Jan 29, 2020

Best Movies of the 2010s

The 2010s was busy decade. It was so busy that we often forget that it also happened to be a culture-shifting era for in film, too. Horror movies came back in a big way. As did action movies, period pieces, biopics and, of course, superheroes. Hollywood didn’t make it easy for us to narrow the decade down to its 10 best, but that’s not their problem. Today, we’re going to take a look at the best movies from the 2010s.

  • Release: October 1, 2010

    For better or worse, Facebook changed the way that modern humans interact forever. Though Aaron Sorkin and David Fincher’s portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg’s rise to prominence doesn’t change the way that we watch movies, it’s still one of the decade’s most important films.

    Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, and Justin Timberlake, The Social Network is equal parts informative, tense, and gripping. The film does more than rundown the historical dates and times. It critiques the creation itself, pokes holes in its “utopian” philosophy of interconnectedness, and questions all those involved in creating it.

  • Release: May 4, 2012

    Setting aside the opinions of a few of the industry’s most influential voices for a second, there really is no argument against the importance of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Especially during the 2010s.

    You simply can’t go to a theatre without seeing at least one superhero movie big and bolded. As such, there was no way to accurately portray the decade in film without mentioning at least one from the genre.

    So, why pick 2012’s The Avengers? In the eyes of many, Joss Whedon’s crossover epic perfectly encapsulates the genre as a whole. Not only does it elevate the source material to new heights, but it also paved the way for the decade-defining follow-ups.

    Equal parts hilarious, star-studded, and action-packed, The Avengers is big, brash, and bold in unexpected ways. A true cinematic marvel.

  • Release: November 6, 2013

    Hollywood A-lister Oscar Isaac has been in so many high-caliber films that it’s easy to forget that he began the 10s with one of its best films.

    Written and directed by the Coen Brothers, Inside Llewyn Davis sets out to document a week in the life of a struggling 60s-era folk singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village fold scene in New York. It’s a story about art, humanity, the shifting of cultures, and the sacrifices that the icons we love are forced to make in order to realize their artistic vision.

    Inside Llewyn Davis is a film that defies description and satisfyingly rewards those willing to open themselves up to the experience.

  • Release: July 11, 2014

    Even if Boyhood were a bad movie — which it isn’t — it’s technical achievements and visionary scope changed cinema for the better. Richard Linklater, the film’s writer and director, took a whopping 12-years to film this movie in an attempt to compliment the script’s portrayal of character growth with the physical changes associated with the actual passage of time.

    The end result is an eerily accurate and immersive coming of age story that will be remembered for a long, long time. Actors Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, and Ellar Coltrane dedicated a large chunk of their lives to the making of this film — and that dedication certainly translates.

    Although Boyhood was released in 2014, I still find myself thinking about it from time to time. And if that’s not a hallmark of a great, impactful, decades-best film than nothing is.

  • Release: May 14, 2015

    Mad Max: Fury Road, starring Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron and directed by George Miller, currently enjoys the spoils of a 97 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. And, if you’ve seen it, you understand.

    In terms of world-building, acting, soundtrack, technological achievement, and uniqueness, Fury Road is peerless. The characters are raw and real. The story is somehow both simple and incredibly deep. And it rewards the audience’s IQ with countless buried treasures.

    What makes all of this so remarkable is that, in essence, Mad Max: Fury Road is one long action movie chase sequence.

  • Release: June 1, 2016

    You can be forgiven if you happened to miss director Park Chan-wook’s The Handmaiden before the decade ran out of time. The film only just managed to break the $2-million threshold at the box office. However, The Handmaiden is a perfect example of the folly of measuring the quality of a film by its success at the box office.

    Set in a 1930s-era colonial Korea and Japan, this Korean language masterpiece tells the tale of a young Japanese lady and her new handmaiden. The titular handmaiden is involved in a secret plot to defraud the Japanese lady of her substantial inheritance.

    While the plot is fairly straightforward, that’s sort of the point. The Handmaiden rewards the audience’s curiosity with one of the best films of 2016 and the entire decade.

  • Release: October 21, 2016

    Moonlight, written and directed by Barry Jenkins, is easily one of the most human movies ever written. It’s certainly a standout of the decade.

    At its heart, Moonlight is a coming of age story. In particular, it focuses on one person’s struggle to define their place in a world that’s at odds with everything that they seem to be. It’s a thesis on growing up as a young African American. It’s a thesis on growing up gay. But more than that, it’s a sobering look at all the moons that orbit love.

    Pro-tip for those that haven’t seen Moonlight yet: invest in a box of tissues. You’ll need them.

  • Release: November 18, 2016

    Sometimes, no matter how hard we try to move on, our past mistakes nip at our heels for all our days.

    In Manchester by the Sea, Lee Chandler is forced to return to his hometown and troubled past, following the death of his older brother Joe. What follows is 135-minutes of gut-wrenching, uncomfortable sadness as the story reveals Lee’s true reason for fleeing Manchester-by-the-Sea.

    As if the 2010s didn’t provide us with enough material to cry about.

  • Release: February 24, 2017

    During the 2010s, filmmakers introduced festival-caliber writing and production to genres that had been gathering dust over the years. Horror, for instance, received a real shot in the arm when comedic impresario Jordan Peele wrote and directed Get Out.

    Using stellar acting, perfectly executed horror elements, and mind-bending film techniques, Get Out captured African American’s struggle for acceptance in a fresh new way. But Peele’s opus was more than just a horror movie with a conscience. It was a true-blue masterclass that pulled audiences along with a string using comedy, suspense, and heartbreak.

  • Release: July 26, 2019

    It’s safe to say that the 2010s were good to Hollywood’s favorite eccentric, Quentin Tarantino. The decade saw Tarantino release three feature-length films, including Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight. However, it was his final film of the decade, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, that deserves unpacking here.

    Billed as a love letter to the golden age of Tinseltown, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood set out to recapture the essence of the people, places, and things that made LA their home in 1969. Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and Margot Robbie deliver a charm that’s punctuated by Damon Herriman’s skin-crawling portrayal of Charles Manson.

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