Raising Bertie – Edge of Tomorrow – The Day He Arrives – Zama – Pina – Tabu – Get Out

Among the nearly 2,000 new films I saw this past decade, I found these the freshest in concept, richest in ambition, craftiest in execution, or plain hardest to forget. Joint citations are for movies that share artists or themes, and for which I feel nearly equal awe. Honorable mentions, scattered throughout, are for films that would miss this list on their own but merit a warm shout. I hope you hunt down titles new to you, or rewatch those you know, and share your reactions.
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I have scattered Honorable Mentions throughout the main list, paired with movies they echo.
Besides those, other runners-up include Oscar nominees, avant-garde études, and zombie flicks:
Faust, Aleksandr Sokurov's uncanny Venice champ, honoring old lore and inventing new images;
Paradise: Love, Ulrich Seidl's sharply etched tale of sex tourists in the wake of colonialism;
Spring Breakers, expertly shot and mixed day-glo nightmare of white U.S. youth on its rampage;
War Witch, a ghostly, shattering chronicle of an orphaned girl conscripted into child soldiering;
A Long and Happy Life, tense, potently made, and a very brave immanent critique of Russia;
Only Lovers Left Alive, easily my favorite Jarmusch this decade, wry and unexpectedly romantic;
The Homesman, a different kind of western, with two stirring leads and a doozy of a structure;
Li'l Quinquin, a loopy epic from a Bruno Dumont we never suspected, making the hours fly by;
Minotaur, Nicolás Pereda's peculiar, almost inexplicably evocative abstract of sleeping bodies;
Panamerican Machinery, semi-surreal parable of labor protest and fatigue, stupidly undistributed;
Eighth Grade, deftly built by Bo Burnham, anchored by Elsie Fisher's beautifully modest acting;
American Factory, vividly shot, fleetly edited, unpacking a complicated story as it unfolds; and
Babyteeth, a visually rich comedy-drama about reckless teen lovers and two spooked parents

Clap, too, for these 2009 debuts, released later in the U.S., that should have been on my last list:
Dogtooth, Yorgos Lanthimos's mordant, singular portrait-in-onyx of recklessly closed societies;
Everyone Else, Maren Ade's tough-to-beat diagram of a breakup, with two superlative leads;
Fish Tank, Arnold's invigorating blend of realism and dark fairy tale, its heart audibly beating;
White Material, a post-imperial apocalypse, and a fearsome peak even for Denis and Huppert.