Fantasy movie

The best fantasy film of each of the past 10 years (according to Letterboxd)

by director Robert Eggers The man from the north has already left its mark on the film industry, thanks to powerful performances, an epic narrative and its fantastical elements. The film reflects some of the best aspects of the fantasy genre, which is why it’s no surprise that Letterboxd users chose it as this year’s top-performing fantasy film so far.

The fans of the social media platform for moviegoers have made it easier for audiences to want to see more of the acclaimed fantasy films of the past decade. The highest rated film of each year represents the best, often award-winning films of that year.


The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013) – 4.2

Available to stream on HBO Max.

Young girl searching for a cherry blossom tree in The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya (2014)

Director Isao Takahata portrays a classic Japanese literary tale in Studio Ghibli’s underrated film, The Tale of Princess Kaguya. It revolves around the experiences of a bamboo cutter and his wife after finding a child in a bamboo shoot. Thinking the gods sent her, they raise her as their own, only to learn that she has a storied past.

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The animated film’s heartfelt story is perfectly complemented by its beautiful art style, which makes the whole film even more magical. The titular character’s narrative is also surprisingly complex, with its twists and turns meant to keep fans glued to their screens.

Song of the Sea (2014) – 4.1

Available to rent on Apple TV+.

song of the sea is a film full of magical ocean creatures, with its lead characters Ben and Saoirse shown learning their important place in the fantasy world. Their search for the truth takes them to unexpected places, their journey permanently altering their messy relationship.

Director Tomm Moore’s film masterfully portrays the emotional narrative, which is only enhanced by its stunning art style. The animated film is inspired by Irish folklore. Fans can therefore expect to encounter fairies and selkies as the siblings continue their extraordinary adventure.

Ivy (2015) – 4.1

Available to rent on Apple TV+.

Two men seated in a boat at Ivy.

Often compared to 2019 Lighthouse, Ivy takes place aboard a Turkish freighter forced to anchor offshore by the Egyptian port authority. It explores the growing frustration of the disgruntled crew after their passports are seized, effectively leaving them with no way out. Adding to the already stormy situation is an irrational captain controlling their limited food supply.

The award-winning film is one of the best fantasy films of the 2010s, with its magical elements showing up in surprising ways. He is well known for his controversial ending which will stick with viewers long after seeing the movie.

A Lullaby of Painful Mystery (2016) – 3.9

A kneeling person in A Lullaby To The Sorrowful Mystery.

Director Lav Diaz is known for his incredibly long films, and A lullaby of painful mystery is no exception. The 8-hour fantasy drama film explores the widely accepted fact that Andrés Bonifacio is a national hero in the Philippines, thanks to his heroic actions during the Spanish occupation.

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The film raises important questions and boldly tackles themes of nationalism, patriotism and national identity. It’s certainly not something everyone can see, but those who manage to watch it from start to finish will likely appreciate the bold message it sends about the country’s complicated history.

Coco (2017) – 4.2

Available to stream on Disney+.

Miguel and Dante on the bridge to the land of the dead in Coco de Pixar

The massively popular animated film coconut is often cited alongside some of the best Pixar movies ever made. Directed by Lee Unkrich, it tells the story of friendly Miguel, a young boy who dreams of becoming a great musician. The strange ban on music imposed by his family prevented him from doing so, but everything changes when he finds himself in the land of the dead.

With its gorgeous visuals, endearing characters, and surprisingly deep story, the film is a must-watch for Disney fans. Its otherworldly footage will transport fans to a magical world where heartbreaking scenes unfold as Miguel learns more about his family’s secrets.

The Wolf House (2018) – 4.0

Available to stream on AMC+.

A family having dinner at The Wolf House.

Directed by Cristóbal León and Joaquín Cociña, The wolf’s house is a stop-motion horror film that has a deceptively simple premise. It tells the story of María, who runs away from home after accidentally losing three pigs. She stumbles upon an abandoned house in the forest and stays there, but it’s soon apparent that it’s no ordinary structure.

The entire movie contains countless references and symbols rooted in Chilean culture, most of which would likely fly over viewers’ heads if they didn’t know the country’s history. That said, it’s still worth checking out, if only for the absurd style and fascinating transformations its characters go through.

The Lighthouse (2019) – 4.1

Available to rent on Apple TV+.

The two lighthouse keepers outside in the lighthouse.

It’s no exaggeration to say that Lighthouse is already considered a classic at this point. Set in the 1890s, the black-and-white film centers on two lighthouse keepers who are trapped in a New England outpost due to a destructive storm. Things quickly escalate as the couple struggle with their situation and slowly lose hope.

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Director Robert Eggers’ masterpiece has won numerous accolades, with fans and critics praising the film for its quirky story, powerful performances and phenomenal script. Its fantasy elements are genuinely surprising, reflecting the characters’ increasingly unreliable perceptions of reality.

Wolf Walkers (2020) – 4.1

Available to stream on Apple TV+.

Audiences looking for great non-Disney animated movies should consider wolf walkers as essential viewing. Directors Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart take inspiration from Irish folklore, with the film depicting the life-changing adventure of a young hunter after she makes a new friend who opens her eyes to the truth on the last pack of wolves.

Her magical story is enhanced by her flawless art style, which creates a dreamlike quality throughout the film. It’s a movie that has something to offer viewers of all ages, making it a great choice for family movie night.

Little Mama (2021) – 4.0

Two girls in Petite Maman

Eight-year-old Nelly has a lot of worries after the sudden death of her grandmother Little mom. Things get even more confusing for the young child after her mother goes missing, but she soon finds an unexpected companion in the woods. Together they build a massive tree house.

Despite dealing with heavy themes like grief and loss, director Céline Sciamma’s acclaimed work delivers her poignant story with tenderness and grace. His thoughtful portrayal of the subject is tinged with a subtle optimism and hope, which is evident in the magical elements he uses as symbolism.

The Man from the North (2022) – 4.0

Available to rent on Apple TV+.

First reactions to The Northman

Director Robert Eggers Weaves an Incredible Revenge Story in the Recently Released Film The man from the north. The critically acclaimed epic film takes viewers on a breathtaking adventure alongside its protagonist Amleth who is on a quest to save his mother. Prince Amleth is a figure based on a Scandinavian legend, which also inspired Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

The sheer scale and phenomenal production value alone make the film worth watching. In addition to its well-written narrative, there are the unforgettable performances of its stellar cast, which make the film truly unforgettable.

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