The Best Films of the Decade | Bright Wall/Dark Room
Chad Perman, Editor-in-Chief:

1. The Tree of Life
A symphony and a prayer.

2. Margaret
Kenneth Lonergan is the best writer working today, and this is his masterpiece.

3. Boyhood
It’s constant, the moment. It’s like it’s always right now, you know?

4. Phantom Thread
Trying to pick the best Paul Thomas Anderson of the decade is an impossible task.

5. The Master
See above. (And apologies to Inherent Vice, which could easily have made this list as well.)

6. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
A poignant reflection on the passing of time and a great hang all at once.

7. Inside Out
Take her to the moon for me. Okay?

8. Before Midnight
So true it literally hurts.

9. La La Land
Never wavered on this one and never will.

10. A Ghost Story
An existential tone poem.

Zosha Millman, Senior Editor:

Burning
Columbus
Drive
Ex Machina
The Favourite
The Handmaiden
Lemonade
Obvious Child
Phantom Thread
Sleeping with Other People

Ethan Warren, Senior Editor:

10. Minding the Gap
A miracle so unique it could never be equaled or mimicked.

9. Spring Breakers
One day we’ll look back and finally see how much this one changed the game.

8. Paterson
About the smallest things, and only the smallest things. And that’s enough.

7. First Reformed
The most urgent film of the decade. A warning, howl, and requiem.

6. Upstream Color
Abstract and opaque. So why does it make my heart beat so hard and fast?

5. Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood
All those arguments only testified to its power, depth, and glee.

4. It’s Such a Beautiful Day
Yes, they’re stick figures. Yes, it’s really goddamn weird. Yes, it’s transcendent.

3. Beasts of the Southern Wild
A poem, an epic, a debut that gives birth to a whole new genre.

2. Moonlight
Heart-stopping story, outrageous innovations, so small yet so vast.

1. The Master
An abstract vision that draws me endlessly back to gaze, not follow.

Kelsey Ford, Senior Editor:

Beginners
Burning
The Favourite
Louder than Bombs
Moonlight
Parasite
Personal Shopper
Phantom Thread
Short Term 12
Stoker

Fran Hoepfner, Editor-at-Large:

10. The Handmaiden
My favorite “we gotta get over on all these guys” of the decade, and that’s including the movie where someone says “we gotta get over on all these guys” which did, in fact, come out this decade. Gorgeous and really funny and dare I say, almost too porny, but also the actual best time I had at the movies this past decade.

9. Anna Karenina
When I am feeling sad, bored, depressed, sick, stupid, useless, whatever, this is the movie I watch. I love it! Leave me alone!

8. Get Out
Daniel Kaluuya gives the best performance of the decade, maybe even the century.

7. Frances Ha
My name is Frances. :^)

6. Phantom Thread
I can’t believe this movie exists.

5. Cloud Atlas
I believe wholeheartedly that this is the most 2010s movie of the 2010s. It could only exist now, and I sadly believe no other film will come close to its ambition ever again. Messy and imperfect and absurd, and an almost impossible sell to even my friends, so I have no idea how this actually came to exist. The world (the worlds) on screen are so lush and loved, and the movie’s core conceit––that an act of goodness can ripple across time and place––is perhaps the most optimistic outlook on what’s to come in our lives. And, all said and done, Cloud Atlas also has my favorite score of the decade.

4. Force Majeure
I somehow formed my entire personality around this movie for the last five years of my life, and I can’t wait to see what happens to me next.

3. The Lost City Of Z
There’s a conversation between Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam) and his wife Nina (Sienna Miller) approximately 12 minutes into the movie that is so tender and golden and lived-in. I cry every time even though I know it’s coming. At the end of the day, the jungle will come for us all, but you’re welcome to go out and meet it halfway. I love Robert Pattinson’s tiny glasses.

2. The Social Network
Can someone make one of those bad sans serif shirts for me that says, “JESSE & ANDREW & JUSTIN & ROONEY & ARMIE & MAX & RASHIDA”? Thank you for all of the good quotes from the past ten years.

1. Mad Max: Fury Road
It’s a poem, stupid.

Katherine Webb, Associate Editor:

Annihilation
Burning
The Edge of Seventeen
Ex Machina
Get Out
A Ghost Story
Inside Out
Moonlight
Parasite
What We Do in the Shadows

Elisabeth Geier, Associate Editor

Before Midnight
The Favourite
Get Out
Homecoming
Magic Mike XXL
Moonlight
Moonrise Kingdom
Obvious Child
Stories We Tell
Toy Story 3

Travis Woods, Contributing Editor:

Before Midnight
The Counselor
Destroyer
Drive
Gone Girl
The Handmaiden
Inherent Vice
The Irishman
Mad Max: Fury Road
Mandy
The Nice Guys
OJ: Made in America
Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood
Under the Skin
You Were Never Really Here