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  1. So, I noped out of actually sending @RIPPA a ballot because I am a colossal prick who clearly spent way too much time this spring & summer pimping movies. I also had kind of a not-great eye injury in July that has made it a little difficult to watch *as* much stuff as I did, so I slowed down considerably. But, that wasn't the biggest reason I didn't/won't submit a ballot. It's mostly because, when it comes right down to it, I feel like that misses the point. Without some discussion of what works in a film, aggregating this stuff seems like a waste. Plus, like others, I knew I would have 2 or 3 homer-ish picks that would be in my top 10 or 15 that would skew certain movies into maybe being in the top 100 even though I might have been the only voter for it. So, with that in mind, I think it would *really really cool* if it were possible to, say, copy & paste at least *someone's* review of a given movie into the actual list itself, or provide a link. I know that's a ton of work, but we could make it easier by - ta-da - reviewing stuff here, as I will do with my entire list. But, my list is not 100 movies. It is perilously close to that - I think it's at 90, but I left gaps because I felt like I was probably missing things here and there that would eventually fill in the blanks. So, you will see *actual numbering gaps*. These are not typos. I consider it a bit of a living document, because I watch way too many movies and I feel like I will never see everything I want to. Good example: I still haven't brought myself to finish watching The Act of Killing because it's one of the most disturbing things I've ever seen, but it's also undeniably a top-20 or higher pick if I ever get around to watching the last half. This will take some time to write up, since I'm doing it on the fly, so I'm basically consulting my Letterboxd list (which I will link to) and pumping these out 10 or 20 at a time as I go along. Buckle up, kiddies. Also, like some others, my first 10 choices (91-100) are less "these were that good" and more things I felt like recognizing for other reasons. See the full list here: https://letterboxd.com/contentiousc/list/badly-attempting-to-rank-the-2010s/ 100. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011, J. Johnston) I can’t justify putting this higher and I can’t justify leaving it off entirely. I came out of the theater thinking I’d watched a pretty solid film that was ultimately a 2-hour advertisement for a different film. But, as time has gone by, the quality of this has shone through, thanks to Evans’ decade-long work as the backbone of the MCU, and this film lays the groundwork for nearly all of that. He and Hayley Atwell somehow divert a superhero movie into one of the better romances in recent memory. Every other actor has something fun to add, even jerks like Weaving, and Johnston was probably the perfect choice to direct this, given how the film looks from start to finish, and given how ably he shifts the focus from origin story to punchline to throwing punches. 99. Prometheus (2012, R. Scott) Oooowee, let’s have some fun, shall we? Michael Fassbender may just be the actor of the decade (or is he? I'll revisit this...) when you stop and look at his output (even if he is an abusive piece of shit). You could (and probably should) leave off his whole run as (a far better than Ian McKellen) Magneto and still have half a dozen great movies of his – pretty much all of which will end up on this list. But he’s easily the best nuts-and-bolts part of this film, with Noomi Rapace not too far behind. But the real beauty of this movie, despite the plot holes you could drive a tractor-trailer through, is how divisive it is. It’s crazy how people failed to notice what they experienced as the audience was *what the film is trying to say about its characters*. It’s a fun piece of meta-analysis: Person X sits down to watch some movie about xenomorphs, has a fantasy built up in their head about How Everything Began, is disappointed and flails horribly when the reality doesn’t live up to the fantasy. That’s the message of the plot, too! Except replace “watch some movie about xenomorphs” with “go on a space mission to meet God” and “flails horribly” with…no, nope, still flailing horribly, just flailing to death. Love it. 98. These Final Hours (2013, Z. Hilditch) This sounds about right. If you’re looking for apocalyptic suspense that strips down to its barest form and gets at the meaning of our choices and ourselves, you can do a lot worse than this. It's less allegorical than other, similar movies, but it's as humanist as a movie like this can get. Jessica de Gouw might be the only familiar face to anyone in the U.S. – she played Huntress on the first couple of seasons of Arrow – but a lot of the rest of this feels right, in a way that’d be strangely comforting if it weren’t about such creepy material. I’d expect things to go this way if, say, the events of the Fallout game series happened on the other side of the world: everyone else would go apeshit, but they’d eventually come to their senses just a little and take a long, hard look at who they truly were. But, far from the best film of the decade where the film ends when the world does. 97. The Cabin in the Woods (2011, D. Goddard) The 2010s might be the decade that simultaneously proved that satire was not dead (this, Parasite, Sarah Cooper TikToks) and also proved that it totally was dead (literally everything else for the last 4 years). Schrodinger's Satire? Whatever. I doubt I have anything remotely original to say about this that hasn't already been said. It's one of those films I heard a lot of good things about, but nothing overtly spoiler-y, and then when I finally saw it, I wanted to bounce my head off a brick wall for not watching sooner. 96. Blue Ruin (2013, J. Saulnier) I greatly prefer this to the also-color-titled and absurdly-plotted Green Room, and I think its dearth of recognizable faces helps in that regard. I went it with no expectations and I was fucking absorbed like the cover art to Videodrome inside of 5 minutes. The desolate quiet of that hopeless perspective sucks you in and stays with you, no matter how crazy the movie becomes. 95. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010, E. Wright) I can't believe you guys ranked this # 4 for the halfsies list. Jesus. But I've rarely ping-ponged as hard on any film as this one: saw it in the theaters and loved it. Bought it years later and practically had to hold my nose. Saw it again for this project and suddenly saw the charm again. But great? Nah. Definitely a "had to be there" sort of movie, though, as I think the humor would not have aged very well were it not for Edgar Wright knowing exactly how to play it. The comics were frankly never as appealing to me. The casting is also close to perfect, which never hurts. 94. Skyfall (2012, S. Mendes) There are 5 or 6 Bond movies I have a soft spot for, and while I can't really say this is the best Bond movie - Hell, it's not even Daniel Craig's best - this is certainly the best-looking one anyone's ever done, and it's way better than Spectre was (which others hated and I actually didn't mind so much). Given this was the Decade of Tentpole Bullshit, it seems fitting to take the time to recognize one of the better entries in the original tentpole franchise. 93. The Death of Stalin (2017, A. Iannucci) I can't say that Veep is my cup of tea - there comes a point with some satirical work where it cuts so close to the bone that you're really only laughing because otherwise you'd cry - but this strikes the right balance. I think it's got maybe 1 or 2 too many characters in it to work as tightly as it could, but hey, I guess they were trying to be at least passingly accurate with respect to history. This doesn't approach the level of the best Christopher Guest movies, but at least it's a little comforting to know that there's someone else out there trying, and reminding us not to fall into this trap (even though clearly we've been too stupid to listen ever since). 92. Sorry to Bother You (2018, B. Riley) This was just too enjoyably ridiculous to leave off. This definitely pushes into the "laughing because you want to laugh" end of the satire spectrum, which I appreciate. It feels like 80% of the movie was done, and Boots kind of ran out of ideas by the end, but going as far as he did at least makes that ending feel like it's still of a piece with the rest, since he found a way to up the ante on his own absurdity. 91. Thor: Ragnarok (2017, T. Waititi) God, the Thor franchise. When this one was lined up, I dreaded it. I figured it would just be another cocked-up movie involving Thor. And I really hoped there'd be a stand-alone film based on Planet Hulk. But, I can still remember seeing the trailers for this during Guardians Volume 2 and thinking, "They're finally going to do a good Thor movie!" And they did a lot more than that. Taika Waititi probably deserves more credit than anyone (aside from Chris Hemsworth himself) from turning the most boring Avenger into the most interesting Avenger in the span of 2 movies. 90. Young Adult (2011, J. Reitman) I feel like this is relatively interchangeable with the later Diablo Cody/Jason Reitman/Charlize Theron collaboration, Tully, and it sort of depends on what you value the most. The latter movie is more of a two-woman show (sort of, watch it and you'll see what I mean), but Young Adult has a little more breadth to it, even if the relationship with Patton Oswalt is a bit hard to fathom. But Charlize Theron, despite being an actual goddess, somehow breathes a metric ton of realism and emotional depth into these roles that she should probably be classed right out of based on her looks. I mean, she does her share of total garbage work, like Umpteenth Furious Fastness Whatever, but I guess that pays the bills so she can shine in things like this. 89. Booksmart (2019, O. Wilde) This is this decade's Superbad, if Superbad had believable characters, actual emotional resonance with its audience, real creativity from the director, and wasn't a cheap knockoff of every other "great" teen movie for the last 30 years. Let's face it, practically that whole genre was born as tired and boring as the facial expression of a 15-year-old convenience store clerk. This is one of the only films to do it well; the last couple of plot points get a bit out of hand, but the rest is so well-done it's hard to ding it just for that. 88. Magic Mike (2012, S. Soderbergh) A strange number of lists actually seem to think the sequel is better, so I suppose I should get around to watching that. But, frankly, I went into this with no expectations whatsoever that it would be good in any way, shape, or form, and it really surprised me. I thought about sticking a pun in there about how it knocked my socks off, but then you'd be asking yourself where I was wearing the sock, and no one needs that mental image, right? Hey, wait...I mean, no movie featuring Joe Mangianello using a penis pump should legitimately be this good, but somehow it is. Is this Soderbergh's best movie of the decade? He's pretty polarizing for me; I either love his stuff or want to throw my TV out the window. I don't know for sure, but I liked it better than Contagion or Side Effects by a wide margin. 87. Chronicle (2012, J. Trank) Maybe the best found-footage movie anyone has done, and still pretty far up there as far as superhero origin stories go. Too bad Trank pissed away this goodwill, and I wonder if the stench of the Fantastic Four debacle means that people end up ignoring this. It's weird how so many others in the movie kind of peaked here, except for Michael B. Jordan, who somehow was in F4 and yet could probably buy and sell the careers of everyone else at this stage. I haven't watched this but the once, but once was enough to appreciate how good the slow burn was and how the death spiral is both delicately and incredibly indelicately woven. 86. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014, J. Gunn) I think a part of me likes Vol. 2 more, but I can't honestly say that it *works* better, because there's the whole Taserface bit and a lot of jokes that don't land (aside from Mantis and Drax being PURE COMEDY GOLD AT ALL TIMES). This is thinner with respect to the plot, and the Thanos bits feel tacked-on (because they were) other than Ronan leveling himself up, but there isn't anything about it that is less than a home run. I was a massive fan of the Annihilation: Conquest storyline that underpins the whole movie, and I was really banking on this being the film that finally crashed and burned Marvel's run of relatively quality movies (in retrospect, Iron Man 2 already had!), but instead, this ended up being the one that propelled it forward even more. OK, that's the first 15, which is enough stuff for this post (and I've been typing for like a damn hour here). I'll re-up the list link for the subsequent posts I do as well.
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