The shifting sands of entertainment technology make a look at the past decade's movies a tricky proposition simply because standing the test of time means something different almost daily. "The possibility of a digital, on-demand afterlife guarantees at least a theoretically universal long-tail immortality to blockbusters and curiosities alike," New York Times film critic AO Scott writes in summing up the work era succeeded "the rise of the indies in the ’90s."
Scott runs through the usual suspects en route to a confession: "This may have been the era of Spielberg and the Coens and the rest. But it is equally the age of Gladiator and Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings and Shrek and Saw," he writes. With a little perspective, he detects a theme. Exacted by everyone from cartoon characters to Jesus, it's "revenge as a motive, a problem and a source of catharsis."