Top Ten Films of 2010

I’ve got to say, this may be one of the finest years for film in recent memory. There were so many, many excellent films that came out this year. While I still have yet to see “Fair Game”, “127 Hours”, and “Blue Valentine” I decided to make my list, and if need be, after seeing these films that I haven’t watched yet – I’ll amend my list.

10. “TRON: Legacy”

I know there are a lot of you haters out there. “Oh it’s not Avatar!” or “the screenplay sucks!” Well you know what motherfuckers? No movie will ever be another Avatar, until James Cameron releases Avatar 2 though 10. As for the screenplay – what did you expect? This film is built upon its special effects and branches out from there. The special effects are amazing, and too me – it’s more imaginative than “Avatar”, but that’s just me. I gave this movie a 9/10, and I saw it a second time and my rating still held up. Get over yourself haters. Go eat sushi and talk about how intuitive and deep “The Social Network” is while you try and keep wasabi out of your recycled Urban Outfitter’s scarf.


9. “The Social Network”

This is not the best film of the year. Jesse Eisenberg does not give the best performance of the year. This is not David Fincher’s first of second best film. Andrew Garfield is not getting snubbed for a nomination, Armie Hammer is. What this film does have to offer us, is a story about an uppity little brat who thinks he’s entitled to everything in the world. It displays an air tight screenplay by Aaron Sorkin (I loved him before all you fucks did, so don’t start with me) and a great score. While I did think this was a good film, and I did enjoy it – I think a Fincher/Sorkin collaboration would have been better suited for the Bill Gates/Steve Jobs story. I have a feeling all the people that are banging the drum for this film were the same ones who thought “The Hurt Locker” was an amazing and incredible film. Get over it.


8. “Life During Wartime”

“Life During Wartime” doesn’t deal with a tangible war, it deals with the proverbial war that we fight with our family, our friends and within ourselves. It deals with forgiveness, absolution and retribution. The themes of this film run in toe with the themes of our American culture. I’m so glad that I got a chance to see this film while flipping through the channels late at night.


7. “The Town”

“The Town” is a slick fusion of “Heat” and “Point Break”. It’s a near perfect heist film that was masterfully helmed by Ben Affleck and has a great ensemble. Renner seems to be the favorite for a Best Supporting Actor nomination, but I prefer Jon Hamm in the film. Even though some elements and situations in the film tend to be a bit stretched, I still think this a very effective and taught film.


6. “Inception”

I don’t know whether or not “Inception” is Nolan’s best film. I still have my preference of his smaller films, “Insomnia” and “The Prestige”. “Inception” is the perfect combination of a summer blockbuster and a thinking man’s movie. The climax of the film is incredible, the four simultaneous dream arcs smashing the screen at the same time is flawless and brilliant. The performances in this film are all a great ensemble, and please people – get over Tom Hardy. He served his purpose but nothing more. Still, “Inception” is a landmark film. Nolan also scores major points for not making it 3-D.


5. “True Grit”

The Coen Brothers deliver again. With their second collaboration with Jeff Bridges, they bring us a great authentic western. Jeff Bridges gives the performance of the year, and along with Josh Brolin and Hailee Steinfeld, they deliver a great, great film. Yeah, I do have a Jeff Bridges “bias” but that’s because he’s amazing and doesn’t get enough credit. True Grit is excellent.


4. “Solitary Man”

Michael Douglas delivers one of the finest performances of his career and one of the top performances of this year as Ben – a womanizer, alcoholic and dishonest solitary man. People have compared his performance to the likes of Gordon Gekko. That’s false. His character is Gekko-esq, but he does have a heart. This is a very, very small and ultra cliché riddled film – but it’s near flawless. Michael Douglas deserves a nomination for this film.


3. “The King’s Speech”

Colin Firth has become one of my favorite actors – yet I am not very versed in his back catalog of his performances. With his performances from last year’s “A Single Man” and this year in “The King’s Speech” – everything with Firth seems so effortless. He gives a triumphant performance along with Geoffrey Rush. This is one of the most inspirational films I have seen in a long, long time. This is a rare cinematic treat that blends a period piece epic and a very small character study.


2. “The Fighter”

Everything about “The Fighter” just lightly touches upon perfection. This is a film that I truly underestimated. I thought it would be good, but not great. Marky Mark’s project is incredible and he gives us a masterpiece. He gives his best performance as does Amy Adams and Melissa Leo. As for Christian Bale – he’s nothing less than flawless perfection. He gives us an incredible tour-de-force performance as the main characters crack addicted, once “great” older brother and mentor.


1) “Black Swan”

Speaking of masterpieces. Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan” is incredible. I haven’t felt for Natalie Portman’s character like that in a long, long time. I was beyond sympathetic. The eerie and terribly creepy feeling of paranoia was masterfully displayed by Aronofsky. The ensemble cast is a true work of art. Vincent Cassel and Barbra Hershey’s supporting performances were incredible. This film is one dark trip into painfully brutal beauty.


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Author: Frank Mengarelli

Everybody relax, Frank's here. After going to film school at Columbia College Chicago, Frank decided to underachieve with his vast knowledge of film into a career in civil service. Frank had a brief stint as a film blogger, and then he met the heterosexual love of his life, Nick Clement. The two instantly bonded over their love from everything to Terence Malick to THE EXPENDABLES films. Some of Frank's favorite filmmakers are Terence Malick, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Sylvester Stallone, Oliver Stone and Spike Lee. Some of his favorite films are THE TREE OF LIFE, STAR WARS (all of them), BAD LIEUTENANT, THE THING and ALL THAT JAZZ. Frank spends his free time with his dog Roger, collecting any Star Wars collectible he can find and trying to finish his pretentious, first person narrative novel(la), LARGE MEN IN SMALL CARS..

10 thoughts on “Top Ten Films of 2010”

  1. I love that The Prestige is one of Nolan’s “smaller” films. Good list. Your top three aren’t even out over here yet.

    1. I feel that “The Prestige” is in fact epic, but in comparison to most of Nolan’s work – it does feel smaller, and smaller films are what I’m drawn too for the most part. Thanks for your comment Darren!

  2. I like Tron better than avatar. Avatar has great visual effect but lacking in story so bad. I can tell the story just by looking at the trailer….I don’t usually watch movies that I can predict easily. I finally watched Avatar after my student kept telling me that the visual was crazy…it was indeed amazing but the story bored me to death.

    At least, Tron can’t be predict just by seeing the trailer. I’m not saying I love Tron but I like it more than avatar.

    If I made my list with DVD included (my 2010 list only includes movies I watched in cinema), Buried will be in my top10. I love that movie

  3. The list feels awfully bitter and uncomplimentary, less a celebration of cinema than a capsule review pointing out some flaws.

    But to each their own for a top 10 list. Glad we at least agree on “Black Swan” being the best.

    1. Here’s my beef. Marshall called me out, and I appreciate it. It kept me in check. I think both “The Hurt Locker” and “The Social Network” are good films, but they are not the best films of this year and last year.

      I feel that people rallied around both these films because everyone else did. And while they beat the drum for the film, they try and validate their fondness for the film by saying they discovered it first.

      Just thinking something is great because everyone else thinks it’s great doesn’t make it great.

      There have been so many wonderful films this year, and they just get swallowed up in the wave that is “The Social Network”.

      It’s maddening to me.

      1. This year’s award season has definitely been plagued by critics desperate to stay relevant in a criticless-film world. They’ve put all their eggs in the Social Network basket and are hoping the Oscars vindicates them.

  4. I LOVE how you put Tron on this list. I saw it, was blown away by the visuals, and have been vehemently defending it to every hater since. I even convinced my girlfriend to see it with me – and she was PISSED when we walked into the theater – but she thought it was awesome!

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