Driving chemical transformations in dynamic thin films represents a rapidly thriving and diversifying research area. Dynamic thin films provide a number of benefits including large surface areas, high shearing rates, rapid heat and mass transfer, micromixing and fluidic pressure waves. Combinations of these effects provide an avant-garde style of conducting chemical reactions with surprising and unusual outcomes. The vortex fluidic device (VFD) has proved its capabilities in accelerating and increasing the efficiencies of numerous organic, materials and biochemical reactions. This Minireview surveys transformations that have benefited from VFD-mediated processing, and identifies concepts driving the effectiveness of vortex-based dynamic thin films.