Sunday, January 2, 2011

My Top Ten Movies of 2010

Everybody likes to do top ten films lists around this time of the year.  Here's mine.  The catch here is I only saw 11 movies in 2010.  So only one movie I saw won't be on this list.  Here goes. 

10.  Centurion

This movie should've been right up my alley- Roman soldiers fighting Picts in the ancient British wilderness.  And it starred McNulty from "the Wire!"  But the script was kind of bad, and most of the movies best action sequences are at the beginning.  A shame.  Not too far off from being a pretty good film.

9.   The Expendables

Now we get to the movies I actually didn't like.  While "Predators" (which we'll talk about later) was dumb and fun, "Expendables" was just dumb.

8.  The Town

Who would've thought that the star of "Reindeer Games" and former half of "Bennifer" (Ben Affleck) would turn out to be a pretty good director?  "The Town" is almost a really good movie.  I loved the first 3/4's of it, and hated the final sequence.

7.  Kick-Ass

I think only nerds saw "Kick-Ass" but that's fine.  It's still one of the funniest movies that came out this year, and is probably the second best film deconstruction of superheroes I've seen (the best is "the Incredibles").

6.  Inception

Once upon a time, I really hated Leonardo Dicaprio.  When I was in high school, he was most famous for Baz Luhrman's "Romeo and Juliet" and James Cameron's "Titanic."  Over time, I've realized that I don't hate Dicaprio- I just hated those movies.  "Inception" is a great movie, and Dicaprio is great in it.

5.  Iron Man 2

The main knock against "Iron Man 2" seems to be that it wasn't as good as "Iron Man."  While far from a perfect movie, Robert Downey Jr. is still perfect as Tony Stark, Mickey Rourke turns in a great performance, the action sequences are big and explosion-y, and there is actually a pretty decent plot behind the whole thing.  Also, Scarlett Johanssen is hot as the Black Widow.

4.  Predators

Such a fun movie.  Simple premise- great human warriors are brought to a planet where Predators (alien hunters) track them down.  Not much to say about this one.  Not Oscar bait by any stretch, but a blast to watch form start to finish.
3.  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt. 1

While the "Harry Potter" books are all excellent, the movies have been kind of a mixed bag.  The first two are pretty bad.  The 3rd is excellent.  The fourth is kind of meh.  The fifth and sixth are both good, and now "Deathly Hallows," or at least the first part of "Deathly Hallows" may be the best of the film series.  Having split the book in half, the filmmakers have been afforded the luxury of time.  They can really put almost the entire book onscreen.  They paced the film patiently rather than trying to jam everything into two hours.  The young actors who play Harry, Ron, and Hermione also turn in their best performances to date.
2.  True Grit

I expected "True Grit" to be a good movie.  I love the Coen Brothers, I love Jeff Bridges, and I love Westerns.  The big surprise to me was Elizabeth Marvel who played Mattie Ross- the young girl who seeks out Bridges Rooster Cogburn to avenge the death of her father.  She was EXCELLENT.

1.  Toy Story 3

I'm convinced that Pixar's primary focus these days is figuring out new ways to make grown men weep.  They take some element of your childhood- toys, monsters, or whatever, and combine that with a story that is- while seemingly geared towards children- complex, and often tragic. "Toy Story 3" is an amazing movie and yeah I cried watching it.  Pixar has now made 11 movies, and they're all incredible.

And the one movie that didn't make the top 10?  "Alice in Wonderland" which I didn't enjoy while watching, and liked less and less the more I thought about it.

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