This is not a film blog, but I am a complete film nut so indulge me once a year. As with my book list most of the films weren't released in 2010 because I don't get out that much (having kids is my excuse).
2010 was the year that Christopher Nolan released a film that cured cancer, plugged the hole in the ozone layer and ended the global recession. Or at least you would think so from all the hype. What he actually did was release a special effect laden big budget film that was intelligent & well acted. Sad to say that's a rare thing. But it was a brilliant film with a slightly lazy ending.
2) In Bruges
What starts off as a shot 'em up with a terminally dumb protagonist and industrial amounts of swearing evolves into a touching & laugh out loud funny exploration of guilt and redemption. Colin Farrell & Brendan Gleason shine.
3) The Prestige
Whereas Inception really didn't wrong foot anyone if they stayed awake and kept their wits about them, Nolan's Prestige pulled the rug from under you at least twice during it's running time. (Memento did it every ten minutes, but that's another story). A beguiling story.
Great films that are essentially two handers are rare but they do come along every now and again. But a film where the same actor seamlessly plays both 'hands' is a miracle. Sam Rockwell does the impossible, making it believable, and even managing to distinguish between the two roles even though the two characters are the same person. Has to be seem to be believed. He even has a fight with himself for goodness sake!
I'd happily pay money to see Denzel Washington paint a fence. Thankfully this is more exciting than that. Tony Scott does a great job of keeping an essentially predictable disaster unpredictable. After all the runaway train is going to go down the tracks...
6) Erin Brockovich
Julia Roberts plays the role of a lifetime as a real life outrageously sassy heroine taking on an evil corporation . Steven Soderbergh directs the ultimate underdog story.
What made this stand out in a world of teenage Zom-coms was the interplay between Woody Harrelson's Rambo survival nut and "I can't believe it's not Michael Sera"'s teenage geek nerd. I.C.B.I.N.M.S. has his rules for Zombie survival, Woody just want to find the last twinkie on earth.
8) Despicable Me
Yep. I hate to say it but IMHO someone else made a better animated film than Pixar this year. Expect this to happen more often as Pixar continue to make films with numbers in the title.
Wasn't great, but it was funny. Nicholas Cage seems born to play a deranged Dad who buys knives for his daughter. And what can you say about the line "with no power comes no responsibility"?
10) Star Trek XI
J.J. Abrams achieved the impossible. Kick started a dead franchise, won a new audience, pleased the drooling fan boys and made 1960's lycra tops somehow blend with 21st century CG effects. The film was fun.
District 9 was awesome (unless you happen to be Nigerian) and definitely would have made the list. It's just that I watched it about 2 hours before 2010 started. Sorry guys!
And my favourite non-movie DVD was My Name Is Earl Season 4. A real return to form (not that it ever dipped that much) and meant the series went out on a high point.
Related Posts: Top 10 books of 2010
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