singularity awards

The best genre movies of the decade, by the numbers

Beyond which movie was the best, which was the most middling? And what should've been on the ballot? Let's break down the numbers.

The Singularity Awards used to be the name for Inverse's sort of Employee of the Month prize, for, you know, honoring singular achievements in employee excellence, complete with an apocalyptic A.I. reference. That whole concept sort of died this summer, but we liked the name enough to reuse it on something even better: Asking film critics we love to vote for their favorite genre movies to rank their singular qualities.

In this first go-round, we examine the entire decade. The 2010s were filled of change for genre films. Some genres came back from the dead (horror), others thankfully became a little brainier (sci-fi), and one, comic book movies, just became mainstream culture through attrition.

Thanks to all 50 critics for voting, and to all the writers who contributed an essay that celebrated something about a remarkable decade of genre movies. Below are some highlights plucked the spreadsheet. Now, onto the 2020s!

How voting worked:

Inverse came up with a ballot of their 105 favorite genre movies, grouping them by year. We then asked our favorite critics around the country to cast their ballot, awarding between 0 and and 10 points for each movie on the ballot. We also made space for a write-in vote and ranking. Voting was conducted between December 19, 2019 and January 10, 2020.

Stuck in the middle...

Among the 105 movies on the ballot, were these in the middle, all earning votes in the 270s: Ant-Man, Birdman, Deadpool, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 2, The Witch, and X-Men: First Class. I'm not saying they are forgettable, but why was everyone excited over Birdman that year? I can't remember.

The critics agree!

A few movies made a lot of critics feel the same type of way. The following scores are out of 10:

  • Eighteen critics gave Edge of Tomorrow a score of 8.
  • Nineteen critics gave Spider-Man: Homecoming a score of 8.
  • Nineteen critics gave Okja a score of 8.
  • Nineteen critics gave The Social Network a score of 10.
  • Twenty-one critics gave Ant-Man a score of 7.
  • Twenty-six critics gave Parasite a score of 10.
  • Twenty-eight critics gave Mad Max:Fury Road a score of 10.
  • Twenty-eight critics gave Get Out a score of 10.
  • Twenty-nine critics gave Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse a score of 10.

Maybe they shouldn't have made the ballot

These movies all were on the ballot, but may be shouldn't have been... Anna and the Apocalypse, Doctor Sleep, Elysium, Europa Report, Power Rangers, and Zombieland: Double Tap.

We were wrong.

We came up with a ballot that we thought had the every movie our critics would want to see, but we were wrong. Among the movies snubbed from our ballot, based on the popularity of write-in votes, were the films below. Call it the Midsommar group, which received received more write-in points than any other movie from critics, with 38.

  • Tron: Legacy (2010)
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)
  • Attack the Block (2011)
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)
  • Computer Chess (2013)
  • Man of Steel (2013)
  • The Guest (2014)
  • Hell or High Water (2016)
  • A Ghost Story (2017)
  • It (2017)
  • Mandy (2018)
  • Mission: Impossible: Fallout (2018)
  • Under the Silver Lake (2019)
  • Midsommar (2019)
  • Ad Astra (2019)

Go deeper...

Who doesn't love a Google Spreadsheet? Dive into how each critic voted with this public Google Doc.

Take a look at some of our essays that pull out the most interesting movie moments of the decade...

Lupita Nyong'o's brilliant acting made Hollywood take genre movies seriously

Patrick Stewart was the scariest villain of the decade for this role

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night was always love at first bite

Related Tags