As Billboard celebrates its annual Girl Group Week, we’ve got Fifth Harmony on our cover, but that doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten the U.K.’s beloved quartet, Little Mix.
Back in 2011, the band came together on The X-Factor, so killer covers and fresh, new renditions of pop classics have always been in their wheelhouse. Six years later, we join Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Jade Thirlwall and Perrie Edwards for a video history of their best cover songs.
1. Fergie - “Big Girls Don’t Cry” (2011)
The Little Mix ladies first auditioned for the U.K.’s X-Factor individually. Former judge Kelly Rowland suggested they be placed into a girl group, and the band we know today – then called Rhythmix – was born. This was their first performance together. Consider it iconic and ironic, as their rendition of Fergie’s 2003 single not only made them tear up by the by the end of the song, but even made Jessie J quite emotional. “I’m slightly in love with them,” she said.
2. En Vogue - “Don’t Let Go” (2011)
The girls have mentioned that their take on En Vogue’s “Don’t Let Go” was the turning point of their X-Factor journey to stardom. “That was the moment when people looked at us and thought, ‘Wait a moment. These girls actually stand a chance,‘” Edwards recalled. Little Mix delivered a powerful and vocal-dominated rendition of the ‘90s hit, inspiring some to think they really could become the next big girl group.
3. Beyoncé - “End of Time” (2012)
Months after taking the crown as X-Factor’s season eight winners, the quartet opened up its own official YouTube channel with one of Beyoncé’s singles, 2012’s “End of Time.” Without instruments accompanying them but their own vocals and snaps, Little Mix gave a cover that would sure make Queen Bey, herself, proud. (Peep Leigh-Anne and Jade at 1:30 killing it with their harmony.)
4. Fun. - “We Are Young” (2012)
Racking almost 11 million views and counting, the acoustic cover of Fun.’s “We Are Young” justifies Little Mix’s vocal abilities and talents. After covering female artists or pop songs frequently in the past, this was one of the first times Little Mix took an indie pop/rock track and made it their own. Compared to Nate Ruess’ vocals, Little Mix gives this catchy tune a youthful and innocent feel; check that breakdown at the 3:15 mark. The group performed this cover again on SiriusXM months after Perrie had her tonsils taken out.
“Remember when cats used to harmonize like…” Well, the British babes are the cats that brought it back. Mashing it up with Lumidee’s 2003 summer hit “Never Leave You,” Little Mix throws it back to the bops of the old days. This mash-up also showcases Jesy’s skills in beatboxing, giving an extra dose of nostalgia to the ears. (Watch the 1:09 mark!) “Their voices harmonize together like slicing butter with a hot knife. Holy god,” as how the top YouTube comment would say.
As Little Mix has proven that they can switch from genre to genre, the group turned down the tempo of this Mumford & Sons hit to a ballad listeners could cry along to, in the most elegant way possible. Accompanied by a small orchestra, piano and guitar, “I Will Wait” becomes a heartfelt and sad love song the brokenhearted can listen to for days.
7. “Holy Grail”/“Counting Stars”/“Smells Like Teen Spirit” (2013)
From rap to pop/rock to grunge, the ladies became Justin Timberlake, JAY-Z, OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder and Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain all in a matter of four minutes and six seconds. In a mash-up medley they performed at BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge, the group starts off with “Counting Stars” into “Holy Grail,” then finally transitions to “Smells Like Teen Spirit” with hints of “Counting” in between.
Though this wasn’t the first time Little Mix performed a Katy Perry hit, it sure became one of the first covers to flash their mature side. Performed during their Salute Tour, the gals busted out in synchronized harmony and choreography, giving the original Aphrodite a run for her money… or throne.
One of their musical favorites when it comes to female empowerment, Little Mix embraced its inner T-Boz, Left Eye and Chilli for an a capella of the all-time classic. However, this short a capella rendition wasn’t the first time the girls performed “No Scrubs.” Just like “Dark Horse,” Little Mix has performed a longer version of this cover (with choreography!) – but on the DNA Tour back in 2013.
What was meant to be for Z100 and Elvis Duran’s “Pay My Bills” promo turned out to be one of the coolest and shortest covers Little Mix has done. And it left me wanting more. Jesy with the beatboxing while the girls come through with the harmony, 17 seconds is a total cliff-hanger that makes you want to hear more! Nonetheless, it is a cover that gives the Destiny’s Child classic justice and makes their X-Factor judge Kelly Rowland proud.
11. Jason Derulo - “Want to Want Me”/Whitney Houston - “Dance With Somebody” Mash-Up (2015)
Let’s be real. Nothing beats a whole choir when you’re turning two catchy pop/dance songs into a gospel mash-up. As each member took turns crooning the first verse of “Want to Want Me,” the cover gradually takes it to church when the choir joins in for the chorus and smoothly transitions into Whitney Houston’s “Dance With Somebody” (with hints of Natalie La Rose’s revival, “Somebody,” towards the end). It was after seeing this cover that Jason Derulo collaborated with the group for their famous ballad, and LGBTQ anthem, “Secret Love Song.”
Considering the last time the ladies performed doo-wop-inspired tracks was during their Get Weird days (“Love Me Like You” and “The End”), it was refreshing to hear the quartet come together and tackle Rihanna’s ANTI single. Jesy, Jade, Perrie and Leigh-Anne perfectly showcased their vocal abilities (individually and as a group) with their sultry rendition filled with runs and harmonies. Knowing that the bad gal is one of their fashion icons, all four made sure to come clutch for their cover by serving some looks. Trust. This cover will make you say “YAAAS QUEEN!” just like Perrie did at the end. Again, prepare to be slayed.
Though this is obviously not Little Mix, let’s shout out Ed Sheeran showing some love. As he covered the dancehall-inspired pop song during his “Shape of You” promotions, he mentioned that the hit single was originally for the British girl group. Now, with that thought in mind, one can only imagine how Little Mix’s cover of “Shape of You” would sound like (if you’re reading this, Little Mix, nudge nudge).
If that wasn’t enough for you, check out this playlist YouTube user Allison Hernandez made that mixes 30 of the many acoustic performances and a capella covers they’ve done!
Look. I know Zayn and Louis applied for the same job. And Niall and Liam went to the same Busted concert (presumably when they were like 8 years old when Busted was touring before 1D was formed). Both of those things are neat coincidences.
But they aren’t very significant to any of them, because they’ve mentioned both of those things like one time in interviews over the course 6 years (and it was arguably to try and make the Script concert seem like less of a thing).
You know what’s significant? What Harry himself made significant?
The Script concert. He had to make a public declaration about it…twice!
“This place is incredible to me…I remember coming to quite a few gigs here. I remember I stood right there watching the Script and it turns out, Louis was at the same gig!“ - Manchester, 22 December 2011
“This venue is quite special to me. I’ve been to quite a few gigs here before. And I remember, about 3 years ago, I was stood just about there to watch the Script in here, and it turns out, that Louis was at the same gig!” - Manchester, 23 December 2011
Louis and Zayn have never described their mutual employment pursuits as “incredible” or “quite special.” And neither have Liam and Niall described the Busted concert that way, despite it being literally the same scenario as Louis and Harry attending a Script concert at the same venue on the same day.
So you have to wonder why Harry cares so much, why it’s such a curious thing that they were there, together, on the same night, at the same time, doing the same thing, and they didn’t even know each other.
But then fate twisted, and they did meet, and became so important to each other, that it made the night they missed each other that much more significant.
*does not include songs previously written or performed as a guest artist **does not include show appearances as clients/guests to talk shows, etc ***Was listed under Crews but was not backed up by further proof
1. They debuted in 2009 with “Fire” which until 2015 held the record for being the most viewed debut music video on Youtube for any kpop group
2. Their follow-up song “I Don’t Care” won 12 times on music shows and was awarded “Song of the Year” at MAMA 2009
3. In 2012 “I Don’t Care” had sold over 4,5 million copies, making it one of the best selling singles of all time in Korea
4. Their first full length album “To Anyone” was pre-ordered with an impressive 120.000 copies
4. Their 5 MV released songs from the album (Can’t Nobody, Follow Me, Clap Your Hands, It Hurts and Go Away) each sold over 1 or 2 million copies
5. They won “Best Album of the Year” and “Artist of the Year” at the 2010 MAMA’s
6. Park Bom’s single “You and I” sold over 4,5 million copies in 2010, making it one of the best selling singles in Korea of all time
7. In 2011 they released their second mini album where each song received their own music video, which had never been done before
8. “Lonely”, “Hate You” and “I Am the Best” combined sold over 8 million copies
9. “I Am the Best” received “Song of the Year” at the 2011 MAMA’s
10. 2NE1 is the only female group to ever win 4 daesang’s at MAMA (2 Song of the Year, 1 Artist of the Year and 1 Album of the Year)
11. They have won a total of 9 awards at MAMA’s and have been nominated 22 times
12. They are the group - second to Big Bang - to win most Daesangs at MAMA (EXO and 2NE1 shares second place)
13. In 2012 they only released one song “I Love You” which sold over 2 million copies
14. They held their first world tour in 2012 and with their concert at the Nokia Theatre in LA, they became the first girl group to rank on Billboard’s Current Box Score with an 653,716 dollar income
15. Their song “Falling in Love” from 2013 became their 9th number 1 hit in Korea
16. Their song “Missing you” from 2013 became their 10th number 1 hit in Korea
17. In 2014 they released their second full album “Crush” which peaked at the Billboard album chart at 61 making it the highest topping Kpop album of all time on an American music chart (the record was recently broken by BTS)
18. The tracks in “Crush” was downloaded over 5,2 million times in Korea, making 2NE1 the most downloaded girl group in 2014
19. Billboard named “Crush” the number 1 Kpop album of 2014
20. Billboard named “Crush” the 11th best album of 2014
21. Billboard ranked “Crush” in 9th place on the World Artist list
22. FUSE TV placed “Crush” on their “40 best album of the world” list, making them the only Asian artist to be on that list
23. “I Am the Best” was used for Microsoft new software update in 2014/2015, the first ever kpop song used for such a high international brand
24. 2NE1 has sold over 65 million digital singles, making them not only one of the best selling girl groups in Korea but in the entire world
25. They have won a total of 66 awards where 6 of them are daesangs and 43 times on music shows
My goodness this was difficult. Putting together a list of my 100 favorite movies since 2010 was by far the most challenging movie-post I’ve attempted so far (because this is just so hard am I right?); there have just been so many great movies the last few years, and I’ve seen a lot of them. I’m honestly quite proud of this list, there’s a lot of diversity to it, I just wish I had seen more documentaries and foreign films, but what can you do. Without further ado, strap yourself down and prepare for quite the long post.
100. Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
Matthew McConaughey solidified his place as one of the hardest working and most versatile actors today. Alright alright alright.
99. Looper (2012)
Rian Johnson proved himself to be on of the most unique voices in sci-fi with this very thought provoking take on time travel. The future of the Star Wars franchise is in great hands.
98. Friends with Benefits (2011)
No, this movie doesn’t break new ground in the romantic comedy genre, but Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake are so fun to watch that you can’t help but smile watching them fall in love.
97. The Skeleton Twins (2014)
Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader have terrific chemistry in a movie that might make you all teary eyed if you have a sibling. Even if you don’t, this is a powerful, warm story about two people reconnecting and moving past darkness.
96. The Drop (2014)
James Gandolfini in his last performance is a slow burn of a crime thriller. And you get to see Tom Hardy hold an adorable puppy throughout. Nuff said.
95. Begin Again (2014)
Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo star in quite the feel good movie. And Adam Levine is a surprisingly good actor, plus Lost Stars is one of last year’s best songs.
94. The Ides of March (2011)
One of George Clooney’s more impressive directorial outings. A little bit like House of Cards before House of Cards was a thing.
93. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)
Quite possibly my favorite Edgar Wright film. This is one of the most visually exciting, fun movies on tis list.
92. Predestination (2015)
If you guess the twist, you are a psychic.
91. Tangled (2010)
One of Disney’s best modern films in its new Golden Age. The animation is simply gorgeous.
90. How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
The first in what is absolutely DreamWorks’ best franchise yet. Unlike many of the studio’s efforts, this is an earnest film focused on heart above all else.
89. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)
One of the best examples of why a reboot isn’t always a bad thing. Andy Serkis’ Caesar is one of cinema’s greatest characters.
88. Neighbors (2014)
My god this made me laugh.
87. The Master (2012)
I’m still not entirely sure if I understand this, but I do know it contains two of the best performances I’ve ever seen in Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
86. Don Jon (2013)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s very impressive directorial debut is the most honest romantic comedy in quite some time.
85. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)
The only massive franchise to deserve a split managed to stay great through all eight installments. The Harry and Hermione dancing sequence is one of the best in the series.
84. The Fault in Our Stars (2014)
The tear-jerker of two people who refuse to let their disease define their existence. Okay? Okay.
83. X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
Bryan Singer had the impossible task of reinventing the X-Men franchise, and he succeeded spectacularly. Let’s see if Joss Whedon can top this version of Quicksilver.
82. War Horse (2011)
No, this doesn’t stand up to Steven Spielberg’s best, but it is an emotional journey that made me want a horse. And my goodness, it’s beautiful.
81. John Wick (2014)
Keanu Reeves gives possibly his best performance since The Matrix, in one of the best modern action films around. Probably more deserving of a sequel than almost any movie out today.
80. Men, Women and Children (2014)
I truly don’t understand the hate this movie received. It hit my heart hard and it has a lot to say about the modern digital age.
79. Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011)
It’s probably a little too long, but it’s funny and surprisingly emotional. Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling made for a terrific duo.
78. The Raid 2 (2014)
The Raid: Redemption was further proof of why American action films are lacking today, and it’s sequel was even more elaborate, and more exciting. That last fight sequence is perfection.
77. Nightcrawler (2014)
Jake Gyllenhaal is giving great performance after great performance and Lou Bloom is probably his most interesting, and disturbing character to date. If you want to win the lottery, you have to make the money to buy the ticket.
76. Contagion (2011)
If you don’t freak out when you hear coughing after watching this, you’re a stronger person than I am.
75. Rush (2013)
Ron Howard’s best movie in quite sometime, and Chris Hemsworth proved his has what it takes to be a movie star beyond the Marvel universe.
74. Moneyball (2011)
How can you not be romantic about baseball?
73. The Hunt (2013)
My goodness is this movie an emotional tornado. Mads Mikkelsen is unbelievably good here.
72. Shutter Island (2010)
I first saw this movie on a date with a girl I had just started seeing. She wanted to make out, I wanted to watch the movie. Her and I broke up, but I still vividly remember the first time I saw this. I made the right choice.
71. The Grey (2012)
This is more than just another Liam Neeson action film. This is a brutal meditation on how fiercely we hold onto life when we think we no longer want it.
70. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)
Jennifer Lawrence as one of the best modern heroes leads one of the best franchises in sometime. This is a sequel that improves upon the already very good first movie in every way.
69. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
I don’t think anyone would have guessed that last years’ most memorable characters would be a talking raccoon and a tree, but Marvel continues to dominate the blockbuster landscape with the most fun superhero movie maybe ever.
68. The Conjuring (2013)
This may very well be the best horror film in over a decade. James Wan understood that great horror doesn’t rely on jump scares, and instead uses atmosphere and great pacing to create dread.
67. 21 Jump Street (2012)
Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller are two of the best voices in comedy working today, taking a concept that shouldn’t have worked and turning it into a buddy cop movie classic. And who knew Channing Tatum could be so hilarious?
66. Stories We Tell (2013)
A documentary that challenges what it means to be a documentary.
65. Frozen (2013)
In an era where Disney is creating nothing but great movies, Frozen stands on top as a modern animated classic. And with Frozen 2 just announced, it looks like they won’t be letting it go anytime soon.
64. About Time (2013)
What could have been a generic romance film turned out to be one of the best father/son stories I’ve ever seen. And Rachel McAdams is such a sweetheart.
63. Skyfall (2013)
This is probably the most beautiful, well shot action film in quite sometime. Daniel Craig as James Bond is perfection and I cannot wait for Spectre.
62. Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol (2011)
Tom Cruise is simply the greatest action star working today. I don’t think I’ve ever felt such an adrenaline rush watching a movie before.
61. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
Wes Anderson at his most Wes Anderson-y.
60. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Marvel’s best standalone movie yet, and absolutely the best part of Phase Two so far. More than just a superhero movie, this is an intense spy thriller with some of the most exciting action sequences in quite a while.
59. 127 Hours (2010)
So much more than “the movie where the guy cuts off his arm.” Although that is something to see.
58. Locke (2014)
Tom Hardy carries a movie that has no right to be as compelling as it is.
57. Argo (2012)
Ben Affleck is simply one of the greatest directors working today, and even though this is his weakest film in my opinion, it is still a heart pounding experience.
56. True Grit (2010)
The Coen brothers made the best Western of the modern age, and it is the superior version.
55. Buried (2010)
Anyone who debates Ryan Reynolds’ acting abilities hasn’t seen this.
54. Let Me In (2010)
Another reason why not all remakes are bad. This is just as great as the terrific Swedish version. Forget Twilight, this is a great vampire film.
53. Source Code (2011)
Who knew repeating the same scene over and over could be so interesting.
52. Zero Dark Thirty (2013)
Kathryn Bigelow refuses to coddle her audience, creating war movies that actual delve deep into character and display America’s mistakes. Jessica Chastain gives an incredible performance.
51. Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
Last year’s biggest surprise. It’s Groundhog Day meets Aliens meets Saving Private Ryan and it’s awesome.
50. A Most Violent Year (2014)
Oscar Isaac channels a young Al Pacino in a very atypical gangster film.
49. Trust (2011)
I feel like I’m the only person in the world that loves this movie, but it’s so much more than just a Lifetime special like some of its critics say. Liana Liberato leads a very emotional, powerful story about how terrible people take advantage of someone who just wants understanding and love.
48. Ted (2012)
This might be my favorite straight comedy in years.
47. The Descendants (2011)
Alexander Payne gave us one of George Clooney’s best performances and introduced me to Shailene Woodley. This is a great family drama.
46. Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
So much more than a romantic comedy. It deals with mental illness in a mature way and started the David O. Russell/Jennifer Lawrence/Bradley Cooper team.
45. Captain Phillips (2013)
Paul Greengrass is probably the only director capable of using shaky-cam effectively, and Tom Hanks reminds us why he’s such a legend.
44. Blue is the Warmest Color (2013)
Forget all the behind the scenes controversy, this is a heartbreaking look at two lovers growing apart from each other. And Adele Exarchopoulos is everything.
43. Cloud Atlas (2012)
Possibly the most ambitious undertaking on this list. Somehow the Wachowski’s and Tom Tykwer made six interweaving stories in different parts of history meld together in quite the extraordinary experience.
42. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)
Even though the Swedish version is great, David Fincher’s take on the material is more styish and more compelling. Rooney Mara gives my second favorite performance of the decade so far (you’ll see number one later).
41. End of Watch (2012)
David Ayer’s cop film is one of the most emotional expereinces on this list.
40. Les Miserables (2012)
Tom Hooper’s epic musical. The “Can You Hear the People Sing” sequence is one of the greatest scenes of any movie on this list.
39. Midnight in Paris (2011)
I haven’t seen nearly as much Woody Allen as I would like to (which also sounds like a terrible Woody Allen joke), but this is such a charming, funny, unique film. I love it.
38. Hugo (2011)
Martin Scorsese’s love letter to cinema.
37. This Is the End (2013)
I lied, this is my favorite comedy of the last couple years. Jonah Hill getting raped by Satan is the funniest thing you’ll ever see.
36. Gravity (2013)
Alfono Cuaron’s revolutionary space-thriller is an experience that will leave you breathless.
35. Before Midnight (2013)
Richard Linklater is the master of taking normal life and making it into something as compelling as any blockbuster. This is the conclusion as one of the greatest and least likely trilogies in film history. I hope we get one every nine years.
34. 12 Years a Slave (2013)
My goodness, this is one of the most emotionally draining, but necessary films I’ve ever seen.
33. 50/50 (2011)
I never would have guessed a cancer-comedy would work so well, but this is a funny and ultimately a film that devastates the heart.
32. What If (2014)
This movie just makes me so so happy. It also made me cry. This charming, sweet romantic comedy is my life in so many ways.
31. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)
Matt Reeves wisely put the focus on the apes in one of the greatest sequels I’ve ever seen.
30. Foxcatcher (2014)
This is a slow, cold, brooding film with three of the best performances in any movie I’ve ever seen. Anyone who argues Channing Tatum isn’t a great actor at this point is just being foolish.
29. The Spectacular Now (2013)
James Ponsoldt has such a great understanding of what it’s like to be in high school, not knowing what the future holds. John Hughes would be proud.
28. The Town (2010)
Ben Affleck’s Heat is a terrific crime thriller with some incredibly tense moments.
27. The Fighter (2010)
This is so much more than a boxing movie. This is a story about two brothers who above all else in their life, love each other.
26. Shame (2011)
Steve McQueen’s study of sex addiction is the most powerful addiction story since Requiem for a Dream. Michael Fassbender is god here.
25. Selma (2014)
This is not a biopic that paints someone’s entire life in a Lifetime sheen, but instead explores Martin Luther King Jr.’s frustrations, fears, and hopes in vivid detail.
24. Blue Valentine (2010)
The most devastatingly honest story about love and the loss of love I’ve ever seen.
23. The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
If The Conjuring is the best straight horror film in a while, this is by far the most enjoyable. Deconstructing horror tropes even better than Scream did in the 90′s, this is a brilliant, fun look at a genre that has been weighed down by constant cliche.
22. The Avengers (2012)
This is the movie every comic book nerd like myself has dreamed about, I just couldn’t have imagined it would be this great. The culmination of years of setup, this was cinematic ecstasy.
21. Django Unchained (2012)
Quentin Tarantino’s bloody “Southern” is brutal, hilarious, dramatic, and gave us some terrific performances.
20. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)
One of the best high school films of all time. A great soundtrack, great characters, and an author who directed his own terrific book.
19. Gone Girl (2014)
David Fincher’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s great novel (and her equally great script) satirizes the media, Nancy Grace, marriage, and a host of other issues in this very effective mystery. Rosamund Pike is unbelievably good.
18. How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)
DreamWorks’ best film yet is an ambitious, beautifully animated, shocking film about taking on more responsibility than we think we can handle. Toothless is one of the greatest animated creatures of all time.
17. Black Swan (2010)
Natalie Portman gives one of my favorite performances on this list in Darren Aronofsky’s fable about the horrors of the quest for perfection. And Mila Kunis isn’t a bad addition either.
16. Warrior (2011)
What could have easily been just a predictable sports film turned into one of the most emotional stories I can remember. Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton are terrific in this brother vs. brother story.
15. Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
One of the Coen brother’s best films is a depressing look into how success doesn’t find everyone. Oscar Isaac is amazing and the music is great. And that cat is so cute.
14. The Place Beyond the Pines (2014)
Derek Cianfrance explores the cause and effect fathers have on their sons in a family drama where the word epic can be appropriately used. This hit me hard.
13. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
I don’t understand the disappointment some felt while watching this masterpiece. Christopher Nolan ended one of the greatest trilogies of all time on a somber, meditative note, and the last 10 minutes are some of the greatest I can remember.
12. Life of Pi (2012)
Ang Lee’s mind-blowingly gorgeous film will leave you awestruck. This is the most beautifully shot film on the list. This is a technical achievement like no other.
11. Boyhood (2014)
Rarely is a filmmaker able to do something that has literally never been done before, but Richard Linklater’s 12 year project is one of simple perfection. He shows us the small moments are what add up and make life worth living.
10. Short Term 12 (2013)
This movie will break your heart, rebuild it, break it again, tape it back together, and leave it up to you to pick up the pieces. Maybe this hit me harder than it will most people because this is what I want to do with my career, but if you’re able to sit through the “octopus story” scene and not have a little something in your eye, you’re cold.
9. Drive (2011)
Nicolas Winding Refn’s neo-noir is the coolest movie I’ve ever seen. Ryan Gosling is perfectly cast in this very different crime movie, where the neon lights shine brightly, the people are brutal, and all the driver needs is five minutes.
8. Whiplash (2014)
My goodness this movie grabs you from the first scene and doesn’t let go. With one of the best final scenes I’ve ever seen in a movie, this film is non-stop excitement. J.K. Simmons is operating on a whole other level here.
7. Interstellar (2014)
Christopher Nolan shot for the stars with his space epic, and in my mind, he flew beyond them. This is one of the most ambitious and emotional movie going experiences I’ve ever had. Beautifully shot, wonderfully acted, incredibly directed, this is unlike anything I’ve ever seen.
6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)
A perfect conclusion to one of the greatest franchises in film history. I can’t imagine Harry, Hermione, and Ron’s story ending in a better way. The Battle of Hogwarts is one of the most satisfying action sequences I’ve ever seen, and the “Snape memory” sequence is heartbreaking beyond compare. My favorite Harry Potter film.
5. The Social Network (2010)
In 50 years, if there is one movie that defines this generation it’s this one. Mark Zuckerberg changed the way we communicate forever, and David Fincher’s version of this story is one that made “the Facebook movie” so much more than that.
4. Her (2013)
The great romance of the modern era. Spike Jonze’s vision of the future is full of warm, light colors and a lot of loneliness. You believe in the romance between Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson. You believe they love each other and you believe Theodore can grow past his inability to truly, selflessly care for someone.
3. Toy Story 3 (2010)
The greatest animated film so far this decade is also the conclusion of one of cinema’s great trilogies. Pixar hit all the right notes in its sendoff to childhood and what it means to let go of the things you love the most. Toy Story 4 needs to be perfect. It just needs to be.
2. Inception (2010)
Christopher Nolan is unlike no other filmmaker working today. He’s able to craft intimate character studies in the backdrop of larger than life action sequences. This mix of The Matrix and James Bond is one of the most unique, bold sci-fi films I’ve witnessed. I left the theater euphoric.
1. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
The moment I saw this movie I knew it would be one of my favorites for a long time to come. Leonardo DiCaprio gives my favorite performance so far this decade and maybe one of my favorites of all time. Martin Scorsese made this drug-fueled-3-hour-party into the most exciting, hilarious, wild film experience I can imagine. This is a heroin shot to movie theaters while never losing its social importance and condemnation of what people like Jordan Belfort represent.
Well, there it is guys. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. I would love to heart your favorite films of the decade so far, because nothing brings us together quite like the power of the movies.
The first movie I remember seeing is Pal Joey. Frank Sinatra could do no wrong in my book, and when he sings ‘The Lady Is a Tramp’ to Rita Hayworth, I wanted that to happen to me. I longed to be in his song. - Elizabeth Olsen, for W Magazine’s Best Performances of 2011