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The Top 100 Films of the Half-Decade (2010-2014)

DVDizzy.com's Top 100 Films of the Half-Decade (2010-2014) Countdown graphic

Believe it or not, the Tens are now halfway over. Chances are you didn't realize that and you might not have even used the word Tens when talking about the present decade.
Best of Decade lists are fun, but I've never felt qualified to do a timely one of those, having not really become a full-time critic of all movies until the latter part of the Noughties (another term you've likely neglected). But the Tens? I'm on top of the Tens.

Not only have I watched hundreds of new movies every year this decade, but I've reviewed many of them, logged them all, and compiled them into large ranked lists, a challenging but fun undertaking that has grown with every passing year. For 2013 movies, I had to force myself to stop at 225. If I kept up that rate ever year, I'd have seen 2,250 movies at the end of the decade. I don't anticipate getting quite that many in, but I am quickly approaching 1,000 movies viewed from the first half of the Tens.

What does all this math I'm throwing at you mean? It means that I've seen enough to come up with this somewhat unorthodox list, counting down the Top 100 Movies of the Half-Decade that has just ended. That amounts to roughly the top 10% of what I've seen over the past five years and it is enough for me to feel confident in reiterating my original recommendation of these films. At least 50 of them are great enough to endorse without reservation and the rest are still good enough to celebrate for exceeding the vast majority of their contemporaries.

Join me as I count down the Top 100 Films of the Half-Decade, starting at 100 and working my way down to #1. There are two ways to experience this countdown: the good old-fashioned DVDizzy way of words, pictures, details, and links (plus reader-submitted tweets) or the following video montage comprised of short clips from all 100 movies. Better yet, do both: watch and read all eight pages to get the most out of this exhaustive half-decade retrospective!

Watch the Half-Decade Hundred countdown video:

And now, before we get into the analysis, let us first acknowledge five good films, alphabetically, that narrowly missed the cut:

Honorable Mentions
The Conjuring Blu-ray Combo Review
Edge of Tomorrow Blu-ray Combo Review
Moneyball DVD Review
POM Wonderful Presents The Greatest Movie Ever Sold Blu-ray Review
Selma Film Review

Now, the top 100:

100. Cedar Rapids
2011, 87 minutes, R / Director: Miguel Arteta / Writer: Phil Johnston / Stars: Ed Helms, John C. Reilly, Anne Heche
Buy It: Blu-ray • DVD • Instant Video

A milquetoast Midwesterner's Iowa business trip proves to be an enjoyable hoot. Full Blu-ray Review

Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) goes to extreme lengths to find his missing daughter in #99, "Prisoners."

99. Prisoners
2013, 153 minutes, R / Director: Denis Villeneuve / Writer: Aaron Guzikowski / Stars: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis
Buy It: Blu-ray Combo • DVD • Instant Video

Young girls' Thanksgiving Day abduction is just the start of this gripping, atmospheric, dark mystery. Full Blu-ray Combo Review

98. They Came Together
2014, 83 minutes, R / Director: David Wain / Writers: Michael Showalter, David Wain / Stars: Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Christopher Meloni
Buy It: Blu-ray • DVD • Instant Video

Though it barely played in theaters, this send-up of romantic comedies amuses heartily.

97. Lawless
2012, 116 minutes, R / Director: John Hillcoat / Writers: Nick Cave, Matt Bondurant / Stars: Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Jason Clarke, Guy Pearce, Jessica Chastain
Buy It: Blu-ray Combo • DVD • Instant Video

Rural Prohibition drama surprises with strong characterization and involving story. Full Blu-ray Combo Review

In "Due Date" (#96), Ethan (Zach Galifianakis) and Peter (Robert Downey Jr.) make a stop at the Grand Canyon, where fears are faced and secrets shared.

96. Due Date
2010, 95 minutes, R / Director: Todd Phillips / Writers: Alan R. Cohen, Alan Freedland, Adam Sztykiel, Todd Phillips / Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Zach Galifianakis, Michelle Monaghan
Buy It: Blu-ray • DVD • Instant Video

Road trip buddy comedy borrows from better predecessors, but to entertaining effect. Full Blu-ray Combo Review

Rapunzel joins in the lively musical dream-sharing of the brutish Vikings at The Snuggly Duckling pub in #95, "Tangled."

95. Tangled
2010, 100 minutes, PG / Directors: Nathan Greno, Byron Howard / Writer: Dan Fogelman / Stars: Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, Donna Murphy
Buy It: Blu-ray Combo • Blu-ray 3D Combo • DVD • Instant Video

The best of Disney's modern princess musicals, this fairy tale comedy is better than advertised. Full Blu-ray Combo Review

94. The Other Dream Team
2012, 91 minutes, NR / Director: Marius A. Markevicius / Writers: Marius A. Markevicius, Jon Weinbach / Subjects: Šarunas Marciulionis, Arvydas Sabonis
Buy It: DVD • Instant Video

A fascinating look at the significance of the 1992 Olympic experience for the Lithuanian basketball team. Full DVD Review

Tom Hanks plays cargo ship captain Rich Phillips in #93, "Captain Phillips."

93. Captain Phillips
2013, 134 minutes, PG-13 / Director: Paul Greengrass / Writers: Billy Ray, Richard Phillips, Stephen Talty / Stars: Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi
Buy It: Blu-ray Combo • DVD • Instant Video

Paul Greengrass' docudrama instincts make this piracy story riveting and suspenseful. Full DVD Review

92. How to Train Your Dragon
2010, 98 minutes, PG / Directors: Chris Sanders, Dean DeBlois / Writers: Will Davies, Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders, Cressida Cowell / Stars: Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera
Buy It: Blu-ray Combo • DVD • Instant Video

This appealing, adventuresome tale represents the height of DreamWorks Animation's artistry to date. Full Blu-ray Combo Review

The lack of a small cut across his nose indicates that this isn't the Tom Cruise you're rooting for in #91, "Oblivion."

91. Oblivion
2013, 125 minutes, PG-13 / Director: Joseph Kosinski / Writers: Karl Gajdusek, Michael Arndt, Joseph Kosinski/ Stars: Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko, Andrea Riseborough
Buy It: Blu-ray Combo • DVD • Instant Video

I'm just surprised as you by an off-season Tom Cruise vehicle standing out, but this striking sci-fi movie did just that. Full Blu-ray Combo Review

90. The Kids Are All Right
2010, 106 minutes, R / Director: Lisa Cholodenko / Writers: Lisa Cholodenko, Stuart Blumberg / Stars: Julianne Moore, Annette Bening, Mark Ruffalo, Mia Wasikowska, Josh Hutcherson
Buy It: Blu-ray • DVD • Instant Video

Three-dimensional characters distinguish this indie comedy that makes you laugh, think, and feel. Full DVD Review

The White Swan side of Swan Lake's Queen comes more naturally to disciplined ballerina Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman) in "Black Swan" (#89).

89. Black Swan
2010, 108 minutes, R / Director: Darren Aronofsky / Writers: Andrιs Heinz, Mark Heyman, John McLaughlin / Stars: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Barbara Hershey, Winona Ryder
Buy It: Blu-ray • DVD • Instant Video

A fascinating and stylish descent into madness via ballet. Full DVD Review

88. Kon-Tiki
2012-13, 119 minutes, NR / Directors: Joachim Rψnning, Espen Sandberg / Writers: Petter Skavlan, Thor Heyerdahl / Stars: Pεl Sverre Hagen, Anders Baasmo Christiansen, Tobias Santelmann
Buy It: Blu-ray Combo • DVD • Instant Video

An unusually moving true survival story from Norway that sadly didn't make much noise or draw many admirers in the States. Full Blu-ray Combo Review

Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) occasionally addresses the viewer directly in #87, "The Wolf of Wall Street."

87. The Wolf of Wall Street
2013, 180 minutes, R / Director: Martin Scorsese / Writers: Terence Winter, Jordan Belfort / Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
Buy It: Blu-ray Combo • DVD • Instant Video

Martin Scorsese's financial industry bacchanalia is an exercise in excess that wouldn't be as potent in any other director's hands. Full Blu-ray Combo Review

86. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
2012, 102 minutes, PG-13 / Writer/Director: Stephen Chbosky / Stars: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller
Buy It: Blu-ray • DVD • Instant Video

Stephen Chbosky's adaptation of his '90s teen novel resonates deeply.

85. Ernest & Celestine
2014, 80 minutes, PG / Directors: Stιphane Aubier, Vincent Patar, Benjamin Renner / Writers: Daniel Pennac, Gabrielle Vincent / Stars: Forest Whitaker, Mackenzie Foy
Buy It: Blu-ray Combo • DVD • Instant Video

The rare off-radar Animated Feature Oscar nominee with the power to delight general audiences, this French-Belgian 'toon of an unlikely friendship charms thoroughly.

They may be in Bed Bath & Beyond, but Gamble (Will Ferrell) and Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) are all business as they renew their determination to uncover white collar corruption in #84, "The Other Guys."

84. The Other Guys
2010, 107 minutes, PG-13 / Director: Adam McKay / Writers: Adam McKay, Chris Henchy / Stars: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Eva Mendes, Michael Keaton, Steve Coogan
Buy It: Blu-ray Combo • DVD • Instant Video

The comedy partnership of Will Ferrell and Adam McKay has yielded much hilarity, including this endearing, pitch-perfect buddy comedy that completely surpassed expectations. Full DVD Review

83. The Boxtrolls
2014, 96 minutes, PG / Directors: Graham Annable, Anthony Stacchi / Writers: Irena Brignull, Adam Pava, Alan Snow / Stars: Isaac Hempstead Wright, Elle Fanning, Ben Kingsley, Jared Harris
Buy It: Blu-ray 3D Combo • Blu-ray Combo • DVD • Instant Video

Laika has shown value as an alternative to mainstream CG 'toons with witty, offbeat, hand-crafted, stop-motion tales like this creative one.

82. The Avengers
2012, 143 minutes, PG-13 / Director: Joss Whedon / Writers: Joss Whedon, Zak Penn / Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston
Buy It: Blu-ray 3D Combo • Blu-ray + DVD • DVD • Instant Video

Respected TV showrunner Joss Whedon effortlessly brings all these storied superheroes together in one satisfying piece of whiz-bang entertainment. So tremendous was the movie's success that you wonder why it took so long to happen.

81. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1
2014, 123 minutes, PG-13 / Director: Francis Lawrence / Writers: Suzanne Collins, Peter Craig, Danny Strong / Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Philip Seymour Hoffman
Buy It: Blu-ray Combo • DVD • Instant Video

Though it almost certainly would have been better as a single movie, this relatively uneventful penultimate installment of the blockbuster franchise still sustains interest, this time with different elements than its predecessors. Full Film Review

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Begun January 12, 2015. Updated February 2, 2015.

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