(Updated on December 14, 2012 : Added Never Let Me Go and removed The Fighter)
(Updated on August 14, 2012 : Added Blue Valentine and removed Winter’s Bone)
Overall I feel that 2010 was a great year for movies. One of the better years in the last decade. I’ve heard some critics complain it was a weak year, but the interesting thing about movies is that we all have different films we like and that we connect with. And for me, 2010 had a great variety of films that fed all of my various cinematic cravings, from the tiny indie films like The Kids Are All Right, Blue Valentine, and Never Let Me Go, to the mega blockbuster Inception…and everything in between. The Kids Are All Right, which was one of the few movies to really make me laugh from the year, was a fantastic comedy/drama. And 127 Hours was a thriller of a different kind. It was so emotionally draining, it took me a few days to recover from it and really appreciate it. From Blue Valentine, made for $1 million, to Inception, made for $160 million, 2010 deeply reminded me that it is not the amount of money spent on a movie that makes it great, but it’s the care and craft of everyone involved in the filmmaking process from the writer to the marketing team. 2010 was the year that I really saw the broad audiences available for films of all types. And it’s encouraging to me to see that all of these audiences are finding these films through the various distribution methods we now have from theatrical presentations to Blu-ray/DVD to TV to internet streaming. In the end, I believe a good movie is a good movie and it will find its audience eventually and be appreciated for what it is. 2010 was the rare year in the last 10 where I really went out to the movie theaters and saw films as they have always been intended to be seen. And maybe that is a big part of why I enjoyed 2010 so much. Now on to the Top 10 films!
10. Never Let Me Go (4 stars)
9. Blue Valentine (4.5 stars)
8. The King’s Speech (4.5 stars)
7. The Kids Are All Right (4.5 stars)
6. 127 Hours (4.5 stars)
5. Rabbit Hole (4.5 stars)
4. Secretariat (4.5 stars)
3. The Social Network (5 stars)
2. The Town (5 stars)
1. Inception (5 stars)
Inception has not been loved by critics as much I love it. But the public has certainly embraced it, making it the 25th highest grossing film of all time worldwide. So I’m sure a few of you out there will agree with me that it was the best movie of 2010. My main reason for picking Inception is really very simple. I fell in love with movies like most kids from my generation, and now the younger generations, that were “event films”. Major Hollywood blockbuster films that had action, adventure, romance, drama, special effects, soaring music, etc. For me it was the original Star Wars trilogy, the Indiana Jones trilogy, the Star Trek franchise, and even the Back To The Future trilogy. So I will always have a place in my heart for the summer blockbuster film as we now know it. But since Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade in 1989, those kind of films just haven’t been the same to me. I personally don’t think Hollywood is making those movies anymore. With the advent of digital technology for special effects, these big movies have drifted away from good, smart storytelling to splashy visual effects. I know there are a lot of people who love those movies since they seem to make most of the money every year. But what I loved about Inception was that it combined every single thing I love about movies into one smart, sophisticated, glossy package that fulfilled me on every cinematic level in my entire life. How many years can you speak of a movie that does that?! I saw Inception twice in the theater and have seen it once on Blu-ray and it just keeps getting better every single time. While some critics of the movie blast it for its weaknesses in storytelling or acting, I just don’t see those weaknesses. There has been no other movie in 2010 that has even been close to Inception being my #1. The Town and The Social Network are also both great movies that I really enjoyed, along with the rest of these Top 10. But Inception stands out for me not only in 2010, but in my entire lifetime. It’s in my Top 25 films of all time and has a perfect film rating of 5 stars out of 5. Only time will tell now how Inception goes down in cinematic history. For me it has no where to go but up on my list!