For better or worse (Martin Scorsese would probably say worse), the 2010s were the decade of Marvel. The MCU entered our lexicon in a big way: 21 films released during the last ten years alone, amassing upward of $21 billion globally. Pop culture – its production, its marketing, its consumption – was changed forever, and even if the movies themselves weren’t always worthy of the footprint, at least Ryan Coogler’s was. Dense with creative production design and ‘Hamlet’-like intrigue, ‘Black Panther’ was the superhero movie ennobled. Wakanda forever. –Joshua Rothkopf
The decade began with emotional farewells to ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Toy Story’, ‘Iron Man 2’ disappointing everyone who came into contact with it and Tim Burton’s trippy take on ‘Alice in Wonderland’ hinting that maybe, just maybe, 3D was here to stay. Fast forward ten years and Marvel has shrugged off that rare misfire to become an all-conquering, Martin-Scorsese-upsetting behemoth, 3D is all but mothballed again, ‘Star Wars’ is back and old franchises (hello ‘Toy Story’) proved to be not nearly as finished as we thought they were. And in among those headline stories, there have been some killer movies released. From films by brilliant new voices like Ari Aster, Greta Gerwig, and Jordan Peele to old masters like Hirokazu Kore-eda, Richard Linklater, George Miller and Kathryn Bigelow, here’s a half-century of greats from the 2010s.