The past decade has brought an explosion of creativity in the film industry with countless movies captivating audiences worldwide. From indie films to blockbuster hits, here are ten must-watch movies that have left their mark in terms of story, direction, and overall impact. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) a post-apocalyptic masterpiece, Bong Joon-ho’s dark comedy-thriller, Parasite (2019); poignant coming-of-age drama, Moonlight (2016); gripping biopic, The Social Network (2010); horror-thriller, Get Out (2017); Paul Thomas Anderson’s thought-provoking epic, The Master (2012); captivating sci-fi drama, Arrival (2016); Wes Anderson’s charming comedy, The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014); breathtaking semi-autobiographical drama, Roma (2018); and the Coen brothers’ melancholy folk-music drama, Inside Llewyn Davis (2013).
10 Must-Watch Films of the Past Decade
The past decade has seen an explosion in cinematic artistry and creativity. There have been countless movies that have captivated audiences around the world, from blockbuster hits to critically acclaimed indie flicks. Picking just a handful of the best films from the past 10 years is a daunting task, but here are 10 must-watch movies that stand out in terms of story, direction, and overall impact.
1. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
After years in development hell, director George Miller finally brought his iconic post-apocalyptic character back to the big screen in Mad Max: Fury Road. With its incredible practical effects, stunning visuals, and exhilarating action sequences, Fury Road feels like a true cinematic masterpiece. Charlize Theron’s portrayal of the fierce Imperator Furiosa is one of the most memorable performances of the decade, while Tom Hardy’s gruff, minimalistic take on Max is the perfect counterpoint. The film was a commercial and critical success, earning six Academy Awards and cementing Miller’s status as a visionary filmmaker.
2. Parasite (2019)
South Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s dark comedy-thriller took the world by storm when it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2019. The film tells the story of a poor family who con their way into the home of a wealthy family, with sinister and shocking consequences. Parasite is a biting commentary on class inequality and the lengths people will go to escape poverty, and it features standout performances from its entire cast. The film was a huge success, winning four Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay.
3. Moonlight (2016)
Moonlight is a poignant coming-of-age drama that explores themes of race, sexuality, and personal identity. The film tells the story of Chiron, a young black man growing up in Miami, and his struggles to find acceptance and love. Director Barry Jenkins portrays Chiron’s experiences with sensitivity and nuance, and the film features standout performances from its cast, including Academy Award-winning turns from Mahershala Ali and Viola Davis.
4. The Social Network (2010)
Director David Fincher’s biopic of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was a critical and commercial success when it premiered in 2010. The Social Network is a gripping look at the creation of one of the world’s most influential and controversial websites, and features a standout performance from Jesse Eisenberg in the lead role. The film also earned Academy Awards for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Editing, and Best Original Score.
5. Get Out (2017)
Writer-director Jordan Peele’s directorial debut is a horror-thriller that explores themes of racism, identity, and the perils of white liberalism. Get Out tells the story of Chris, a black man who is invited to meet his white girlfriend’s family in rural upstate New York, only to discover a horrifying secret beneath their seemingly pleasant exterior. The film is a masterclass in tension-building and social commentary, and features a standout performance from Daniel Kaluuya in the lead role. Get Out was a commercial and critical success, earning Peele an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.
6. The Master (2012)
Writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson’s follow-up to There Will Be Blood is a challenging and thought-provoking drama that explores themes of faith, power, and manipulation. The Master follows Freddie Quell, a troubled WWII veteran who becomes involved with a charismatic cult leader named Lancaster Dodd. The film features standout performances from Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman in the lead roles, and Anderson’s direction creates an eerie and unsettling atmosphere throughout.
7. Arrival (2016)
Denis Villeneuve’s science-fiction drama Arrival is a thoughtful and ultimately hopeful take on the alien invasion genre. The film tells the story of a linguist named Louise Banks, who is recruited by the military to communicate with extraterrestrial visitors who have arrived on Earth. Arrival features standout performances from Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner, as well as stunning visuals and a haunting score from composer Jóhann Jóhannsson. The film was a commercial and critical success, earning eight Academy Award nominations and winning for Best Sound Editing.
8. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
Writer-director Wes Anderson’s whimsical comedy The Grand Budapest Hotel is a visual feast that tells the story of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famed European hotel in the years between World Wars I and II. The film features an ensemble cast that includes Ralph Fiennes, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, and Saoirse Ronan, and Anderson’s direction creates a charming and surreal world that is both hilarious and heartwarming.
9. Roma (2018)
Alfonso Cuarón’s semi-autobiographical drama Roma is a beautiful and haunting love letter to the director’s childhood years in 1970s Mexico City. The film tells the story of a maid named Cleo who works for a middle-class family in Mexico City, and the struggles she faces as a single mother in a time of political turmoil. Roma features stunning black-and-white cinematography, powerful performances from its entire cast, and Cuarón’s direction creates a deeply moving and introspective atmosphere.
10. Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
Joel and Ethan Coen’s folk-music drama Inside Llewyn Davis is a melancholy and beautifully crafted look at the early days of the Greenwich Village music scene in the 1960s. The film follows struggling musician Llewyn Davis as he tries to find his place in the world of folk music while dealing with personal and professional setbacks. The film features standout performances from Oscar Isaac and Carey Mulligan, and the Coen brothers’ direction creates a moody and evocative atmosphere.
These 10 films represent just a tiny fraction of the incredible movies that have been released in the past decade. Whether you’re a fan of action, drama, comedy, or anything in between, there is sure to be a must-watch movie that will captivate and inspire you.