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Whether you are a working individual or a student, you probably cannot wait for the holiday season. It almost feels as if the whole year has built up to these few weeks of you (and don’t forget the family) time. No doubt, on top of whatever seasonal and holiday plans you have, you are also hoping for a few days to kick back and relax on the couch after a hectic year.
What better way to do this than with some good movies and a pack of microwave popcorn? We will help you out with the former, the latter is up to you. Whenever you look for the best movies of all time the lists are filled with old-but-gold classics such as “Citizen Kane” and “The Godfather”. While these are cinematic masterpieces in their own right, there is no doubt that visual effects, cinematography, and to an extent acting have come a long way since then.
So, if you are looking for some relatively current fantastic movies to curl up and watch, look no further! Roses Only has curated and put together a list of the 10 best movies of the 21st century. To put together this list, we looked at the most popular critic and user review sites, the movies overall reception and rewards, as well as some personal preference.
With that in mind, here are the top 10 best movies of the 21st century as chosen by us:
The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-2003)
Peter Jackson’s epic cinematic adaptation of the godfather (pun intended) of high-fantasy novels by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, needs little introduction. It was a massive commercial and critical success and more than did the books justice, something few other movies adapted from books can claim. In fact, it is tied with Ben-Hur and Titanic with the most number of Academy Awards won at 11.
We include the whole trilogy as all three are masterpieces in their own right. Plus, who can argue against the idea of a full-on The Lord of the Rings marathon? That’s already 9 hours plus of cinematic magic.
Image source:By Jorge Arimany (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
The Dark Knight (2008)
This is the second instalment of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy. It’s this trilogy that is often credited as being one of the first comic book/superhero movies that actually makes the source material feel real and believable. Throw in a dash of Nolan’s well-known cinematographic genius and a pulsating soundtrack by Hans Zimmer that helped nab the movie the Academy Award for Best Sound Editing and you are definitely set for an entertaining and engrossing two and a half hours. Heath Ledger’s interpretation of the Joker that posthumously won him almost every best-supporting actor award of note, is also not to be missed.
Boyhood is not quite like anything else you’ve seen before. When you hear the words “coming of age drama” by now you feel like you already know exactly what to expect. However, the creators of Boyhood went above and beyond by actually filming the same actors over the course of 11 years!
Watching the brilliant child-actors, especially Ellar Coltrane, grow up right in front of our eyes adds an extra dimension to the film that is impossible to reproduce otherwise. This film blends nostalgia, suburbia, and Americana like no other.
Now, for a touch of the dramatic. Moonlight has a bunch of first to its name. It’s the first winner of the Oscar for Best Picture that has an all-black cast and is an LGBT film. It achieved this feat despite being the second-lowest grossing film to ever do this.
This is another coming-of-age drama but approaches the subject from a much different perspective than Boyhood. It follows the life of Chiron, a boy wrestling with his challenging inner-city circumstances, abusive upbringing, surrounded by drug addiction, and a lack of sexual guidance. While the subject matter is a bit heavy, it’s perfect if you want a more reflective experience.
Spirited Away (2001)
Spirited away has managed to do something that few Japanese Anime’s before it has been able to do: break into mainstream cinema and entertainment. The premise sounds far-fetched but it manages to pull it off with restraint and pulls you in from the start.
It follows a sullen, ten-year-old girl named Chihiro as she and her parents move to a new neighbourhood. They then enter the spirit world and her parents are soon transformed into pigs by a witch. She plans to free her parents and return to the real world with them as she works in a bathhouse to survive.
Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
Another film not of English speaking origin, Pan’s Labyrinth is a Spanish-Mexican dark fantasy from now-famous director Guillermo del Torro. It also broke into mainstream entertainment as a result of its creativity and ability to dish out chills. It follows a Spanish teen Ofelia who navigates a mythical labyrinth with the help of some magical creatures in parallel with her parents who are dealing with very real crises in 1944 Spain.
An intricate and engrossing plot, near flawless casting, the directing prowess of Christopher Nolan, and the musical magic of Hans Zimmer, what more could a movie provide? If you haven’t watched Inception yet, it’s about time and if you have, what better time to experience the moving soundtrack and mind-bending special effects once again?
Inside Out (2015)
Pixar Animation has delivered some truly touching animated movies that tug at the heartstrings of the whole family and Inside Out is no different. It’s the surprisingly poignant look at the life and struggles of a typical teenage girl as she struggles to balance all her emotions at a difficult period in her life. The characterization of emotions as colourful make-believe characters are a surprisingly agreeable dissection of the emotions we all need to balance on a daily basis.
You must almost be getting tired of hearing us mention Christopher Nolan by now. With so many hits and such good reviews from both critics and normal viewers, it’s hard to argue with the statement that he is the Steven Spielberg of the 21st century. Along with all the other good things you can expect from a Nolan movie, this one includes a story in which love transcends space and time itself set to a cosmic backdrop and to the tune of epic organ music.
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
This is a film you probably didn’t expect to see on this list or mentioned in the same breath as some of the movies above, however, it’s an absolute rollercoaster of action, cinematographic genius, and a soundtrack that makes your blood pump faster. It garnered an impressive amount of awards on top of its across the board acclaim from critics and viewers. A real thrill ride for a kick of adrenaline in your home.
We hope you enjoy this collection of amazing movies to keep you happy and help you unwind this holiday season. Who needs a day (or night) out when you can stay in the comfort of your home with these masterpieces to keep you company?
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