Greatest Films of the 2010s
Greatest Films of the 2010s

Greatest Films of the 2010s
2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019


Academy Awards for 2018 Films
Title Screen Film Genre(s), Title, Year, (Country), Length, Director, Description

BlacKkKlansman (2018), 136 minutes, D: Spike Lee
In director Spike Lee's biographical, dark crime film based on historical fact, black undercover cop Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) - the first black officer in Colorado Springs, CO in the 1970s, courageously went undercover as a detective to infiltrate the KKK. His method was to impersonate a white person on the phone, while his white Jewish co-worker Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver) impersonated him in-person at KKK rallies or gatherings, and he was eventually able to meet with Klan leader David Duke (Topher Grace). As the deception became more involved, his love interest with activist Patrice Dumas (Laura Harrier), President of the Black Student Union at Colorado College, became endangered.

Black Panther (2018), 135 minutes, D: Ryan Coogler
This 18th film in Marvel's Cinematic Universe was the highest-grossing (domestic) film of 2018. It was the first one with a black superhero in the lead role, and featured a huge African-American ensemble cast. African prince T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) was crowned king (aka the Black Panther) in a sacred ceremony in the fictional African nation of Wakanda following the death of Wakandan King T'Chaka (Atandwa Kani), his father. (The film opened with a flashback to 1992, when T'Chaka made a surprise visit to Oakland, CA to visit his brother N'Jobu who was working undercover to confront a rogue Wakandan spy - a black market arms dealer known as Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) who was stealing vibranium from Wakanda.) After T'Challa's coronation, he learned that Klaue (and an accomplice named Erik Stevens) had stolen a vibranium (a valuable metal) artifact from London's British Museum. With the female leader of his royal warrior guard General Okoye (Danai Gurira), and ex-lover Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o) - an undercover Wakandan spy, T'Challa pursued Klaue in South Korea where he planned to sell the artifact to CIA agent Everett K. Ross (Martin Freeman). Their mission was complicated by the film's central villain - Klaue's mysterious ally N'Jadaka (Michael B. Jordan), who was revealed to be a former black-ops SEAL, known as Erik "Killmonger" Stevens, who sought to claim the Wakanda throne and overthrow his cousin T'Challa. He challenged T'Challa in his desires to abandon Wakanda's isolationist policies and incite a global revolution.

Bohemian Rhapsody (2018), 133 minutes, D: Bryan Singer, Dexter Fletcher (partial),
This fact-based musical biopic of gay lead singer Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek) (originally "Freddie" Farrokh Bulsara) of the popular British hard rock band Queen followed his rise to success when he first joined Smile (later renamed) and soon found success. Although he married his sweetheart Mary Austin (Lucy Boynton), he struggled with his own sexual identity, and his life on the road became one of boozing, drugs and gay orgies. Ultimately, he broke off and had a solo career, and then suffered from the debilitating AIDS disease. But he redeemed himself in the film's climax - in 1985 when he joined Queen for the benefit Live Aid show at the original Wembley Stadium, before his untimely death at the age of 45 in 1991.

Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018), 107 minutes, D: Marielle Heller
This bleak comedy was based upon the memoirs of failing American freelance writer-author Lee Israel (Melissa McCarthy) who became so desperate that she turned to literal forgery. It was based upon Israel's 2008 confessional autobiography of the same name. After meeting elderly, suave and ne'er-do-well barfly Jack (Richard E. Grant), Lee decided upon a complex and felonious scheme to pay her bills. The often drunken Lee began forging a number of personal letters (estimated to total more than 400) by deceased writers and actors, and becoming more bold, she also stole actual letters and autographed papers of famous persons from libraries and archives, replacing them with forged copies she had made.

Crazy Rich Asians (2018), 121 minutes, D: Jon M. Chu
Jon Chu's romantic comedy was adapted from Kevin Kwan's 2013 novel that was loosely based upon his childhood in Singapore. It was one of those rare major Hollywood studio films to feature a majority cast of Asian descent in a modern setting. Smart, clever, and independent Chinese American Economics professor Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) at NY University fell in love with Nick Young (Henry Golding). When she traveled to Singapore to attend a wedding with him, she met her boyfriend's family, and was surprised to find that he was from an ultra-wealthy, famous high-society Singapore family. The content of the film explored how Rachel was able to adapt, especially with Nick's controlling, icy and domineering mother (Michelle Yeoh), who saw Rachel as a threat for a number of reasons, but was able to eventually receive her blessing.

The Favourite (2018, UK), 121 minutes, D: Yorgos Lanthimos
In this period piece costume dramedy or black comedy, two cousins, Lady Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough (Rachel Weisz) and Abigail Masham (Emma Stone) vied for the favor of Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) in early 18th-century England. When Abigail arrived at the palace where she was first placed in the scullery working as a maid, she realized how Sarah had become the close confidante (and lover) of the sickly and petulant Queen. While Sarah was involved with affairs of state, the clever Abigail was able to seductively maneuver herself into the good graces of the Queen, causing an all-out clash between the two cousins.

First Man (2018), 142 minutes, D. Damien Chazelle
Chazelle's fact-based biographical drama was based upon First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong, written in 2005 by James R. Hansen. It followed the decade leading up to the historic Apollo 11 manned-mission to the Moon in 1969, with its many test flights and mission failures (and deaths), culminating with Armstrong's 'walk on the moon' and his famous statement: "That's one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind." In this character study, California engineer/test pilot/astronaut Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) was portrayed as smart, stoic, brave, and determined but also a reluctant and emotionally-distant space hero. He was selected by NASA in Houston to join the program and moved there with his wife Janet (Claire Foy), to join families of the other astronauts, including Ed White (Jason Clarke), Elliott See (Patrick Fugit), and Jim Lovell (Pablo Schreiber).

Green Book (2018), 130 minutes, D: Peter Farrelly
In this Best Picture-winning, thought-provoking examination of race, friendship and prejudice set in the year 1962, racist Italian-American, white NYC bouncer Frank "Tony Lip" Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen) took a temporary job as a chauffeur for acclaimed and gifted African-American classical and jazz pianist Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) during his eight-week concert tour of the Midwest and the Deep South. The title of this road-trip buddy film referred to the "green book" guide that Shirley's record label gave to Tony, intended to assist African-American travelers in finding motels, restaurants, and filling stations that were open to serve them. The contrast between the vulgar and racist Tony and the refined, well-educated, restrained and intelligent Dr. Shirley was profound, but they were able to bridge their gaps and form an unlikely empathic friendship when faced with vicious stereotyping, hate crimes and Jim Crow laws in the Deep South.

If Beale Street Could Talk (2018), 119 minutes, D. Barry Jenkins
Director writer-director Barry Jenkins' non-linear adaptation of James Baldwin's 1974 love story novel (of the same name) was set in early 1970s Harlem, with themes of racial injustice and prejudice. Two young African-American lovers from childhood: 19 year-old Clementine "Tish" Rivers (KiKi Layne) and 22-year-old Alonzo "Fonny" Hunt (Stephan James) were planning on marriage - but then Fonny was wrongly accused and jailed for the crime of raping a woman named Victoria Rogers (Emily Rios), who soon after fled back to her native Puerto Rico. The testimony of racist Officer Bell (Ed Skrein) helped to indict Fonny. During his incarceration within a justice system that was inept, Tish revealed that she was pregnant. While Tish's parents - her patient and wise mother Sharon Rivers (Regina King), her father Joseph (Colman Domingo) and older sister Ernestine (Teyonah Parris) -- along with Fonny's father Frank Hunt (Michael Beach) -- remained supportive, Fonny's highly-religious, judgmental and devout mother (Aunjanue Ellis) was appalled about the out-of-wedlock child. Sharon even traveled to Puerto Rico to speak to alleged rape victim Victoria who refused to change her accusations. Eventually, Fonny accepted a plea deal and was still in jail when Tish gave birth to Alonzo, Jr.

Incredibles 2 (2018), 125 minutes, D: Brad Bird
Pixar Animation Studios' was the computer-animated sequel to The Incredibles (2004) that again followed the life of the superhero Parr family in the city of Metroville, including super strong Bob Parr / Mr. Incredible (voice of Craig T. Nelson), Helen Parr / Elastigirl (voice of Holly Hunter), their moody daughter Violet (voice of Sarah Vowell), their speedy son Dashiell "Dash" Parr, (Huck Milner), and their growing baby Jack-Jack (voice of Eli Fucile). The family initially faced and overpowered a new villainous foe or threat - the mole-like supervillain Underminer (voice of John Ratzenberger), although the city officials resented the destructiveness of the family and their their good friend Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson) during the superheroes' rescue of the city. To help establish a new and more positive image for the superhero and restore public trust, telecommunications DevTech CEO Winston Deaver (voice of Bob Odenkirk), with his younger sister Evelyn Deavor (voice of Catherine Keener), convinced Elastigirl to wear a body camera to record her activities, as she tracked down a second foe - the mysterious Screenslaver (actually Evelyn in disguise, with a grudge against the superheroes) who had powers enabling her to project hypnotic images via TV screens. Meanwhile, Mr. Incredible struggled as a stay-at-home house-dad with the kids and faced his own challenges of contemporary family life.

Mary Poppins Returns (2018), 130 minutes, D: Rob Marshall
A big-budget sequel to Disney's original musical fantasy Mary Poppins (1964) about the magical British nanny who descended with her umbrella from the sky, loosely based on the book series by P.L. Travers. The flying, singing, and extremely-helpful Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) arrived at the Banks Family household at London's Cherry Tree Lane (during the Great Depression of the 1930s), 25 years after the events of the original film. She was the former nanny of the Banks family, that was now composed of two grown-up siblings: Michael Banks (Ben Whishaw) (now a widower after his wife Kate died a year earlier), and Michael's union-organizing older sister Jane (Emily Mortimer). Michael now lived with his three children: John (Nathanael Saleh), Annabel (Pixie Davies) and Georgie (Joel Dawson), and their long-time housekeeper, Ellen (Julie Walters). An indebted bank employee and struggling artist, Michael's home was in danger of repossession when Mary arrived. Mary and the family became friends with Cockney lamplighter Jack (Lin-Manuel Miranda), and all pitched in to help avoid the loss of the home by the bank's manager William Weatherall Wilkins (Colin Firth).

A Quiet Place (2018), 91 minutes, D: John Krasinski
In this truly scary and gripping horror-monster film, a family struggled to survive a post-apocalyptic assault in the year 2020 by blind, extraterrestrial monsters with hyper-sensitive hearing. The Abbott family, composed of father Lee (John Krasinski) and mother Evelyn (Emily Blunt) were able to communicate using ASL (American Sign Language) due to their eldest daughter Regan's (Millicent Simmonds) deafness. They had survived by building a well-stocked fortress stored with food, surveillance cameras, warning lights, and even a Monopoly game with soft, silent playing pieces. 4 year-old Beau (Cade Woodward) was killed when he alerted the aliens to his location with a battery-operated toy, so only two children remained: Regan and Marcus (Noah Jupe) - and then a third was added, a newborn (birthed by Evelyn under extremely trying circumstances). Although the family suffered the loss of Lee when he sacrificed his life to save his children, the remaining survivors discovered the monsters' weakness - the amplification of the high-frequency sound emitted by Regan's cochlear implant.

Roma (2018, Mex./US), 135 minutes, D: Alfonso Cuarón
Due to the use of Spanish and Mixtec (a native dialect used in some parts of Mexico), the film featured English subtitles. The film functioned as a semi-autobiographical tale of director Cuarón's own upbringing in the Colonia Roma neighborhood of Mexico City. Set in the years 1970-72, live-in domestic housekeeper/maid Cleodegaria "Cleo" Gutiérrez (Yalitza Aparicio) was part of a troubled, middle-class family with strains and marital difficulties, composed of matriarchal Sofía (Marina de Tavira), her usually-absent doctor-husband Antonio (Fernando Grediaga), her mother Teresa (Verónica García), and their four young children. Antonio's infidelity to Sofia was soon revealed, and "Cleo" had also been impregnated by irresponsible Fermin (Jorge Antonio Guerrero). With Fermin unavailable, Sofia stepped in to help "Cleo," while violent students protests (known as the Corpus Christi Massacre) erupted in the city, the baby was still-born, and the family was in the midst of a major marital separation.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018), 117 minutes, D: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman
This animated Marvel adventure tale set in the Spider-Verse told about 14 year-old Brooklyn teenager Miles Morales (voice of Shameik Moore) who was a student in an elite New York City boarding school. As in all the Spider-Man stories, he was transformed into a new Spider-Man after being bitten by a radioactive mutated spider. In an underground experimental lab, he discovered Peter Parker/Spider-Man (voice of Jake Johnson) attempting to stop villainous, greedy crime boss Kingpin (voice of Liev Schreiber) from accessing parallel universes in the space-time continuum with his 'Super-Collider' that could also destroy New York. Spider-Man was mortally wounded, but Kingpin created another version of Peter Parker (38 years old and more disheveled) from a parallel universe who reluctantly agreed to mentor Miles. They met four other multiverse "Spideys" from other dimensions, including teenaged Gwen Stacy/Spider-Woman (voice of Hailee Steinfeld), an anime-styled Japanese-American girl named Peni Parker (voice of Kimiko Glenn), an anthropomorphic pig known as Peter Porker/Spider-Ham (voice of John Mulaney), and a black-and-white 1930s Spider-Man Noir (voice of Nicolas Cage). Everyone grouped together as a team to disable the collider and defeat Kingpin before returning to their own universes.

A Star Is Born (2018), 134 minutes, D: Bradley Cooper
This romantic drama remake was the fourth screen version of the film, following others from 1937 (with Janet Gaynor and Fredric March), 1954 (with Judy Garland and James Mason), and 1976 (with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson). In the heartbreaking and tragic tale of love and addiction, hard-drinking, drug-abusing rocker Jackson "Jack" Maine (Bradley Cooper) fell in love with struggling singer/songwriter Ally (Lady Gaga) (also a waitress) when he watched her perform at a drag bar. Soon, the two joined up (and romantically hooked up) and paired for road-tour performances, with Ally slowly launching her own artistic solo career. Meanwhile, Jackson's substance abuse and personal problems worsened, threatening their relationship and careers, and leading to Jackson's own self-destruction..

Vice (2018), 132 minutes, D: Adam McKay
Vice-President Dick Cheney (Christian Bale) was the subject of this irreverent, semi-satirical political biopic of President Bush's second-in-command from 2001-2009. Cheney was portrayed in his college days as a hard-drinking, bar-fighting student who dropped out of Yale University and was jailed for drunk driving in the early 1960s. His girlfriend at the time (and his future wife), Lynne (Amy Adams) issued an ultimatum unless he straightened himself out. The film surveyed his rise to power in the late 1960s as a congressional intern in the Nixon administration when he worked with economic advisor Donald Rumsfeld (Steve Carell) in the White House. After Nixon resigned, Cheney ascended to White House Chief of Staff for President Gerald Ford. He also served as a Wyoming Congressman during the 1980s Reagan years, and as Secretary of Defense under President George H. W. Bush during the Gulf War. Before the 2000 Presidential election, Cheney was asked by George W. Bush (Sam Rockwell) to be his running mate and went on to victory. Following the 9/11 attacks, Cheney set a dangerous precedent by remaking the Vice Presidency as a much more pivotal and powerful force in government.

The Wife (2018), 101 minutes, D: Björn Runge
This gripping domestic drama was based on the novel of the same name by Meg Wolitzer, about the deteriorating effects of infidelity. It followed the trajectory of a wife who questioned her life's choices during several decades as she traveled to Stockholm with her husband who was about to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature. In a seemingly-happy marriage between Joan Archer Castleman (Glenn Close) and novelist Professor Joseph Castleman (Jonathan Pryce), both resentments and secrets were hidden from view. Throughout their early romance and marital years, the smart and intelligent Joan had been very loving and supportive of Joseph, but also repressed, embittered and resentful for her husband's infidelities, and for the undue praise lauded onto her husband for his writings. In the spoiler twist, it was revealed that Joan was the one who had actually ghost-written all of his books, but they were published under his name.

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