This blog post is really special for two reasons.
Number one, it's going up on Christmas Eve, so Merry Christmas everybody and Happy Holidays. And number two, this is my 1,200th blog post so another reason to celebrate.
Anyway, this is my best movies of 2010 list. Let's be honest, 2010 was a shitty year for movies. After a great year of films last year in 2009 (to the point where I did not just a best 10 list but a best 15 list), you would think that would continue into 2010.
After starting off strong with The Book Of Eli and Edge Of Darkness in January, the year continued with disappointing film after disappointing film after disappointing film for three full months. But, the worst movies list is going to wait until next week.
Keep in mind, Black Swan, 127 Hours, and many of the limited release films that have opened in the last two months haven't opened near me yet, so I won't be able to put them in my list.
Now, onto my top 10 movies list:
10. LEGEND OF THE GUARDIANS: THE OWLS OF GA'HOOLE
This was one of the year's biggest surprises for me. I only had a little bit of interest in seeing this when I first heard about it but then when the trailers came out, I was really looking forward to it.
Legend Of The Guardians succeeds in story, animation, and voice work, all of which are excellent. And it's also the best thing Zack Snyder has done since Dawn Of The Dead. I saw this movie three times in a theater, twice in 3D and once in 2d and loved it every single time.
Legend Of The Guardians is a surprisingly stronger film than Animal Logic's (the studio that animated the film) previous film, Happy Feet, which is still one of my favorite movies to watch. It's one of the many good movies that got overlooked this year and it's defintely worth checking out on DVD and Blu-Ray.
9. HOT TUB TIME MACHINE
It sounded like a stupid idea at first but Hot Tub Time Machine manages to be a funny and original comedy.
John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke, and Chevy Chase all deliver terrific and hilarious performances as they get stuck back in the 80s. I also liked how they pretty much said "Fuck You" to keeping the past the way it was before and it also works to the film's advantage.
The funniest film I've seen since The Hangover, Hot Tub Time Machine takes an idea that sounded stupid at first and makes it into a laugh-out-loud comedy with laughs so hard, you'll still be laughing two scenes after that scene.
8. THE MILLENIUM TRILOGY (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest)
Based on the late Steig Larsson's trilogy of books, The Millenium Trilogy is one of those rare book-to-film translations that's way better than the book (mostly in the first film). The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is the stand out film in the series and is in my top 4 crime films with L.A. Confidential, Heat, and another film on this list. The other two films are great but don't live up to the awesomeness of the first film.
Noomi Rapace's portrayal of Lisbeth Sandler is terrific in all three films and deserves Oscar recogniton for her performance.
The Millenium Trilogy, while it starts off strong and lost some of its' goodness in the latter two films, is a tense and incredible looking trilogy of films and I hope it can translate as well as an american version when it comes out next year.
7. EASY A
Another big surprise for me. Every decade, we get one or two great movies about high school or college that has a strong following decades afterwards. The 70s, it was Animal House. The 80s, it was Fast Times At Ridgemont High, The 90s, it was Dazed And Confused, Clueless, and American Pie, and in the 2000s, it was Mean Girls and this film.
Easy A proves that Emma Stone can hold a movie on her own and she does a terrific job in this film. In fact, everybody in the cast does a great job, Patricia Clarkson, Stanley Tucci, Alyson Michalka, Amanda Bynes, Malcolm McDowell, Lisa Kudrow, and Thomas Haden Church.
Easy A is one of those movies that comes up on you and surprises you at how great a comedy it is.
Christopher Nolan is one of my favorite directors because he can make a great story out of anything. This is the guy that gave us the Batman that we will always remember and has made a number of fantastic movies, The Prestige, Insomnia, and Memento.
In Inception, he does it again delivering some impressive visual effects, a solid story, likeable characters, and damn good performances from the cast including Leonardo Dicaprio, Ellen Page, and Joseph Gordon Levitt.
Inception is not one of Nolan's best but it's still a damn good time and is easily one of the year's best films.
5. HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON
Dreamworks has always good to great movies and this is probably the best one that they've done.
How To Train Your Dragon exceeds with some awe-inspiring visual effects, great voice work, and a fantastic story. It's directed by Chris Sanders and Dean DeBois, directors of one of my favorite Disney films, Lilo & Stitch.
How To Train Your Dragon is a visually stunning movie that works on both the animation front and the story front and is possibly the best thing that Dreamworks has ever done.
4. THE FIGHTER
Based on a true story, The Fighter looks a lot like Rocky when you look at the trailer (at least, that was my impression). But when you watch the film, it's an entirely different film than Rocky. Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale deliver strong performances in this movie as do Amy Adams and Melissa Leo. Director David O Russell also does a phenomanal job being his best movie that he directed since Three Kings.
The Fighter is a strong piece of film work and easily one of the year's best. Defintiely check this movie out.
3. THE SOCIAL NETWORK
What can be said that hasn't been said already?
Nobody, not even me, thought that a movie about Facebook would become one of the best films of the year.
Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, and Justin Timberlake are all terrific and deliver oscar-worthy performances as the main guys behind Facebook. The rest of the supporting cast are all terrific as well including Brenda Song, Rooney Mara, and Rashida Jones.
The Social Network is another fantastic film from David Fincher, director of Seven, Fight Club, and Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, and Aaron Sorkin, writer of Charlie Wilson's War. Everything about this movie just works and works perfectly.
2. THE TOWN
Anybody who thought that Ben Affleck had no use in this world and couldn't do anything good needs to see this movie.
Affleck stars, wrote, and directed this crime film and has now become one of my favorite directors. The cast is great, the look of the film is amazing, and the action sequences are phenomonal.
The Town is a damn good movie that has no flaws whatsoever. It's one of the best crime films I've ever seen and proves that Ben Affleck can be both a good actor and a good director.
And finally, for the first time ever, my #1 film is a tie. I''ve gone into long detail at what they are but if you don't know, here they are.
1 (tie). TOY STORY 3 and SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD
As i've said, I've gone into great detail why these two are tied for my favorite movie before, if you need a reminder, here's my long blog post on why they are tied.
But basically, both movies have everything in common. The visuals in both movies are great, the stories in both films are well-thought out, the characters in both movies are likeable, and the climaxes in both movies are perfect.
Toy Story 3 and Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World are both easily my favorite movies of the year.
So that's my list of the best movies of 2010 and next week, New Year's Eve, will be my worst movies of 2010 list.