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DVDizzy.com Presents
The Top 100 Films of the Half-Decade (2010-2014)
Page 3: #60-41

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

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Another night of partying behind him, Jep Gambardella (Toni Servillo) uses a fountain to get water in #60, "La grande bellezza" ("The Great Beauty").

60. The Great Beauty
2013, 141 minutes, Not Rated / Director: Paolo Sorrentino / Writers: Paolo Sorrentino, Umberto Contarello / Stars: Toni Servillo, Carlo Verdone, Sabrina Ferilli, Carlo Buccirosso
Buy It: Blu-ray Combo • DVD • Instant Video

This Fellini-esque Italian film is as artistic as any on this list and makes extraordinary use of picture and sound to tell its resonant, unconventional story. Full Blu-ray Combo Review

59. Elysium
2013, 109 minutes, R / Writer/Director: Neill Blomkamp / Stars: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Alice Braga, Diego Luna
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While it did not get the reception of his decorated debut District 9, Neill Blomkamp's follow-up sci-fi action is similarly thoughtful, relevant and exciting. Full Film Review

58. The Town
2010, 125 minutes, R / Director: Ben Affleck / Writers: Peter Craig, Ben Affleck, Aaron Stockard, Chuck Hogan / Stars: Ben Affleck, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Blake Lively
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On both sides of the camera, Ben Affleck makes this Boston crime drama gripping, tasteful, and atmospheric.

Nick (Tobey Maguire), Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), Daisy (Carey Mulligan) and Tom (Joel Edgerton) take in the sights and sounds of one of Gatsby's spectacular parties in Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby" (2013), #57 in our countdown.

57. The Great Gatsby
2013, 142 minutes, PG-13 / Director: Baz Luhrmann / Writers: Scott Fitzgerald; Baz Luhrmann, Craig Pearce / Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Isla Fisher, Jason Clarke, Elizabeth Debicki
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The value of F. Scott Fitzgerald's great American novel is plain to see in Baz Luhrmann's somewhat unorthodox, characteristically flamboyant adaptation. Full Blu-ray Combo Review

56. Waking Sleeping Beauty
2010, 86 minutes, PG / Director: Don Hahn / Writer: Patrick Pacheco / Subjects: Ron Clements, Peter Schneider, Roy Disney, Rob Minkoff, Glen Keane, Michael D. Eisner, Jeffrey Katzenberg
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Superb documentary (one of just three on this list) relies on archival footage to put you inside Disney Animation during its '90s Renaissance and voiceover from new interviews to put that exciting time in perspective. Full DVD Review

Tut tut, looks like rain for Curtis LaForche (Michael Shannon) and his family in #55, "Take Shelter."

55. Take Shelter
2011, 121 minutes, R / Writer/Director: Jeff Nichols / Stars: Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain, Shea Whigham, Katy Mixon, Ray McKinnon
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This independent drama, which made Jeff Nicholas a filmmaker to watch, captivates with its deceptively simple premise: are a family man's apocalyptic visions a warning or is he just losing his mind? Full Blu-ray Review

Philomena Lee (Judi Dench) explains the romance novel she just read in great detail to journalist Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan) in #54, "Philomena."

54. Philomena
2013, 98 minutes, PG-13 / Director: Stephen Frears / Writers: Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope, Martin Sixsmith / Stars: Judi Dench, Steve Coogan
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This film seemed to crash last year's Oscar race, but we all should have seen it coming, with its Weinstein backing and British and elderly appeal. Although all those elements make this an easy target for claims that the Academy is out of touch, this story of an Irish woman's search for her son absolutely compels and is well-told with humor and humanity. Full Blu-ray Review

The human cast of #53, "The Tree of Life", comes together for a rousing finale that will mean either nothing or everything to you.

53. The Tree of Life
2011, 139 minutes, PG-13 / Writer/Director: Terrence Malick / Stars: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain, Hunter McCracken, Laramie Eppler, Tye Sheridan, Fiona Shaw
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There's no one else in cinema quite like Terrence Malick. Full of beauty and largely free of form, his ambitious films are such that you'll probably either argue this one should be atop this countdown or not in it at all. But reactions needn't be so extreme. Not as fulfilling as films less open for interpretation, this one feels properly placed near the midway point of this list. Full Blu-ray Combo Review

Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) takes a look at Earth, a planet she desperately would like to return to alive in #52, "Gravity."

52. Gravity
2013, 91 minutes, PG-13 / Director: Alfonso Cuarσn / Writers: Alfonso Cuarσn, Jonαs Cuarσn / Stars: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Ed Harris
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It'd be wrong to dismiss this survival story as purely a technical achievement. Yes, the space visuals are unprecedented and add undeniable impact. But fine acting and efficient storytelling make it much more than just eye candy. Full Blu-ray 3D Combo Review

Like a modern-day Sherlock Holmes, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) uses three-dimensional crime scene recreation to figure out what he's up against in #51, "Iron Man 3."

51. Iron Man 3
2013, 131 minutes, PG-13 / Director: Shane Black / Writers: Drew Pearce, Shane Black / Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Jon Favreau, Ben Kingsley, James Badge Dale, Stephanie Szostak, Paul Bettany, William Sadler, Miguel Ferrer, Dale Dickey, Ty Simpkins
Buy It: Blu-ray 3D Combo • Blu-ray Combo • Blu-ray + DVD • DVD • Instant Video

Admittedly not as easy to label a work of art as the two films immediately behind it in this list, this blockbuster threequel nonetheless finds superhero factory Marvel in top form. Although this series should be wearing out its welcome, it is better than ever with its sharp writing, unpredictable turns, and first-rate characterization. Thus far, Iron Man's alluring universe has somehow yielded greater diversion on its own than as part of Marvel's Avengers franchise. Full Blu-ray Review

50. The Place Beyond the Pines
2013, 140 minutes, R / Director: Derek Cianfrance / Writers: Derek Cianfrance, Ben Coccio, Darius Marder / Stars: Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Ray Liotta, Ben Mendelsohn, Rose Byrne, Mahershala Ali, Bruce Greenwood, Harris Yulin
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While it plays like three short films, each less powerful than the one before it, this rich drama is greater than the sum of its parts.

49. The Ides of March
2011, 101 minutes, R / Director: George Clooney / Writers: George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon / Stars: Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Evan Rachel Wood
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George Clooney's inside-the-campaign political drama gets you to invest in multi-layered characters and a complex story, two things rare enough to make you appreciate them tremendously. Full Blu-ray Review

"Flight", #48, stars Denzel Washington as Captain Whip Whitaker, a pilot who miraculously lands a doomed commercial plane under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

48. Flight
2012, 139 minutes, R / Director: Robert Zemeckis / Writer: John Gatins / Stars: Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle, Kelly Reilly, John Goodman, Bruce Greenwood, Brian Geraghty
Buy It: Blu-ray Combo • DVD • Instant Video

Robert Zemeckis' return to live-action filmmaking may not be the most subtle of dramas, but its creative premise, fine cast, and thoughtful visuals all work together to make a big impact. Full Blu-ray Combo Review

47. Django Unchained
2012, 165 minutes, R / Writer/Director: Quentin Tarantino / Stars: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson
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If not for the over-the-top violent finale, Quentin Tarantino's sharply-written, well-acted slave and bounty hunter western would rank even higher. Full Film Review

Neither Marshal Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) nor Texas Ranger LaBeouf (Matt Damon) is particularly welcoming towards the young girl determined to join them on their perilous quest for justice in #46, 2010's "True Grit."

46. True Grit
2010, 110 minutes, PG-13 / Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen / Writers: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, Charles Portis / Stars: Jeff Bridges, Hailee Steinfeld, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, Barry Pepper
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A Coen Brothers remake of a John Wayne western may not sound promising on paper, but this commercially potent hit ended up being a terrific and atypically accessible vessel for the filmmakers' offbeat talent and flair. Full DVD Review

In #45, "Big Hero 6", Hiro Hamada feels at home surrounded by science nerds at San Fransokyo Institute of Technology.

45. Big Hero 6
2014, 108 minutes, PG / Directors: Don Hall, Chris Williams / Writers: Robert L. Baird, Daniel Gerson, Jordan Roberts, Duncan Rouleau, Steven T. Seagle / Stars: Scott Adsit, Ryan Potter, Daniel Henney, T.J. Miller, Jamie Chung, Damon Wayans Jr., Genesis Rodriguez, James Cromwell, Alan Tudyk
Buy It: Blu-ray Combo • DVD • Instant Video

After some creative instability and a brief identity crisis, Walt Disney Animation Studios has returned to the consistent excellence for which they've long been known. While they've had success putting new spins on their winning formula of fairy tale musicals, their most impressive modern achievements have been unlikely and unexpected triumphs like this delectable futuristic adventure adapted from an obscure Marvel comic book. Full Blu-ray & DVD Review

Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman) extends an arm to congratulate Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) on the completion of his arduous treatment in #44, "The Master."

44. The Master
2012, 138 minutes, R / Writer/Director: Paul Thomas Anderson / Writers: E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman / Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams
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Adored by critics and abhorred by much of the general public who even took notice of it, this creative drama inspired by the establishment of Scientology is a showcase for fearless acting and directorial virtuosity. Full Blu-ray Combo Review

43. Foxcatcher
2014, 129 minutes, R / Director: Bennett Miller / Writers: E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman / Stars: Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Sienna Miller, Vanessa Redgrave
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Absolutely no appreciation of wrestling is needed for this drama to sweep you up in its haunting world with big yet real performances of larger than life characters. Full Blu-ray Review

42. The Help
2011, 146 minutes, PG-13 / Director: Tate Taylor / Writers: Kathryn Stockett, Tate Taylor / Stars: Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard, Octavia Spencer, Jessica Chastain
Buy It: Blu-ray + DVD • Blu-ray Combo • DVD • Instant Video

General audiences appreciated this southern drama more than critics. For feel-good, crowd-pleasing cinema, it is surprisingly good at tastefully addressing still relevant issues of race and class from our recent past. Full Blu-ray Combo Review

In #41, "Warm Bodies", R (Nicholas Hoult) informs Julie (Teresa Palmer) that her attempt to blend in with his fellow airport runway zombies is a bit over the top.

41. Warm Bodies
2013, 98 minutes, PG-13 / Director: Jonathan Levine / Writers: Isaac Marion, Jonathan Levine / Stars: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, Analeigh Tipton, Rob Corddry, Dave Franco, John Malkovich
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More liked than loved, this witty retelling of Romeo and Juliet as an apocalyptic human-zombie romance is incredibly appealing. The frequent comparisons to Twilight only underscore how much smarter and more enjoyable this teen-oriented genre tale is. Full Blu-ray Combo Review

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Begun January 12, 2015. Updated February 3, 2015.

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