ICS's Best Films of the Decade (2010s)

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Of all the masterful films in the ICS Best of Decade list, two 2011 releases stood head and shoulders above the rest in the voters’ current mindset: Kenneth Lonergan’s uniquely structured Margaret and Terrence Malick’s metaphysical family drama The Tree of Life. Margaret tells the story of an awkward, passionate teenager whose feelings of guilt over a tragic bus accident propel her into moral dilemmas and a quest for justice, against the backdrop of post-9/11 New York as a metaphor for coming of age and the loss of childhood naivety. Upon its release Margaret was considered messy, sometimes brilliant, and controversial – and it has remained so, yet has only grown in stature. Conversely, Malick’s whispered evocation of nature vs. grace, The Tree of Life, was celebrated from the outset and has held up magnificently over time, the dynamics of a Texas family flowing into the natural world like a flight of birds.

While American filmmakers claimed the top two spots, the rest of our top 10 was dominated by international auteurs. Coming in third was French director Leos Carax’s surreal exploration of identity Holy Motors (ICS Best Picture for 2012), followed by Asghar Farhadi’s Iranian divorce drama A Separation (which had won ICS Best Picture for 2011 over both Malick and Lonergan). Todd Haynes’ period love story Carol, our 2015 Best Picture, ended up in 5th place for the decade, followed by Xavier Dolan’s deeply felt transgender romance Laurence Anyways, Lucrecia Martel’s colonialist satire Zama, Martin Scorsese’s haunting missionary saga Silence, the always-controversial Abdellatif Kechiche’s Mektoub, My Love: Canto Uno, and Ryûsuke Hamaguchi’s five-hour Sirkian melodrama Happy Hour.

The full ICS Best of the Decade list can be found below.

The list is 102 films because #59 Arabian Nights is considered as one entry by the ICS

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  1. 1 new

    Margaret

    2011, in 6 top lists Check
  2. 2 new

    The Tree of Life

    2011, in 12 top lists Check
  3. 3 new

    Holy Motors

    2012, in 8 top lists Check
  4. 4 new

    Jodaeiye Nader az Simin

    2011 — a.k.a. A Separation, in 14 top lists Check
  5. 5 new

    Carol

    2015, in 7 top lists Check
  6. 6 new

    Laurence Anyways

    2012, in 2 top lists Check
  7. 7 new

    Zama

    2017, in 6 top lists Check
  8. 8 new

    Silence

    2016, in 2 top lists Check
  9. 9 new

    Mektoub, My Love: Canto Uno

    2017, in 0 top lists
    Check
  10. 10 new

    Happî awâ

    2015 — a.k.a. Happy Hour, in 2 top lists Check
  11. 11 new

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    2015, in 21 top lists Check
  12. 12 new

    Phantom Thread

    2017, in 7 top lists Check
  13. 13 new

    Loong Boonmee raleuk chat

    2010 — a.k.a. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, in 13 top lists Check
  14. 14 new

    Under the Skin

    2013, in 8 top lists Check
  15. 15 new

    Twin Peaks

    2017, in 2 top lists Check
  16. 16 new

    Toni Erdmann

    2016, in 12 top lists Check
  17. 17 new

    Moonlight

    2016, in 11 top lists Check
  18. 18 new

    Roma

    2018, in 17 top lists
    Check
  19. 19 new

    Tabu

    2012, in 7 top lists Check
  20. 20 new

    Call Me by Your Name

    2017, in 8 top lists
    Check
  21. 21 new

    Dolor y gloria

    2019 — a.k.a. Pain and Glory, in 5 top lists
    Check
  22. 22 new

    Rak ti Khon Kaen

    2015 — a.k.a. Cemetery of Splendor, in 3 top lists Check
  23. 23 new

    The Master

    2012, in 6 top lists Check
  24. 24 new

    Copie conforme

    2010 — a.k.a. Certified Copy, in 6 top lists Check
  25. 25 new

    Gisaengchung

    2019 — a.k.a. Parasite, in 21 top lists
    Check
  26. 26 new

    Melancholia

    2011, in 9 top lists Check
  27. 27 new

    Beoning

    2018 — a.k.a. Burning, in 5 top lists
    Check
  28. 28 new

    La vie d'Adèle

    2013 — a.k.a. Blue Is the Warmest Color, in 11 top lists Check
  29. 29 new

    Mistérios de Lisboa

    2010 — a.k.a. Mysteries of Lisbon, in 5 top lists Check
  30. 30 new

    Gravity

    2013, in 10 top lists Check
  31. 31 new

    Inside Llewyn Davis

    2013, in 8 top lists Check
  32. 32 new

    Boyhood

    2014, in 14 top lists Check
  33. 33 new

    Diqiu zuihou de yewan

    2018 — a.k.a. Long Day's Journey Into Night, in 1 top list
    Check
  34. 34 new

    Kis Uykusu

    2014 — a.k.a. Winter Sleep, in 5 top lists Check
  35. 35 new

    El abrazo de la serpiente

    2015 — a.k.a. Embrace of the Serpent, in 5 top lists Check
  36. 36 new

    Portrait de la jeune fille en feu

    2019 — a.k.a. Portrait of a Lady on Fire, in 10 top lists
    Check
  37. 37 new

    The Social Network

    2010, in 13 top lists Check
  38. 38 new

    No Home Movie

    2015, in 2 top lists Check
  39. 39 new

    Mommy

    2014, in 5 top lists Check
  40. 40 new

    Cloud Atlas

    2012, in 0 top lists Check
  41. 41 new

    Trudno byt bogom

    2013 — a.k.a. Hard to Be a God, in 1 top list Check
  42. 42 new

    La bocca del lupo

    2009 — a.k.a. The Mouth of the Wolf, in 2 top lists Check
  43. 43 new

    Cike Nie Yin Niang

    2015 — a.k.a. The Assassin, in 3 top lists Check
  44. 44 new

    A torinói ló

    2011 — a.k.a. The Turin Horse, in 7 top lists Check
  45. 45 new

    Visages villages

    2017 — a.k.a. Faces Places, in 2 top lists
    Check
  46. 46 new

    La grande bellezza

    2013 — a.k.a. The Great Beauty, in 9 top lists Check
  47. 47 new

    Tian zhu ding

    2013 — a.k.a. A Touch of Sin, in 3 top lists Check
  48. 48 new

    The Rider

    2017, in 2 top lists
    Check
  49. 49 new

    American Honey

    2016, in 4 top lists Check
  50. 50 new

    Bir Zamanlar Anadolu'da

    2011 — a.k.a. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, in 7 top lists Check
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Last updated on Feb 26, 2020; source