The Ten Best Movies of 2010

10. Kick Ass -There were some refreshing moments in this movie where Kick Ass fails miserably at being a crime fighter (or fumbles into victory in a non comedic way). These were the best moments of this film. The movie has some notable flaws, and probably appears on this list, because I only saw fourteen 2010 releases this year. Yet, the movie knows its audience and delivers well enough to not demand a straight to video sequel.

9. Black Swan -In this film, Aronofsky does what he always does. He makes a movie that is visceral, beautiful, and reality distorting. If you are going to go with style over substance, you have to have a LOT of style. Aronofsky pulls it off marvelously. The storyline is simple but not a thinly-veiled ripoff like some other films. This film would probably be higher up on the list, but it's extremely sexual. Even though there is no nudity in the movie, it is probably one of the most sexual that I have seen. But if you've seen Requiem for a Dream, I don't think that Aronofsky can do much to surprise you anymore.

8. Catfish -I'm not sure whether it's the movie or the controversy that surrounds it that is so entertaining, but I know this: your stomach will be cutting flips the entire time. The only drawback is that you have to resist the urge to yell at the hipsters to stop smiling so ironically.

7. Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World -This is sort of the anti-Kick Ass. The protagonist is an amazing fighter with no reason given (and none needed) as to why he can so adequately lay down the smack on some ex-boyfriends. This movie makes the list because it is novel. The fight scenes and editing really give the viewer a primer on today's teenage ADD 8 bit manga culture. Oh, and it gets the Michael Cera bump.

6. The Social Network -Jesse Eisenberg knocks one out of the park, and Fincher is brilliant. He somehow makes coding (the nerdiest most mundane activity on the planet) into a thrilling ride. The history of the rise of social networking could not have been told in an more entertaining way. You have made Pirates of Silicon Valley and Hackers very proud.

5. The Fighter -Mark Wahlberg trained for four years to play the role of Mickey Ward. His training was worth every minute. This is not a typical rags to riches story. The Fighter is full of quirky characters and humor. David O. Russell's hand shows in this aspect. Amy Adams is solid as always. Melissa Leo transforms herself completely into Alice Ward. Watch an episode of Treme and then watch this film. She is unrecognizable.

4. Winter's Bone -A harsh look at meth addiction and one girl's search for her missing father set and shot in the empoverished Ozarks. Director Deborah Granik sums it up best: "I think that the subject of meth for everybody involved – for local people and the crew – it was extremely upsetting. There is not one aspect of looking at meth that is mellow or benign: what it does to a human being’s body, their faces, their teeth. Everything about it is so vicious, and so dramatic and so relentless. There is basically not one bit of solace in that whole depiction of actual reality of it." Jennifer Lawrence hits every single mark.

3. Inception -The play within the play within the play within the play. If you put all of Christopher Nolan's other films into a blender, dump them into a glass and put whipped cream on top, what you do get? Inception. Think about it. And Joseph Gordon-Levitt...where have you been since 2005? Nice to see you're back buddy.

2. Toy Story 3 -For the second year in a row, Pixar has made me cry at the movies. Thanks guys. This is the best ending that the franchise could have had. I cannot wait to watch this with my kids in the years to come. Toy Story 3 ties for first more than it sits at second.

1. True Grit -The Coen brothers do it again. I cannot say enough about how good this movie is. Jeff Bridges is acting perfection as Rooster Cogburn. Matt Damon shows his versatility. And where in the world did Hailee Steinfeld come from? Spoiler alert: No one uses contractions in this movie, and it is music to my ears.

There were a lot of movies I didn't get to see this year. Some of them may have made my top ten if I had gotten a chance to see them. Here's my short list of movies I wanted to see this year but did not get to:
  • The Other Guys
  • Salt
  • Get Him to the Greek
  • Babies
  • A Prophet
  • The king's speech
  • Hereafter
  • Red
  • Let the Right One In
  • Waiting for Superman
  • Please Give
  • Iron Man 2
  • Splice
  • Cyrus
  • The American
Thanks for reading the list! Drop me a comment and tell me why I'm wrong or right about the best films of the year.


Gav said...

Where's "The Town"?!?!?

John T. Meche III said...

Collecting dust on a rental shelf somehwere. Ben Affleck is past me giving him a chance at acting. I'll order a Whopper from him though.

Nicholas said...

10. Good. Violence against children kind of bothered me. Otherwise, pretty enjoyable.
9. Just about exactly what you said. I can't tell if I liked this movie so much because it was good or because it was about things I really like that I want to pretend like I don't.
8. I only saw the 20/20 Special on this, but it was a pretty crazy story.
7. I don't care if Cera plays the same part in every movie. If they are this entertaining it is just fine with me.
6. It was good. Not Seven or Fight Club good, but as you said, he made the material about as exciting as it could be.
5. The Fighter--Gonna rent it.
4. Winter's Bone--Dude, what a good movie. As tough as it was to watch, I kind of want to watch it again. Breaking Bad (at least the 1st Season--that's as far as I've gotten) is a good meditation on meth fallout, as well as other things.
3. Inception--YES.
2. Toy Story 3--The only bad thing about this movie is I am afraid Pixar made a deal with the devil or something to achieve this type of consistency. Also, crying. That incinerator scene really got me. Never cried at a scene of characters simply holding hands before.
1. I HAVEN'T SEEN IT. NOOO!!!! I will, though. Love those CB's.
The American was solid, but Europe must be really warm because no one wears clothes in this movie. Only seen the foreign version of Let the Right One In. It was awesome. Babies was okay. Iron Man 2 was okay. Better than its rep.
Finally, as far as post-2005 material, JGL's The Lookout was pretty good. I still think Mysterious Skin (2004) was the best work he's done. Glad he is finally getting mainstream attention.
Oh, and finally...The Town was actually pretty decent. It wasn't like, as good as Heat or anything, but it was pretty decent.
Your list is awesome.

John T. Meche III said...

Nich, great response! I'll never tell you that my favorite part of making this list every year is reading your response. Oops. Now stop reading my reply and go see True Grit.