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Movies You Won't Believe Are Already A Decade Old

Certain movies wind up being much more than entertainment. Either because of something going on in your personal life at the time the film came out, or maybe just because the movie managed to mean more to you than you expected, some films become landmarks. And when it comes to movies that take on this kind of weight, there's something shocking about being reminded of the exact hard number of years since it came out. To you, the film is required viewing, maybe even the kind of thing you don't go more than a few months (or less) without rewatching. Then you meet someone who's never seen it, doesn't even remember it, or — and this is a cruel smack to the face — wasn't old enough to see it in the theater

What follows is a list of films that could be one of your landmarks, but believe it or not, they're already ten years old. In spite of many of them still having a strong presence in the pop culture zeitgeist, some of them featuring special effects that could rival a lot of what we see in films today, and others with recent sequels, these films have been around for quite a while. Whether you can believe it or not, whether you can stand to know it or not, every one of these movies is a decade old. Keep reading, and feel the pain. 

(Be warned. There are spoilers below for movies that have been around for a decade by now.)

Even though it's a decade old, Zombieland is still hilariously awesome

Zombies never really stopped being cool, did they? They don't talk much, and they're cannibals, and that combination doesn't sound like it should to lead to "cool," but in the late aughts and early 2010s, brain-eaters were the thing. The AMC adaptation of Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead comic premiered in 2010, and Seth Grahame-Smith changed how we appreciate Jane Austen in 2009 forever by taking the classic 19th-century novel Pride and Prejudice and transforming it into Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. That same year, Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) gave us all tips on surviving the apocalypse in Zombieland

The horror-comedy finds young Columbus navigating the world of the undead, and along the way, he's joined by the Twinkie-hunting Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), the fiercely protective Wichita (Emma Stone), and the young Little Rock (Abigail Breslin). As hilarious as it is bloody, Zombieland is memorable for — among other reasons — all of its principal characters surviving to the end. Unfortunately Bill Murray, who plays himself, isn't so lucky as he makes the mistake of pranking Columbus by making him think he's a zombie. Unfortunately, Columbus believes the actor and shoots him, resulting in one of horror's most head-turning deaths. It seems like maybe "think twice about pranks" should be added to Columbus' list of survival rules. 

It's that much more unbelievable to consider this horror-comedy classic is a decade old when you realize the filmmakers just got around to releasing a sequel in 2019 with Zombieland: Double Tap

The Hangover has seen its stars go pretty far since 2009

Has it really been ten years since Mike Tyson knocked out Zach Galifianakis while air-drumming to Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight"? Yes. Yes, it has.

This wild 2009 comedy about a bachelor party gone wrong goes beyond the slogan "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas," giving us a possible reason why it's true — because you can't remember what the heck happened, anyway. Groomsmen played by Galifianakis, Ed Helms, and Bradley Cooper wake up in their hotel suite with a newborn baby, a live chicken, Helms short a tooth, a tiger in the bathroom, and no groom. We watch them struggle to piece the previous night back together, which includes events like an elopement with a stripper and breaking into Mike Tyson's home to steal the aforementioned big cat.

In the decade since The Hangover's release, it's enjoyed two sequels, which does make you wonder why these guys still hang out with one another. And in that time, Zach Galifiankis has gone on to star in numerous comedies, as well the interview spoof online series Between Two Ferns (which was recently made into a Netflix original film). Bradley Cooper has not only loaned his voice to the furry space warrior Rocket Raccoon in both Guardians of the Galaxy films and the last two Avengers entries, but he's earned seven Oscar nominations for more dramatic fare like 2018's A Star is Born and 2012's Silver Linings Playbook.  

Michael Bay gave us Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen ten years ago

Love them or hate them, Michael Bay's Transformers adaptations continue to fill theaters. And considering the amazing CGI that's one of the series' hallmarks, it's stunning to think not even the first but the second film in the series — 2009's Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen — turned a decade old in 2019. 

Revenge of the Fallen isn't the most universally embraced Transformers movie, either among fans or critics. The general consensus seems to be that Revenge of the Fallen is a big, action-packed, fun flick, but one where the writing could've used an overhaul. The plot tends to not make a lot of the sense, and the comic relief wades into truly absurd territory, perhaps most memorably with the reveal that the Decepticon Devastator has certain, well, parts that seem unnecessary for a Transformer.

Regardless of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen's failures, they didn't stop the three additional sequels to the franchise in the following years or the 2018 spin-off Bumblebee.

Robert Downey Jr.'s other franchise started a decade ago

The 2010s were a huge decade for Robert Downey Jr, as he played billionaire/superhero Tony Stark in eight Marvel Studios movies between 2010 and 2019. And yet before most of those appearances as Iron Man, Downey teamed up with Jude Law in an updated, slicker, sexier, and more action-packed imagining of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's legendary detective stories.

In 2009's Sherlock Holmes, Downey played the titular detective, and Law co-starred as Dr. Watson, Holmes' loyal partner in all things mysterious. Sherlock Holmes was a huge hit, and Downey took another break from the Avengers to play Holmes again in 2011's Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. In the sequel, Holmes squares off against arch-nemesis Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris), with both of them — just as they did in Doyle's last Holmes story "The Final Problem" — falling to their apparent deaths from Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland. Just as it was in the source material, in the final moments of the film, we learn that Holmes is still alive and still using his "urban camouflage" to keep tabs on Watson. 

Happily for Sherlock Holmes fans, Downey and Law aren't done with the series. A third film is set for release in 2020, with rumors swirling about what villain will replace the cunning Moriarty, 

Star Trek boldly rebooted in 2009

It's set centuries in the future though it came out a decade in the past. We're talking of course about 2009's Star Trek, which revived the Trek brand, created a whole new timeline where Vulcan goes the way of Alderaan, made Spock and Uhura an item, and gave hordes of sci-fi fans ammo for more J.J. Abrams/lens flare jokes than anyone ever needed.

As it usually is with such dramatic changes to popular, decades-old franchises with loyal followings, 2009's Star Trek divided fans. While the movie made enough money to fill a few shuttlecrafts, and it mind-melded well with critics, it's tough to blame old school, hardcore fans with some of their gripes. On one hand, the new Trek focused a lot more on action than its predecessors. On the other, the movie featured massive changes to the timeline which understandably had fans feeling like the events of the ten other Star Trek movies and four television series — including the original — had been wiped out of the narrative. 

Regardless of different takes on Star Trek and its two sequels, the film unquestionably resuscitated a franchise that had been dormant since the series Star Trek: Enterprise closed its doors in 2005. Plus, the 2009 film helped pave the way for the amazing series Star Trek: Discovery, as well as Patrick Stewart's return in Star Trek: Picard

Inglourious Basterds is still one of Quentin Tarantino's best movies

One of Quentin Tarantino's memorable hallmarks is his love of all things 1970s, which makes it all the more surprising and impressive when the maverick director goes outside the world of obscure kung-fu movie references and '70s one-hit wonders to deliver a wonderful period piece. Such is the case with 2009's Inglourious Basterds, a black comedy following a squad of merciless Allied soldiers known for brutally murdering their Nazi prisoners and permanently marking the survivors with swastikas carved into their foreheads. 

With an ensemble cast including Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Daniel Bruhl, B.J. Novak, Christoph Walz, and Melanie Laurent, Inglourious Basterds has the trademark ruthless and unforgiving humor of Tarantino's most violent flicks, while still remaining firmly set in the 1940s ... though the history is pretty heavily revised. The film ends with the Basterds successfully assassinating Adolf Hitler and all of Nazi Germany's most influential leaders in one spectacularly bloody massacre that would make you feel at least a little bad for the victims if they weren't unrepentant Nazis. 

Up is making us cry all these years later

Some movies will always pull at our heartstrings, no matter how old they are. For many, Pixar's 2009 Oscar-winner Up is a tearjerker no matter how many years go by or how much animation technology improves. 

Up doesn't wait very long to break your heart. The film opens with the story of Carl and Ellie, two kids who both idolize famous explorers. Their young friendship blossoms into romance, and eventually, they marry. When Ellie finds out she can't have children, the couple plans to move to the idyllic Paradise Falls in South America. But life gets in the way and the money they're saving to make their dream true keeps being spent on something else. They grow old before they can make the move happen, and sadly, Ellie grows ill and dies. 

It takes the stubborn urgings of the Boy Scout Russell — who's working on his merit badge for helping the elderly — to wake Carl from his grieving. The widower decides to realize his and his late wife's dreams by tying enough balloons to his house to lift his home into skies, eventually carrying him all the way to South America. Along the way, Carl and Russell encounter a roly-poly Golden Retriever named Doug, and they face unforgiving storms and ruthless Dobermans on their quest to fulfill Carl's promise to Ellie. By the end of the movie, we're sobbing, both because it's so beautiful and because it reminds us of how old we are a decade later.

District 9 still feels just as relevant today

No one knew exactly what to make of District 9 when the viral marketing campaign, which consisted mainly of faux government billboards warning citizens of infiltrating aliens and found-footage-style trailers and TV spots. Peter Jackson's name was attached to the sci-fi flick as producer, but nothing in the marketing looked like the optimistic world the New Zealand filmmaker had brought to life with his Lord of the Rings trilogy. Ultimately, District 9 proved, like the best science fiction, to show us our own world through a slightly altered mirror. 

In 1982, a group of ailing extraterrestrials that humans come to call "Prawns" land in Johannesburg, South Africa. The government segregates the aliens from humans in an area named "District 9." Decades later the so-called Prawns are still separated from the humans, and Earthlings come to assign the aliens with the kinds of stereotypes normally leveled  at immigrants (e.g. they're parasites, criminals, and less intelligent). However, human bureaucrat Wikus can de Merwe is forced to see the struggles of the Prawns when he's sprayed by a substance that begins transforming him into one of the aliens. 

As a result, District 9 is an incredibly powerful movie, one that highlights subjects like xenophobia and racism through the lens of science fiction. That's what made District 9 so relevant back in 2009. And sadly, it's even more relevant today.

It's hard to believe that Avatar is a decade old

Ten years ago, we made our first visit to Pandora, a jungle world rich with the natural resources we've lost. And it was all thanks to 2009's Avatar, a technological marvel directed by James Cameron. In the film, Sam Worthington plays Jake Sully, a Marine who uses a new technology to inhabit the artificial body — or avatar — of one of the blue-skinned Na'vi people native to the planet. Eventually, Jake and other humans grow sympathetic to the Na'vi and turn on the unbending Colonel Quaritch, who wants to exploit and destroy the alien race. 

While there are certainly story elements about Avatar that can make you groan — like the fact that the substance Colonel Quaritch is desperate to get his hands on is given the oh-so-subtle name "unobtainum" — Avatar is unquestionably a visually stunning film, particularly in 3-D. It enjoyed a long life as the highest-grossing film of all time, and it would take a decade for it to be unseated from that honor by Avengers: Endgame

As surprising as it might be in 2019 that Avatar is a decade old, it's likely to feel even more surprising when we finally return to Pandora. No fewer than three sequels are in the works, with Avatar 2 currently assigned a release date in December 2021. 

One of the finest post-apocalyptic films hit theaters ten years ago

Stories about the post-apocalypse are no more rare these days than superhero films or biopics. But what's rare for one of these films is to not worry about how or why the world ends, but rather to focus on both the ugly ruthlessness that would emerge in the ruins, as well as the desperate struggle to survive and protect what's truly important. Such a film is 2009's The Road

Based on the 2006 novel by Cormac McCarthy, The Road stars Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee as his son. The two dodge gangs of merciless cannibals across a United States that's almost completely empty of human life, pushing a grocery cart filled with all of their possessions. We never learn their names, nor do we ever learn exactly what happened to the world to make its people revert to savagery, nor does it seem to matter. Instead, what matters is the relationship between a father and son, even in the face of the end of everything.

The Road is no laugh riot, and as Paul Byrnes writes in The Sydney Morning Herald, it's "agonizing to watch." Still, it's utterly memorable and, as Byrnes aptly puts it, "relentless but beautiful, harrowing but tender."

X-Men Origins: Wolverine was a low point for the X-Men series

There are some movies that we've not only forgotten are a decade old, but we probably would be fine it they left our memory altogether. X-Men Origins: Wolverine — often recognized as one of the worst Marvel movies ever made — is such a film. Purporting to give us the skinny on Wolverine's life before the X-Men, the hero's first solo film is well-known for how often and thoroughly its events are consciously ignored in follow-up films. It's also remembered as Ryan Reynolds' first shot at playing the wisecracking Wade Wilson, though he ultimately ends up looking more like a Mortal Kombat villain than any Deadpool who ever showed up in Marvel Comics. The stinker prequel was supposed to be followed up by a similar origin story for Magneto, though that never surfaced.

With a decade having passed, X-Men Origins: Wolverine currently suffers a 37 percent critical score and 58 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. Reviewers tend to praise some of the action, but most feel, as Fanboys of the Universe writes, that it's "dull, lifeless, and maddeningly transparent." In light of everything, perhaps the greatest contribution X-Men Origins: Wolverine gives us is fodder for 2018's Deadpool 2's mid-credits, time-travel romp, which includes Deadpool going back in time to Logan's first solo outing to assassinate the version of his character who appeared in the earlier film.

2012 turned a decade old in 2019, despite what its title suggests

One movie you really might have trouble believing came out a decade ago is because of, well, math. 

In spite of the name, the disaster flick 2012 was released in 2009 — three years before everyone who believed ancient Mayan calendars predicted the end of the world would start pretending they never thought Mayan calendars predicted the end of the world. Starring John Cusack as a writer struggling to keep himself and his family alive as cataclysm after cataclysm rocks the planet, 2012 was just one of a series of films cashing in on fantasies of ancient doomsday prophecies. Fittingly, 2012 was directed by Roland Emmerich, who built his career making apocalyptic fare like 1996's Independence Day and 2004's The Day After Tomorrow

In spite of top-notch acting talent, critics couldn't stand 2012, and the decade since its release hasn't helped its Rotten Tomato score get any higher than a dismal 39 percent. Reviewers felt the film was overly long and that its plot and dialogue were absolutely ridiculous. Interestingly, while we're talking here about films we can't believe are already a decade old, one reviewer had the opposite reaction with 2012. Anthony Lane of The New Yorker wrote that 2012 "is so long ... that by the time I lurched from the theater, I felt that three years had actually passed and that the apocalypse was due any second."