The Ongoing List of This Decade's Notable Films

Ten films from each year worth noting, updated yearly. This list includes all genres, mainstream and indie, foreign and domestic. You'll find Oscar fare and awesomely bad flicks. It is nowhere my definitive version of the best of each year, and I'm certainly not saying that other films don't belong on this list because some years were so jam-packed, ten films doesn't do the year justice. Also--and I hate to admit it--there are a lot of stellar films that I have just not seen.
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1.
Black Swan (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A committed dancer wins the lead role in a production of Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake" only to find herself struggling to maintain her sanity. (108 mins.)
 
2.
Easy A (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A clean-cut high school student relies on the school's rumor mill to advance her social and financial standing. (92 mins.)
Director: Will Gluck
 
3.
How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A hapless young Viking who aspires to hunt dragons becomes the unlikely friend of a young dragon himself, and learns there may be more to the creatures than he assumed. (98 mins.)
 
4.
Inception (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
A thief, who steals corporate secrets through use of dream-sharing technology, is given the inverse task of planting an idea into the mind of a CEO. (148 mins.)
 
5.
Kick-Ass (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Dave Lizewski is an unnoticed high school student and comic book fan who one day decides to become a superhero, even though he has no powers, training or meaningful reason to do so. (117 mins.)
Director: Matthew Vaughn
 
6.
MacGruber (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
Former special operative MacGruber is called back into action to take down his arch-enemy, Dieter Von Cunth, who's in possession of a nuclear warhead and bent on destroying Washington, D.C. (90 mins.)
Director: Jorma Taccone
 
7.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Scott Pilgrim must defeat his new girlfriend's seven evil exes in order to win her heart. (112 mins.)
Director: Edgar Wright
 
8.
The Town (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
As he plans his next job, a longtime thief tries to balance his feelings for a bank manager connected to one of his earlier heists, as well as the FBI agent looking to bring him and his crew down. (125 mins.)
Director: Ben Affleck
 
9.
True Grit (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A tough U.S. Marshal helps a stubborn teenager track down her father's murderer. (110 mins.)
 
10.
Winter's Bone (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
An unflinching Ozark Mountain girl hacks through dangerous social terrain as she hunts down her drug-dealing father while trying to keep her family intact. (100 mins.)
Director: Debra Granik
 
11.
Bridesmaids (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Competition between the maid of honor and a bridesmaid, over who is the bride's best friend, threatens to upend the life of an out-of-work pastry chef. (125 mins.)
Director: Paul Feig
 
12.
Contagion (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Healthcare professionals, government officials and everyday people find themselves in the midst of a worldwide epidemic as the CDC works to find a cure. (106 mins.)
 
13.
The Descendants (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A land baron tries to reconnect with his two daughters after his wife is seriously injured in a boating accident. (115 mins.)
Director: Alexander Payne
 
14.
Drive (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A mysterious Hollywood stuntman and mechanic moonlights as a getaway driver and finds himself trouble when he helps out his neighbor. (100 mins.)
 
15.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Journalist Mikael Blomkvist is aided in his search for a woman who has been missing for forty years by Lisbeth Salander, a young computer hacker. (158 mins.)
Director: David Fincher
 
16.
Hugo (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Set in 1930s Paris, an orphan who lives in the walls of a train station is wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automaton. (126 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
 
17.
Midnight in Paris (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
While on a trip to Paris with his fiancée's family, a nostalgic screenwriter finds himself mysteriously going back to the 1920s everyday at midnight. (94 mins.)
Director: Woody Allen
 
18.
The Muppets (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A Muppet fanatic with some help from his two human compatriots must regroup the Muppet gang to stop an avaricious oil mogul from taking down one of their precious life-longing treasures. (103 mins.)
Director: James Bobin
 
19.
The Tree of Life (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
The story of a family in Waco, Texas in 1956. The eldest son witnesses the loss of innocence and struggles with his parents' conflicting teachings. (139 mins.)
Director: Terrence Malick
 
20.
Warrior (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
The youngest son of an alcoholic former boxer returns home, where he's trained by his father for competition in a mixed martial arts tournament - a path that puts the fighter on a collision course with his estranged, older brother. (140 mins.)
Director: Gavin O'Connor
 
21.
Argo (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Acting under the cover of a Hollywood producer scouting a location for a science fiction film, a CIA agent launches a dangerous operation to rescue six Americans in Tehran during the U.S. hostage crisis in Iran in 1980. (120 mins.)
Director: Ben Affleck
 
22.
Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Faced with both her hot-tempered father's fading health and melting ice-caps that flood her ramshackle bayou community and unleash ancient aurochs, six-year-old Hushpuppy must learn the ways of courage and love. (93 mins.)
Director: Benh Zeitlin
 
23.
The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Five friends go for a break at a remote cabin in the woods, where they get more than they bargained for. Together, they must discover the truth behind the cabin in the woods. (95 mins.)
Director: Drew Goddard
 
24.
Django Unchained (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
With the help of a German bounty hunter, a freed slave sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner. (165 mins.)
 
25.
The Grey (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
After their plane crashes in Alaska, six oil workers are led by a skilled huntsman to survival, but a pack of merciless wolves haunts their every step. (117 mins.)
Director: Joe Carnahan
 
26.
Lincoln (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
As the Civil War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves. (150 mins.)
 
27.
Looper (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
In 2074, when the mob wants to get rid of someone, the target is sent into the past, where a hired gun awaits - someone like Joe - who one day learns the mob wants to 'close the loop' by sending back Joe's future self for assassination. (119 mins.)
Director: Rian Johnson
 
28.
Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A pair of young lovers flee their New England town, which causes a local search party to fan out to find them. (94 mins.)
Director: Wes Anderson
 
29.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An introvert freshman is taken under the wings of two seniors who welcome him to the real world. (102 mins.)
Director: Stephen Chbosky
 
30.
Sound of My Voice (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Two documentary filmmakers attempt to penetrate a cult who worships a woman who claims to be from the future. (85 mins.)
Director: Zal Batmanglij
 
31.
Pacific Rim (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
As a war between humankind and monstrous sea creatures wages on, a former pilot and a trainee are paired up to drive a seemingly obsolete special weapon in a desperate effort to save the world from the apocalypse. (131 mins.)
 
32.
Gravity (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A medical engineer and an astronaut work together to survive after an accident leaves them adrift in space. (91 mins.)
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
 
33.
Mud (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Two young boys encounter a fugitive and form a pact to help him evade the vigilantes that are on his trail and to reunite him with his true love. (130 mins.)
Director: Jeff Nichols
 
34.
The Place Beyond the Pines (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A motorcycle stunt rider turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for his lover and their newborn child, a decision that puts him on a collision course with an ambitious rookie cop navigating a department ruled by a corrupt detective. (140 mins.)
 
35.
Iron Man 3 (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
When Tony Stark's world is torn apart by a formidable terrorist called the Mandarin, he starts an odyssey of rebuilding and retribution. (130 mins.)
Director: Shane Black