Hope you enjoyed my previous blog on Top Ten TV shows of the Decade for the culture. As we inch closer to 2019 winding down, it's time to touch on the next top ten list. The Top Ten movies for the culture, movies in this decade bought us superheros, new horror classics, and political statements. It was alot to choose from so let's start the discussion.
10. Creed Series
In 2015 Ryan Coogler fresh off critical acclaim with "Fruitvale Station", joined Michael B. Jordan at the time most known for his role as Wallace in "The Wire" and Oscar in "Fruitvale Station", and Sylvester Stallone who was in the twligiht of his career to introduce a new character to the Rocky universe, Adonis Creed. Adonis (Michael B. Jordan) is the son of Apollo Creed, the result of a extramatrial affair. The Creed series introduced a new generation to Rocky, and made an older generation realize why they loved Rocky. Adonis learned alot about himself in the first film, and in 2018 a sequel was released that furthered Adonis personal journey. At it's core both films are about father and sons, never meeting your father and trying to be on pace with his legacy or exceed it. Reconciliation, and sometimes the "father" you need is not your biological father. There are alot of life lessons in Creed and was one of the best films this decade.
9. Think Like A Man
Released in 2012 and based on Steve Harvey's book "Act like a lady, Think like a man". This film starred a ensemble of heavy hitters of Black actors. Gabrielle Union, Megan Goode, Tajiri P. Henson, Michael Ealey, Terrance J underrated Romany Malco, and Kevin Hart. While Kevin Hart was selling out stand up shows around the world at this time, this film really let his star shine and show it could translate to film as well. I'm no relationship expert, but the film covers alot of different relationship scenarios and hits all of the targets well. In 2014 a sequel was released, that kept the same chemistry and comedy firing away.
8. Best Man Holiday
Released in 2013, this follow up to 1999's The Best Man had everyone in tears watching it. The film is really about friends turned family, and coming together when needed the most. On the subject of friends turned family, the film touches on staying touch and keep that bond with your closest friends no matter what direction life takes you. Talking about this film doesn't do it much justice, just know you will laugh, feel joy, and oh boy will you cry watching this film. In the end you will appreticate everything this film has to offer.
7. Girl's Trip
The Essence Music Festival is a bucket list item for many in the Black community. In 2017 the film "Girls Trip" starring Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Regina Hall, and Tiffany Haddish fully displayed why that is. No disrespect to the talented actresses in this film, but the the star of this film is truly the Essence Music Festival and New Orleans. Proudly displaying the culture of New Orleans, and all the events, musical performances, parties, and shenangins that occur during Essence. If you went to Essence the year after this films release (which I did), you saw firsthand the film wasn't lying and was responsible for the additional influx of folks coming to town to see what the hype was all about.
Directed by the legendary Spike lee and starring John David Washington, Adam Driver, and Topher Grace. The film released in 2018 is based on a true story of a Black police officer Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) assigned to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan, while he successfully does so over the phone. He requires the assistance of a White officer Phillip Zimmerman (Adam Driver) to infiltrate the organization in person. The film uses the climate of race relations in the 1970's as commentary to show similiarities to the current climate of race relations in the 2010's. The film is highly regarded and is definitely worth viewing.
Jordan Peele's second film released earlier this year proved he is a genius. When trailers first released for this film, I sat and wondered what the hell is this? I was intrigued enough to check it out when it released and while watching it at times still thought, What the hell is this? The movie is a mind bender and really will have you questioning alot of situations that occur in the film. I've rewatched this film several times this year and find new nuances I have missed on previous viewings. The film also has had me pondering since I first saw it. Who the hell was the real villian here?
Released in 2016 and winner of Best Picture for the Golden Globe and Academy Awards. This film really made folks take notice of the screen prescene of Mahershala Ali, who won a Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. The follows the character Chiron played by Alex Hibbert as young Chiron, Ashton Sanders as teen Chiron, and Trevante Rhodes as adult Chiron. The film explores different moments in his life from his upbringing drug dealing, experiencing bullying, and exploring his sexuality. The film explores the often discussed topic of what you physically see in a person, internally it is often much deeper then that.
3. The Hate U Give
Released in 2018 and based on the 2017 novel of the same name. The film stars Amandla Stenberg as Starr Carter. Starr lives two different lives one life in her neighborhood and another life in the predominantly white private school she attends. When a friend of Starr's is killed by a police officer, she is conflicted between standing up and speaking out or keeping quiet. Another film that touches on the political climate of America, current criminal justice laws, police brutality, neighborhood gangs. So much more that has led to alot of the tension in the country, the film is well written and is a good starting point for younger audience who may not understand some of the situations that led to the current climate.
2. Get Out
"Get Out" is the film that made people stop, and realize Jordan Peele had alot to offer than just being one half of the comedy duo Key and Peele. Released in 2017, the film stars Daniel Kaluuya, Lil' Rel Laketih Stanfield, Alison Williams, and a guy who's made a career out of playing the slimey type Bradley Whitford. Daniel stars as Chris Washington, who spends the weekend with his girlfriend Rose (Alison Williams) and her family and realizes something isn't right with them. It's not a straight up horror film, but the film does contain horror elements, and primarily covers how Black people continue to be regarded as centerpieces or trophys in different fields as opposed to people.
1. Black Panther
In 1998 Wesley Snipes, Marvel and New Line Cinema bought Blade to the big screen. A Black superhero who was a badass saving the uninformed from the underground world of vampires. Fast forward 20 years later 2018, Marvel now a juggernaut of a brand and studio released Black Panther. The 18th film in the highly successful Marvel Cinematic Universe.Directed by Ryan Coogler who became a talent to watch after "Creed", and Chadwick Boseman as African prince T'Challa/Black Panther and Michael B. Jordan as the villian Erik Kilmonger. The film was a cultural event, theaters filled up with audience members proudly displaying traditional African attire. Schools and churches filled theaters, celebrities bought out theaters to ensure less privileged members of the commuity saw the film. The positive representation of a African prince in a very rich African country, saving the world was one the culture yearned for. Everyone wanted to be apart of this film and hail from Wakanda.
Speaking of Wakanda, the fictional African utopia that was far more technological advancd then anything we currently have left some people wondering was it a real place or not. Throw in the geopolitical background of the story, including themes of family, righting the wrongs of a previous generation, creating your own legacy. The Colonization of African countries, slavery and how it still affects many today. The film also raised a important debate of Kilmongers motive in the film, and just how wrong his ideaology was, or was it even wrong in the first place. An sequel is highly anticipated and currently slated for release May 6, 2022, that seems like forever away but it will be worth it.
About The Author
B.Easy is the co-host of Talkin' Suplexes. He's a self-professed geek loving movies, wrestling, comic books, and using his imagination. Goal in life is to become a world traveler and get paid to hop on lear jets. Follow him on Instagram @iam_beasy, Follow Talkin' Suplexes @talkinsuplexespod