2010s in Review: Movies Part 2

Holly Mirales, Staff Writer

This list focuses on movies in the second half of the 2010s:

Action

Avengers: Endgame (2019)Image result for avengers endgame

Marvel movies ruled the 2010s, and with so many hit movies, it was hard to pick just one.

Almost every Marvel release of the decade could be on this list, but the one that deserved it the most had to be Endgame.

Endgame was the cultural event of the decade. No movie had a release this momentous (save Star Wars). Nearly everyone was excited to go see this movie, and the opening weekend showings were packed. Some movie theaters ONLY showed Endgame that weekend.

The movie spawned many memes, further cementing itself into the cultural consciousness. Endgame wrapped up the saga that had been unfolding the whole decade, and some of the public’s most beloved characters finally had their stories end.

As the final chapter in this part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s story, it only felt right to put Endgame as one of the most influential movies of the decade.

The MCU itself was revolutionary with the interconnection between its movies and the idea of a cinematic universe, a concept that became very popular this decade, and Endgame encapsulated that idea by tying them all together to an end.

Sci-Fi

Star Wars (2015, 2017, 2019)Image result for star wars sequel trilogy

Much like Avengers: Endgame, the revival of the Star Wars franchise brought with it much fanfare.

After Disney announced a sequel trilogy in 2012, fans around the world were immediately excited. And by releasing the new films every two years, Disney had fans on edge for what the next movie might bring.

Movie theaters were packed full with the Star Wars faithful, with long lines waiting to get in. It seemed that no matter what was going on in the world, everyone always stopped come December when each movie was released to watch these new films.

The Force Awakens (2015) introduced the characters of Finn, Rey, Poe, and Kylo Ren, while bringing back the original characters such as Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia.

While The Last Jedi (2017) sparked controversy among fans for its direction and bold decisions, fans still waited eagerly for the Rise of Skywalker (2019), which brought this nine-film saga to a close.

The social and cultural impact that Star Wars has left on the world is undeniable and profound.

Animation

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)Image result for spider man into the spider verse

This animated Spider-Man film swung onto the screen and into the hearts of viewers.

With a lovable cast of fun characters, an interesting plot, great soundtrack, and incredible animation, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was one of the most memorable animated films of the decade.

Its unique art style was one of the main aspects of the film that made it worthy of this title. The highly stylized character designs and the great integration of the traditional comic book style into the movies gave it a definitive look like no other.

Spider-Verse’s animation brought its own funky style and artistry into the mix in an age when many other animated films are striving for realism, not a stylistic look. This boldness from Spider-Verse separates it from other animated movies.

Horror

Get Out (2017)Image result for get out movie poster

In the current state of America, Get Out is relevant.

Drawing from themes of racism, Get Out starts out slow and eerie when Chris, a young black man, goes to his white girlfriend Rose’s secluded childhood home to meet her parents. The movie continually builds up its scary aura until finally the curtain is ripped away and the horror is unleashed.

With comedic breaks and a heart-pounding story that makes you want to scream “Get out!” at the screen, Get Out is both enjoyable to watch and a poignant social commentary.

Its message about the racism faced by African Americans and how some white people view them as a commodity is extremely relevant in today’s society. Get Out brings light to an important issue in an enjoyable way while never compromising the seriousness of its message.

A Quiet Place (2018)Image result for a quiet place poster

Silence has never spoke quite as loud as it does in A Quiet Place.

The film relies on the physical aspects of acting such as body language and facial expression more than the spoken word. In fact, the absence of sound is what leads to the most frightening moments in the movie as a sudden noise amidst the silence is not only startling for the audience but is what will bring more terror by the appearance of the monsters.

Any noise becomes scary when watching A Quiet Place as the silence brings the viewer into a heightened state of awareness to sound. The movie’s themes of forgiveness, sacrifice, and familial love emerge from the story to create a memorable experience.

The film’s casting also helped make it one of the most influential horror films of the decade.

Millicent Simmonds, a deaf actress, was cast as the deaf child in the movie and taught the rest of the cast sign language, which was heavily utilized as the main form of communication between the characters in the movie.

It’s rare for an actor with disabilities to be cast in a disabled role in Hollywood, as the parts usually go to their abled counterparts. The directors’ insistence on casting a deaf actor added more depth to the film, helping it to become as memorable and influential as it is.

Romance

A Star Is Born (2018)Image result for a star is born poster

Despite being the fourth remake of A Star Is Born, the 2019 version starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper still shines bright as a star itself.

With an incredible soundtrack, great performances from the leading and supporting actors, and a captivating story, A Star Is Born captures audiences and refuses to let them go.

The movie’s commentary on alcoholism, addiction, and the rotten side of the music industry is especially poignant and resonates deeply with viewers. It’s hard to watch A Star Is Born and end with a dry eye.

Even after the movie is done, songs such as “I’ll Never Love Again” and “Shallow” are so catchy that audiences can’t help but think of them and be reminded of the epic love story told in this film.

Due to the strong story, soundtrack, and social commentary, A Star Is Born deserves its place as one of the most influential movies of the 2010s. 

Drama

Whiplash (2014) Image result for whiplash poster

From the top-notch cinematography to the incredible score of music, Whiplash has all the makings of a truly great film.

We follow Andrew Neiman, a jazz drummer determined to achieve greatness, in his twisted mentor-student relationship with his psychotic band teacher, Fletcher. Andrew vies for greatness no matter the cost, while Fletcher continues to push him beyond the limit.

The film explores themes such as the jagged pursuit of perfection, abuse suffered for art, and whether pain is really needed to create greatness. The movie isn’t afraid to lean into the dark side of the music scene or Fletcher and Andrew’s relationship and portrays both from a gray standpoint.

The tensions in Whiplash mimic jazz music itself as it rises and intensifies. The frantic tempo of the music and movie intertwine, becoming one entity through which the story is told.

At the culmination in the final scene, one can’t help but feel as tense as if you were Andrew. When the movie is over, the final drum solo will still be ringing in your ears for days as the haunting story of Whiplash and the unanswered questions it poses linger in your mind.

Comedy

Deadpool (2016)Image result for deadpool poster

Everyone’s favorite merc with a mouth finally came to the big screen this decade.

With Ryan Reynolds starring, Deadpool is a great movie for anyone who loves the action and whimsy of a superhero movie and the light spirit and humor of a comedy film.

With great, gory action scenes, a few more somber moments, and a never-ending supply of jokes, Deadpool has it all.

One of the best parts of the film is the cast of characters, with many characters both major and minor helping to create some of the most memorable moments in the film.

Deadpool brings its own unique flair to the densely populated superhero genre and helped create an appeal for more adult-themed superhero movies instead of just the more family-friendly ones.

Fantasy

Wonder Woman (2017)Image result for wonder woman poster

While DC may not have been as big as Marvel this decade, it still had plenty of great movies. The movie that was the most influential, the shining gem of the DCEU, was Wonder Woman.

Many believe that Wonder Woman was the movie that saved the DCEU after the poor reception many of its previous movies had received. Arguably, the success of Wonder Woman allowed the DCEU to remain relevant and continue on.

Wonder Woman was novel as it was the first blockbuster superhero film with a female main character. This representation resonated with women and girls all over the world, and many flocked to see Gal Gadot star as the titular character.

The iconic No Man’s Land scene where Wonder Woman deflected the bullets with her bracelets was an important moment for pop culture.