Top 10 of 2010





1. INCEPTION

"Inception" lived up to the expectations I held for it. And they were pretty darn high. Chris Nolan, with this original piece of filmmaking has set himself apart from just being "the guy who made “The Dark Knight". This film, while not being as complicated as you may imagine, actually has the tone of a bank heist film. Of course the difference here being that in 'Inception' the bank is the mind and the team of robbers aren't stealing as they would usually do, but instead they are leaving something behind. It is a grand idea and Nolan explores it without losing anyone. Though he does assume his audience is smart enough to keep up, something we haven't really had to do much of this year.

2. THE FIGHTER

This is simply put: an amazing film. I loved it. Every minute of it. Going into 'The Fighter' I expected a rousing story and a great performance by both Wahlberg and Bale. Mark Wahlberg has been trying to get this film made for years and in more ways than one this feels like his film. Wahlberg plays real life boxer Micky Ward who was seen as nothing more than a stepping stone, but rose to win the welterweight title in the mid-80's. Along with amazing supporting performances from Amy Adams and Melissa Leo, Christian Bale will no doubt be a top contender for best supporting actor for playing Micky's cracked out brother Dicky. He disappears into the role and brings forth the true conflict in the film: Those within a family.

3. TOY STORY 3

Some people think you can get too wrapped up in movies and taking them as more than just entertainment is a little weird. But once in a while a film comes along that re-enforces the true reasons some people do get so wrapped up in the movies. In this case, we are discussing what is essentially the end to the films that defined mine and many others childhoods. 'Toy Story 3' is visually stunning, with an almost epic scope that takes everything Pixar has done to this point up a notch.

4. THE SOCIAL NETWORK

There is so much to say about the film I can hardly express it all here, but that the goal of facebook was to be cool, to see what others were up to, to know who's in a relationship and who's not anymore. That the whole thing grew from the need for revenge on a scorned lover, of not feeling included or elite. It is what the world is about, it touches on so many human emotions and it is all filtered through a page of your very own on the Internet. It is a cultural phenomenon and we are lucky to have a film that chronicles how something big can come from the most basic emotions that we all share. It is jolting, effective, complex and nothing like you probably thought.

5. THE TOWN

“The Town” is a superb piece of filmmaking. When Affleck's directorial debut garnered such positive praise I, like many others, was rather surprised. With his second though, Mr. Affleck proves he was not just a one hit wonder but a true artist and one who is very good at his craft. From the opening sequence the tone is set, the neutral color palette and the performance driven drama is all exemplified greatly within the first few minutes. At the head of these strong performances is Affleck himself. Managing several different duties can sometimes be evident in one's work, but here the director/writer/actor is as flawless as can be.

6. TRUE GRIT

The trademark Coen tone seeps through into the somewhat nostalgic material. The odd editing, the random bits of humor, the sly sarcastic wit of each character. It is all there and though the environment seems almost in conflict with that type of persona and tone, it only seems to enhance the idea of this genre western being taken to a different kind of level than we have been treated to before. With the beautiful landscapes, the Arkansas references and the subtle musical score that moves the somewhat slow paced film along at a good speed it is easy to catch the greatness of it all. We watch as a young girl struggles to accomplish what will bring balance to her world and though as we are shown in an epilogue type segment that this meeting between herself and Rooster was only a small section of her life it did indeed affect her greatly. This film affected me greatly. It is not a revolutionary story and it doesn't present some new way of thinking, but it does feel profound, and in that the film is a complete success.

7. SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD

Director Edgar Wright has provided a completely original, fun and inventive film that is a pure representation of this generations love story. 'Scott Pilgrim' is simply a feast for the eyes and more importantly, the brain. No, it's not some elaborate story and it does not possess an elaborate plot, in fact it is very much the same story as every other Michael Cera movie, but it is the way, the style in which it is told that makes the film stand firmly in a league of its own. Its a simple story of boy liking girl and the obstacles he faces in trying to obtain that dream girl. Nothing to strange right? No, but then we meet the first of seven evil exes that belong to Scott's hearts desire and so the fun begins and the film keeps a consistent upbeat tempo with little comedic quirks galore.

8. BLACK SWAN

"Black Swan" is most likely the closest thing we will ever get to seeing Darren Aronofsky make a horror film. Though it doesn't fit within the conventions of those types of films, it is still essentially a film revolving around the downward spiral of its main character into a mentally insane state of mind. Natalie Portman's Nina offers us a front row seat not only into the career of a ballet dancer, but into the many facets that go into what it takes to get roles, the pressure to fulfill them and the tension between you and your peers when you are rewarded with what they all desire. Ballet is not at the center of the film, it simply serves as a beautiful and elegant backdrop for one of the more terrifying aspects the human mind can conjure up.

9. WINTER'S BONE

The film encompasses a small community of nasty women and shady men, all surrounded by naked trees and signs of time passed. The environment is just as nasty a character as the people around Ree, played with Oscar worthy authenticity by Jennifer Lawrence. The Ozark atmosphere plays such a crucial role in the small but extremely rough and brutal climax of the film. The film is quite moving and presents a world not too many are familiar with outside those who live in it, yet it never feels like a grand melodrama and in fact feels less like a story and more like a poem, a stark and sadly moving poem.


10. KICK-ASS

It has huge elements of both action, comedy and drama. Neither of these are small elements of an otherwise dominate comedic, action or drama film. So, in order to mix all of these with a good balance and having to keep a consistent tone I'd also say it is the most impressive thing about this film. It does escalate from comedy to action comedy to action drama with bits of humor, but it knows what it wants and it goes for it with no regard as to who will be offended.







Yet To See: 127 Hours, Conviction, Nowhere Boy, Fair Game, The Kings Speech, Blue Valentine, Buried, Rabbit Hole, Let Me In, & Get Low.