Filmmakers love to discuss the best films of the decade, and the debates over film superiority will continue through 2020. Among my favorites from the 2010’s are “Interstellar,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “The Shape of Water,” “Django Unchained,” “Get Out,” “Baby Driver” and “La La Land.”
Each of these films mentioned above can draw audiences to the characters’ narratives and serve a fulfilling story while giving visual nourishment through colors and set design. In my mind, this is what makes a film successful and reminds us as viewers why we go to the theaters in the first place.
Though these movies are all original and breathtaking, they do not really represent what I think movies were this decade. Two movies come to mind to describe cinema in the 2010’s: 2015’s “Jurassic World” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” They are by no means the best movies, but instead are movies that can entertain audiences and represent the current trends of cinema.
In many ways, these films mirror one another, both being sequels of long running franchises, and retreading themes and plotlines explored in the original series. But, they manage to do so in a way that is fun and a blast from beginning to end. Relying upon nostalgia of the older movie goers, and starting up new fanbases among the younger generations, these movies were the perfect way of bringing audiences of all kinds together.
In the case of “The Force Awakens,” the plot was very much a remake of “A New Hope,” but regardless of how hardcore fans felt, it was a fun movie that delivered on all the elements of a good film. From dazzling special effects, sets and colors, to new loveable characters, “The Force Awakens” was a film that almost anyone could enjoy. Giving depth to both the heroes and villains of the story, “The Force Awakens” was cheesy, simple and allowed for audiences to connect with the human elements within the galaxy far far away.
With “Jurassic World,” fans were taken back to the jungles of Isla Nublar and witnessed the long awaited return of dinosaurs to the big screen. Fast paced and full of action, “Jurassic World” charmed audiences with another disaster-survival movie set within the actual operating park.
The similarities between these two box office behemoths run deeper, as both set up trilogies that continued the trend of big budget franchises. These films represent the strengths and flaws of movies today. They also are emblematic of the nostalgia craze, as we saw the Disney remakes, superhero films and continuations to the Rambo, Terminator, Rocky, Alien and Die Hard franchises, among many others.
With more sequels and reboots lined up for the next decade, this is the trend that defined the 2010’s. In this way, theaters will continue to survive, pushing lower budget art type films to the streaming services. By making movies that people of all generations can connect with, movie studios will continue to produce such films that guarantee profit and create memorable stories for the years to come.