One Hundred Movies to Watch from the 2010s

I don’t care to figure out how much money I spent watching movies during the 2010s. It began junior year of high school with Shutter Island and Hot Tub Time Machine, stretching into that summer with Toy Story 3 and Inception. As fervent Buzz, Woody, Rex and Mr. Potato Head fanatics, my friends and I attended the midnight premiere when midnight premieres were at midnight. In fact, days in advance, we bought tickets as a confused cashier acknowledged we had been the first to buy them.

My commitment to movies grew deeper as the decade progressed. During summer and winter breaks my friends and I found ourselves at the movie theatre at random to watch the biggest blockbusters, or the painstakingly pathetic features. It crept into the school year, specifically junior year, where my friends would search for movies to watch. One particular night, a Saturday in the heart of winter, we left a party to see a documentary described as the saddest, most emotionally draining viewing experience. Dear Zachary lived up to the hype and then some. It became a bit of a challenge for us to find disturbing titles, like Requiem for a Dream or re-watch comedic classics like Napoleon Dynamite. We joined the Hunger Games train later than usual. But we more than made up for it by watching the first feature length film three times one weekend. So, when Philip Seymour Hoffman died on Super Bowl Sunday in 2014, some of us took selfies with three fingers raised high in his memory, populating social media like a bunch of attention-seeking hooligans. Incidentally, junior year Mike Arena found an illegal stream of The Wolf of Wallstreet. Without the nudity! The nerve.

I’ve always enjoyed the movies, which isn’t some big deal or anything. So many people enjoy movies. However, there are too many movies, far too many classics I’m way to embarrass to admit I have not watched. For goodness sake, I only just watched The Lord of Rings trilogy mere months ago. More and more, I’ve had to play catch up on the movies I’ve missed over the years while keeping up with current cinema. I’ve seen roughly 400 movies from the 2010s. But even as that list grows longer, I’m comfortable sharing 100 movies I think everybody who loves and appreciates movies should see. There are Oscar-winning and nominated movies I haven’t watched from the 2010s. There are indie darlings and tremendously impactful films that I have yet to unearth. So, this isn’t some definite cemented-forever list. But it’s what I have now.

I’ve included the trailers to some movies I liked best, but the overall list is in alphabetical order because I honestly can’t pick the difference between American Honey and High Life. Or Book Smart and Manchester by the Sea. These movies are special and glorious and beautiful in their own ways.

10 Cloverfield Lane

21 Jump Street


After Everything

A Ghost Story

American Honey


A Quiet Place


Avengers Infinity War

Baby Driver

Big Hero 6


Black Panther

Blue Valentine

Book Smart



Christopher Robin



Crazy Stupid Love


The Dark Knight Rises

The Death of Stalin

Django Unchained

Don’t Breathe

Eighth Grade

The End of the Tour

Everybody Wants Some!!

The Farewell

First Man

First Reformed

The Florida Project

Frances Ha

Fruitvale Station

Get Out

Gone Girl

Good Time

Green Room

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

Hell or High Water



High Life

Honey Boy

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire



Inside Out

It Follows

John Wick

Lady Bird

La La Land

The Last Black Man in San Francisco

Lean on Pete

Leave No Trace

The Lighthouse

The Lobster

Mad Max: Fury Road

Manchester by the Sea

Marriage Story

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl



Once Upon A Time In Hollywood



The Peanut Butter Falcon

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Pitch Perfect


Rabbit Hole

The Rider



Short Term 12

Shutter Island

Sing Street

The Social Network

Sorry to Bother You

The Spectacular Now

Spider Man: Into the Spider-Verse


Straight Outta Compton

Super 8


Thor: Ragnarok


Thunder Road


We Bought a Zoo



Wind River

Winter’s Bone

Win Win

The Wolf of Wall Street

You Were Never Really Here

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