My Top 10 Films of 2010

In Uncategorized on February 16, 2011 at 8:04 pm

A long time listener recently asked me to post this list again, so in case you missed it here it is:

10. Despicable Me

The months of endless trailers that made you sick of the movie before you even saw it didn’t do this one justice. Definitely worth the 3-D, especially for the closing credits, the animation is top notch and the main characters are all very likeable—especially the children and the beloved minions. Laugh out loud funny at times, too.

9. The Ghost Writer

Ewan McGregor plays a ghost writer hired to clean up the autobiography of a fictional former British Prime Minister (played by Pierce Brosnan) whose profile strongly resembles the real life Tony Blair. However, once McGregor begins to investigate what happened to his predecessor on the project the movie becomes one of the best thrillers I saw last year.

8. How to Train Your Dragon

Hands down, the best 3-D animation of any film I’ve seen since the format became chic again, the story is also tremendously underrated and charming. Gerard Butler as the Viking king with a soft spot for his son does a great job, and it has a very pro-traditional family message about a boy’s need for his father’s approval.

7. Buried

Who knew that Ryan Reynolds really could act? Hollywood’s emerging boy toy plays a U.S. contractor working on the rebuilding of Iraq, who is kidnapped by terrorists and buried in a grave underground with a cell phone by which to call the authorities to make their ransom demands. What I really loved about this movie is that it resisted the temptation to give you the clichéd Hallmark moment at the end and stayed true to its gritty story line all the way through.

6. Inception

Christopher Nolan continues to distance himself from his peers as this era’s premier onscreen storyteller. Rarely can a film both confuse and enthrall you, but similar to Nolan’s breakthrough hit Memento you’re never really sure what part of the story you’re in or even if you’re in the story at all. But you love every minute of it.

5. Waiting for Superman

This documentary ought to be mandatory viewing by every public school parent and every state legislator in the country. What’s particularly refreshing about this film is that it’s an honest and necessary clarion call about the sorry state of our educational system by a left-of-center filmmaker who is naturally predisposed to have a favorable viewpoint regarding the subject matter, not a right-winger like me who disdains the very premise of contemporary government education in the first place.

4. The King’s Speech

You know a film is really good when it can convince you that Helena Bonham Carter actually is the traditional, nurturing wife and not some psycho killer freak show in a skirt that she normally portrays. Colin Firth deserves all the accolades he’s receiving for his stellar performance, and the script is top-notch and at time surprisingly warm considering it’s about a bunch of Brits with the stereotypical stiff upper lip. Guys, if you’ve got to take one for the team make this your date night sacrifice. You won’t regret it.

3. Toy Story 3

One of the best family films made in the last decade or so, it’s simultaneously a masterpiece of storytelling and animation that both entertains and tugs at the heart strings. A fitting conclusion to the award-winning trilogy that made Pixar a household name that revolutionized modern film-making, if you’re not misty-eyed at the end of this one you’re heartless.

2. The Fighter

Quentin Tarantino called and he thought there was too much foul language in this film, but if you can overcome this realistic portrayal of family dysfunction in a declining working class New England town it’s impossible not to get caught up in this classic underdog tale based on a true story. Amy Adams makes quite a transition from her typical girl-next-door innocence, but it’s Christian Bale in a mesmerizing supporting role who clearly steals the show from lead actor Mark Wahlberg (who’s also pretty good).

1. The Social Network

A flawless film, the opening sequence is one of the most memorable and original in recent memory. The method of using flashbacks through the various depositions taking place in the eventual lawsuits against Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg as a means of telling the story is ingenious. Jesse Eisenberg is tremendous in the lead role, and Justin Timberlake is a pleasant surprise as Napster founder Sean Parker. Clearly the top movie I saw in 2010.

  1. Ahhh, Steve! True Grit! Totally deserves to be in the top ten!

  2. I’m so proud of you. You are finally getting better. To think that it took me nine years to help you finally get better! Nice list.

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