Thanks to the Warner Bros.-Discovery merger, everyone’s talking about HBO Max and what the future holds for the streaming service. Whichever way things end, HBO Max still currently has an impressive list of movies in its catalog, especially from the 2010s.
With the rise of streaming services over the decade, more movies than ever seemed to be released during the 2010s, leaving many greats to be overlooked. Some are from acclaimed directors, some are remakes, and some have big stars who still flew under the radar and deserve a subscriber’s shot.
Assassination Nation (2018)
Sam Levinson is the mind behind HBO’s smash hit Euphoria but before the premiere of this series, he realized Assassination Nation. The film depicts the chaos that ensues in a small town after everyone’s secrets are leaked publicly by a hacker.
The ensemble cast includes Joel McHale, Bill Skarsgård, Bella Thorne and the future Euphoria stars like Maude Apatow and Colman Domingo, among many others. It’s over-the-top, frenetic, visually impressive, and filled with twists and turns, making it something you should seek out.
Notice for Close might cause people to walk away from it as reviews and audiences were both mixed. However, any movie featuring Zoë Kravitz, Dennis Quaid, Carrie Coon, and a Michael B. Jordan cameo is at least worth watching.
Close tells the story of a young boy who comes across a strange weapon with his older brother while on the run from criminals, authorities and soldiers. Although many think it would have been better as something like a black mirror episode, there’s still more to love about this sci-fi family drama.
Barely Mortal (2015)
Speaking of movies that weren’t well received upon release, there’s Barely fatal. The film centers on a teenage murderer who escapes to a “normal” life and has to deal with people coming after her and the difficulties of high school.
The premise makes it a fun movie, bolstered by the very talented Hailee Steinfeld as the protagonist. Add a supporting cast including Sophie Turner, Samuel L. Jackson, Jessica Alba and Dove Cameron and you’ll have too much time to worry about what critics have said.
Obvious Child (2014)
Most people who have seen Jenny Slate steal the show in supporting roles will agree that she needs more leading roles. Obvious child gives her the platform she deserves and she delivers one of the best performances of her career, winning a Critics’ Choice Award for her efforts.
Slate stars as Donna Stern, a comedian who has a one-night stand that results in an unplanned pregnancy. The film follows her as she balances the changes in her life and considers having an abortion. Obvious child was praised for being honest, mature, and funny.
Life After Beth (2014)
There are so many unique zombie movie concepts littered throughout the 2010s and Life after Beth is one of the most intriguing. Written and directed by Jeff Baena, the film is about a man dealing with losing his girlfriend only to have her come back from the dead much different than he remembered.
Along with the brilliant idea behind the film, it soars thanks to the work of Aubrey Plaza as the titular Beth, as well as Dane DeHaan, John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon, and Anna Kendrick. Although reviews were mixed, Plaza’s performance is unmissable.
How to talk to girls at parties (2017)
Anyone who has followed her career can attest to the fact that Elle Fanning is one of the most impressive young actresses working today. Fanning has shone in every role she landed and helmed notable independent films including How to talk to girls at parties.
Based on a short story of the same name, this sci-fi romantic comedy sees an alien (Fanning) and a comic book artist (Alex Sharp) fall in love while exploring the London punk scene in the 1970s. energetic film with a solid cast and intriguing setup. Plus, it’s helmed by the star, writer and director of the cult classic Hedwig and the Angry Thumb.
Films based on a true story are often among the most beloved and interesting, with Beautiful ranking near the top. It is based on the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, an illegitimate mixed-race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral.
The film deals with his upbringing and how his skin color prevents him from the privileges that would usually be granted to someone of his status. Gugu Mbatha-Raw does a fantastic job as the title character and this film received sparkling praise despite barely going over budget.
So many people can relate to characters who are completely unsure of where their life is headed in their twenties. It makes a movie like Delays something they will enjoy and see themselves in because that is exactly where the main character is.
Typically found in period plays, Keira Knightley is at her best as Meagan, a woman who runs away when her boyfriend proposes, strikes up a friendship with a teenage boy (Chloë Grace Moretz), and hooks up with the father of this girl (Sam Rockwell). Reviews were solid with praise for Knightley and director Lynn Shelton even though few people saw it.
The incredible Denis Villeneuve became one of the most sought after filmmakers of this era. He burst with Prisoners, impressed by Sicarioand delivered sci-fi classics in Arrival and Blade Runner 2049 before leading the resounding success of 2021, Dunes.
Although all these films are well known, he directed in 2013 Enemy, which is criminally underrated. It stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a mild-mannered man who spots an exact double in a movie and delves into the man’s personal life. The film immediately caused a stir at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Both Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis are fantastic actors who have starred in many well-received projects, but their film together is one few people know about. Colossal also boasts one of the most ambitious ideas of any recent indie film.
The plot sees a troubled woman (Hathaway) unknowingly take control of a huge monster that destroys Seoul whenever she gets too drunk. The weird nature of the film was the main aspect that received praise from critics and audiences alike.
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