My favorite films of the past decade


So Film Comment is collecting reader numbers on what their audience thinks are the best films of the past decade. The deadline is coming soon (Feb. 12), so here is mine:

  1. Mulholland Drive (pictured)
  2. The Royal Tenenbaums
  3. A History of Violence
  4. The Fog of War
  5. In the Mood for Love
  6. Spirited Away
  7. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
  8. Punch Drunk Love
  9. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  10. Cache
  11. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
  12. The Squid and the Whale
  13. Zodiac
  14. Possible Worlds
  15. Pan’s Labyrinth
  16. Man on Wire
  17. Memento
  18. Grindhouse double feature
  19. No Country for Old Men
  20. The City of God

All of these films, in some way or another shook me deep inside, be it with either bliss or shock. I think the best films always leave you disturbed in some way.

Several of these were highly underrated. I think it takes a special audience to appreciate the Squid and the Whale because it requires you to have an advanced degree or at least some kind of intellectual interest to get the jokes, and a self-deprecating sense of humor to enjoy those jokes. Humility and intellect rarely go hand-in-hand.

Then, Tarantino’s contribution to the Grindhouse double feature, Deathproof, was oft short-sightedly maligned as his one of his weaker films, but I would beg to differ. It makes a very obscure reference to 70s cinema by whole-heartedly embracing the leisurely pace of the exploitation film as well as its sudden violence, and it is also one of his stronger, more concentrated proto feminist works.

Some of these movies, like Mulholland Drive, the Royal Tenenbaums and In the Mood For Love keep getting better after repeated viewings, and I have seen each of those at least five times already if not more often than that.

What are your favorite movies of the past 10 years? You can submit them to Film Comment through the link above, but also do share them below.

(Copyright 2010 by Hans Morgenstern. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)


  1. Yeah, some of my favorite lines of all times come from the Royal Tenenbaums
    Margot (to Royal): You probably don’t even know my middle name.
    Royal: That’s a trick question. You don’t have one.
    Margot: Helen.
    Royal: That was my mother’s name.
    Margot: I know it was


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