2010

The following is a comprehensive list of every film I’ve seen that debuted in the year 2010 in a U.S. theater, or if not released in the U.S., then released in 2010 in its home country. My favorite 20 films are ranked, while the remaining are in approximate order according to overall feelings and lasting impressions. Films near the top are worth watching, while films near the bottom are not worth your time. Those movies seen in the middle portion are worth filtering through and watching, depending if it peaks your specific interest in the film, whether because it has a favorite director, actor, or interesting plot. A good rule of thumb: if it’s below the middle of the unranked section, then it probably isn’t worth watching.

1. A Prophet

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an absolute must see film. beautifully done yet incredibly gripping. the acting is very good and the emotion built up is carried throughout the film, increasing ever so slightly. if there is one film you see from this year, make it this one. its a uniquely perfect depiction of life in prison, and the ups and downs of life in general.

2. Inception

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this is one of my favorite films, and while i might be biased, i know i am not alone in loving this film. one of Nolan’s best work, which is truly saying a lot, Inception really captures the essence of filmmaking hollywood-style, yet adds certain elements you don’t see in film. i really think this movie is the perfect metaphor for films in general, and the many levels of dreaming are analogous to the many levels of filmmaking. movies are merely dreams, and while there might be a few too many BWAAAHs, Inception portrays the essence of moviemaking.

3. Blue Valentine

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Cianfrance is one of my favorite new directors, and if you watch interviews of him, you can see he truly understands and knows what he is doing. the amount of emotion and real-life-angst depicted in this film is enough to make a grown man cry and i think this is another must-see film from this year. incredibly sad at times, but very enjoyable to watch.

4. Biutiful

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director Inarritu is my favorite director all-time, and i know my high praise of this film may be biased, but i think Bardem’s performance is incredible, and the direction and emotion captured here is really like nothing else you see in a movie. the story may be a little much at times, but the film is certainly quality and perfectly paced in my opinion. this is a must watch if you enjoy other slow dramas with depressing undertones.

5. The Social Network

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clearly one of the favorite films from this year, this movie about Facebook is obviously a very enjoyable and thrilling watch, but honestly any film Fincher makes will be just as good. don’t get me wrong, this is a special film and deserves high praise, but this might be a tad overhyped… probably because we are all slaves to Facebook anyway.

6. Winter’s Bone

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Jennifer Lawrence’s breakout role, and quite possibly her best ever role. this movie is a pure treat to watch, with incredible acting and writing, and everything in between. the epitome of a perfect drama.

7. Mother

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slow and deliberate, but packed with emotion and intensity at every moment. you can’t help but feel for the main character and the drama she goes through. very well done Korean film, and a perfect introduction to Korean cinema if you are new to it. dark and depressing at times, this is one hell of a film.

8. Animal Kingdom

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another dark thriller with great acting. this Australian crime drama is an incredible achievement as a directorial debut. definitely a must watch, as are most films worthy of a top 10 spot for the year. depressing and tear jerking at times, violent and cruel at others.

9. The Secret in Their Eyes

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just the right touch of mystery and drama. this Argentinian drama is considered one of the best of the year to many, and one of the best of the decade to some. a unique crime thriller with powerful moments of acting and writing. must watch.

10. Udaan

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incredible Indian film about a boy growing up and his relationship with his oppressive father. some really intensely dramatic scenes here that will tug on the strings of your heart and make you reach for the kleenex. great acting and great direction. i look forward to more from this director.

11. True Grit

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Coen bros remake of a John Wayne western. quality filmmaking as usual, but not incredibly creative or unique. some great moments, but def not the best film of the year. has the charm and wit you would expect from any Coen brothers film.

12. The King’s Speech

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i think this film was overrated as the best film of the year, and although i appreciate what it brought to the table, i just don’t think it was especially unique or creative. the execution was good enough for such a simple idea for a film, but i think this movie lacks a lot compared to some of the other films of this year, most notably the ones above it in ranking.

13. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

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this is the original version of the film, later inspiring an American version. done by Danish director Niels Arden Oplev, this is a very well done adaptation of the book of the same name, and certainly an exciting watch. mystery, action and drama all rolled into one good film.

14. The Town

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i am very partial to this film because i feel Affleck shows how beautiful a drama he can make with this film, and although it isn’t a very unique idea, the execution is perfect in my opinion. there are definitely some cliche moments, but i don’t think the film necessarily capitalizes on those cliche moments as much as some other typical Hollywood crime thrillers. the emotion built in this film feels genuine and the acting is very well done. i very much enjoy this film; call it a guilty pleasure.

15. The Man from Nowhere

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not unlike other Korean dramas, this is an at times dark drama with a good amount of action. the acting is very good, as is the screenplay, and i think this deserves to be up there with all the other Korean classics. great watch.

16. The Kids are All Right

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funny yet typical Hollywood indie drama comedy with some moments of excellence. the acting is as good as you would imagine considering the big name actors, but overall this film doesn’t feel especially unique. nonetheless, this is still a good film and an enjoyable watch, especially if you like indie comedies.

17. Toy Story 3

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wonderful way to end a trilogy. incredible for an animation, incredible for any film. very well done with tons of emotion. made me feel very good.

18. Never Let Me Go

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this left me with a lot of sad emotions, which rate high on my chart of emotions i wanna feel while watching a movie. very good piece of cinema, and based off a popular book of the same name. must watch, in my opinion.

19. Another Year

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another Mike Leigh classic Brit dramedy. very entertaining and easy to watch, with lots of good artistic moments.

20. The Fighter

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filled with good acting and emotion (note oscar worthy performance by Bale), as well as quality writing and direction. idea may be a little bit of a rip off of 2008’s The Wrestler, but nonetheless a good version of a similar story.

Four Lions

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this is freakin’ hilarious. absolutely watch this if you want a laugh, or if you enjoy satire. the number of lessons you can learn from this is no less than the number of laughs you will have. trust me, this is what comedy should be.

Ajami

IMDb
worthy oscar nominee for best foreign language film, which is honestly a better category than best picture. story covers the lives of several stories in a community in Israel with mixed religions. very informative and dramatic, with many lessons to be learned, as well as culture to be appreciated.

127 Hours

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still cannot believe they stretched this into a movie, but covers the true events of a rock climber who was trapped in between rocks, and eventually did what was necessary to get free. good acting but too simple of an idea for a feature length film. good watch if you like Franco or director Boyle.

The Illusionist

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an at-times-heartbreaking french animated drama. this is such a good film, could have very well won best animated feature and best foreign film for this year, but overshadowed by Toy Story 3 and other live action foreign films. this may not seem like a typical watch, but trust me, this is a unique film that you must see if you consider yourself a lover of creative or arthouse films.

Dogtooth

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incredibly creative indie arthouse drama with a dash of horror and mystery. this is a very interesting film with a greater message about society than most films have. watch if you want to see something very different from hollywood and much better in film production and writing quality.

Enter the Void

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another very unique indie drama thriller with some shots you will probably never see in any other films. definitely one of those films you can learn something from as a filmmaker, but not the most perfect of films in how it comes together. feels a bit forced at times.

It’s Kind of a Funny Story

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i liked this film. not the most original idea, but i think its well done and enjoyable. film covers a depressed teenager who checks into a mental ward and makes friends and learns about life. cliche but still not bad.

How to Train Your Dragon

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very good animated film. i think many people loved this way more than i did, but whatever, animated films are always gonna mean more to some than to others. typical animated film with some good qualities.

Shutter Island

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this is definitely a film you either hate or love. i think to be awesome, but many think its predictable and obvious, with average writing. i like DiCaprio and i think Scorsese is obviously one of the greatest directors ever.

Let Me In

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American remake of the wonderful Swedish film “Let the Right One In”. this is a good remake and lives up to the hype but a remake is never gonna be better than an original, so this is a good watch, but nothing to write home about. definitely watch the original though.

Black Swan

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overrated film in my opinion, but Aronofsky is still such an amazing director, and the acting here is still so good that I think this deserves some praise, but not as much as it got during awards season.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

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really well done comic book type film from famous British director Edgar Wright. very enjoyable and funny and nice little love story too. fun and good and nice.

No One Knows About Persian Cats

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movie about the censorship of many artists in Iran, and the strict laws enforced upon many with serious consequences if broken. director Bahman Ghobadi is known for more sad and slow dramas with dark undertones, so this is a slight change of pace, but still covers a very serious issue in the middle east. definitely check out this director and his filmography if interested in authentic middle eastern arthouse.

The Way Back

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good, not great, Peter Weir film about people travelling to freedom, or something. kinda forgettable, but not bad when watching it. big name actors, whatever story.

My Name is Khan

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indian film about a slightly disabled man with a positive outlook on life. i think this is a good guilty pleasure, make yourself feel good film. can feel contrived and childish at times, but still contains sincere emotion at times.

Rabbit Hole

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typical drama. good acting. obvious story, yet decent writing and direction. too slow at times.

Conviction

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gotta love all these actors, so it has that going for it, but too typical of a hollywood drama. not bad at all, but nothing too special about this film. once again, watch this if you love Sam Rockwell and Melissa Leo like me.

Unthinkable

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Samuel L. Jackson drama thriller. that’s all it is. i enjoyed it but don’t consider it cinema gold.

Kick-Ass

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cool, funny, feel-good and enjoyable. what else do you need from a Hollywood blockbuster?

Unstoppable

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Tony Scott’s film about a train that just won’t stop is actually a lot better than it sounds, but it’s still a movie about trying to stop a train… so yeah.

Despicable Me

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those minions are so cute, but not the best animated film I’ve ever seen. probably not even in the top 3 of animated films for 2010. enjoyable nonetheless, even for adults.

Farewell

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yet another spy-war thriller about the Cold War. this is not bad, but can be convoluted and overly complicated at times. better than most Hollywood attempts at this subject though.

The Company Men

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cliche, but feel good. love some of these actors though, so still enjoyed it.

Easy A

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funny and good, just not great.

Inhale

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below average depiction of parents who try to go beyond the law to help their dying child. had the potential to be great but much of it feels amateurish. probably not worth your time.

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

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alright, could have been much better though. somewhat entertaining but still so predictable and expected.

Green Zone

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not Greengrass’ best action flick, but still entertaining at times. can’t imagine remembering this film in the years to come though.

Greenberg

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another indie-awkward comedy from Noah Baumbach, this movie has its moments of clarity and quality, but overall feels a bit forced and unnatural. writing can be pretentious at times and annoying. not a bad film, but definitely not his best work.

City Island

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mostly cliche story about a typical Italian family in City Island, NY. some interconnecting stories and funny dialogue but largely a forgettable story.

Hereafter

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Clint Eastwood might be losing his touch with films like these. i don’t know if he is just directing these for the money or just to pad his filmography, but most of his films this past decade have been mostly average or below average. Hereafter has its moments but is quite forgettable.

Somewhere

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pretentious and boring. uninspired and lacking many real good cinematic moments. watch if you want to see a movie about a cliche Hollywood actor coping with life.

Machete

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exactly what you would expect from a Robert Rodriguez grindhouse action thriller starring Danny Trejo. delivers on the blood and excitement, but don’t expect an Oscar winning script.

Iron Man 2

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not as good as the first Iron Man, but still alright. fun to watch, but kind of a stereotypical comic book story.

Tron: Legacy

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high production value in this sequel to the 80’s original, TRON. great visuals and CGI and good original music by Daft Punk. definitely worth the watch, but the writing and overall idea are just decent, not great.

Red

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pretty average and typical Hollywood script about a team of older operatives who know how to get things done. has its funny moments and moments of thrilling action but not a very unique film.

The Book of Eli

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good performance by Washington but average film. enjoyable at times, but still a very average film.

The Other Guys

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funny but typical Hollywood comedy. i like Will Ferrell, but if you don’t then don’t bother with this cliche comedy.

Extraordinary Measures

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not very good acting or writing. very cliche and predictable. feel good as a family film, nothing more.

Get Him to the Greek

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kinda funny but not the best comedy. this is something you watch if you’re drunk.

Hot Tub Time Machine

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another comedy that doesn’t live up to the hype, but is funny nonetheless at times. i would only watch when drunk.

Grown Ups

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these Sandler comedies seem to be getting worse. not unfunny, just not that funny. mostly unoriginal jokes.

Due Date

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another typical comedy with some funny jokes and many unfunny moments and a ridiculous story. i like Zach G, so worth the watch to me.

Flipped

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not very good. just simple and kinda boring and uninspired.

Leaves of Grass

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not very good. Edward Norton shouldn’t be doing films like this.

From Paris with Love

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fun for a bit, but nothing special here. some exciting moments.

Dinner for Schmucks

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some laughs but not the best comedy from this year. Steve Carell is alright. nothing special.

The Crazies

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proves to be a forgettable film with no real substance. had very few moments of clarity. tries hard to be a good scifi.

Buried

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if you like seeing diversity and unique scenes, then don’t watch this film. very one dimensional and tries to be creative with its unusual and original idea, but i found this to be extremely lacking.

Casino Jack

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not a very good biopic about a lobbyist, money and corruption. nothing that hasn’t been done many times before.

The Expendables

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the definition of modern Hollywood action flick aimed at Americans who don’t care about a good film, just an exciting one.

Country Strong

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cliche moments and average country music. good for the family, not good for cinephiles.

I Spit On Your Grave

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bad even for a horror film. remake of a 70’s horror flick. neither seem to be worth watching unless you love horror genre.

Peacock

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bad and weird. interesting idea, but weird nonetheless.

Takers

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the definition of a bad film. unoriginal idea, bad acting, cliche writing and directing, and just bad production. bad.

Frankie & Alice

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not special and not enjoyable. some good moments, but a bad overall film.

The Heavy

IMDb
probably the most forgettable and terribly done film of the year. easily the worst film i’ve seen in a while.


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