The Top Ten Films of 2010

December 28, 2010 at 12:15 am (Movies)

It’s that time of year again. 2010 has been a year of some pretty awesome films, a handful of “ok” movies, and a slew of awful ones. Here’s my Top Ten List for 2010, along with a few other awards.

1-True Grit-Seeing the trailer for the Coens’ True Grit my expectations skyrocketed, and I was almost certain there was no way the film would live up to them. While the movie isn’t the fast-paced pedal to the metal Western some of the TV spots make it out to be, it’s still a perfectly made Western with a handful of moments that will stay with you for a while. Jeff Bridges, Barry Pepper, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin and Hailee Steinfeld all commit 100% to their performances with impressive results, which accompanied by a “couldn’t get any better” script and cinematography, make this one a film for the ages. I would say it’s the best Western of the past decade, but it has some fierce competition from No Country for Old Men from 2007. Considering that film is also by the Coen Brothers, that really says something about these filmmakers. While it was an incredibly hard decision to make, True Grit is a film I can’t quite describe. Much like Inception, I can only point you in the direction of the nearest theater so that you can go see this modern masterpiece. On your way home, rent Inception, and you’ll have the perfect day of movie-going experience. Inception gave me goose bumps, but True Grit is very much a “wow” film, and on top of being a perfect western, I can’t ignore it as the best of the year.

2-Inception-When a film like Christopher Nolan’s Inception come along, it becomes a cultural phenomenon on the tips of everyone’s tongues. Whenever the film was shown at my college in October, you could just feel the buzz in the air. For weeks on end there were hundreds of debates as to what the film (and more specifically its ending) means, and many marveled at the performances, phenomenal practical effects, and a creative story that will not soon be forgotten. There will always be those that find something to hate with greatness like Inception and a lot of Nolan’s other work, but films like Despicable Me and Alice in Wonderland are made just for them. It was an incredibly hard decision deciding between True Grit and Inception as my favorite of the year, and they’re both phenomenal films. In fact, they’re probably going to be interchanged a few times in the years to come. While True Grit is right now my favorite of the year because of its obvious lasting effect and darn fine filmmaking, Inception is a film that I’m going to continue to remember just because it made me think. Inception isn’t my second favorite film of the year just because of the long list of things Nolan nailed right on the head, what the film means for the science fiction and creative community, not just because of the late night debates I’ve had with others about the film, but the effect the film has and will continue to have. Years from now Inception will remain a milestone for the independent filmmaker’s great creative idea that they think will never get made, will be the basis of a few hundred movie nights with the guys, and overall will be a darn fine milestone of ground-breaking storytelling.

3-The Social Network- Who would have thought that “The Facebook Movie” would be one of the best films of the year? Maybe that’s part of the reason David Fincher’s The Social Network is such a darn fine film. It’s almost like a dream film, putting one of the best filmmakers of our time on what was one of the most potentially awful projects out there. My hat goes off to Jessie Eisenburg, Andrew Garfield, and especially Armie Hammer for bringing their A-Game, and the crew behind the camera going full force with the phenomenal dialogue/script, design, and overall cinematography to make this a film for the ages. Many of us went into “The Facebook Movie” with our doubts, but by the time it was all said and done Fincher and his team made one heck of a compelling film that’s going to be hard to forget.

4-Scott Pilgrim vs. the World- Although it was one of, if not the biggest box office bombs of the year, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World deserved far more credit than it got. There’s something about Edgar Wright that it seems American audiences have trouble latching onto. Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead are two of the best action/comedies out there, and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is a fine addition to Wright’s small filmography. Michael Cera is one of the many “love him or hate him” actors out there, but I find myself firmly planted in the former category. The film is immensely watchable and thoroughly entertaining, has a sense of humor all it’s own, and earns it’s place on my end of the year list by just how much fun it continues to be. I could definitely say I’m in lesbians with this movie.

5-Shutter Island- Shutter Island was firmly planted as my number one pick of the year until the summer, and just thinking about the film now I continue to marvel at it. As many know there’s one huge twist at the end of the film that changes the film’s entire meaning, and to my benefit, I had no idea it was coming. I was floored by the monumental twist, and it benefits the film each and every time I re-watch it. Any other film would rely on the twist alone, but Martin Scorsese fills his film with flourishes of filmmaking prowess. There’s a gorgeous design to the costumes and sets, a well-developed script to back it up, and a number of deeply disturbing moments that only continue to increase in impact. When it comes to twisty thrillers, they don’t get any better than this.

6-Get Him to the Greek-There are films that make me chuckle, and then there are films that make me cry in laughter, almost falling to the floor. Get Him to the Greek fits into the latter, and it’s one of the few films of the year I made the point of seeing twice in theaters, something I rarely do. I’ve been a fan of Jonah Hill since Knocked Up, and it’s awesome to see him play a completely different character as the “straight man” to Russell Brand, who’s never been as funny as he is as Aldous Snow. The music is hilarious but still catchy, there’s a huge laugh every 5 minutes, and by the end of it all your heart feels very full seeing these characters at work. Maybe it was the crowd I saw it with, but I can’t ignore any film that entertains me as much as Get Him to the Greek did.

7-Toy Story 3/How to Train Your Dragon 3D-Although these are two very different movies; I felt it was appropriate they share the same spot on my list. Toy Story 3 shattered the third-movie-in-a-trilogy curse and simultaneously proved Pixar was the master of the game. All of the characters we knew and loved returned after 11 long years with a tear-jerking, hilarious masterpiece that exceeded all of our expectations. I can only hope they Disney doesn’t run the franchise into the ground. How to Train Your Dragon 3D is DreamWorks Animation’s best film since Shrek, combining a great story and a handful of breath-taking flight scenes. Getting to see Toothless take flight in the theater a few months ago was a once in a lifetime experience. Even seeing the movie without the 3D the film still holds up, which is just a testament to how incredible this film is. Both films are monumental for the two studios, and thus they share a spot here.

8-The Town-The Town is a film full of tense gunfire and fierce interrogations, but part of what makes the film so great is the fact that the moments where there’s not a single firearm present are just as pulse pounding and riveting. Jeremy Renner, who broke out last year for role in The Hurt Locker, is unstoppable in his performance in the film, and it’s going to be a real crime if he’s snubbed from the Oscar’s. If you love heist films and fast-paced action, The Town is the film for you. If you love romances with a cloak of macho action, The Town is the film for you. If you’re in the market for a fascinating, well-made action/drama that does a thousand things right, The Town is one of the films that you’d be a fool to miss.

9-Kick-Ass-Although it did differentiate a little from the comic, Matthew Vaughn’s adaptation of Kick-Ass was a surprisingly great movie, and even beat out one of the biggest budget films as the best superhero movie of the year in my book. The style of the world and how Vaughn uses color is really something to see, and Nicolas Cage uses his crazy powers in the way they should be used as a character that really is insane. Chloe-Grace Moretz also got her head start in this film by slicing a few heads open as Hit Girl. The moments of action are amazing; they’re some of the best-choreographed pieces of work I’ve ever gotten to see in my movie-going life. It’s hilarious, truly exciting and surprising at how audacious it can be. I can’t wait to see more from this director and this awesome crew.

10-Due Date-I got a chance to go see this one again with my family on Thanksgiving, and that’s when it really sank in that this really was one of my favorites of the year. Robert Downey Jr. gets to show off his comedic muscle and Zach Galifianakis only continues to impress. It’s a worthy successor to the Steve Martin/John Candy classic Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, and kept me interested from start to finish, just waiting for the next big moment. On second viewing the film’s emotional moments also work a lot better, even bringing me to tears a few times. It’s surprising how heartwarming this raunchy comedy can be at times, and other times, you’re just glad to be a part of this hysterical buddy road-trip story.

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1 Comment

  1. KingreX32 said,

    Great List. I totally forgot about Kickass. LOL.

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