peele's timely and extremely effective and violent horror-thriller was filled with twists and turns. The film's story centered around an inter-racial couple who had been dating for five months: talented black photographer Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and his attractive white girlfriend Rose Armitage (Allison Williams). During a visit at her parents' home in upstate rural NY with Rose's neurosurgeon father Dean (Bradley Whitford), hypnotherapist mother Missy (Catherine Keener), and Rose's brother Jeremy (Caleb Landry Jones), Chris began to notice strange anomalies that became more and more menacing, including the odd behavior of the family's black servants: housekeeper Georgina (Betty Gabriel) and groundskeeper Walter (Marcus Henderson). He was hypnotized to end his smoking addiction and put into a trance by Missy (with a stirring tea cup), and descended to a void known as the "Sunken Place." An unexpected group of privileged and wealthy white people arrived for an annual gathering and auction - including noted blind art gallery owner Jim Hudson (Stephen Root) who was particularly interested in Chris and his photography skills. After Chris discovered photos of Rose's prior relationships with black people, he alerted Rose but then realized that she was in on the conspiracy. Chris found himself about to be operated upon by Dean - to transfer his brain into the body of Jim Hudson, to provide him with his preferred physical characteristics and a perverted form of immortality.

A Ghost Story (2017), 92 minutes, D: David Lowery
This slow-moving, moody, sparse drama was not a horror story, but a melancholy poetic meditation with big ideas about time, life, love, permanence and the inevitability of death and loss. In the drawn-out supernatural tale set in Dallas, TX, a young nameless couple: musician husband C (Casey Affleck) and his wife M (Rooney Mara) lived in a small house, but were planning on moving. M had the strange habit of writing notes and hiding them in the walls of the house, so that she would leave a piece of herself behind. Tragically and suddenly, C was killed in a car crash in front of the house, but then his mute spirit-ghost (invisible to everyone, but represented as a white sheet with cut-out eyeholes) silently returned to linger at the house and view his grieving and mourning wife as she continued on with her life. She eventually moved out, but left a short note hidden in a gap in a wall. The ghost was unable to retrieve the note. The ghost (refusing to let go) stayed rooted there as time pressed on, with new tenants, new construction, and other time travel elements. The film questioned perceptions of time and the existential belief that life is a singular, linear experience.

I, Tonya (2017), 120 minutes, D: Craig Gillespie
A combination of genre and sub-genre elements composed the film - it was a biographical sports black comedy that was loosely based on real-life events. The bleak fact-based film detailed the rise and tabloid scandal-filled fall of figure skater Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie) and her connection to the 1994 attack on her rival Nancy Kerrigan (Caitlin Carver). During Harding's lower-class "white trash" childhood (a life of abandonment and struggle), she was serially abused by both her domineering, blunt, chain-smoking mother LaVona Golden (Allison Janney) and her boyfriend/husband Jeff Gillooly (Sebastian Stan), but she was able to overcome various obstacles (often class based) to become a world-class figure skater. Then, while training for the 1994 Winter Olympics, an attack occurred against Harding's chief skating rival Nancy Kerrigan, instigated by her ex-husband and his bodyguard friend Shawn Eckardt (Paul Walter Hauser) and two other morons, and known beforehand by the unlikeable Harding who was implicated. Multiple viewpoints of the events were presented, sometimes in faux mockumentary-styled interviews, or 'breaking the 4th wall' moments. Ultimately, the impact of the tragic attack seriously affected Harding's fate when a judge banned her from competitive figure skating for life.

Lady Bird (2017), 94 minutes, D: Greta Gerwig
In this authentic, semi-autobiographical coming-of-age and mother-daughter comedy-drama, a Sacramento CA-area high-school senior during her 2002-2003 school year regularly conflicted with her mother. An all-girls Catholic high school student Christine McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) (nicknamed "Lady Bird" to exert her independence) (and based upon director Gerwig's own life) lived in a financially-struggling family and continually faced a difficult, clashing relationship with her straight-forward, overworked mother Marion McPherson (Laurie Metcalf). The eccentric girl's unemployed father suffered from depression Larry McPherson (Tracy Letts) and was unable to afford an expensive and prestigious East Coast college that Lady Bird was determined to attend. She also experienced the many ups-and-downs of teen life, including friendships won and lost (with classmate Danny O'Neill (Lucas Hedges) and her best friend Julie Steffans (Beanie Feldstein)), the loss of her virginity, and choices about drinking and drug use. Her application to NYU was finally accepted (with a financial aid scholarship) and she left for NY, quickly realizing the real love her parents had for her.

Logan (2017), 137 minutes, D: James Mangold
This third and last film in the Wolverine trilogy (following after X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) and The Wolverine (2013)) was the 10th installment in the entire X-Men film series, and considered as a reboot. The film was extremely well-received by critics and fans alike, and was one of the most successful films in the franchise. Due to its acclaimed script, it became the first superhero film to be nominated for a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar. It was set in a dark future (in the year 2029) where mutants were basically extinct. Wolverine/Logan (Hugh Jackman) (aka James Howlett) was hiding out (near the Mexican border at El Paso, TX) with seriously-ill and telepathic Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), the former X-Men leader who was suffering from degenerative brain disease at over 90 years of age. Logan served as one of Charles' caregivers. Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook) - the menacing Chief of Security (or head enforcer) at Alkali-Transigen, a corrupt biotechnology corporation, was in pursuit of Logan (with a lethal group known as the Reavers), and led an attack on the hideout while searching for young and mysterious 11 year-old mutant Laura Kinney / X-23 (Dafne Keen), an experimental mutant child created by the corporation. The main revelation was that she had been created from Logan's mutant DNA, and Logan was her biological father. Logan's mission was to deliver Laura to a safe refuge known as "Eden" in North Dakota in just a few days, to enable a group of young mutants to cross safely into Canada. During Logan's efforts to save Laura and the others, he had to fend off his own Transigen mutant clone X-24, that lethally wounded Charles. The film ended with a climactic one-on-one fight between Logan (the last of the X-Men) and his clone X-24, ending with Logan's death.

Mudbound (2017), 134 minutes, D: Dee Rees
This historical period drama about divisiveness, race, class and gender was based upon Hillary Jordan's 2008 novel of the same name. The ensemble film was narrated by six different characters. A short plot summary would describe that it was set in the segregated 1940s South, and told about two WWII veterans (one white and one black) who returned to their home town in the Mississippi Delta region, and each were confronted by issues of poverty, prejudice and racism, and PTSD. Two familes in the fictional town of Marietta, Mississippi were combative neighbors: the white McAllans, headed by Henry (Jason Clarke), and the black Jacksons, headed by Hap (Rob Morgan). The Jacksons were tenant sharecropper farmers for the McAllans. In the midst of their differences and hatred for each other, wife Laura McAllan (Carey Mulligan) and wife Florence Jackson (Mary J. Blige) realized through whooping cough illness that they were dependent upon each other. Also, once the two young veterans returned: Jamie McAllan (Garrett Hedlund) (suffering from alcoholism and PTSD) and eldest son Ronsel Jackson (Jason Mitchell), they also faced violent challenges and hatred (such as Ronsel's racist grandfather Pappy Jackson (Jonathan Banks) who was a rabid KKK sympathizer) that threatened any hope of racial peace.

Phantom Thread (2017), 130 minutes, D: Paul Thomas Anderson
Writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson's historical drama was set in London's fashion world of the mid-1950s and told about a haute couture classical dressmaker who found his muse. The obsessed, charismatic, routine-preferring and womanizing Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis) serviced the costuming needs of stage stars, high-society members and royalty. He was aided by his sister and business partner and manager - stern, passionate, austere and equally-commanding Cyril (Lesley Manville). While taking a break from the city one day, Woodcock was serviced in the countryside by clumsy restaurant waitress Alma Elson (Vicky Krieps), of foreign birth, and was immediately entranced. She was invited to his home where she became his mannequin or model - and then his muse and lover - and wife. Although Alma was on the path to becoming another conquest, the willful and determined female began to exert her own control - and the relationship became one of continual bickerings and power struggles as the mischievous Alma became less of an inspiration for Woodcock. In the macabre twist conclusion, he succumbed to a second instance of food poisoning by the perverse Alma, so that their new relationship would become one of care-taking and a true partnership.

The Post (2017), 116 minutes, D: Steven Spielberg
Spielberg's socio-political historical drama-thriller followed the inner workings of the Washington Post newspaper when it controversially decided in 1971 to publish the top-secret Pentagon Papers (after they had first been leaked to The New York Times by source Daniel Ellsberg (Matthew Rhys)), to expose political corruption during the Vietnam War era and the long-running deception of the US government about the war. The "Pentagon Papers" consisted of a covered-up classified study about the decades-old involvement of the US in the Vietnam War (and earlier) that declared the war effort futile. The main characters in the discussions (to publish or not) were Post newspaper publisher and heiress Kay Graham (Meryl Streep) and executive editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks). Post Pulitzer-winning political reporter Ben Bagdikian (Bob Odenkirk) brought a copy of the Pentagon Papers, acquired from Ellsberg, to Bradlee who then had to convince the Post's top female publisher that the documents needed to be published, although the paper was risking its financial future. The Post (and its intelligent female publisher-in-chief) bravely stood up for freedom of the press (and their First Amendment constitutional rights) and decided to be antagonistic to the current and powerful Nixon presidential administration by publishing the documents.

The Shape of Water (2017), 123 minutes, D: Guillermo del Toro
Del Toro's romantic fantasy was the unusual story about an empathic love that developed between a mute employee at a laboratory and a captured humanoid amphibian creature. The Best Picture-winning tale was set in Baltimore, MD in the year 1962 (during the Cold War), where mute Elisa Esposito (Sally Hawkins) was employed as a nighttime cleaner at a high-security, government aerospace facility. The lab was under the direction of cruel and mean US Colonel Richard Strickland (Michael Shannon) who was in charge of a project to study a recently-acquired "asset" - a mysterious, other-worldly, monstrous humanoid "Amphibian Man" (Doug Jones) that had been captured from a South American river. One night with her talkative best friend and co-worker Zelda Fuller (Octavia Spencer), Elisa discovered the non-human being held in a tank of water (there were plans to dissect it during the US Space Race), and was soon secretly bringing him hard-boiled eggs and playing music. With the help of her loyal, closeted next-door neighbor, struggling ad artist Giles (Richard Jenkins), a reluctant Zelda, and scientist Hoffstetler (Michael Stuhlbarg) (secretly a Russian spy whose real name was Dimitri Mosenkov), Elisa helped the creature to escape, and kept him in hiding in her bathtub until she could release him into the ocean within days. In the exciting and revealing conclusion, after Strickland shot and killed Hoffstetler to reveal what he knew, he confronted Elisa and Giles as they were releasing the creature into a canal - both the creature and Elisa were shot, after which Strickland's throat was lethally slashed by the amphibian. With his magical healing abilities, "Amphibian Man" was able to heal both of them (and open up covered gills on her neck) before they embraced and swam away to live "happily ever after."

Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (2017), 152 minutes, D: Rian Johnson
This installment of the long-running franchise-series was the highest-grossing (domestic) film of 2017. This episode followed the story presented in Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015) that was set approximately 30 years after the events of Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi (1983). As the film opened, last surviving Jedi Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) was in hiding as was most of the Resistance. The Empire was militarizing into a sinister force known as the First Order, headed by the masked, evil, dark-hooded Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) with a red lightsaber, and young and ruthless General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson), who was located at a hidden Starkiller Base (a mobile ice planet). The First Order stormtroopers captured the skilled Resistance Starfighter pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) during their search for a secret, hidden star map revealing Skywalker's whereabouts (hidden in Poe's orange and white droid-robot astromech BB-8). Rogue stormtrooper FN-2187, later renamed Finn (John Boyega) converted to the cause, helped Poe escape from the Star Destroyer in a stolen TIE fighter, and then teamed up with skilled young orphaned scavenger Rey (Daisy Ridley), who was protecting Poe's BB-8 droid.
The smuggling duo of notorious ex-General and smuggler Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and co-pilot Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) appeared in a new massive freighter, the pirate ship Eravana, and eventually led everyone to the Resistance leader of the New Republic, General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), the twin sister of Luke Skywalker, to present her with BB-8 (and the hidden star map). Meanwhile, Hux was developing a new superweapon, dubbed Starkiller, capable of directing the Sun's energy to decimate star systems. At the Resistance base, the fighters prepared for a counter-offensive assault against the Starkiller Base and its superweapon. The assault on the Starkiller Base composed the exciting climax of the film, but it was a mixed victory - the First Order base was destroyed, but Han was dead, and Finn was seriously injured and unconscious. The restored holographic map to Luke's hidden location pointed to a water-covered planet known as Ahch-To. Rey flew there and stood face-to-face with a cloaked and hooded figure - Luke Skywalker.

Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017), 115 minutes, D: Martin McDonagh
This complex crime drama (with elements of a black comedy) with great character performances told about a Missouri woman who rented three billboards to publicize her daughter's unsolved rape and murder. In the fictional town of Ebbing, MO, seven months after the brutal rape/murder of teenaged Angela (Kathryn Newton), her inconsolable mother Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand) was still grieving, angry, and frustrated that nothing had been discovered in an ongoing but failed investigation by dim-witted Chief Bill Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) and his second-in-command: racist, violent, often drunk redneck Officer Jason Dixon (Sam Rockwell). The determined Mildred
rented three unused and abandoned billboards near her home and posted in large letters: "Raped While Dying", "And Still No Arrests?", and "How Come, Chief Willoughby?" Of course, many of the town's citizens reacted with upset to the unfair accusations of police incompetence, especially since many townsfolk felt sympathy for Chief Willoughby who was suffering from pancreatic cancer. Mildred faced many obstacles in her quest for justice - harrassments, threats, the Chief's suicide, the destruction of the billboards by an arsonist (revealed to be perpetrated by Mildred's own abusive ex-husband Charlie Hayes (John Hawkes)), Mildred's retaliation leading to Dixon accidentally receiving severe burns, and more delays in finding Angela's killer.

Wonder Woman (2017), 141 minutes, D: Patty Jenkins
The fourth installment in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) series-franchise was the first original Patty Jenkins' superhero film involving Wonder Woman. It followed the epic adventures and origin story of the former princess of the Amazons named Diana Prince, who became a super-warrioress (Gal Gadot), after being raised on a paradisical island (the Amazon island of Themyscira). During her training, she demanded that her warrior-aunt General Antiope (Robin Wright) train her, but at first, her mother Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen) forbade it. She was instilled with the Amazons' responsibility to protect humanity against their enemy Ares, the Greek god of war, and bring peace by using her four special weapons: bracelets of victory, the lasso of truth, a battle shield/armor, and a magical 'god-killer' sword.
During WWI (the Great War), Diana saved crash-landed US pilot-spy Capt. Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) in the sea - her first encounter with a man and future love interest. He was a British (Allied) spy being pursued by the Germans, who also invaded the Amazons' island but were defeated. Feeling dutiful to help those afflicted by the Great War in Europe, she was transported back to World War I-era London and the Western Front with Steve to save the world and stop the war. She targeted two evil individuals: German Army General Ludendorff (Danny Huston) (whom she erroneously believed was Ares) who had ordered 'mustard gas' to be developed and then used at the Western Front, and then villainous Sir Patrick Morgan serving in the Imperial War Cabinet in Britain, who was disguised and revealed to be Ares.

Previous Page Next Page