A Decade in Film: 10 Years 100 Movies – Part 1

2019 marks the last year of the 2010 decade, so Papiro & Mint decided to create a very special article by gathering the 100 most important and influential movies of the last ten years. Divided into four parts, the movies will be organized by release date and will be posted each week until we reach the movies of 2018, covering their significance and a personal intake from each title.

For the first part, Papiro & Mint has selected 16 movies from the years of 2010 and 2011 – a very difficult challenge since 2011 was a year full of amazing films. I’ve tried to stick with the most important and relevant ones that will probably be remembered in decades to come. So here they are:


“The Social Network (2010)” by David Fincher

What movie could have been released in such a better time than David Fincher’s The Social Network? We couldn’t even imagine what Facebook would mean by the year of 2019, but its importance and relevance couldn’t be more on point when they’ve decided to make a movie about the most used social network of the world. Even though the film focuses only on how Facebook was created, The Social Network is an impeccable film about something exclusively made in the 21st Century and one of the first movies to talk about a technology that people were still trying to figure it out what it meant. The movie had 8 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Director, and Actor, receiving three awards for Adapted Script, Editing, and Soundtrack. It was probably the most important movie of 2010 and I don’t know how it lost the biggest prize of the year for The King’s Speech.


“Black Swan (2010)” by Darren Aronofsky

Even though this movie is considered ordinary for many people, Black Sawn is already a modern classic. The way Darren Aronofsky builds his story is pure film grammar, which added with the amazing performance of Natalie Portman and Matthew Libatique’s cinematography. It was probably the most popular movie of the year at the time and one of the most entertaining ones. The use of mirrors, the color palates, the incredible soundtrack and the smart use of the double-figure within the script made Black Swan one of the best movies of 2010. You may like the film or not, but you can’t deny it’s a true cinematic experience. Nominated for five Academy Awards, the movie gave Natalie Portman her first Oscar for Best Actress.


“Inception (2010)” by Christopher Nolan

Being one of the most mind-blowing cinematic experiences of the decade, Inception was Christopher Nolan’s biggest hit after The Prestige and The Dark Knight. With an amazing cinematography and special effects, Inception isn’t getting old so soon with its extremely creative script and innovative visuals. Because of this film, Nolan gained full control over his upcoming projects, which later resulted in the last part of the Dark Knight trilogy, Interstellar and Dunkirk. I dare to say Inception is still his biggest and boldest film yet. Also nominated for 8 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, the film got four Oscars including Special Effects, Cinematography,  Sound Design and Sound Mixing.


“Toy Story 3 (2010)” by Lee Unkrich

Probably one of the best Pixar movies ever made, Toy Story 3 formed the first Pixar trilogy by putting an end to the story that marked the beginning of animated feature films. Even though Toy Story 4 was announced some years later, this film is still incredibly relevant for transitioning from a mere story of toys into something deeper into the core of our childhood and the memories we carry when we grow up. Winner of the Best Animated Feature at the Academy Awards, Toy Story 3 is a much-watch animated classic.


“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 & 2 (2010-2011)” by David Yates

Whether you like Harry Potter or not, you can’t deny the fact that the end of the Harry Potter series was a major incident in the 2010 decade. Being the most famous and profitable franchise in the world, the Harry Potter saga had finally come to an end in 2011 after ten years of film productions. The idea of dividing the last book into two films was not only a bold move from J.K Rowling but also a profitable one, making every other teenage saga to do the same. Also, being a fan of the franchise myself, the last two parts The Deathly Hallows are extremely well made, with fantastic special effects and a cinematography that was nominated for an Oscar. A cinematographic event indeed.


“The Tree of Life (2011)” by Terrence Malick

Without a doubt one of the most important movies of the decade and one of the most beautiful films ever made, Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life received the Palm d’Or at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. It was also very controversial when it came out for mixing drama with a set of footage that many people liked to describe as a “Discovery Channel program”. Either way, the more time pass, the more acclaimed the film seems to become. It’s also Terrence Malick’s first feature film after a six-year hiatus from The New World, which was happily compensated with three other movies entitled To the Wonder, Knight of Cups and Song to Song. Rumor has it we may have a new Malick film in 2019!


“Weekend (2011)” by Andrew Haigh

This may be a suspicious choice when it comes to the most important movies of the decade, but since I consider Weekend one of the best gay dramas ever made and almost no one really talks about it, I thought it would be nice to mention this Andrew Haigh debut, which is extremely powerful with its simplicity. Telling the story of two men who have a sexual encounter after they meet on a club, fewer movies before this showed two homosexuals talking about their lives, dreams and fears in such a human, simple, modern and natural way. I really need to revisit this film as soon as possible and hopefully its reputation will remain the same through time.


“Shame (2011)” by Steve McQueen

Being one of my favorite movies from 2011, Shame is a beautiful and erotic tale of despair about a guy who is addicted to sex. Steve McQueen hadn’t directed 12 Years a Slave yet, so Shame kind of remained on the shadow of indie films, which doesn’t mean it lost its power throughout time. People don’t really talk about it anymore but we can’t forget how moving, touching and disturbing this film really is, with an amazing performance of Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan.


“We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)” by Lynne Ramsay

Without a doubt one of the most interesting movies of 2011, it’s curious to imagine this film is turning eight years old as it’s still extremely modern and relevant. I haven’t read the book that is based on, but what Lynne Ramsay does here is extremely different and unique from everything you’ve seen before. With a plot that is very loose, We Need to Talk About Kevin focuses on the feelings of a mother who raises a highly potential sociopath. Ramsey creates a narrative of her own with the camera by portraying the feelings of this mother’s life who is played by an incredible performance by Tilda Swinton. Definitely a must watch, and a movie we should keep talking about it.


“The Skin I Live In (2011)” by Pedro Almodovar

Another movie that people kind of stopped talking about but it remains as relevant as ever is Pedro Almodovar’s The Skin I Live In. I was extremely impressed and shocked the first time I’ve watched it and I still believe is Almodovar’s masterpiece. Heavily influenced by Georges Franju’s Eyes Without a Face, The Skin I Live In is almost a giallo-like version of Pedro Almodovar by creating an amazingly beautiful style with his directing, cinematography and production design to tell a horror story. Not mentioning the way the story unfolds creates a surprising narrative that not many recent movies tend to do the same.


“Midnight In Paris (2011)” by Woody Allen

Winner of the Best Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards, Midnight In Paris is one of Woody Allen’s best movies in years! Is extremely creative, smart, funny and very elegant by having one of the most beautiful shots of Paris that have ever been put on a film. It’s a beautiful homage to the city of lights and the culture that surrounds it: Ernest Hemingway, Salvador Dali, Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Picasso, you name it. Woody Allen brings everybody together in a Luis Buñuel-like absurdity and makes one of the most delightful movies of 2011.


“Melancholia (2011)” by Lars Von Trier

Probably Lars Von Trier’s most liked film, Melancholia was a big thing when it came out at Cannes Film Festival, especially after he made a joke about being a Nazi and becoming persona non grata. Either way, the festival gave Kirsten Dunst a prize for Best Actress. Despite all the hype, Melancholia is one of Von Trier’s most beautiful works and definitely one of the high lights of his career. The way he uses the end of the world as a metaphor to talk about depression and several painting influences is one of the most interesting things that came out from that year, making Melancholia a mandatory film for any film lover.


“The Artist (2011)” by Michael Hazanavicius

Not exactly my cup of tea and it’s definitely being forgotten throughout the years, but we can’t deny it was one of the most important movies of 2011. It did not only won the prize for Best Actor at Cannes Film Festival but also received the Oscar for Best Picture, Director, Actor, Costume Design and Soundtrack at the Academy Awards. Let’s also remember this is a French production that imitates a silent film with a sound narrative of its own. Maybe if the film was more special than that, people would still be talking about it.


“Drive (2011)” by Nicolas Winding Refn

Winner of the Best Director prize at Cannes Film Festival, Drive was not only the film that changed Nicolas Winding Refn’s career, but it was also one of the most talked about movies of the year. Personally, I have several issues with this film, but I can’t ignore the importance this movie had towards the audience. Maybe it’s because is very stylish, gruesome and mixes elements of video-clips with gangster films. Who knows? Either way, Drive had to make it to this list for the popularity.


“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011)” by David Fincher

Another dubious choice to put on this list but I thought it was important considering the tone David Fincher gave to this film, which has obviously influenced several other thrillers after this one. Being a remake of the Swedish Millennium trilogy, David Fincher got Stieg Larsson’s vision on point, creating a sinister, dark, smart and way better version than the original ones. I’ve read all the Millennium books and watched the films and it’s impossible to deny The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by David Fincher is one of the most interesting thrillers made in this decade. It got very well deserved nominations for Actress, Cinematography and Sound Editing at the Academy Awards and received the prize for best Editing.


“The Turin’s Horse (2011)” by Béla Tarr

It’s interesting to imagine The Turin’s Horse was shot in 2011 since it actually feels like we’re watching something that was made in the mid of the 20th Century. More than that, this film can be seen as a philosophical approach to the mundane of human life and death itself by portraying the routine of a family of farmers and their horse who refuses to eat. Little by little, the family seem to disintegrate themselves. What Béla Tarr does here is not only extremely beautiful and different but also dialogues with a style of film that is somehow forgotten. It’s also an amazing contrast with the first movie of this list for talking about something primitive and poetic in the middle of such a modern age. For that, The Turin’s Horse mustn’t be forgotten as its format it’s timeless.

Many titles from the mentioned years were cut to fit major important movies from the last ten years. Stay tuned for the second part of this article where Papiro & Mint will talk about the years of 2012 and 2013, a very transgressive period of the 2010 decade. Tell us the movies you think it should have been made into this list!


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