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  • Ben Hunter

Favorite Films of the Decade (2010-2019)!!

Updated: Mar 14, 2020


When the last decade ended I had jumped in about halfway through. Not even knowing it was the end of one. Just another cool way to say the new year, “twenty-ten”. And boy was that a great new beginning for me! I was totally immersed in the world of film. Bitter about Inglorious Basterds (2009) not getting any recognition from the awards ceremonies, but overtly passionate about my industry and could predict, quote, and debate any and everything movies with anyone. Girlfriends loved me for being so passionate, friends loved the discussion, and people knew what they were getting when Ben Hunter entered the picture. You couldn’t change my mind about the state of things or where my heart was during this period. Re-visiting some of my writings during this period I can tell I was warped in the zone, I was truly at home. Despite this being the start of Hollywood’s decline in quality. Due to the agendas, messages, and typical industry politics that have now caught up with them in addition to the recent country politics that have take Hollywood over by storm. Thus opening the entry way to the agenda pushing, messaging, and any and everything that don’t involve movie making and the art of film. 


It all took its toll on me. I couldn’t bear to keep up with the one-sided thinking and going along to get along groupthink. I saw the ugliness of where I worked and just lost interest in that pipe dream of a recent film school grad entering the new decade. I’ve written that off, if it happens it happens. In the meantime, I’ve discovered an entirely new side to myself, that I’ve been coming to grips with for the last 5 years or so but just haven’t declared it ’til now. So I will continue to express that side in the meantime and evolve my film career all the while. Completely open to whatever happens. I don’t have to have to be front and center in Hollywood anymore, or a major part of it. I’m creating content on my own without the highlighted desire of hope to break in anymore. Features would still be the goal, as that’s where my skills lay. But on my own terms, in my own way, outside of the industry. I’ve started a YouTube channel and a mothership website/blog, talking about any and everything. With that, I have the excited hopes of expanding into new avenues of opportunities. The top and foremost objective being to create my own feature films, apart from the studio system. I love the commentary videos and other content creation that I've embarked on in the meantime though. So I'm not cemented into one avenue anymore, thinking I'm selling out and not being focused because of such. I've grown up. 



We’ll see how things pan out, but I’m no longer a wanna be shill, eager to jump however high Hollywood tells me to. I’m on my own path, appreciating the growth and new direction I’m headed on, thank the Lord. And looking back, I have no regrets. I needed to do what I did, to get to this point. The things I've learned, I had to learn them, and I'm so grateful for the journey I've voyaged to this point, to infinity and beyond. And reminiscing the cinematic best of each year as I grew, I’m encouraged that I’m headed in the right direction!


No regrets. Looking forward. Here’s to the next decade of living!


!!HERE ARE MY FAVORITE FILMS OF THE DECADE!!


1. NYMPHOMANIAC (2014)

I’m happy this made my number 1, I couldn’t be more proud. It’s a 2 parter. An almost 4 hour movie, 2 separate 2 hour flicks, so there’s so much opportunity to screw this up and knock it out of any running. And with every viewing I find myself more entrenched! This super serious, extremely graphic and hard to tell narrative goes down like ice cold water in the summer. THAT’S what sets this apart! Lars von Trier does the job of a lifetime with this one. As evidenced when I witnessed a later tale he did of the makings of a serial killer, with Matt Dillon. It was clearly in that same format and going for a similar feeling as with Nymph. But in no way could I truly compare the two. This knocks it out of the ballpark and will remain in my heart forever. Hopefully it stays on Netflix that long as well! 


On a side note, volume 1 is my MOST VIEWED MOVIE REVIEW ... EVER!! With literally thousands and thousands of views! Thank you to everyone for your support! This was destined to make this slot. Check it out here!



2. MUSTANG (2015)

I’m seeing patterns in my lists with various years. Some years were clearly favored over others. It’s not on purpose, and I’m surprised to see some films stand the test of time over others and rise above their higher ranked slots come the decade’s end. Exhibit A, France's selection for foreign film that year. Though it’s in Turkish and of that culture. 5 young girls who live in a traditional environment and are married off one by one, betrothed to family selected partners. As the girls rebel, they learn to grow up and become women with responsibilities and that life isn’t all about fun. When I first derived this list, this film immediately came to mind. And over the years, it's never left me. 



3. EX MACHINA (2015)

Perfect example, I love this film, but this was my number one that year and Mustang a close 2nd. As time has passed, years later, I still love this film, but you see how we too have grown as the girls of Turkish culture. I’m so happy I was in the mix and up to date with all my posting requirements with this one as it was in season. I wrote my review, both official and the year end summary, posted my interest all over social media and purchased the film when it became available. All in a timely manner, which makes me smile. It put Alicia Vikander on the radar for me and I’ve never forgotten her since. Same with Oscar Isaac, though I believe he had JUST stepped in with another entry right before this. And to the fruitful careers everyone involved has prospered with since. Cheers all around! 



4. MIDNIGHT IN PARIS (2011)

I’m happy Woody made the cut for the decade and in the top ten no less. Though I shouldn’t be surprised. An early entry into the decade and this film has stayed with me since. It’s been almost a decade and it hits just as hard. It’s one of Woody’s best. It opens differently than his standard opening, and arguably captures the human spirit better than anything he’s written, again, arguably. A film that’s elevated quirky, comedy actor Owen Wilson; and as per usual, is so romantically, poetically, and beautifully written! I still quote the Hemingway monologue by Corey Stoll to this day! 



5. BEFORE MIDNIGHT (2013)

When the memories kick in about what I remember and liked at first when reviewing these films, I love the initial thoughts and glimpses into the past. With Midnight, it was the staying true to the nature of these series of films. How it all was well-played together in the spirit of playing out the day as the couple experience the turmoil of relationship. And that 30 minute climax at the end makes me relive that 2 hour experience in the theaters all over again. And just as it was on that day, it felt like 20 minutes when all was said and done. Would’ve been nice to convey this to star Julie Delpy of this film when I ran into her at the grocery store in Beverly Hills. She wasn’t having it though. Never seen someone move through a place so quickly! 



6. SPRING BREAKERS (2013)

And just like that, you’ve lost all respect for this list. I get it. This is an odd choice. Every list, blog, forum, comment section, etc. all trash this movie as a true "WTF". No one understands what the heck they just watched and immediately moves to the mental thesaurus for “terrible” to describe how they feel about it. And to all that I say, about once a year or so, if not more some years, I pull this out and watch it again. And after the 3rd or 4th year of doing this, I realized it wasn’t just because it was commercial fun that I wanted to relive all over. Not because of some good, in your face T&A, I can go just about anywhere for that. It was because this story was that. damn. good! Harmony Korine’s imagery, colors and shot selections were mesmerizing! In fact, he started the whole process with visions of colors, designs, and psychedelic imagery that paint the bed of this story's solace. The editing and tempo ease me into each part of the story that develop characters I care about and become intrigued with. The repeat editing style that is consistent all throughout the film that critics seem to cringe because of, is what drives the point home with me that move the story from point to point. I thoroughly disagree with critics on that one. All of this make me remember how enthralled I was that limited weekend in the theater, watching this before most people did. (I remember I was super skinny back then too!) Writing my review in timely fashion right afterwards (which became one of my most viewed EVER) and informing the world of my number one film that year. I see it’s dropped one slot from the film it topped that year, but in its favor, this is probably the film I’ll pull out and watch again and again from this list, especially if I had to just pick one. It has that commercial, easy feel to it that still is heavy enough to swing with the big dogs. Yes, only in my book apparently. And I will hold onto that proudly! 


Come at me bro. 



7. THE ARTIST (2011)

I see how this has dropped over the years, by its placing I have it in comparison to the other film from that year. Remember, this was my number one that year. Nevertheless, this has still made the cut, in the top ten mind you. So it’s okay. I still own this and wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t. It’s an experience worth remembering and cherishing with that constant reminder when I see it in my library. I went to the theater SEVEN TIMES to see it when it was in season! All on the way to winning the Oscar. I met the director, shook his hand, and even asked him and his editor a question in a Q&A screening (some of it in their native language, French!). Made a bunch of friends that night as well. Our love for the film and for film in general brought us together that night. We were comparing our Oscar ballots, overall favorites lists, and the scenes we loved most with this film. Looking back, it is kind of “gimmicky” with the way it’s filmed, but the substance holds it up and keeps it worthy to be recognized as one of the DECADE’S best! 



8. THE SOCIAL NETWORK (2010)

Remembering this (wow, a decade ago!) still angers me that The Academy went with The King’s Speech instead of this one. And a decade later, remembering over the years, and probably because of the invention of Facebook, this film nonetheless, has rightfully stayed with the public, not the film The Academy thought so. It was truly the best film that year. I had Toy Story 3 as my number 1 because I was so caught up in all the emotions of it being the end (which sadly, THIS CINEMATIC YEAR, it wasn’t). Black Swan was another one I was sad and heavy hearted to rank lower than number 1 that year. But MUCH sooner, once the subsequent awards seasons got underway, that feeling went away. And year after year, I remember this being the true victor that year. The one that got snubbed because of how intellectual it was. That super smart movie that The Academy and film snobs overlooked because it was brushed off as the teenager “internet Facebook movie”. And a decade later, it still holds up. One of Aaron Sorkin’s better pieces he's written. I remember reading the screenplay years ago and breezing through it because of how easy it flowed. And correlating that with the actual finished product running through my head. This cements a top spot. It wouldn’t be right to snub it yet again. 



9. SING STREET (2016)

Whenever someone mentions La La Land (2016), the film everyone was obsessed with that year that surprisingly was snubbed yet hailed as a masterpiece musical, I always regurgitated Sing Street as the year’s TRUE musical! I would always counter with this whenever the subject came up. This hit all the right spots. I sang along, I danced around my apartment, I watched and rewatched, and purchased the film, when I saw it was on sale no less! La La Land has that “Oscar film” quality to it, and it feels like an awards film that should be recognized, but this, this says “longevity” and “standing the test of time”. That small film nobody heard of when it came out but has become a cult classic over the years. A film to pull out and sing along with, go on the journey with, as the boy tries to win over the girl, the band he’s apart of gets recognition, and watching it all slowly piece together in eager anticipation! THAT’S a musical! THAT’S what movies are made of!! 



10. THE WITCH (2016)

This was another good year for me! Especially remembering the transition I was going through and thoroughly realizing it around this time. What I do remember very clearly with my drifting away from all things cinema and focusing on other things in life, was the small, indie film that REALLY took a chance and just did something different! I was impressed how Writer/Director Robert Eggers nailed the recreation of the days of the early settlers of America. Historians all gave him an A+! That’s how they talked back then! And when the Average Joe moviegoer completely disconnected with it because “it was too complicated” with its lingo, I made an effort to rewatch it while it was in season, just to be sure I grasped all I could as it takes a bit to understand. And when you do, it’s a masterpiece! Watching heavily based commercial film critics critique this OVERTLY arthouse film and give it sincere recognition because it truly is innovative ... I was then convinced it was more than just a really good film. And years later, I can’t shake it, it’s more than almost there as I first reviewed it. It’s perfection that’s improved over the years as I have with more than just cinema. A proper reflection of my life and fitting to place this at the end. Even put a new actress on the radar! 


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11-20


11. The Neon Demon (2016)

12. Everybody Wants Some!! (2016)

13. Birdman (2014)

14. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

15. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010)

16. Toy Story 3 (2010)

17. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

18. Skyfall (2012)

19. Ida (2014)

20. 1917 (2019)


HONORABLE MENTIONS 


Rango (2011)

Logan (2017)

Hell or High Water (2016)

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


One more time, for the decade ... 



To new beginnings, a new decade, and a new future for everyone, including myself. No looking back, no regrets, always forward! 


~Happy New Year Everyone!~


Ben 




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