Worldwide icon-chevron-right Europe icon-chevron-right United Kingdom icon-chevron-right England icon-chevron-right London icon-chevron-right The best films of the 2010s (as picked by some of our favourite filmmakers and actors)

The best films of the 2010s (as picked by some of our favourite filmmakers and actors)

With the credits rolling on the decade, Edgar Wright, Saoirse Ronan, Antonio Banderas and others pick their favourites from the past ten years

By Time Out Film
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With the decade drawing to close, we asked a few of our favourite actors, writers and filmmakers to pick one (or two) of the movies that left the biggest impression on them over the past ten years. Here’s what they picked.

Photograph: Curzon Artificial Eye

‘Cold War’ picked by Benedict Cumberbatch

The star of ‘Doctor Strange’ picks ‘Cold War’ (2018) 

'It was such a sad and achingly honest story of love and how destructive and tragic it can be. It was beautifully shot and used all the power of cinema in its framing and acting without words – and when the words came they were arresting and surprising and dangerous and unexpected. It's painfully romantic, as well as being painful. It's really truly great cinematic storytelling. I was completely immersed in that world and that relationship. [Director] Pawel Pawlikowski is an incredible filmmaker.’

Photograph: Suzanne Hanover/Universal

‘Bridesmaids’ picked by Saoirse Ronan

The star of ‘Lady Bird’ picks ‘Bridesmaids’ (2011)

‘I love that everyone’s funny and really different in it. There’s never a joke that doesn’t land. I like that it’s about the friendship of the girls and the marriage and even the relationship with Chris O’Dowd is kind of a secondary thing. I really love seeing two pals get a kick out of each other. Something like that hadn’t really been done in that way and it’s so brilliant that it was as successful as it was. I feel like the girls in comedy have changed: they paved the way for the rest of us I feel. I’m so bad: whenever anyone asks me what my favourite film is, it’s always “Sister Act” and “Dirty Dancing” and “Bridesmaids”. It’s never, like, “Citizen Kane”.’

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‘The Raid’ picked by Asif Kapadia

The director of ‘Diego Maradona’ picks ‘The Raid’ (2011)

‘It’s a dead simple and perfectly-formed action film about a group of elite cops: “See that tall building? Go inside, go to the top floor, kill the bad guy.” That’s it! But right from the opening shot I thought: I’m in the hands of a great director – someone who knows the culture and who knows exactly what they are doing. It features these incredible Indonesian martial arts fight sequences but was written, directed and edited by a Welshman, Gareth Evans. It’s fresh, fun and frantic. Pure cinema, in other words.’

Get Out
Get Out
Photograph: Justin Lubin/Universal

‘The Death of Stalin’ and ‘Get Out’ picked by Taika Waititi

The director of ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ picks ‘The Death of Stalin’ (2017) and ‘Get Out’ (2017)

‘I really loved “The Death of Stalin” because it was smart. Also, I loved the decision to let the actors use their normal accents, because it didn’t make any difference to me. I was still shocked and I still found it fascinating and enthralling. The other film I really loved was “Get Out”, which was the only film in my entire life that I’ve actually yelled the title of the film at the film: “Get out!”’

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Photograph: Fox Searchlight

‘The Tree of Life’ picked by Trey Edward Shults

The writer-director of ‘It Comes at Night’ picks ‘The Tree of Life’ (2011)

“It’s one of my favourite films of all time. I have a personal attachment to it because I was involved with a bit of the second-unit photography in the birth-of-the-universe sequence and small aspects of post-production. I remember feeling humbled when I watched this towering achievement – humbled that I had any small part to do with it. I saw the film five or six times in the theatre. I cried like a baby and was in awe of its transcendence. The film feels like an honest depiction of family and life and grasping for our place in the entirety of existence. “The Tree of Life” is easily the most moving and religious experience I’ve ever had in a cinema.’

Photograph: Jasin Boland/Warner Bros.

‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ picked by Edgar Wright

The writer-director of ‘Baby Driver’ picks ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ (2015)

‘In an age where the majority of studio movies feel like reheated pizza, something like “Mad Max: Fury Road” seems like a miracle. Here, the creator himself George Miller – at the time, 71 years old – returns to his own property 30 years later with an itch to scratch. He’s had this idea of a modern version of pure cinema rattling around in his head for all that time and it explodes onto the screen in epic style. Like a twenty-first-century “Stagecoach”, this is a real motion picture. I saw it three nights in a row, my mouth agape in wonder, envy and astonishment.’

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Photograph: Despina Spyrou/Picturehouse Entertainment

‘The Lobster’ picked by Desiree Akhavan

The co-writer-director of ‘The Miseducation of Cameron Post’ picks ‘The Lobster’ (2015)

‘To me, this film is perfection. It’s got everything: an earnest love story that’s dripping with loneliness, a laugh-out-loud comedy laced in tragedy, and, most importantly, it’s deeply honest, with so much to say about the world we live in. Not to mention, I very much prefer a sadder, fatter Colin Farrell.’

Photograph: Universal

‘The Social Network’ and ‘Boyhood’ picked by Sam Mendes

The director of ‘Skyfall’ picks ‘The Social Network’ (2010) and ‘Boyhood’ (2014)

‘I have two films of the decade: the first is David Fincher’s “The Social Network”. It’s incredibly prescient – a film about how the world has changed and will change, about the personal behind the political, about greed and revenge. The other best film, Rick Linklater’s “Boyhood”, is about the things that really matter.’

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‘Force Majeure’ picked by Antonio Banderas

The star of ‘Pain and Glory’ picks ‘Force Majeure’ (2014)

‘This is a movie that surprised me very much. It was fabulous. You could see the pulse of the director [Ruben Östlund] in a way that is not anxious, it takes time. I remember thinking: What’s going on here? Nothing’s happening. And suddenly this event happens and you laugh a little bit – okay, it’s not important – but then how this little thing opens and opens until you have this crisis and the family is totally dysfunctional. Oh my God, the tragedy that is coming for them. It was brilliant observation of the human spirit and putting the finger on how we behave with each other. When a moment like that comes, it opens the door for the truth.’

Photograph: Chuck Zlotnick

‘The Master’ picked by Armando Iannucci

The co-writer-director of ‘The Death of Stalin’ picks ‘The Master’ (2012)

‘I’m a big Paul Thomas Anderson fan and with “The Master”, he’s prepared to take this big, ambitious subject of this cult and make you almost believe Philip Seymour Hoffman’s cult leader – you can see the charisma and how his philosophy kind of connects with people. Because that’s how cults grow: 10 percent of what they’re saying sounds reasonable, so you block out the other 90 percent. I liked the ambiguous way it’s portrayed: it wasn’t nasty and fake. It’s more complicated than that and yet it can be destructive.’

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