It’s New Year’s Eve and we’re encroaching on the outset of 2020. Big parties and confetti. Or if you’re not into that, maybe a quiet night in with the windows up and a cold beer in your hand. Make tonight a top memory of the decade and for now, enjoy our list of top movies the past ten years. There’s too many to count, so we picked a few.
Whichever you choose, enjoy it tonight. And be safe, everyone. This is a fun day, and it only comes once a year. Tonight’s a big night, not just because we turn the calendar forward a year, but also because we’re rapping on the door of a new decade. Those of us born in the late 90’s or early 2000’s, this’ll be the first decade we can remember from start to finish.
So much has changed. Our culture wasn’t stagnant. In the matter of a few years we all grew and in some cases, blossomed. Music, fashion, lifestyle. Ten years is a long time for a culture, and looking back it’s strange to remember what changed.
Top Movies of the Decade
Today, on the last New Year’s Eve of the 2010’s, let’s turn the reels back and rewind. We’ll take a look at some of the best movies of the decade, and even consider some personal favorites by our staff here at Honey Pop.
In 5, 4, 3, 2, …
the Avengers (2012)
We all remember the hype for Avengers: Endgame. Fans silenced their twitter feeds and posted warnings to friends and family: “Spoil this, and I’ll cut you out of my life.” It was that serious. And understandably so. This movie was long awaited for years, but where did it all start?
It really started years and years ago with Iron Man. Most of the heroes got their own feature film in preparation for the coming MCU. But in 2012, Marvel showed they weren’t messing around. Earth’s mightiest heroes appeared together as one fighting force to be reckoned with and blew our hair back.
Our beloved comic book heroes made it to the big screen in stunning fashion. And the best part about the Avengers? It set the tone that the rest to come would be insanely good. The sky was the limit. And they haven’t disappointed.
The Social Network (2010)
Facebook. Right at the time when the social networking site was the next best thing since Myspace. Mark Zuckerberg, Harvard genius and inventor of Facebook, is portrayed by Jesse Eisenberg in David Fincher’s 2010 hit.
The Social Network didn’t blow any smoke. Where Facebook aimed to connect people, this film shows the disconnect Zuckerberg faced with his friends and coworkers. The ugly side of Facebook. Backstabbing and idea thievery.
The Social Network portrays the darkness in a new light through the legal processes that hinder Facebook’s rise to glory. Great performances by Jesse Eisenberg, Rooney Mara, Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake, set this movie apart and made sure the decade would remember it for years to come.
Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Based on the true story of James Belfort, the wealthy stock-broker from New York City, Scorsese’s 2013 motion picture depicted James’ rise and fall to and from Wall Street. The slow dip into fraud and ultimately his run in with federal law. Leonardo Dicaprio and Jonah Hill steal the show, and Margot Robbie hits it home with her sexy performance as Naomi Lapaglia.
Wolf of Wall Street masterfully blends dark comedy with biography. Smooth dialogue is a staple of Martin Scorsese and it shows in this film. This is one of those movies that will never be long enough.
Beasts of No Nation (2015)
One word: harrowing. The travesty of war cannot be understated. Beasts of No Nation hit Netflix in 2015 and shocked audiences with true to life visuals of war. Where the spoils are simply walking away alive. Even then, these soldiers are left wondering if they’d be better off dead.
Set in an unnamed African country beset by civil war, the audience follows Abu, a young child no older than 7 as the conflict finds his home, his family, and the only salvation ahead is to fight. Abu is recruited by a warlord (Idris Elba) and becomes one of many child soldiers to take up arms and kill his fellow countrymen and countryboys.
Beasts of No Nation is not meant to be a walk in the park. It is shocking and brutal, but perfect in the way it captures war. By the time the happy ending rolls around, Abu and viewers alike will have witnessed so many horrors that we almost feel numb to the positives that come to Abu. We feel as sick as the characters do. Beasts of No Nation makes it hard to enjoy the good without remembering the bad we’d seen. Much like the traumas of war.
With phenomenal acting, writing and directing, it’s no wonder Cary Joji Fukunaga’s film won numerous awards and was recognized by three well known film festivals.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)
Quirky and unique. Full of color and flare, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World brings comic book style to life. The story of our dorky hero Scott Pilgrim is a fast paced action adventure all for Scott Pilgrim to win a girl over. In order for him to be able to date her, he must fight and defeat each of her seven exes.
Each ex exhibits a different power and skill, and it’s up to Scott to find the different means of defeating his foe. Released in the early end of this decade, Scott Pilgrim vs the World came to cinemas from an actual comic book. And it’s no surprise either. The 2010 film hits viewers with a kaleidoscopic barrage of sensational delights .
Full of witty humor, this quick tempo movie will have your heart racing and by the end, you’ll wish there was more.
Django Unchained (2012)
Tarantino at his finest. An amazing cast and of course deeply interesting writing. Django Unchained manages to unveil the hideousness of slavery in the Antebellum south and at the same time lightens the load with heroics and comedy.
Django (Jamie Foxx) is a slave freed by a sweet intelligent German bounty hunter Dr. Schultz (Christoph Waltz) and his horse Fritz. He takes Django under his wing and teaches him the ways of bounty hunting. Schultz is such a good teacher, Django becomes a master in no time and the two become an unstoppable pair. But they each have their weaknesses. Schultz is disheartened by mankind’s capacity for barbarism. And Django is married, separated by an evil slave driver. Django can’t live without her. So the two bounty hunters make the journey to Mississippi, a dangerous slave state, to the fictional plantation Candyland run by the dastardly Monsieur Candy (Leonardo Dicaprio).
If you haven’t seen Django Unchained, get up out of your comfy chair and give it a view. It’s one of Tarantino’s finest.
The next war movie to make the list is not just another war movie. Dunkirk follows the fall of French city Dunkirk into Axis control during World War II. Surrounded by German forces on the coast of France, British soldiers await an evacuation by allied ships. But these soldiers are sitting ducks and face constant bombardments from the German Luftwaffe.
When there’s not enough ships to launch from England, civilians untie their boats from the cleats and set sail for France in a massive rescue mission. The movie moves the plot through the perspectives of different characters. A British pilot, British ground troops, an older civilian sailing with his two boys, and shipmen.
An intense film that never stops exploding around you. You experience the intensity of the scene in your rattling seat. Watching this movie with good speakers will feel like the walls are crashing down. Dunkirk’s cinematography has been criticized by some for being messy, but it’s of my opinion the dramatic camera movements accentuate the chaos of battle.
Check it out!
Toy Story 3
No introductions needed. Toy Story 3 was highly anticipated upon its release. Fans flocked to midnight showings. Young adults munched popcorn in theater seats next to kids and their parents. The return of Woody and Buzz came at the perfect time in our lives.
Eleven years after the release of Toy Story 2, the toy owner Andy grew up and was ready for to spread his wings and fly to college. Eleven years later, young Toy Story fans grew up themselves and many were either in college or getting ready to leave the nest.
Toy Story’s alleged finale struck an emotional nerve. It changed enough while retaining its familiarity and connected with the audiences in a way that showed the producers cared. Though Toy Story 4 released nine years later, it felt as though the series ended perfectly with Toy Story 3. A new generation would enjoy our beloved toys while we stretch out and drive away to bigger and better things.
12 Years A Slave
Another movie set during the Antebellum south, 12 Years A Slave tells the true story of Solomon Northup. Born a free man, Solomon was kidnapped by white slaveowners and sold into slavery. Faced with unprecedented brutality, Solomon’s will is put to the test.
Solomon is beaten, lashed, humiliated and tormented by his captors. His spirit breaks and he lashes back, but finds there’s no room for a voice in that world.
12 Years A Slave had audiences in tears and some shrieking aloud. A fruitless attempt to stop the severe punishments they witnessed. Several media outlets named 12 Years A Slave the best movie of 2013. The film was nominated for 9 academy awards and won 3: best picture, best adapted screenplay, and best supporting actress.
Some of the best known actors and actresses starred in 12 Years A Slave. Chiwetel Ejiofor, Paul Giamati, Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Sarah Paulson and Benedict Cumberbatch. Solomon’s compelling tale tells of triumph and unimaginable obstacles. Combine that with this cast and it’s no surprise 12 Years A Slave was regarded as the best movie of 2013.
Star Wars the Force Awakens (2015)
The return of Star Wars! This decade would see five additions to the franchise as well as a Disney Plus series, the Mandalorian. The excitement for the Force Awakens was palpable. With new villains, new heroes and the ones we all remember, now with a few more gray hairs, people couldn’t wait to rid the taste of the three failed prequels that came the decade prior.
And it satisfied. Audiences rejoiced and hailed the Force Awakens as the next best Star Wars since the originals and two more episodes were on the way, along with two side stories.
A new jedi takes shape in Rey, a scavenger on a desert planet so similar to Luke Skywalker’s home in episode 4. Rey encounters Finn, a First Order deserter, and Finn who was a rebel pilot turned prisoner. The team of three get thrusted into a mission to find missing Luke Skywalker and restore hope in the rebel cause.
The Force Awakens deserves a spot among the best Star Wars movies. A series believed to be dead revived by brilliant storytelling and lovable characters. One of the best movies to come out this decade.
We’re almost to the ball drop! Just a few more hours until 2020. Enjoy it! But be safe!
What was your favorite movie of the decade? Let us know @theHoneypop or comment below!
Featured Image Source: Unsplash @Anika Mikkelson