At the top of the 2010s, in one of the top films on the list you’re about to read through, a young tech mogul declared in an ecstatic frenzy that we were going to live on the Internet. He was right, of course, even if Sean Parker probably didn’t realize what Mark Zuckerberg was about to unleash on the global community.
Like everything, so much of the decade in film unfolded on the Internet. The decade began with Netflix still taking its earliest steps into on-demand streaming, and it’s ending with the production and release of a Martin Scorsese-directed tentpole feature. We watch movies at home as often as theaters now, if not far more frequently; we praise and argue and think about them online for the same reason we’ve always talked about the movies, to better understand them and ourselves and the world through them. In confusing and increasingly fraught times, we needed ways to understand, and film at its best gave us a chance to do exactly that.
The list you’re about to read, like every other one you’re about to read in the coming weeks and months, is a condensed version of a far longer list, one full of films just as exceptional as the 100 to follow here. That’s just part of the list-making game. But we’d like to think that it also captures the spectrum of moviegoing experiences from the decade that was, the genre-bending experiments and bold new voices and revelatory career peaks that accompanied film’s transition into cinematic universes and dedicated repertory theaters and the press of a button on your remote.
We have a lot more to say about what we’ll call the 100 best films of the 2010s, as you’re about to see, so let’s get started.
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