2010: The Year End Post.

It's that time of year... you know, being the next one and all. I gotta do some type of massive Year-End Lists that cover everything about the previous year and whatnot. So that's what I'm gonna do.

But before I do that, I want to get this out right off the bat: there are some films I haven't seen (*gasp*)! Of note (read: possible award films and/or films that I think I might love), the following have not yet graced my eyes and ears: 127 Hours, The King's Speech, Toy Story 3, Cyrus, The American, The Kids Are All Right, Buried, and The Fighter.

So what movies of 2010 have I seen? The following films are 2010 films I've seen either in theater or at home:

*On DVD/Blu-Ray/Netflix/iTunes
**2009 Film Seen In Theater In 2010

After.Life*, Alice In Wonderland, Black Swan, The Book of Eli, Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Clash of the Titans, The Crazies, Date Night*, Daybreakers, Defendor*, Devil, Dinner for Schmucks, The Disappearance of Alice Creed*, District 13: Ultimatum*, Easy A, Exit Through The Gift Shop*, From Paris With Love, Get Him To The Greek*, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, Hot Tub Time Machine*, How To Train Your Dragon, The Human Centipede*, Inception, Iron Man 2, The Karate Kid, Kick-Ass, The Last Airbender, Legion, Let Me In, Machete, Monsters*, A Nightmare On Elm Street, Paranormal Activity 2, Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief, Predators, Prince of Persia, Repo Men, Resident Evil: Afterlife, Restrepo*, Saw 3D, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, She's Out Of My League*, Shutter Island, The Social Network, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Splice, The Town*, True Grit, Twilight: Eclipse, Up In The Air**, When In Rome*, Winter's Bone*

Total Theater Visits (not including repeat viewings for same movie): 35

Total 2010 Films Seen: 51

Note: As of this post, I have not actually seen Date Night, but it will be viewed by the end of the day, so I put it on the list.


Now it's time to get to the only part people care about: the lists! First up, I'm going to talk about my favorite movies of the year. These might not necessarily be the best movies of the year, but they're the ones I liked the most. So without further ado, here are my Top 10 Favorite Movies Of 2010.

Top 10 Favorite Movies Of 2010

10) True Grit

Not usually too big on westerns, but the Coen Brothers' dialogue totally made this movie. It wasn't perfect and suffered in its third act, but I did enjoy it quite a bit. Not to mention it had some excellent performances from its three leads.

9) Let Me In

Yes, I've seen the original. Yes, I still really liked the remake. In fact, there are some aspects of this remake that I think are better than the original (while there are some aspects of the original that are better than this remake). Chloe Moretz and Kodi Smit-McPhee do very well with their roles. It could have used a bit less crazy CGI with the vampire freak-outs, but otherwise it was a very well-done film.

8) The Social Network

Like True Grit, this movie shines in its dialogue. But this movie also has some truly unlikable characters that you somehow can't stop watching. A truly fascinating film that I really need to see again.

7) Easy A

I love movies like this, where they take a classic story and modernize it, especially when they do it very well. Thankfully this one is done very well with special thanks to its great cast. Emma Stone is hot and nerdy, her parents are dorky and funny, and her English teacher has a dry wit that makes it a lot of fun.

6) Kick-Ass

This movie split a lot of people. But for me, it's the second Chloe Moretz film on my list. Sure, it's gritty and hyper-violent. Sure, the movie is more about Chloe Moretz and Nic Cage than Aaron Johnson's Kick-Ass. But the dialogue is fun, the action is fun, and the overall film is pretty, well... kick-ass.

5) Black Swan

The most recent addition to this list. As I said in my review, this is a visceral and sexy film. It can be hard to watch at times, yet you can never take your eyes off of it. Masterfully shot with fantastic performances and a great score make this not only one of my favorites of the year but one of its best.

4) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

Was there any doubt this would be here? My current favorite of the series (which has changed practically every time David Yates released a new one). It's a much more quiet, internal film than any of the others. It has some beautiful cinematography. It also has some of the best performances from any of the Trio, particularly Emma Watson.

3) Inception

I'm not gonna spend long talking about this one. It's been talked to death by this point. But it has some fantastic action and some of the trippiest and wonderful visuals I've ever seen.

2) How To Train Your Dragon

Some people adore this movie. Some don't see the big deal. But I rode with Toothless in 3D in theater, and it was one of my favorite 3D experiences I've ever had. But does it hold up without that extra dimension? It sure does. With fun characters, a good story, and a shocking ending, this becomes one of the funnest and one of my favorite films of the year.

1) Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

This is no surprise to anyone. I've been saying this for quite a while now. With its quick wit, video game and comic book humor, and over-the-top action, this is hands down not only my favorite movie of the year, but my new favorite movie, barely edging out Shaun of the Dead... by the same director!

Honorable Mentions: Exit Through The Gift Shop, The Karate Kid, Monsters, Predators, The Disappearance of Alice Creed, The Town


Now that I've covered my favorites, which do I think are actually the best of the year? What I mean by best is this: best overall made and best performances... mixed with enjoyability factor. I believe that a film isn't worth considering as "best" unless you can actually like or enjoy it. It might be a stroke of genius cinematically, but if there is no entertainment value, the film is useless for me. Of course, for these films, I put the focus more on the first two elements instead of the latter, because "best" does require a sense of greatness first and foremost. Also, keep in mind those films I have yet to see. So the following are what I consider to be the Top 10 Best Films Of 2010.

Top 10 Best Films Of 2010

10) Restrepo

I'm not usually bit on documentaries (or war films), but this film was pretty dang powerful. The decision to tell stuff rather than show stuff at times was good. I did have some issues with it, however, which you can read in more detail in my review.

9) The Disappearance of Alice Creed

It's almost impossible to talk about this movie without spoiling something. After about 30 minutes, there starts to be twists and turns all over the damn place. It's a nontraditional kidnap movie, focusing only on the two kidnappers and the kidnapped. You don't see or hear anyone else. They even make calls to the cops and parents off screen and come back to talk about it later. It has a slow start, but about halfway in, it really picks up and is really captivating... no pun intended. Not to mention it has one of the best uses of a title card, I think (though I can't get into why without spoiling it).

8) True Grit

I've already talked about this movie in the previous list, so I'll just leave it at that.

7) Exit Through The Gift Shop

It could be a documentary... it might not be. Who knows? Banksy does. This was a trip of a movie with one of the most idiotic focal characters ever. It was very meta in nature, and we all know how I love meta stories. And if it's all fake, then this film really is a masterstroke (again, no pun intended). Regardless, it was made in such a way that has spurred controversy about its legitimacy either way, which makes it good in and of itself.

6) Let Me In

Again, I've talked about this film in the last list. The use of camera and music alone makes this film worthy of the list.

5) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

Yes, I am including this in my Top 5 Best of the Year. Regardless of the subject matter or what you thought of the story, it was masterfully made. The cinematography is gorgeous. The acting is superb. The film is very introverted with its characters this time around, taking a lot of quiet moments just to see the internal struggles of these young adults. The action, when there, is thrilling. And... I could just keep going, but I won't. Wonderfully made and highly enjoyable. I think it deserves this spot easily.

4 & 3) Tie: Winter's Bone and The Town

I know, a tie is kind of a cop-out, but I was literally stuck trying to figure out what order to put these in. To me, Winter's Bone is the better-made film, but The Town (for me) is much more enjoyable. Winter's Bone has some amazing acting. The Town is a gritty heist film, and we know how much I love my heist films. Both films are dark and gritty and involve poor people and drugs. They both have pros and cons, and in the end, they equal each other out. That's why I had to put them in a tie.

2) The Social Network

This is probably the number 1 on a lot of people's lists. I did really enjoy the film, but it didn't resonate with me as strongly as it did with most people. There were amazing performances all around. The fantastic script flowed off the actors' lips and through the camera's lens wonderfully. It was a greatly made film that was just as enjoyable to watch. But I think there was one film that was better this year.

1) Black Swan

Visually alone, Black Swan tops every other film on this list. I know I keep harking back to those mirrors, but that was damn impressive. I won't talk about this movie anymore. Over the last couple days, you're probably tired of hearing me talk about it. So... visceral and sexy. Yup.

Honorable Mentions: Inception, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Monsters


OK, so I've talked about my favorites and the best. It's time to venture into the opposite spectrum. These are the movies from 2010 that I've liked the least. Some of these might actually be the worst of the year. Some might be decently made, but I just did not like them. Some might be somewhere in the middle. Because I don't go out of my way to watch bad movies, there are very few I actually went to go see or have seen since. So here are my Top 5 Least Favorite of 2010.

Top 5 Least Favorite Movies of 2010

5) Resident Evil: Afterlife

I didn't actually dislike this movie a whole lot. The series has been on a steady decline in quality, though I do think this one is better than the third. Regardless, I needed to fill this spot.

4) Hot Tub Time Machine

Probably the only controversial pick on this list. A lot of people really love this movie (I know Dylan put it on his favorites of the year). But it just did not resonate with me. I laughed a couple times, but that was it. I just did not enjoy this movie. Sorry.

3) District B13: Ultimatum

A vastly inferior sequel in all ways. Usually in sequels to action flicks, they amp up the action. This time I can honestly say the action was better in the first film. It's not unwatchable, but you can see the first film and get a better version of exactly the same thing.

2) Legion

An end-of-the-world movie with angels being the cause. What's not to love about that idea? Oh well.
While it was a decent idea, the execution was poorly done.

1) The Last Airbender

The single most disappointing movie of the year. I love the series, and M. Night doesn't bother me as much as he bugs other people. But this movie really was awful. It was so bad that, at the time of my review, I was still trying to talk myself into finding good in it. It took the heart and soul of the show and just smashed them to tiny pieces. This is in serious need of a reboot, hopefully this time keeping the feel (and characters, honestly) of the show.

Honorable Mentions: Clash of the Titans (I didn't hate it as much as others. I thought it was mindless fun... though I do recognize it as a not-good movie), Twilight: Eclipse (What can I say? I'm a sucker for these so-bad-they're good flicks).


Now that I've talked about the movies, what about performances? The Oscars are coming up quick, so I wanna briefly detail what I think were some of the best performances of the year (in no particular order):

Best Supporting Actress
1) Mila Kunis - Black Swan
2) Emma Watson - Deathly Hallows Part 1
3) Ellen Wong - Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
*As you can tell, this was a difficult category for me... outside of Black Swan, I haven't seen any of the films where the actresses in this category came from (the ones being talked about in awards circles, I mean). And I don't count Hailee Steinfeld as supporting.

Best Supporting Actor
1) Andrew Garfield - The Social Network
2) John Hawkes - Winter's Bone
3) Jeremy Renner - The Town

Best Actress
1) Jennifer Lawrence - Winter's Bone
2) Hailee Steinfeld - True Grit
3) Natalie Portman - Black Swan

Best Actor
1) Jesse Eisenberg - The Social Network
2) Jeff Bridges - True Grit
3) Leonardo DiCaprio - Inception (or Shutter Island, really...)
*Because I haven't seen either 127 Hours or The King's Speech, this category is difficult since James Franco and Colin Firth seem to be up there for their roles (respectively).


And I think that'll about do it! I'll soon be posting my most anticipated for 2011, so keep an eye out for that. If there is anything else from the previous year you'd like me to give my thoughts on, just post a comment. Got beef with one or more of my choices, or do you actually agree with some of these? Post a comment!

Happy New Year!


  1. You must be pretty fucking vain and delusional to think that you are authority enough to be able to say what the difference between your favourite movies and good movies are. Pathetic.

  2. Nick, I would kill to have the hardcore fans you seem to have. Man...

  3. Sweet list man! Honestly, I'm a little shocked Harry Potter was only fourth! Really want to see True Grit!

  4. I know, right? You must love me, Anonymous, to stick around like this. You know what they say, once you have haters, you've made it big.

    Though I'm not sure exactly why it makes me vain or delusional to know the difference between what I feel are my favorites and what I feel are good.

  5. I like that you separated Favorite and Best. Many non-bloggers tend to confuse the two. I only saw How To Train Your Dragon recently but I loved it and it made my top 10. Nice top 10s Nick!

  6. Tom: I could switch Potter with Inception, really. But oh well! They're all excellent films.

    Castor: Thanks!

  7. Yay love for How To Train ... I thought it was really good, and if we re comparing, i thought it was better than TS3 -)

  8. Hold up! You don't consider Heilee Steinfeld a Supporting Actress, but you consider Emma Watson a Supporting Actress? If anything, Watson's role was just as big as Steinfeld's, if not bigger.

    Otherwise, great list. Glad to see someone else except for me is throwing out some LET ME IN love. I think it's under-appreciated by the masses.

  9. Sebastian: I can see your Watson argument. However, my rationale is that Watson's is not the main character, while Steinfeld's was. Yes, Hermione did have a pretty big role, but she wasn't the focal point, nor was in every single scene (like Steinfeld was). Hermione supports the character of Harry and his story. The story of True Grit rides on Steinfeld's character.

  10. No Barbara Hershey for "Black Swan" on the Best Supporting Performance.

    And I'll disagree with Anonymous and agree with Castor: it's darned smart to separate best and favorite. I, and probably many others, intertwine them to create a more eclectic list. I know that I'm guilty of tricking myself into the idea that my favorite movies are the best.


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