The 2010s were an expansive decade in the cinematic world. Though many great films were released throughout the decade, here are a few that summarize the years:
The Social Network (2010) dir. David Fincher
The Social Network was a great start to the decade. The film was critically lauded and was nominated for Best Picture at the 2011 Oscars, but more than that, it was a film that was fresh, exciting and represented a new era. The Social Network not only had great performances, cinematography and a great score, but overall felt incredibly modern. A film about the rise of a social media platform could not have been made 20 years ago — the story and concepts did not exist. The Social Network also tackles concepts like sexism, capitalism and the American dream, all in the context of the use of the internet. The Social Network is perhaps the quintessential film of the decade.
The Lego Movie (2014) dir. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller
The Lego Movie shouldn’t have been as good as it was — but it was great, mostly thanks to the absurd and fun writing by writers and directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. The Lego Movie was a colorful adventure into the world of Legos. Though what some may consider a kids movie, the film spoke to greater messages about individuality, society and tyranny. The Lego Movie was a great film and represented the goofy, nonsensical humor of the 2010s.
Moonlight (2016) dir. Barry Jenkins
Moonlight was arguably the turning point in film in the decade. Not only was Moonlight an independent film gone mainstream, but it also won Best Picture in 2017. Moonlight brought national attention to modern LGBT+ narratives, as well as a look into drug abuse. Mahershala Ali became the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar, and Joi McMillion was the first black woman to be nominated for an Oscar for best editing. The film is visually stunning, classic-looking, yet dreamy and modern, with an infatuating musical score and compelling story. Moonlight was an unforgettable film of the decade.
Get Out (2017) dir. Jordan Peele
Those who didn’t get to see Get Out during its original theatrical release missed out. Get Out was not only a cultural landmark in terms of diversity in blockbuster film, but was also simply a great movie. Peele created a modern horror masterpiece, calling back to classics such as Rosemary’s Baby and The Twilight Zone. The film was full of unforgettable visuals and performances and forced viewers to confront modern-day racism, from police violence to microaggressions. Get Out embodied horror films of the decade, and perhaps set the tone for future thrillers in the 2020s.
Eighth Grade (2018) dir. Bo Burnham
Eighth Grade was a small film with a big heart. The film was comedian Bo Burnham’s directorial debut, and told the coming-of-age story of an eighth-grade girl, Kayla. The film was critically lauded, and noted for its grueling realism. For many, Eighth Grade captured the true awkwardness of adolescence, especially in a modern context. The protagonist, Kayla, uses vlogs and social media as a means to cope with everyday teenage troubles. The film tapped into something in modern audiences, and at times, was all too relatable.