Saturday, January 08, 2011

My Favorite Films of 2010

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Honorable Mention: (In no particular order)
* The King's Speech
* The Ghost Writer
* Toy Story 3
* Macgruber
* The Green Zone
* Hot Tub Time Machine
* The Other Guys
* Machete
* The Black Swan

2010 was a good year for silly comedies for me. In retrospect, the movie year creeped up on me with some of the year's great films being released BEFORE awards season. I'm not sure how this year ranks in terms of past years. But I think there were some definite real gems out there this year. So without further ado... here are MY personal favorite films of 2010.

10. Shutter Island

Haunting, frightening and ultimately disturbing film from Martin Scorsese. The film is anchored by a fantastic underrated performance by Leonardo DiCaprio. Echoes of Stanley Kubrick in this greatly executed and unique film.

9. The Town

Great crime thriller with some unexpected humor and adult romance. Surprising understated performance and no-nonsense direction from Ben Affleck.

8. Kick Ass

The film made headlines for the controversial use of a gun wielding minor as a protagonist... yet the film is undeniably entertaining, with some great action and engaging visuals.

7. The American

I'm a big fan of minimalism in a film, obviously... since David Mamet is my favorite writer. But this bare to the bones drama and thriller is engrossing and hypnotic. Great and haunting performance by George Clooney.

6. The Fighter

As a fan of boxing it was a real no-brainer that I'd love this film. But what really stands out in this film is Christian Bale's amazing performance. Easily the best performance by an actor this year. Amy Addams is also fantastic in the film, as well as an affable and solid Mark Wahlberg.

5. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

I'm probably supposed to be too old to enjoy a film like this, but Edgar Wright's direction as well as the exciting visual concept and fantastic production design, combined with an affable cast make this truly one of the best, most original movies of 2010.

4. Inception

Complex and non-traditional story telling aside, this film provided the best action and most enjoyable pure movie experience of 2010. The only thing holding it back from being my favorite film was the fact, that after repeat viewings, the film suffers from a bit too much pretension and no matter how one tries to justify it... the ending is just unsatisfying.

3. Winter's Bone

The biggest surprise of 2010 for me was this award winning independent film. I was engrossed from the very first frame. This movie takes us into a world not many movie going audiences have ever seen. What struck me the most was the authenticity and sincerity of the film's simple story and its rooted realistic characters. Excellent performances from Jennifer Lawrence and John Hawkes.

2. True Grit

Well... EVERYONE knows I LOVE a western and this was a Coen Brothers spun western no less. The film was destined to land on my top ten list. What I really enjoyed was the non-traditional take the Coen brothers took with the action pieces. Most of the movie's showdowns are viewed from a cliff side view from a distance. Unusual and unique considering western's notoriously use close-ups. But the Coen Brothers turned the convention on its head... which left a haunting, disturbing and uniquely helpless perspective of realistic violence. Fantastic performances by Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and newcomer Hailee Steinfeld.

And my Favorite Film of 2010 is...

1. The Social Network

A movie about Facebook? Well... obviously there's a lot more going on here than just that. Fantastic quotable dialogue, steady confident direction, sincere, affable as well as...not so affable characters and a fascinating (mostly) true story about a group of friends achieving the Modern American Dream... and the highs & lows of what that entails. This all makes this not only a great film for 2010, but truly one of the great social commentary films in modern film history.

Top 10 Lists:

Roger Ebert , Quentin Tarantino, Harry Knowles, Capone , Peter Travers , Metacritic, Drew McWeeny

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