5. The Departed (2006): Just because it’s predictable list material does not mean it should go uncredited. My favorite Scorsese film to date, The Departed was brilliantly written and played, as suspenseful as it was hilarious. This film, in my eyes, an instant classic, deserves to be studied alongside Chinatown and The Godfather as one of thee most layered, even if preposterously so, crime thrillers in cinema. Why this film was important: Won Scorsese the Oscar, finally; gave a nod to Hong Kong cinema (the film was based off of Alan Mak and Wai-keung Lau’s 2002 Infernal Affairs) in a huge way.
4. The Dark Knight (2008): Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight was an accomplishment like few the past decade had seen. Don’t let its popularity fool you, this film was made great by its artfully crafted story, the subtlety of its metallic cinematography and Heath Ledger’s disgustingly good performance. Why this film was important: Showed snobby critics and film connoisseurs that comic book movies are not to be taken lightly, that a film that would normally only be appealing to 13-year-olds could capture the world’s attention and send a shock of life through otherwise stagnant and unappealing waters (and do it in a way that classified it simply as a great film, not just a great comic book film).