The decade is almost over, it almost seems too hard to believe. But, it’s true and with the end of the decade comes the end of the decade lists. This isn’t that. I watch a lot of movies, but not enough to do a list that would require all that effort. However, because I have missed quite a few movies from this past decade, I have compiled 40 movies I’m planning on watching before the new year and seeing how much they deserve being called a defining movie of the decade.
The 40 movies are all different whether it be genre wise, plot wise, popularity wise. There are all over the place, just the way I like it. Some of these movies are more critical acclaimed than others, but these are the movies I’m watching because based off of the research I have done, I feel they have defined the decade in terms of their influence on other movies throughout the 2010s. My goal of finishing all 40 movies before New Year’s is unrealistic sure, but I’m always up for a challenge. I will review this challenge in January and update if I completed it or not and my thoughts on all the movies I finished. Here are the lucky 40 I will spend the next few weeks watching.
40. Popstar: Never Stop Stopping (2016)
Mockumentaries were a big part of the 2010s. This was due in part of because The Office and then in was picked up by Modern Family and Parks And Recreation, Popstar: Never Stop Stopping was a highlight in terms of mockumentaries of the 2010s.
39. Looper (2012)
This decade has had some really impressive action with the Mission Impossible films and Mad Max: Fury Road. Looper may be overshadowed by some of the recent flashier action flicks, but Looper remains a breakout action movie.
38. Inherent Vice (2014)
2010s was big for stoners and Inherent Vice was definitely one of the biggest stoner movies of the decade.
37. Straight Outta Compton (2015)
Biopics seemed to be everywhere during the 2010s. With Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman being the most recent movies to add to the list. I believe that those biopics own some of their popularity to Straight Outta Compton.
36. Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)
Superhero movies probably had the most impact on movies this decade. So I knew I would need one of them on this list, but since I seen almost all of them, I went with Kingsman. It’s the most superhero-lite movie of the decade, but stands on its own.
35. Green Room (2015)
Indie movies have never been better than they have been during the 2010s. You can thank A24 for much of that. Green Room is easily one of the A24 standouts in terms of their indie dramas.
34. Enemy (2013)
When making this list, I knew I would need at least Jake Gyllenhaal movie. Gyllenhaal is without a doubt one of the best actors working today and Enemy exemplifies that with him, playing two different characters.
33. Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
Much like Jake Gyllenhaal, I kind of figured I would need a Tom Cruise movie. And since I have already seen Mission Impossible franchise, (my favorite action franchise today) I decided to go with Edge of Tomorrow. I heard much praise about it being one of the best action movies of 2014.
32. A Star Is Born (2018)
A Star Is Born was one of the biggest movies of 2018. It was everywhere, (along with it’s soundtrack) there was no way of escaping it. One of the most talked about movies in recent memory. I can’t end the decade without seeing A Star Is Born first.
31. The Perks of Being A Wallflower (2012)
The Perks of Being A Wallflower was popular book, and a even more popular movie. Having been responsible for movies and TV talking openly about real issues that teens face. It’s one of the most influential young adult movie in some time.
30. Searching (2018)
There was no way I wasn’t including Searching on this list. It takes entirely on a computer screen! There’s nothing more 2010s than that. Technology has influenced us so much and now movies like Searching are reflecting that.
29. The Lobster (2015)
The Lobster combined so many different genres, it’s kinda insane. The Lobster is a sci-fi, romantic comedy, drama, thriller. Making it one of the more interesting indie movies of the decade.
28. The Big Sick (2017)
Speaking of romantic comedies, they have gotten more complex this decade none more apparent than The Big Sick hence why I’m including it.
27. Beginners (2010)
More sad depressing romantic comedies! What can I say? I’m a sucker for them and there have been plenty of them this decade.
26. American Honey (2016)
An 162 minute indie epic about the American dream from the eyes of the lost youth of America.
25. We Need To Talk About Kevin (2011)
Okay I’ll be honest, I don’t know much about We Need To Talk About Kevin, expect that it’s a must watch. It’s more of a feeling that it helped defined the decade. One I’ll be hopefully right about.
24. Warrior (2011)
I had to include a sport movie, every decade has it’s sports movies. Warrior is one of the most underrated sport movies of the 2010s.
23. Shutter Island (2010)
The first Leonardo DiCaprio movie on the list. News flash, it won’t be the last.
22. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010)
Scott Pilgrim helped influence an entire generation of teenagers. It’s witty dialogue and quirky characters inspired many more movies over the the past 9 years.
21. Birdman (2014)
Another sorta, but also not superhero movie. Everyone loves this movie along with Micheal Keaton’s leading performance, I’m guessing I will too.
20. The Master (2012)
I’m seeing The Master on many best of the decade list and with one of Philip Seymour Hoffman final performances, there was no way I couldn’t put it on the list.
19. Lady Bird (2017)
Lady Bird has redefined and inspired new coming of age movie with female characters in the leading role. Inspiring movies like The Edge of Seventeen (not the Stevie Nicks song), and two other movies on the list. It also put Saoirse Ronan, Timothèe Chalamet, Lucas Hedges, and Beanie Feldstein onto the map.
18. Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
Inside Llewyn Davis is known as one of the best Coen brothers’ best movies and with a breakout performance by Oscar Isaac, it’s on the list.
17. Hereditary (2018)
I started this list back in October and Hereditary was the first movie I put on the list and the first one I watched because it’s without a doubt one of the best horror movie that has came out in 2010s. It’s wonderful.
16. First Reformed (2017)
First Reformed was called the best movie of 2017 about everything wrong in the world and Ethan Hawke’s performance is brilliant.
15. Eighth Grade (2018)
This is one of the movies that Lady Bird inspired, but it’s a special one because it depicts an actual teenager (a real eighth grader) going through real teenage things directed and written by comedian and YouTuber Bo Burnham.
14. Drive (2011)
Drive with it’s neon lighting cinematography and driving action scenes is a throwback to 80s nostalgia that the decade tried to replicate many times with movies and TV shows like Stranger Things.
13. Booksmart (2019)
The other movie that Lady Bird helped inspired. As a teenager who is currently in high school, there is not a more accurate depiction of high school than this movie. It’s scary how accurate this movie is about Gen Zers.
12. 20th Century Women (2016)
Another movie from the 2010s that beautifully captures the nostalgia of the 1970s while also having a nice feminist vibe to it.
11. Prisoners (2013)
Rave reviews, a big twist, and two fantastic leading performances by Jake Gyllenhaal and Hugh Jackman makes perfect enough to be on this list.
10. The Favourite (2018)
It’s a gay period piece! What else do you need to know about it. I think that’s good enough reason to be on the list.
9. Blindspotting (2018)
Blindspotting is one the most relevant movie as to what’s going today in our society. So relevant that it had to be included in this challenge.
8. Her (2013)
Her is a love story, a futuristic love story unlike any other. I know so many people love this movie and I strongly believe I will as well.
7. Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
I will need to watch the first Blade Runner before watching this one, but something tells me both films will be worth the hours I spend watching them both.
6. Arrival (2016)
I don’t watch much sci-fi, but Arrival is known as one of the best sci-fi movies to come out in recent memory. So, I will be giving it a shot and I love Amy Adams.
5. Shoplifters (2018)
You can’t talk about the defining movies of the decade without having any foreign language films. Foreign language have been some of the best movies made this decade. Picking one was hard, but Shoplifters is so beloved that I chose it.
4. Inception (2010)
Perhaps the biggest movie of the 2010s. You couldn’t escape Inception, it’s referenced pretty much everywhere and still is. It’s influence carried through this entire decade. It’s easy to see why I included it in the challenge.
3. Call Me By Your Name (2017)
This movie was just about everywhere, with it’s soundtrack, with the book it’s based on, etc. It was everywhere. Lady Bird put Timotheè Chalamet on the map while Call Me By Your Name made Chalamet into a star. More than enough reason for it to be on the list.
2. Whiplash (2014)
This might just be the best movie of the decade. Or so I been told and not just by one person, by many people. Enough for me to finally watch and decide for myself if it’s really deserving of that title.
1. The Handmaiden (2016)
So, I lied! I had to include another foreign language movie, one that is a period piece that also doubles as a gay love story. It’s been praised heavily and I can’t wait to see if I will love it as much so many others do.
And that’s the 40 movies I will/am watching before the end of the year. Which happens to be the end of the decade! What a decade it’s been.