Cinema is a constantly evolving medium with filmmakers trying new technical and narrative techniques to improve their storytelling prowess. This has lead to some of the most impressive and talked about films amongst audiences globally.
Today, I would like to look at some of the most influential movies of the 2010s. This will not be in any particular order AND focus on films that have or will have some impact on cinema in the near future.
In a world where the shaky-cam is a staple in the modern action movie, John Wick came in changed everything. John Wick may not be narratively groundbreaking but it brought back slick camera work. The action is visceral and clear, a rarity with few actors not willing to do their own. Thanks to former stuntmen, Chad Stahelski and David Leitch, John Wick has revitalized the way action set-pieces going forward.
Jordan Peele’s cinematic debut caught everyone off-guard. Peele used the trappings of the horror genre to tell the experience of black people worldwide. While Afrocentric films are not uncommon, Peele put a unique twist to highlight the difficulties faced by black communities. It was also a film which was far more accessible to a larger audience than previous Afrocentric films, proving that POC communities are looking for films with more representation, which would be bolstered by films like Black Panther.
Arrival is probably one of the best films that has come out in the last decade. Villeneuve crafted a narrative that did not rely on massive action set pieces to tell a powerful story about the human condition. It is rare to see a Hollywood blockbuster without one or two big-budget set-pieces and Arrival proved that it is not a necessity.
Avengers is probably one of the most important films in the MCU. The first Avengers film gave us a taste of what a superhero team-up can be and despite its flaws it remains beloved amongst audiences. Studios have attempted to create their own cinematic universe in the hope that they can emulate the success of The Avengers with many of them falling spectacularly short.
Yes, I put two Avenger’s films down on this list and frankly I don’t care. Avenger’s Endgame is the highest-grossing of all time, bookending a 22-film-long saga. It’s an unprecedented benchmark for cinema with many studios looking at the potential for such extended storytelling. Endgame will undoubtedly serve as the benchmark to these massive film franchises on how to tie-up their long-term narratives. I can say with a certain degree of certainty that we will see the effects of this film on cinema in the near future.
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