The Greatest Movies Of The Past 10 Years

The Greatest Movies Of The Past 10 Years

In 2008, we were basically living in another world. The Marvel Cinematic Universe didn’t exist, we were still recovering from George Lucas’ Star Wars prequilogy, and Fantastic Four was – ok let’s be honest, in about the same place it is now. These years have seen a renaissance in comic book films, along with a surge of high-concept science fiction and fantasy. These are the greatest movies of the past 10 years.

Note: This reflects the collective opinion of our team. Our staff members each took a list of all notable genre films from 2008 to now – both blockbuster and indie – and gave every movie they’d seen a rank between one and 10, then we rounded out the averages to come up with each movie’s final score.

10) Attack the Block (2011)

Joe Cornish’s Attack the Block premiered at SXSW in March 2011. I remember because I didn’t get to see it for several months after that. To know there was this science fiction action comedy about kids fighting aliens in London, produced by Edgar Wright, out there and I hadn’t seen it was excruciating. But it was it worth the wait.

The film is simply an awesome time at the movies, filled with all those emotions the best ones engage with.

It introduced us all to a new director in Joe Cornish, a new star in John Boyega, and many people’s first look at Jodie Whittaker, who’s now the newest Doctor Who. As time moves on, Attack the Block only becomes better and more important. And I think I knew that would be the case from the very first viewing. –Germain Lussier, Staff Writer

9) Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

I watched the first 20 minutes of this movie in awe. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was all-around great, but the moments we got to see Caesar and his family, especially witnessing the birth of his son, were impeccable. The film did a great job at showing how apes had evolved to create their own society – complete with rituals, adornments, and customs – but it also opened the door to a new calibre of storytelling.

The only dialogue was sign language, with the occasional grunts, and all the acting came from motion capture. But these weren’t just CGI animals. I think Philip Pullman’s The Amber Spyglass put it best when describing what this moment felt like: “These beings weren’t human, but they were people.” –Beth Elderkin, Staff Writer

8) Let the Right One In (2008)

The most haunting moment is when Eli – an ancient vampire who looks all for the world like a 12-year-old girl – exacts brutal revenge on the schoolyard bullies who’ve been terrorising her only friend, a timid kid named Oskar. Held underwater by a sadistic older boy, Oskar soon begins to fade away. But though the camera’s focused on his face underwater, we’re made aware of a ruckus topside: Feet skim through the water in an impossibly eerie motion, then a severed head plops in.

When the gasping Oskar surfaces, Eli’s eyes are the first thing he sees. He thought she’d left town, but it’s instantly clear that she couldn’t flee without making sure he was safe. A big part of the magic of Let the Right One In is that from the moment you meet her, you never once think of Eli as a villain. Much like Oscar, the audience can’t help but fall in love with her, despite knowing her terrible secret. –Cheryl Eddy, News Editor

7) The Dark Knight (2008)

No one sets a scene quite like Christopher Nolan, and the beginning of The Dark Knight is still one of the best openings of a superhero movie – not to mention one of the best introductions to a character I’ve ever seen in any movie. The intricacy of it, the tension, the betrayals as each member of the heist team acts out their part and then meets a swift end, all building up to the dramatic crescendo of the Joker’s reveal.

It’s the perfect encapsulation of everything you need to know about this version of the character. The theatricality, the cruelty, the unpredictability, the humour, and even the sickly, weird charm – and it’s done with a handful of lines, and only a few of which are actually the Joker’s. The stage is set perfectly for one of the great comic book movie performances of all time, and it still wows me every time I rewatch the movie. –James Whitbrook, Staff Writer

6) The Girl With All the Gifts (2016)

If you attend a film festival, you end up seeing so many movies that it can be hard to remember them all – sometimes you may even forget them the minute you walk out of the theatre. But I’ll never forget seeing The Girl With all the Gifts. It was at a festival, but it was after a late night of my fellow journalists partying.

The next morning most of us came to the film with hangovers, nursing coffees and headaches… which were instantly forgotten when the movie began. A true reinvention of the zombie genre, full of powerful storytelling and fantastic performances, including Glenn Close! Glenn Close was in a zombie movie! How was everyone not talking about this? How are they still not? –GL

5) Ex Machina (2014)

This film put me in a claustrophobic mindset fairly quickly thanks to its setting, score, and overall mood. I was tremendously concerned for Caleb, but as soon as we were introduced to Ava I wanted her to gain her freedom. And she did. And it was terrifying and beautiful. –Jill Pantozzi, Managing Editor

4) Wonder Woman (2017)

Wonder Woman was inspirational for millions of women, but the one who mattered to me the most was my mother. I remember talking with my dad on the phone after he and my mum saw the movie, asking what they thought (neither of them are comic book fans). He told me my mum burst into tears watching the film – not during Steve Trevor’s goodbye, or even the No Man’s Land scene, but when the camera was flying over Themyscira.

My mum looked out at the hundreds of Amazons, fighting, laughing, and living their lives, and said: “Look at all those women. I’ve never seen anything like this in my entire life.” Wonder Woman was the movie millions of women were waiting for, including the most wondrous woman I know. –BE

3) Arrival (2016)

Going into Arrival, I knew that I’d be seeing a first-contact movie. But nothing prepared me for how well-executed the first in-person encounter with the Septapods would be. When gravity gets re-oriented for main character Louise Banks and her cohorts, it was just the first wonderful visual signifier of a new way to understand things.

With its mix of fear, curiosity, and fragile trust, the entire scene is about dropping protections and preconceptions, preparing both the characters and audience to enter into a challenging yet fulfilling new headspace. After seeing that sequence, I knew I had to follow wherever Arrival took me. –Evan Narcisse, Senior Writer

2) Logan (2017)

Toward the end of the film, when Logan and Laura are trying to make their way north into the mountains to catch up with the other runaway mutants, there’s a scene in which Logan repeatedly passes out, forcing Laura to take the wheel of their truck.

It’s in that moment that Logan wakes up and realises what’s happened that we really get a sense of what Logan is: A somber, reflective story about its titular X-Man at the end of his life. It isn’t the implausibly heroic death and passing of the baton that we see later in the movie, but it’s a quiet and tender moment that telegraphs Logan’s goodbye beautifully. –Charles Pulliam-Moore, Staff Writer

1) Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Fury Road, but what I got was more than I ever could have dreamed. Seeing a badass female protagonist take over the franchise, and do so while supporting a group of women, was extraordinary.

As someone with a disability, the fact that Furiosa had her arm amputated piqued my interest – but I wasn’t prepared for just how emotional I would get watching her fight for her life with and without her prosthetic. Of course Hollywood has a long way to go in casting actors with disabilities, but this specific vision was a big deal for me. -JP


      • I’ve never been able to figure out the hype on Wonder Woman, and the more I think about it, the more I realise it is just a cheap knockoff of Captain America, complete with its own red skull.

        My favourite scene is when a guy named Steve, played by an actor named Chris, takes over a German plane and sacrifices himself to save the world.

  • Erm, Wonder Woman? You’ve got to be fucking kidding me. So many great films made in the last decade and you include that?

    Ok Gizmodo, sure.

    • For sure. Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, True Detective, GoT, etc. TV has depth and character development, something largely missing with a short run time.

  • The opening of The Dark Knight has to be one of my favourite openings of a film.

    Looking forward to seeing The Arrival and Logan, they both look great and I haven’t gotten round to them yet.

    Fury Road is hands down one of the best action movies of the decade. Over the top, amazing fun.

    Ex Machina was great, blew away any expectations I had. Probably helped that I had not seen a trailer for it.

    One film I think is missing is Her. Going into that blind with only the Netflix blurb was great. I’d very highly recommend it.

  • These might be the best scifi/fantasy/horror films, but none of them are anywhere near being the best films of the last ten years. No sight of a single decade defining film Moonlight, Birdman, A Prophet, Black Swan, The Revenant, The Fighter…

    I get that it’s according to the writing team’s taste, but come on. I’ll give you Ex Machina, Let The Right One In and Fury Road, but the rest are pretty hollow entertainments at best. Very few of these movies have anything to say at all.

    • Agreed. I read this list and my immediate thought was ‘are these the ONLY ten films the staff saw in the last ten years?’.

      • Yeah. A lot of these movies were refreshing on release as they messed with tropes or were simply better than the rest of the tide of shit, but they’re not great movies with a couple of notable exception. Even with that said, the exceptions wouldn’t register all that highly in my top 50 films.

    • Yeah, it’s confusing. The headline says the greatest 10 movies, but then the article says that it’s just drawing from a list of sci-fi / fantasy genre kind of films.

      • It says “notable genre films” as though that means something without more context. What is the genre/s? “These years have seen a renaissance in comic book films, along with a surge of high-concept science fiction and fantasy. These are the greatest movies of the past 10 years” suggests that they’re saying in spite of this surge in dross, there have been great films released, or are they saying that these genre films are the greatest movies of the past 10 years? If so how do you rate Wonder Woman, Attack the Block and Planet of the Apes ahead of genuinely great scifi cinema like Upstream Colour, Her, Snowpiercer, Moon…

        I don’t know. I’m just sitting here yelling get better opinions.

    • The author is “io9 Staff”: that’s the sci-fi/fantasy subsection of Gizmodo, so it isn’t surprising an article from that site would skew to those genres.

  • So movies that are missing:

    District 9
    Inglorious basterds
    The Conjuring
    Cabin in the woods
    The martian
    The Disaster Artist (I’m biased, I’ve been a ‘The Room’ tragic for years)
    Black Swan
    12 years a slave
    There will be blood
    The artist
    The revenant
    Insert favourite superhero movie here that isn’t Wonder Woman – I’d argue that Iron Man, Thor: Ragnarok, GotG, CA:Civil War and the first Avengers movie were better.

    I mean… these are just movies I could think of off the top of my head.

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