2010’s Best 20 Films

Bank holidays are gone for a while so it’s time to look back at 2010, and then maybe look forward at 2011. I messed about with this list a lot, made some graphics, lost them and decided to simply list the films without too much flair.

These may not be the top 20 films I’ve seen this year but are the top 20 that have been released in cinemas. I think I may have already seen some of the best of 2011.

20. Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part I
This slot is more of a token than a definitive “Top 20 Film” as Deathly Hallows deserves to be highlighted for making the Potter series credible at last. It’s the film equivalent of Doctor Who, another British series to finally finding its feet in 2010. The kids can act and the plot is finally given time to unfold. Lovely.

19. Greenberg
Ben Stiller in an understated role in a film that bridged the gap between mumblecore and mainstream should get a bit of respect. It’s not going to blow you away but will certainly help heal the wounds left by the Focker franchise.

18. Piranha
The only 3D film to make it onto the list, because it didn’t take itself seriously and brought plenty of laughs, gore and boobs to the big screen. A sequel is on its way and I hope James Cameron gets invited to the premiere.

17. World’s Greatest Dad
I can’t help but love the unseen underdog, especially one featuring a comic actor giving a subdued performance. Try to see this, the darkest comedy of 2010. A must for anyone curious to see the genie from Aladdin in the buff.

16. The Kids Are All Right
It’s a comedy, it’s a drama, it’s a truly modern family! From laugh out loud funny to cry into your sleeve devastating, this is the film so many others want to be.

15. Eccentricities of a Blonde Haired Girl
Drawn in by an intriguing review, we were delighted by a hilarious and eccentric film about one young man’s love for the girl he sees from his office window. Directed in a unique fashion by a 100 year old Portuguese film-maker, you won’t see anything like it again.

14. Four Lions
A black comedy from Chris Morris was always going to be brilliant, though could possibly have been better. Still proud to see a British film this funny, brave and with no romance in sight.

13. Monsters
A subtle sci-fi with amazing effects on a shoe-string budget, and from the UK. Slightly shaky dialogue and inexperienced actors are easily masked by the sheer beauty of every shot, with the film climaxing visually in its final scene.

12. Buried
A wonderfully tense thriller all set in a tiny coffin. Ryan Reynolds proves himself as a proper actor and the ninety minutes fly by. It’s enough to make Phone Booth look like a good idea. Bonus points for having a great poster.

11. Kick Ass
After the first viewing this could have been in the top three films of the year, but a second viewing reminded me of the annoying beginning and the less than perfect lead. Still a brilliant black comedy and awesome showcase for Chloe Moretz. Shame Scott Pilgrim came along and showed how much better a comic book film could be.

10. Please Give
I may regret giving this film such a high position but it was surprisingly enjoyable and genuinely emotional. Not a film for everyone but worth a look if you’re into more subtle comedies that don’t have happy endings.

9. Up in the Air
Almost forgotten but a re-watch over Christmas brought this early gem back to my attention. Lots of good performances, an unpredictable plot and a little bit of heartbreak thrown in. If only Clooney hadn’t gone on to do The American.

8. Catfish
The most surprising film of the year and for a moment the most terrifying. If you still haven’t seen it and have managed to remain unspoiled then get watching, you’ll never add someone on Facebook again.

7. Black Dynamite
Finally another decent parody, burying the like of Date Movie simply by actually being funny. Were it not for a few familiar faces this could have come straight from the era it is parodying as the aesthetic is pitch perfect.

6. Let Me In
The highest horror on the list is a truly classy example of the genre. Not relying on fake scares, nudity or gore, we instead have a character study filled with tragedy, heart and intrigue. Chloe Moretz puts in her second performance on this list, a totally different but equally well crafted character. Arguably better than the original, this is a tale of love and horror.

5. Another Year
The most genuine film of the lot, so easily relatable and filled with characters you feel you could meet out here in the real world. Lesley Manville comes out of nowhere with a powerhouse of a performance. Heartbreaking and hilarious, a bit of a theme in 2010.

4. Inception
Lower down the list than I expected, and I’m the one who put the list together. Inception is as good as an action film can get as the usual set pieces are presented in wonderful new ways, the audience is made to think and small indie actors get their chance at the mainstream.

3. Whip It
Ranking so high for the sheer delight the film brings and the way it was overlooked by most people. The ugly poster hid away what is this year’s ultimate feel good film. Ellen Page is doing something right.

2. The Social Network
Aaron Sorkin wrote the tightest script to be released in 2010 and was lucky to have it so well taken care of. Eisenberg and Garfield made the world take notice and even Timberlake managed to impress. Not so much a tale of how Facebook came to be but a look at friendship and the price of success.

1. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
No surprise here considering the sheer number of times we’ve had to use the “Scott Pilgrim” tag this year. Almost perfect and equally enjoyable at every repeat viewing. Never before has a film been so carefully crafted, every cut planned years in advance and every eye movement accompanied by a subtle noise. And how this is not long-listed for best original song I have no idea. Edgar Wright has shown just what he can do when given the freedom to run wild and the cinema audiences of the world have shown why we don’t get many good films as the weakest of romantic comedies could beat it at the box office. For me 2010 will always be the year Scott Pilgrim came out and I’ll be re-watching long after 3D has it’s next revival.

So there you have it, my top 20 picks. Do you agree?

Out Now – 5th November 2010

Two more good films, maybe three, out to day. Thankfully those two have been seen and reviewed so my list of films to watch doesn’t get ridiculous. Just Easy A and The Kids Are All Right left.

Another Year
Brilliant, plotless and heartbreaking. You pretty much have to see it, we sure did.

Due Date
I like Robert Downey Jr. and I like Zach Galifianakis, but I dislike Jamie Foxx. Luckily the film looks Foxx light so should be a fun road movie. Third best film of the week.

Jackass 3D
I’ve never seen an episode or either of the films but the trailer makes me laugh. Guaranteed genitalia alert!

Let Me In
Best vampire film this year. Lots of people whispering, in a well shot tragic love story. We totally reviewed this too.

Fit (limited release)
A UK film that “Takes a look at gay and straight love among the new millennials.” Sounds angsty.

Golmaal 3 (limited release)
The threequel the Bollywood lover in your life has been waiting for!

Mammoth (limited release)
Gael GarcĂ­a Bernal and Michelle Williams star in a film you’ve never heard of. Expect emotion and contemplations.

Let Me In – Review

I feel like I’m supposed to say that the original was way better and the remake has Americanised and ruined the entire film, but it hasn’t.

Let the Right One In was a brilliant adaptation of a novel, but with Let Me In, Matt Reeves has tweaked and ultimately improved that adaptation to bring a dark, subtle horror/love story to the screen.

The only other film I have seen by Reeves was Cloverfield, which with its “found footage” style, gives no real indication of his directing style. In Let Me In he uses a lot of long slow shots to build tension and develop a slow pace which makes the moments of horror and violence all the more intense, even if we don’t actually see that much.

Chloe Moretz and Kodi Smit-McPhee are superb as the two children, outcasts gradually connecting in a seemingly innocent way but with undertones of violence and sexual curiosity. And for once Moretz doesn’t say “pussy”.

Let Me In is perhaps a bit too slow at the start, but as a whole is a chilling story which leaves you questioning whether the story is one of love or horror.

Let Me In is on general release 5th November 2010.

Let Me In – Trailer

Yes it’s the fourth post of the day and the fourth trailer of the week but it’s a good one and I want to bump the post about Josh Hutcherson off the front page. The trailer for Let Me In makes me think I should probably see the original first in case i enjoy it too much.

It looks good and scary and Chloe Moretz is probably going to be brilliant. Apparently they missed out a major bit of the plot from the original and it’s a travesty… I couldn’t possibly comment.