My Top 10 Favorite Films of 2010
It’s been a fantastic year of movies, and it’s that time of year where I get to share my top ten favorite films of 2010 with you. The hardest part for me while making the list was ranking the movies because they were all so incredible. There was a lot of shuffling on this list, but this is it this is final.
These are movies that simply connected with me, and left a lasting impression. I've seen every film on my top 10 list three or more times. My list is a mixture of films that pretty much blew me away with their awesomeness. Each one of the films on my list were entertaining, inspiring, thought provoking, fun and each had some brilliant moments.
It’s always fun for me to put together my end of the year top 10 list of favorite movies. I understand that some of you wont agree with my choices, but that’s the great thing about these lists, it sparks a conversation and gives us film geeks something to discuss with each other. We all have our favorite films of the year so when your finished looking over my list please tell me what your top 10 favorite movies of 2010 are.
If you haven’t seen some of the films on my list I strongly suggest you watch them and give them a chance.
So.... here it is! Here are my Top 10 favorite films of 2010, with the added honorable mentions listed below.
1. Black Swan
I loved how disturbingly beautiful this movie was. I’ve never seen anything like this before, and Darren Aronofsky completely rocked my world with it. Every time I watched this movie I liked it more than the last time. This film started at #3 on this list, and it worked it’s way up through the ranks to becoming my number one favorite movie of the year. Not only is it my favorite of 2010, but I think it’s the best! Aronofsky did such an incredible job bringing this extremely intense world and story to life.
Natalie Portman was absolutely brilliant in this film as well. Not only did she give the best performance of her career, and the year, but I believe Portman gave one of the single best performances ever in a film. She deserves to win the Oscar for Best Actress, and I'll be pissed if she doesn't! It was hands down the best female performance I’ve ever seen.
2. The Social Network
Remember when this Facebook movie was first announced, everyone, including myself just kind of groaned at the idea. I didn’t expect much from it. Then all of a sudden Aaron Sorkin came on board to write the script, and David Fincher jumped on board to direct it. These two creative talents saw the incredible potential this story had, and they brought it to life in a way no one was expecting.
Fincher crafted one of his greatest movies this year. I love all of Fincher’s films, some more than others, but in my opinion The Social Network could be his best film to date. Everything he did in this film was spot on perfect. He told an incredibly interesting and engaging story, that both entertained and inspired me.
I suspect that this movie is going to end up winning Best Picture at the Academy Awards and I have no problem with that!
Christopher Nolan is a mad genius! He created one of the most original film concepts I’ve seen in a long time. Inception blew me away in every way a movie can. It went above and beyond what my expectations were.
This movie has so many different and interesting complex layers to it, all of which kept me glued to the insane madness that was unfolding before my eyes. It actually forces the audience to think. Most movies these days are just a lot of eye candy, with no real depth or substance, just mindless drivel. Inception has it all though, it’s got the eye candy and the brains. The audience really has to open their minds to a film like this, and except all of the rules that have been laid out for them.
4. Winters Bone
This film has stayed on my top ten list since I first saw it at The Sundance film Festival at the beginning of the year. I’ve watched it several times since, and it’s such a great and powerful film that needs to be seen.
The movie is somehow able to be captivate you when there is really no suspense going on. The direction and pacing is so precise, that even though it is slow, it never drags. You're completely intrigued and invested in the characters and the story that is unfolding. Some might consider the beginning a bit repetitive, as our protagonist goes around questioning her relatives, but it's necessary to show, as it makes the last act feel as heavy and enthralling as it is. It feels classic in a way, with noir and old-western archetypal qualities.
5. The Kings Speech
It was great watching two fantastic actors like Collin Firth and Geoffory Rush play off each other while acting in a film like this. I had no idea what to expect from The Kings Speech when I saw it. I’m a big history buff, and I liked what I saw in the trailer, but I honestly wasn’t expecting to see something so damn good. It just a solid movie with amazing performances, and a solid uplifting story. Director Tom Hooper simply made a very beautiful film.
6. Shutter Island
This is great, solid, old-fashioned filmmaking at its best. This movie has the same kind of story telling and style that you would find in many of the great films from the 1970’s. It relies on its strong story, script and characters to get the audience involved. I loved the tone and setting of the film. There’s nothing more frightening than being at a maximum security Insane Asylum in the 1950’s.
Martin Scorsese captured everything that I had built up in my imagination about what this world was like, both from reading the novel, and what I’ve read from other books on the subject matter of insane asylums. I absolutely love his style of filmmaking because it fits perfectly in the world of insanity. This is Scorsese at his best.
7. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
I hate that this movie wasn’t successful when it was released in theaters because it was one of the most awesome movie going experiences I had this year. Edgar Wright created one hell of a fun action-packed film that was not only visually stunning, but it has a great story, awesome characters, and it was funny. I loved the ideas Wright implemented in this film, but I guess it just wasn’t for everybody. Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World will end up being a cult classic.
8. 127 Hours
This is by far the most inspirational movie of the year. It made me want to be a better person, and it reminded me that we can accomplish anything if we want it bad enough. Danny Boyle did an incredible job bringing the true story of Aaron Ralston to life on the big screen, and James Franco gave the best performance of his career.
I had an amazingly fun time watching this movie, and so did the audience. People were cheering, clapping, laughing, and even jumping up and down in their seats. Seriously, if you would have walked in the theater you would have seen a bunch of people acting like monkeys. The movie delivered on all levels of awesomeness. I was a fan of the comic book before I saw the film, so I pretty much knew what was going to happen, but it brought me an incredible amount of happiness and joy watching the story unfold on the big screen, watching these fantastic characters brought to life, and then to see the massive amounts of humor and violence blowing up in your face was fantastic. Not only is the film action-packed, but there is a heart and soul behind it, there are some nice little dramatic moments in the story that gave the story even more weight, and they didn't come off as being cheesy.
10. The Fighter
This is a great sports film, and one of the best movies built around boxing that I’ve seen. Even though the film revolves around the sport of boxing, it’s only just a backdrop of a much bigger issue that deals with Micky’s family, which is the most powerful aspect of the film. Seeing the relationship between Micky and his family unfold on the screen is uncomfortably gut wrenching. His family is just so damn selfish and ignorant! It’s this family drama and dynamic that makes the boxing aspect of the film that much more powerful and meaningful. It’s really sad seeing what Mickey had to go through, but it all ends up being an inspirational story.
Christian Bale gave a performance that just completely blew me away. He lost himself in the role of Dickie, and like most of his performances Bale just disappears in the character he’s playing. There’s no doubt in my mind he will get an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor in the film, and I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t win it.
I thought I knew what to expect from the Coen Brothers’ latest film project True Grit. I love a good western, and just watching the trailer for this film gave me the chills. I thought I knew what I was getting myself into with this film, but with the Coen Brothers involved, I should also have been expecting some fun surprises.
The first surprise is that this movie is funny. This isn't a bad thing. The Coen Brothers added their brilliantly witty dialogue to this classic tale of kidnapping and murder and made the film their own. By combining those elements with an incredible cast, the Coens have whipped up one of the best American westerns since Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven, and I loved every minute of it.
Exit Through The Gift Shop
This is the best documentary that I’ve seen all year. I admit that I kind of ignored all the buzz surrounding it while it was at Sundance and in theaters. I didn’t even watch it until it was available on Instant Netflix. After I watched it I was kicking myself in the ass for not watching it sooner.
The film tells the story of how an eccentric French shop keeper and amateur film maker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on its owner. The film contains footage of Banksy, Shephard Fairey, Invader and many of the world's most infamous graffiti artists at work.
The Good the Bad the Weird
Here’s a awesomely entertaining foreign action film that may have slipped under your radar. It’s never to late to get caught up on movies though. The Good the Bad the Weird is a Korean western style film that had a ton of shoot outs and chase sequences that were beautifully shot and choreographed. It really was a ridiculously fun flick. It’s available on Instant Netflix for viewing.
In the 1930s Manchurian desert, where lawlessness rules, the fates of three mysterious Korean men collide on a train carrying precious cargo. The Good, a suave bounty hunter, The Bad, the brazen leader of a gang of outlaws, and The Weird, a hard-up robber with nine lives, are swept up in a frantic chase across the wilderness, fighting all the way for possession of a mysterious treasure map. THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE WEIRD explodes in a flurry of violence as the Japanese Army and a brassed-off posse of Chinese bandits join the pursuit. Who will claim the prize for themselves? In this pulse-pounding adventure, you can never be sure who exactly is good, bad, or weird.
This was just one hell of a fun slick looking movie. The world of Tron that was re-created for the sequel is glorious and I was completely entertained. The movie may have had its story and script problems, but I still had a blast watching it.
There’s various different opinions on this movie, but I thought it was awesome. The film is a one man show that takes place in one isolated location... a coffin. The story never leaves the coffin, and for 93 minutes this film captivated me, with it’s intensity. It had the influence of the great Alfred Hitchcock written all over it! From the opening title sequence, to the suspense, to the music, to the use of the camera, which was used brilliantly to tell this story.
How to Train Your Dragon
I wasn’t excited to see How To Train Your Dragon, I had no desire to see it at all. I wasn’t sold on any of the trailers or other marketing materials released for the film, they just didn't grab me. There are two reasons why I went and saw the movie, the first is because the kids wanted to see it. The second is because I heard the movie was absolutely incredible from several different sources. I was still skeptical going in, I thought there was no way in hell that the movie was as good as everyone was saying it was. Well, I was wrong. How To Train Your Dragon was easily one of the best films I’ve seen this year! The film had an incredible original story with memorable characters that you couldn’t help but love and connect with.
Toy Story 3
Of course my list wouldn't be complete with Toy Story 3. After all it was an incredible film that ended up being one of the best reviewed movies of 2010. I love this film, but after watching the first film in the franchise it dropped down on my list because the first Toy Story film was better than the third. Toy Story 3 was definitely a perfect ending to the franchise, and it was an emotional ride, but I just felt it didn't belong on my list. I even thought How to Train Your Dragon was a better movie.