Monday, January 3, 2011

My Top Ten Movies of 2010

2010 has come and gone, and with it, some great and not-so-great movies. Like many, I’m assembling a Top 10 list for 2010 with some of my favorites from the previous year.

Things I seriously expect would be on my Top Ten if I managed to squeeze them in:
* True Grit

I like the Cohen brothers, and I like the John Wayne original. I am expecting good things, but am reserving any opinions until I see it, of course.

* Love and Other Drugs

I, despite myself, am still a heterosexual man, and I need little more impetus than “Anne Hathway is naked in this movie.” And, the thing is, I’ve seen Anne Hathaway naked before (cf. Brokeback Mountain, Havoc.) But it looks quite good, in addition to highlighting her particular features (Mr. Gyllenhaal, I understand it, is also quite the looker for those interested in Y-Chromosomes.)

* The Social Network

This looks simply incredible, and I look forward to seeing it very soon. I, in fact, regret not having seen it, if only because it definitely looks like one of the best things that came out last year.

These movies all looked wonderful and I look forward to seeing them sooner rather than later.

10. Macgruber

Macgruber wasn’t very well-received by a lot of people, and that’s because a lot of people don’t appreciate Will Forte. And shame on you for not doing so, the man is a brilliantly subversive comic and writer (his similarly incredible but marginalized The Brothers Solomon is the kind of thing you either get or you don’t.) It’s a silly homage to 80’s action movies in general and Macguyver in particular that has a lot of great laugh-out loud bits of business in it. Val Kilmer, unfortunately, doesn’t seem to be as surprised as anybody he’s playing the villain.

9. How to Train Your Dragon

Between this, Kung-Fu Panda, and the recent Megamind (which I also skipped this year but looks good,) Dreamworks animation appears to be hitting their stride. It still isn’t playing equal to Pixar, but at least they’re starting to bat in the same ballpark: the humor is more character driven, the stories more complex, and.

8. Date Night

My reasoning here should be eerily familiar for some reason...

But this movie really won me over, despite being a bit middle-of-the-road for my tastes. I love the two of them, and I genuinely felt they were an extremely cute couple. The action sequences are great, as well.

7. The Other Guys

Will Ferrell’s kind of humor is, again, not for everybody, but I think he’s hilarious in this romp, playing a lower key part to Mark Walberg’s explosive manic outbursts. Another action-comedy, although the action here is decidedly lackluster.

6. Machete

Machete is love-it-or-hate-it, as a lot of Robert Rodriguez’s work is. I loved it, the gore is over-the-top, the exploitation is hilariously tongue-in-cheek, and it has a delightfully twisted Latino sensibility (and many beautiful Latinas, in addition to Jessica Alba and Michelle Rodriguez.) It was thoroughly trashy and enjoyable.

5. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Again, I wrote about this earlier, and I feel Scott Pilgrim is going to be hailed as a cult classic in years to come. It was very enjoyable.

4. Shutter Island

I’m not a big Scorcese guy, but this is one of my top movies of last year, despite a somewhat predictable plot twist, it’s an incredibly dark and involving suspense tail that kept me enthralled even as it researched its inevitable conclusion.

3. Inception

Chris Nolan has made equally enthralling explorations of the human psyche before (Memento, Insomnia, even Batman Begins explores fear in an interesting way.) This is no exception. One of the best made movies of last year, in addition to being an incredibly innovative and exciting and well-executed piece of cinematic craft.

2. Black Swan

Black Swan was, simply put, a remarkable film about obsession and madness that explores one woman’s mind as it deteriorates in front of our very eyes, set into the world of ballet and the story of Swan Lake. It has an incredible almost mythic and dreamlike quality to it and uses horror elements to explore the human body pushed to its limit and a mind strained past it. Visceral and disturbing but also completely enthralling, I greatly enjoyed it.

1. Toy Story 3

Toy Story 3 is the kind of movie everybody should see, and everybody did. Wait, you mean you didn’t see it and cry at the ending? You need to go out and watch it right now. It’s getting the same “Best Picture” buzz that Beauty and the Beast got back in 1993, and, to be honest, I liked this even more than that high point of the Disney Renaissance. Without a doubt, one of the best pictures of all time.