As of 4/6/2021
The following is a list of series from 1950-2021. Series within were in the top ten of both Trakt’s Popular & Trakt’s All Time Watched in each of their respective years. The exception to that sole guideline above was the years 1950-1955, where the top ten were cross reference as a group as opposed to individual years.
New millennium, new technology. Film cameras were the standard way to shoot a movie for over a century, and now they to had to make space for upstart digital. Without digital cameras, zombies would’ve stayed dead; 28 Days Later was only possible with how quick and easy it is to set up with them. Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation) and Neill Blomkamp (District 9) certainly benefited from the new technology.
Movies were also used to absorb our collective trauma. We escaped into magic and wonder in the months after 9/11 with Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings, while we celebrated the end of the Great Recession by getting the hell off this planet with Avatar. And speaking of those series, we didn’t want their installments taking up all the spots on this list, so one movie representing the whole franchise was chosen for those worthy.
And your vast comic-book trivia knowledge became a social asset, not a bullseye for beatings. Iron Man, The Dark Knight, and Spider-Man 2 opened up new ways of connected storytelling (and money making). And it wasn’t just superheroes making the leap to the mainstream. Fanboy culture, the internet, and sites like the one you’re reading now helped bring “genre” movies to the cultural forefront: zombies (28 Days Later, Shaun of the Dead), sci-fi (Avatar, Serenity), horror (The Descent, Saw), and fantasy (Pan’s Labyrinth).
Meanwhile, under-served voices started to make some noise in the mainstream with films led by females (Mean Girls, Whale Rider, Bend It Like Beckham, Twilight), made African-American filmmakers (Love & Basketball, Barbershop), and featuring Asian-American stars (Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, Better Luck Tomorrow). And that’s not including the increasingly easy access to international material like City of God and Let the Right One In.
And we still haven’t touched upon Pixar’s golden age (WALL-E, Finding Nemo), Hollywood finding the formula for comedies perfectly balanced between smart and dumb (The Hangover, The 40-Year Old Virgin), or that the Fast & Furious series got its humble beginnings here. A lot happened in this decade: Discover it all with the 140 Essential Movies of the 2000s!