From a long list of 30 plus films, and after countless debates and deliberations, here are Gendang’s list of the 10 best Malaysian films of the past decade (any violent disagreements, or abuse, email them our way):
10. Polis Evo (2015)
Director: Ghaz Abu Bakar
One of the best, and funniest action films (and buddy movie genre too!) to come out of Malaysia (yes, despite Nora Danish’s dodgy Terengganu accent). A big haul at the box-office didn’t hurt either.
Notable Awards: Best Supporting Actor (Hushairi Hussain) and Best Cinematography (Haris Hue Abdullah) at Festival Filem Malaysia ke-28
9. Pekak (2016)
Director: Mohd Khairul Azri Md Noor
A deaf drug pusher meets an innocent schoolgirl. Yes, not your typical Malaysian love story. And the strong cast and memorable characters (Azman Picasso is one of the vilest Malaysian screen villains ever) makes it a truly emotional watch.
Notable Awards: Best Actor (Zahiril Adzim) and Best Script (Mohd Khairul Azri) at the International Motivational Film Festival 2016.
8. Hantu Kak Limah Balik Ke Rumah (2010)
Director: Mamat Khalid
Nobody does satire better than Mamat Khalid. Throw in the hantu element, which never goes out of style here, and you have a deep and entertaining tour de force.
Notable Awards: Best Director, Best Actor (Awie), Best Original Story (Mamat Khalid) and Best Supporting Actor (Shy8) at Festival Filem Malaysia ke-24.
7. Rock Oo!: Rimba Bara Kembali (2013)
Director: Mamat Khalid
A poignant and funny tale of rockers struggling to make it to the top. Full of evergreen one liners and one of the most rocking musical montages ever.
Notable Awards: Best Supporting Actor (Khir Rahman) at Anugerah Skrin 2013, and Best Original Story (Mamat Khalid) at Festival Filem Malaysia ke-26.
6. One Two Jaga (2018)
A local police flick where for the first time, the cops are portrayed as gray characters rather than pure white. The film has ba**s indeed.
Notable Awards: Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay (Amri Rohaiyat, Fared Ayam, Namron) and Best Actor (Rosdeen Suboh) at Festival Filem Malaysia ke-30.
5. Lelaki Harapan Dunia (2014)
Director: Liew Seng Tat
One of the best depictions of kampung folks trapped inside their own insecurities and dogma. The film also travelled well and received nominations at various international film festivals.
Notable Awards: Best Film, Best Director and Best Original Story (Liew Seng Tat) at Festival Filem Malaysia ke-27, and Best Film and Best Director at Anugerah Skrin 2015
4. KIL (2013)
Director: Nik Amir Mustapha
A deeply philosophical look at life and the need to end it, KIL is one of the best indie movies ever to come out in the 2010s, and probably of all time.
Notable Awards: Best Director, Best Screenplay (Nik Amir) and Best Future Actress (Christina Suzanne) at Festival Filem Malaysia ke-26, and Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Actress at Anugerah Skrin 2013.
3. Jagat (2015)
Director: Shanjhey Kumar Perumal
A brilliant and gritty tale of a boy trying to rise outside of his environment. It took 10 years to complete, and we’re grateful that we got to finally see it.
Notable Awards: Best Film and Best Director at the Festival Filem Malaysia ke-28.
2. Songlap (2011)
Director: Fariza Azlina / Effendee Mazlan
A twist of fate stretches the relationship between two brothers who are struggling between etching a living, and doing the right thing. It’s also a masterclass in directing by this husband/wife duo.
Notable Awards: Best Film and Best Actor (Shaheizy Sam) at the ASEAN International Film Festivals and Awards (AIFFA) 2013, and Best Supporting Actor (Syafie Naswip), Best Supporting Actress (Normah Damanhuri) and Best Cinematography (Haris Hue Abdullah) at Festival Filem Malaysia ke-25.
1. Bunohan (2012)
Director: Dain Iskandar Said
Visually stunning, this complex and intense fable of family and brotherhood tension is simply a masterpiece for the ages.
Notable Awards: Best Film, Best Director and Best Actor (Faizal Hussein), along with 5 other awards at Festival Filem Malaysia ke-25, and Best Film and Best Screenplay (Dain Said) at Anugerah Skrin 2012.