A lot of forgettable movies have rained down on the multiplexes during Hollywood’s nonstop deluge of blockbusters this summer. But what are the ten most essential summer blockbusters of the last decade? Here’s one fan’s take.

YouTube Preview Image

10. The Avengers (2012) 

Too comic-booky to be a truly great movie, and degenerating into a meaningless pow-biff-bam climax, Joss Whedon’s superhero omnibus nevertheless sparkled with clever dialogue and launched what looks like a new era in movie mashups by managing to fit a squad of mythic larger-than-life figures on a single canvas.

Whedon’s trick was to shrink them a bit, treating them as squabbling fraternity brothers mocking each other’s amazing backstories the way the lads at Delta House would taunt each other for being fat or having an ugly girlfriend. Whedon made these demigods relatable without making them absurd.