Skip to main content

Best movies of the 2010s, ranked by IMDB

Upon revisiting the 2010s, the entire film landscape experienced massive changes over the decade. Comic book adaptations and superhero movies began their ascension to box office supremacy. Netflix and other streaming services went from promising utilities to necessary platforms by the end of the decade. Also, innovative filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino, Bong Joon-ho, and Christopher Nolan all released films that are still revered in 2022.

Despite these transformations, the previous decade managed to provide some instant classics. From the ending of the Infinity Saga in the MCU to the first non-English language film to win Best Picture, there is a wide variety of great films to revisit. Below is a list of the best movies of the 2010s, according to IMDB.

10. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

10. Avengers: Infinity War
68 %
pg-13 149m
Genre Adventure, Action, Science Fiction
Stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo
Directed by Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

After years of teasing the Mad Titan, Marvel finally unleashed Thanos in 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War. Thanos sets out to collect all six Infinity Stones to restore balance in the world. In his mind, half the galaxy’s population must disappear, and the stones will achieve his goal with the snap of a finger.

On one end of the galaxy, Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, and the Guardians of the Galaxy fight Thanos on Titan. In Wakanda, Captain America, Wanda Maximoff, Black Widow, Thor, Black Panther, and all the Wakanda forces take on Thanos’s army. The legendary fight sequences are stunning to revisit upon rewatch. Infinity War became a crowning achievement for Marvel with many citing the film as one of the five best films in the MCU.

Marvel Studios' Avengers: Infinity War Official Trailer

9. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

9. The Dark Knight Rises
78 %
pg-13 165m
Genre Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller
Stars Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman
Directed by Christopher Nolan

After The Dark Knight and Heath Ledger’s tragic passing, all the pressure was on Christopher Nolan to end his Batman trilogy on a high note. Nolan mostly succeeded with 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises. Eight years after the events in The Dark Knight, Batman ceases to exist, and Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) has become a hermit due to the death of Rachel Dawes. When Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) steals Bruce’s fingerprints for Bane (Tom Hardy), the playboy billionaire returns to the public eye to thwart the powerful mercenary’s takeover attempt.

However, Bane breaks Bruce, transferring the hero to a prison on the other side of the world. Bruce must escape captivity, reaffirm his position as Batman, and save Gotham City from destruction. Nothing could live up to The Dark Knight, and Bane was not as good as the Joker. However, The Dark Knight Rises is a pretty good ending to a wonderful trilogy.

The Dark Knight Rises - Official Trailer #3 [HD]

8. Django Unchained (2012)

8. Django Unchained
81 %
r 165m
Genre Drama, Western
Stars Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio
Directed by Quentin Tarantino

When watching a Quentin Tarantino film, expect fast-moving dialogue, witty characters, and a lot of violence. 2012’s Django Unchained perfectly followed Tarantino’s formula to a T. Jamie Foxx stars as Django Freeman, a Black slave purchased by a German bounty hunter, Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), to accompany him on a mission to kill three outlaws.

After the successful mission, Schultz agrees to help Django find his wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), and rescue her from slavery. The duo track Broomhilda to a plantation owned by Calvin J. Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), a racist, brutal slave owner. The ensuing drama at the Candie ranch leads to guns, blood, and death, just the way Tarantino likes it. Remember, the “D” is silent.

Django Unchained Official Trailer #1 (2012) Quentin Tarantino Movie HD

7. Joker (2019)

7. Joker
59 %
r 122m
Genre Crime, Thriller, Drama
Stars Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz
Directed by Todd Phillips

Who would have thought Todd Phillips, the director behind Old School and The Hangover, would go on to direct one of the most successful comic book adaptations of all time? In 2019, Phillips introduced the world to Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix), better known as Joker. Arthur is an aspiring comedian and mentally ill clown in 1981 Gotham City.

When society turns against Arthur and abuses him, the clown drifts into nihilism and becomes a violent criminal. Under his Joker gimmick, Arthur becomes a cultlike hero to the anti-establishment. The standalone origin story became the sixth-highest-grossing film of 2019 and garnered 11 Oscar nominations, with Phoenix winning Best Actor. Joker will receive a musical sequel titled Joker: Folie à Deux in 2024.

JOKER - Final Trailer - Now Playing In Theaters

6. Avengers: Endgame (2019)

6. Avengers: Endgame
78 %
pg-13 181m
Genre Adventure, Science Fiction, Action
Stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo
Directed by Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

Avengers, assemble. The culmination of a decade-long story came to an epic conclusion in Avengers: Endgame. After the events of Infinity War, Thanos erased half of the world’s population, and the remaining Avengers are in disarray without any signs of hope. Five years later, though, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) escapes the Quantum Realm and reunites with the surviving Avengers.

Because of Lang’s survival, the Avengers determine that time travel is possible. The team uses the Quantum Realm to return to the past, gather the Infinity Stones, and reverse Thanos’s snap. However, the Avengers slowly realize that what they do in the past affects the future, and they eventually run into an older version of Thanos. The epic fight for humanity culminates in one final battle between The Avengers and Thanos’s army

Marvel Studios' Avengers: Endgame - Official Trailer

5. The Intouchables (2011)

5. The Intouchables
57 %
r 113m
Genre Drama, Comedy
Stars François Cluzet, Omar Sy, Anne Le Ny
Directed by Éric Toledano, Olivier Nakache
In a world full of superhero films and comic book adaptations, it’s unfathomable to think that a film about a friendship between two unlikely men became one of the highest-grossing French films of all time. That’s exactly what happened with 2011’s The Intouchables. Written and directed by Olivier Nakache & Éric Toledano, The Intouchables follows Philippe (François Cluzet), a wealthy paraplegic that hires Driss (Omar Sy), a charming man from the projects, to be his caretaker. The two men are complete opposites, but as they spend more time together, they form an improbable bond. The success of The Intouchables spawned an American remake titled The Upside starring Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart.
The Intouchables Official Trailer #1 (2012) HD Movie

4. Parasite (2019)

4. Parasite
96 %
r 133m
Genre Comedy, Thriller, Drama
Stars Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong
Directed by Bong Joon-ho

With his trademark tone shifts and high concepts, Bong Joon-ho is one of the most important filmmakers of the 21st century. After Snowpiercer and Okja, two films set in English, Bong returned with a South Korean film about the wealth gap and class divide in 2019’s Parasite. The film depicts the poor Kim family and their attempt to ingratiate themselves with the wealthy Park family by posing as highly qualified employees.

The scheme works, and the Kims reap the benefits of working for the wealthy. Halfway through the movie, there is a huge twist in tone as Bong flips the entire movie on its head and turns it into a thriller. Parasite shocked the film community when it became the first non-English language film to win Best Picture at the 2020 Academy Awards.

Parasite [Official Trailer] – In Theaters October 11, 2019

3. Whiplash (2014)

3. Whiplash
88 %
r 107m
Genre Drama, Music
Stars Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Paul Reiser
Directed by Damien Chazelle

Who knew that jazz would be the perfect setup for a physiological thriller? Written and directed by Damian Chazelle, Whiplash stars Miles Teller as Andrew Neiman, an aspiring jazz drummer and student at the Shaffer Conservatory in New York City. Neiman attempts to join the Shaffer Conservatory Studio Band led by Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons). Neiman quickly realizes that Fletcher leads via ruthless, aggressive, and demeaning tactics in order to get the very best out of his students.

Fletcher even launches a chair at Neiman’s head in order to prove a point about musical tempo. Whiplash is a tour de force in pacing as the movie never gives the audience a second to catch its breath. Chazelle, Teller, and Simmons received immense praise for their involvement, and Simmons went on to win Best Supporting Actor at the 2015 Academy Awards.

Whiplash TRAILER 1 (2014) - J.K. Simmons, Miles Teller Movie HD

2. Interstellar (2014)

2. Interstellar
74 %
pg-13 169m
Genre Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction
Stars Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain
Directed by Christopher Nolan
What if humans weren’t supposed to stay on Earth? Due to a deadly famine, NASA must transfer humanity to another planet to live on in Interstellar. Matthew McConaughey stars as Joseph Cooper, a former NASA pilot recruited by Professor Brand (Michael Caine) to join a search for a new home outside of Earth. Cooper joins Dr. Amelia Brand (Anne Hathaway), Romilly (David Gyasi), and Doyle (Wes Brand) on an expedition to investigate a wormhole outside of Saturn. The space-bending epic is Christopher Nolan’s love letter to science fiction and physics. With jaw-dropping visuals and anxiety-inducing scenes, Interstellar deserves to be seen on the biggest screen possible.
Interstellar Movie - Official Trailer

1. Inception (2010)

1. Inception
74 %
pg-13 148m
Genre Action, Science Fiction, Adventure
Stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ken Watanabe
Directed by Christopher Nolan

After the worldwide success of 2008’s The Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan returned to theaters with Inception, an original story about dream stealing. Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), a highly-trained thief, is a master in the art of dream infiltration. Cobb can enter the subconscious and extract vital information. Mr. Saito (Ken Watanabe) hires Cobb to pull off the impossible task: plant an idea into someone’s subconscious, otherwise known as inception.

The target is Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy), the son of Saito’s business rival, and Cobb must implant the idea of terminating his father’s company. With the help of his team (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy, Elliot Page, and Dileep Rao), Cobb must succeed in order for his criminal charges to dissolve, which means he can return to the country to see his children. Inception became Nolan’s first film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars and grossed over $830 million worldwide, establishing him as one of the most bankable directors in Hollywood.

Inception (2010) Official Trailer #1 - Christopher Nolan Movie HD

Editors' Recommendations

Movie images and data from:
Dan Girolamo
Dan is a passionate and multitalented content creator with experience in pop culture, entertainment, and sports. Throughout…
Most popular DCEU movies, ranked by box-office gross
Justice League character shot.

Beginning with 2013's Man of Steel, the DC Extended Universe has had a tumultuous 10-year run. While some of its films were tremendous success stories, some didn't fare so well, and others have gone down as some of the worst superhero movies ever made.

All this has given the franchise a mixed reputation and has made some audiences eager to see how James Gunn will reboot everything with his new DC Universe. As the DCEU nears its end, now is a good time to rank the most popular movies in this cinematic universe in terms of box-office gross.

Read more
The 5 best comic book sequels ever, ranked
A smiling Catwoman peers through a glass window in Batman Returns.

2023 will be a great year for comic book sequels. Marvel has a full slate, including Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania this February, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 in May, and The Marvels in July. Not be outdone, DC only has sequels to Aquaman and Shazam as well as The Flash, the Scarlet Speedster's first solo project and a quasi-sequel to the misguided and ultimately disappointed Justice League.

Indeed, the comic book genre is alive and thriving, producing new movies every year and expanding exponentially. However, not all superhero sequels are worthy of acclaim, and not all earn it. Those that do often rank from safe to serviceable, with only a select few transcending their genre's limitations, whether by offering something fresh or by upping the ante and featuring emotional stakes that live up to their larger-than-life premises. From films within the MCU to entries that pre-date the modern superhero boom, these sequels are the very best the comic book genre has to offer.
5. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Read more
5 unmade movies we want to see
shows to watch 10 15 batman begins

Legendary filmmakers are great in part because they know how to pick good projects. Sometimes, though, the projects that they don't make are even more intriguing than the ones we get to see. In Hollywood's long history, a number of great directors have announced projects, only to abandon them at some point.

This happens all the time in Hollywood, but most of the movies that don't get made don't get remembered as legendary "what ifs." The movies on this list, though, could have been all-time greats if they'd been produced.
Christopher Nolan's Howard Hughes biopic

Read more