Monday, March 28, 2011

My Favorite Movies of 2010

I’ve done this every year for a number of years now, and as usual it took me a while to watch all of the key movies.

10) The Town

I don’t know what it is about gritty Boston crime dramas, but there have been a number of really good ones now in the last decade. The Town takes its place with The Departed, Mystic River and Gone Baby Gone as the best of the bunch. The action scenes are gripping and the relationship between the Ben Affleck character and the woman whose bank he robs works very well.

9) True Grit

I’m generally not a big fan of westerns, generally not a big fan of the Coen brothers (yeah, I’m the one), and wasn’t a big fan of the original True Grit, so I wasn’t necessarily expecting a lot from this. But I ended up really liking it. Jeff Bridges created one of the most memorable characters of the year and the movie nicely mixed comedy and drama.

8) Ghost Writer

This was a very well done political thriller released earlier in the year. It’s kind of a fictionalized version of Tony Blair’s involvement in the Iraq war. Roman Polanski sets up great mystery and intrigue and pays it off well.

7) Shutter Island

It probably doesn’t deliver as well as it could, but Shutter Island is still an awfully fun little genre film. The greatest strength of the movie is its atmosphere and setting, and you can’t go wrong with Leonardo DiCaprio as your lead.

6) Megamind

This was to me the funniest movie of the year. I think it suffered from coming after a similarly themed (but vastly inferior) Despicable Me and seeming a lot like The Incredibles. The jokes are very funny, the pacing is perfect, and the lead character is ultimately very likeable. I really enjoyed this one.

5) The Fighter

I don't know what it is about boxing movies, but they usually work so much better for me than other sports movies. Maybe it's that individual sports work better for character studies than team sports. Whatever it is, this was another really good boxing movies. There were great performances from all the key actors and actresses and the movie feels authentic to its subject.

4) Black Swan

Forget the ballet. This is one of the best horror movies in recent years. It's a completely unsettling watch from beginning to end, with the sense at all times that something horrible is about to happen. It's kind of weird to me that it is viewed as kind of an art house movie since I don't view it like that at all. I loved it, though.

3) Toy Story 3

Pixar delivers again. It's amazing they have done three Toy Story movies now with mostly the same characters and each film is not just different but very different from the others. This may be the best of the group, with a touching nostalgia for childhood. It's the most emotionally touching movie of the year.

2) Social Network

When I first heard there was going to be a Facebook movie, it sounded like an uninteresting premise to me. I saw the previews and was similarly unimpressed. They didn't grip me. But the movie got great reviews and was directed by David Fincher, so I figured it would deliver. And boy did it. I think the comparisons to the Godfather are sound. Both movies are basically about relationships being tragically torn apart in the pursuit of power, money and control.

1) Inception

This was my favorite movie in years and one of my favorites of all time. It's a masterpiece in my opinion, Christopher Nolan's best film (and that says volumes given the run of great filmmaking he's on). It's thought provoking, emotionally engaging, phenomenally acted and directed, and completely gripping from beginning to end. It succeeds on every level. And the ending is absolutely perfect. I loved this movie with all my heart.


Blogger s1rweeze said...

I hear you on Inception, but don't forget to mention the soundtrack, which just sounds AWESOME in a theater.

9:32 AM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

Absolutely. Phenomenal soundtrack. Hadn't even thought about the theater effect, but definitely one that benefited from Surround Sound with the heavy percussion.

12:27 PM  
Anonymous mcory said...

No love for the King's Speech? I went in thinking I'd hate it and it turned out to be one of my favorite movies of the year.

12:48 PM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

I liked it, particularly the second half. A little slow towards the middle. Good movie but I liked others better.

4:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Todd did you get a chance to see Scott Pilgrim Vs The World last year? If you did, any thoughts?

9:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love your RAW reports. Your favorite movies I disagree with, especially Inception, but everyone's different. Keep up the good work.

-Jason A.

6:18 PM  

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