10 Movie Events That Shaped the Decade (For Movie Fans)

Published 4 years ago by , Updated January 7th, 2010 at 10:28 pm,

ScreenRant Header 10 Movie Events That Shaped the Decade (For Movie Fans)

We’ve come to the end of 2009, so we thought we’d weigh in with a look back at the first 10 years of the 21st century in the movie world and discuss the various different “events” which shaped the decade. Obviously we can’t cover absolutely everything, but sticking true to our core movie genres on the site, we’re just going to concentrate on the comic-book, sci-fi, action (and so forth) types of movies and take a look at what films had the maximum impact over this decade.

It’s amazing to think that it’s been 10 years since movies like The Matrix, American Beauty and Fight Club (to name but a few) came out in 1999 (check out our 1999 decade highlight, if you haven’t already). A LOT of movies – somewhere in the vicinity of 5,000-6,000 – have been released since then. We’ve had the good, the bad and ugly in that time (much like every other decade, to be fair) – some we’ll look back on as classics in decades to come, and others we’ll probably look back on and wish we could forget about them (most video game adaptations, I’m looking at you).

Behind the scenes we fervently debated which areas we should discuss in this article, and eventually we came up with 10 big ones that will hopefully bring out strong thoughts and opinions from you, our loyal readers.

So without any further ado, here are the 10 events (trends, franchises – call it what you will) that we believe have shaped the decade for the types of movies we all like to revel in around here:

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10. The Rise of “The Apatow Comedy”

The 40 Year Old Virgin 570x378 10 Movie Events That Shaped the Decade (For Movie Fans)

Judd Apatow is a producer who’s actually been working since the 90s (did you know he produced the Jim Carrey dark comedy, The Cable Guy, for instance?) but it was in 2005 that we started to see the emergence of “the Apatow comedy,” thanks in large part to The 40 Year Old Virgin. It was a truly hilarious film (I can’t remember ever laughing that much in a theater) but also one with a lot of heart and relatability. Sure, you had your crude sex jokes, but you also had a sweet story at the center, brought to life particularly well by stars Steve Carell and Catherine Keener.

The 40 Year Old Virgin was a smash hit, and it led to a slew of comedies from the Apatow camp, even if (as some people often forget) Apatow himself didn’t direct most of them. Superbad, Knocked Up, Funny People, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Pineapple Express, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story – all big hits with audiences. I don’t personally find all of his movies as hilarious as most people do, but there’s no denying the impact his style has had on the comedy genre. For instance, you’ll often hear people say, “It wasn’t as funny as [insert Apatow comedy here].” And I don’t see any sign of the Apatow comedy train slowing down anytime soon.

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9. “Torture-Porn” Horror Takes Over

Saw 570x320 10 Movie Events That Shaped the Decade (For Movie Fans)

In 2004 a fresh horror movie appeared on the scene called: Saw. It was a small, very low budget film that would shape the horror genre from thereafter. It effectively started a genre that we now know as “Torture-Porn.” That is horror films that consist of people being tortured, and we, the audience, get to see it in all its bloody, gory, detail. It’s just ironic that the original Saw has very little actual on-screen gore in it, and is actually a very smart, well-made film for what it is (it’s one I still revisit from time to time).

Unfortunately, it was the torture element that was latched onto by other filmmakers, and all of a sudden we were plagued with torture films; from Eli Roth’s Hostel and Hostel: Part II to the Elisha Cuthbert film Captivity (which was changed half-way through, with entirely new scenes shot in order to heighten the gore factor, out of fear it wouldn’t sell well to audiences otherwise – a weak box office of under $2 million opening weekend showed how bad that idea was). Saw has spawned a franchise consisting of 5 sequels already (with more coming – in 3D no less!) and is really the only torture property (with a heart of gold?) that still makes decent money. How much longer can this trend that we’ve seen grow wildly go on? Will it still be as prolific – if around at all - in a decade’s time?

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TAGS: batman, batman begins, lord of the rings, saw, spider-man, star trek, the 40 year old virgin, the dark knight, the matrix, toy story, up, x-men

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  1. I think Harry Potter should have been on for HP fans this was a huge decade almost the whole Saga went down in one whole decade and it was incredible what they did loads of money was cashed in and the three young actors are in the richest young actors from HP from all angles Hp was a huge break through all 6 movies this year and the next two in the beginning of the next decade keep it up HP

  2. all in all good analysis of the decade in sci-fi/fantasy (obviously you had to miss the really important movies outside those genres) with the HUGE exception of your lambasting the Matrix trilogy. You should be able to look past mainstream critics' opinion and see that a) the franchise could not possibly be complete without the sequels & the Animatrix (which by the way came before Revolutions and not after) and b) the story & world development in the sequels is pretty d*mn awesome.

    oh yeah, and harry potter & twilight? pretty much changed the topography of cinema in general, as they exploit a previously unexploited demographic – tweens. I mean, before you had your big kids movies (Disney animations) and big teen movies (American Pie and co.) but not tween movies. Now that seems to be the demographic that brings in the big bucks consistently.

  3. nah youre definitely not in the minorities, I loved the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and especially the goofy dialogue and humour, it's as if we were back in the 70s :)

  4. all in all good analysis of the decade in sci-fi/fantasy (obviously you had to miss the really important movies outside those genres) with the HUGE exception of your lambasting the Matrix trilogy. You should be able to look past mainstream critics' opinion and see that a) the franchise could not possibly be complete without the sequels & the Animatrix (which by the way came before Revolutions and not after) and b) the story & world development in the sequels is pretty d*mn awesome.

    oh yeah, and harry potter & twilight? pretty much changed the topography of cinema in general, as they exploit a previously unexploited demographic – tweens. I mean, before you had your big kids movies (Disney animations) and big teen movies (American Pie and co.) but not tween movies. Now that seems to be the demographic that brings in the big bucks consistently.

  5. nah youre definitely not in the minorities, I loved the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and especially the goofy dialogue and humour, it's as if we were back in the 70s :)

  6. It's amazing. Thanks for sharing the 10 movie events. business directory |jobs|latex mattress

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