A Decade Dominated By Genre
So the decade ended yesterday and here’s 50 of the most notable genre and superhero movies released between 2010 and 2019…
Christopher Nolan’s wildly imaginative sci-fi thriller channeled Bond and Kubrick with style and panache.
Toy Story 3 (2010)
Disney•Pixar’s second sequel to its huge animated hit saw the end of an era for Buzz Lightyear and Woody.
The Town (2010)
Directed by Ben Affleck and adapted from Chuck Hogan’s book, this powerful heist film showed off the director’s skills behind as well as in front of the camera.
How To Train Your Dragon (2010)
DreamWorks’ sweet tale of a boy and his dragon living among the vikings captured audience imaginations around the world.
X-Men: First Class (2011)
Rebooting Marvel’s favourite mutants with audiences introduced to James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender as the young Professor X and Magneto, this was done with style and class.
Source Code (2011)
Duncan Jones’ follow-up to Moon was this brilliant sci-fi story which plays like an extended episode of The Twilight Zone.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows (2011)
Guy Ritchie’s second Holmes film with Robert Downey Jr was lifted considerably by the presence of the exceptional Jared Harris as Moriarty.
The Cabin In The Woods (2011)
Joss Whedon’s inventively subversive take on teens trapped in a foreboding forest with a twist ending that still shows his bravado as a writer.
The first solo outing for Marvel’s God Of Thunder is a fun showcase for Chris Hemsworth and some nice interplay between him and Hiddleston as duplicitous brother Loki.
Super 8 (2011)
JJ Abrams’ coming of age film owes a great deal to Steven Spielberg and this tale of kids investigating strange happenings in a small town in 1979 has a lot to recommend it.
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
The first solo adventure for Marvel’s Steve Rogers gives us the character’s genesis and evil Nazis in 1940s New York and Europe.
The third Craig James Bond sees him battle one of his deadliest foes (Javier Bardem) who forces 007 to confront his own past.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
Peter Jackson returns to Tolkien to tell the first instalment adapting the writer’s earlier fantasy epic of Middle Earth, offering clues to what would come next in Lord Of The Rings.
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Nolan’s third and most ambitious Batman film, with the Dark Knight Detective facing off against Bane and with the whole of Gotham’s safety at stake.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
Benedict Cumberbatch plays evil dragon Smaug who Bilbo Baggins has to outsmart to allow the dwarves to succeed in their quest.
Avengers Assemble (2013)
Whedon’s first Avengers film brings all of Marvel’s most iconic onscreen characters to battle a alien threat that has joined forces with Loki to enslave the world.
Wolf Of Wall Street (2013)
Scorsese’s financial drama about Wall Street whizkid Jordan Belfort (Leonardo Di Caprio) has more flair and pizzazz than many of his more recent efforts.
Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
One of the Coen Brothers’ more ellipitical recent films, this quirky tale of struggling folk singer Davis (future superstar Oscar Isaac) trying to get on in 1960s New York, rewards a second viewing and contains all the classic Coen onscreen touches.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
The second adventure starring Marvel’s sentinel of liberty took cues from 1970s paranoid thrillers like Three Days Of The Condor and All The President’s Men to create a superhero film like no other before.
Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (2014)
The second rebooted Planet Of The Apes film sees Caesar (Andy Serkis) head up a new ape nation, one which is threatened by human intervention.
Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014)
A true dark horse when this was released by Marvel, Guardians of The Galaxy is a rollercoaster ride, concentrated fun thanks to a well chosen soundtrack and great chemistry between Starlord (Chris Pratt) and his group of ne’er do wells.
John Wick (2014)
Keanu Reeves had been out in the wilderness since the Matrix but Wick brought him back with a vengeance, playing an unstoppable hitman.
Ex Machina (2014)
A genuinely unsettling sci-fi movie with a salutary warning at its core about the potential dangers of technology.
The Martian (2015)
Ridley Scott’s adaptation of Andy Weir’s book is one of the director’s best films in years thanks to Matt Damon’s likeable performance and a genuinely clever script.
Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015)
The first of Disney’s new Star Wars trilogy is a wellmade introduction to the new characters and an enjoyable reboot for Lucas’s original creations.
Mad Max Fury Road (2015)
Thirty years after Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, George Miller’s return to Max Rotansky’s world is a visual triumph and the addition of Tom Hardy as Max and Charlize Theron now in the mix lends it something fresh and new.
The lightest of Marvel’s superhero flicks, Ant-Man is the most fun you can have onscreen. Rudd is great as Scott Lang and Michael Douglas’ cameo as Hank Pym gives it a little extra gravitas.
The most successful R Rated superhero movie (until it was beaten by Joker in 2019), Deadpool’s mix of collegiate humour and over the top action made it one of the most significant superhero films of the 2010s.
Rogue One (2016)
The first of Disney’s Star Wars standalone films, Rogue One took a different approach to the familiar sci-fi world offering something darker and a little more sophisticated.
10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)
JJ Abrams again this time with this post apocalyptic tale set in the Cloverfield universe. John Goodman as the crazy survivalist Howard has never been more unhinged.
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
The first truly epic Marvel movie, with two different sides of the Marvel universe pitted against each other. The Russos show a canny ability to pack tens of characters into one film and still manage to include things like characterisation.
Zootropolis/ Zootropia (2016)
Disney’s anthropomorphic detective story was lifted by a clever story and some standout voice performances from the likes of Jason Bateman and Ginnifer Goodwin. Also its attention to detail made it more than yet another animals replacing humans tale.
Hugh Jackman’s last outing in Wolverine’s claws was probably the darkest X-Men film to date. James Mangold’s lightness of touch direction lifted this, making it feel cinematic and emotional.
Get Out (2017)
Jordan Peele’s directorial debut uses race in a way that we haven’t seen before in a genuinely disturbing modern horror film. Star Daniel Kaluuya helps to make it seem more credible as well.
Andy Muschietti’s adaptation of the first part of King’s seminal evil clown book hits the ground running and doesn’t stint on the horror. Bill Skarsgard is magnetic as the central evil here and there is very good chemistry between all of the kids.
Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
25 years after its progenitor, director Denis Villeneuve returns to Scott’s world to weave a tale which can hold its own against the original. Ryan Gosling brings something fresh to his role while a cameo from Ford ties things together nicely.
Spider-man: Homecoming (2017)
The first outing for Tom Holland in the Spidey suit is warm, charming and clever with some nice use of foreshadowing when it comes to the villain, played with no little style by Michael Keaton.
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Taiki Waititi’s Thor movie is the best of the three so far. The comedy works extremely well, meshing with the action and the twin threats of Jeff Goldblum as the Grandmaster and Cate Blanchett as goddess of death Hela are perfect here.
Wonder Woman (2017)
Gal Gadot is a Wonder Woman who exudes strength and power and at last DC managed to release a film that captured the true essence of one of their iconic characters. Not perfect but still very enjoyable.
Kong: Skull Island (2017)
Thanks to its setting, just after the Vietnam War, and a solid cast that includes John Goodman and Tom Hiddleston, Skull Island is a lot more fun than it could have been.
The Shape Of Water (2017)
Del Toro’s thoughtful love story with an inter-species twist garnered him an Oscar and the presence of the director’s regular collaborator Doug Jones gave this extra depth.
After a number of very dark DC movies, this came like a breath of fresh air. Zachary Levi is the overgrown superpowered saviour while Mark Strong plays the villain. It proved DC could make fun movies.
Spider-man Into The Spider-verse (2018)
This animated movie which introduces viewers to the spider heroes of many earths has a visual style all its own and pushed the boundaries of animation on the big screen.
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
The first part of Marvel’s wrap-up to Phase Three saw every major character on screen facing off against the cosmos-sized threat that is Thanos. Despite its epic nature, there is time for character and for introspection here.
Black Panther (2018)
The first major superhero film to be written, directed and star predominantly African-Americans, Black Panther cleaned up at the box office.
Ballad Of Buster Scruggs (2018)
The Coen Brothers’ anthology movie, made for Netflix but getting a limited theatrical release, showcased their diverse talents as filmmakers with an idiosyncratic selection of cast members that included the likes of Tom Waits, Clancy Brown and James Franco.
Ready Player One (2018)
Spielberg’s adaptation of Ernest Cline’s hit sci-fi book showed the director’s usual lightness of touch combined with a visually inventive script. A little forgettable but a fun ride while you are watching it.
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Marvel wrapped up this two part epic with a bravado conclusion. Finishing all of plot threads from a decade of Marvel movies, the studio went out at least for this phase on a cinematic high.
It was seen as a risky proposition but Todd Philips’ Joker beat Deadpool to become the highest-grossing R rated film of all time. Picking something quirky paid off big time for DC and Warner Bros.