Monday, January 24, 2011

Ten Favorite Films of 2010

Better late than never.

Even though I didn't necessarily think of this past year as being a stellar one for big screen entertainment, I had trouble making this list, and I feel I left off several movies I really enjoyed. I mention some of them in the Runners Up below.

One decision that wasn't difficult was picking my number one film of the year. I thought it was going to be The Social Network till I saw True Grit. The Coen Brothers have made one of the best films of their career.

Here they are, more or less in order:

10. Shutter Island

Stylistically a B-movie homage but it worked for me, helped along by stellar set-design, cinematography and an unbelievable score of avant-garde classical music.

9. Fish Tank

A beautiful and scary kitchen-sink drama about a girl in a dead-end housing development and her attachment to her mother's boyfriend (a sinister and sexy Michael Fassbender).

8. The Kids are All Right
First half was just okay for me, but the second half, dominated by Annette Bening's performance as a betrayed wife, made this one of the most emotional movies I saw this year.

7. The Eclipse
Ciaran Hinds gets to play the lead in this romantic ghost story that is alternately mysterious, sad and scary.

6. The Ghost Writer
The best-paced thriller I've seen in years, and Olivia Williams should get an Oscar nomination tomorrow. She won't.

5. The King's Speech
Not a surprising film but one that's rich and rewarding, and very well made. Colin Firth brings out the frustration and sadness of a disability.

4. I Am Love
Totally nuts, and sometimes it went over the line, but when it didn't, this was such a watchable film. A Sirkian melodrama with beautiful music from composer John Adams.

3. Black Swan

Riveting psychodrama about the pursuit of perfection. Hardest film for me to sit through but I'd sit through it again right now.

2. The Social Network
Crammed with ideas and human understanding. I spent more time thinking about this film than any other this year.

1. True Grit
An adventure movie, and maybe a classic. The nighttime ride with Rooster, a snakebit Mattie and Little Blackie (I can't remember the last time I got attached to a horse in a film) was the best scene of the year. 

Runners Up: The American, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1, How to Train Your DragonInception, The TownToy Story 3, Winter's Bone

Haven't Seen: Another Year, Let Me In, Somewhere, Tangled


  1. clearly you didn't see macgruber.

    i loved the american. so much more than i thought i would. also, never let me go (did you see that?)

  2. This was great. Before reading I was like, "Yeah right this year wasn't that great." But you proved me wrong, basically, and surprisingly (maybe) I haven't seen half of the movies on your list. I should get on that. What happened in 2010? I missed out on more than I thought I did, apparently.


  3. Jon, I'm looking forward to seeing Never Let Me Go. Was that your favorite of the year? Or was it MacGruber?

    Kevin, we are both agreed that even if it was a decent year for films, it was a shitty year for comedies.

  4. It wasn't my favorite, but I quite liked it (not MacGruber... that was enjoyable for non quality reasons)