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Throwback to seven months ago, when all of us were collectively counting down to a new decade of excitement and promise. “Leave the trash heap of 2019 behind,” we said! It’s safe to say that we had no idea what we were talking about, which is why so many of us have spent so much time in lockdown focusing on nostalgia, from watching virtual cast reunions to texting our exes. While there might be many positive outcomes of 2020, we won’t blame you for indulging in memories of the past, which is why we’ve provided the ultimate guide to 10 must-watch movies from the decade preceding the one we’re currently living in. Read on for our list, which features the origin story of social media, a wild ride through the tension of race relations, and more.
The Social Network (2010)
It’s wild to think that the spiciest part of the Mark Zuckerberg story was yet to come when The Social Network came out in 2010. But before his role in the proliferation of fake news, the Harvard sophomore turned Facebook founder was a once-in-a-generation wunderkind who changed the course of history. Director David Fincher’s biographical drama brings the network’s origin story to the big screen and is a must-watch for anyone who…uses social media in 2020.
Where to Stream it: Netflix.
Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
Crazy Rich Asians simultaneously revived the romantic comedy genre while proving that Asian love stories are not only box office fodder, but that they’re damn delightful to watch. Based on Kevin Kwan’s bestselling satirical book series, the hit film follows native New Yorker Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) to Singapore as she discovers her long-time boyfriend Nick Young (Henry Golding) is amongst the country’s super wealthy elite. Hijinks, high glamour and one very disapproving mother follows, as does a much-deserved step forward for Asian representation in Hollywood.
Where to stream it: Netflix.
Moonlight won multiple Oscars for its transcendent, gorgeous take on coming of age, and when it won it became the first film with an all-Black cast and the first LGBTQ-related film to win the Oscar for Best Picture (which was a dramatic feat in its own right). Written/directed by Barry Jenkins and based on Tarell Alvin McCraney’s unpublished semi-autobiographical play, Moonlight follows the youth, adolescence and early adult life of Chiron as he deals with abuse, identity and sexuality.
Where to stream it: Kanopy.
After decades of male-led buddy comedies dominating the box office, the blowout success of Bridesmaids proved a seemingly controversial fact: Women are funny as hell and we really, really want to watch them. Years later, Kristen Wiig’s descent into bridesmaidzilla mania has proven comedy canon, especially for those who’ve been witnesses to the wild world of wedding party antics (read: all of us over the age of 25).
Where to stream it: Prime Video.
Call Me by Your Name (2017)
The Italian countryside is just one of many places our minds have drifted to during lockdown, but it never looked as good as it does in Luca Guadagnino’s enchanting coming-of-age romance, Call Me by Your Name, which stars Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer as lovers discovering themselves and each other during the summer of 1983. Aside from giving us the gift that is Chalamet as the bewitching, soulful Elio, what Call Me by Your Name did was present gay love in all its heady beauty as something that can exist without societal strife.
Where to rent it: iTunes.
Get Out (2017)
Get Out is required watching for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of race relations through a bizarro, bloody and wildly entertaining lens. Jordan Peele tells the story of Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) as he meets his white girlfriend’s parents for the first time. At first, he thinks they’re super accommodating. Later, he discovers a much, much darker truth.
Where to rent it: iTunes.
Spring Breakers (2013)
“Note: This movie is not for my littles,” said Selena Gomez while promoting Spring Breakers on Instagram. Indeed, the former Disney star’s walk on the wild side of director Harmony Korine (with fellow former innocent Vanessa Hudgens in tow) is filled with sex, drugs, balaclavas and bikinis. The film’s riotous take on Floridian abandon couldn’t be timelier.
Where to stream it: Netflix.
Her follows Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) as he develops a relationship with Samantha, a female-voiced artificial intelligent assistant (Scarlett Johansson) in a futuristic, yet strangely familiar Los Angeles. Director and screenwriter Spike Jonzes’s vision of love through digital connection is eerily prescient for life under lockdown.
Where to rent it: Cineplex.
In this South Korean dark comedy, two families who live drastically different lives are brought together in the wildest tale of wealth, poverty and straight-up savagery. Parasite swept the Oscars (including winning the trophy for Best Picture) making a great case for director Bong Joon-Ho’s acceptance speech: “Once you overcome the one-inch barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.”
Where to stream it: Crave.
Black Panther (2018)
No roundup of the 2010s would be complete without including at least one Marvel blockbuster, and this one gets our vote for the best of the decade. Black Panther introduces us to Wakanda, a fictional African kingdom to be inherited by T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) who returns after the death of his father. When an old enemy, Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) appears on his radar, T’Challa must duke it out in a superhero battle royale that proves stylish, genre-pushing and unlike any before it.
Where to stream it: Disney+.