Letterboxd users are movie buffs who often disagree on the winner of Best Picture or Biggest Blockbuster when it comes to choosing the biggest movie of a given year. These moviegoers gave their ratings, and you might be surprised to learn which movies got the highest scores.
That’s been the case in just about every era, but it’s especially true with the 2010s. The top-scoring films of their year include modern animated classics, international gems, and some releases including you may never have heard of, but now you can get a recommendation to check out.
2010 – Fires (4.27)
Rent on Apple TV
This is an early example of how Letterboxd’s choices can be unexpected. 2010 was a fantastic year for movies with Inception, The Social Network, Toy Story 3and others stand out, but none of them have the highest rating of the year.
This honor goes to Fires and while you may not know the French film, you probably know its director. Denis Villeneuve, who directed Arrival and Dunesmade this story about a pair of twins sent to the Middle East during a civil war to learn more about their roots.
2011 – A Separation (4.24)
Stream on the Criterion Channel and the Roku Channel
This Persian film is one of the most emotionally gripping of the decade, if not all of history. A separation follows a middle-class couple grappling with the difficult decision of whether to stay in Iran and care for a parent with Alzheimer’s disease or relocate to improve their child’s life.
A separation made history by becoming the first Iranian film to win the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and became the first non-English film to win Best Original Screenplay in years at the time. The performances and the moral dilemma at the center have captivated viewers for years.
2012 – The Hunt (4.19)
Stream on Kanopy, Roku Channel, Hoopla, Vudu and Tubi TV
Not to be confused with the controversial 2020 film of the same name, 2012 The hunt is another non-American film to be the best of its year. This Danish photo tells the story of a teacher wrongly accused of sexually assaulting one of his students.
The always amazing Mads Mikkelsen won Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival for his lead performance here and he’s arguably never been better. It earned an Oscar nomination while winning several accolades at other award ceremonies.
2013 – Barber’s Tales (4.44)
Not available to stream
It’s yet another non-American film with a high rating and this one is particularly impressive as it tied for the second highest score to lead a year in the 2010s. The barber’s tales is set in the Philippines and centers on a widow who takes over her late husband’s job as a community barber.
Eugene Domingo plays the title character and won the Best Actress award at the Tokyo International Film Festival. It is one of the lesser known films to achieve this score as it is not yet widely known to many moviegoers.
2014 – Whiplash (4.36)
Stream on Hulu
For the first time in the decade, the highest rated film is an English film. Whiplash was a pretty big hit, grossing nearly $50 million on a budget of around $3 million. He also found himself nominated for five Oscars, winning three of them.
Whiplash won Best Film Editing and Best Sound Mixing, while JK Simmons won Best Supporting Actor. The acclaimed film focuses on the relationship between an ambitious drummer and his verbally abusive coach, leading to some truly intense scenes.
2015 – The Second Mother (4.24)
Stream on Kanopy and the Criterion Channel
Coming back to international releases, The second mother comes straight from Brazil. Known as What Horas Ela Volta? in its language, the film follows a woman who leaves her daughter to be raised by relatives while working as a nanny in a wealthy family.
Although her life improves financially, she lives with the guilt of not raising her daughter, which comes back into her life and changes everything. The second mother In fact, it wasn’t nominated for any Oscars, but still won numerous awards at other ceremonies and received overwhelmingly positive reviews.
2016 – The Servant (4.36)
Stream on Amazon Prime
It takes a lot to rank higher than the likes of Moonlight and The Earthwhich shows how impressive it is The servant East. This Korean film is a psychological thriller and mystery that has plenty of twists and turns that keep every member of the audience fully engaged.
Set in the 1930s, the plot centers on a woman who is hired to be a servant to a wealthy heiress while also being involved in a plot to defraud her, but along the way things get surprisingly romantics. The servant was both a critical and commercial success and is considered an important LGBTQ+ film.
2017 – Coco (4.18)
Stream on Disney+
There is no doubt that Pixar is one of the best animation studios. Their movies are always gorgeous and most of them include very emotional plot points that viewers find hard to get over. This is certainly the case with coconut.
The film follows Miguel, a young Mexican boy who embarks on an adventure to the land of the dead to gain permission from an ancestor to play music, which his living family has forbidden. Not only did it win Best Animated Feature at the Oscars, but it’s also one of Pixar’s best films, and it won Best Original Song for “Remember Me.”
2018 – Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (4.44)
Rent on Vudu
For the second year in a row, the Best Animated Feature Oscar winner earned the top score on Letterboxd. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is arguably the best Spider-Man movie ever made, even after the epic was released Spider-Man: No Coming Home.
The use of a unique animation style that made the film feel like a real comic and the inclusion of various characters and a great soundtrack made this film a success. It tells the story of Miles Morales as he gains Spider-Man’s powers and has the help of various Spider-People from other universes to save the day. A sequel is expected to arrive in late 2022.
2019 – Parasite (4.59)
Stream on Kanopy and Hulu
You’d be hard pressed to find a movie from the 2010s that made more history than Parasite. The Bong Joon-ho film became the first non-English language film to win Best Picture at the Oscars and it also added Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best International Film to its many accolades that night.
Parasite deftly blends dark comedy with thriller vibes, following the life of a poor Korean family as they plan their way through the world of a wealthy family. There are some truly jaw-dropping moments and twists in a movie that are far more intense than they appear.
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