Readers' Poll: The 20 Best Movies of the 2010s So Far - Rolling Stone
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Readers’ Poll: The 20 Best Movies of the 2010s So Far

See what managed to beat ‘Boyhood,’ ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ and ‘The Social Network’

Jamie Foxx and Ralph Fiennes

'Django Unchained' and 'Grand Budapest Hotel'

Andrew Cooper/The Weinstein Company; Martin Scali/Fox Searchlight

It's only the first week of April, but the release of Furious 7 means that summer movie season is pretty much here. Over the next few months, blockbusters like Jurassic WorldAvengers: Age of Ultron and Terminator Genisys will appear — and its all just building to the release of Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens in December. So with much on the horizon, what were the best movies of the half-decade that has already passed? We asked our readers to select their favorites, and here are the results. 


Melinda Sue Gordon


‘Interstellar’ (2014)

Christopher Nolan can't be accused of thinking small. After wrapping up his acclaimed Dark Knight trilogy, he got to work on this incredibly ambitious movie about a group of astronauts that travel through a wormhole in a desperate attempt to save the human race. Things got a little confusing near the end, but every minute of the film was riveting. 

Worldwide Box Office$672,720,017

Rotten Tomatoes Rating72%

Academy Awards: 1. Best Visual Effects.


Daniel Craig and Javier Bardem star in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures/Columbia Pictures/EON Productions’ action adventure SKYFALL. Photo by Francois Duhamel. Copyright is embedded in photo metadata but is EON, MGM and Columbia.

Francois Duhamel


‘Skyfall’ (2012)

When the first James Bond movie hit theaters in 1962, John F. Kennedy was president, Bob Dylan was playing coffeehouses in New York and virtually nobody in America had heard of a new British group called the Beatles. Against all odds, the James Bond franchise is not only still going, its stronger than ever. Sam Mendes directed Skyfall, the 23rd film in franchise and the third starring Daniel Craig. 

Worldwide Box Office$1,108,561,013

Rotten Tomatoes Rating92%

Academy Awards: 2. Best Original Song ("Skyfall" by Adele) and Best Sound Editing. 

The Tree of Life

THE TREE OF LIFE, from left: Jessica Chastain, Brad Pitt, 2011. ©Fox Searchlight/Courtesy Everett Collection

Fox Searchlight


‘The Tree Of Life’ (2011)

This has been a pretty great decade for fans of Terrence Malick. The director made just two movies between 1974 and 2004, but two came out since 2011 and at least two more are on the horizon. His 2011 film The Tree of Life stars Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain. It focuses on a man's memories of his difficult childhood and his strained relationship with his father. This is far from a mainstream movie but is absolutely brilliant.

Worldwide Box Office$54,303,319

Rotten Tomatoes Rating84%. 

Academy Awards: 0

The Avengers

"Marvel's The Avengers" ..Hulk (Mark Ruffalo)..© 2011 MVLFFLLC. TM & © 2011 Marvel. All Rights Reserved.



‘The Avengers’ (2012)

You gotta hand it to Marvel. They cracked the code of movies and figured out a way to make a perpetual motion money machine. Why make a franchise when you can create an entire universe of movies that are all interconnected? This is all planned out with the methodical precision of a military invasion, but none of it would work if the movies weren't pretty good. The first Avengers movie united Iron Man, the Hulk, Captain America and their other friends for a enormous battle. Spoiler alert: They were victorious. They'll probably win next time around too, because at least two more of these things are coming after this years sequel. 

Worldwide Box Office: $1,518,594,910

Rotten Tomatoes Rating92%

Academy Awards: 0.

The Master



‘The Master’ (2012)

The word "Scientology" isn't uttered a single time in Paul Thomas Anderson's 2012 movie The Master. The cult it focuses on is called "the Cause," but its about as thinly veiled as the recent Saturday Night Live bit about "Neurotology." At the core of the movie is the relationship between a disturbed World War II veteran played by Joaquin Phoenix and a cult leader played by Philip Seymour Hoffman. It's a long movie and some found it meandering, but repeat viewings reveal the genius at its core.

Worldwide Box Office: $28,258,060

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 85%. 

Academy Awards: 0.


‘American Hustle’ (2013)

Few in Hollywood have had a better 2010s then director David O'Russell. When the decade began, his last movie, I Heart Huckabees, was six years in the past and he seemed to some like a 1990s wonder past his prime. The trio of The FighterSilver Linings Playbook and American Hustle changed all that. The latter film is very loosely based on the 1970s Abscam scandal and stars Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence. 

Worldwide Box Office$251,171,807

Rotten Tomatoes Rating93%

Academy Awards: 0.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Marvel's Guardians Of The Galaxy Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) Ph: Film Frame ©Marvel 2014

©Marvel 2014


‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ (2014)

Only the most hardcore comic fans were familiar with the Guardians of the Galaxy before the movie came out last year, but Marvel has proven many times that relatively unknown characters can still lead to insanely profitable movies if they're done right. Still, almost nobody expected a films about a genetically engineered raccoon and his buddies to make three quarters of a billion dollars and get kids interested in the music of the Raspberries, Norman Greenbaum and 10cc. 

Worldwide Box Office$774,176,600

Rotten Tomatoes Rating91%

Academy Awards: o.


‘The Social Network’ (2010)

If you want to learn all about the early days of Facebook, The Social Network is not the best place to turn. Writer Aaron Sorkin took more than a few liberties with the truth, portraying Mark Zuckerberg as a borderline-autistic, narcissistic asshole and creating a girlfriend for him that didn't exist. But it doesn't matter. The movie is gripping and stands up well to repeat viewings.

Worldwide Box Office$224,920,315

Rotten Tomatoes Rating96%.

Academy Awards: 3. Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score and Best Film Editing.


‘Drive’ (2011)

We never learn the name of Ryan Gosling's characters name in Drive, but during the course of the movie we see him work as a Hollywood stunt performer, a criminal that specializes in getaways and a mechanic. Whatever his name, he knows his way around a car. He also gets tangled up with the mafia and also sorts of other sordid characters in this masterful film by director Nicolas Winding Refn. 

Worldwide Box Office$76,175,166

Rotten Tomatoes Rating93%. 

Academy Awards: 0.


‘Boyhood’ (2014)

Shot over 12 years, Boyhood examines the life of a boy and his family as he ages from 6 to 18. It's a crazily ambitious project, and it could have easily been a complete disaster had director Richard Linklater assembled the wrong cast. But it paid off better than nearly anyone could have predicted. 

Worldwide Box Office$44,515,195

Rotten Tomatoes Rating98%

Academy Awards: 1. Best Actress In A Supporting Role (Patricia Arquette).


‘Her’ (2013)

Spike Jonze movies don't come around very often, but they're always wildly original and well worth the wait. His sole movie of the 2010s (and only his fourth ever) takes place in the not-too-distant future when computers have become incredibly intelligent. Joaquin Phoenix plays a lonely divorced man that falls madly in love with his operating system, voiced by Scarlett Johansson. It's even weirder and more amazing than it sounds. 

Worldwide Box Office$47,351,251

Rotten Tomatoes Rating94%

Academy Awards: 1. Best Original Screenplay.

Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Fox Searchlight


‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ (2014)

Wes Anderson has been making brilliantly quirky movies for nearly two decades. Last year's The Grand Budapest Hotel centers around a hotel in the fictional European country of Zubrowka. The timeline stretches from 1932 to the present, though the bulk of the film takes place during a World War II-type conflict as a hotel employee tries to prove that he didn't murder a wealthy guest. The best thing about the fact it made so much money is that it means Anderson will have an easier time getting his unique projects made. 

Worldwide Box Office$174,600,318

Rotten Tomatoes Rating92%

Academy Awards: 4. Best Costume Design, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Original Score and Best Production Design.


Michael Keaton as ìRigganî and Edward Norton as ìMikeî in BIRDMAN. Photo by Alison Rosa. Copyright © 2014 Twentieth Century Fox.

Alison Rosa


‘Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)’ (2014)

Two decades ago Michael Keaton refused to star in a third Batman movie. His career went on a solid downward trajectory after that fateful decision, but it also inspired director Alejandro G. Iñárritu to cast him as the lead role in this surreal film that appears to unfold over a single shot. Keaton plays an actor best known for portraying the superhero Birdman, though his career took a dive when he refused to make a fourth movie in the series. The parallels to Keaton's life were impossible to ignore, and it re-jumpstarted his career in a huge way.

Worldwide Box Office$99,563,958

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 93%

Academy Awards: 4. Best Picture, Best Directing, Best Original Screenplay and Best Cinematography.  


INC-01957 (L-r) Director CHRISTOPHER NOLAN with LEONARDO DI CAPRIO on the set of Warner Bros. PicturesÕ and Legendary PicturesÕ sci-fi action film "Inception," a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

Stephen Vaughan


‘Inception’ (2010)

Some directors are skilled at creating billion dollar blockbusters and others are skilled at making movies beloved by critics and movie buffs alike. Only a handful of people can do both, and Christopher Nolan is certainly among them. His 2010 film Inception, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ellen Page, centers around an elite crew that knows how to infiltrate the dreams of other people and steal their secrets. The plot gets insanely convoluted and confusing, but it's endless fun trying to figure the whole thing out. 

Worldwide Box Office$825,532,764

Rotten Tomatoes Rating86%

Academy Awards: 4. Best Cinematography, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing and Best Visual Effects

Django Unchained

JAMIE FOXX stars in DJANGO UNCHAINED Credit: Andrew Cooper/The Weinstein Company

Django Unchained


‘Django Unchained’ (2012)

Will Smith has made some bad decisions in his life, but turning down the lead role in Django Unchained must be one of the biggest. Imagine if he'd made this instead of After Earth? He didn't think the role was juicy enough since the central figure in the movie was Dr. King Schultz, played by Christoph Waltz. Schultz is a 19th century bounty hunter that teams up with a former slave (played by Jamie Foxx) that is trying to rescue his wife from a plantation. Quentin Tarantino wrote and directed the movie, which takes on slavery just as Inglourious Basterds took on the Holocaust. 

Worldwide Box Office$425,368,238

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 88%

Academy Awards: 2. Best Actor In A Supporting Role (Christoph Waltz), Best Original Screenplay.

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