Every few years we think it's worth it to fully re-evaluate the Top Films for every year we've been doing this site, which means starting in 2009. We first did this in 2014, then 2017. Coming around the bend to 2021 I thought it was worth it to really dive into each year and see which films have stayed with me and which have fallen by the wayside.
I found, to my surprise, that these early lists haven't changed all that much. The Top Films I liked four years ago are still pretty much the top films I like today. We've gotten to the point of canonization where there are a handful of immutable entries that I come back to over and over again. So, this unfortunately may be the last time we do this, at least with 2009 - 2012. At any rate, here we go!
Trick 'r Treat
Where the Wild Things Are
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
The Hurt Locker
A Serious Man
|The Feel-good movie of the decade!|
Back in 2017 I still had Moon and Observe and Report listed high - I've re-watched those in the last few years and neither was as punchy or thrilling as they were on my first viewings. I've debated Funny People (2009) a lot, too, and while I like what it's about, it really isn't constructed well enough to earn a spot here. Over the years The Road, The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, A Serious Man, and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs have stood the test of time and been here over and over again. I can watch A Serious Man any day of the week and still pick out little nuances, to me it's one of the Coen Bros' most underrated films.
The Other Guys
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
Get Him to the Greek
Hot Tub Time Machine
The Social Network
I can't deny The Social Network, especially in the past ten years its relevancy has increased rather than decreased. Having said that, 2010 is always comedy-heavy, and lacking any other real drama to soak up spots, some of my all-time favourite modern comedies take the cake. I didn't even include Due Date and Dinner for Schmucks that came out this year. My only debate is whether MacGruber should be higher. There are a lot of big studio efforts this year that shine through, and it's one of the last years to have these films genuinely entire my headspace. There isn't a change since 2017 besides Let Me In and Harry Brown being snubbed for TRON: Legacy and The Other Guys. I love those movies, but it's time to shift. I was legit so close to putting The A-Team (2010) on this list, folks.
Attack the Block
The Tree of Life
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
|2020: The Movie!|
2011 has morphed a little bit. I originally had The Sitter and Fright Night on here, I may be the only one who loves those films, but they're great. I just watched Super again, it holds up, but is maybe tenuous here. My number one movie has also shifted dramatically, from Rango to Take Shelter to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which has consistently been one of my favourites of all time. I think it deserves it place here. The Tree of Life, Melancholia, and Moneyball have been other consistent presences.
Celeste and Jesse Forever
Cabin in the woods
Zero Dark Thirty
21 Jump Street
|I should watch this again|
I love a world where I put 21 Jump Street ahead of Lincoln. I have begun to firmly believe in putting the best comedy of the year alongside any other great film, and that movie's re-watchability along with it being at this point one of the last great mainstream comedies, earns it that right. Argo is a big drop, along with The Five-Year Engagement, The Campaign, and The Grey. I was so into The Grey, maybe I've just matured beyond it at this point. Still, Zero Dark, Cabin, Django, and The Master are mainstays. I just rewatched Haywire, which is such a perfectly constructed movie that deserves more recognition. Along with Five-Year Engagement, 2012 was a year for weird comedy-dramas, and my fond memories of Celeste and Jesse Forever win out.
Stay tuned, folks, we will re-evaluate 2013 - 2016 in the next few weeks. More recent than that may need some more time to settle. We'll see.
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