What IMDb’s Top 10 Stars of the Last 10 Years Says About Us

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Movie mavens IMDb have revealed their top ten most-viewed/searched-for stars, movies, TV shows, and anticipated in-production titles over the past decade. The lists celebrates ten years of the company’s industry database IMDb Pro and offers some surprising — and not so shocking — looks at trends centering on our film tastes. The Dark Knight Rises grabbed a number one spot as most-anticipated project, which shouldn’t be news to you, but the number two film of the past ten years — Donnie Darko — was a bit of a surprise.

We zeroed in on the top stars list and provided some subliminal insight into where movie audiences’ minds must have been for the last decade. Give us your explanations below after you check out the list past the break.

1. Johnny Depp

We like versatile actors who our grandma can laugh while dressed as kooky pirates, that our dad enjoys because he reminds him of Keith Richards, while our little sister lusts over him, and we wonder if that’s really eyeliner or just his natural lash line, because damn.

2. Brad Pitt

You see, Brad Pitt is a cagey bastard — a good ol’ boy with brains. He is slippery, smart and extremely likable. These are qualities he uses to great effect.” Also, see number three.

3. Angelina Jolie

It took everyone a long time to figure out if they loved her, or loved to hate her.

4. Tom Cruise

We’ve been waiting for him to jump the couch again, so an alien intervention might be staged before our very eyes.

5. Natalie Portman

We fell in love with Portman in Luc Besson’s brutal action-thriller, Léon, where the 13-year-old newbie played a character of the same age forced to grow up fast. Fast forward to 2010’s Black Swan and we saw the actress in a role that mirrored her artistic career in some ways — a child star that never quite made the adult breakthrough everyone had hoped for, relying mostly on her White Swan image in a Black Swan industry. Her manic pixie powers must have induced great patience in audiences everywhere.

6. Christian Bale

Extreme method acting and outrage on set … wait, when does the new Batman hit theaters, again?

7. Scarlett Johansson

We like all things related to Ghost World, Sophia Coppola, Woody Allen, Bill Murray, Broadway, and Tom Waits — and being charmed by witty blonde bombshells that seem attainable (except when they’re wearing that Black Widow catsuit, but it’s Iron Man so maybe there’s still a chance … ).

8. Jennifer Aniston

Friends lasted until 2004, which bought Aniston a few solid romantic comedy years in Hollywood. Her marriage/divorce to Brad Pitt, and relationships with Vince Vaughn and John Mayer eventually stole her spotlight. Everyone likes the underdog, though, and Angelina made a great villain back in the day. You can’t keep a good friend down, but we can’t guarantee the next ten years.

9. Keira Knightley

We like our British “it girls,” and the world wasn’t really ready to fully embrace the mind-blowing powers of Helen Mirren until recently.

10. Emma Watson

Some have argued that the films progressively transformed Emma Watson’s Hermione Granger from a fearless witch into standard Hollywood feminine fare — but the young actress did fare well on IMDb’s list. Surprised to see Emma Watson here, and not Harry Potter? We’re not. Audiences really needed more brainy, charming, outspoken, heroic girl wizardy types — and that’s how we’d like to remember Watson’s portrayal.