The 9 Best Movies of the 2010s to Watch Right Now

Watch the best of the decade on your streaming services

The best films of the 2010s coincided with a shift to video streaming, with some of the most significant critical hits and fan favorites making their impact on subscription services as much as they would in movie theaters. These films represent a broad spectrum of genres, from horror to comedy, live-action and animation, and several superhero stories.

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A Dazzling Display of Diversity in Film: Moonlight (2016)

Moonlight official still

A24 / IMDb

IMDb Rating: 7.4/10

Genre: Drama

Starring: Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Trevante Rhodes 

Director: Barry Jenkins

Motion Picture Rating: R

Running Time: 1 hour, 51 minutes

Representation in mainstream American films still has a way to go, but Moonlight, highlighting Black and queer talent, helped break the mold. The film, from Barry Jenkins, depicts a young, Black, gay man during three different points of his life, showing his struggles with his identity and the abuse that he endured. It's a harrowing tale that deconstructs masculinity, vulnerability, and how those concepts intersect with racial identity.

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A Cult Classic About Cults: The Master (2012)

The Master official still

Annapurna Pictures

IMDb Rating: 7.2/10

Genre: Drama

Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson

Motion Picture Rating: R

Running Time: 2 hours, 18 minutes

The Master is an eccentric film following an erratic World War II veteran named Freddie Quell. Quell eventually finds himself in the presence of a movement called "The Cause" and becomes ingrained in its strange ways. The film's fictional movement is said to be inspired by Scientology, but Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman's unsettling performances are what made The Master one to remember.

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Best Black-and-White Film: Roma (2018)

Roma official still


IMDb Rating: 7.7/10

Genre: Drama

Starring: Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de Tavira, Diego Cortina Autrey 

Director: Alfonso Cuarón

Motion Picture Rating: R

Running Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Mexican film Roma was a delight to all the senses, merging a crisp black-and-white picture with layered and detailed sound design and mixing to give a sense of place. The film is about a housekeeper and the middle-class family she cares for, set in 1970 Mexico City. Highly personal and uncomfortably intimate at times, Roma was a genuinely cinematic experience that also provided indigenous representation in film.

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Longest Film Shoot: Boyhood (2014)

Boyhood official still

IFC Films

IMDb Rating: 7.9/10

Genre: Drama

Starring: Ellar Coltrane, Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette

Director: Richard Linklater

Motion Picture Rating: R

Running Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes

In an undoubtedly ambitious project, writer-director Richard Linklater shot the epic and long-spanning Boyhood over 12 years. This drama depicts a young boy from early childhood to his first days in college, with parables involving his divorced parents and numerous pop culture references that date each scene.

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Get Out official still

Universal Pictures / IMDb

IMDb Rating: 7.7/10

Genre: Horror, Thriller

Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford

Director: Jordan Peele

Motion Picture Rating: R

Running Time: 1 hour, 44 minutes

Writer-director Jordan Peele was mainly known for sketch comedy before making Oscar gold with Get Out, his first official foray into the horror genre. This socially aware horror film centers around a twisted Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? scenario, deconstructing race relations with plot elements that include hypnotism and scientific experimentation.

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Best Supporting Cat Character: Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

Inside Llewyn Davis official still

CBS Films / IMDb

IMDb Rating: 7.5/10

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Music

Starring: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman

Director: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Motion Picture Rating: R

Running Time: 1 hour, 44 minutes

Actor Oscar Isaac made a solid first impression on audiences with Inside Llewyn Davis, a musical comedy-drama from the Coen Brothers. Isaac plays the eponymous character, a folk singer who struggles with his career and love life. This film features memorable musical performances, a sense of atmosphere, and a cat that could very well be supernatural.

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Reality Jumping Superheroes: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2019)

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse official still

Sony Pictures

IMDb Rating: 8.4/10

Genre: Action, Superhero

Starring: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld

Director: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman

Motion Picture Rating: PG

Running Time: 1 hour, 57 minutes

Sony Animation crafted a Spider-Man flick that was both visually stimulating and emotionally resonant. Following young Miles Morales after he gains his spider powers, Into the Spider-Verse has many spider superheroes from different dimensions and realities teaming up against the Kingpin. Featuring different and clashing art styles, Into the Spider-Verse is like nothing else.

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Best Use of Electric Guitar—Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Mad Max: Fury Road official still

Warner Bros.

IMDb Rating: 8.1/10

Genre: Action, Adventure

Starring: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult

Director: George Miller

Motion Picture Rating: R

Running Time: 2 hours

The Mad Max series from Australian filmmaker George Miller had been dormant for decades, but Fury Road had it roaring back to life. Tom Hardy took the role of the wandering Max, teaming up with Charlize Theron as the now-iconic character of Imperator Furiosa. With beautifully shot action and elaborate world-building, Mad Max: Fury Road is not only one of the best action films of the 2010s, but perhaps in the medium's history.

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Timeliest Film: Parasite (2019)

Parasite official still

CJ Entertainment / IMDb

IMDb Rating: 8.6/10

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Thriller

Starring: Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong

Director: Bong Joon-ho

Motion Picture Rating: R

Running Time: 2 hours, 12 minutes

Korean film ruled worldwide cinema in 2019 with the release of Parasite, the latest from famed South Korean director Bong Joon-ho. This darkly comedic thriller depicted class struggles, with a low-income family slowly infiltrating a wealthy family's home under house workers' guise. Critics and viewers noted the film for being timely in its tackling of income inequality, as well as just being an unpredictable romp.

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