Top 10 Movies of 2010 Thus Far

7/30/2010 Posted by Admin

Top 10 Movies of 2010 Thus Far

By our guest blogger, Rob Stammitti

2010 hasn't had the most immediately satisfying summer movie season, despite some real gems popping up here and there, but a good deal of really solid films has still managed to slip through the cracks this year--some big moneymakers, and a few lesser-known but still totally enjoyable movies. The 10 best films released in 2010 thus far:

"Inception" - This was a shoo-in, really. The captivating ad campaign definitely made it look a few steps above the rest of the fluff getting released this summer, but nothing could prepare one for how completely exhilarating and visually astounding it is. Director Christopher Nolan somehow manages to make a subject matter inherently massive and bombastic and inject it with very low-key emotion and heart, and while doing so, he doesn't sacrifice the spectacle. The folding cities, the endless metropolis dreamscapes, the dreams-within-dreams, the absolutely mindblowing fight in the anti-gravity hotel--Nolan combines everything one looks for in various action movies into one complete whole, and with an excellent ensemble cast forming one of the most oddball "heist" teams we're likely to see and ideas so traditional being made completely new in their execution, Nolan has made one of the finest action films in years with "Inception."

"Toy Story 3" - Pixar really can do no wrong. No studio is more consistent--even Disney in its heyday didn't manage an absolute classic every year--and they've really done something special with their third and presumably final "Toy Story" film. In what is just as much a love letter to their fans as it is to imagination and childhood, Pixar creates a perfect balance of nostalgia, comedy and surprisingly engaging drama, and tells one of the most interesting stories of their 15 or so years in the business. Anyone who doesn't tear up in the last act really has no heart.

"Shutter Island" - Much lie "After Hours" and "The King of Comedy," this film seems destined to be one of Martin Scorsese's more underrated works. "Shutter Island" is Scorsese's second attempt at horror, and he succeeds quite thoroughly by creating one of the most intense and surreal horror films since Kubrick's "The Shining." It seems to take a lot from that film, stylistically, but Scorsese also ingrains the feature with other various genre elements and makes an odd cocktail of a psychological thriller and '50s-era sci-fi. The most incredible thing about the film, though, must be its performances--Leonardo DiCaprio is at the top of his game, but numerous other actors like Michelle Williams, Max von Sydow and Patricia Clarkson steal the show with their brief appearances.

"Youth in Revolt" - Michael Cera is likely to make a bigger splash this year in Edgar Wright's "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World," but he displayed quite a bit of range in this underseen third film of dark comedy master Miguel Arteta. At times, the dialogue can be grating, but Cera's dual role and the countless other hysterical performances make up for any hiccups in the script, and Arteta captures hipster sensibilities while keeping the film down to earth and relatable for those less into the film's more artsy, intellectual endeavors. I think a lot of Cera's critics would find something to like about him here.

"Kick-Ass" - Forget "Iron Man 2"--this is 2010's real standout comic book film. Hilarious, shockingly violent, and just all-around entertaining, "Kick-Ass" took everything great about comic book movies and smashed it all together in one film, making a mockery of the genre all along the way, and giving us Nicolas Cage's best performance in more than a decade.

"Greenberg" - Noah Baumbach has long been the king of misanthropy in comedy, and "Greenberg" is the culmination of his uptight and awkward sensibilities. Ben Stiller gives his best performance--ever--as Greenberg, a shy, anti-social, rude trainwreck, and as we follow him through a few days of painful hilarity and self-realization, Baumbach manages to somehow make us like him despite the urge not to.

"Life During Wartime" - If Noah Baumbach is the king of misanthropy, Todd Solondz is its god. Wholly baffling, bleak and darker than dark, "Wartime" is Solondz's attempt at creating something perhaps more hopeful than his previous work, and despite the wealth of characters we should hate, he makes a film so inherently human that one can't help but like them. Of course, it might be hard to watch for many, but those who really urge themselves to get through it and think about it will definitely be rewarded. It's certainly the most original comedy of the year.

"Splice" - Canadian horror director Vincenzo Natali takes Freudian psychology, scientific controversies and "Frankenstein," and tosses them all together, creating this completely insane but incredibly entertaining psychodrama, and of course he injects his fair share of comedy into the proceedings as well. Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley are both brilliant as genetic engineers turned would-be parents of their creepy genetic creation, and you definitely get a sense they had just as much fun in front of the camera as we have watching this crazy story unravel.

"Cyrus" - Perhaps the most painfully awkward and realistic comedy ever made. John C. Reilly and Jonah Hill give career-topping performances as a man and a son fighting over one woman, and there has never been writing so down to earth and intimate as the script for this film. Half the time the comedy is all in the reaction one has to what's going on, not the actual events themselves, and as such "Cyrus" is really one of the most unique and bizarre film experiences one is likely to have this year.

"Predators" - There have been a lot of action films released so far this year, but except for "Inception" and "Kick-Ass," which are more effective outside of their action than most action films tend to be, "Predators" is easily the best. The ensemble cast is great, and Adrien Brody miraculously pulls off his tough leading man role perfectly. Laurence Fishburne and Topher Grace also give rather interesting performances, and, of course, the action is just uproariously entertaining, completely reviving the nearly-dead "Predator" series.

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  1. brexx25 said...

    I can attest to this...pretty much the same for me.

  2. Supercords said...

    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.