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Monday, January 24, 2011

Best of Movies 2010

So here are my picks for the Best of Movies for 2010 (based on either a North American theatrical release date or if I saw it at a festival in 2010 since some have yet to open):

(This post will constantly updated as I see more films from 2010. *** indicates latest new review. Latest Update: Feb. 22nd 2011)


1. Rabbit Hole
Written by David Lindsay-Abaire, Directed by John Cameron Mitchell
(Original Review)


A beautifully drawn portrait of a couple dealing with the grief of their sons death. John Cameron Mitchell provides mature direction in an often surprisingly funny and intensely acute study of loss and the breakdowns required to move on. Nicole Kidman and Miles Teller provide quiet but sharply real performances that anchor the film.


2. Blue Valentine
Written by Derek Cianfrance & Cami Delavigne and Joey Curtis, Directed by Derek Cianfrance

Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams are devastatingly haunting as a couple who fall in and out of love, and Derek Cianfrance's film is clever in twisting up the simple devolution of a relationship into a sweet but heartbreaking story.


3. Tangled
Written by Dan Fogelman based on the fairy tale Rapunzel by the Brothers Grimm, Directed by Nathan Greno and Byron Howard
(Original Review)


A beautiful blend of modern gusto with classic Disney nostalgia and good old musical fairy-tale storytelling. Even with some moral holes, the Disney team has returned to their great animated history with a smart, funny, action-packed, and even moving tale.


4. The Social Network
Written by Aaron Sorkin, Directed by David Fincher

The movie is about the creation of Facebook but it's also about the creation and destruction of relationships. Sorkin and Fincher manage to turn what is essentially a court case, into a thrilling drama, with some terrific performances from Andrew Garfield and Jesse Eisenberg.


5. Black Swan
Written by Mark Heyman, Andrew Heinz, and John McLaughlin, Directed by Darren Aronofsky
(Original Review)


A haunting exploration at the inner cores of the darkness an artist must face to truly create brilliant work. Or some crazed psychological thriller. Take your pick, but either way, Natalie Portman gives a tremendous performance as someone seeking perfection.


6. The Fighter
Written by Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, and Eric Johnson based on the story by Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson and Keith Dorrington, Directed by David O. Russell
(Original Review)


A feelgood underdog story given some rough edges by David O. Russell to give the true story of a fighter from the wrong side of town, with a tight but suffocating family, a realistic and unpolished feel. Christian Bale and Melissa Leo give glorious performances but they truly only work against Amy Adams and Mark Wahlberg's more subtle and sincere performances.


7. Toy Story 3
Written by Michael Arndt based on the story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, and Lee Unkrich, Directed by Lee Unkrich

A rumination on the end and finiteness of life, and how our lives can have lasting effects on others. Oh yah, and also the 3rd movie in the Toy Story series that becomes a beautiful (and often quite hilarious) denouement to the series with some of our most faved animated characters.


8. True Grit
Written and Directed by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, based on the book by Charles Portis
(Original Review)


Hailee Steinfeld and Jeff Bridges make a wonderfully odd pairing, together on a mission to avenge a murder, with an amusing Matt Damon as the interloping sidekick. The Coen Brothers manage to make a Western (not my favorite genre) into a serene film that still keeps all the markings of a Western while melding it with Coen's mix of humour and horrifying violence.


9. Girlfriend
Written and Directed by Justin Lerner
(Original Review)


A wonderful little film at the Toronto Film Festival that uses the director's real life friend, Evan Sneider, a young man with Down Syndrome, as a man who loses his mother (Amanda Plummer) and tries to find solace in his nice neighbour (Shannon Woodward), while befriending her abusive ex-boyfriend (Jackson Rathbone).


10. Buried
Written by Chris Sparling, Directed by Rodrigo Cortés
(Original Review)


Sometimes a ridiculously jampacked bunch of plot-twists throwing every fear and frustration into a box, a box entrapping Ryan Reynolds as the minutes tick down towards a suffocating death, can still be nonetheless a thrilling and intense experience. Reynolds and Sparling manage to keep humour within this dramatic thriller.


Every 2010 Movie I saw, grouped within each grade, is listed below:

Rabbit Hole = A (Review)
Blue Valentine = A
Tangled = A (Review)
The Social Network = A (Tweet Review)

Black Swan = A- (Review)
The Fighter = A- (Review)
Toy Story 3 = A-
True Grit = A- (Review)
Girlfriend = A- (Review)
Buried = A- (Review)
Inside Job = A- ***
Inception = A-
The Ghost Writer = A-
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 = A- (Tweet Review)
Easy A = A- (Review)
Kick Ass = A- (Tweet Review)

Winter's Bone = B+
The King's Speech = B+ (Review)
127 Hours = B+ (Review)
How To Train Your Dragon = B+
Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief = B+
Despicable Me = B+
Eat, Pray, Love = B+ (Tweet Review)
Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World = B+ (Tweet Review)
Ramona and Beezus = B+
Waking Sleeping Beauty = B+ (Tweet Review)
Nowhere Boy = B+

Date Night = B
Another Year = B (Tweet Review)
The Kids Are Alright = B (Tweet Review)
She's Out Of My League = B
Letters for Juliet = B (Tweet Review)
Morning Glory = B ***
Cyrus = B
Never Let Me Go = B (Review)
Shrek Forever After = B
Leap Year = B
Valentine's Day = B (Review)

I Am Love (Io sono l'amore) = B- (Tweet Review)
Rio Sex Comedy = B- (Review)
Little White Lies (Les Petits mouchoirs) = B- (Review)
Paper Man = B- (Tweet Review)
Knight and Day = B- (Tweet Review)
Ceremony = B- (Review)
Score: A Hockey Musical = B- (Review)
Heartbreaker (L'arnacoeur) = B-(Tweet Review)
Babies = B- (Tweet Review)

Streetdance = C+ (Tweet Review)
Sex and the City 2 = C+
Daybreakers = C+
The Last Song = C+ (Review)
Remember Me = C+ (Review)
The Back-Up Plan = C+
Repo Men = C+ (Review)
Hot Tub Time Machine = C+ (Review)

Death at a Funeral = C (Review)
Dear John = C
Silent Souls (Ovsyanski) = C (Review)

Step Up 3D = C- (Review)

Alice in Wonderland = D+
Going the Distance = D+ (Tweet Review)
When in Rome = D+ (Review)
Taken = D+ (Tweet Review)

Our Day Will Come (Notre jour viendra) = D (Review)


______________________________________

Best of 2010 Lists:
Best of Music 2010
Best of Television 2010
Best of Stage 2010
Best of Movies 2010

Previous Best-of Lists:
Best of 2009 Lists:
Best of Music 2009
Best of Television 2009
Best of Stage 2009
Best of Movies 2009

Decadeworthy - The Best of 2000-2009 Lists:
SYTYCDworthy (w/ Videos) - List Format
Theatre of the Decade
Best Films of the Decade
Favorite Films of the Decade
Television of the Decade
Television of the Decade - 1 Season Wonders

Best of 2008 Lists:
Best of Music 2008
Best of Television 2008
Best of Stage 2008
Best of Movies 2008
Best of Television Fall '07 - Winter '08 List

Best of 2007 Lists:
Best of Music 2007
Best of Television 2007
Best of Movies 2007
Best of Stage 2007
Best of 2007 (The Final Wrap Up)
Best of Television Fall '06 - Winter '07 List

Best of 2006 Lists:
Best of Music 2006
Best of Television 2006
Best of Movies 2006
Best of 2006
Best of Television Fall '05 - Winter '06 List

Best of 2005 Lists:
Best of Television 2005
Best of Movies 2005
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