Every few years some genres will gain notoriety and popularity where others will take a step back waiting for its inevitable resurgence. The 80s/90s were dominated by action flicks, the 2000s were overly saturated with rom-coms, and every generation has its ups and downs. Sometimes though a specific movie puts that movement into motion and is a catalyst for dozens to hundreds of films that normally may have been shelved and forgotten.

Movies like When Harry Met Sally revived (or gave power) to rom-coms. The Matrix made us realize that sci-fi movies aren’t always limited to us nerdy folk. Here is a compiled list of movies that have given some genres a breath of fresh air within the last few years. Some of the films themselves are newer affair and are assumptions of potential success for its given genre.

10. Crime – The Departed


Crime as a genre has always dominated the television market. The format works so well on TV because it can do the villain per episode quite successfully. Rarely do you see that format transgress into film, and when it does it’s a rare hit. What’s so entertaining about The Departed is that it doesn’t follow one villain but a multitude of bad guys. Even then most of the bad guys really aren’t that bad as they’re just collateral damage from lies upon lies.

Like any good crime flick, you never truly know where everyone’s loyalty falls and who may be next on the murder block (unless you’ve seen infernal affairs which it’s based off of). The characters are well rounded, and even the smallest of roles end up being the most entertaining (Mark Wahlberg’s off the wall sergeant, for example).

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This article was first posted on January 11, 2013