Shut Up Zach! Presents: Bests of the Decade! The 2010s

2010 – 2019… What a ride!

Where were you a decade ago? I was 14 years old and just ending the 8th grade, and for some inexplicable reason, I was optimistic about the future. I was an innocent, little, pale red-headed kid who was scared of his own shadow and didn’t even realize it. The world was so different from what it is now. 2010 might as well be ions ago!

The decade is in its waning moments so it is time to celebrate the very best it has offered us in the world of movies! The 2010’s brought us plenty of classic films that spurred living legends right in front of our eyes. We have been so lucky to have so many worthy films that have graced our screens and provided us hours of entertainment, conversation, and enjoyment, so in my mind we are all winners (Classic Millennial handing out participation trophies). The most difficult task I have undertaken since I began this site is narrowing down these superlative lists, but in doing so, I have gone back and relived so many moments that meant so much to me.


I am going to be on some thin ice with a lot of you once you take a gander at my honorable mentions list. It is totally feasible that someone’s entire Top 10 List is comprised of only films that I relegated to honorable mentions limbo. Please don’t hate me, but I also know this won’t be the last time on this post that I will have to make a tough call you won’t agree with.

Honorable Mentions:

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Black Swan
Django Unchained
Ex Machina
Get Out
John Wick
Lady Bird
Mad Max: Fury Road
Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Irishman
The Master
The Revenant
The Shape of Water

10th Place
“Annihilation” (2018)

9th Place
“Inside Out” (2015)

8th Place
“Arrival” (2016)

7th Place
“Interstellar” (2014)

6th Place
“Silver Linings Playbook” (2012)

5th Place
“Us” (2019)

4th Place
“BlacKkKlansman” (2018)

3rd Place
“The Lighthouse” (2019)

2nd Place
“Avengers: Infinity War” (2018) and “Avengers: Endgame” (2019)*

*I am counting this as one continuous film. Try and stop me.

Winner – Best Film of the Decade
“Inception” (2010)


This is interesting because most of the most successful directors of the decade have rarely directed more than 2 films. This means that a lot of younger directors who got their start in the latter half of the decade have a path to placing on this list! It is also quality over quantity! This category could also use a hearty dose of diversity so here’s hoping this is the last decade with a gender imbalance like this. There are a few honorable mention that I cannot believe did not place, but like Harry Styles says, it’s a sign of the times.

Honorable Mentions:

Adam McKay
Ava DuVernay
Bong Joon Ho
Damien Chazelle
David Fincher
Ethan Coen
Greta Gerwig
Guillermo del Toro
Joel Coen
Kathryn Bigelow
Martin Scorsese
Sam Mendes
Steven Spielberg
Wes Anderson

10th Place
Barry Jenkins – “Moonlight” (2016) , “If Beale Street Could Talk” (2018)

9th Place
Robert Eggers – “The VVitch” (2015) , “The Lighthouse” (2019)

8th Place
Jordan Peele – “Get Out” (2017) , “Us” (2019)

7th Place
Alex Garland – “Ex Machina” (2014) , “Annihilation” (2018)

6th Place
Quentin Tarantino – “Django Unchained” (2012) , “The Hateful Eight” (2015) , “Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood” (2019)

5th Place
Alfonso Cuarón – “Gravity” (2013) , “Roma” (2018)

4th Place
Paul Thomas Anderson – “The Master” (2012) , “Inherent Vice” (2014) , “Phantom Thread” (2017)

3rd Place
Denis Villeneuve – “Incendies” (2010) , “Prisoners” (2013) , “Enemy” (2013) , “Sicario” (2015) , “Arrival” (2016) , “Blade Runner 2049” (2017)

2nd Place
Alejandro G. Iñárritu – “Biutiful” (2010) , “”Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” (2014) , “The Revenant” (2015)

Winner – Best Director of the Decade
Christopher Nolan – “Inception” (2010) , “The Dark Knight Rises” (2012) , “Interstellar” (2014) , “Dunkirk” (2017)


I am using this opportunity to right a major wrong. I feel very confidently that I got this list down perfectly but the actress at the top doesn’t seem to get the recognition she deserves. Here is hoping being named the Best Actress of the Decade will makeup for all of those Oscar snubs!

Honorable Mentions:

Alicia Vikander
Brie Larson
Cate Blanchett
Charlize Theron
Constance Wu
Emily Blunt
Emma Watson
Felicity Jones
Frances McDormand
Jessica Chastain
Julianne Moore
Melisa McCarthy
Olivia Coleman
Rachel Weisz
Rooney Mara
Sandra Bullock
Scarlett Johansson

10th Place
Octavia Spencer – “The Help” (2011) , “Hidden Figures” (2016) , “The Shape of Water” (2017)

9th Place
Natalie Portman – “Black Swan” (2010) , “No Strings Attached” (2011) , “Jackie” (2016) , Annihilation (2016)

8th Place
Viola Davis – “The Help” (2011) , “Prisoners” (2013) , “Suicide Squad” (2016) , “Fences” (2016) , “Widows” (2018)

7th Place
Saoirse Ronan – “Hanna” (2011) , “Brooklyn” (2015) , “Lady Bird” (2017) , “Mary Queen of Scots” (2018) , “Little Women” (2019)

6th Place
Jennifer Lawrence – “Winter’s Bone” (2010) , “The Hunger Games” (2012) , “Silver Linings Playbook” (2012) , “American Hustle” (2013) , “Joy” (2015) , “Mother!” (2017)

5th Place
Emma Stone – “Easy A” (2010) , “Crazy, Stupid Love” (2011) , “The Amazing Spider-man” (2012) , “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” (2014) , “La La Land” (2016) , “The Favourite” (2018)

4th Place
Lupita Nyong’o – “12 Years a Slave” (2013) , “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (2015), “Queen of Katwe” (2016) , “Us” (2019) , “Little Monsters” (2019)

3rd Place
Margot Robbie – “The Wolf of Wall Street” (2013) , “I, Tonya” (2017) , “Mary Queen of Scots” (2018) , “Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood” (2019) , “Bombshell” (2019)

2nd Place
Meryl Streep – “The Iron Lady” (2011) , “August: Osage County” (2013) , “Into the Woods” (2014) , “Florence Foster Jenkins” (2016) , “The Post” (2017) , “Little Women” (2019)

Winner – Best Actress of the Decade
Amy Adams – “The Fighter” (2010) , “The Master” (2012) , “Her” (2013) , “American Hustle” (2013) , “Arrival” (2016) , “Vice” (2018)


A lot of actors made a late decade push to separate themselves. It was a bloodbath out here just trying to narrow it down to 10 actors to place but what’s done is done. Although all of the actors I’ll mention have done great work this decade, the 10 that have placed deserve to be propped up above the rest.

Honorable Mentions:

Adam Driver
Daniel Day-Lewis
Daniel Kaluuya
Denzel Washington
Gary Oldman
Hugh Jackman
Idris Elba
Jake Gyllenhaal
Mark Ruffalo
Matt Damon
Matthew McConaughey
Michael Fassbender
Ryan Reynolds
Timothée Chalamet
Tom Hardy
Viggo Mortensen

10th Place
Brad Pitt – “Moneyball” (2011) , “The Tree of Life” (2011) , “World War Z” (2013) , “12 Years a Slave” (2013) , “Fury” (2014) , “The Big Short” (2015) , “Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood” (2019) , “Ad Astra” (2019)

9th Place
Sam Rockwell – “Iron Man 2” (2010) , “Seven Psychopaths” (2012) , “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” (2017) , “Vice” (2018) , “Jojo Rabbit” (2019) , “Richard Jewell” (2019)

8th Place
Mahershala Ali – “Free State of Jones” (2016) , “Moonlight” (2016) , “Hidden Figures” (2016) , “Green Book” (2018) , “Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse” (2018) , “Alita: Battle Angel” (2019)

7th Place
Bradley Cooper – “Limitless” (2011) , “Silver Linings Playbook” (2012) , “American Hustle” (2014) , “American Sniper” (2015) , “A Star is Born” (2018)

6th Place
Robert Downey Jr. – “Marvel Cinematic Universe” (2010 – 2019) , “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” (2011) , “The Judge” (2014)

5th Place
Josh Brolin – “True Grit” (2010) , “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” (2014) , “Inherent Vice” (2014) , “Sicario” (2015) , “Hail, Caesar!” (2016) , “Avengers: Infinty War” (2018) , “Deadpool 2” (2018) , “Sicario: Day of the Soldado” (2018) , “Avengers: Endgame” (2019)

4th Place
Willem Dafoe – “John Wick” (2014) , “The Grand Budapest Hotel” (2014) , “The Florida Project” (2017) , “Aquaman” (2018) , “At Eternity’s Gate” (2018) , “The Lighthouse” (2019) , “Motherless Brooklyn” (2019)

3rd Place
Joaquin Phoenix – “The Master” (2012) , “Her” (2013) , “Inherent Vice” (2014) , “You Were Never Really Here” (2017) , “Joker” (2019)

2nd Place
Christian Bale – “The Fighter” (2010) , “The Dark Knight Rises” (2012) , “American Hustle” (2013) , “The Big Short” (2015) , “Vice” (2018) , “Ford v Ferrari” (2019)

Winner – Best Actor of the Decade
Leonardo DiCaprio – “Shutter Island” (2010) , “Inception” (2010) , “Django Unchained” (2012) , “The Great Gatsby” (2013) , “The Wolf of Wall Street” (2013) , “The Revenant” (2015) , “Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood” (2019)


Honorable Mentions:

Adam Driver – “Marriage Story”
Amy Adams – “Arrival”
Awkwafina – “The Farewell”
Brad Pitt – “Moneyball”
Bradley Cooper – “American Sniper”
Brie Larson – “Room”
Cate Blanchett – “Blue Jasmine”
Charlize Theron – “Mad Max: Fury Road”
Christian Bale – “The Fighter”
Daniel Kaluuya – “Get Out”
Emma Stone – “La La Land”
Ethan Hawke – “First Reformed”
Hugh Jackman – “Logan”
Idris Elba – “Beasts of No Nation”
Jake Gyllenhaal – “Nightcrawler”
James McAvoy – “Split”
Jennifer Lawrence – “Silver Linings Playbook”
Jamie Foxx – “Django Unchained”
J.K. Simmons – “Whiplash”
Jonah Hill – “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Josh Brolin – “Avengers: Infinity War”
Lady Gaga – “A Star Is Born”
Lupita Nyong’o – “Us”
Matt Damon – “The Martian”
Mahershala Ali – “Moonlight”
Margot Robbie – “I, Tonya”
Matthew McConaughey – “Dallas Buyers Club”
Meryl Streep – “The Iron Lady”
Michael B. Jordan – “Creed”
Oscar Isaac – “Inside Llewyn Davis”
Phillip Seymour Hoffman – “The Master”
Robert Downey Jr. – “Avengers: Endgame”
Ryan Reynolds – “Deadpool”
Sandra Bullock – “Gravity”
Saoirse Ronan – “Lady Bird”
Scarlett Johansson – “Marriage Story”
Timothée Chalamet – “Call Me by Your Name”
Tom Hardy – “The Dark Knight Rises”
Toni Collette – “Hereditary”
Viola Davis – “Fences”
Yalitza Aparicio – “Roma”

10th Place
Sally Hawkins – “The Shape of Water”

9th Place
Michael Keaton – “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”

8th Place
Anya Taylor-Joy – “The VVitch”

7th Place
John David Washington – “BlacKkKlansman”

6th Place
Joaquin Phoenix – “Joker”

5th Place
Daniel Day-Lewis – “Lincoln”

4th Place
Leonardo DiCaprio – “The Revenant”

3rd Place
Natalie Portman – “Black Swan”

2nd Place
Alicia Vikander – “Ex Machina”

Winner: Best Acting Performance of the Decade
Willem Dafoe – “The Lighthouse”

And there we have it! Congratulations to all the winners of the inaugural Shut Up Zach! Best of the Decade Awards! I am sure many, if not all of them have worked their entire careers in the desperate hope to achieve this sort of recognition for their craft. All it takes to achieve your dreams is a little elbow grease and a “Can-Do” attitude! To all the losers who did not place as high as they could have hoped, fear not! There are surely more accolades on the horizon and that means another chance to impress the only critic you’ve ever respected. ‘Twas a hell of a decade and everyone should be proud of themselves for being a part of it, even if it was something as simple as paying for a movie ticket!

Published by Zach Vecker

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