Best of 2010: Part 2

Allright, so “tomorrow” turned into a few days more than I anticipated.  That goes to show how busy and easily distracted I am these days.   But before too much time passed, I wanted to go ahead and list my favorite movies of 2010.  This is becoming an area of obsession for me lately, and I often fear that I’m quickly turning into one of those art house nerds that travel out of the way to see movies that aren’t playing in their hometown.  I haven’t done that yet, but I came close to it a few weeks ago.

Again, I do have a few disclaimers before I begin.  Some of the movies on this last actually came out earlier than 2010, but I didn’t get the chance to see them until this year.  Also, some of the movies further down the list might actually be better on various technical or artistic scales.  The ones higher up the list are simply the ones that I got more out of personally.

I’ll build anticipation and go reverse chronologically for this one.  And this list is in a specific order.

10. The Hangover – If you’re a film geek, you might feel tempted to chalk this movie up as a guilty pleasure.  But for every bit of funny (and it’s hilarious), it’s actually a really well written and shot movie.

9. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World – As fun as this movie was in the theater, I fear that it might not age well for most people.  Either that, or the movie is that far ahead of it’s time.  But it does speak perfectly and directly to it’s target audience.  If you were born in the 80’s or early 90’s, this movie was made for you and will likely become a cult classic for that generation.

8. Moon – On the other hand, I’m willing to bet that this movie will age very well.  Sci Fi movies aren’t really made like this any more, and it’s so fun to see intelligence and mystery back in that genre.  A vastly underappreciated and career turning show from Sam Rockwell doesn’t hurt either.

7. Gran Torino – This is the live action and R rated version of Pixar’s Up, and it’s every bit as good.  If you haven’t seen this movie, the less you know about it, the better.

6. Up in the Air – An awesomely written movie that both speaks perfectly to today’s climate, and acts as a tale of warning as well.

5. Kick Ass  – A really great wish-fulfillment movie for the same crowd as Scott Pilgrim.  While that movie lets itself fall into fantasy, Kick Ass stays grittily grounded in reality and shows what it would really be like to actually try to be a superhero.  It does it so well, I’m a little surprised that it hasn’t yet encouraged copycats running around in tights.

4. True Grit – This is an awesomely made western that doesn’t even try to be shot or written in a modern way.  It doesn’t pretend to be some sort of transformative experience, instead it focuses very clearly on telling one simple, concise and thrilling story.  I wish other movies had that same kind of clarity.

3. Inception – ..but if you’re looking for clarity, this movie has none of it.  And it’s awesome because of it.  While it’s nice to experience a bit of escapism in some movies, it’s still fun to sit through a movie that really bends your brain like this.  Not many writers / directors can handle a movie like this really well, which goes to show what a great filmmaker Chris Nolan is.

2. The Social Network – What was called “The Facebook Movie” before it was released is now more accurately seen as “The 2000’s Movie.”  No other movie about that decade will ever more accurately convey what was happening with society in that time.

1. Toy Story 3 – The most devastatingly emotional movie of the year.  It’s insane that characters that started out as little more than marionettes over fifteen years ago are now living and breathing people that usher us through such an emotional roller coaster of a movie.  It’s yet another testament to the absolute magic that is taking place inside a building in Emeryville, CA, and is exactly the reason why they finally deserve to be given the distinction of Best Picture.


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