REWIND & RANK: TOP 10 Movies of 2010

RANKING THE YEAR’S BEST: FROM OSCAR MOVIES TO BLOCKBUSTERS

Walk down memory lane… And let the movie nerd debate begin.

rewind2010

TOP 10 Lists are always tons of fun. You can debate my choices, while getting a better idea of how I review newer movies. With looking back on years past, you can also stroll down memory lane. You never know, you may uncover a hidden gem or two.

Let’s REWIND to the year 2010.

These are personal TOP 10s that combine Oscar-nominated movies right alongside popcorn munching blockbusters, indie films, and cult classics.

2010 had some strong dramas with an impressive list of nominees at the Oscars. TOY STORY 3 was the #1 film at the world-wide box office with $1 billion! Among the shining gems, there were also some nasty turds like THE LAST AIRBENDER, GROWN UPS, along with stinky remakes for ALICE IN WONDERLAND and A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET.

My TOP 10 is followed by HONORABLE MENTIONS and the best of ART vs POPCORN.

Let’s dig in…


THE TOP 10

10. BURIED

Ryan Reynolds stars in this isolated thriller. His character is buried alive and trapped. Time is ticking. He’s running out of air. He has a phone. A truck driver in Iraq, he must somehow solve the mystery of his kidnapping. This intense story is stylishly filmed. Reynolds commands the screen. Pulse-pounding entertainment. A true hidden gem!

9. EASY A

Emma Stone stars in this John Hughes vibing comedy. A loose riff on THE SCARLET LETTER, Stone’s character is ostracized by her high school peers because of her rumored sexual behavior. There are several laugh-out-loud moments – a memorable one involves a singing gift card. Stone was a revelation here, bursting onto the scene and staking her claim as one of Hollywood’s most talented rising stars.

8. THE FIGHTER

A story about brothers and boxing. David O. Russell (AMERICAN HUSTLE, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, THREE KINGS) directs this character piece starring Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale (with a truly impressive performance), Amy Adams, and Melissa Leo. This is a simple story executed well. Its themes resonate.

7. EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP

An incredible documentary. Playful and subversive. An eccentric filmmaker seeks out cult artist Banksy to tell his story. The anonymous graffiti philosopher is more curious about the director, so he turns the tables and shifts the documentary’s focus on the strange and obsessed filmmaker. Satirical commentary reveals the hypocrisy of the art world – the (pink) elephant in the room. Thoroughly entertaining. Provocative in all the best ways.

6. THE TOWN

Ben Affleck directs this action/thriller about Boston bank robbers. Jeremy Renner is impressive in his co-starring role. The team’s plans change when Affleck’s character gets involved with a witness. Strong characters and intense sequences make this a stand-out.

5. SCOTT PILGRIM VS THE WORLD

Edgar Wright (SHAUN OF THE DEAD, HOT FUZZ) goes nutso with this super stylish adaption of this Canadian comic book. Scott (Michael Cera) must defeat his girlfriend’s evil ex-boyfriends in this over-the-top adventure. Filled with tons of comedy, this action-packed quest is unlike any other. Gamers, superhero nerds, and stoners alike will all enjoy the beyond bizarre borders SCOTT PILGRIM bombastically bashes apart. The best POPCORN of the year!

4. 127 HOURS

Danny Boyle (TRAINSPOTTING, 28 DAYS LATER, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE) stylishly directs this true story of survival. Although we already know the outcome, Boyle spins the narrative with so much energy we get totally absorbed. James Franco delivers an amazing performance that makes this inspirational story must-watch material.

3. THE SOCIAL NETWORK

Aaron Sorkin writes dialogue like a string of firecrackers exploding one after the other. David Fincher directs with an eye for cinema, emphasizing dramatic lighting and striking compositions. Characters lead the way in this biopic. Computers are made exciting. Complex relationships fuel the story with blazing performances from all involved.

2. INCEPTION

Christopher Nolan delivers an original popcorn-munching blockbuster. Despite the heavy action, this adventure is more cerebral. There is enough going on to intellectually engage the audience. Driven by concept, framed with incredible visuals, this is one the best action movies of the decade. The best movies spark a conversation. From the concept, to the ambiguous ending, INCEPTION gets you talking. The perfect blend of ART vs POPCORN.

1. BLACK SWAN

This is the best Hitchcock film, Hitchcock never made. Interpretive themes are beautifully realized. The director brilliantly visualizes the downward spiral into madness – watch those reflections. Natalie Portman leads the cast with an astounding performance, which works on several levels. Mila Kunis delivers her best role as a competing dancer cranking up the pressure Portman forces upon herself. The resulting evolution is haunting and unsettling.

The story balances a complicated narrative with slow-brew tension. Deliberately paced, BLACK SWAN crescendos in an outstanding climax. Operating on several levels, this cinematic tour de force is the year’s standout.


HONORABLE MENTIONS

ranked alphabetically

THE AMERICAN / BLUE VALENTINE / CENTURION / THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE / THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST / HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON / IRON MAN 2 / THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT / PIRANHA 3D / WINTER’S BONE


THE BEST OF ART VS POPCORN

THE BOOK OF ELI / CATFISH / CREATION / DAYBREAKERS / DESPICABLE ME / GREENBERG / KICK-ASS / THE KILLER INSIDE ME

LET ME IN / THE LOSERS / LOVE & OTHER DRUGS / MacGRUBER / MACHETE / MONSTERS / NEVER LET ME GO / RESTREPO

THE RUNAWAYS / SHE’S OUT OF MY LEAGUE / SHUTTER ISLAND / SPLICE / TRON: LEGACY / TRUE GRIT / VALHALLA RISING / WHEN YOU’RE STRANGE


MY CHECKLIST

ANIMAL KINGDOM / BIUTIFUL / KING’S SPEECH /  A PROPHET / TOY STORY 3

notable movies on my must-watch list


What do you think?

Stay tuned for more REWIND & RANK.

Next up… The 1970s. 


 

15 thoughts on “REWIND & RANK: TOP 10 Movies of 2010

  1. Great list Dan. My best friend who has introduced me to so many great films got me to see Exit Through the Gift Shop. I enjoyed it but I’m afraid it probably went over my head a bit. Out of the films you’ve listed that I have seen I’d say a Top 10 would include Black Swan (my choice for No. 1 too), True Grit, Kick-Ass, The Social Network, 127 Hours, The King’s Speech, Let Me In, Inception, Toy Story 3. The Losers really deserved more love, such a fun little action film and I think Monsters remains a great debut from director Gareth Edwards and his best work. Restrepo may not always be compelling but its combat footage of a soldier after losing one of his squad is harrowing and sobering stuff. They should show it to anybody ever thinking of going to war lightly. I have mixed feelings about Toy Story 3 which essentially repeats great scenarious and themes from the first two movies and yet that finale in the compactor may make it the best third chapter since The Return of the King. The Town and Animal Kingdom remain well made crime films and Shutter Island is great but well there you have it. Another great list Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love your picks. You make some good points. I definitely support your championing of Black Swan 😉 There were so many great flicks this year. I agree with your hidden gem shout-out of The Losers. I think those that haven’t seen it will be really surprised by the cast and who is famous now (ie: Negan from Walking Dead, Mr Captain America, Zoe Saldana from Star Trek, and Idris mother flickin Elba! Now THAT is a b-movie done right.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, Dan. You’ve reminded me of how cool the year 2010 was. With 3 years left of the decade, I wonder what’s in store? So, so many of your choices would have been mine. Inception, The Black Swan, The Social Network, 127 Hours, True Grit — no arguments there.I still haven’t seen ‘Exit throught the Gift Shop.” oops!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This was a great year eh. Thanks for chiming in. I hope you like my other Top 10s too. They are definitely a challenge to rank. Especially when a year has so many high profile dramas like 2010. As far as the little movies go, Exit Through the Gift Shop is worth hunting down. Quirky and fun, while deconstructing the art world and its hypocrisy.

      Like

    2. And I missed a big one too, Cindy, which could crack the top 10 or honorable mentions…. Toy Story 3. I know it’s supposed to be great, but I’m not the biggest fan of Pixar movies. Plus, I know I’m gonna cry 😉

      Like

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