The MoFo Top 100 of the 2010s Countdown

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I like Sicario quite a bit. There are some really nice setpieces within it. Villeneuve has a talent to build up masterfully tense moments, which he does here with that scene in the first act where you see all the jeeps driving through Mexico. There is also that final dinner scene between Del Toro's character and the antagonist which is chilling, to say the least. However, as a whole, it's not a film I think a lot of, and not my favorite Villeneuve. Still, I think it's a wonderfully tense thriller with some solid performances from everybody.

One interesting note about the performances, this was the first time I saw Daniel Kaluuya on any film; and this was before he made Get Out... but even though his role here is fairly small and nothing very "demanding", one would say, I remember thinking "Who is this guy? I really like his energy", and alas, he would blow up afterwards. He has such a magnetic and powerful presence.

Haven't seen Burning.


So, here's where I'm at, including the chances for the rest of my list...

Seen: 49/66

My ballot:  
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More countdown trivia factoids...

The point gap between these two: Sicario and Burning ties for the biggest point gap we've had so far.

Also, Denis Villeneuve joins the list of directors with multiple entries with two: Sicario and Prisoners.



This is a pretty surprising pair this high on the list. I expected Burning but much lower.

Burning was very middle of the road for me. Looked amazing but it did nothing for me thematically. I tried to get Poetry on this list, but I will be really shocked if I didnít fail. I watched Secret Sunshine in preparation for the list. It falls somewhere between the two for me. I will give Burning another shot someday.

Sicario is in a long list of thrillers that draws me in and loses me with a silly third act. Really like the characters and itís cool to look at. Another I didnít vote for but will revisit someday.
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I haven't seen Burning, and Sicario is in that seeming endless mass of 2010s movies that I thought were pretty good but left no lasting impression.



My thoughts on Sicario:

I found Sicario to be dull at times. Benicio Del Toro gives the best performance out of the cast but is not exceptional here. Emily Blunt is serviceable in a part that is underdeveloped and Josh Brolin isn't give much to do. There are a couple cool action sequences but much of the film falls flat and it feel like something is missing. It isn't as intense or as exciting as it should be. The cinematography is wonderful and the score is great too but it is the story and acting that leave something to be desired.

Burning is one I have heard a lot of good things about and have been meaning to watch, but it just doesn't jump out to me and I haven't gotten around to it.

Seen: 62/66
(Have not seen The Raid 2, The Turin Horse, The Act of Killing, and Burning)



I'm pleasantly surprised that Burning made the Countdown. I've seen the last four films, and out of those it's the only one that I actually like. It didn't get any help from me, since I cut it from my list pretty early, but I had nominated Steven Yeun for Best Supporting Actor when we did the MoFo Film Awards that year, if that counts for anything haha. I actually rewatched it not too long ago while trying to select a film for a Hall of Fame, but found that some parts dragged more than I remembered. Still a solid film overall though, and I especially like the ending.

I feel like I should rewatch Sicario. I didn't like it at the time, but it's been so long now that I don't remember why. I know exactly why I didn't like Moonrise Kingdom though, and that's because I just do not enjoy Wes Anderson's brand of quirkiness. He makes really pretty films, but I really wish he'd let someone else write dialogue for him.

Seen: 46/66

My List: 11  



I had really written off Burning showing up quite a while ago. I don't know how much of that was me over-projecting because it had slipped by when it came out and I didn't even notice it at the time. My top 10 might be poised for making a good showing after all (outside of The Look of Silence, but I knew that was a bit of a longshot that I was hoping would make it).

My ballot:  



This is a pretty surprising pair this high on the list. I expected Burning but much lower.

Burning was very middle of the road for me. Looked amazing but it did nothing for me thematically. I tried to get Poetry on this list, but I will be really shocked if I didnít fail. I watched Secret Sunshine in preparation for the list. It falls somewhere between the two for me. I will give Burning another shot someday.

Sicario is in a long list of thrillers that draws me in and loses me with a silly third act. Really like the characters and itís cool to look at. Another I didnít vote for but will revisit someday.
I will say, while I haven't read the story it's based on, I have read an okay number of Murakami novels, and with Drive my Car and Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy being big in 2022, I definitely could feel myself filling in his style of prose for the characters' internal monologues. Does the movie land as well for me without that alchemical recipe of culture floating around? Possibly not, but who knows. I didn't cast any votes Poetry's way, but I was kind of hoping it was going to make the 60-80 range.



I know a few of us all predicted Denis Villeneuve may be the director with the most titles on the list, and even though Sicario is only the second to show so far (joining Prisoners at #69), I think he is still on track for five. Blade Runner 2049 and Arrival have to be there and I suspect (and greatly hope) that Incendies is still in the top thirty-four. At this point I think the only one of his eligible titles that will miss is Enemy, and it probably didn't miss by a lot.
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Professional horse shoe straightener
38. Uncut Gems (2019, Josh Safdie and Benny Safdie) 150 points
Excellent film which made me sweat.

37. Moonrise Kingdom (2012, Wes Anderson) 153 points
Bottom tier Anderson.

36. Sicario (2015, Denis Villeneuve) 156 points
Villeneuve at his best. Taught and tense. I just wish they hadn't made a sequel.

35. Burning (2018, Lee Chang-dong) 163 points
I'm at a loss as to how this film is so popular. I'm an advocate for Korean film and Chang Dong in particular. But this film is average. He has done at least 4 better films. I'm glad it made the list as it only helps Korean film. But yeah it's a headscratcher given his output.

No votes



Looking at the votes/points distribution, I have to wonder; do you know which movie was nominated on the most lists that didn't make the cut?



Burning is my #4.

Great slow-burn psychological thriller based on a short story by Haruki Murakami. I love mysterious films that get your imagination working, especially when they're really well made, and this one is definitely both. Loved it.




Steven Yeun is one of my favorite new school actors and he totally nailed his part in Burning. No vote but was in consideration briefly, didnít expect it would show up at this point of the countdown. Glad it did.
"Neuvy"+ Deakins, Del Toro, Brolin, Blunt, Kaluuya, Bernthal.. Shut up and get on my ballot.
Sicario was my #22.



Sicario is well made and I loved that border crossing scene but was otherwise underwhelmed by the rest of it.

Haven’t seen Burning.



A system of cells interlinked
Sicario was my #19

I am an unabashed Villeneuve devotee, and this is excellent stuff from the director. I love the tight pacing, the tension that builds to almost intolerable levels as the film moves along, crisp performances, and its incisive takedown of the intelligence agencies in the US, which I tend to usually be a fan of. Add in a great score and a chilling atmosphere, and you have an easy entry on my ballot.

I've not seen Burning.
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Society ennobler, last seen in Medici's Florence
36. Sicario (2015)
35. Burning (2018)

I've heard none of these.

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