Inception, 127 Hours and The Social Network are the best movies of 2010

Posted by: Brad Sturdivant

Top ten lists are a dime a dozen these days, but when recapping a year, the first thing anyone should do is look back and decide what the best movies were.  In the case of 2010, we had some great films, but oddly enough we didn’t have many summer blockbusters that stood out.  It was definitely the year for the smaller, more character driven films.  So without further adieu, let’s take a look back at the best films of 2010 (click the titles to read the full reviews):

10. KICK-ASS – The tenth spot on my list is reserved for the “fun” movie of the year and there’s no better choice than KICK-ASS.  It was a blast and rebuked typical superhero rules in favor of telling an honest story about a kid trying to make a difference.  Of course, it was fun seeing him get the snot beat out of him, but watching Chloe Moretz burst on the scene and take on everyone in her path was even better.

Aaron Johnson in Kick-Ass

9. TOY STORY 3 – Never bet against Pixar.  While most franchises would be stretching to justify a third film, Pixar made it seem like the Toy Story franchise needed one all along.  Just thinking about the toys holding hands on the way to the incinerator makes me want to cry.  This is another notch in the Pixar belt and a welcomed addition to the franchise.

8. THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO – I don’t really know what year’s list to put these films on considering they’ve been out overseas for a while now.  But technically, they’re eligible for Oscars this year, so they’re on the list.  These films are exciting, sad and extremely disturbing all at once, but you can’t help but be glued to the screen the entire time.  And it’s impossible to watch them and not fall in love with Noomi Rapace.

7. THE FIGHTER – Boxing movies keep coming and although I’m sick of them, I can’t help but be excited by them.  This time around, director David O. Russell put the focus on the boxer’s brother and let Christian Bale shine as Dicky Eklund.  Bale’s performance was the best of the year and he carried this movie and made it so much more than just another boxing film.

Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg in The Fighter

6. BLACK SWAN – I have to say that Swan receives such a high mark from me not because I enjoyed it, but more because I respect it so much.  It was flawlessly executed and told in such an innovative manner that you can’t help but be in awe at the film.  Throw in a great performance from Natalie Portman and you have a film that will stick with you long after the end credits roll.

5. TRUE GRIT – Most of the top 10 movies all feature one thing in common; amazing performances.  Once again, Jeff Bridges shows us he’s one of the best actors of his generation with his great turn as Rooster Cogburn.  I think this film tends to be a little overrated because of the Coen Brothers, but it’s still a fun time at the theater and one of the best Westerns we’ve seen in a while.

Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon in True Grit

4. THE TOWN – What a roller coaster of a career Ben Affleck has had.  He started out with the drama GOOD WILL HUNTING, then went on to do a series of mindless blockbusters, only to fall into a pit of horrible movies and then wound up on the other side as an extremely talented director.  But what he showed us in 2010 is that he can still act, giving great performances here and in THE COMPANY MEN.  THE TOWN is a great film that features a new take on bank robberies and features a great ending and powerful storytelling.

3. THE SOCIAL NETWORK – The “Facebook movie” proved to be about so much more than just Facebook and ended up being a fascinating character study about one person’s refusal to cave into the system that he so desperately wanted to be a part of.  But the best part of the film is not the top caliber acting and directing, but the wonderfully clever script from Aaron Sorkin.  Rarely has a dialogue-only film made you feel like you just watched a summer action movie.

Jesse Eisenberg in The Social Network

2. 127 HOURS – The film that I was so skeptical of before its release turned out to be one of the best films of the year, thanks in large part to a creative style from Danny Boyle and a career performance from James Franco.  It’s such a simple story, but it’s told so well that you can’t help but to react emotionally to the events that transpire.  Whether you find yourself inspired, humbled or even disgusted, this film is sure to get to even the most cynical of moviegoers.

1. INCEPTION – This is a no-brainer for me.  The first film to receive a perfect “10” rating from me is obviously going to be the best film of the year.  As much praise as the film has received, I still don’t think it’s appreciated for how truly brilliant it is.  Filming a 15 minute action scene that can hold an audience’s attention is difficult enough, but filming three 15 minute scenes and intertwining them is a nearly impossible task that Nolan pulled off flawlessly.  Ten years from now, people are going to look at this film as being revolutionary for how it changed Hollywood.  People wanted more from their summer blockbusters and INCEPTION finally gave it to them.

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