Thursday, January 20, 2011

top 10 films of 2010

There were so many good movies this year that it was hard to narrow down this list. It was exciting to see quality films (the already iconic Black Swan and True Grit) crossing over to mainstream audiences. Two films that almost made it were Nowhere Boy and The City of Your Final Destination, which I consider underrated.

So here goes my Top 10 of the year and some honorable mentions. Which films did you love this year?

10. The Ghost Writer

Spooky, entertaining thriller with Ewan McGregor stumbling upon the shady affairs of Prime Minister. Expertly directed by Roman Polanski.

9. The Kids Are All Right

I know there's a lot of controversy over the way Lisa Cholodenko portrayed California lesbian couple dealing with the return of their sperm donor but this deft comedy is more about how a family copes and protects itself than it is about politics. My friend said it best that Annette Bening deserves the award for "best acting with stemware." I could watch her performance for hours.

8. The Fighter

Unexpectedly rousing and moving study of a family pushing one (Mark Wahlberg) into the boxing ring while clinging to the past glory of another (Christian Bale).

7. A Prophet

Haunting, shattering journey into lives within a racially divided French prison.

6. Winter's Bone

Neo-noir in the Ozarks. A brave young woman (Jennifer Lawrence) on the quest to find her missing father to save family and home is met with many odds, while everyone around her fights to survive.

5. Blue Valentine

Great chemistry between two leads elevates this painful study of the beginning and the end of a marriage. A low-budget labor of love for the talented stars and new director/screenwriter Derek Cianfrance.

4. The Social Network

The film of the moment. Electric, engrossing look at the birth of Facebook.

3. Please Give

Sharply written comedy about Manhattan neighbors. Natural, authentic portrayals by Catherine Keener and Rebecca Hall and supporting cast.

2. Another Year

Lesley Manville gives an astounding performance as lonely, anxious friend of well-to-do couple (though my opinion of them turned by film's end). One of Mike Leigh's best, most potent character studies.

Call me old-fashioned but I enjoyed this more than any other film this year. Colin Firth as stammering King George and Geoffrey Rush as speech therapist make a terrific duo. Uplifting, well-written, handsomely filmed.

Some other great films from the year...


  1. The only two I've seen are Black Swan and Inception, and I thoroughly enjoyed both. You are such a movie buff.

  2. Wow! Our 5 thru 7 films are a match!

    The Fighter was very close to making it in my Top Ten and who knows on second viewing could bump something out. Believe it or not I haven't see The King's Speech yet.


  3. Great list. I probably will end up having a good deal of these on mine. I still have yet to see Another Year and Blue Valentine.

    I have a screener of Barney's Version, but it's a bit long (132 minutes) and I have a problem with overly long films (I would have loved Inception had it been 45 minutes shorter) I'm also very much looking forward to see The Company Men. Chris Cooper!

  4. Embarrassed to admit I haven't seen any of these! I'm going to buy quite a lot of them now, on your recommendation. I feel like I'm missing out

  5. Awesome selections, darling!
    Must see ALL of these!


  6. i loved your picks, even your honorable mentions. going to see blue valentine this weekend!

  7. Truly love the picks!!! So good. So bummed "Country Strong" didn't make the list!

  8. Some of these I've seen and loved--others are definitely on my list!

  9. Agree with your TOP-10!

    editors of POP DISORDER,
    Igor and Margaryta

  10. Pretty good list, although I found ghost writter to be incredibly bland.

    Have to share my love for 'The Illusionist' when it comes to any top ten list of last year. It was truly amazing, one of the most beautiful films I've ever had the good fortune to see in the cinema.

    Also White Material (which you mentioned) which I found, for some reason or other, to be the most disturbing ninety minutes or so I've ever spent in a cinema. It installed this overiding element of fear so subtly yet so brilliantly I believe it diserves a little more credit than it got.

  11. I liked your list. We share some of the same picks, but I've got a couple unconventional favorites of my own. They are here: in case you're interested.