Friday, January 21, 2011

My Ten Best (Rhoades)

My Ten Best Movies for 2010

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

As Frank Sinatra used to sing, “It was a very good year.” Not a great year, but a very good year for movies. No knock-your-socks-off blockbusters like last year’s “Avatar,” but a number of notable films with very good performances.

Here are my picks among these goodies:

10. “The Town” – Ben Affleck returns to his Boston roots in this bank robbery picture that he wrote, directed, and stars in. A triple play that rejuvenated his career.

9. “The Fighter” – Boston-bred Mark Wahlberg gets the accents down pat, but Christian Bale has all the right punches in this boxing biopic.

8. “Get Low” – Robert Duvall is a crusty old mountaineer who plans his own funeral in this subtle comedy based on a true story.

7. “The Kids Are All Right” – Annette Bening and Julianne Moore star in this comedy about that nice lesbian couple next door. Key West’s own Anne O’Shea executive produced it.

6. “Inception” – Christopher Nolan juggles dreams within dreams in this multilayered sci-fi thriller starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

5. “The King’s Speech” – Colin Firth stutters his way to Oscar buzz as speech-impaired King George VI.

4. “Black Swan” – Natalie Portman dances into our minds in this dark psychological thriller.

3. “Winter’s Bone” – Jennifer Lawrence is a backwoods girl in search of her missing dad in this hardscrabble tour de force.

2. “True Grit” – Jeff Bridges rides into Indian Territory as one-eyed Rooster Cogburn in this Coen Brothers’ redo of the western classic.

1. “The Social Network” – David Fincher’s film about Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, is actually a brilliant portrait of our technological age. And Jesse Eisenberg is a standout as the Harvard dropout who has 500 million friends … and a few enemies.

And here are a few Honorable Mentions:
Best Innovation: “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” – Michael Cera’s geeky loser gets to be a hero in this Bizarro World romance. A messy blend of comic books, video games, and the Internet crammed into a film format.
Best Action Flick: “Salt” – Angelina Jolie kicks butt as a Russian spy out for revenge on her masters.
Best Comic Book Movie: “Kick-Ass” – Yes, I liked it better than “Iron Man 2.” Sorry, my old pals at Marvel.
Best Crime Drama: “Animal Kingdom” – This Aussie gangster film is as violent as it is good.
Scariest Movie: “Paranormal Activity 2” – What you don’t see is more frightening than monsters or slashers.
Best Documentary: “Exit Through the Gift Shop” – Tilda Swinton’s boyfriend told me this was his favorite film of the year and that’s good enough for me.
Best Foreign Film: “Never Let Me Go” – A Merchant Ivory style film with a sci-fi twist. What a combo!
Best Teen Comedy: “Easy A” – Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter”: gets updated in this breezy laughfest. A star turn for Emma Stone.
Best Romantic Comedy: “Letters to Juliet” – Beautiful Italian countryside and Vanessa Redgrave romancing real-life hubby Franco Nero, what more could you want?
Best Road Trip Comedy: “Due Date” – Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis are oil and water in this unlikely buddy picture.
Funnier Than I Expected: “Dinner for Schmucks” – This remake of the French comedy made me laugh.
Best Social Satire: “The Joneses” – A marketing campaign was never so targeted.
Best Animation: “Toy Story 3” – It was the top grossing film of the year, so how do you say no to Buzz Lightyear and Woody?

Okay, you ask, where’s “Twilight” and “Harry Potter” and “The Millennium Trilogy”? Where’s “Despicable Me” and “Tangled” and “How to Train Your Dragon”? Where’s Roman Polanski’s “Ghost Writer” and Clint Eastwood’s “Hereafter” and Danny Boyle’s “127 Hours”? Where’s Johnny Depp’s “The Tourist” and George Clooney’s “The American”? Where’s Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” and Martin Scorsese’s “Shutter Island”?

Hey, I only said it was a very good year. Everything can’t be a winner.
[from Solares Hill]

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