My Top 10 Films Of 2010

February 25, 2011 Best Of, Film Reviews

Lists are fun. Here are my picks for the best movies of 2010. There are a few I was unable to see in time for this post that I would have liked to. In no particular order, those films are: Carlos, Inside Job, Another Year, A Film Unfinished, Biutiful, Let Me In, and The Ghost Writer. Now on to the list.

10. Toy Story 3

Animated films by their nature are less commendable in my opinion due to there being no onscreen actors. It’d be easy to hide bad performances behind the bells and whistles of CGI and adventure. But the Toy Story franchise has never done this. Sure the second film was weaker than the original, but this third installment is spot on with a great story featuring the characters we’ve grown to love.

9. Shutter Island

Leonardo DiCaprio chose some good projects this year. This perhaps being the more dramatically demanding of the two. It’s a dark look deep into the eyes of insanity. The last line of the film captures the protagonists oddly elective psychosis and sums up this unique film: “Which would be worse, to live as a monster, or to die as a good man?”

8. The King’s Speech

A lot of people are picking this as their film of the year and while it’s not top five for me, it sure is a great one. A wonderful drama about a man with a mental barrier that manifests itself outwardly. There’s a neuroticism to his painstaking delivery that is complex and Colin Firth is downright amazing. The performances here are worth the calculated pacing of the movie.

7. The Kids Are All Right

My review, which can be linked above, says it better than I could in a couple sentences here but this has got to be one of the most refreshing drama/comedies I’ve seen in a long time. Not refreshing in the sense of being overtly positive or uplifting, but refreshing in its realism. It’s a story about family and relationships. Seeing characters treated as question marks rather than periods never felt so good.

6. Animal Kingdom

A gripping Australian crime/mob family story, this one was off the radar for most folks but deserves a viewing. Its montage heavy and melodramatic cinematography is apposite to the gravity of the story. Put this one at the top of your Netflix queue.

5. Inception

This one is right up my alley. A mind-bending thriller. Perhaps my favorite genre. Christopher Nolan is a stud and it also features two of my favorites actors, DiCaprio and Ellen Page.

4. The Fighter

As a boxing movie it works. As a movie about the effects of drug addiction it works. But it works best as a film about family. Great performances from Christian Bale and Melissa Leo as well as the rest of the ensemble cast. One of the many must see films from what turned out to be a great year for cinema.

3. 127 Hours

I loved this movie. This stylized autobiographical account of a man’s will to survive is empowering. When I left the theater I was in the best mood I’d been in all year. And thank you Sigur Rós.

2. The Social Network

At this point it’s become an institution. Facebook is the most significant change to our social landscape in decades and this film bookmarks its place in history. Beyond its cultural importance it’s an outstanding film. I love me some Aaron Sorkin and the script here is some of his best work. I walked out of this one wishing I could talk as cool as he writes.

1. Black Swan

A perfect film. Intense, breathtaking, gripping, powerful, dark, and most of all beautiful. I’ve never had a film command my emotions the way this one did. My chest gets heavy just thinking about it. Aronofsky is genius.

Honorable Mentions:

Rabbit Hole

Quite a sad film. It’s about a very real healing process. The themes of grief and resentment are universally human. Nicole Kidman is great as always.


Wow. So unique. Check this one out for sure. Won’t say much else about this documentary except that it plays like a voyeuristic sequel to The Social Network. Or maybe it’s more like the virtual-social fallout of a Facebook bomb.

The Town

What’s not to like? If you don’t respect Ben Affleck’s filmmaking ability yet, by now you should wise up.

Exit Through The Gift Shop

Not a great documentary as is, but as a prank-umentary it’s a very original concept. Will the real Banksy please stand up?

Get free email updates of posts or subscribe to the RSS feed.  ||  Follow on Twitter and like on Facebook.