I’m Baaaaaack….and Here’s My Top 50 of the Decade

Hello all! It’s been nigh on four years since I last dropped some knowledge on you here at Reel News Daily. I went off and got a Master’s degree, new job and all that, but have still been rocking films from all over the world. I’m happy to be back in the fold here at Reel News Daily and look forward to contributing more this year. Don’t you feel lucky?

So, I figured my phoenix rising from the ashes post should be something that might start a little conversation – my Top 50 films of the last decade. There were so many great films to choose from, which made this list very difficult. After two days of whittling it down and moving films around, I feel confident with what I decided on. I’m sure I missed a few of your favorites, but this is my list so you’ll just have to deal with it.

Here we go:

50) Shoplifters (2018) dir. by Hirokazu Koreeda
49) Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) dir. by Bob Perischetti, Peter Ramsey & Rodney Rothman
48) Gone Girl (2014) dir. by David Fincher
47) A Hidden Life (2019) dir. by Terrence Malick
46) Annihilation (2018) dir. by Alex Garland
45) Under the Skin (2013) dir. by Jonathan Glazer
44) Her (2013) dir. by Spike Jonze
43) The Favourite (2018) dir. by Yorgos Lanthimos
42) Take Shelter (2011) dir. by Jeff Nichols
41) Leviathan (2012) dir. by Lucien Castaing-Taylor & Verena Paravel
40) Upstream Color (2013) dir. by Shane Carruth
39) Death of Stalin (2017) dir. by Armando Iannucci
38) Columbus (2017) dir. Kogonada
37) Holy Motors (2012) dir. by Leos Carax
36) Shame (2011) dir. by Steve McQueen
35) Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World (2010) dir. by Edgar Wright
34) Midnight in Paris (2011) dir. by Woody Allen
33) Stories We Tell (2012) dir. by Sarah Polley
32) Cold War (2018) dir. by Pawel Pawlikowski
31) Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) dir. by George Miller
30) Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) dir. by Ethan & Joel Coen
29) The Look of Silence (2015) dir. by Joshua Oppenheimer
28) We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011) dir. by Lynne Ramsay
27) BlacKkKlansman (2018) dir. by Spike Lee
26) First Reformed (2017) dir. by Paul Schrader
25) Carol (2015) dir. by Todd Haynes
24) Winter’s Bone (2010) dir. by Debra Granik
23) Citizenfour (2014) dir. by Laura Poitras
22) Animal Kingdom (2010) dir. by David Michôd
21) A Separation (2011) dir. by Asgar Farhadi
20) Meek’s Cutoff (2010) dir. by Kelly Reichardt
19) La La Land (2016) dir. by Damien Chazelle
18) Phantom Thread (2018) dir. by Paul Thomas Anderson
17) The Lobster (2015) dir. by Yorgos Lanthimos
16) Calvary (2014) dir. by John Michael McDonagh
15) Best of Enemies: Buckley Vs. Vidal (2015) dir. by Robert Morgan & Morgan Neville
14) Looper (2012) dir. by Rian Johnson
13) Frances Ha (2013) dir. by Noah Baumbach
12) Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012) dir. by Benh Zeitlin
11) Lady Bird (2018) dir. by Greta Gerwig
10) A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014) dir. by Ana Lily Amirpour
9) Moonlight (2016) dir. by Barry Jenkins
8) Only Lovers Left Alive (2013) dir. by Jim Jarmusch
7) Zero Dark Thirty (2012) dir. by Kathryn Bigelow
6) The Tree of Life (2014) dir. by Terrence Malick
5) You Were Never Really Here (2017) dir. by Lynne Ramsay
4) Ex Machina (2014) dir. by Alex Garland
3) Melancholia (2011) dir. by Lars Von Trier
2) The Act of Killing (2012) dir. by Joshua Oppenheimer

1) The Master (2012) dir. by Paul Thomas Anderson

So there you have it. It was a tough job, but I was happy to do it. Here are a few that nearly made the list: Everybody Wants Some!! (underrated Richard Linklater that more people should watch), Tomas Alfredson’s slow burn spy thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Paul Thomas Anderson’s hippie noir adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice. Admittedly, it was hard to weave many of the films from 2019 into the list as they’ll need to sit me a longer. I will say that Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite and Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story nearly edged their way on.

Here’s to hoping that the next ten years brings as many great films as the last ten have.

Michael’s Review: ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’

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Visionary director George Miller returns to the franchise that launched his career 36 years ago, with a fourth installment, Mad Max: Fury Road, a film seen as a renaissance of the franchise and quite possibly one of the best action films of the century. The first film in the franchise not to star Mel Gibson as the titular character, actor Tom Hardy takes over as Max Rockatansky, a survivor in the apocalyptic wasteland searching for his place in the abyss. This action packed adventure is a throat punch to your senses and one hell of a wild ride.

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His name is Max (Tom Hardy) and his world fire and blood. Life in this world is reduced to a single instinct: survive, but survival is not an easy task.  Max is a loner running from the ghosts of his past, memories that haunt his every move. Being a loner makes you more susceptible in this world, predators across every dune, looking for any opportunity to kill you and take what’s yours. The perfect introduction, or re-introduction for some, into the world of the mad.

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We begin with Max being captured by the War Boys, the army of tyrannical cult leader King Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne). Taken to a mountainside fortress called the Citadel, Max is imprisoned and used as a blood donor for a sick War Boy named Nux (Nicholas Hoult). We see into the chaotic nature of the Citadel, where War boys control and harvest the resources for Joe while hordes of desperate survivors beg for even a single drop of water. In need of replenishment of their gasoline supply, Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) drives her heavily-armored War Rig to collect more from Gastown, but instead veers off course and makes a run for it. Joe quickly realizes that his five wives are gone and scrambles his entire War Boy army in pursuit of Furiosa, as well as calling on the aid of nearby Gas Town and the Bullet Farm to assist in the pursuit.

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Nux joins the army and straps Max to the hood of his car, to continue supplying blood. A battle ensues between the Rig and Joe’s forces which leads to a chance for Max to make his escape. Max encounters Furiosa and the wives and reluctantly agrees to let them accompany him. Furiosa informs Max of her plan to make a run for the “Green Place”, a location she remembers from her youth, as a safe place for the wives. As the group begins their journey into the unknown, Nux continues his pursuit of the traitor Furiosa to bring Joe’s prized wives back to him and receive the rewards. With Joe’s army quickly closing in, Max and Furiosa must face the battle of their lives which will test not only their physical state, but their mental one as well.

CHARLIZE THERON as Furiosa in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Village Roadshow Pictures’ action adventure “MAD MAX: FURY ROAD,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo by Jasin Boland

CHARLIZE THERON as Furiosa in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Village Roadshow Pictures’ action adventure “MAD MAX: FURY ROAD,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
Photo by Jasin Boland

From start to finish, Mad Max: Fury Road is non stop action. George Miller attention to detail in his vision of this apocalyptic world is captivating. Miller’s film, essentially, plays as one big chase scene, with a few detours here and there, but the real genius in this film is the use of real-time stunt work in place of CGI. The action choreography in Mad Max: Fury Road coupled with the astounding camerawork is mind-blowing. The sheer spectacle that is the stunt work and destruction of these vehicles is worth the price of the ticket alone.

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The world is riddled with interesting characters using futuristic dialogue which add to the insanity of the landscape. Tom Hardy is compelling as Max. His take on the character plays nicely in concert with Gibson’s version with a few added quirks that remind us that Max is still a man underneath despite his damaged psyche. Charlize Theron is astounding as Furiosa and one of the strongest female characters we’ve seen in a long time. Whether driving with a furious determination or contemplating her life thru all her struggles, Theron commands the attention of the audience in every scene and excels in her ability to make us feel for her character at every turn. The remaining cast, including the wonderful Nicholas Hoult, add to the character rich landscape of this film beautifully, each adding their signature to an already exquisitely acted film.

Overall, Mad Max: Fury Road is a amazing feat of action film making. George Miller has created yet another masterpiece in his apocalyptic franchise, one that I can safely say, honors the previous films with intense care. Do not miss this film.

Stars:

4 1/2 out of 5

After Credit Scene?

None

Trailer:

New Teaser Trailer for ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ is Unleashed

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If I wasn’t excited enough, Warner Bros. Pictures has to go and release a new teaser to get me all geeked up again! Check it out!

An apocalyptic story set in the furthest reaches of our planet, in a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, and almost everyone is crazed fighting for the necessities of life. Within this world exist two rebels on the run who just might be able to restore order. There’s Max (Tom Hardy), a man of action and a man of few words, who seeks peace of mind following the loss of his wife and child in the aftermath of the chaos. And Furiosa (Charlize Theron), a woman of action and a woman who believes her path to survival may be achieved if she can make it across the desert back to her childhood homeland.

The movie also stars Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Nathan Jones, Zoe Kravitz, Riley Keough, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.

Mad Max: Fury Road is the fourth film of George Miller’s Road Warrior franchise and is co-written and directed by Miller. The film opens in theaters on May 15th but will debut at Cannes Film Festival the day before.