From computer animated innovation to comic book crusaders coming to life on the big-screen, the past decade in movies has been as remarkable as any period in cinema’s century of existence.
Sure, it also gave us such goose eggs as Gigli and Battlefield Earth but for every box office bomb, there’s been a fantastic work of art that has transformed its genre and explored imagination. Here’s a look at the best cinematic experiences of the last ten years.
Lord of the Rings
Of course there were actually three movies, but Peter Jackson’s daunting adaptations should truly only be considered as one. Either way, this stirring trilogy earned 30 Oscar nominations and won the Best Picture in 2004.
The Dark Knight
The decade’s only film to solidly give the reigning all-time box office champ (Titanic) a run for its money, this Batman thriller is history’s top-earning comic book movie. Plus, who could forget Heath Ledger’s Oscar-winning turn as the malevolent Joker?
No Country for Old Men
The Coen Brothers continued to shine with this amazing rendition of Cormac McCarthy’s harrowing bestseller. Not only did it win the Best Picture Oscar, but Javier Bardem did for the term “friend-o” what Jack Nicholson did for “Here’s Johnny!” in 1980’s The Shining.
Filmmaker Chris Nolan (The Dark Knight) rose to fame with this mindbender about a man trying to discover who murdered his wife. The problem: His memory isn’t too clear so the narrative is as mysterious as his concussed mind.
Even though it was obvious before this 2008 hit, Pixar fully established itself with Wall-E as the decade’s most progressive studio providing family fare that’s intelligent, challenging and entertaining for both kids and adults.
There were several other films over the past decade worth mentioning as well:
Eccentric screenwriter Charlie Kaufman teamed up with director Michel Gondry for the absurdist rom-com Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind; Martin Scorsese won a long-awaited Oscar with his cop-drama The Departed and Guillermo del Toro even created one of the decade’s most amazing movies with Pan’s Labyrinth. And even though that fantasy flick may not have achieved the same legend at the box-office, it shows that the past decade will be perhaps best remembered for the promise of what’s to come in the next ten years.