This is such a controversial decision and I'm sure any type of "decade best" lists will ensue endless discussion, but I'm going with what I personally believe represents the best of the decade in originality, audacity, excellence and how well the given film stands up today: is it still shocking, disturbing, provoking, inspiring etc.
I had a very difficult time deciding for every decade itself.
P.S. This list represents American films only. Otherwise, you would have seen City of God for the 2000's.
It's a Wonderful Life
An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed. (130 mins.)
“ 1940's ” - napoleon-dynamite0
A San Francisco detective suffering from acrophobia investigates the strange activities of an old friend's wife, all the while becoming dangerously obsessed with her. (128 mins.)
“ 1950's. ” - napoleon-dynamite0
2001: A Space Odyssey
Humanity finds a mysterious, obviously artificial object buried beneath the Lunar surface and, with the intelligent computer H.A.L. 9000, sets off on a quest. (149 mins.)
“ 1960's. ” - napoleon-dynamite0
A mentally unstable Vietnam War veteran works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge for violent action, attempting to save a preadolescent prostitute in the process. (113 mins.)
“ 1970's. Sorry "Godfather" fans, I'm going with the underdog. ” - napoleon-dynamite0
The discovery of a severed human ear found in a field leads a young man on an investigation related to a beautiful, mysterious nightclub singer and a group of psychopathic criminals who have kidnapped her child. (120 mins.)
“ 1980's. ” - napoleon-dynamite0
The lives of two mob hit men, a boxer, a gangster's wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption. (154 mins.)
“ 1990's. Honorable mentions for this decade: The Usual Suspects, My Own Private Idaho, The Silence of the Lambs, Leon: The Professional, Fargo. ” - napoleon-dynamite0
Synecdoche, New York
A theatre director struggles with his work, and the women in his life, as he creates a life-size replica of New York City inside a warehouse as part of his new play. (124 mins.)
“ 2000's: I had such a tough time deciding between the best of the 2000's, so I kind of gave in and picked two. ” - napoleon-dynamite0
Lost in Translation
A faded movie star and a neglected young woman form an unlikely bond after crossing paths in Tokyo. (101 mins.)
“ 2000's/Part 2: A visually stunning film about isolation, loneliness and life itself. ” - napoleon-dynamite0