It’s fair to say some films, such as Jurassic Park, have aged like a fine wine, while others – and frankly there are far too many to name – sadly have not.
And, whether in the midst of a pandemic or not, it appears time really does fly when you consider all the below movies are celebrating their 10th anniversaries this year.
Starring Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan, Drive has to be the coolest movie of that year – and perhaps even the decade – as a verbally-shy stunt driver moonlighting as a getaway driver befriends a lonely mother and her son, while she awaits the imminent release of her other half’s (Oscar Isaac) release from prison. Once he’s out, the mood quickly goes south, but not without the gorgeous L.A. aesthetic, its electronica soundtrack courtesy of Cliff Martinez, and the meticulous direction from Nicolas Winding Refn.
Captain America: The First Avenger
Wild to think it was a whole decade ago when Chris Evans graced cinema screens in his first solo adventure. Granted, it perhaps isn’t the best Marvel flick out there and certainly isn’t the best of his series (that acclaim goes to Captain America: Civil War, right?) but the launch of Steve Rogers into the Marvel Cinematic Universe cannot be understated. Joe Johnson gives us a solid Cap debut that made a wholesome $65,000,000 in its opening weekend domestically.
Martin Scorsese’s love letter to cinema is an absolute joy to watch and far from his usual repertoire, which includes the brilliantly violent Goodfellas and the unspeakable debauchery of The Wolf of Wall Street. Here, Asa Butterfield and Chloe Moretz star as Hugo and Isabelle in a quaint story set in Paris, 1931. Hugo’s an orphan and living in the walls of a bustling train station, where he fixes clocks thanks to the teachings of his late father, as he keeps them running not only so he can stay connected to him but to get a step closer to unlocking an automaton that he believes contains information on his dad.
How apt that a film about a deadly virus that turns into a global pandemic is 10 this year. Who knew the film – starring Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, John Hawkes, Marion Cotillard, Laurence Fishburne and Kate Winslet – would feel so relevant today, portraying scary similarities to how the coronavirus has plagued the world over the past year. If you’ve never seen the trailer, you’d swear it was out this year based on recent events.
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
A remake of the Swedish feature starring Noomi Rapace, the US version of TGWTDT is a stylish, gripping thriller from David Fincher. With Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig fronting the story based off the Stieg Larsson novels, English audiences are treated to an engaging crime drama that also features the late Christopher Plummer. Sadly, we never got a Fincher sequel, but there’s enough here to revisit should you have a spare 160 minutes.
Before we were introduced to arguably the MCU’s favourite Chris in The First Avenger, Chris Hemsworth burst onto the scene as the God of Thunder. Like Captain America, the Thor franchise has gone on to become one of Marvel’s most popular, raising the bar once Taika Waititi signed on to direct Ragnarok. The Mjölnir-wielder boldly established his character here under the direction of Kenneth Branagh in an origin story that introduces Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster and WandaVision’s Kat Dennings as Darcy Lewis.
Tom Hardy has had a pretty versatile career, ranging from lunatic inmate Charles Bronson, to Batman villain Bane, to the titular character in the superlative Mad Max: Fury Road. But his gritty effort in this story of a young man training as a mixed martial arts fighter was something different again. A decent movie that not only showed the actor’s ability to physically morph into the role, its complexity of family relations – specifically with his alcoholic ex-boxing father (Nick Nolte) and an older, estranged brother (Joel Edgerton) – gives viewers a powerful drama with some altogether brutally raw fight sequences.
The Raid: Redemption
Such a simple premise but with such massive results, this high-octane Indonesian action-thriller tells the story of Rama (Iko Uwais), a member of a SWAT team who finds himself trapped inside a dangerous tenement, where every room and hallway becomes a death trap at the command of a murderous mobster boss and his gang of trained thugs. Rama’s aim: to escape with his life, as Gareth Evans showcases some of the most heart-pounding martial arts in years. Even though it didn’t set the box office alight, taking a mere $9 million, it did make significant profits off its $1 million budget and deservedly spawned a sequel three years later.
One of Leonardo DiCaprio’s many powerhouse roles that still hadn’t earned him that Oscar at the time (although it did get him a nominations for a Golden Globe), the 46-year-old played the challenging role of the FBI’s most-famed director in its history. Helmed by Clint Eastwood, having Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby and Gran Torino under his belt, he forged an impressive ensemble made up of Dame Judi Dench, Naomi Watts and Armie Hammer. Despite the enormous challenge – and some questionable prosthetics – DiCaprio flourished as the controversial historical figure.
How many times can one say the word ‘time’ in a movie? The answer is not nearly as many as the cast spearheaded by Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried managed to during this high concept sci-fi flick, in which people stop ageing by 25 and have a one-year countdown clock before death… unless you are able to quite literally buy yourself more time – by any means necessary. The premise is as preposterous as it is entertaining, but it’s safe to say both leads have gone on to appear in somewhat better movies, such as Inside Llewyn Davis and Les Miserables, respectively.
I’m not trying to shame anyone here but if you remember seeing these in cinemas (yes, we vaguely remember what these places are) then sorry but you’re getting on. And if you remember the likes of Jurassic Park then here’s a polite reminder that classic is 30 the year after next.
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