The Best Movies of 2010

Top 10 of 2010

2010 started off pretty slow, but by the time the Oscar race heated up I had to pare down my favourite movies from about 15 to 10. It wasn't easy, but I did it. I saw pretty much every movie released last year that I wanted to except Another Year and Biutiful, which is why I'm posting this midway through January. I've seen almost all of these films at least twice, to ensure they'd pass the repeated viewings test. They did. 
So here's the top 10 list to end all top 10 lists for the year of 2010. No it's not, ignore that horribly egotistical comment.

    The King's Speech was one of those boring concept movies executed with such great    
    skill by all involved that it turned out be an exciting, easy watch that was both 
    entertaining and even inspiring in its own way. 

9. winters-bone-poster-slice.jpg
   Winter's Bone was another surprise not only in its quality, but also in its intensity,   
   realism, and effectiveness. It was the scariest movie of the year without even being a 
     horror. The flawless performances from the largely unknown, but incredibly 
     talented cast went a long way in helping to create this atmosphere. It moves slow, but 
     with great purpose.

8.  shutterislandposter.jpg

       When I initially saw Shutter Island at the start of the year, I was convinced there 
    wouldn't, couldn't be a better film in 2010. After many other fine films and repeated 
    viewings diminishing the effect of the film (slightly), it has sadly dropped to 8th spot.
    Being a huge Dennis Lehane fan, who wrote the original novel, and with Scorsese being
    one of my fav filmmakers and my being a big fan of DiCaprio's, to say I was on pins  and 
    needles anticipating the much delayed (a victim of America's economic collapse) 
    release of this film would be a gross understatement. Happily, the film played just as 
    the novel did in my head as I read it (twice) and even though I knew the big twist at 
    the end of the film, it didn't stop it from being one of my best moviegoing experiences 
    of the year.

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     Anyone who sees Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World and doesn't think it's one of the best, 
   funnest, funniest, most visually exciting movies with great performances and awesome 
   music has something wrong with them. To simply call this movie original is to simply call
   Guinness a beer, or the Mona Lisa a picture. This is what people mean when they say 
   entertainment. This is the definition right here.

6. Toy-Story-3-smaller.jpg 

    Ah the final chapter (hopefully). And what a note to end it on. Movie trilogy's need to 
    be like this, if not necessarily getting better as they go, then at least moving along with
    the same level of quality and entertainment as the first. Everything about this movie is
    perfect, I don't care what age you are. The perfect story, the perfect script, the perfect
    conclusion. Not leaving out any toys from the first two that anyone will miss, 
    introducing new toys that are just as memorable and well voiced as the old ones 
    (Michael Keaton as Ken and Ned Beatty as Lotso is the kind of inspired genius voice 
    casting that has helped make the other toys such icons). 
    While I personally feel the original Toy Story is still the ultimate one, Toy Story 3 has 
    more action, more danger, more story packed in than the first two put together. And, 
    I must say, the best ending to any film this year. And yes, I do choke up every time I 
    watch it, so what? 

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        Sometimes, timing is everything. A piece of entertainment comes along just when the 
     world knows it will be most relevant and effective. Nirvana's Nevermind album came 
     along when the music world needed something new and fresh sounding to replace the 
     monotonous sounds of 80's hair metal and the slick and safe pop cheese of Michael 
     Jackson and his many imitators. The Social Network is like that. Not in that it's 
     replacing anything, but its timing couldn't be more relevant, it came along at just the 
     right time. Wherever this Facebook thing goes in years to come and however people 
     are finding ways to communicate, The Social Network will be forever be a time 
     capsule of our generation. It doesn't matter how much of this perfectly written, acted 
     and directed film is fact or fiction, this is the world today. The greed, the distrust, the 
     betrayal, the invention, the relationship status. How many friends do I have on 
     Facebook?...It's complicated. 

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      I've said it before, I'll say again: Christopher Nolan is a magician. A true wizard of the 
   cinema. Nobody bends the minds of moviegoers today like this guy. From Following to
   Memento, The Prestige, The Dark Knight. This is a resume. 
   What's harder for me to wrap my mind around than the intricacies of the plot of this 
   fine film, is how someone can make a story like this up from scratch. I've seen this
   movie three times now and it still exposes me to something new with every watch that 
   I didn't catch before. This is pure fantasy wrapped in a mystery, wrapped in a heist flick, 
   wrapped in an action film, wrapped in a psychological thriller...should I keep going? 
   You haven't seen a film like this before, you won't see one like it again, I promise. 
   Let's just say awe inspiring is a very underwhelming way to describe it. 

3. Buried-UK-Poster.jpg   

    I want you to do something for me. Take a big, deep breath. That's nice isn't it? Now 
    imagine yourself under your covers, with no openings for air, taking nice deep breaths
    for ten or twelve hours. Now imagine it's a box instead of your covers and it's three feet                 
    under ground. Imagine you're on the opposite side of the world as your family, your 
    home. Imagine all you've got with you in that box is a lighter, an Arabic cell phone and 
    a pencil. Now find a way to get out of that box. Oh, and keep in mind that the United
    States doesn't negotiate with terrorists, even though your life depends on it...and 
    watch out for that snake, it looks like it bites. 

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      Of all the movies I saw at the theatre on this list, which is almost all of them, this was
    the single greatest moviegoing experience I had this year. This movie is an emotional 
    bully, in a good way. Just when you get over one emotion, it hits another, sometimes 
    it will work on a few of them at once. This is the rollercoaster that is The Fighter and I
    love it for it. I've always been a fan of boxing movies, even though I'm not really a fan
    of the sport itself, and this is one of the best. But what makes it work is what makes 
    Raging Bull the best movie of all time: the family dynamic, the character studies, the 
    performances. Christian Bale's work as the crack addicted Dicky Ward is the single 
    greatest performance of the year, hands down. And in a year filled with so many great
    performances, that's saying a hell of a lot. 
    I don't know what else to say about this film except that it touched me, entertained 
    me, excited me. I swear there's a part towards the end of the film that was so exciting, 
    it took everything I had not to jump up in the crowded theatre and cheer and yell at 
    the screen. And that's all I ask when I go to the movies. Just that.

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      Yeah baby. Number one with a bullet. Sorry. I'm kind of tapped out creatively right 
    now. After writing about ten movies at once, my brain's getting a little mushy so I'll  
    makes this nice and simple. The Town takes place in Boston (yeah baby), features a 
    group of bank robbing. Has the most exciting action, some of the most 
    tense scenes, one of the best scripts, fantastic acting, amazing direction from Mr. 
    Affleck himself, now two for two after his last amazing Boston set movie Gone Baby   
    Gone and is just simply the best watch of the year. No contest. The staying power it 
    has on me over the other films on this list in years to come only time will tell. But as it
    stands right now, movies just don't get much better than this. I could start watching this
    movie again at any point of any day and be happy as a sunflower to do so. As a matter
    of fact, I think I'll do that right now. 

So there you go. Like I said, there were a bunch of great films that didn't quite make the list, some were more painful than others to give the boot to. A quick list of the runners up: Black Swan, Rabbit Hole, 127 Hours, Kick-Ass, Barney's Version and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (except the ending). All great movies, all worth checking out. And don't tell me when you have the time. Who doesn't have time for movies anyway? Prioritize!     


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