There were 160,730 movies released in the 2010s. By some miracle, I’ve managed to narrow those down to just five of my favorites.
As many before me have said, the 2010s brought a series of high and low moments, not just in the world in general, but also in the movie industry. We’ve seen the rise of superhero movies, remakes, reboots, revivals; the list goes on.
Throughout the decade, the silver screen has been graced with garbage such as Fantastic Four (2015) and The Last Airbender (2010), but out of those lows have come incredible highs.
I must stress that the following list is what I personally perceive to be the best movies of the 2010s. I expect that whoever is reading this will have a completely different list than mine, and that’s ok, even encouraged. Now, let’s dive in.
Toy Story 3 (2010)
Funny, heartfelt, and poetic. There wasn’t a single movie that touched my heart more than Pixar’s third installment in the Toy Story franchise. I clearly remember sitting in the theater with my dad at the age of 10 watching the last five minutes of the movie.
I was so moved by the ending that for the rest of the day, I was in a sort of daze. It was sad, yet beautiful.
Toy Story 3 taught so many valuable lessons on friendship, loss, and determination. The most important lesson that the movie taught me though, is that things in life change. We might part ways with the people we love, but the memories will last forever.
Super 8 (2011)
Super 8 continues to be J.J. Abrams’ greatest work. It perfectly mixes family drama with sci-fi adventure, very much akin to E.T. and Stranger Things. Most importantly though, it’s a love letter to filmmaking in general.
The movie follows a group of young filmmakers that are trying to create a monster movie. During one of their shoots, they witness a train crash, and some type of alien creature escapes from one of the train cars. The plot gets wilder as the creature wreaks havoc across town.
It sounds like a generic creature feature, but it manages to incorporate poignant themes of grief, loss, and learning to let go of the things that bring you pain.
This movie also came out around the time that I was becoming very serious about filmmaking. Seeing kids that were no older than me, go out and try to make their own movie was very inspiring.
It’s a beautiful story with a beautiful ending. Definitely worth the watch.
Okay, I have to preface this entry by saying that 2019 was a great year for movies. There were so many hits that brought a great close to the decade. 1917 was one of those hits.
Directed by Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Skyfall), 1917 follows the perilous journey of two soldiers that are in a race against time to prevent a German ambush on a British battalion.
Simply put, everything about this movie was incredible. The pacing kept you engaged, the cinematography by Roger Deakins was beautiful, and the soundtrack was a masterpiece.
The editing was also done in a way to make the film look as if it was shot in one take with no cuts. Granted, there are some dialogue-heavy scenes that do utilizes cuts, but for the most part, the movie takes you on this smooth, uninterrupted journey across a war-torn Europe.
It’s a jaw-dropping experience that can be watched countless times.
Uncut Gems (2019)
If—for some reason—you ever wanted to see Adam Sandler get into a fistfight with The Weeknd, then Uncut Gems won’t disappoint.
This slick, neo-noir masterpiece is the latest movie from the Safdie Brothers, directors of Good Time (2017). It follows the misadventures of a New York jeweler named Howard (played by Sandler), who is always looking for the next big chance to make fast cash.
When debts come due, Howard finds that his world is starting to crumble down, and he’ll do whatever it takes to win big.
It’s a story about insatiable greed, and illustrates how self-destructing a gambling addiction can be. Sandler’s performance is incredible, and the soundtrack is rich with synthesizers that really add to the neo-noir feel.
It was a very unique movie that I can’t wait to experience again.
Similar to The Dark Knight (2008) before it, Logan revitalized the superhero genre.
I’ve grown to dislike the mass amount of mindless Marvel movies that keep getting churned out yearly, so this movie was such a refreshing change. Instead of focusing purely on fan service, there’s an exceptional amount of effort that goes into the filmmaking.
The movie is more in the neo-western genre than it is the superhero genre. The action is bloody and brutal, the soundtrack is dark and somber, and the themes are powerful.
The story centers around Wolverine, one of the last surviving X-Men, as he cares for an ailing Professor X and a little girl.
They managed to craft the perfect finale for one of the most beloved comic book characters in the world. It’s absolutely worth watching.