As this amazing decade of cinema finally comes to end, time to look back at movies that might have fell through the cracks and deserved more appreciation.
10. Inherent vice Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
Paul Thomas Anderson is one of the masters of modern cinema and whenever someone mentions his best work, this film is rarely mentioned. Inherent Vice is one of the most divisive and experimental films to come in the last decade. The film is purposefully edited so terribly, acted so outlandishly, and directed so confusingly so that you as the audience constantly feel like Joaquin Phoenix’s stoner cop protagonist. It works, and especially because you experience every emotion the movie wants to hit you with alongside the protagonist. This is easily of the best stoner comedies of all time.
9. Boy Directed by Taika Waititi
This is perhaps the most personal movie made by Taika Waititi. A Maori coming-of-age story of not only a child, but also an adult. Focused on Boy and his father played by Taika Waititi, the film shows you a loving look at one of the most unrepresented cultures in cinema. The relationship between the father and Boy is the heart of the movie, offering hilarious comedy, as well some great emotional beats that end in one of the most cathartic climaxes I have ever seen. This is a must watch.
8. The Hunt Directed by Thomas Vinterberg
The Hunt is a Danish drama starring the legendary Mads Mikkelsen in what might be his best performance. The film follows a loving small-town schoolteacher who is falsely accused of a horrendous crime he didn’t commit. It explores how simple lies can destroy families and people. The entire film relies on Mikkelsen’s performance, which he delivers better than any other actor could have—his each expression shows the constant state of melancholy his character is in. This is an extremely hard film to sit thorough while it builds to one of greatest emotional breakdown scenes ever put on film. The story is so sad that the audience is left just as incomplete and hollow as the characters themselves.
7. Only God Forgives Directed by Nicholas Winding Refn
Perhaps the most divisive movie on the list, Only God Forgives is a story about justice, and the consequences of one’s actions. A crime film about a mystical police commissioner hunting a criminal family. Led with a wonderful, yet quiet performance by Ryan Gosling, coupled with the bombastic synth score, and beautiful cinematography, the film makes for an incredibly unique experience.
6. Lean On Pete Directed by Andrew Haigh
Lean on Pete is one of the saddest and most heartbreaking movies to date. A story that focuses on the friendship between Charley and a horse he rescues, the film is both a road trip and coming-of-age story with elements of tragedy. The film feels constantly like a gut punch every time you get hope about Charley in his sad circumstances. The film reminds you of the harshness of his reality. There isn’t enough good I can say about this film other than it is extremely overlooked.
5. Mid90s Directed by Jonah Hill
Jonah Hill’s directorial debut Mid90s is a beautiful postcard for its setting. Most actors-turned-directors usually do not work as well behind the camera but Hill’s beautiful coming-of-age story avoids all the conventions of a movie in this genre. It tackles themes like self-harm and poverty but in a way that is refreshing, honest, and does not gloss over the brutality of it. Lead by Sunny Suljic’s heart-wrenching performance as the protagonist and a standout supporting performance by Na-kel Smith, Mid90s was one of the best movies to come out last year and deserves a lot more recognition than it got.
4. Owls of Ga’hoole Directed by Zack Snyder
This is probably the most overlooked movie on this list, which is sad because it is extremely rare to have animated movies on this scale. The film takes itself seriously while still maintaining its childlike innocence. Imagine The Lord of The Rings but with owls. The entire film is like watching an epic saga unfold supported by breath taking animation, great voice acting and an amazing score. It is sad that we will never get to see a sequel but still this is a animated movie that truly stands out on its own.
3. Mandy Directed by Panos Cosmatos
A movie that is like an experience like no other, Mandy is a fevered dream with Nicholas Cage as he violently murders demon-like bikers. It is as insane as it sounds, and everything is delivered perfectly from Cage’s performance to the over the top violence. It is an extremely well-made film and it deserves so much more love that it already has.
2. Blindspotting Directed by Carlos López Estrada
Blindspotting was my favorite movie of 2018. A perfect movie in every aspect to me, from score, to cinematography, to acting. This film tackles a subject that is extremely sensitive, which could have been mishandled but the film does it in a unique way by blending in comedy with drama and even some hints of a musical. It creates a unique tone of Oakland; the whole city works as a character in itself. The two leads Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal, who also wrote the film, do a magnificent job of writing a love letter to a city they love while also bringing their colourful characters to life.
1. Sucker Punch Directed by Zack Snyder
Another Zack Snyder movie, and also one of the most universally hated films of 2011. When this film came out, it was a flop, hated by almost any critic. It was surprising to me after I first watched this film a couple of years ago and realize it is the complete opposite of what it was hated for. One of the most anti-Hollywood movies I have ever seen, directly questioning Hollywood tropes of women and pop culture. A great message in an action-packed surreal movie with some of the most insane visuals and fight sequences. This is the best metaphorical movie I have ever watched, and perhaps the most overlooked movie of the decade. The good news is that it is slowly building a cult following.
This was a fantastic decade for all media and these are just some of the great overlooked film we may have missed appreciating this decade. It is never to late to get started and catch up.