2000s or 2010s: What Was the Better Decade For Movies? – Jordan Ruimy

This year’s 12th edition of the Scary Movies festival at Film at Lincoln Center premiered Ari Aster’s extended version of “Midsommar” this past Saturday.
Now that we are well into this latest decade, it’s time to assess the last one (and the one before it). A simple question for our readers, which decade was the better one for movies? The 2000s or 2010s?
I’ll give the edge to the 2000s, or as many people call them, the aughts. This was the post-9/11 decade, one in which plenty of creative juices were still occurring in American filmmaking. The booming DVD market also expanded the possibilities of quality distribution and content.
Comic book movies hadn’t yet stormed the industry during the aughts and there very much was an inventive nature to some of the best films from this decade: “There Will Be Blood,” “Mulholland Drive,” “No Country For Old Men,” “Spirited Away,” “Children of Men,” “Zodiac,” and many more, have all, in one form or another, contributed greatly to the advancement of the medium.
The same can’t be said about the 2010s. Marvel brought in catastrophic consequences to the industry, one which other studios tried to copy with their own forced-upon franchises. Moviemaking got cheapened out in the process. This also led to CGI overuse and algorithms taking over the product.
The 2010s were also damaged by the post-Avatar 3D boom for its first 5 or so years, a phenomenon that wouldn’t last long, but that had studios trying to milk the fad as much as possible, with very mixed results. Meanwhile, streaming started booming in the latter half of the decade, compromising quality for content.
Overtly explicit politicizing of movies also started to become the norm. There was a sense of the film, and studio, starting to talk down to the viewer with forced, and un-forced. political lessons. Movies started to be used as platforms to promote personal political views, almost veering into borderline indoctrination.
Then, in this same decade, we saw the obvious pandering to the Chinese market, which was a compromise that set a dangerous precedent for how a film was written, especially thematically. It all amounted to a dumbing down of mainstream filmmaking for the sake of a quick buck.
The best films of this decade were made by well-seasoned masters still willing to go against a system constantly boxing them in, but they were far and few.
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