FILMS OF THE DECADE
Film of the Decade: “Moonlight”
RANK FILM YEAR DIRECTOR POINTS
1 Moonlight 2016 Barry Jenkins 96.5
2 Mad Max: Fury Road 2015 George Miller 83
3 Boyhood  2014 Richard Linklater 75.5
4 Roma 2018 Alfonso Cuarón 63
5 The Tree of Life 2011 Terrence Malick 61
6 The Social Network 2010 David Fincher 60.5
7 Amour 2012 Michael Haneke 51.5
8 Parasite 2019 Bong Joon Ho 49
9 A Separation 2011 Asghar Farhadi 47.5
10 Get Out 2017 Jordan Peele 43
11 Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives 2010 Apichatpong Weerasethakul 41
12 Inside Llewyn Davis 2013 Joel Coen, Ethan Coen 38
13 The Act of Killing 2013 Joshua Oppenheimer, Anonymous, Christine Cynn 27.5
14 Inside Out 2015 Pete Docter, Ronnie Del Carmen 27
Phantom Thread 2017 Paul Thomas Anderson 27
The Descendants 2011 Alexander Payne 27
17 The Florida Project 2017 Sean Baker 26.5
The Grand Budapest Hotel 2014 Wes Anderson 26.5
The Master 2012 Paul Thomas Anderson 26.5
20 The Irishman 2019 Martin Scorsese 24.5
21 Beasts of the Southern Wild 2012 Benh Zeitlin 23.5
22 O.J.: Made in America 2016 Ezra Edelman 23
Toy Story 3 2010 Lee Unkrich 23
24 Secret Sunshine 2010 Lee Chang-dong 22
25 Son of Saul 2015 László Nemes 21.5
26 Toni Erdmann 2016 Maren Ade 21
27 Neighboring Sounds 2012 Kleber Mendonça Filho) 19
28 Burning 2018 Lee Chang-dong 18.5
It's Such a Beautiful Day 2012 Don Hertzfeldt 18.5
Lady Bird 2017 Greta Gerwig 18.5
31 Carol 2015 Todd Haynes 17
32 Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) 2014 Alejandro G. Iñárritu 16.5
33 Foxtrot 2017 Samuel Maoz 16
Holy Motors 2012 Leos Carax 16
35 Brooklyn 2015 John Crowley 15.5
36 Mysteries of Lisbon 2011 Raúl Ruiz 15
37 Call Me by Your Name 2017 Luca Guadagnino 14
38 No Home Movie 2016 Chantal Akerman 12.5
The Assassin 2015 Hou Hsiao-hsien 12.5
The Revenant 2015 Alejandro G. Iñárritu 12.5
41 Gravity 2013 Alfonso Cuarón 12
Once Upon a Time in Anatolia 2012 Nuri Bilge Ceylan 12
Paddington 2 2018 Paul King 12
44 The Handmaiden 2016 Park Chan-wook 11.5
Inherent Vice 2014 Paul Thomas Anderson 11.5
The Rider 2018 Chloé Zhao 11.5
47 Marriage Story 2019 Noah Baumbach 11
Spotlight 2015 Tom McCarthy 11
Winter Sleep 2014 Nuri Bilge Ceylan 11
50 Four Lions 2010 Christopher Morris 10.5
51 A Prophet 2010 Jacques Audiard 10
Ain't Them Bodies Saints 2013 David Lowery 10
Carlos 2010 Olivier Assayas 10
City of Life and Death 2011 Lu Chuan 10
Ida 2014 Pawel Pawlikowski 10
La La Land 2016 Damien Chazelle 10
Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood 2019 Quentin Tarantino 10
The Ghost Writer 2011 Roman Polanski 10
Young Adult 2011 Jason Reitman 10
Your Name 2016 Makoto Shinkai 10
61 Zero Dark Thirty 2012 Kathryn Bigelow 9.5
62 12 Years a Slave 2013 Steve McQueen 9
A Master Builder 2014 Jonathan Demme 9
Arabian Nights 2015 Miguel Gomes 9
Artist, The 2011 Michel Hazanavicius 9
Capernaum 2018 Nadine Labaki 9
Cloud Atlas 2012 Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski, Tom Tykwer 9
The Lego Movie 2014 Phil Lord and Christopher Miller 9
The Strange Case of Angelica 2010 Manoel de Oliveira 9
Under the Skin 2014 Jonathan Glazer 9
71 I Am Not Your Negro 2016 Raoul Peck 8.5
Zama 2018 Lucrecia Martel 8.5
73 Goodbye to Language 2014 Jean-Luc Godard 8
Inception 2010 Christopher Nolan 8
Mud 2013 Jeff Nichols 8
Portrait of a Lady on Fire 2019 Céline Sciamma 8
Room 2015 Lenny Abrahamson 8
Sorry to Bother You 2018 Boots Riley 8
The Turin Horse 2011 Béla Tarr 8
Vincere 2010 Marco Bellocchio 8
Winter Vacation 2011 Li Hongqi 8
82 Drive 2011 Nicolas Winding Refn 7.5
Pain and Glory 2019 Pedro Almodóvar 7.5
84 Cold War 2018 Pawel Pawlikowski 7
I Am Love 2010 Luca Guadagnino 7
If Beale Street Could Talk 2018 Barry Jenkins 7
Keep the Lights On 2012 Ira Sachs 7
Only Lovers Left Alive  2014 Jim Jarmusch 7
Tangerines 2015 Zaza Urushadze 7
The Human Centipede 3 (Final Sequence) 2015 Tom Six 7
The Lobster 2015 Yorgos Lanthimos 7
The Wolf of Wall Street 2013 Martin Scorsese 7
93 Incendies 2011 Denis Villeneuve 6.5
Margaret 2011 Kenneth Lonergan 6.5
95 Avengers: Infinity War 2018 Anthony Russo, Joe Russo 6
Black Panther 2018 Ryan Coogler 6
Boy and the World 2015 Alê Abreu 6
Certain Women 2016 Kelly Reichardt 6
Dawson City: Frozen Time 2017 Bill Morrison 6
Her 2013 Spike Jonze 6
House of Tolerance 2011 Bertrand Bonello 6
Sing Street 2016 John Carney 6
Whiplash 2014 Damien Chazelle 6
You Were Never Really Here 2018 Lynne Ramsay 6
105 A Hidden Life 2019 Terrence Malick 5.5
Amazing Grace  2018 Alan Elliott, Sydney Pollack 5.5
Blade Runner 2049 2017 Denis Villeneuve 5.5
Blue Is the Warmest Color 2013 Abdellatif Kechiche 5.5
Clouds of Sils Maria 2014 Olivier Assayas 5.5
Fish Tank 2010 Andrea Arnold 5.5
Force Majeure 2014 Ruben Östlund) 5.5
Foxcatcher 2014 Bennett Miller 5.5
Fruitvale Station 2013 Ryan Coogler 5.5
Good Time 2017 Josh Safdie, Benny Safdie 5.5
Hell or High Water 2016 David Mackenzie 5.5
Interstellar 2014 Christopher Nolan 5.5
Life of Pi 2012 Ang Lee 5.5
Loveless 2017 Andrei Zvyagintsev 5.5
Manchester by the Sea 2016 Kenneth Lonergan 5.5
Melancholia 2011 Lars von Trier 5.5
Minding the Gap 2018 Bing Liu 5.5
Miss Hokusai 2015 Keiichi Hara 5.5
Mother 2010 Bong Joon Ho 5.5
My Happy Family 2017 Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Groß 5.5
Nebraska 2013 Alexander Payne 5.5
Of Gods and Men 2010 Xavier Beauvois 5.5
Poetry 2010 Lee Chang-dong 5.5
Searching for Sugar Man 2012 Malik Bendjelloul 5.5
Senna 2010 Asif Kapadia 5.5
Seymour: An Introduction 2014 Ethan Hawke 5.5
Shoplifters 2018 Hirokazu Kore-eda 5.5
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2018 Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman 5.5
Stories We Tell 2013 Sarah Polley 5.5
The Brand New Testament 2016 Jaco Van Dormael 5.5
The Favourite 2018 Yorgos Lanthimos 5.5
The Interview 2014 Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen) 5.5
The Killing of a Sacred Deer 2017 Yorgos Lanthimos 5.5
The King's Speech 2010 Tom Hooper 5.5
The Mustang 2019 Laure de Clermont-Tonnere 5.5
The Past 2013 Asghar Farhadi 5.5
The Shape of Water 2017 Guillermo del Toro 5.5
Tower 2016 Keith Maitland 5.5
Transit 2019 Christian Petzold 5.5
Varda by Agnès 2019 Agnès Varda 5.5
Zootopia 2016 Byron Howard, Rich Moore, Jared Bush 5.5
146 Coming Home 2015 Zhang Yimou 5
Dunkirk 2017 Christopher Nolan 5
Frances Ha 2013 Wendy  5
Girlhood 2015 Céline Sciamma 5
Hannah Arendt 2012 Margarethe von Trotta 5
Horse Money 2015 Pedro Costa 5
Leviathan 2014 Andrei Zvyagintsev 5
Sausage Party 2016 Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon 5
The Great Beauty 2013 Paolo Sorrentino 5
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya 2014 Isao Takahata 5
156 Anomalisa 2015 Duke Johnson, Charlie Kaufman 4
Django Unchained 2012 Quentin Tarantino 4
My Journey Through French Cinema 2016 Bertrand Tavernier 4
Out-Takes From the Life of a Happy Man 2013 Jonas Mekas 4
Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie 2012 Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim 4
Timbuktu 2015 Abderrahmane Sissako 4
We Need to Talk About Kevin 2011 Lynne Ramsay 4
163 20th Century Women 2016 Mike Mills 3
BPM (Beats Per Minute) 2017 Robin Campillo 3
Faces Places 2017 Agnès Varda 3
Hostiles 2017 Scott Cooper 3
Locke 2014 Steven Knight 3
Nymphomaniac 2013 Lars von Trier 3
Omar 2014 Hany Abu-Assad 3
Red Hook Summer 2012 Spike Lee 3
The Missing Picture 2014 Rithy Panh 3
Wild Tales 2014 Damián Szifron) 3
173 American Honey 2016 Andrea Arnold 2
Gone Girl 2014 David Fincher 2
Liberté 2019 Albert Serra 2
Nightcrawler 2014 Dan Gilroy 2
Shutter Island 2010 Martin Scorsese 2
Silence 2016 Martin Scorsese 2
The Death of Stalin 2018 Armando Iannucci 2
The Red Turtle 2016 Michaël Dudok de Wit 2
The Sisters Brothers 2018 Jacques Audiard 2
The Theory of Everything 2014 James Marsh 2
Weekend 2011 Andrew Haigh 2
184 BlacKkKlansman 2018 Spike Lee 1
Film Socialisme 2011 Jean-Luc Godard 1
God's Own Country 2017 Francis Lee 1
Spring Breakers 2013 Harmony Korine 1
The Babadook 2014 Jennifer Kent 1
The Gatekeepers 2012 Dror Moreh 1
The Other Side 2016 Roberto Minervini 1
The Raid: Redemption 2012 Gareth Huw Evans 1
The Skin I Live In 2011 Pedro Almodóvar 1
The Tribe 2015 Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy 1
War Witch 2012 Kim Nguyen 1
Waves 2019 Trey Edward Shults 1

 

SEE BY CRITIC

So, how was your decade? There are many ways to chart 10 years, but because we’re in the business of writing and thinking about movies, it’s only natural that we would chart the 2010s’ impact through the films that stood the test of time. Hence, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association’s Best of the Decade poll, compiled by asking each of our members to submit a ballot of 10 films, ranked or unranked, to find the 2010s’ best movie. Memberships — and tastes — can shift over 10 years, but what we discovered was that, for the most part, we largely agreed with our annual awards votes. Indeed, our top eight films were either Best Picture or runner-up in their respective years. Who says critics are an unpredictable, contrarian lot?

In the top spot was Moonlight, the extraordinary portrait of Chiron, whose life we observe during three crucial periods. Back in 2016, we gave Barry Jenkins’ sophomore effort four awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, acknowledging not just its considerable artistic merit but also how it served as a compassionate response to a contentious moment in our country’s history. In her essay included in that year’s awards booklet, LAFCA president Claudia Puig noted, “At a time when toxic masculinity is seemingly condoned, even encouraged, Moonlight explores manhood with sensitivity and wisdom. … In an era when the significance of black lives is shockingly up for debate, it presents the life of one young African-American in all its value and complexity.” But if Moonlight was inseparable from its dark cultural moment — the anguish of Black Lives Matter and the disillusioning election of Trump — its victory in our poll suggests that Jenkins’ film will also transcend its epoch, offering a timeless study of self-discovery and tenderness. Or, perhaps, we remain so fixated on Moonlight because, sadly, we still find ourselves in the dispiriting reality this exceptional film unconsciously chronicled so vividly.

Trailing right behind Moonlight was a very different vision of apocalypse and rebirth: Mad Max: Fury Road, George Miller’s gonzo action film that, appropriately, ended up in second place in our voting back in 2015 as well. (That year, it took home three prizes, including Best Director, but was bested by Spotlight for the top honor.) From there, our members singled out three powerfully immersive — but by no means similar — portraits of family: Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, and Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life. If this decade was about the fracturing of communities and the cruel marginalization of the powerless, perhaps it’s no surprise that our members responded to films that celebrated individuals who found their tribes.

As always with polls like this, part of the fun is the surprises, like seeing Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s enduringly mystifying and beautiful Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives just missing the Top 10. When it came out in 2011, this Palme d’Or winner barely made a dent in our end-of-the-year awards voting, but those who loved it then have lost none of their ardor over time. Same goes for Asghar Farhadi’s A Separation, our deserving Best Screenplay winner of 2011, which landed at No. 9, right behind our 2019 victor, Parasite. That’s one of the reasons why a best-of-the-decade poll can be so rewarding: It gives us another chance to champion the films we feel like didn’t get their due the first time around.

Ranked ballots were assigned 10 points for the first-place film, nine points for second place, etc., while each film on an unranked ballot was assigned 5.5 points. We decided that, no matter how acclaimed, TV series weren’t eligible, a ruling that displeased several members who wanted to cast votes for Twin Peaks: The Return. (Who knows: Maybe David Lynch, who topped this decade poll 10 years ago with Mulholland Dr., might have once again been our winner.)

We collected a total of 40 ballots, and I encourage you to check out each voter’s picks to see just how individual each of our members’ preferences are. Any poll that features solitary votes for Sausage Party, Spring Breakers, Film Socialisme and The Tribe is a group I’m proud to be a part of — and I’m not just saying that because one of those movies was on my ballot.

Here’s to a healthy and happy 2020s — however it plays out, though, we’ll be watching.

– Tim Grierson