21 Gripping and Incredible Films From Recent Years You Have To See

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The past decade has seen a smorgasbord of incredible releases. It feels as if the entirety of world cinema has banded together to give every discerning cinephile the gift of great art.

There were a lot of things that happened in the film world this decade: the genesis of independent film distributors like A24 and NEON, the proliferation of Marvel Studios and the rise of the modern superhero tentpole, the introduction of streamers like Netflix and Prime Video into the greater film conversation.

To celebrate this bountiful decade of cinema, we’ll be listing the best films of the past decade, combing the entirety of world cinema to find the brightest stars in a galaxy of great films. Whether they’re films you’ve seen before or films you’ve never heard of, there’s sure to be something here that will affect or move you in some way.

1. Elle (2016)

Photo Credit: SBS Productions.

Paul ‘Robocop’ Verhoeven’s thriller about a woman who gets attacked, only this one has a twist. Elle decides not to not report it to the police and, instead, becomes obsessed with her attacker. Directed with lurid flare by Verhoeven, excellently chronicling a woman’s downward spiral into the depths of her psychosis.

2. The Lighthouse (2019)

Photo Credit: Regency Enterprises.

Robert Egger’s claustrophobic tale of madness at sea stars Robert Pattinson as Ephraim Winslow and Willem Dafoe as Thomas Wake. Wake is a lighthouse keeper and Winslow joins him for a short stint, but Wake never allows him near the actual light. Then the two begin losing their minds after a storm keeps them trapped inside. Revolting and hilarious in equal measure, this rich tapestry evokes an era of filmmaking that has long-since faded away.

3. Lincoln (2012)

Photo Credit: Dreamworks Pictures.

Spielberg’s portrait of the sixteenth president of the United States is an extremely compelling tale of a man in conflict over the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment. Daniel Day-Lewis gets lost in the role of Abraham Lincoln, transforming into the iconic figure.

4. The Mule (2018)

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

Directed by and starring Clint Eastwood, this glacially paced drama follows a gardener who is failing to make ends meet during the recession. Once, he had a family; but after placing his career above them one to many times, they’ve cut him off and he’s left without support. At last, he resorts to becoming a drug runner for a local cartel. Achingly beautiful, this film proves that the 93-year-old Eastwood still has the juice.

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5. Everybody Wants Some!! (2016)

Photo Credit: Annapurna Pictures.

Richard Linklater’s long-gap sequel to Dazed and Confused follows a group of Texas baseball players the day before their first semester of college. This sharp, often hilarious, hangout joint is endlessly rewatchable. For loads of fun, that only-found-in-college spontaneity, and maybe some good reminiscing, this film is a go-to.

6. Grown Ups 2 (2013)

Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures.

Speaking of hangout films, Grown Ups 2 may be just a vehicle for Adam Sandler and his pals to collect a paycheck while doing almost nothing, but it’s a lot more fun than that description gives it credit for. It’s evocative of a hazy day in high school – just hanging out with your boys with no care as to whether or not the next day will come. Funny stuff here!

7. The Neon Demon (2016)

Photo Credit: Space Rocket Nation.

Nicolas Winding Refn’s horror satire on the nature of the beauty industry is a beautifully twisted descent into the madness that comes with fame. The aspiration for beauty eventually drives a parallel frenzy that destroys the most beautiful. Watch out for Keanu Reeves in an extended cameo as the manager of a sleazy motel!

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8. The Taking of Tiger Mountain (2014)

Photo Credit: Well Go USA.

Tsui Hark’s action epic follows a war between the People’s Liberation Army of China and a rogue gang of bandits. At stake is a village full of innocent people, including a young boy who’s already lost his mother to the chief of the bandits. With Hark’s typical command of space, the film soars in its exceptional use of CGI during its many battle sequences.

9. A Touch of Sin (2013)

Photo Credit: Xstream Pictures.

Chinese filmmaker Jia Zhangke’s anthology film centers on several vignettes based on noteworthy crime stories that had truly happened in China. Zhangke’s critique on China’s social reality is a beautiful treatise on the nature of fate and man’s capacity for violence. How far will one person go to satisfy their own desires? Or how much oppression does it take before somebody snaps?

10. The Irishman (2019)

Photo Credit: Netflix.

Martin Scorsese’s elegiac tale of soldier-turned-driver-turned-mobster Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) and his collaboration in the assassination of labor boss Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino). As Sheeran ages, he is eventually convicted, sentenced, and released from prison. He spends his dying days in a nursing home, considering his crimes. A deeply moving film about the nature of human cruelty and the banality of evil.

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11. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

Photo Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures.

Wes Anderson’s comedy of manners centers on a hotel bellboy and his various misadventures with the manager of the titular hotel. Hilarity ensues as the two recount their various misadventures. All is not well in their world, and even if they escape with their lives, not all that they love can be saved. But Anderson’s storytelling infuses the story with both comedy and gravity, and reveals the importance of preserving what we can even when much is lost.

12. The Wind Rises (2013)

Photo Credit: Studio Ghibli.

Hayao Mayazaki’s gorgeously animated film tells the story of Jiro Horikoshi and the creation of his A6M World War II fighter plane for the Japanese army. The film’s themes of the nature of creation, and the importance of beauty are gently but poignantly portrayed. The twin themes shine gently against the backdrop of Jiro’s happy but brief marriage, and the way that his airplane designs are used in war. 

13. Killer Joe (2011)

Photo Credit: Voltage Pictures.

William Friedkin’s penultimate film follows the estranged family of a woman who’s got a significant life-insurance policy. They’re actively trying to take her life in order to get the money, but there are several surprises waiting for them even once she’s gone. This film features what is, perhaps, the most obscene use of a chicken drumstick in any film ever made. It has to be seen to be believed.

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14. Gone Girl (2014)

Photo Credit: Twentieth Century Fox.

David Fincher directs this adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s bestselling crime novel about a woman who dies under mysterious circumstances and her husband’s attempt to clear his name of her murder. Impeccably directed and sharp-as-nails, this pitch-black comedy will keep you on the edge of your seat until the final reveal.

15. The Beach Bum (2019)

Photo Credit: Iconoclast.

Harmony Korine’s 2019 hilarious vibe fest stars Matthew McConaughey as MoonDog, a poet based out of Key West, as he tries to fulfill the obligations necessary to get his share of his dead wife’s fortune and win the respect of his daughter. Need we say more?

16. Doctor Sleep (2019)

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

Mike Flannagan’s sequel to both Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining and the Stephen King novel of the same name does the near-impossible task of threading the needle between both Kubrick’s totemic film and King’s deeply personal novel. The film follows an adult Danny Torrance (Ewan McGregor) as he battles a cult of vampires, as well as his own inner demons. An extremely exciting film, especially in if you’re able to watch the director’s cut. 

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17. The House That Jack Built (2018)

Photo Credit: Zentropa Entertainments.

Lars von Trier’s hysterical dark comedy about a serial killer recounting his tales of murder as he makes his descent into Hell is not an easy watch; the film is riddled with prolonged scenes of extreme violence; but it’s an extremely rich text examining the nature of violence and the darkness within the human soul. 

18. Dragged Across Concrete (2018)

Photo Credit: Summit Entertainment.

S. Craig Zahler’s pulp crime thriller stars Vince Vaughn and Mel Gibson as two cops who are put on probation after an act of police brutality is caught on camera. With no source of financial stability, the two decide to intercept an armored car full of money and take it all for themselves. Zahler’s sturdy direction works in service of a pleasurable grit. A rip-roaring time at the cinema. 

19. Local Legends (2013)

Photo Credit: Motern Media.

Matt Farley’s ultra-low-budget, meta-comedy is about a man trying to exercise his creativity in a world that seeks to spite him. Ultimately, it’s a self-reflection; and maybe even an advertising push that somehow just works as a piece of art, too. A feat of filmmaking that will have you believing in the transformative power of art!

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20. Inherent Vice (2014)

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

Paul Thomas Anderson’s adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s famously incomprehensible novel is an absolute riot, failing to properly adapt the book but stumbling into something truly sublime along the way. Shasta meets up with her ex-boyfriend, “Doc”, whom she asks to protect her current lover. But as he tries to, he uncovers more and more connections between Shasta’s lover and an international gang. No matter where Doc turns for help, it seems everyone has some connection to the gang, and to vice. 

21. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010)

Photo Credit: Kick the Machine.

Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Palme d’Or-winning drama follow the titular Uncle Boonmee as he’s diagnosed with kidney disease, deciding to spend his final days with his family, which include the ghost of his dead wife and the reincarnation of his lost son. Funny and touching in equal measure, this deeply spiritual film is one not only the greatest film of the past decade, but one of the greatest films ever made.

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Image Credit: Universal Studios.

There is no shortage of stupid movies; more are added to the library yearly. However, despite being ridiculous to some, others genuinely love these films. After asking for examples of the movies in question, these are the top-voted responses.

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Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Several big movies with significant nightmare productions have some seriously delicious tea. After a recent poll on the internet, here are twenty-five films with disasters that made filming difficult.

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