1. Avatar (2009)
Director: James Cameron
Stars: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver
Though the story and characters could benefit from an added dimension of depth, it's impossible to utter the phrase "3D movie" without giving credit to the advances James Cameron made in the medium with Avatar. This epic allegory of the Western world, which has humans mining the precious mineral known as unobtanium on the Pandora moon, revolutionized the medium in 2009 and became (and remains) the highest grossing movie of all time.
Blending live action and CGI, Cameron developed his own brand of motion capture moviemaking, which allowed him to view the live actors and their digitally rendered environments at the same time, and created the organic look and feel to which all other 3D directors continue to aspire.