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Top Ten Movies of 2010

A fascinating year in which the smaller budgeted films became the talk of the town

Top Ten Movies of 2010

I feel as if 2010 marked a turning point in movies. Sure, we had our share of blockbusters with Alice in Wonderland crossing $1 billion worldwide and Iron Man 2 and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse joining it as the three lone live-action films to cross $300 million. However, after Inception and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, the only other films to cross the $200 million mark domestically were animated features -- Toy Story 3, Despicable Me, Shrek Forever After and How to Train Your Dragon. What does that say about this year's crop of films?

Well, first off, I think we all know a film doesn't need to make over $200 million at the box-office for it to be deemed "good." And this year it wasn't as much about the big blockbuster films as much as it was about the little guy that could, and smaller, indie films hit quite a stride. Adding up the reported budgets for six of the films that made my top ten the total comes to only $99.5 million, and only three of the films were made for over $100 million. What's even more surprising about this is the six films I'm referring to aren't obscure art house features or foreign language films you've never heard of. They're films we've been talking about all year long.

However, before I get to my list of ten, let me address a few that didn't make the cut for one reason or another, because to simply diminish a year down to ten films is simply wrong, especially when the gems left on the cutting room floor may become the films that manage to stand the test of time even better than the films that currently reside on top.


My list of Honorable Mentions begins with Anton Corbijn's The American and Sofia Coppola's Somewhere. One is slow and methodical just like its character and the other is slow and meditative just like its director. Both are certain to disappoint and confuse viewers looking for something more while both will also charm, enlighten and enthuse other viewers interested in looking beneath the surface.

Two films I saw at the Toronto International Film Festival that missed this list, due to the fact neither has an official 2011 release date as of yet (which made it seem weird to include them on this list even though I saw them in 2010), are Susanne Bier's In a Better World and Massy Tadjedin's Last Night, the latter of which would have actually made my top ten had I been sure it would be getting a 2011 release through Miramax, but the issues with that studio at the moment aren't clear. Nevertheless, you can read my review of Last Night here and my review of In a Better World here for a greater idea of what I loved about each and what to look forward to in 2011.

Here are a few others that didn't make the cut:

  • Certified Copy [my review]: This film won Juliette Binoche the Best Actress award at Cannes and will be hitting theaters in March. Be on the lookout, it's a fascinating film that will leave your head spinning.
  • The Crazies [my review]: Easily the best horror film I saw this year.
  • Despicable Me [my review]: A solid animated movie.
  • Dogtooth [my review]: A film that would in no way have caught on with mainstream audiences, but fans of art house features need to seek this one out.
  • Get Him to the Greek [my review]: One of the best comedies of the year, though I did find it doesn't necessarily hold up as well to a second viewing. P. Diddy, however, is hilarious no matter how many times you watch it.
  • The Ghost Writer [my review]: Solid suspense from Roman Polanski, enticing folks to explore his backlog.
  • How to Train Your Dragon [my review]: Another great animated film though I wasn't quite as moved the second time as I was the first.
  • Howl [my review]: Did I say art house earlier? This is an ultimate art house film and could probably best be defined as a piece of art itself, more so that pretty much any other film this year.
  • The Other Guys [my review]: The second best comedy of the year and the film that showed Kevin Smith how an homage is actually done.
  • Remember Me [my review]: Perhaps the most misunderstood film of the year. People called the ending a "twist" which I guess means any time you're walking around your house and you stub your toe it's a twist because you didn't expect to do it. This movie presented events in a way no other film has dared to try, the same way we lived it, without knowing and without warning. And I applaud it for having the guts to do so.
  • The Social Network [my review]: It's probably going to win the Best Picture Oscar, but after seeing it twice I was still left thinking that was pretty good, but in no way was I bowled over like the rest of society. Good movie, not great.
  • A Town Called Panic [my review]: It technically hit theaters in 2009, but I didn't see it until 2010 and I wanted to add it to the top ten, but I just couldn't find the place for it. So here it sits, one of the oddly most entertaining animated features I have ever seen.

Finally, three films that didn't make my top ten, but dawdled on the outskirts are Biutiful, Rabbit Hole and Winter's Bone. All three of these films feature some of the best performances of the year including Javier Bardem, Nicole Kidman, Dianne Wiest, Jennifer Lawrence, Dale Dickey and John Hawkes. However, all three of these films are down in the dumps, emotional train wrecks and when I tend to not be interested in seeing a film again I tend to leave them off my top ten. My lack of interest in seeing these three films again is not a knock against their quality, but a statement regarding their effective use of melancholic drama. Great films all three, but I like to reserve my top ten for those films I will want to watch again and again.

All that said, it's time to break down my ten favorite films of 2010.

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  • Colin

    My current Ten

    1. Inside Job
    2. The Social Network
    3. True Grit
    4. Toy Story 3
    5. 127 Hours
    6. Exit Through the Gift Shop
    7. Winter's Bone
    8. Animal Kingdom
    9. King's Apeech
    10.Kids Are All Right

    Might change after I see Blue Valentine and Another Year.

  • AKD

    Wow, True Grit as # 1? I have been putting of seeing it but I am definitely checking it out later tonight. Then again, Social Network wasn’t even on the list and Tangled was and I can’t see that argument from any angle.

  • Grissom

    Brad, you gonna do what you did last year and make a list of all the films released this year and see what people thought were the best?

    • Brad Brevet

      Yup, but going to do it a little later so people can see more of the movies.

      • Grissom


      • Adu

        Thanks for holding off on that list.

      • Mr Pink

        What about ten worst? Are you doing that this year?

        • Brad Brevet

          Ten worst is always tricky, especially since I don't see all the movies... may be doing a most disappointing list. I have both on spreadsheet at the moment, just trying to decide if it's worth it.

      • Grissom

        It would be worth to see that list

  • Roger

    I don't understand all the love Scott Pilgrim got. Same with Get Him To The Greek.

  • Gophers Attack!

    My Top 10 (working list)

    1. Toy Story 3
    2. The Social Network
    3. Inception
    4. 127 Hours
    5. Black Swan
    6. True Grit
    7. Exit Through the Gift Shop
    8. Winter's Bone
    9. The Ghost Writer
    10. How to Train Your Dragon

    There's still a lot I have to see, including Fighter, King's Speech and Another Year. But this year, as lame as it was outside my favorite 20 or so films, measured up with 'best' films. Which is good, because I'm a little worried about 2011's slate.

    I like that you have Tangled on your list. After a decade of lousy features, this is my favorite Disney in-house cartoon since the renaissance era. It's sitting just outside my top 10.

  • Michael (Gort2) Patterson

    Brad..tis a great list. Lines up with my thinking very closely. As you can see, I write a blog that focuses on film from the Telluride Film Festival, so, as you might expect, I'm probably overly influenced by the films that I saw there (127 Hours, King's Speech, Black Swan, Another Year). I'd move King's Speech way up on my list (fighting for the top spot with True Grit). I also strongly second your notion that Social Network was good not great. I also think TS3 is over-rated...and would almost certainly include Shutter Island on my list.

  • Kevin Blumeyer

    My top 10 is pretty well squared away, but I'm going to wait until I see Biutiful and Blue Valentine before I finalize it. I've been anxiously awaiting those for a while.

  • Abe M

    I'm going to hold off on my list as I have yet to see far too many of this years great films. I seriously need to catch up, and will do so starting tonight!

    I too was not thrown head over heels for The Social Network. I felt it was great, but not exceptionally. I felt the same for The Town. I was however, rendered speechless and motionless after Dogtooth. But seeing as it is an art house film that is certainly not for everyone makes sense to leave it out of the Top Ten.

    I seem to be in the minority for not feeling the love for Toy Story 3, honestly, I felt a little "used" at the end of it. Then again, I tend to not care for third installments unless they're really different.

    As of now, I need to several films on this list, and the only films I've seen twice are Inception and Black Swan. I've got some serious work to do. But on a whole, I like your list Brad.

  • therapycase1279

    my top five
    the social network
    remember me
    toy story 3
    tron legacy

  • m1

    1.Toy Story 3-SO much better than Inception.
    2.Winter's Bone-a phenomenal movie that, in a perfect world, would be on everyone's top ten list.
    3.Black Swan-The directing was so great; Natalie Portman deserves the Oscar.
    4.The Ghost Writer-such a terrific thriller.
    5.Inception-better the second time, but not a Best Picture-worthy film.
    6.Easy A-One of the funniest films in a long time.

  • Sean R

    Mine is:

    1. The Fighter
    2. The Town
    3. Black Swan
    4. True Grit
    5. Remember Me
    6. Inception
    7. The Ghost Writer
    8. 127 Hours
    9. Winter's Bone
    10. The Other Guys

    • Sean R

      Actually, Shutter Island should be where Winter's Bone is.

  • Winchester

    I was having a think about this and I actually can't really do a valid Top Ten at this point because there are so many films that I have yet to see that have not yet been released in the UK yet or I haven't had time to catch up on that anything I created just now would be markedly different to the one I suspect would exist after I've seen everything I still want to from 2010.

    However, I have this year so far enjoyed hugely - 'Shutter Island', 'Robin Hood', 'Inception' (No, I don't think it's a masterpiece or work of genius however), 'The Ghost Writer' and that's about the only major studio films I have truly enjoyed for more than one viewing.

    (However, I am hugely, hugely behind on my indie scene films and expect many of them to feature once I get caught up)

    In the middle section of 'Enjoyed but wouldn't rave' I have the likes of 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1', 'Salt', 'Iron Man 2', 'The Wolfman', 'The A Team', 'The Town'.

    In the 'Average to Pretty Bad' side there was 'Hot Tub Time Machine', 'Knight & Day', 'Predators', 'Legion', 'Devil'.

    In the 'Bad' pile I'd say 'The Bounty Hunter', 'Daybreakers' and my personal special mention for the film that this year I would love to erase from existence entirely is.............Due Date!!

    • Winchester

      Oops, I forgot to add 'Date Night' and 'Sex and the City 2' to the 'Bad' pile.

      • m1

        If Daybreakers, Due Date, and Date Night are in your bad pile, you really avoided some genuine POS's this year, I'll give you that.

      • Winchester

        Well, the one thing I did realise when having a think about it (apart from the realisation that I didn't have enough yet to actually make a genuine Top Ten) was that I had still not seen many of the blockbusters of this year either.

        The Last Airbender, Valentine's Day etc and quite a few more I have not seen. Though surely would end up in the 'Bad' pile if I did.

        (Which reminds me, I forgot to include 'Clash of the Titans' in the bad pile as well).

        I have special venom reserved for Due Date but that's a whole other story that doesn't really matter now.

      • Grissom

        And The Tourist

      • Winchester

        I haven't seen The Tourist and won't for the forseable. Therefore I can't place it anywhere.

      • Grissom

        Think of it this way: All it is is a very modified remake of Knight & Day. Also that other movie

  • Nick

    I'm seeing Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives and Rabbit Hole in the next several days, and I won't get the chance to see The Fighter, The King's Speech, True Grit and 127 Hours until late January at the earliest. So, as it stands right now:

    1. The Social Network. It may be an obvious choice but I don't care because it was so damn good in every single way. I watched it 4 times and was simply floored each time.
    2. Exit Through the Gift Shop. In a perfect world, everyone would see this movie and it would win the Best Documentary Oscar. Fascinating, deeply ironic and often very funny.
    3. The Illusionist. In my opinion, the best animated film in a year full of great ones. Infinitely beautiful in every way, touching, magical and mature. Sylvain Chomet is a genius.
    4. Somewhere. Definitely not everyone's cup of tea, but I totally fell in love with it. Quiet, deeply soulful charmer with two of the most natural performances of the year.
    5. Buried. A very simple concept developed by some very talented into a 90-minute film that never feels dragged out. The most gripping film of the year, with the most powerful ending.
    6. The Kids Are All Right. My #6 and #7 films constantly replace each other since I've seen one three times and the other just yesterday for the first time. But I'd still go with the latter, which is The Kids. The story is rather melodramatic, but from the first scene I couldn't resist the terrifically written dialogue and excellent performances, especially by Ruffalo and Wasikowska. It's funny, compelling and it definitely stayed with me.
    7. Inception. If someone told me after I watched it that it wouldn't be in my Top 3 by the end of the year, I would have laughed out loud. Alas, it is. It's definitely a great film which gets the most out of its premise, and it's a testament to Nolan's direction that no characters and subplots became lost amidst it all. But I still have questions to the plot and half the characters aren't developed in any way, which ultimately slightly brings the movie down. It's excellent and rewatchable and a future classic, but definitely not Nolan's best work. Not for me.
    8. Black Swan - it didn't blow me away like many others (maybe things will change since I've only seen it once), but I have to appreciate the bold direction, lean pacing, the wonderful madness of it all, and Portman's performance that should get her an Oscar. I just wasn't left with a "WOW" feeling, unfortunately. But I know I liked it a lot.
    9. Toy Story 3 - the last 30 minutes are some of the most powerful I've seen this year, but before that, the movie is hardly anything more than a fun roller-coaster ride, Lotso's backstory excluded. It's great, but not consistently so.
    10. Shutter Island - one that came the earliest and stayed with me throughout the year. The script isn't too strong, but Scorsese directs the hell out of it - I absolutely love the deliciously over-the-top atmosphere, music, and visuals; Di Caprio's performance is his best since Catch Me If You Can, if not since the "I'm a good boy" scene in The Basketball Diaries. I wish the dialogue was stronger, but it's still a great film.

    Follow-ups, in no order:

    Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
    Valhalla Rising
    How to Train Your Dragon
    How I Ended This Summer
    Let Me In
    The Ghost Writer
    The A-Team
    The American

    Main disappointments:

    Alice in Wonderland
    The Expendables
    Winter's Bone
    Never Let Me Go

    • Ismal Ishak

      hey Nick,

      yeah.. I watched Black Swan yesterday and I got you when you said that movie just don't scream 'Wow'. I don't know whether it's my lack of understanding for ballet or what. On Portman's performance, just like what Brad mentioned, though the character is hard to carry, but we can expect that she can pull it off. no surprise factor there (i.e Sandra Bullock's Blind Side or Charlize Theron's Monster) as we've seen her with that melodramatic role like that before. I am actually eager to watch her in a 'cooler' roles. (oh why must with Ashton Kutcher?)

  • Nick

    Gotta say your #1 pick was definitely very unexpected.

    • Grissom

      Guess he really liked the True Grit remake

      • Feedback

        I'm actually very disappointed in his #1 pick. When I saw Inception was #2 and read that "at the very last minute" he changed it, I was like "Oh please don't tell me he picked True Grit".
        True Grit was great, but its ending was horrible and the suspense was taken away by adding narration. Many other factors weigh in to why it's not that great. This isn't a knock to Brad, as I have no problem that he loved it, I'm just a little disappointed, that's all.

  • maja

    Brad, excellent writeup. It has to be said that I fully expected you to have Inception at #1, so it was a nice surprise there. Also, as it is the end of the year, thank you for an excellent year in reviews and reports. I thoroughly enjoyed them.

    My top 10:
    1. Inception
    2. Toy Story 3
    3. Shutter Island
    4. Dogtooth - My favorite foreign film of the year.
    5. Kick Ass - the most fun I have had in the cinema for years.
    6. Ghost Writer
    7. Tangled - Excellent characters and story, glad to see Disney back.
    8. The Social Network - I felt the same way about it as you described, I thought it was very good but cannot say it was great.
    9. Remember Me
    10. Catfish - just edges out Exit Through the Gift Shop for me due to the originality in the second half of the film.

    Overall, I think it's been a pretty strong year, stronger than the last two. I have yet to see The Fighter, True Grit and 127 Hours which I'm sure will drastically change my top 10 then I do.

    • maja

      I forgot to add The Way Back, which I saw in the weekend and is simply stunning. Probably place it around the #6 mark.

      • Brad Brevet

        I still haven't seen that one and have been doing my best to track down a screener, but at this point it is now a candidate for my top ten of 2011.

      • adu

        is it out on screener Maja?

    • maja

      No idea. Came out in theatres in the UK on Boxing Day (26th December)

  • David

    My top ten, although I still need to see 'Another Year', 'The King's Speech', 'The Illusionist', and 'Tangled'.

    1. The Ghost Writer
    2. The Fighter
    3. True Grit
    4. Black Swan
    5. 127 Hours
    6. Winter's Bone
    7. Inception
    8. How To Train Your Dragon
    9. The Town
    10. Megamind (Yes, really.)

  • Grissom

    My favorite's have to be:
    1.Inception- A very taut thriller which blew my mind with great effects, acting and very amazing script.
    2.Hot Tub Time Machine- Honestly this year's Hangover.
    3.Toy Story 3- An emotional finale to what helped kick start the empire that PIXAR has become.
    4.True Grit- Fitting remake, though Bridges can't top The Duke, but sure as hell tries.
    5.Scott Pilgrim vs. The World- Visual effects + very well-crafted script=August fun!
    6.Predators- Easily makes me forget about the horrors of AVP films.
    7.Kick-Ass- Maja took the words out of my mouth: easy theater fun.
    8.The Other Guys- The comedies of this age are starting to improve.
    9.How to Train Your Dragon- Could of been this year's Oscar winner, if not for TS3.
    10.Shutter Island- Not as good as The Departed, but one of Scorsese's best.

  • TS

    1. 127 Hours
    2. Inception
    3. The Social Network
    4. Toy Story 3
    5. The Town
    6. Shutter Island
    7. Scott Pilgrim
    8. The King's Speech
    9. The Crazies
    10. Get Him to the Greek

    • TS

      No acutally:

      1. 127 Hours
      2. The Fighter
      3. Inception
      4. True Grit
      5. The Social Network
      6. TS3
      7. Town
      8. Kick-Ass
      9. The Crazies
      10. Shutter Island

  • Yaz

    Surpised Blue Valentine isn't on this list... Have you seen it yet Brad? I thought it was perfect.

    • Brad Brevet

      Yeah, I reviewed it at Cannes. I thought it had great performances but the film did nothing for me.

  • Trevor

    Current Top Ten:

    1) Inception
    2) Winter's Bone
    3) Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
    4) Black Swan
    5) Exit through the gift shop
    6) 127 Hours
    7) Toy Story 3
    8) Shutter Island
    9) The Social Network
    10)The Town

    I still need to see "True Grit" which I anticipate will enter the top ten and I'd like to see "Another Year" and "The King's Speech" even though they're a bit outside my wheelhouse.

  • Grissom

    My list of dissapointments are
    1.Alice in Wonderland- Great makeup and visuals, but the script was boring and the acting suckish.
    2.Jonah Hex- Alright idea, but very poorly put together, and too short.
    3.The Tourist- Basically a too early remake of Knight & Day that was horrifying to view.
    4.Due Date- Was to be Phillips' post-Hangover success, but resulted in an hour and a half dissapointment.
    5.Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1- Honestly lackluster and unappealing. Hoping the 2nd is better
    6.Clash of the Titans- Smart idea to refresh us of the battle, only for Lettier to let us down.
    7.The Wolfman- Great makeup (Oscar nominee for sure), but huge portions of the film seem quite boring and quiet
    8.The A-Team- Huge amount of speculation and excitement only to be forgot about and lackluster.
    9.TRON:Legacy- I thought it was OK, but tabloids fooled us and not as good as hoped.
    10.MacGruber- SNL's chance at redemption after It's Pat (shudder), failed at the box office and torn to shreds by critics.

    • m1

      I didn't think the acting in Alice was that bad. Hathaway, Wasikowska, Carter, and Depp were solid, I though. But I agree it was boring and predictable.

    • Stiggy

      Say what you want about MacGruber, but it was definetly better than most SNL films (Coneheads, It's Pat and Ladies Man).
      Everything that was said about MacGruber is true. "Funniest SNL movie since Wayne's World". Plus it had cameos from your favourite WWE superstars (assuming you are a fan of Chris Jericho, Kane, MVP, Big Show, Mark Henry and Great Khali).

      • Grissom

        I didn't say i hated it, i meant it was a disapointment to me

  • Sean R

    The worst/most disappointing for me were:

    1. Iron Man 2-Just bad
    2. Due Date
    3. Alice in Wonderland
    4. The Wolfman
    5. The Tourist

    • Grissom

      I don't know if Iron Man 2 was BAD, but an extreme upset

  • Him

    How he felt about The Social Network is how I feel about INception, Ya, it was a solid film but not a great film like a lot of people think.. the acting was only Okay.. really if anyone thinks that even combined with all that talent that that acting deserves to put the movie in a best picture catagory is just WOW to me.. it's good and they were all fair in their parts but no one was a "this deserves notice" catagory and the story was fine and the visuals were fine neither either were ground breaking... it was better than many big budget popcorn movies this summer but does that elevate it to Oscar level, it shouldn't.. but it will.

    • beautifulm

      I agree, I liked Inception, but I wasn't crazy about it watched it a second time and actually lowered my grade.

    • Steve

      I have to agree about Inception. Aside from Levitt, Cotlliard, and Hardy, I actually thought the acting kind of sucked. And people are confusing screenplay and concept too much. What Nolan had was a great idea. And while the way he executed it was entertaining, the dialogue was so cheap and no characters were even developed besides Leo's.

  • Him

    I also feel that How to train your dragon is a far better movie than Toy Story 3.. the only thing toy story 3 is getting the raves for is it COMPLETES a trilogy that is familiar to an audience who has watched and grown with the other two (hence the huge box office) but as individual movies Dragon is the Better movie by far actually.

  • sela

    my top ten were:

    1. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
    2. The Fighter
    3. Inception
    4. Black Swan
    5. Exit Through The Gift Shop
    6. True Grit
    7. The Other Guys
    8. Winter's Bone
    9. The Town
    10. Piranha 3D

    • sela

      and the social network instead of piranha 3d.

      • Grissom

        Good list. Piranha was definetly not one of 2010's finest.

  • Adu

    Great choices Brad, I think this is one of your best top 10s, and I thank you for giving us more time to see the movies that deserve attantion.

    Happy New Year!

  • HeadHurtsEatAspirin01

    So far...

    The GOOD: Mother
    The King's Speech
    The Fighter
    The Social Network
    Toy Story 3

    The BAD: The Crazies
    Clash of the Titans

    The UGLY: I'm Still Here
    The Wolfman

    • m1

      Salt? Really?

      • Grissom

        Salt is Jolie's second Razzie nomination, along with The Tourist. She's just a horrible actress

      • m1

        @Grissom: She was great in the film! She is not horrible, and the razzies (the award is not credible enough for me to capitalize the r) need to go to hell.

      • Grissom

        She's getting nominated for The Tourist, probably, but it's known that the Razzies have a bad habit for nominated the actor/tress for all the films they were in that year.

      • HeadHurtsEatAspirin01

        Salt was an formulaic bore w/ Jolie in full autopilot mode. Glad you'd like it though.

      • Grissom

        Someone finally agrees with me.

      • Winchester

        I actually enjoyed Salt more when I saw it again on Blu-ray and had a chance to go through the extras and the two alternate cuts of the film.

        While it's not a 'great' film and completely preposterous, I think you have to hand it to Jolie that she held it together in a way that I defy any other 'headline' actress there is at present to have been able to do.

        I wouldn't say she deserved a Razzie for Salt, but then neither anything else at the same time.

      • Grissom

        You do know it was written with Tom Cruise in mind, but she phoned the director and told him she wanted the role?

      • Grissom

        Also, one problem i have with your list, Machete was bad? I hope you mean badass! It was stereotypical, yes, but fun as hell to watch

      • Winchester

        Yeah, I'm aware that Salt has a long and varied production history. As far as I understand it was designed for Cruise but he dropped out because he thought it was too like his 'Mission: Impossible' franchise and then when he did Amy Pascal suggested switching it from a male lead to a female one and brought up Jolie since she was interested in making a film like that.

        Ironically, Cruise ended up making Knight & Day instead......can't win em all.

        But based on the interviews with Phillip Noyce, the script when it was Edwin A. Salt (as it was with Cruise in mind) was very different to the script that ended up in place by the time they filmed with Jolie due to the changing sex of the main character. Characters were removed, the entire third act radically different etc

      • HeadHurtsEatAspirin01

        Machete was better off as a faux trailer than a feature film... much the like the Geico Cavemen... better off as a commercial than a sitcom.

  • Justin Parsons

    i still have yet to see a few films namely 127 hours and true grit but right now the top 5 stands as

    5. Tangled - Finally a return to form for disney, cant wait for the blu ray, ill be watching this one for a while

    4. Social Network - David Fincher directed the hell outa this one and im glad he will finally get his best director oscar he already deserves 2

    3. Inception - was my number 2 for a while but got droped last minute, and further cemented my opinion that Nolan is the best direcor workin today

    2. Black Swan - WOW i expected good but i was blown away the cinematography is the best ive seen in a long time and Aronofsky and Portman are both deserving of oscars for their work

    1. Toy Story 3 - beyond anything i could imagine, i havent been this amazed by a movie since the first time a saw The Shawshank Redemption. put simply one of the greatest movies ive ever seen

  • Ian

    I still need to see 127 Hours, Another Year, and rewatch True Grit before I can complete my list. I'm planning on getting to True Grit tomorrow and 127 Hours on Friday, but it looks like the earliest I'll be able to see Another Year will be Jan. 21. I'd also like to see Biutiful, The Way Back, Rabbit Hole, and Blue Valentine, but I don't think any of those would work their way onto my list, so I'll be fine with my list being "official" (whatever that means, done for good I guess), after I get to those three above. I also need to rewatch Inception, The Social Network, and Toy Story since I haven't seen those in a while, and I need to decide how I would rank them, and also how they would fit in with Black Swan, because right now I consider those four in competition for the best of the year for me. Of course 127 Hours and/or Another Year could join that group as well. This is where I stand right now:

    10. Winter's Bone
    9. The Town
    8. The Ghost Writer
    7. The Kids Are All Right
    6. The King's Speech
    5. The Fighter
    4-1(order TBD). Black Swan, Inception, The Social Network, Toy Story 3

    There are a number of films I'd consider giving honorable mentions. I expect Winter's Bone and The Town will end up in that category, and if my opinion on True Grit somehow vastly improves or I see one of those others and it just blows me away I'd probably drop The King's Speech down rather than The Kids or The Ghost Writer, simply due to what Brad mentioned: rewatchability. The King's Speech was very well made and acted, and Firth definitely deserves to win Best Actor, but it just wasn't particularly entertaining to me, and I doubt I'll watch it again anytime in the near future. I thought The Kids and The Ghost Writer were much more rewatchable, but I just left the rankings alone for now.

    Other possible HMs for me include The American, The A-Team (purely on entertainment value; I don't think I had more fun at the movies this year save maybe the midnight show of Inception), Fair Game, Harry Potter, Kick-Ass, and Shutter Island.

  • markymark

    Good list, I think... Unfortunately True Grit, The Fighter, Tangled, 127 hours, 'Another year' and Black Swan are not out in my country yet, dang it.
    Thats more then half your list :(

    oh well amps up the anticipation.

  • pJ

    My Top 10:
    10. Agora
    9. True Grit
    8. Inception
    7. Winter's Bone
    6. How to Train Your Dragon
    5. Remember Me
    4. The Fighter
    3. Black Swan
    2. I Am Love
    1. The Social Network

    • Grissom

      I thought Agora was released last year

  • Mr Pink

    My favorite film this year is Exit Through the Gift Shop. Even if it is a "fake documentary" it was still a fine film. Held my interest the entire time.

  • m1

    Worst list (4 films):

    1.The Last Airbender (1/10)-This movie is a soulless, incoherent, and boring piece of garbage. These actors (sorry, cardboard cutouts) conveyed zero emotion. The dialogue literally explained the scenes as I was watching them. Easily the worst film of the year.

    2.The Bounty Hunter (2/10)-I hated both Aniston and Butler in this film, as they didn't have chemistry (and I typically like both of them). The final shot was so uninspired, and you'll find more entertainment in counting the plot holes that surround the film.

    3.The Last Song (3/10)-Why isn't this making more 'worst of the year' lists? It is dreadful. The direction was so detached that it conveyed in many of the performances. Miley Cyrus could not carry the film. The emotions and personalities of the "characters" were so poorly sketched that they caused the story to barely make any sense. The final shot was so unromantic and the romantic scenes were paired with this horrible soundtrack. Easily one of the most disappointing movies of the year (if you have read the terrific book).

    4.Valentine's Day (4/10)-Not particularly unbearable (I was able to sit through it twice), but the actors have no plot to work with and this feels more like a chamber piece than a movie. It eventually gets boring and detached from real life.

    • Grissom

      The Lat Airbender was unmotivated. Shyamalayn has been going downhill for years. And he hoped that if he attached his name to what was potentially a good series, he might rebound. But with a sloppy script, dreadful acting and directing and mindless special effects, it's obvious Shyamalayn can't catch a break

    • Stiggy

      Actually M1, Fred the Movie comes to mind as it was more insane than Airbender.

  • JM

    Aren't the smaller-budgeted films ALWAYS the ones more talked-about, in general, when it comes to Year's Best lists?

  • mcwrixon

    Your comments on Remember Me are so spot on -
    Thank You Thank You Thank You

    Time I hope will make this movie what it really is - history

  • sonofsunday

    My top 5, in no particular order...

    Toy Story 3
    True Grit
    The Social network
    Another year
    My name is Khan
    Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

    • sonofsunday

      I just realized that I put 7 film's down instead of 5.
      That's embaressing...

      • Ismal Ishak

        hey.. I wanted to watch My Name is Khan but has always been postponing that intention.

        2 questions:

        1. Is Shah Rukh Khan overacting?

        2. Is the the movie too draggy especially the first half?

  • Janet Wainwright

    NICE job Brad!

  • Drew

    Ok well i guess i can't help but put my list up even though i have so much left to see. But here's my top 5 so far.

    1. The Social Network
    2. The Ghost Writer
    3. Exit Through The Gift Shop
    4. Shutter Island
    5. Scott Pilgrim

  • Sam Lane

    I was glad to see True Grit at #1. I thought for a second you weren't going to include it at all, which would have been really surprising. I watched it for the second time this afternoon. I love that movie and I really hope it's oscar chances improve...

    • Feedback

      Was the epilogue necessary at all?

      • Fact maker

        Nitpicking: The obsession of one particular series of events that occur for a few minutes within the film that one person bases a hatred over.

  • Cory

    My final Top Ten/Eleven of 2010

    The Social Network
    Let Me In
    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I
    Pixar's Toy Story 3
    Ridley Scott's Robin Hood Director's Cut
    Winter's Bone
    The American
    Kick Ass
    Disney's Tangled

    Honorable Mentions 2010

    The Book of Eli
    The Town Extended Cut
    Despicable Me
    Tron Legacy 3D
    Legend of the Guardians The Owls of Ga'Hoole

  • Feedback

    What happened with Hot Tub Time Machine? I thought you really enjoyed it.

    • Grissom

      I know it made my list

      • Winchester

        I wanted to enjoy HTTM - but when I saw it I couldn't help but feel I was watching a movie that had been totally cut to ribbons and left utterly non-sensical as a result.

        I have the feeling there was vast amounts of cut footage that might have made it more coherent if put back in.

  • nikki

    Thanks, Brad, for mentioning Remember me.
    Some other critics now have admitted that they've judged the movie unfairly at its release. But you gave it a chance from the beginning. You even interviewed screenwriter Will Fetters and this article was followed by hundreds of moving comments(also mine btw):).
    After all these months my respect for the filmmakers has only grown more and more. I'm glad the movie is very well received in Europe and the audience in my country gave it one of the highest rates of the whole year. Especially the younger generation adore the movie and its message, shown so beautifully through the quote of Gandhi. I hope Remember me will get more recognition whithin time.

  • Feedback

    I don't know if this is just me being stubborn, but I REFUSE to let you acknowledge Scott Pilgrim vs. The World as one of the top 10 best movies of the year. Better than Shutter Island, The Ghost Writer and The Social Network? Come on.

  • Bloomy

    my top 10

    1.The Social Network
    2.Black Swan
    3.Toy Story 3
    4.True Grit
    6.Shutter Island
    7.The Town
    8.Winters Bone
    9.The Ghost Writer
    10.The Kings Speech

  • Tyler Cole

    Okay, so these are not 'critically acclaimed', but these are just my favourite movies of the year. Also, I have missed A LOT of movies, therefore I had a limited selection to choose from.

    10. Valentine's Day (everybody hates this movie, and although the plot seems like a bad sitcom, I enjoyed it)

    9. Jackass 3D (Funny and fun movie)

    8. Shrek Forever After (Not as good as the second, but better than the third)

    7. Case 39 (Surprisingly quite good)

    6. Easy A (Although I could/would not watch this film repeatedly, it was still a fun flick)

    5. Date Movie (usually I don't literally 'Laugh-Out-Loud' at movies other than spoofs, I really enjoyed this and had genuinely funny jokes)

    4. Step Up 3 (Not a very good plot, and not as good the second time, I still had so much fun watching this in theatres; 3D was awesome, kind of useless, but still awesome)

    3. Toy Story 3 (I could watch this over and over, and never get bored)

    2. How To Train Your Dragon (I didn't see this in theatres, and lost out on the 3D effect, but this film was amazing! I would very pleased and very surprised that I enjoyed it more than TS3)

    1. Paranormal Activity 2 (I have seen this three times and theatres, and somehow it still makes me jump! I LOVE this movie, and although very similar to the original, it still worked)

    • m1

      "...and although the plot seems like a bad sitcom..."

      What plot?

      • Ismal Ishak

        heyyy.. don't be mean.

        it's refreshing when we're all championing for art-house flicks, there's Tyler Cole who knows how to have fun. (this is not me being cynical)

        sometimes yeah, now I know why I don't like Black Swan so much, the journey to the end is tiring. so dark, so emotionally depressing. sigh~

  • forgetmenow

    I knew as soon as you put The Social Network and Inception aside, you were going to put True Grit as #1

  • al3x

    These are my favourite 2010 releases in the UK:

    10. Hot Tub Time Machine
    9. Somewhere
    8. The Social Network
    7. The Town
    6. Kick Ass
    5. Bad Lieutenant: Port Of Call New Orleans
    4. Shutter Island
    3. Toy Story 3
    2. A Prophet
    1. Inception

    The following could we1l end up in my 2011 list as they've not been released over here yet, Black Swan, 127 Hours, The King's Speech, Blue Valentine, The Fighter & True Grit.

    • al3x

      Honourable mentions, How to train your Dragon, The American, The Killer Inside Me, Exit through The Gift Shop, The Other Guys.

  • Austin

    Here's my Top 10 from this year. I have not seen The King's Speech, Black Swan, and 127 Hours yet, and I plan on seeing The Ghost Writer and True Grit very soon.

    1. Inception
    2. The Fighter
    3. Toy Story 3
    4. Kick-Ass
    5. Scott Pilgram vs. The World
    6. The Social Network
    7. Easy A
    8. The Town
    9. How to Train Your Dragon
    10. Shutter Island

  • Khalid Qamar

    My Top 10 of 2010 are ;
    1. 127 Hours
    2. Shutter Island
    3. The Social Network
    4. Inception
    5. The Fighter
    6. Toy Story 3
    7. Black Swan
    8. Scott Pilgrim vs The World
    9. True Grit
    10. The Ghost Writer

  • Risa

    I like that every year Brad and I happen to have the same film at the top. Hope you are alright mate. Nice job covering the Globes by the way :)

    1. True Grit
    2. Black Swan
    3. Another Year
    4. Biutiful
    5. The Ghost Writer
    6. The King's Speech
    7. Kick-Ass
    8. Inception
    9. Four Lions
    10.Toy Story 3

  • Brando79

    My Top 10 films Of 2010

    1.The social network


    3.The fighter

    4.The american

    5.I love you philip morris

    6.127 hours

    7.The town

    8.Scott pilgram vs. the world

    9.The king's speech

    10.winter's bone

    Top 10 best performances of 2010

    1.Christian bale- The fighter
    2.Colin firth- The king's speech
    3.Hailee steinfeld- True grit
    4.Melissa leo- The fighter
    5.Amy adams- The fighter
    6.Chloe moretz- Kick-ass
    7.Jennifer Lawrence- Winter's bone
    8.Natalie portman- Black swan
    9.Al pacino- You dont know jack (tv movie)
    10.Micheal douglas- Solitary man

    My Oscar predictions for 2010

    Best picture- The social network

    Best director- david fincher- The social network

    Best actor- Colin firth- The king's speech

    Best actress- Natalie portman- Black swan

    Best supporting actor- Christian bale- The fighter

    Best supporting actress- Melissa leo- The fighter

    Best adapted screenplay- The social network

    Best original screenplay- The king's speech

    Best original score- Inception

    Best animated film- Toy story 3

  • Risa

    After watching a few more of 2010:

    1. True Grit
    2. Black Swan
    3. Another Year
    4. Biutiful
    5. The Ghost Writer
    6. The King's Speech
    7. Winter's Bone
    8. Inception
    9. Four Lions
    10.Toy Story 3

    Must mention:

    127 Hours
    I Love You Philip Morris

  • Jt Webmedia

    I agree True Grit was good and probably in my top 5 for the year, but nowhere close to The King's Speech. That was probably the best movie I have seen in about 5 years. The acting was extraordinary, the story was compelling and it kept you engaged throughout.

  • Tonto

    I would rank the movies of 2010 as follows:

    1. The King's Speech
    2. True Grit
    3. Inception
    4. The Social Network
    5. 127 Hours
    6. Biutiful
    7. The Black Swan
    8. The Fighter
    9. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
    10. Exit through the Gift Shop

  • angelo

    my top 5:

    1. Toy Story 3
    2. Black Swan
    3. Tangled
    4. Alice In Wonderland
    5. Remember Me

    Why is Black Swan not included in the list? Isn't it one of the bests?

  • Alexis

    my top 5:

    1. Inception
    2. The Social Network
    3. Toy Story 3
    4. Black Swan/Kick-Ass
    5. True Grit

  • George

    Interesting list! I skipped True Grit because it came so late in the year, and still haven't caught up. Here's my list:

    10. Another Year
    9. Howl
    8. The Kids Are All Right
    7. Four Lions
    6. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
    5. Inception
    4. The Social Network
    3. Never Let Me Go
    2. Rabbit Hole
    1. Dogtooth

  • Jordan B.

    1. Toy Story 3
    2. Inception
    3. The Social Network
    4. Kick-Ass
    5. True Grit

  • jpcoleman7

    Curious if you would stick with True Grit as number 1 over Inception now that more time has passed?