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Thread: Best movies of 2010 lists

  1. #1
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    Best movies of 2010 lists

    Here is my list and others I hope will add theirs to this thread.


    (Not ranked.)

    FILMS IN ENGLISH
    127 Hours (Danny Boyle 2010)
    Animal Kingdom (David Michôd 2010)
    Fighter, The (David O. Russell 2010)
    Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold 2009)
    Ghost Writer, The (Roman Polanski 2010)
    Greenberg (Noah Baumbach 2010)
    Life During Wartime (Todd Solodnz 2010)
    Social Network, The (David Fincher 2020)
    Somewhere (Sofia Coppola 2010)
    Toy Story 3 (Lee Unkrich 2010)
    Winter's Bone (Debra Granik 2010)

    BEST FOREIGN
    Carlos (Olivier Assayas 2010)
    Eyes Wide Open (Haim Tabakman 2009)
    The Father of My Children (Le père de mes enfants, Mia Hansen-Løve 2009)
    Hadewijch (Bruno Dumont 2009)
    Mademoiselle Chambon (Stéphane Brizé 2009)
    Making Plans for Léne (Non, ma fille, tu n'iras pas danser, Christophe Honoré 2009)
    Mother (Bong Joon-ho 2009)
    Prophet, A (Un prophète, Jacques Audiard 2009)
    Vincere (Marco Bellocchio 2009)
    Welcome (Philippe Lioret 2009)

    SHORTLISTED
    Ajami (Scandar Copti, Yaron Shani 2009)
    American, The (Anton Corbijn 2010)
    Anton Chekhov's The Duel (Dover Kosashvili 2009)
    Daddy Longlegs (Josh and Benny Safdie 2009)
    Hereafter (Clint Eastwood 2010)
    King's Speech, The (Tom Hooper 2010)
    Rabbit Hole (John Cameron Mitchell 2010)
    Solitary Man (Brian Koppelman, David Levien 2010)
    Terribly Happy (Henrik Ruben Genz 2010)
    White Material (Claire Denis 2009)

    BEST DOCUMENTARIES:
    Alamar ((Pedro Gonzalez Rubio 2010)
    Art of the Steal, The (Don Argott 2010)
    Exit Through the Gift Shop (Banksy 2010)
    Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould (Michèle Hozner, Peter Raymont 2010)
    Inside Job (Charles Ferguson 2010)
    Ne Change Rien (Pedro Costa 2010)
    Nénette (Nicolas Philibert 2010)
    Thorn in the Heart, The (L'Épine dans le coeur, Michel Gondry 2009)
    Waiting for Superman (David Guggenheim 2010)
    William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe (Emily and Sarah Kunstler 2010)

    BEST UNRELEASED IN US
    Double Hour, The (La doppia ora, Giuseppe Capotondi 2009)
    In the Beginning (À l'origine, Xavier Giannoli 2009)
    Of Gods and Men (Des hommes et des dieux, Xavier Beauvois 2010)
    Poetry (Lee Chang-dong 2010)
    Post Mortem (Pablo Larraín 2010)
    Rapt (Lucas Belvaux 2009)
    Robber, The (Der Räuber, Benjamin Heisenberg 2010)
    Strange Case of Angelica, The (O Estranho Caso de Angélica, Manoel de Oliveira 2010)
    We Are What We Are (Somos lo que hay, Jorge Michel Grau 2010)
    You Think You're the Prettiest, But You're the Sluttiest (Te creís la más linda, pero erís la más puta, Che Sandoval 2008)

    MOST OVERRATED
    Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky 2010)
    Boxing Gym (Fred Wiseman 2010)
    Inception (Christopher Nolan 2010)
    Kids Are All Right, The (Lisa Cholodenko. 2010)
    Restrepo (Sebastian Junger, Tim Hetherington 2010)

    COMMENTS.
    I prefer not to make pronouncements about the general cinematic quality of the year compared to other years. What difference does it make anyway if it was a lousy year if there was one great film? There are still some I need to catch up on, but I think I saw more new movies this year than ever before and yet I don't think it was an outstanding year for releases. Might this be due to economic factors limiting what can get released or even made? I don't know. There are always a few very fine films and a few terrible ones and the majority of them are of average quality, neither very good nor very bad. That's why an evaluation of the year as a whole is such an arbitrary thing. Yet there were still some excellent movies especially in the US Oscar-bait system of year-end releases. And some fine ones early in the year we have to be careful not to forget. My system is to group my favorites in categories, best in English, best foreign, best documentaries, shorhtlisted, etc. but list the films alphabetically without ranking them against each other within the groups. If you make it into the club, you're in and that's enough. But I'll tell you a secret: The Social Network was the selection of the New York Film Festival I was most excited to see, and it's still my favorite more or less mainstream 2010 US release.

    In addition to these lists Blue Valentine (Derek Cianfrance 2010) is worth mention, despite faulty structure, for awesome performances by Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling -- clearly among the edgiest, most convincing work by any film actors this year. It's only because I am rating movies and not individual facets of them that Blue Valentine isn't in these lists. The Company Men is a good serious movie about downsizing and shows John Wells' potential as a writer and director of feature films. There are many other films worth seeing that there's no room for, such as Gaspar Noé's Enter the Void. Of the best films in English, The Ghost Writer, (surprising no doubt to some) Life During Wartime, and above all The Social Network are a real pleasure to watch. The others mostly are not, especially when they depict events as disturbing as a forced amputation, an imploding criminal family, sex with minors, drug addiction, or terminal boredom, but harsh or indigestible experiences make good films. I don't very much like Toy story 3, because the Pixar style and its sentimentality are not to my taste, but I recognize the skill and the humanity that went into this accomplished animated film. There are other good documentaries this year besides those on my list, some I didn't see such as The Tillman Story, The Two Escobars, and Marwencol. I chose ones whose subjects are significant to me. I'd say this was not quite a stellar year for foreign films in the US but then, if a year or so late, there was Audiard's masterful A Prophet. Though I listed Denis' White Material merely as a runner-up, that's only because she's so good I expect more of her. I wish I didn't look so much like a Francophile. Latin America produces a lot of exciting films, but unfortunately not enough of them are released in North America.

  2. #2
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    I would welcome any corrections or tweaks on these lists before i send them out to the world further. As I said to Howard on the HOWL thread, I didn't include Manoel de Oliveira's THE STRANGE CASE OF ANGELICA in the Best Unrealeased list because it has just been released, in early January 2011. That list is for movies that may take a while to be released or not ever be fully available in the US. This is a list that could be larger.

    Another topic is "Why didn't you include......? " where so many could be mentioned. One that comes to mind is Apichatpong Weerasethakul's UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES, which has gotten high critical ratings. You can read my review of it on the NYFF Festival Coverage thread and you will understand why I am not enough of a fan of it to include it. The general answer to all such protests is that these are personal lists and there is only so much room. There are also some other movies I think are somewhat overrated, such as Lisa Cholodenko's THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT. This certainly hit it much bigger with the public than her previous films, for various reasons, but while the performances are good, especially Annette Benning's, for which she deserves an award simply because she deserves recognition as a great movie actress, I think it has been greatly overrated, and ranked so high mostly because it made liberal middlebrows feel good about themselves for liking a movie about a lesbian couple, or something.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 01-13-2011 at 09:30 PM.

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    The top 20 with descriptions

    THE TOP TWENTY WITH DESCRIPTIONS

    Since I was asked by somebody else just to list the top ten with my views about each, but I separated my lists into English language and other languages, I made up a shorter list, which you see below. But I would like you to look at the "Shortlisted" and "Best Documentaries" lists too and even "Overrated" to get an idea of what I liked and disliked.

    FILMS IN ENGLISH
    127 Hours (Danny Boyle 2010). An extreme outdoor experience in which a canyoneer must amputate a limb to escape death when trapped in a remote Utah slot canyon. An impossible subject, handled with panache and imagination by Boyle and the mercurial James Franco.
    Animal Kingdom (David Michôd 2010). An Australian gangster family has a total meltdown under concerted pressure of the police. Michôd excels at blending rich character delineation with action for a story worthy of Greek tragedy.
    Fighter, The (David O. Russell 2010). The sweet fighter played by Mark Wahlberg must succeed in spite of the coaching "help" of Christian Bale's skeletal loser crackhead brother and Melissa Leo's matriarch in this successful experiment in non-stop intensity by the maverick director David O. Russell.
    Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold 2009). A girl in an Essex council estate deals with the dangerous charms of her irresponsible single mom's handsome lover in this superb film that turns the English kitchen sink vérité style into something more natural and beautiful.
    Ghost Writer, The (Roman Polanski 2010). An old master at work, a classic-style thriller without special effects but fully supplied with excitement, suspense, and memorable scenes. Superficially conventional -- except that everything is perfect.
    Greenberg (Noah Baumbach 2010). Baumbach gives Ben Stiller a chance to turn from pop comedy to ironic character study in playing a self-centered loser negotiating the outer shores of Hollywood, with distinctive, specific results.
    Life During Wartime (Todd Solodnz 2010). A sui generis writer-director at the top of his game in every aspect returns to previous characters years later, with a series of scenes that are both disturbing and hilarious.
    Social Network, The (David Fincher 2020). Fierce battles among brilliant and ambitious young men at Harvard over cyberworld creations that turn them into billionaires are reshaped through the distinctively smart, acid, fast-moving pen of Aaron Sorkin and the deft directorial skills of David Fincher with three of the best young actors today in what turns out to be the smartest and most timely American film of the year.
    Somewhere (Sofia Coppola 2010). Coppola has assimilated her Antonioni well in this elegant study of anomie focused on a young movie star (Stephen Dorff) adrift at the Chateau Marmont Hotel, atop Sunset Boulevard, and, for a while, in Milan with his young daughter (Elle Fanning).
    Toy Story 3 (Lee Unkrich 2010). The Pixar formulas can be manipulative and sentimental but for excitement and fluid action this animated film about the end of childhood cannot be beat, and it touches on themes of great significance.
    Winter's Bone (Debra Granik 2010) Jennifer Laurence becomes an instant star and Granik a bankable director in this best Amerindie film of the year about a young woman fighting her tight, outside-the-law Ozark community to save her family's property; the film is dense with atmosphere and flavorful dialogue.

    BEST FOREIGN
    Carlos (Olivier Assayas 2010). A miniseries in which the superb Édgar Ramírez totally embodies the ballsy Seventies terrorist and political assassin Ilich Ramírez Sánchez AKA "Carlos" who kidnapped the entire leadership of OPEC and spoke Spanish, English, French, and Arabic. The film flows from the Middle East to various parts of Europe and Assayas and Ramírez never falter for a minute.
    Eyes Wide Open (Haim Tabakman 2009). A bold Israeli feature about an Orthodox butcher and husband and father who falls in love with a handsome young man, with dire consequences. The young lover, a Yeshiva dropout, is played by matinee idol Ran Danker. You might want to see this together with Kevin Asch's Holy Rollers, about young American orthodox Jews in the Nineties who become drug mules, starring an actor more noted for another movie this year, Jesse Eisenberg, who plays Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network. See how different he can be.
    The Father of My Children (Le père de mes enfants, Mia Hansen-Løve 2009). Hansen-Løve moves to the forefront of young French directors with this touching and mature study (based on the tragic life of great independent film producer Humbert Balsam) of an overtaxed man and his loving family, before and after his suicide.
    Hadewijch (Bruno Dumont 2009). Provocateur Dumont turns from provincial oafs to a young woman whose desire for sainthood leads her into terrorism; the result is poetic and strange.
    Mademoiselle Chambon (Stéphane Brizé 2009). A classic, old-fashioned, restrained and pitch-perfect "brief encounter" story of two people who fall in love in the French provinces but cannot be together, with the great Vincent Lindon as the working-class man who is shyly attracted to his child's lonely schoolteacher.
    Making Plans for Léne (Non, ma fille, tu n'iras pas danser, Christophe Honoré 2009). Honoré turns from jeunesse dorée flirtations and tragedies to family meltdown and creates great roles for Chiara Mastroianni and a lot of other good actors in a story that shifts between city and country.
    Prophet, A (Un prophète, Jacques Audiard 2009). With malleable newcomer Taher Rahim and the wonderful Niels Arestrop as a young Arab-French prisoner and the Corsican gang leader who becomes his cruel protector, Audiard depicts the making of a crime leader, a strange apprenticeship and role-reversal that happens over a five-year period in a big French prison. Complex and absorbing, this utterly transcends genre.
    Welcome (Philippe Lioret 2009) Vincent Lindon again, this time in Dardenne brothers territory, with a swimming coach trying to help a young illegal who wants to swim from France to England to meet his sweetheart. A subtle film that creeps up on you.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 01-14-2011 at 03:09 AM.

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    Thanks Chris for sharing your lists. I also have posted very long lists in the past to reflect how many good films are released each year, to reflect my conclusion that watching movies and writing film criticism is time well spent, that it is a rewarding experience. That's something I like about a list like yours which includes more than 50 films. I also used, until 2008, to subdivide the list to reflect that there were as many really good foreign-language films as there are English-language ones, and that there are many worthy films that are only shown at film festivals and never released commercially. In 2009, I decided to make a single list with 10 best, 10 runners-up, and 10 honorable mentions. This year, I might just list the ten films that totally blew me away or that continue to provide food for thought after repeat viewings (a list likely to include 2 or 3 unreleased and one that went straight-to-DVD). This would be possible for me in this forum because your long lists continue to remind us how much good cinema there is to see. I am not keen on arguing over specific choices mainly because of that old maxim: de gustibus non est disputandum.
    Last edited by oscar jubis; 01-14-2011 at 09:41 AM.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for your comment. Yes, I do like to reflect that there are as many (really ore) interesting films not in English, and have done these sets of lists for years. It's good to pare them down too and if I have time on my hand (with fewer new movies to watch right now) I might do an alternative version, with many fewer choices, ranked, and longer comments on each, which may be more interesting to people to read. Yes, De gustibus... but again, do please point out any mistakes in how I categoriezed the films (released, unreleased, dates).

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    Tab's Best 2010 Movies list so far

    Top Favorite Movies of 2010

    1. Black Swan (2010). The most emotionally powerful, sustained psychological drama of the year, about a ballerina who attempts to become the lead in a new production of Swan Lake. This mature David-Lynch like haunting and intense personal drama rips across the screen with vivid cinematography and densely layered performances. Natalie Portman, Golden Globe Winner. [Reviewed 1/2/11]. 9/10.

    2. Inception (2010). Director and writer Christopher Nolan has taken the past sci fi dream genre movies and fused them into a dazzling, mind-bending and layered action thriller with a strong haunting emotional component in this taut and powerful movie. Leo DiCaprio gets to repeat a strong performance here this year from his Shutter Island along with strong performances from Marion Cotillard and a distinctly difference performance from Ellen Page. Golden Globe Nominee. [Reviewed 7/16/10]. 9/10.

    3. Splice (2010). A compelling psychological, intellectual, moralistic sci fi thriller that captures the essence of encountering a scientifically engineered new life form, starring Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley. [Reviewed 1/31/10]. 9/10.

    4. Shutter Island (2010). Director Martin Scorsese works again with Leonardo DiCaprio, along with strong performances by Ben Kingsley and Mark Ruffalo in this superb psychological thriller takes previous compelling and twisting movies and builds on them. Even though there is a bit heavy almost pretentious use of special effects in the beginning and a wobbly sense of plot line during the second-third, this movie has an emotional punch, several, that by the end of the movie, it has developed in one of the best psychological thrillers made. [Reviewed 6/11/10]. 9/10.

    5. Morning Glory (2010). A compelling, fascinating look at morning news programming following in the footsteps of GOOD MORNING VIETNAM (1987) AND DEVIL WEARS PRADA (2006) with a delicious, insightful way with a great ensemble cast including Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton, and Jeff Goldblum supporting new star Rachel McAdams. [Reviewed 11/28/10]. 9/10.

    6. The King's Speech (2010). Colin Firth (Golden Globe winner) and Geoffrey Rush get to explore King George VI of Britains inner battle with stuttering in this intimate and fascinating look behind the scenes of this unique Royal dilemma. A nice balance or fusion of the relational interactions between the two actors and the more global and historic weight facing the King. [Reviewed 1/7/11]. 9/10.

    7. The Book of Eli (2010). In the rich tradition of 1408 (2007) for horror, this movie is the post-modern, post-apocalyptic that breaths a fresh, renewed substance into a lavishly shot cinematic experience helmed by Denzel Washington. [Reviewed 8/24/10]. 9/10.

    8. Nanny McPhee Returns (2010). This more emotive and personally moving children movie than the original written my Emma Thompson has some over the top scenes that almost cross the line, but the redeeming characters and storyline kept this movie compelling, entertaining, and rewarding. [Reviewed 8/22/10]. 8/10.

    9. Red (2010). An all-star cast head one of the most entertaining, fun comedy-drama-action-thriller this year as retired spies come out to combat an unknown antagonist. Golden Globe Nominee. [Reviewed 10/15/10]. 8/10.

    10. Green Zone (2010). A crisp cinematic experience that is genuinely engrossing but also frustrating in its depiction of the weapons of mass destruction lie that is investigated by Matt Damon as a chief warrant officer in Iraq. [Reviewed 8/18/10]. 8/10.

    11. The Town (2010). A strong crime thriller that has Ben Affleck coming out on top as both director and star, that has good detail, substantive emotional connections, with a few technical faults, but would complement HEAT (1995) as a comparative movie. [Reviewed 9/26/10]. 8/10.


    Honorable Mention

    Alice in Wonderland (2010). Johnny Depp, Ann Hathaway, and Helena Bonham Carter offer up some great supporting roles in this visually inviting feast with a substantive storyline. [Reviewed 3/5/10, re-reviewed 6/6/10 9 to 8 rating]. 8/10.

    Burlesque (2010). Great musical production numbers, this Cher, Christina Aquilera brings the intimacy of Burlesque to the screen with hints of CHICAGO (2002) and THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA (2006). Nevertheless the lip sinking is distracting and the numbers don't quite have the memorable poignancy of other great musicals. There is more character development and plot, yet there also is less of the dramatic emotive, blistering feel in this movie. Golden Globe Nominee. [Reviewed 11/26/10]. 8/10.

    Clash of the Titans (2010). A rather intriguing update of the Roman God mythical epic movie and doesn't quit do justice with the 3-D presentation and just misses on the smooth and substantive depth of the Zeus legends. Nevertheless there are good action scenes and a fascinating comprehendible compilation of many classic Roman mythological characters. [Reviewed 3/11/10]. 8/10.

    Eat Pray Love (2010). In a similar vein as Under the Tuscan Sun (2003), this Julia Robert's travel the world of self-discovery contains some fascinating incorporation of the past associations of love scenes along with a bounty of the epicurean explosion of the senses and fusion cultural Eastern and Western influences of sounds and lifestyles. [Reviewed 8/23/10]. 8/10.

    From Paris With Love (2010). John Travolta and Jonathan Rhys Mayers have a fascinating discordant action duo role in this action-thriller that has a nice blend of drama, action, and humor (even Travolta's Pulp Fiction, 1994 French Big Mac line). A straight forward plot with a decent twist, this is an entertaining movie, worth seeing. [Reviewed 2/7/10]. 8/10.

    Hereafter (2010). The fascinating normalization of the drama of an psychic ability into real life human drama, along with one of the most detailed, though slightly faked natural disaster sequence. A quality, art-like movie with Matt Damon that deals with human relationships, death, some paranormal activity. Nearly a top ten movie. [Reviewed 11/1/10]. 8/10.

    How to Train Your Dragon (2010). A vividly and well shot 3-D movie experience that enhances the film and doesn't intrude and detract from the solid storyline that captures elements found in DANCES WITH WOLVES (1990), and THE INCREDIBLES (2004), and JURASSIC PARK (1993, 1997). A captivating movie worth watching. [Reviewed 3/28/10]. 8/10.

    Iron Man 2 (2010). A solid, action-packed, loud blockbuster that retains a sense of personal drama. With a few weaknesses, this movie nevertheless entertains and captivates its audience. Golden Globe Nominee. [Reviewed 5/9/10]. 8/10.

    Toy Story 3 (2010). A decent and at times fresh bits of animation that includes some aging themes as well as a coming of age and passing on of boyhood memories. Golden Globe animation winner. [Reviewed 10/1/10]. 8/10.

    Good But Failed to Make the Grade

    Chloe (2010). A fascinating character study in erotic fantasies, human behavior, and relationships that unfortunately fails at the end through the typical script device that avoids a much more meaningful exploration of the human psyche. A wife suspects her husband of being unfaithful and pays young lady tempt him to find the truth but things get even murkier. [Reviewed 11/12/10]. 7/10.

    The Chronicles of Naria: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader in 3D (2010). The unspectacular use of 3D did not however detract or hide the nice message and interesting story unfolding in this fantasy tale that while underachieving in its attempt at captivating emotional conflict, a few logical flaws, was nevertheless a decent and meaningful movie. [Reviewed 12/12/10]. 7/10.

    Expendables (2010). An above average action thriller about mercenaries attempting to assassinate a cruel dictator of a Latino-Island, with an attempt at substance and thoughtfulness, but weakened by several chaotic scenes and messy editing in places, losing the stylish and sharp nature of a classic movie. [Reviewed 8/27/10]. 7/10.

    Ghost Writer (2010). Unfortunately, this movie takes real history and transforms it into an unbelievable fiction making the premise of this movie uncomfortable to experience. This fictionalized, real British Prime Minister Tony Blair scenario seems manipulative and a mere facade of the real events that occurred in regards to the British support of the Iraqi military conflict. Compare to the more involving and compelling biodrama that includes Tony Blair in The Queen (2008). [Reviewed 9/1/10]. 7/10.

    Knight and Day (2010). An enjoyable action thriller comedy with Cruise and Diaz doing a Brad Pitt and Angelia Jolie (Mr. And Mrs. Smith, 2005) number, though the over the top action seemed to detract from the movie and the editing was quite as tight, but it had the laughs and requisite twists and turns, and sufficiently different to keep the audience entertained. [Reviewed 7/2/10]. 7/10.

    Killers (2010). A TRUE LIES (1994) scenario that does have some intelligence scenes starring Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl but can't quite capture the sophisticated and consistent blend of comedy and drama of this classic espionage comedy romance movie. [Reviewed 7/21/10]. 6/10.

    Legion (2010). A decent and intelligent occult-horror movie with a few weaknesses in special effects and dazzling but over the top visuals, subplot endings. Nevertheless, an entertaining and worthy outcome, a movie with a soul. [Reviewed 10/26/10]. 7/10.

    SALT (2010). Angelina Jolie stars in this espionage action spy thriller with twists and some nice action scenes that has some uneven scenes and an overly explicit, unnecessary ending sequence. [Reviewed 7/24/10]. 7/10.

    The Sorcerer's Apprentice (2010). A decent, entertaining, but unmemorable teenage coming of age, fantasy movie. [Reviewed 7/16/10]. 6/10.

    The Tourist (2010). Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie pair up in this crime thriller that is more focused on the characters than the action, with supportive music that provides a decent entertainment, non-summer blockbuster CHARADE (1984) approach but with not quite the charm and sustaining humor. [Reviewed 1/2/11]. 7/10.

    Valentine's Day (2010). An all star cast with Ashton Kutcher leading the way in this romantic comedy drama that has an unwieldy number of characters that manages to hold together making for an entertaining if not great romantic date outing. [Reviewed 2/14/10]. 7/10.

    Winter's Bone (2010). Takes the rich authentic social travelogue cinematography too far in its attempt to impress the audience at the sacrifice of the story along with a number of editing and script flaws that weaken the overall story, but with an ending reveal that strengthens the movie. [Reviewed 1/18/11]. 7/10.

    Disappointments

    The Bounty Hunter (2010). Gerard Butler and Jennifer Anniston don't' quite have the strong exciting script as MR. AND MRS. SMITH (2005) to really pull off a really great comedy duo routine in this somehow predictable, but apparently sincere effort at being different, with some funny moments, and slightly elevated storyline that just doesn't catch on fire. [Reviewed 3/21/10]. 6/10.

    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I (2010). This darker more mature version of the earlier children's magical entertainment is transformed to close to the more mature fantasy genre of J.R.R. Tolkien's LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy and presents a disjointed, sometimes logically flawed, version of BRAZIL (1985), THE TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY (1991). Ultimately, the last half of the movie almost becomes a random progression in a series of level (scenes) in some expensive video game. [Reviewed 12/11/10]. 6/10.

    Terrible

    None.

    Missed/Haven't Seen Yet

    127 Hours
    The American
    The Company Men (2011)
    Easy A
    Enter the Void
    The Fighter
    Get Low
    Going the Distance
    Illusionist, The
    Last Train Home
    Let Me In
    Monsters
    Never Let Me Go
    Rabbit Hole
    Secretariat
    The Social Network [Golden Globe winner]
    True Grit
    Wild Targets

  7. #7
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    Your tastes and viewing experiences are different from mine but this looks like a very well thought out logical list. I have not seen MORNING GLORY oR NANCY MCPHEE RETURNS. Also have not seen ALICE IN WONDERLAND, CLASH OF THE TITANS or HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON. I meant to see HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON because it got very good reviews. Also didn't see EXPENDABLES, though it did cross my mind to do so.

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    Chris and Tab Contrasts

    Chris has selected among those movies that we have both seen and reviewed as better than I have:

    Ghost Writer, The (Roman Polanski 2010)
    Toy Story 3 (Lee Unkrich 2010)
    Winter's Bone (Debra Granik 2010)

    and was worse that I have:

    Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky 2010)
    Inception (Christopher Nolan 2010)

    Both Ghost Writer and Winter's Bone had too much in terms of authenticity as a background setting to provide the fictional elements of the story/plot with the balance necessary for me to enjoy the movie itself. Toy Story 3 has become just a tad derivative, though it held up quite well.

    Black Swan and Inception had deeper personal stories that spoke of the heart and soul, extremely difficult movies that were carried off very well.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for all your comments. We coincide on certain titles even though your pool of choices is way different from mine.

    I hope others will put up their lists on this thread.

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    My Faves

    FAVORITE FILMS OF 2010

    1. Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky, 2010)

    Regardless of its incongruities, it is hard not to succumb to the visceral power of Black Swan or fully appreciate the beauty of its direction or the brilliance of its acting. Darren Aronofsky is a director of great audacity and his film about a perfectionist ballet dancer leaves us limp.

    2. Hereafter (Clint Eastwood, 2010)

    Octogenarian Clint Eastwood’s Hereafter is an understated but deeply moving meditation on death and how it affects those left behind. It is a quiet and slow-paced film that treats every character with respect. The film is emotional, yet it is honest emotion that carefully avoids melodrama and sentimentality

    3. The King’s Speech (Tom Hooper, 2010)

    Lionel Logue, a speech therapist from Australia, proves extremely valuable in his attempt to help King George VI overcome a stammer in Tom Hooper’s highly entertaining The King’s Speech. Based on a true story, the film is not only an engaging experience, but also one that is quite moving.

    4. Somewhere (Sofia Coppola, 2010)

    Winner of the 2010 Golden Lion in Venice, Somewhere is film of observation and nuance without a conventional plot, a unique character study about the emptiness of the life of a Hollywood celebrity. It is a work with a core of conviction and authenticity, mirroring Coppola’s own experience of growing up in a celebrity household. Though the pace is slow, it is a compelling and moving experience, one that is filled with the joy of discovery

    5. Kynodontas ( Dogtooth, Yorgos Lanthimos, 2009)

    Yorgos Lanthimos’ Dogtooth is a provocative and disturbing film about the effect on a middle-class suburban family when the father takes total control of the lives of the three adult children, restricting their access to the outside world. The three unnamed children, a boy and his two sisters walk, talk, and act like zombies, wooden and undeveloped emotionally. While what Lanthimos is trying to say is unclear and every scene can have multiple meanings, Dogtooth is a jarring experience that you are not likely to soon forget.

    6. 36 vues du Pic Saint Loup (Around a Small Mountain, Jacques Rivette, 2009)

    82-year old auteur Jacques Rivette’s Around a Small Mountain is a charming and utterly captivating lament for the passing of time. At 84 minutes long, the shortest Rivette film to date, it evokes nostalgia for a bygone era of shows that relied on an intimate connection between performers and audience.

    7. Ajami (Scandor Copti and Yaron Shani, 2009)

    Nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 2010, Ajami makes clear the human cost of decades of strife between Jews and Arabs. Set in Jaffa, Israel, it captures the look and feel of a community in disarray with such raw urgency that it could easily be mistaken for a documentary.

    8. The Winter’s Bone (Debra Granik, 2010)

    The Winter’s Bone depicts how a young girl’s life is changed when the sheriff informs her that her dad, on the run after being arrested, has put the family’s house up as bond and unless he is found and convinced to turn himself in, her family will lose their house.

    9. Incendies

    Dennis Vlilleneuve’s Incendies is a film of searing emotional intensity, graphically depicting the brutality of ethnic conflict and the physical and emotional toll that it can bring to a country and its people. It is a family drama, an abiding mystery, and a visceral cry against the insanity of war.

    10. Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold, 2009)

    Andrea Arnold’s honest Fish Tank is the story of a fifteen year-old girl’s struggle for self respect. Winner of the Jury Prize at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, Arnold uses the fierce slang of the streets, overt sexual encounters, and hand-held camerawork to tell an authentic story of adolescence.

    11. Rabbit Hole (John Cameron Mitchell, 2010)

    Rabbit Hole is a poignant and affecting look at two deeply wounded individuals fighting a long and difficult battle to stay afloat and begin life anew after their four-year old son Danny is killed by a teenage driver when he runs into the street chasing his dog.

    12. Greenberg (Noah Baumbach, 2010)

    In Greenberg, Roger, an angry, unpleasant individual, has come to Los Angeles to babysit his brother Philip’s suburban house. He is helped with the shopping by Florence, a young assistant to Philip and they are drawn to each other out of a mutual need for affection and support.

    13. Uncle Boonmee who can Recall his Past Lives (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010)

    Uncle Boonmee is a film about myths and memories that evoke the thin line between the world of reality and that of spirit. It is like a dream that is real when you are dreaming but illogical when you wake up, a series of images that can only be experienced.

    14. Belle Épine (Dear Prudence, Rebecca Zlotowski, 2010) (Unreleased)

    Set in Paris, Dear Prudence is an impressionistic story of a sad and lonely adolescent who begins to lose her bearings as a result of her inability to grieve her mother’s loss. The film creates a believable sixteen-year-old in pain trying to navigate in an emotional no-man’s land.

    15. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Edgar Wright, 2010)

    Scott Pilgrim is an unemployed 22-year-old who plays bass guitar in a rock band in the zany comedy Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. The film delivers high energy entertainment, connecting with its audience through smart dialogue, heaping spoonfuls of fantasy, and tons of technical wizardry.

    16. Exit Through the Gift Shop (Banksy, 2010)

    Directed by elusive street artist Banksy, Exit describes attempts by L.A. store owner Thierry Guetta to capture the world of street artists. The film may be real or a tongue-in-cheek spoof of the gullibility of the public and the crass commercialism of the art world, but only Banksy really knows.

    17. The Ghost Writer (Roman Polanski, 2010)

    Based on the novel Ghost by Robert Harris, Ghost Writer is about an unnamed author (Ewan McGregor) who is hired to complete the memoirs of former British Minister Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan) after the previous ghost writer was found dead, his body washed up on a beach in New England.

    18. Waste Land (Lucy Walker, 2010)

    In Waste Land, we go inside the squalid landfill known as Jardim Gramacho on the outskirts of Rio to see through the eyes of the “pickers,” who live and work in this squalid environment, and who become the subjects of the expressive art of Vik Muniz, a renowned painter.

    19. O Estranho Caso de Angélica (The Strange Case of Angelica, Manoel de Oliviera, 2010)

    Underscored by the calming background of a Chopin Sonata, The Strange Case of Angelica is the work of a master who challenges us to see the “absolutely unbroken continuity” between life and death. The film is often static, yet it is atmospheric, moody, and spiritually informed.

    20. Armadillo (Janus Metz Pederson, 2010)

    Janus Metz’ powerful documentary, Armadillo, depicts the bravery and camaraderie and also the addictive high of several Danish soldiers, seemingly just out of their teens, that comes from their participation in the war in Afghanistan. Depending on your point of view, the soldiers are either making a difference or perpetuating atrocities in an unwinnable war.

    Honorable Mention

    Please Give, The Sleeping Beauty, Poetry, True Grit, Howl, Eat Pray Love, The Last Train Home. Babies, The Secret in Their Eyes

    Most Disappointing films of 2010

    Shutter Island, It’s Complicated. Another Year, Mao’s Last Dancer, Never Let Me Go, Invictus, When You’re Strange, I Am Love

    Best Actor

    1. Matt Damon – Hereafter
    2. Colin Firth – The King’s Speech
    3. Ben Stiller – Greenberg
    4. Michael Cera – Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
    5. Ricardo Darin – The Secret in their Eyes
    6. Stephen Dorff – Somewhere
    7. Christos Stergioglou - Dogtooth
    8. Ibrahim Frege – Ajami
    9. George Clooney – The American
    10. Ricardo Trepa – The Strange Case of Angelica

    Best Actress

    1. Natalie Portman – Black Swan
    2. Yung Jungee – Poetry
    3. Cecile de France - Hereafter
    4. Nicole Kidman – Rabbit Hole
    5. Greta Gerbig – Greenberg
    6. Lea Seydoux – Dear Prudence
    7. Jennifer Lawrence – The Winter’s Bone
    8. Hailee Steinfeld – True Grit
    9. Katie Jarvis – Fish Tank
    10. Jane Birkin – Around a Small Mountain

    Best Supporting Actor

    1. Frankie/George McLaren - Hereafter
    2. Vincent Cassel – Black Swan
    3. Geoffrey Rush – The King’s Speech
    4. Andrew Garfield – The Social Network
    5. Miles Teller – Rabbit Hole

    Best Supporting Actress

    1. Elle Fanning – Somewhere
    2. Mila Kunis – Black Swan
    3. Tilda Swinton – I Am Love
    4. Bryce Dallas Howard - Hereafter
    5. Dianne Weist – Rabbit Hole
    "They must find it hard, those who have taken authority as truth, rather than truth as authority" Gerald Massey

  11. #11
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    More on Howard Schumann's Best Movie List

    Howard Schumann's list of best movies, most of which I haven't seen since I'm poor and stuck in the less than cultured state of Utah and unable to secure the scarce Sundance Film Festival tickets are both complimentary and puzzling for me.

    I am really glad to see at

    1. Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky, 2010)

    2. Hereafter (Clint Eastwood, 2010)

    3. The King’s Speech (Tom Hooper, 2010)

    11. Rabbit Hole (John Cameron Mitchell, 2010) - which I haven't seen, but as an infatuated fan of Nicole Kidman, this is a must see movie for me.

    Honorable Mention - Eat Pray Love
    However, I'm intriqued and puzzled how the following movies get either such a high recommendation:

    8. The Winter’s Bone (Debra Granik, 2010)

    There's not much in the way of a review except for a plot summary, and which I felt the movie was paradoxically to authentically shot for the actual dramatized story

    15. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Edgar Wright, 2010) - I haven't seen it, but it's probably one of last movies I would want to see. Doesn't seem at all appealing to me.

    17. The Ghost Writer (Roman Polanski, 2010) - I can't separate this movie drama from the more plausible actual parallel of the real British political reign of Tony Blair and thus its less than convincing presentation.

    And finally, I'm bewildered how the Most Disappointing films of 2010 could include:

    Shutter Island, which made my best ten movie list of 2010.

  12. #12
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    SF Bay Area
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    I can certainly check in to share your inability to comprehend the great passion for SCOTT PILGRIM, especially among, shall we say, older people (adults). Young people should be ashamed enough of liking it, but at least it's "for" them. Though as a small consolation people aren't touting the charms of the junior Harpo Marx lookalike's previous starring role, the truly underwhelming YOUTH IN REVOLT.

    I can't go along with you on THE GHOST WRITER. Don't see what's so sacred about Tony Blair.

  13. #13
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    Apr 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by tabuno View Post

    However, I'm intriqued and puzzled how the following movies get either such a high recommendation:

    8. The Winter’s Bone (Debra Granik, 2010)

    There's not much in the way of a review except for a plot summary, and which I felt the movie was paradoxically to authentically shot for the actual dramatized story
    If you would like to see my full review, here it is:

    http://www.cinescene.com/howard/wintersbone.htm

    15. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Edgar Wright, 2010) - I haven't seen it, but it's probably one of last movies I would want to see. Doesn't seem at all appealing to me.

    17. The Ghost Writer (Roman Polanski, 2010) - I can't separate this movie drama from the more plausible actual parallel of the real British political reign of Tony Blair and thus its less than convincing presentation.

    And finally, I'm bewildered how the Most Disappointing films of 2010 could include:

    Shutter Island, which made my best ten movie list of 2010.
    I never said these were THE best films of the year or that Shutter Island was included in THE most disappointing films. The list are MY favorites and those I was disappointed in. As in all lists, they are my personal opinion. The world would be very dull if everybody saw things the same way.
    "They must find it hard, those who have taken authority as truth, rather than truth as authority" Gerald Massey

  14. #14
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    Apr 2004
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    Vancouver, B.C.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Knipp View Post
    I can certainly check in to share your inability to comprehend the great passion for SCOTT PILGRIM, especially among, shall we say, older people (adults). Young people should be ashamed enough of liking it, but at least it's "for" them. Though as a small consolation people aren't touting the charms of the junior Harpo Marx lookalike's previous starring role, the truly underwhelming YOUTH IN REVOLT.

    I can't go along with you on THE GHOST WRITER. Don't see what's so sacred about Tony Blair.
    Nobody should be ashamed of liking anything. Your tolerance for diverse opinions leaves something to be desired. I am certainly not the only "older people" who admired Scott Pilgrim.
    "They must find it hard, those who have taken authority as truth, rather than truth as authority" Gerald Massey

  15. #15
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    Aug 2002
    Location
    Utah, USA
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    I Must Be Hallucinating about Howard

    Howard Schumann just posted, "I never said these were THE best films of the year or that Shutter Island was included in THE most disappointing films. The list are MY favorites and those I was disappointed in. As in all lists, they are my personal opinion. The world would be very dull if everybody saw things the same way."

    Perhaps, Howard may be correct that he "never said" such things, but and I quote from his earlier post:

    "Most Disappointing films of 2010

    Shutter Island, It’s Complicated. Another Year, Mao’s Last Dancer, Never Let Me Go, Invictus, When You’re Strange, I Am Love"

    If my eyes are deceiving me the words under - The Disappointing films of 2010" are Shutter Island. Mr. Schumann has written that Shutter Island was included in THE most disappointing films.

    Am I hullcinating all this?

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