The 2010s were chock-full of cinematic brilliance. Of course, I have some favorite stand out films. Here are my three personal favorite movies from the era.

A person stands in the desert about to shut a clapboard and begin filming a movie.
There were too many phenomenal movies made in the last decade to include!
Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

All right, before you read this article and vehemently disagree with the films I’ve chosen, here’s my disclaimer. This isn’t a list rating the best films of the decade; these are just the ones I remember enjoying the most. We already have the Oscars to judge qualities like the screenplay, cinematography, acting, etc. I recommend these films because you may not have considered them before and because they gave me an experience that stood out from other movies I’ve watched. All that said, let’s review!

The Lobster (2015)

I was recommended this film by a friend who wouldn’t stop cracking up as she told me the plot. And then I couldn’t stop cracking up because it was so weird. It sets the story in a dystopian world where everyone needs to be in a relationship. If your relationship ends, you’re sent to a hotel with all the other single people, and your goal is to find another partner. If you don’t find another partner at the hotel within 45 days, you’re turned into an animal of your choice.

Ridiculous, right? It amused me endlessly. To make it better, Colin Farrell, an actor I associate with far more serious roles, is cast as the protagonist that’s trying to evade this bizarre system. After his wife divorces him, he finds himself at this miserable hotel, forced into the courting process for fear of his own life. He’s not the only character to laugh at either; there are plenty of other bachelors and bachelorettes that are just as miserable as him. The film is full of dark and ironic humor. You have to be in touch with your cynical side to enjoy it.

That being said, I should warn you—it can be dark. If you are sensitive to gore or violence, you might struggle with this film (it’s rated “R”). Some people might consider the movie itself kind of twisted.

This film is full of weirdos. A must see.

The Florida Project (2017)

This film has a subtle appeal. If you need action or an engaging plotline to spark your interest, this movie probably isn’t for you. The film records the daily life of a mischievous, 6-year-old Moonee and her troubled mother as they struggle to make ends meet.

The quiet story is what I liked. Because there is no dominant narrative, the viewer gets to figure out and interpret the tale for themselves. You don’t know exactly what the mood will be, what might happen to the characters, and if the ending will make you sad (don’t worry, it’s not too bad).

Also, the child actors in this movie will really give you a kick. I think kids are often more hilarious on screen than in real life—maybe because children are just natural performers, or perhaps because childhood itself is kind of absurd. Anyway, the little ones playing Moonee and her friends definitely cracked me up and made the movie priceless.

The film also paints a realistic picture of poverty that’s often overlooked by mainstream productions.

If these kids don’t make you laugh at least once I don’t know what to tell you

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

I was never into comics as a kid, I never cared for Spider-Man, and animated films are rarely my first choice of movie, so I’m sure it wasn’t my idea to see Into the Spider-Verse. Though this isn’t the type of movie I would typically go for, I think that’s why I enjoyed it as much as I did.

It was the animation that got me. I could feel the life in this movie, the care the artists put into it. Within the first few minutes, I was stunned by how visually appealing everything was. The colors, the effects, the fluid movements, and the detailed expressions all made me feel proud that technology has come far enough to make an animation this advanced and beautiful. I never get emotionally invested in animated films, but this movie was different. I have mad respect for the animators at Columbia and Sony Pictures. The whole movie was truly a work of art.

And since I haven’t really seen (or care to remember) many other Spider-Man films, it helps that Into the Spider-Verse was “the different one,” the one with a fun twist. I’m all for multiverse plots if they’re not too intricate because they’re a cool way to add layers to a story and introduce otherwise unlikely characters. Speaking of characters, I absolutely loved the protagonist, Miles. Perhaps I fell for a cliché, but my best underdog award goes to him. He’s a contemporary hero that smashes stereotypes—the hero this decade needs.

Miles goes from zero to hero in HD graphic novel style

No matter what genre you’re into, there were great productions made for everyone’s taste in the last ten years. I really hope you enjoyed these films as much as I did! If you haven’t seen them already, I suggest you check them out in your free time—they will not disappoint. I’m curious to hear what your favorites are too. Let me know in the comments below!