Best Of/Worst Of Movies 2010


As a frequent moviegoer, the big payoff to seeing 125+ movies each year is sorting them, ranking them, and picking your favorites at year’s end.  There’s a fine line between one’s “favorite” movies and what one considers to be the objectively “best” movies.  My line is usually so fine that I can’t even distinguish between the two.  I’ll stand behind my favorites and defend them to the end, and that’s what makes them the best.  As for what’s “Essential,” well, ask me next year – that one needs some perspective.

Some quick initial impressions: 2010 was a strong year for movies.  I think we’ll have 10 worthy candidates for Best Picture – none of this Blind Side bulls**t.  The year started off slow (more on that in a second) but really picked up steam around September-October.  I swear – for a while there, every new movie I saw I liked.  Up till then, however, it was rough going.  I did a mid-year recap at the end of June and my Top 10 at that point read as follows: (1) Toy Story 3; (2) Kick-Ass; (3) The Ghost Writer; (4) Temple Grandin; (5) How to Train Your Dragon; (6) The Karate Kid; (7) The A-Team; (8) The Wolfman; (9) Shutter Island; and (10) Splice.  Man, what a difference a couple of months make.  My final Best Of 2010 includes only one of those titles.
So, let’s get on with it already.  In the Photo Gallery below, you’ll find my picks for the 10 Best Movies of 2010, along with the 5 Worst.  Once you’ve checked out those, read on after the jump where I’ll hand out superlatives to the Film Class of 2010, and rank every movie I’ve seen this year.  Thanks in advance for reading, and see you at the movies in 2011!


Honorable Mention: Kick-Ass.  

Biggest Surprise: The Karate Kid.  Jaden Smith remaking an ’80s classic?  Aw, hell no!  Whoops.  Oh, hell yes!
Best Actor: Jeff Bridges, True Grit.  I know he won last year, and I’m all about spreading the wealth, but Bridges + Coen Brothers = Awesome.
Best Actress: Natalie Portman, Black Swan.  Hands down. Annette Bening shouldn’t even be mentioned in the same sentence.
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, The Fighter.  It’s about time Bale was recognized by the Academy.
Best Supporting Actress: Amy Adams, The Fighter.  Cast against type, Adams is a knockout.
Best Director: Christopher Nolan, Inception.  The man writes/directs, and can craft a personal pet project into a $300 million blockbuster.
Best Visual Effects: TRON Legacy
Best Score: Daft Punk, TRON Legacy.  Amazing music – outshone the dynamic visuals, if that’s even possible.
Best Original Screenplay: Christopher Nolan, Inception
Best Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network

Best Cinematography: Black Swan

Best Editing: Inception.  The shuffling of dream layers and “kicks” is astonishing.
Most Overrated: The Kids Are All Right
Most Underrated: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.  Slick, fun family entertainment that nearly everyone avoided.  Is it because of Nic Cage?
Runner-Up: MacGruber.  Call me crazy but I found this to be a spot-on parody of ’80s action movies.

Worst Title: Legends of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’hoole.  The actual movie was pretty great though.

Best Title: Kick-Ass
Guiltiest Pleasure: Piranha 3D – you haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen a piranha upchuck a dismembered penis right at the screen.  In 3D!
Bring on July 15th Already: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1
I Didn’t Realize They Made a Sequel to Frozen River: Winter’s Bone
Best TV Movie: Temple Grandin.  Claire Danes was brilliant.
What the F**k Moment No. 1: Adrian Brody has sex with his creature creation in Splice
What the F**k Moment No. 2: All of Black Swan

Genre That Needs To Be Retired: Sperm donor comedies (The Kids Are All Right, The Switch, The Back-Up Plan)
Runner-Up: Talking animal comedies (Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, Marmaduke, Yogi Bear)
Most Welcome New Genre: Action films with old people kicking ass (The Expendables, RED)
Most Disappointing: Iron Man 2

Runner-Up: Robin Hood.  This Russell Crowe-Ridley Scott re-team was no Gladiator.
Best Non-Pixar Animated Movie: Tangled
Favorite Documentary: Best Worst Movie
Best Use of 3D: TRON Legacy
Runner-Up: Jackass 3D
Worst Use of 3D: The Last Airbender
Least Deserving of Being a Monster Hit: Alice in Wonderland
Most Deserving of Being a Monster Hit: Inception
Most Underwhelming Star Coupling: Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie in The Tourist
Best Remake: Let Me In
Worst Remake: A Nightmare on Elm Street
Best Sequel: Toy Story 3
Worst Sequel: Predators
Filmmaker Fallen from Grace Vol. 1: Peter Jackson, The Lovely Bones
Filmmaker Fallen from Grace Vol. 2: Kevin Smith, Cop Out
Filmmaker Fallen from Grace Vol. 3: James L. Brooks, How Do You Know
Filmmaker Fallen from Grace Vol. 4: Clint Eastwood, Hereafter
Filmmaker Fallen from Grace Vol. 5: M. Night Shyamalan, The Last Airbender
Breakout Star: Chloe Grace Moretz, Kick-Ass and Let Me In
Runner-Up: Emma Stone, Easy A
Best Comic Book Movie: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Worst Comic Book Movie: Jonah Hex
Best TV Adaptation: The A-Team
Worst TV Adaptation: Sex and the City 2
Please Pass the Tissues: the end of Toy Story 3
Instantly Iconic Movie Moment: Joseph Gordon Levitt’s anti-gravity hotel corridor fight in Inception
Actors Who Had A Great Year: Leonardo DiCaprio (Inception, Shutter Island), Jeff Bridges (True Grit, TRON Legacy), Mark Wahlberg (The Fighter, The Other Guys)
Actors Who Had A Bad Year: Kristen Bell (You Again, When In Rome), Dwayne Johnson (Faster, The Tooth Fairy), Russell Crowe (Robin Hood, The Next Three Days)
Great Actor Who’s In Danger of Becoming Boring: Johnny Depp (Alice in Wonderland, The Tourist)
Most Misleading Marketing: The American.  This was not the intense, edge-of-your-seat thriller promised.
  1. Toy Story 3 (*****)
  2. Black Swan (*****)
  3. The Social Network (*****)
  4. Inception (****1/2)
  5. The Town (****1/2)
  6. The Fighter (****1/2)
  7. Let Me In (****)
  8. Buried (****)
  9. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (****)
  10. 127 Hours (****)
  11. Kick-Ass (****)
  12. Temple Grandin (****)
  13. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (****)
  14. Tangled (****)
  15. How to Train Your Dragon (****)
  16. True Grit (****)
  17. The Ghost Writer (****)
  18. The Karate Kid (****)
  19. The A-Team (***1/2)
  20. Salt (***1/2)
  21. Shutter Island (***1/2)
  22. Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole (***1/2)
  23. The King’s Speech (***1/2)
  24. The Wolfman (***1/2)
  25. A Single Man (***1/2)
  26. Due Date (***1/2)
  27. Conviction (***1/2)
  28. Piranha 3D (***1/2)
  29. The Special Relationship (***1/2)
  30. Splice (***1/2)
  31. Best Worst Movie (***1/2)
  32. Monsters (***1/2)
  33. Solitary Man (***1/2)
  34. Paranormal Activity 2 (***1/2)
  35. Waking Sleeping Beauty (***1/2)
  36. Cyrus (***)
  37. TRON: Legacy (***)
  38. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (***)
  39. Easy A (***)
  40. The Switch (***)
  41. The Kids Are All Right (***)
  42. Jackass 3D (***)
  43. Unstoppable (***)
  44. She’s Out of My League (***)
  45. Greenberg (***)
  46. Daybreakers (***)
  47. The Expendables (***)
  48. The Runaways (***)
  49. RED (***)
  50. MacGruber (***)
  51. The American (***)
  52. Despicable Me (***)
  53. Iron Man 2 (***)
  54. The Losers (***)
  55. Please Give (***)
  56. Date Night (***)
  57. Shrek Forever After (***)
  58. Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work (***)
  59. Exit Through the Gift Shop (***)
  60. Nanny McPhee Returns (***)
  61. Life as We Know It (***)
  62. Get Him to the Greek (**1/2)
  63. The Book of Eli (**1/2)
  64. Hot Tub Time Machine (**1/2)
  65. Morning Glory (**1/2)
  66. Dinner for Schmucks (**1/2)
  67. Love and Other Drugs (**1/2)
  68. The Crazies (**1/2)
  69. Knight and Day (**1/2)
  70. Repo Men (**1/2)
  71. The Other Guys (**1/2)
  72. Babies (**1/2)
  73. Grown Ups (**1/2)
  74. Step Up 3D (**1/2)
  75. Robin Hood (**1/2)
  76. Secretariat (**1/2)
  77. Youth in Revolt (**1/2)
  78. From Paris with Love (**1/2)
  79. Burlesque (**1/2)
  80. The Girl Who Played with Fire (**1/2)
  81. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (**1/2)
  82. It’s Kind of a Funny Story (**1/2)
  83. Winter’s Bone (**1/2)
  84. Alice in Wonderland (**1/2)
  85. Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (**1/2)
  86. Extraordinary Measures (**1/2)
  87. Resident Evil: Afterlife (**1/2)
  88. Gulliver’s Travels (**1/2)
  89. Sex & The City 2 (**1/2)
  90. Winter’s Bone (**)
  91. Green Zone (**)
  92. Leap Year (**)
  93. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (**)
  94. Edge of Darkness (**)
  95. The Lovely Bones (**)
  96. Restrepo (**)
  97. Clash of the Titans (**)
  98. Death at a Funeral (**)
  99. The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus (**)
  100. A Nightmare on Elm Street (**)
  101. The Tourist (**)
  102. Dear John (**)
  103. Eat Pray Love (**)
  104. I’m Still Here (**)
  105. The Bounty Hunter (**)
  106. Alpha & Omega (**)
  107. The Last Airbender (**)
  108. Killers (**)
  109. Just Wright (**)
  110. Jonah Hex (**)
  111. Letters to Juliet (**)
  112. Faster (**)
  113. Yogi Bear (**)
  114. Never Let Me Go (*1/2)
  115. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (*1/2)
  116. Predators (*1/2)
  117. Diary of a Wimpy Kid (*1/2)
  118. Cop Out (*1/2)
  119. The Last Exorcism (*)
  120. The Back-Up Plan (*)
  121. Marmaduke (*)
  122. The Tooth Fairy (*)
  123. Our Family Wedding (*)
  124. Skyline (*)
  125. Valentine’s Day (*)
  126. When in Rome (*)
  127. How Do You Know (*)
  128. Hereafter (*)

Leave a comment