10 Films of the 2010s That May Become Classics in Years to Come
Looking to the Future
I'm definitely looking to the future of cinema as I did my MA in Film and Writing. I love the concept that in years to come there may still be classics,, and whilst Casablanca and The Seven Year Itch, etc. will remain in our memories as the greatest films ever made, there may be some room for more to enter and they may even be from our own time.
It's a question that has been puzzling me for a while. I can always find classics from the 90s, from the 80s and even a fair few from the early 21st century, but when it comes to the 2010s, I have found it very difficult. As the 2010s are coming to a close, I wanted to share my findings with you and why I think these ten specific films should be on the list for the ones to watch out for when our own era begins to be called "the past" and certain films begin to be called "classics".
The whole point of this exercise is to try and define what counts as a "film classic" when it comes to viewers. Obviously, in the past there were a lot of different values—everything from The Godfather to The Blues Brothers, to Casablanca, to The Seven Year Itch and From Here to Eternity. These films I have mentioned are all very different which definitely means that there is no specific genre for films in order to be called classics.
There's also no particular auteur directorship. Alfred Hitchcock and Quentin Tarantino both have particular styles and both have classics, but so does Derek Jarman and a few directors that you probably haven't heard much about. It's not an auteur thing and it's not a genre thing, then the question is: what is it?
The answer is very difficult but I believe part of it may be to do with how it represents the era from which it comes. For example: a film like Rebel Without a Cause being famed for representing the teenage 1950s in a way that no other film could. The film Casablanca does represent the suave 1940s in a way that no other film could. This is partially what makes a classic a classic. There may also be other aspects, but for now, let us cover the list we were said to cover.
The following films are in no particular order.
10. The Danish Girl (2015)
Directed by Tom Hooper, the same man who directed the film Les Miserables in 2012, The Danish Girl has all the resonance of an orchestra and just watching it brings out incredible emotions often associated with the melodrama of a film classic. In comparison, it would fit more with the type of classic that Casablanca also is. It would fit with the characters that are contained within the films of the older, orchestral and more dramatic films—mostly in black and white. Even though The Danish Girl is a modern film and is in colour, that doesn't make it lose any of its dramatic tension, any of its romantic tragedy and any of its beautiful violence of emotion. It won a number of awards, including Academy Awards and BAFTA awards and nominations.
9. Cloud Atlas (2012)
There is something about this film, directed by the incredible Wachowski Sisters, that is post-modern in the best sense of the term. The strange chronology, the way in which every single character fits into the story and the timing of each miniature section of the film has a brilliant way of combining to make something that has never really been seen before on screen. To be honest, I was going to put this classic in the same sort of category as the other Wachowski Sisters classic, The Matrix, because of the way it innovates cinema into something new. It is no longer just being watched, it is being experienced.
8. Lincoln (2012)
It is universally acknowledged that Daniel Day-Lewis is one of the most talent-blessed actors of all time—his incredible ability is almost unreal, his acting greatness near impossible for anyone else to achieve. Lincoln has classic ability because, like The Godfather Trilogy is revered as the team-up between Francis Ford Coppola and Al Pacino, Lincoln is Daniel Day-Lewis teaming up with Steven Spielberg. It is a masterpiece of biography and Daniel Day-Lewis's performance will never be equaled by any presidential biopic ever again. The film itself is a method acting masterclass and has the potential to be revered as a classic, taught in film studies and even used to teach the advanced levels of method acting. It is a film to be studied.
7. Inception (2010)
Inception was directed by Christopher Nolan, now a revered director for his take on adapting the Batman Comics into his Dark Knight Trilogy. Inception was Nolan gathering together actors he had used before and some he would use again in the future, including the likes of: Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Cillian Murphy, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The reason why this film will be revered as a classic is because a) it hasn't been forgotten yet and it's been almost ten years. I remember going to watch it in the cinema and everyone was crazy about it. I feel like people still remember the film just as much as they did back then. b) It won't be replicated. I cannot be replicated because the idea was so original. Much like The Matrix, it will be remembered for its originality and risky cinema techniques.
6. Get Out (2017)
One of the greatest horror/comedy films of the 21st Century, Get Out will remain a classic of its genre for again, its difference and originality. Not only is it lead by a Black male, which is nearly unheard of in its genre, it is also scripted brilliantly in a style that is resonant with The Sixth Sense. By this, I mean that it is scripted with a clever choice of words that hides the secret for long enough so that the audience realise it whilst watching the movie rather that just giving it away through dialogue. Another thing that this film will be remembered for is its animalistic symbolism, the deer. The deer is a symbol of prey and obviously, this will perpetuate the memory of this film not only because the deer symbol is memorable but also because it hasn't been used for a very long time and has never been used in this manner before.
5. Dunkirk (2017)
Directed by Christopher Nolan again, this film may become a classic for many different reasons. The first reason is because of the way it uses time. The chronology and passage of time being different for each account makes the film original and gives it difference for it to stand out amongst its genre of war films. The second reason is because it has excellent cinematography. The wide shots and the movements of the camera (especially concerning those arcs) are amazing and make the film look incredibly grand. The third reason is because of the sheer lack of dialogue. The lack of dialogue makes the film more about the acting than the speaking and forced the actors to work harder. The final reason is because overall, it is a war film and one we have not seen in a good few years before its release.
4. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
I know what you're thinking: "this can't possibly be a classic! Why is something like this going to be remembered for years to come?" Now just think about how much you remember the first six films. That's why it'll be remembered. Star Wars VII already has a large backing from the last six films, not to mention that it doesn't have a large act to follow when you look at the prequels. Purely because of the fact that the prequels were so bad, Star Wars VII gets lucky to be known as the film that saved the Star Wars franchise by bringing it back to being watchable and actually reminding us that Star Wars is still very relevant in society. Apart from that, the film tries its best to stay relevant in the way of identifying with its audience: a female lead, a Black male in a lead role and still it keeps various characters from the original films.
3. The Social Network (2010)
The Social Network is a grand and yet highly underrated achievement of cinema. Directed by the dialogue genius himself, Aaron Sorkin makes an amazing argument for why making a film about Facebook works. It is a film that isn't attempting to be overdramatic, but offers drama and tension at the same time. It is a film which has excellent momentum and builds this momentum so easily, it flows as if it were real life. I think that in an attempt to make this film so close to real life, the director has succeeded in creating a movie that connects to us and draws us into the character development in a way that most other films cannot.
2. Suicide Squad (2016)
I know that you may now want to click off this list and go and look at something else. But just read this and hear me out. This film will not be remembered as a whole, but as a part. The film itself is mediocre, sort of in the way that say, Roman Holiday, is mediocre (sorry, guys—it's true. All the actors in that film have done better). Suicide Squad will be remembered for one reason only; for creating this cultural phenomenon around the character of the Harley Quinn. The character of the Harley Quinn, portrayed by Margot Robbie, has become a cultural hit so quickly that I feel like it will resonate for years to come. Somewhat like Marilyn Monroe as Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes you never really forget the character, her name, her face, her dress, her make up, anything. It's the same basic concept. Not a very memorable movie itself, but the character makes it so.
1. Avengers: Endgame
As with Suicide Squad, the film itself is not all that impressive, but as a part of something it is. The "part" that we examine when it comes to Avengers: Endgame is the cultural hype surrounding the movie. There was so much anticipation for this film that I feel that we only see this once in a long time, possibly once in more than a decade. The film itself does not matter so much as to the cultural shift it created. It in itself is marking the end of superhero movies, or the end of ones that people care about to that degree. It is very true that Avengers: Endgame means so much more than just a film, it is a cultural statement and that statement is that we are witnessing the decline and fall of the superhero film.