This was a strange decade for cinema. We saw the rise of the superhero genre as the MCU came into its own. Star Wars returned to… various degrees of success (none of which I’m going to talk about, ever, so don’t even ask). Many a franchise was rebooted, many a pointless sequel was made, and waaaaaaaaaay too many horror movies were pulled out of the oven without even a second of baking.
But which ones did I actually like? Which movies were the peaks of the decade? Out of all the hundreds of movies that I’ve seen in the last ten years, which ones were the best to watch? What were my favorite movies of the decade?
Well, I can sure tell you what the first one is. A little movie called Whiplash.
When I went into Whiplash, I expected to go on a trip down memory lane. I don’t know if I’ve ever told you guys this, but I used to be a musician! I played in my school orchestra for five years straight, honing my abilities with the Viola. It wasn’t always fun, but it was certainly one of my favorite classes. When I heard the premise of this movie, I thought it’d be a fun little second-hand nostalgia trip.
I was almost right. But I’m pretty sure my orchestra teacher wasn’t nearly as big of an asshole as this guy.
This movie knows how to make you hate a character. But at the same time, it doesn’t paint the characters as one-dimensional as to make hating them easy. The characters are all complex and interesting, so you can’t help but relate to them even if you also hate them! You want to see this fucking asshole get what he deserves, but you also understand that he’s driven by extreme passion in music! It’s incredibly interesting and engaging!
Plus, this movie is amazing in the visual department! Each shot is amazing! The music is fittingly incredible! From beginning to end, this movie is incredibly visually stimulating!
If you haven’t seen Whiplash yet, you need to fix that! It’s an amazing film from beginning to end, one that I have no doubt will be a classic for years to come!
Much like the next film, although for very different reasons. That film is, of course, Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse.
Even with the superhero genre being as oversaturated as it is, Into the Spider-Verse sits at the top of every other film (yes, even Endgame). The story is simple and easy to follow, but it is incredibly effective and engaging, not to mention perfectly paced! The characters are all interesting and lovable! The music is incredible, whether you are listening to the original score or the insert songs! I’ve listened to ‘What’s Up, Danger?’ and ‘Sunflower’ over a hundred god damn times now and I still get a kick out of them!
Oh, and did I mention the animation? Because oh my GOD the animation in this movie is spectacular! Every single shot is a painting, some of which I’d gladly frame and put up on my apartment wall! Each of the Spider-Men is animated in a completely different style, which makes all of them a treat to watch, especially when they’re all in the same shot! It really does look like a comic book sprung to life right there on the screen! A really good looking comic book, too!
This is easily the best Spider-Man movie, the best animated movie, and the best superhero movie of the last decade! I loved every second of it, even after having watched it about eight times now! I will always get a kick out of this movie!
Next, my third pick, another film from 2014: The Imitation Game!
The two World Wars are some of the most fascinating periods of history for me. God knows what that says about me, but I’ve always been fascinated by it. But most films are pretty typical in their approach to these films, focusing either on soldiers, important historical figures, or both. So imagine my pleasure when I discover a film set in 1939 that focuses entirely on the intelligence side of the war, one that also tackles the struggles of gay men and the terrors of homophobia in an interesting way!
Also, it stars Benedict Cumberpatch, which is always a win in my book.
This movie has everything I look for in a compelling drama. Interesting and relatable characters that I relate to and sympathize with! Visually unique and fascinating shots! Slow but steady pacing that never wastes your time! A tragic but satisfying ending! An interesting and historically accurate setting! It feels like this movie was made for me! Every second of this film was gripping, even upon repeat viewings!
Out of all the historical dramas from this year, this one is easily my favorite. Although Darkest Hour was also really good. Oh, and then there was Dunkirk… You know what, I’ll just put all three of those on here for basically the same reasons. All three of those were a win in my book.
But what was the film of the decade? Which movie, in the decades to come, will I look back on with the most fondness? Well, if you’ve been reading my stuff for a long time, you probably already know the answer. You probably do if you looked at the thumbnail! It’s Shin Godzilla.
Did you really think I wouldn’t beat the horse one last time this year? Also, did you really think I wouldn’t put my favorite movie of all time at the top of this list?
Growing up, I had always enjoyed the Godzilla franchise. But as I grew older, I started wondering why there was only one Godzilla movie that tried to be frightening, that one being the original. But then, when I first saw the promotional art for this movie, I got excited! Maybe they’d finally take Godzilla seriously again! Maybe the King of the Monsters was finally going to be truly scary once more!
I’ll fully admit that this isn’t a perfect movie. The characters are too numerous and kind of forgettable (although I’d still argue that they’re better than most Godzilla casts). The story’s pacing can be a bit wonky, especially towards the end. The visuals are solid, but a bit inconsistent. I completely understand that this is not a perfect movie.
But it has everything that I want out of a Godzilla movie! It perfectly sells the scope of Godzilla’s size and his destructive power! It also tackles the real psychological effects that would occur should such a monster exist, what with the scene of people creating an actual religion based on him! The music is absolutely incredible from start to end!
Also, that first Atomic Breath scene is the most amazing, horrifying, and incredible setpiece in any movie that I have ever seen. That is easily my favorite scene in all of cinema. As long as I live, I don’t think I’ll forget watching Godzilla’s jaw split in two as he reigns fire and death, followed by a purple laser, upon Tokyo.
I’ll fully admit that it isn’t a perfect movie. But I have never enjoyed a film as much as I enjoyed Shin Godzilla! Every second of this movie was a sheer delight!
There is no doubt that I missed a lot of movies. Because good God, there were a lot of movies in the last decade! Sure, most of them were hot garbage. But when they were good? They were damn good!
I’m excited to see where cinema will go in the coming decade. Will the superhero genre continue to rule or will it finally face its inevitable downfall? Will everyone’s favorite abusive sci-fi-fantasy series be able to turn it around with a new series of films? Will we get new and exciting IPs?
Probably not. We’ll probably just get a whole slew of new reboots and sequels. But hey. Can’t fault a guy for being optimistic.