10 years is a long time. It’s a whole decade! That’s an entire chapter of your life. It’s your transition from a twentysomething kid who goes clubbing every weekend to a grown up with a job and a family. Or it’s your transition from a new parent looking after babies and toddlers to a seasoned veteran parent who has been worn down by disrespectful teenagers. In that time, movies come and go and it can be astounding to take a look at just how old some of them have gotten. So, are you ready to feel old? Here are 10 movies that will be turning 10 in 2019.
10. Inglourious Basterds
Quentin Tarantino believed this World War II epic to be his masterpiece. It has all the hallmarks of his greatest works – a dark sense of humor, a chapter based structure, a nonlinear narrative, an awesome soundtrack. It stars Brad Pitt as Lt. Aldo Raine, who puts together a team of eight Jewish American soldiers to slip across enemy lines in Nazi occupied Europe during the Second World War, where they have been given free reign from the Allies to pretty much go on a Nazi killing spree, scalping them like Apache warriors as they go. It was Tarantino’s highest grossing film at the time, so clearly audiences agreed with him that it was his masterpiece (well, it could be that, or it could be a combination of inflation and Brad Pitt being a huge A list star), grossing over $300 million at the global box office on a budget of $70 million. Christoph Waltz ended up winning his first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his revelatory turn as the menacing “Jew hunter” S.S. Col. Hans Landa, kicking off a long term working relationship with Tarantino. In the decade since this movie came out, the director has only made two other movies, both westerns, but he’ll have another one out in 2019 about the Manson murders.
9. 17 Again
A lot of the viewers who went to see this movie back in 2009 would have been tweens who were obsessed with Zac Efron from his days on the Disney Channel. Those viewers will all be adults now – they might be bored office drones or they might have kids or they might be struggling to get a mortgage in today’s economy. Just imagine, one decade ago, they were watching Chandler Bing get stuck in a time vortex to be, well, 17 again, where he looks like Zac Efron and attends high school with his kids and wins his wife Leslie Mann back. What a simpler time. At the time of its release, Adam Shankman said of the movie, “It all goes back to that fundamental idea of appreciating what we have in life and not taking anything for granted, which is a recurring theme for me, both in my personal life and in my work. Our hero, Mike O’Donnell, is at a crossroads and is disappointed in how his life turned out. And apparently, when a man who is not where he wants to be holds a mirror up, he prefers to see Zac Efron’s face.” He apparently had some lofty ideas about the subliminal meaning of the movie.
8. The Blind Side
A lot of people have criticized this movie for having a “white savior” narrative, because an African American male is not able to escape from the depths of poverty and despair until he is adopted by a white woman played by Sandra Bullock. But at the end of the day, it’s a true story. That’s what really happened. The real life version of events was a “white savior” narrative. What can you say? Michael Oher, the black football player upon whom the movie is based, defended it, saying, “It’s a great story. It seems like they helped me to get to this point. They’re my family, and without them, I wouldn’t be here. They taught me a lot of things, showed me a lot of different things. It shows that if you help somebody and give somebody a chance and don’t judge people, look where they can get to.” It is a very uplifting story that a lot of people fell in love with back in 2009. The movie’s surprise Best Picture nomination actually ended up getting the Academy to alter their Best Picture candidacy requirements. Bullock ended up winning the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance, despite the fact that her character was compared to Uncle Tom.
7. Sherlock Holmes
Robert Downey, Jr. came back into the forefront of the Hollywood consciousness when he took on the role of Tony Stark and became the first Avenger to hit the big screen. Then one year later, he teamed up with British crime movie director Guy Ritchie for a big budget blockbuster version of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes character. It was a kind of bleak steampunk action movie. The visuals were strange, but captivating. Jude Law starred alongside Downey, Jr. as Watson. In 2011, two years after the first movie, Ritchie teamed back up with Downey, Jr. and Law to do a sequel. The second movie was even more successful than the first one, and Warner Bros. executives were eager for the team to get back together for a threequel. However, all these years later, they still haven’t managed to pull a third movie together as Downey, Jr.’s Marvel movie schedule has become even more crowded than it was back then. Not only is he starring in his own movies now, but there are also the biannual ensemble team ups of the Avengers and his capacity as Spider-Man’s mentor. The studio currently has the third movie dated for Christmas 2020 with Downey, Jr. and Law coming back and an aim to begin shooting later this year.
6. The Hurt Locker
A decade ago, Kathryn Bigelow’s gritty meditation on the Iraq War was staggeringly relevant. Bush was on his way out and Obama was in his way in, leaving the first black President to pick up the pieces. The politics of this movie, and particularly the angle of the screenplay written by Mark Boal, have been a point of controversy for people on both sides of the political fence. The truth is, this is not really a political movie. It doesn’t have an agenda. It simply gave a voice to the men and women who were fighting overseas at the time. Maybe some people didn’t agree with the war, but they had to respect the people who had volunteered to fight in it. Bigelow’s movie famously beat her ex husband James Cameron’s movie to the Academy Award for Best Picture and it was highly debated whether or not her intense war thriller actually deserved it. Looking back on it, this important political movie clearly deserved to win the award over “Dances with Smurfs,” which while immensely successful at the box office, was not particularly well liked by audiences. Bigelow and Boal would team back up a couple of years later to tell the story of the hunt for Osama bin Laden, and if anything, that movie was even more controversial and even more talked about than this one.
This movie has become the second word in zombie comedy movies after Edgar Wright’s seminal cult hit Shaun of the Dead. It’s the Hollywood answer to that genre, with all the glitz and style that you would expect. The movie has its own vision of a zombie apocalypse and its own set of rules associated with the post apocalyptic world that resulted from it. Jesse Eisenberg anchors the whole movie as a strong lead, which established him as a great actor who could take the lead of a movie ahead of his revelatory turn as Mark Zuckerberg, while Woody Harrelson and Emma Stone provide strong support. Writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick cooked up the script, seven years before they would team up with Ryan Reynolds to bring Marvel Comics’ Merc with a Mouth to the silver screen. This movie was the highest grossing zombie movie of all time until Brad Pitt came along and spent $200 million on a monster blockbuster zombie hit. So, it was only natural that the studio would want to get a sequel together. Unfortunately, it’s been a decade and we still have no sequel. But it is in the pipeline! Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick have confirmed that a sequel will be in long in time for Halloween 2019 – and in time for the 10th anniversary of the original.
4. Star Trek
Ten years ago, J.J. Abrams brought Gene Roddenberry’s sci fi classic Star Trek back to the public eye with his slick movie reboot filled with lens flares. He cast Chris Pine in the role of James T. Kirk, Zachary Quinto in the role of Spock, and Zoe Saldana in the role of Uhura. That cast has stayed together through 2016 for a whole trilogy of movies, with a fourth film currently hanging in the balance. Abrams only came back for the second movie, because during these past ten years, he has been recruited by Lucasfilm, which was bought by Disney in the interim, to bring the Star Wars saga back for a seventh installment. He’s also back to direct the ninth one after Rian Johnson alienated a lot of the saga’s fans with the eighth one, so we’ll be back to lens flares plastered all over pseudo remakes of earlier Star Wars movies by 2020. The idea with the Star Trek reboot was to get the series back to its roots. It’s not about a big, sweeping galaxy – that all came later. It’s simply a story about the relationship between two people with very different approaches to their work: Kirk and Spock.
Yes, it’s been ten years since we sat down in a movie theater and endured the tragic opening montage of this delightful Pixar masterpiece. We all had our hearts broken as we watched a young Carl Fredricksen meet the love of his life, Ellie, and then make plans to head to Paradise Falls in their flying house. As the years went by, life got in the way and then she got sick and then she died. If those eight minutes of beautiful, heartbreaking animation don’t bring you to tears, then you have a heart made of stone. When the first trailer for this movie was released, and we all saw a house be lifted from its foundations by a bunch of balloons and start flying across suburbia, we all thought that it looked absolutely ridiculous. There was no way that a movie about a floating house being carried by balloons could be any good. But as soon as we’ve seen that opening montage and realized that Carl simply wants to live out a childhood fantasy that he had with his late wife that he never managed to do while she was alive, then the whole thing seems much more symbolic and interesting. It’s a truly beautiful movie that still holds up after ten years.
2. The Hangover
This is movie that we have to thank for a revitalization in R rated comedy movies. Those movies have lost their popularity in the last couple of years, as they have struggled to make any money at the box office and they just simply haven’t been that funny, so we need another movie like this to come along that feels like a breath of fresh air and has some memorable characters and actors in it and an engaging plot and original gags that aren’t just the same tired jokes all over again. We need a comedy that’s good, basically. We need one that is actually funny and connects with an audience, so that we can have another decade of R rated comedies before they start to go downhill again. We can also thank this movie for the careers of Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis as leading men. In case you’ve spent ten years living under a rock and haven’t seen it, it tells the tale of a group of friends who head to Las Vegas for a bachelor party and wake up to find that the groom is missing. It’s hilarious and endlessly quotable and features a cameo appearance by Mike Tyson. It spawned two sequels, but those sequels sadly defined the term “diminishing returns.”
It’s been a full decade since James Cameron bilked us all out of our money to go and see his big science fiction epic with 3D glasses on an IMAX screen several times. Ten whole years and still no sequel. He has not only promised a sequel – he’s promised four. There’s apparently going to be a total of five Avatar movies one day, but we still have yet to see a second one. One has to wonder whether people will even still be interested in seeing an Avatar sequel by the time that Cameron and his team finally manage to pull their fingers out and bring us another movie. And even then, if people don’t turn out to see the second one, what’s the point in carrying on with the writing and shooting and editing and visual effects for all the other three? Even after ten years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Star Wars saga making an epic return, this is still by far the highest grossing movie of all time. Even after The Force Awakens and Avengers: Infinity War and Jurassic World have all come along to try and take the crown away from Cameron’s 3D sci fi epic, it remains hundreds of millions of dollars in the lead.