Erika’s Favorite Films of 2010

by | Dec 31st, 2010 | 11:54AM | Filed under: In My Humble Opinion, Movie Lists, Movies

Scott Pilgrim vs. the WorldIt’s that time, folks. The time when we look back on the year that was… and JUDGE.  I’m pretty convinced that the universe would implode if mankind lost its fervor for “Best Of” lists when December rolls into January, so I’m certainly not going to take a chance by failing to add my opinion on the topic I devote the majority of my waking hours to: movies. So here are the ten I enjoyed the most this year.  Notice that I didn’t claim these were THE best films, simply MY favorites — the ones that moved me the most.  Ready, set…

Erika’s Ten (OK, Eleven) Favorite Films of 2010

Honorable Mention: Exit Through the Gift Shop – This is a documentary about the underground world of street artists, and man, is it fascinating. Directed by “Banksy,” who’s in the film, but whose face we never see, it’s filled with intrigue, drama, and an exceedingly strange twist.

10) The Town – This one’s on the list because of Jeremy Renner’s performance. The man knows how to play a badass. Period. And the ultimate heist he, Ben Affleck and crew try to pull off at the end? It made me laugh out loud in the theater (though it wasn’t meant to be funny in the slightest and I was the ONLY one who laughed) because of its sheer audacity. There was never a dull moment in The Town… and I got a kick out of seeing Blake Lively all skanked up. Read Locke’s review. // The Town will be at redbox on January 11.

9) Let Me In – You all might remember how much I was initially against this remake (because, as a rule, I’m just against remakes in general — and because I love love loved the Swedish original). But I gotta hand it to director Matt Reeves. He did a superb job bringing the chilling story of a lonely boy and his vampire bestie to American audiences.

Easy A8) Easy AThere just aren’t that many good teen movies anymore. So when one comes along that not only stands on its own two feet, but also pays homage to the ’80s classics that paved the way for the genre, it’s a welcome surprise indeed.  Read Locke’s review. // Reserve a copy.

7) Tangled – Does it make me sound old if I say this film was “a delight”? Because it really was — I enjoyed every second of it. Deserving of insta-classic status! Here’s my full review.

6) Scott Pilgrim vs. the WorldWatching this one was, hands down, the most fun I’ve had in the theater all year. A clever story, witty one-liners, tons of video-game references to bring back great memories for a child of the ’80s such as myself, and some of the most unique visuals that have graced the screen in a long time — and it plays just as well on DVD. Read Locke’s review. Reserve a copy on DVD or Blu-ray.

5) The Kids Are All RightI wasn’t expecting to fall in love with this movie. But the performances from the entire cast (with Annette Bening in particular deserving of an Oscar) rang so authentic, and the message about what really constitutes a family was so strong, that I was blown away.  Read Locke’s review. // Reserve a copy.

4) It’s Kind of a Funny Story – This is the 2010 film that personally connected with me the most, but unfortunately didn’t have a very wide theatrical run. I’m a big ol’ stressball just like the main character (played by Keir Gilchrist), and seeing how his Cycle of Worry snowballed in his mind made me feel like I wasn’t alone in some of my admittedly over-dramatic fears about the future. This film also has one of the best (and most random) musical fantasy scenes of all time… and proves that Zach Galifianakis is much more than just “the awkwardly funny bearded sidekick.”

Toy Story 33) Toy Story 3It’s the movie that made grown men cry… and me sob like a fool. But in a good way.  Read Locke’s review. Reserve a copy on DVD or Blu-ray.

2) The Fighter - It’s not just another boxing movie. It’s the real tale of two half-brothers that is almost too bizarre to be believed. As is Melissa Leo’s sky-high ‘do, and Christian Bale’s physical transformation. Read my review.

1) The King’s Speech – Royal Family drama + a true story about overcoming personal adversity + Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush = THE BEST. Do whatever you can to see this movie, people!

Here are a few other films that I feel belong on true “Best Of” lists, but that I didn’t include in my favorites because — despite being incredible cinematic achievements — they’re all too depressing for my taste.

  • Black SwanEverything you’ve heard about Natalie Portman’s performance is spot-on; she truly embodies Nina the Way-Too-Competitive Ballerina. I grew quite weary of director Darren Aronofsky’s favorite “trailing from over the shoulder” shot, though.
  • Winter’s Bone — Lead actress Jennifer Lawrence is amazing, but her meth-head relatives/neighbors were straight outta my worst nightmare. (Winter’s Bone is available at redbox on both DVD and Blu-ray.)
  • Rabbit Hole – Anything revolving around the loss of a child is bound to be a weeper, and this one was — to the nth degree. But Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart were astounding as grieving parents, and their climactic argument in this film still haunts me.
  • Blue Valentine — Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling prove that falling in love can be exhilarating… and falling out of it can be torturous.

I know you have opinions about my list! So lemme hear ‘em — and even if you disagree with ALL of my picks, I still wish you a Happy New Year. How big of me, right?

19 Responses to “Erika’s Favorite Films of 2010”

  1. laptop_repairs_manchester
    Posted on December 31, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    good list the ones ive seen id agree with you, so ill hunt out the ones i havent seen. Cheers Erika

  2. Vicki
    Posted on December 31, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    I totally agree with The King’s Speech. I saw it earlier this week and was completely blown away. Given Helena Bonham Carter’s other movie roles, I didn’t expect a whole lot from her, but even she was amazing. Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush were both phenomenal, and Firth had better get that Best Actor Oscar. Even if you’re not all that interested in the historical aspects of the movie, go see it anyway. You will thank me later.

  3. Sean Luhks
    Posted on December 31, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    I haven’t seen The Town, Winter’s Bone, or Exit Through the Gift Shop yet (nor True Grit, nor 127 Hours), but I’m excited to see them in the next few weeks. It usually takes me until the end of Oscar season to develop a proper Top Ten list.

    Black Swan was my clear favorite, followed by Shutter Island, Un Prophete, and The Fighter. At number five would be Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, which (despite its flaws) truly captures the spirit of the times better than anything else. Happy new year.

  4. SpaceMonkeyX
    Posted on December 31, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    This is a great list, Erika! I haven’t seen all of them, but what I have caught, I couldn’t agree with more. And even the ones I might not have necessarily sought out, here it sounds like they’re worth looking into. Thanks and Happy New Year!

  5. Bill
    Posted on January 1, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    Winter’s Bone was hands down my favorite of it’s genre. I live in the area it was filmed in and it hit the nail on the proverbial head in it’s depiction of the Ozark’s meth culture.

  6. Duke Basil
    Posted on January 1, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Kings Speech with Colin and Geoffrey was amazing…Black Swan was exciting and for a guy in a room full of girls…I was proud to be there…Natalie was great, so much so I had to watch THE PROFESSIONAL again when she was 11…The Fighter was great because of Christian Bale, period. Winters Bone was depressing to say the least and there seems to be too many of those downers these days. Some other biggies: 127 Hours, Inception, Social Network, True Grit, Ghost Writer, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Love and Other Drugs, Mother and Child, The Girl Who Played with Fire, The Company Men, Nowhere Boy, and the Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest.

  7. Jessica
    Posted on January 1, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    Ok so I try to rent some movies n it won’t let me what can I do

  8. Chris
    Posted on January 2, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Inception didnt make your list? I thought ‘The Town’ was good and plan on seeing ‘The Fighter.’

  9. More Twitter Followers
    Posted on January 4, 2011 at 12:20 am

    Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was my favorite pick. For some crazy reason, I love all of the movies that this guy is in.
    Thank you.

  10. Megan
    Posted on January 4, 2011 at 1:19 am

    This was a good year for Disney animation– Toy Story 3 and Tangles are both absolute gems. I’ve not yet seen The King’s Speech, Black Swan, or The Kids Are Alright, but I think all 3 look fantastic. I’m surprised Inception didn’t make the list, though; I think it’s one of the more intellectually engaging and creative movies I’ve seen in a long time. Then again, I have a weakness for anything Leonardo DiCaprio is in, so…

  11. Neel
    Posted on January 4, 2011 at 6:46 am

    The King’s Speech was the best I have seen in a while. i always enjoy a story with history behind it and have feelings for what the royalty have to deal with.A= to the director.
    The fighter was a “dirt mouth movie” but the story was very good. I just don’t understand the use of so much bad language in one movie. Come on, give us a break from some of this.

    • Currently 5/5 Stars
    Posted on January 4, 2011 at 7:39 am

    No inception? That movie was sick as hell!

  12. SAM
    Posted on January 4, 2011 at 9:55 am

    I agree with your picks, but the movie that I enjoyed most is “True Grit.”

  13. Paul
    Posted on January 4, 2011 at 11:04 am

    I’ve seen the vast majority of movies on your list. Having said that, I would rank “True Grit” as my pick for best movie of 2010.

  14. Compare Satellite TV
    Posted on January 4, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    I’ve been seeing a lot of King’s Speech as the best movies. Is it really good? I haven’t watched it yet but I’m planning to watch it.

    • Currently 5/5 Stars
    jay blue
    Posted on January 5, 2011 at 10:46 am

    what about “the book of eli”?

  15. Deeney
    Posted on January 5, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    The Book of Eli was one of my favorites, too.

  16. chris p rice
    Posted on January 5, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    you could have just stopped at “exit through the gift shop” and saved yourself a lot of trouble.

  17. Jennifer Sci Fi Friend
    Posted on January 15, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Erika – Really you found Winter Bone depressing? I admit I watched through my fingers as if I was in a horror film. However, I was so blown away by the little acts of humanity throughout the piece when the chainsaw came out I just closed my fingers and imagined a place far far away. Other than that, I am very surprised an independent film would have such a spin and the critics would love this little film with a happy ending. Jennifer Lawrence reminded me of Jewel in looks for some reason. And her performance was the glue to the movie while the veteran actors allowed her to shine. Stunning movie.

    I am so glad I was not the only adult female who teared up at Toy Story 3! Thank you for being so brave to share! King’s Speech left me speechless :)

    One quick question, would you suggest seeing the Swedish version version of Let Me In first?