My Top 15 Movies of 2010
This list was tough to narrow down. There may be a few surprises and some that might have made the cut if I could have seen them, but I hope you enjoy. Here are my Top 15 Movies of 2010, descending order to build the suspense! For more, you can check out what my fellow Gordon and the Whale news writers included in their Top 10 lists.
15. THE GHOST WRITER
While many films this year, like SHUTTER ISLAND, were called “Hitchcockian” this is the only one that truly lived up the term.
14. THE LOTTERY
A sharp look into the failing public school system in NYC, it’s just so heartbreaking. While I haven’t seen WAITING FOR SUPERMAN, which made more money and had more buzz than this similarly themed doc, I hear this is a more even handed look at the system.
13. JOAN RIVERS: A PIECE OF WORK
As most of my generation, I only know of Joan Rivers as the plastic surgery joke and red carpet staple. This was eye opening as to why she’s a star and what she’s done for the female comedy world.
If you followed my blog leading up to the release, you know how excited I was for this movie. It did not disappoint! Fun, action packed, and filled with violence it was just what I hoped it would be and more. Nicolas Cage finally got to play a superhero and he did his best Adam West/Batman impression for a pitch perfect performance that didn’t sound like it would work on paper. Chloe Moretz is going to be a star, her Hit Girl stood out above the rest and not just for the profanity that came out her 11 year old mouth.
11. HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON
This may be my favorite DreamWorks animated film yet. The animation was beautiful, plus Toothless was so adorable! A great coming of age story about believing in yourself and going your own way, filled with laughs. I saw it in 3D, and while it was a great experience, watching it on Blu-Ray was just as fun to watch. The animation is beautiful no matter what dimension you watch it in.
10. STEP UP 3D
This is honestly the best use of 3D I’ve seen since Avatar. Shot on the same type of cameras, it made the show stopping dance routines come alive. While the story and acting aren’t exactly high caliber, this was one of the most entertaining movies I watched this year.
9. THE SECRET OF THE KELLS
It has layers and history that I am not at all familiar with, but I enjoyed it regardless. You can enjoy its simple, concise story with beautiful imagery and animation without knowing the Irish symbolism and history that this movie is steeped in. A mark of a good film is how long it stays with you, and I was researching celtic mythology and folklore long after viewing.
This tightly written, claustrophobic piece rests solely on Ryan Reynolds shoulders and he does a fantastic job. My heart was racing, I was laughing, I was crying – I was completely invested in this character’s plight in his small coffin. I wish this film had been distributed wider, I feel like it went completely under the radar.
Starkly original, it was a fantastic blend of a big idea and big budget. While some have knocked it for clunky exposition, I feel the unique idea needed that extra bit of explanation. Christopher Nolan has become a brand name director, with his previous critically acclaimed hits like MEMENTO, THE DARK KNIGHT, and INCEPTION just further solidified him as the director of the 21st century.
Disney movies will always have a special place in my heart, and this was the best non-Pixar Disney film in years. Last year’s THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG was a return to form, but this was them at the top of their game since the golden age of the early 90s. Lovable characters on a quest filled with heart, laugher, and good songs. It brought me right back to my childhood.
5. EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP
It was a strong year for documentaries, but it was easy for me to pick which one would land on this list. As a fan of Banksy’s street art, I’d been looking forward to this for a while and it did not disappoint. It gave us a look into the fascinating world of street art and then flipped in the middle to focus on a different beast entirely. Thoroughly entertaining, I recommend everyone add this to their Netflix Instant Queues now if you haven’t seen it.
4. BLACK SWAN
As the most recently seen film on my list, I’m still trying to properly put my feelings on it into words. An entirely visceral film, it had my heart racing while I was tensed in my seat. Blending high art like ballet with the more low brow genre of horror/suspense makes for an art house flick that should make some big money.
3. THE SOCIAL NETWORK
It’s sharp writing, giving us an excellent look at Facebook and the internet start up age, with fascinating characters and top notch acting from Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, and Justin Timberlake move this to near the top of my list. It’s currently sweeping all the critics awards leading up the Oscars, deservedly so, and I hope it can keep it up throughout the award season.
2. TOY STORY 3
I’ve loved these characters for 10 years and to see them in a new adventure – with suspense, laughs, and heart – was amazing. Further proving that animation isn’t only for children, Pixar may just have crafted their masterpiece with this one. Could this be the year an animated feature takes home Best Picture at the Oscars?
1. SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD
I loved this movie the first time I saw it, and my love has only grown with every repeat viewing. Edgar Wright seamlessly blends film and video game tropes to create a thoroughly modern romantic comedy. Michael Cera has experienced some backlash recently, but this seems like the role he was born to play. I have no doubt that this will just become more popular on Blu-Ray/DVD, because there’s no where to go but up from its disappointing box office performance.
This list isn’t quite complete since I didn’t get a chance to see THE KING’S SPEECH, THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT, I LOVE YOU, PHILIP MORRIS and BLUE VALENTINE.