Top 15 Films of 2010

15: Babies

I had a tough time picking between this and Catfish, and in the end Babies won because man this is just a joyful flick. I was excited for Babies for almost a year and when it finally came out I was bummed because I knew it would never play at the theater in my town, but luckily my mom lives in a much more culturally rad city and they got it.  Rarely do I squeal like a teenage girl at a Jonas Brothers (are they still a thing?) concert but man this movie caused uncontrollable fits of Jo-Bro squealing.

14: Iron Man 2

Iron Man 2 improves on every aspect of the original. A more menacing villain, a better actor playing Tony Stark’s buddy (the always great Don Cheadle replacing the always boring Terrence Howard) and the finale isn’t tacked on and boring.  If you liked the original you probably saw this, if you didn’t like the original, give this one a shot.

13: The Losers

I’m a sucker for the rag-tag team of soldiers each with their own area of expertise genre, I’m also a sucker for Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Idris Elba (STRINGER!!), Chris Evans, and Zoe Saldana. The Losers is a great looking flick with some incredibly cool characters and even cooler action, and excellent popcorn flick that was superior to the similar in idea A-Team.

12: True Grit

The Coen’s are on a serious hot streak ever since No Country for Old Men. The past couple years they’ve made the most thoroughly maddening, interesting, and entertaining films of their careers. True Grit isn’t as maddening, interesting, or good as A Serious Man, Burn After Reading, or No Country, but it’s still better than most films released in 2010. It’s an extremely simple western with three great performances from Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, and the best most, impressive coming from Hailee Steinfeld. While True Grit wasn’t what I’ve come to expect from the Coen brothers I thoroughly enjoyed it.

11: The Town

If you haven’t seen this film because Ben Affleck is in it then fuck you, pardon my French but seriously, you suck. Ben Affleck is a pretty good actor, he’s been in some bad movies but from what I’ve seen he comes out of event he worst flicks pretty okay (Gigli not withstanding that flick is really as bad as you’ve heard). However, Ben Affleck is a god damn great director. The Town is his second film behind the camera after Gone Baby Gone and this time he decided to star in it as well, which works because he really got his best performance to date out of himself. Plus the dude from the Hurt Locker (Jeremy Renner) and the handsomest man in show business (Jon Hamm) are also in it and they are also really good.

10: Exit Through the Gift Shop

This is the best documentary I have ever seen, unless it’s not true, but you know what I think at least part of it is true, and whatever parts of this are true are the best documentary I’ve ever seen. A flick by street artist Banksy that is sort of about the rise of urban street art but mostly about a Frenchman who is nanners and carries a video camera everywhere he goes. It’s an engaging, enlightening, entertaining, and to break the alliteration, hilarious film.

9: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

I’ve heard myriad complaints leveled against this film but I don’t understand any of them. It’s certainly not Stone’s best film, but it’s far from his worst. It’s a slick infinitely watchable drama with some great performances by Michael Douglas, Josh Brolin, Carey Mulligan, and yes Shia Lebeouf who I will stand by as a really good actor except when he’s acting with giant CG robots and gross, gross, inexplicably popular actresses. And sure it’s pretty much a modern retread of the original Wall Street but come on if you are going to steal from a movie you can do a lot worse than the Wall Street.

8: The Killer Inside Me

Despite the fact that The Killer Inside Me takes place in a small Texas town and takes place mostly on sunny days, it is an intensely dark flick. Casey Affleck gives an insanely creepy performance as the sexually violent main character Lou Ford, a deputy sheriff with some extremely serious sexual issues. The best way to describe this film is if American Psycho were set in Texas and actually as good as people think it is. Also remember Bill Pullman? He needs to be in more movies.

7: Valhalla Rising

This movie messed me up man. When the credits rolled I sat in the theater in stunned silence totally in awe of what I had just seen, then some stupid chick behind me had to say “I don’t get it” and ruin my moment of cinematic nirvana, I hate her and will hate her forever for doing that to me. Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, the Danishman behind the disturbingly good Pusher trilogy and the almost too fucking good Bronson. You may not have heard of this but seriously watch it, if you have netflix it’s on the instant streaming deal, watch it and tell your friends, and if you don’t get it, keep that to yourself asshole.

6: Toy Story 3

Pixar mostly makes great movies, occasionally they make good movies, and once they made a bad movie, but Toy Story 3 as you most likely know, and if you don’t know you must have heard, belongs to the first category, it’s great. Sure I have my problems with it, mostly regarding the scene that made me cry (the one before the other scene that made me cry again) but other than that it’s a funny and engrossing piece of animation, now seriously Pixar forget about Cars and make a Bug’s Life sequel

5: How to Train Your Dragon

That’s right it’s higher on the list than Toy Story 3. Admittedly it’s probably a “better” film but Dragon is just more fun and had me emotionally invested in the characters without the filmmakers unnecessarily depressing the hell out of me. How to Train your Dragon is just a really fun adventure that almost makes up for how terrible the last three Shrek movies were.

4: Scott Pilgrim

If you find yourself complaining about the dearth of fun and originality in films these days you need to see Scott Pilgrim Vs The World because it is without a doubt the most fun film in years, and certainly Edgar Wright’s finest hour to date. This film is non-stop, every joke is tight and hilarious, every actor turns in if not there best performance certainly their funniest. I really cannot recommend this film anymore. Also if you think this film isn’t original because it’s based on a comic that is heavily influenced by video game and anime/manga culture name me one other movie that is anything like Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, you can’t because it’s original.

3: The Social Network

Dude like I really dig this flick because I mean like it’s really about my generation and like the way we kind of uumm communicate with each other and like how Facebook has totally changed like the way our lives work and like how friendship is, you know, but like it’s also got like really good acting and stuff from that guy from Adventureland and some guy who I’ve never seen before but is like playing Spider-man or something and like it’s super good and the guy who did Fight Club did this one and like his last few movies were totally boring but like this one is more exciting like Fight Club, but The Social Network isn’t as confusing or like trippy as Fight Club, because like Fight Club is probably the most confusing and trippy movie ever made.

2: Inception

You know what I like about Christopher Nolan’s latest and greatest flick Inception? It makes you think. Everyone can think about this flick, from the idiots who are still wondering if it’s all a dream or if the top fell over, to actual thinking human beings who wonder what this film says about filmmaking or wonder if maybe it’s all a metaphor for gay/lesbian rights (think about it Cobb and Saito really seem to be interested in growing old together). On top of all that elitist thinking that us artistic pinkos love this film also has some top-notch action set pieces for the plebes, and also for the non-plebes because no matter who you are zero-g face punchin’ is cool.

1: Black Swan

Darren Aronofsky is a director who knows how to gross me out. Every film he’s made so far has made me flinch, gag, or cover my eyes, in Pi it was the thing with the drill, then in Requiem it was the arm sore, The Fountain actually didn’t have a moment but every rule needs an exception to prove it, or so I’ve been told, then in The Wrestler the staples in the guys back freaked me out, Black Swan had like 20 moments like that. What’s worse (or better?) was that the movie totally makes you forget that it just made you want to throw up by having really tremendous acting by Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel and surprisingly Mila Kunis. Seriously, Portman is getting a lot of praise, which she totally deserves and it is a superb bit of acting she does (some people would call it brave, I wouldn’t because I don’t really know what that means) but Mila Kunis really surprised me, I mean I hated her more than Wilmer Valderama on “That (awful piece of garbage) 70’s Show”. I’d compare it to The Aviator for DiCaprio where you forget he was on a really crappy sit-com and accept him as an actor, except Kunis did it way sooner in her career. I expected Black Swan to be good, but it turned out to be the best flick I saw in 2010.

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