They say 2010 was an abysmal year for movies. But recently I took in a double-bill showing of TRUE GRIT plus THE FIGHTER and I have to say if this was a crappy year for movies I was fooled.
The upper echelon of movies this year are something to be celebrated.
Also what a year for animated movies. There were anything from horribly predictable ones like Shrek 4 and MegaMind to middle of the road with Legend of the Guardians to the three that made my list. They just keep on surprising.
10. DESPICABLE ME
Gru is a master of evil. In his plot to steal the moon he adopts three little orphan girls. But the girls become more than he can handle as through their sense of family they warm his cold heart. Well written and surprisingly very heart-warming, this the third animated film to make our list. If you compare this movie and its pale cousin, MegaMind, you can just see why this film makes our list.
9. BLACK SWAN
You have to give Black Swan credit. This movie is unlike anything you will ever see. The stalwart performance from Natalie Portman is unreal and Mila Kunis proves she is a force to be reckoned with. I’ll call Black Swan a triumph for everyone involved even if I found parts flawed. I commend it for its originality and performances but subtly this film is not.
8. TOY STORY 3
The third movie in the seminal Pixar trilogy doesn’t disappoint. If you don’t cry at that final scene you can’t be human. Toy Story 3 was weakest of the trilogy but it brought much needed closure to the journey Buzz and Woody.
7. THE TOWN
Ben Affleck’s directorial follow-up to Gone Baby Gone not only one-ups his previous film but proves that Affleck is one of the most interesting directors in Hollywood. The intricacies, the performances and the pacing are first rate.
Fairy tales have never been like this. How do you make an engaging and delightful tale about the most boring fairy tale their is “Rapunzel”. Well you add what made the Little Mermaid so special, give some really delightful humor, a pesky horse and a hero’s journey.
5. THE SOCIAL NETWORK
We all use Facebook and we all want to know how a phenomenon like it exists. I compare the movie to the little seen and brilliant movie Pirate of Silicon Valley. Led by a brilliant and shockingly disturbing performance by Jesse Eisenberg, director David Fincher hit it out of the park with this film. If any modern director today deserved an Oscar it would be Fincher. Here is a director that has a track record like very few before him.
You have to hand it to Christopher Nolan, the man knows how to pick movies. He uses the Batman franchise to dream up new and exciting projects to challenge himself as a filmmaker. What happens when he finishes off his Batman trilogy next year? Who knows. But Nolan doesn’t seem to be going away. Inception was brilliantly executed, an amazing film to look at and one of the few original ideas to come out of 2010.
3. HOW TO TRAIN A DRAGON
I still consider this the best animated film to come along in quite some time. It had everything that anyone watching it could want. This is also probably Dreamworks Animation most impressive and greatest film they have ever made.
2. TRUE GRIT
I have never been a fan of the Coen Brothers. My favorites of theirs was always Fargo and Raising Arizona and I could never get into a film of theirs after. Sure there were parts but I was never impressed. That all changed when I witnessed True Grit. I got ALL OF IT. The humor, the characters, the desperation and the performances, all first rate. Hands down, their best picture ever! This is a Coen career landmark
1. THE FIGHTER
I have always been a sucker for the boxing film. There is a reason I have seen every one of the Rocky films at least 25 times (yes, even Rocky 5). The Fighter is a different kind of boxing film and takes that genre to a whole new level. The performances from Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Mark Wahlberg are all top notch. But what really moved me was the film’s addiction storyline, the brother’s story and well a whole new side of Amy Adams. I love being impressed and shocked at the theatres and well this did it big time!