Best Movies of the Decade

Zige Wang, Staff Reporter

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Check out MV students pick Best Songs of the Decade!

 

As the calendar creeps closer to the end of 2019, people will not only look back at this past year but these past ten years. Mounds View students and staff remember some of the best films and songs to close off this decade. 

Over the past ten years, many films made their debuts. However, a few blockbusters and well-crafted movies stood out in particular. This list compiles movies that resemble this decade’s best work. 

1. Avenger’s: Endgame (2019)

 

“Avenger’s: Endgame”, a student favorite, quickly broke records as it closed off a very important saga for many people. “I think a lot of people were excited [to watch] it and I was too,” said Lex Johnson, 10. 

This could be the reason why the movie generated over $2.7 billion at the box office worldwide and remains the highest-grossing film of this decade. With its dramatic plot, great action, comedic anecdotes and emotional scenes, many critics and viewers praise Endgame as an outstanding film. Even though the movie lasts over three hours, every moment rings important, making this a must-watch film. The Marvel Cinematic Universe, MCU, also played a huge role in this decade’s pop culture. Marvel Studios has made about $21 billion at the worldwide box office just from the 21 movies they released these past 10 years. 

Not only was “Avengers: Endgame” one of the best movies of this decade, the whole MCU franchise made great memories for many students at Mounds View. “Avengers: Endgame” made it to #1 on this list for its popularity among the students at Mounds View. 

2. Zootopia (2016)

Like most children’s movies, “Zootopia” has one simple overarching idea to the movie: It teaches kids not to judge a book by its cover. However, the expression of the theme makes the movie unique within the children’s movie selection since it references more serious issues in today’s social and political climates. 

In the movie, the bunny Judy Hopps, becomes the first bunny cop in “Zootopia,” a metropolis with a variety of animals. She meets Nick, a fox, and they form an unusual bond with each other as they try to solve the mysterious cases of predators gone wild. 

“Zootopia” addresses a lot of serious issues, such as prejudice, in a simple manner that kids can understand, using metaphors and symbolism throughout the story. Judy’s family symbolizes prejudice; they fear predators like foxes even though they don’t really know them and base their opinions on stereotypes, much like the prejudice some people carry with them in real life. Judy overcomes this by befriending Nick. A couple of other issues this film deals with include sexism in the workplace and inequality between different groups of people.

  This animation deals with so many real-world problems that can be seen in this decade, yet, it maintains a light-hearted nature with many comedic elements that both kids and adults enjoy. For these reasons, “Zootopia” made an impactful mark on the cinematic era of this decade.

3. Hugo (2011)

While classified as a children’s movie, “Hugo” still manages to be complex and ornately beautiful. Many children of Generation Z grew up with this movie and the book, which came out in 2007. “[“Hugo”] is very nostalgic [for me],” said Kylie Stromquist, 11.

The movie follows an orphan, Hugo Cabret. He lives within the walls of a train station in Paris and maintains the clocks in the station. Hugo really only cares for the items left behind from his father, an automaton and a notebook. The plot continues to follow Hugo’s adventures and the mysteries behind the special items. 

Martin Scorsese, the director of this film, captured his vision of the book, which has many allusions to Georges Melies and the history of filmmaking. Scorsese helped bring these allusions to life, creating a magical world that draws people’s attention.  

“It was really interesting and different from the average movie,” said Diego Di Belardino, 12. While “Hugo” has many great aspects, the impactful story and enchanting storytelling make it a special film.

4. Inception (2010)

“Inception” is an example of great filmmaking and stories of this decade and it impacted Hollywood as well as viewers. “The [movie] that stuck out to me was ‘Inception,’” said Christopher Mester, French teacher. [The] twist and plot of the storyline were pretty memorable.” Because of the twists and plot, it takes a couple of viewings of “Inception” to fully understand this movie’s subplots, underlying themes, and little details. 

Leonardo Dicaprio plays the main character, Cobb, who can enter the subconscious of others and steal their ideas. However, living in a difficult situation, Cobb and his team must complete a dangerous mission where they enter minds and place an idea there that could truly alter the future.  

The underlying themes of this mind-bending movie inspire some of the greatness of this movie. Most of the characters have their own personal complications and character development. For example, Cobb deals with grief and the guilt of his wife’s death and reuniting with his kids motivates him to complete the mission.

Another reason this movie deserves the title as one of the best films of the decade is the huge impact it made on Hollywood. This movie helped start a new era of big-budget sci-fi action movies in the 2010s. 

Hans Zimmer, the score composer, has worked alongside Christopher Nolan, the director, for many years and together they have created sonic masterpieces in films. With “Inception,” Zimmer made the sound that a big brass section creates famous. Now, many sci-fi movie trailers use that same sound effect to create that suspense and excitement as the Inception trailer and movie did. 

5. A Star is Born (2018)

“A Star is Born” surprised many viewers as they watched this story unfold on screen. This film not only has a relatable story, but it also comes with a beautiful soundtrack, including the hit song, “Shallow.” 

The performances within “A Star is Born” make it an amazing film. Lady Gaga’s costars and viewers of this film agree that she has a natural presence on screen. As a performer, it should be safe to assume that she knows how to work a camera, but her acting still has an astonishing effect in this film as she truly embodies this role. Bradley Cooper did an exceptional job in this film as well. Not only did he act in this film, but he also sang, wrote a number of songs and directed the film.

Another reason why many loved this film comes from the relatable characters and story. Cooper plays Jack, an alcoholic, depressed country singer, who also deals with drug usage, and Gaga plays Ally, a performer who holds back because she lacks confidence in herself.

 The issues this movie deals with, such as substance abuse and mental illness, makes the movie even more authentic and resonates with its audience. For these reasons, “A Star is Born” can be known as a great film from the 2010s.

6. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

People regard director Wes Anderson as an artist because he creates whimsical movies, and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is no different. The film largely takes place in the 1930s at a ski resort, focusing on a lobby boy named Zero and Gustave H, the concierge. This drama engages watchers in a chilling manner, making this movie one of the best of the 2010s. 

A reason for this movie’s appeal comes from the different frames used for different time periods, each embodying the popular frame within that time period. For instance, the scene set in the 1930s uses a square frame while the parts of the movie in the 1980s has a more rectangular shape that most movies use today.  

Many other elements of this movie make it noteworthy: the use of color, the dialogue, the humor, the notorious symmetrical shots Anderson uses and more. One example of the use of color can be seen in the only scene when the film does not have color, which represents a tragic event that occurs. This makes this shot stand out from the vivid palette the film crew used for ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel” and these reasons make the movie stand out from many others of the decade. 

7. The Master (2012)

Students at Mounds View may not know this movie well; however, it can be included in this list for its praise from critics, how well the actors portray their characters, the cinematography and more. 

Joaquin Phoenix plays the character Freddie Quell, a drunkard dealing with trauma from World War II who constantly struggles with keeping a job. Phoenix uses minor movements to portray this character in an interesting way. For example, the constant tension on the edge of his mouth shows Freddie’s frustrations, madness and a possible physical symptom of his drinking habits, as he constantly mixes drinks with toxic substances like paint thinner. 

Amy Adams and Philip Seymor Hoffman do spectacular jobs with their roles as well. Hoffman plays a passionate man known as Master who leads a cult-like community of people that Freddie ultimately joins, and Adams plays his wife. The interactions between the actors make this an enthralling drama. When Hoffman and Phoenix interact with one another, the scenes become so tense that blinking becomes hard because you don’t want to miss anything.  

Overall, “The Master” captures a lot of stunning shots of these critically-acclaimed actors with beautiful colors and the compelling aspects of story makes this a great motion picture.