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Nordling's Top Ten of 2010!

 

I’m going to say this up front – 2010 was not as heavy a filmgoing year for me as previous years.  Life just got in the way too much.  And films that didn’t seem worth my time, I just flat out avoided.  I’m going to be playing quite a bit of catch-up this Christmas break and next year.  With any luck and some perseverance on my part, I’m going to be seeing a lot more films in 2011.  Now that I’m writing for AICN exclusively, I’m going to have to take the bitter with the sweet next year and probably sit through more lousy movies.  That’s fine.  But take it in mind – I didn’t see near enough of my quota of films in 2010.  I’m not even going to list the ones I missed here.  It would be too embarrassing.

I’m not going to rank these either.  That’s not some arty way to say that no movie’s truly “better” than the others, that’s me honestly saying I don’t know what my #1 film of 2010 is right now.  It’s actually looking like a three-way tie, maybe even a five-way tie.  Sorry if that seems ridiculous, but it’s how I feel.  As years go, 2010 wasn’t particularly weak, or particularly strong, but the movies that made this list I’d have no problem ranking with some other year’s great films.  When it was good, it was really, really good.

TRUE GRIT – An elegant Western, classically told.  I’ve stated before in my review that I consider this Coen Brothers masterpiece to be a family film, and I stand by that.  The richness of the dialogue, the glorious cinematography of Roger Deakins, the gorgeous score by Carter Burwell, the performances by Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, and the revelatory Hailee Stansfield… this film is not only one of the Coens’ best – and that’s saying a lot – but legitimately better than the original and one of the best Westerns ever made.  Call it hyperbole if you want.  If you put a gun to my head and made me pick the one film from this year to keep over all the others… this one would probably be it.

INCEPTION – So many films on my list are about the will to create.  If you’ve read Devin Faraci’s fantastic analysis of this film, that’s exactly what INCEPTION’s about on a deep level.  It’s also about the dissolution of a marriage, the power of dreams, the joy of storytelling… this is Christopher Nolan’s quintessential film in my opinion, even over MEMENTO or THE DARK KNIGHT.  I’ve seen it 5 times now, and there’s always something new every time I watch it.  You would think that a film with this many layers to it would be too difficult to drop into, but INCEPTION’s directed in such a deft manner that the many themes that the film juggles are easy to follow.  It’s popular entertainment at its very best.

EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP – This one’s a late entry on the list, as I just saw it last night, and yet it was strong enough of an entry to enter this list with a bullet.  I’m not an art collector, but I am a movie geek, so I know the idea of putting a value on someone’s work.  I just bought a $60 TRUE GRIT poster from Mondo Tees, just because I had to have it.  How does one put a price on creativity, and what does it do to the art when you remove it from the context from which it was created?  On one level, the film’s a giant “Screw you!” to the art consumer community that insists on putting a price tag on everything, and on another level it’s a “Shame on you!” to those artists that participate in that commercial sham, and on yet another level it’s about what truly makes an artist –is it the will to create something or the thought and motives behind that creation?  If this documentary sounds like a lot of work, it isn’t.  It’s quite funny, fascinating, and well made.  It’s on Netflix Instant and iTunes right now, and if you haven’t seen this yet, you have no excuse, really.

BLACK SWAN – Another film about the will to create art, this time through the lens of Darren Aronofsky, who has always been one of my favorite American filmmakers.  BLACK SWAN tells the story of Nina, played with the bravest performance of the year by Natalie Portman, and her chasing the impossible dream of perfection, and what it does to her mentally and physically.  I’m no stranger to gore in film, and most of the time blood and guts doesn’t faze me much.  But I found myself wincing a lot in BLACK SWAN.  Subtle use of gore done well always gets under my skin, and there are many moments in BLACK SWAN where I reacted viscerally.  But as Nina goes on her journey through the film, we travel with her, and we question what it means to truly sacrifice for your art and your passions.  Aronofsky is one of the masters, in my opinion, and BLACK SWAN just proves it.  As for Natalie Portman, this is the performance of a lifetime, the role that most actresses never get, and it’s a tremendous achievement for her.

SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD – I am not in this film’s demographic, although I remember the 8-bit games the film references very fondly.  I won’t lie; this one took a little while to click with me.  I really enjoyed it when I first saw it in the theater, but it wasn’t until I saw it multiple times that I recognized the universal (get it?) message of the film.  That first love, regardless of whether or not it stayed with you, makes the entire world glow Super Mario blue, and how we handle the baggage they bring can only be settled in massive duels and with pounding music.  It handles the deep issues of relationships in fun, light, and yet surprisingly subtle ways.  It’s not my favorite Edgar Wright film, but as I watched this with my daughter I realized that this may be one of the best films to show to pre-teens who have yet to navigate the complicated roads of adult relationships – that by addressing this subject manner in such a visually striking way it actually lays the groundwork for kids to decide what is and isn’t a healthy relationship.  SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD isn’t a movie that should be dismissed as light and frothy.  It’s making palatable some pretty heavy issues.

127 HOURS – James Franco’s tour de force performance makes what would seem to be an unpleasant filmgoing experience into something you can’t pull your eyes away from, even when Franco’s Aron Ralston is cutting the very flesh from his bones to gain his freedom.  I don’t think Danny Boyle is given enough credit, in his body of work, in finding that one exhilarating, life-affirming moment that makes you as an audience member want to cheer even as the characters we are watching are going through some particularly horrific moment.  He’s done it before in TRAINSPOTTING, in SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, and he does it in spades in 127 HOURS.  Boyle keeps the film visually interesting and the pace never slackens even as we are trapped in that very real rock and a hard place with Franco.  James Franco finds the heart of the story in his performance, and he’s sure to be recognized for it.

WINTER’S BONE – This has been a particularly strong year for women performances – Hailee Stansfield in TRUE GRIT, Natalie Portman in BLACK SWAN, and now Jennifer Lawrence in WINTER’S BONE.  She’s compelling to watch as Ree, the daughter of a missing crystal meth dealer, and the film follows her journey to discover what happened to him.  Ree’s struggles are monumental – she’s holding her family together with twine and gumption, and even her uncle Teardrop (played to chilling perfection by John Hawkes) seems at first unwilling to help her.  Debra Granik’s a terrific director for this material – it’s gritty and rough, but the story and the characters are compelling as Granik shows us a world we don’t often get to see in films of this caliber – the rural Ozarks.  It makes no judgments about these people’s lives – they do what they must to survive, and for those on the outside who can’t understand that, they had best tread lightly.  A terrific film.

JACKASS 3D – At first I squinted, unsure what I was seeing.  Something large… pink… flying at my eyes…  Ah.  A rocket dildo.  At that point, I really had no choice but to put JACKASS 3D on my Top 10 list of the year.  I didn’t laugh harder at any other film this year, and I understand something about JACKASS that maybe its critics do not: laughter is catharsis.  We live in incredibly difficult times right now.  That’s true for every time in history, of course, but in comparison to many post-war years, it’s undeniable that we have it pretty rough.  And coming out of JACKASS 3D I felt the best I had about things in a while.  And if the price to pay for that is an exploding, catapulted little person in 3D flying past my head, well, I’m completely willing to pay the adjusted ticket price.

TOY STORY 3 – I seriously debated putting this on my list.  Not because it doesn’t deserve to be here, because it absolutely does.  But if you’ve read my writing with any regularity, you know that I’m pretty much a shill for Pixar at this point.  I don’t know what the future holds for this studio (CARS 2 doesn’t look particularly compelling) but ever since the first TOY STORY I’ve been a passionate fan of this studio’s work, and I fervently believe they’ve made classics for the ages pretty much every time out the gate.  TOY STORY 3 is no exception.  The TOY STORY films were always for the parents anyway, dealing with the issue every parent faces: the eventual fact that your children are going to leave you and go off on their own journeys.  This final (at least I hope so) adventure of Woody, Buzz, Jessie, and the gang is a graceful, beautiful film and a conclusion to one of the best film trilogies ever made.  I can still see that shot in my mind of all the toys, hand in hand, as they face the fire together, and it’s hard not to get emotional at such a moment.  A close runner-up for this spot, however, goes to HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, which tells me that Dreamworks has finally figured out how to get past the superficial SHREK films and make something that resonates with young and old alike.

THE SOCIAL NETWORK – As the very idea of relationships has changed from even just ten years ago, I think this film is going to resonate even more in the coming years.  It’s been compared to many classic films like ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN or even CITIZEN KANE (my personal comparison is to AMERICAN GRAFFITI).  But what strikes me the most about THE SOCIAL NETWORK is the idea that the film suggests – that friendship means something different now, and how true friends challenge each other and still manage to care for each other even when wildly disagreeing.  I think that’s been lost in this day and age, how we “friend” each other but how we don’t befriend each other.  It’s also about how the will to create doesn’t come from the most altruistic of motives.  THE SOCIAL NETWORK is about many things, really, but the success of the film is that it tells its story with economy, with skill, with wit, and with directness.  It’s still up to the ages to decide whether or not this is David Fincher’s crowning achievement, or Aaron Sorkin’s, but for now, we got a legitimately great film from both of them.

So that’s it.  My Top 10 for 2010.  I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing this, and as I enter 2011 as the newest staff writer here at Ain’t It Cool News, I can’t wait to write more in the upcoming year with news, reviews, and my family film column YOU KNOW, FOR KIDS!  I’m really excited to get started and I can’t wait to share with you all.  I’m genuinely thrilled and touched that Harry’s offered me this wonderful experience and I’m chomping at the bit to get started.  Thanks for reading and thanks for sticking with Ain’t It Cool.

Nordling, out.

Readers Talkback
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  • Nordling's Top Ten of 2010 list is the first of the AICN Regulars...

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 1:47 p.m. CST

    toy story 3 made me cry

    by ORIONgods

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 1:51 p.m. CST

    This really was a crappy year for movies...

    by Ronald Raygun

    Scott Pilgrim, Inception, Toy Story 3, Social Network and True Grit were the only movies I liked all year. Still would like to see Black Swan and Winter's Bone. One upside is most years, around Christmas time, I'm struggling financially due to all the DVDs/BluRays I'm buying plus all the movies I'm seeing in the theater. Not a problem this year.

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 1:52 p.m. CST

    Harry what's this new trend of yours claiming the FIRST?

    by D.Vader

    It seems weird sometimes when all it is is a reiteration of the above story (if you wrote it I mean).

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 1:52 p.m. CST

    Nordling is better than all other AICN writers.

    by darthpigman

    1. Nordling 2. Mr. Beaks 3. Capone 4. Masswyrm 5. Harry Hercules doesn't get to go on the list.

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 1:53 p.m. CST

    DarthPigMan

    by D.Vader

    Not a fan of Quint?

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 1:55 p.m. CST

    TANGLED > TOY STORY 3

    by Simpsonian

    ok, maybe I wrote that just to get a rise out of some people...but ts3 might actually be the better movie, but I had a better time at Tangled and would probably watch it 5 more times before ts3; enjoyed the hell out of it and pure eye candy.

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 1:59 p.m. CST

    Good movies

    by bobbofatz

    Keep up the good, positive work. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good blow job!

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 1:59 p.m. CST

    Does falling in love really make your world glow super mario blue?

    by Redhead_Redemption

    I'm 30 and have yet to be in love, Does it really feel like scott pilgrim demonstrated? what should I expect if it ever happens to me?

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 2:04 p.m. CST

    30 and never been in love?

    by RedBull_Werewolf

    have you ever considered that you just aren't worth it? Anyone else agree readhead-redemption should just off himself to avoid the years and years of loneliness that lie ahead?

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 2:06 p.m. CST

    why is social network on any top 10 list?

    by john

    when a film maker has to change facts to make a story interesting....im sorry, but i will not put that movie in my top 10 list

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 2:41 p.m. CST

    Pixar cartoons use the same formula over and over

    by 1997-2011

    their movies pull all the cheap shots, if you cried and fell for it, just means you stupid. I saw To story 3 and thought it was boring and stupidest movie I saw this decade. But i realized how it tries "manipulatively" to try to get their viewer emotional and stuff by pulling really simple tricks. All their movies are like that now!!!!! really cheap. theres no depth to what they do, they just pull their proven formula and thats it.

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 2:49 p.m. CST

    INCEPTION, and thats it.

    by 1997-2011

    best movie of the decade. every other movie before it and after it sucked.

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 2:49 p.m. CST

    Uh restyle?

    by Lobanhaki2

    That happens with just about any movie about a real event. For one thing, you're staging it with actors. For another thing, writing a screenplay that fits in 90-180 minutes worth of space and works dramatically often means having to limit the number of characters involved. Processes have to be simplified, apparent timeframes compressed in movie time. Nobody's going to show Zuckerberg coding or the real way a deal's negotiated. It's a dramatization. If somebody didn't change at least some of the facts, it would be a very long, very complicated and hard to follow, very boring movie. Take it for what it is: a screenPLAY.

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 2:52 p.m. CST

    Yer Mama

    by D.Vader

    Wow, BrainDrain liked movies that were A) critically well-received and/or B) embraced by the fan community, or were at worse mediocre or disappointments (which doesn't mean "bad" or "shitty" to be sure) and you crucify him for that? Come on man, ease up. The guy didn't say his favorites were Cop Out and Yogi Bear. Then the wrath would be justified.

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 3:10 p.m. CST

    i think Inception just about does it for me

    by 1997-2011

    theres no reason to continue watching movies, nothing is worth watching anymore. its like a dog been given a really good meal, the cheap shit is no good anymore.

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 3:13 p.m. CST

    Heck

    by macheesmo3

    My top ten....in no order: Inception Shutter Island Red Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows The Kings Speech Monsters A Prophet The Fighter The Book of Eli 127 hrs I can honestly say that RED was as much fun as I have had in the theater for awhile. Is it Oscar worthy? Hell ass no!! But when the 2 hrs had passed I felt like I had been thoroughly entertained! I don't know if that makes me unworthy or whatever... But I liked it. Now I havn't seen Black Swan, The Social Network or True Grit yet.(Black Swan just opened here and True Grit is for Dec 26th with the family) so take that into consideration. IMO, the weakest movie on my list is Book of Eli, but I can honestly say I got caught up in the post apocalyptic grandeur of it and even though I had a pretty good idea what the twist was, I was stilled a bit surprised at it..... Plus, Denzel would be good reading the newspaper...

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 3:18 p.m. CST

    Good List

    by BluRonin

    I think a couple great films got left off, but everything on here made it onto my list or was at least an honorable mention (except Jackass 3D which I missed out on). http://tinyurl.com/33mrbxl

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 3:23 p.m. CST

    Let Me In

    by spire_walk

    Since we're talking worthy remakes, such as True Grit, this one deserves praise as well.

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 3:27 p.m. CST

    spire_walk

    by Nordling

    I seriously debated LET ME IN on this list, and I agree, it's a worthy remake. Chloe Moretz was amazing in it, and so was Richard Jenkins.

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 3:27 p.m. CST

    Macheesmo

    by JTStarkiller

    Nice list. I like that Red and Book of Eli are on there. Haven't seen either, but every top ten list needs a film or two that might make other scratch their heads. Gives it some uniqueness. If every top ten list is just the obvious critically acclaimed True Grit, Black Swan, The Fighter, etc., that's boring. And two points for including Monsters!

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 3:40 p.m. CST

    "why is social network on any top 10 list?"

    by SierraTangoFoxtrotUniform

    Because it's a goddamn good movie, that's why. Movies aren't about accuracy; they're about STORY.

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 3:46 p.m. CST

    batman Year One comic is stupid

    by 1997-2011

    it got catwoman as a sin city style hooker. and gordon is like i want me a piece of ass. and they made bruce wayne into de niro from taxi driver hahahaa what shit. Nolan showed em hows its done

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 3:47 p.m. CST

    the guys who made YouPorn.com demand a movie about them

    by 1997-2011

    they get millions and millions of hits a day from all around the world. they made a huge impact

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 4:12 p.m. CST

    Nordling does not exist in this dojo

    by Cobra--Kai

    That was quite a nicely written piece by aicn standards. Well done chap. I hope you go on to a successful reviewing career on this site and remain 'your own man', in the face of any external pressures or incentives to lean one way or the other.<p> I don't know if 'Nordling, out" is going to be your sign-off catchphrase but if I were your agent or editor I'd advise that at this early stage there's time to conjure up a stronger one that doesn't bring to mind that cruddy STREETFIGHTER movie. Just a suggestion. Good luck.

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 4:44 p.m. CST

    in defense of Braindrain

    by decfx

    The A-Team is a guilty pleasure for me. Just love over-the-top escapism. It's a bluray keeper for me.

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 4:56 p.m. CST

    But there is no excuse for Ironman 2 though

    by Col. Tigh-Fighter

    Great list, Nordling. Guess Im really going have to watch Black Swan which is a shame because all I want to do is slap Aronovsky around the face with a wet trout. I cant tell you how much I hate Donnie Darko, that smug, not-half-as-clever-as-it-thinks-it-is, half-baked, sci-fi lite codswallop!

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 5:01 p.m. CST

    A Hole named damn_dirty_ape

    by Max

    Why do you even read this website if you're such a dick? Austin is, by the way, the center for films in the south. If you don't think so, then why do so many directors, producers, and actors call Austin home? If you wanna be a critic, gain some experience, like Harry has, and create your own movie blog website.

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 5:04 p.m. CST

    Aronvsky cont.

    by Col. Tigh-Fighter

    I the spirit of Christmas, and all that crap..... I should point out the at least Aronovsky makes good looking, and interestingly shot films. Perhaps he would make a better DOP? <p>Coz Pi must be the most depressing film evermade, and WTF was Southland Tales?? I never dared see The Fountain. <p> Still, he makes films, and from someone who works in the industry, thats no bad thing. Maybe if he, and the rest of the world just appologise to me for thinking Darko is a good movie, then I will forgive him and graciously watch the rest of his films unbiased. <p>Yes, I am drunk! Happy Christmas!

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 5:12 p.m. CST

    Inception had serious story-telling flaws..

    by zinc_chameleon

    like the truly lazy use of technology in the so-called expository moments when they bothered to explain it at all. And then the real bonehead moment: Cobb taking a 'sedative' to go deeper into the dream. Guys that's bullsh*t of the highest order. Sedatives knock you out of a dream, and into Stage 4 (completely dreamless) sleep. Lucid dreaming is very delicate, and can only occur for a few minutes twice each night (in our REM sleep cycle) because the neural circuits for dreaming, and the ones for conscious memory have to be turned on at the same time. Finally, Ellen Page goes down into the basement, sees Cobb shooting up this sedative, and starts to talk like a 50-year-old psychotherapist. That scene killed the movie for me right there. Sorry, but time isn't going to be kind to Inception. Memento is still Christopher Nolan's masterpiece psychological thriller. It's so good it's on my students Psychology final every other year.

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 5:35 p.m. CST

    Col. tigh-fighter

    by Scalvador

    You know 'Aronovsky' didn't direct Donnie Darko, right?

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 5:42 p.m. CST

    Col. tighfighter

    by peter_dickinson

    You drunken dork, Richard Kelly directed Donnie Darko and Southland Tales. Anyway, Happy Christmas!

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 5:43 p.m. CST

    Col.tigh fighter...

    by workshed

    Southland Tales..? Donnie Darko..? Aronofsky.? Back to school, pissed or no. Black Swan... I watched it twice yesterday and it's a masterpiece. The film of the year hands-down.

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 5:45 p.m. CST

    col. tigh-fighter

    by macheesmo3

    Darren Aronofsky has directed the following films: Pi, Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain, The Wrestler and Black swan You are confusing him with the hacky(though he goes for broke) director Richard kelly, he made The Box, Donny Darko and Southland tales

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 5:45 p.m. CST

    Nordling...

    by workshed

    ...nice list btw. Seen em all and have to agree. A distinct lack of foreign movies on there... no 'Golden Slumbers'.?

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 5:48 p.m. CST

    zinc_chameleon

    by macheesmo3

    Did lard-ass have to pay to get into the contest?.... It's a movie, enjoy yourself. I guess you hate all science fiction because 99% of involves things that are physically impossible eh? BTW, I'm sure Nolan could counter that since there were obviously chemists whose entire careers involved creating these sedatives for dream related adventure, that these were specifically designed to enhance the activities of lucid dreaming.... Like I said, its a bloody movie. Let go and enjoy the ride. Have a little fun in your life....

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 6 p.m. CST

    It WAS a weak year

    by Super Rabbi

    Shit show this year was.

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 6:19 p.m. CST

    My Top 10 with no explanation...

    by DrumsInTheDeep

    1. Inception 2. Toy Story 3 3. Scott Pilgrim 4. 127 Hours 5. The Social Network 6. Harry Potter 7.1 7. The King's Speech 8. True Grit 9. Exit Through the Gift Shop 10. Despicable Me (yes, really)

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 6:54 p.m. CST

    I don't agree with THE SOCIAL NETWORK or WINTER'S BONE

    by CHRISTIAN_BALE_TRASHED_MY_LIGHTS

    But, it's not my list and you're entitled to your opinion. We all get different things out of movies. I found THE SOCIAL NETWORK to be rather dull, personally, with Eisenberg basically playing a more douchebag version of the character he normally plays. It was certainly nicely directed but I'd hoped that they'd make something a bit more interesting out of the rather tiresome story of rich people sueing one another. WINTER'S BONE didn't capture my imagination at all. Perhaps I was not its target audience or maybe you have to read the book in order to get it, but it just seemed to be a series of dreary scenes in which a girl walks around bleak landscapes talking to people with nothing of interest to say. I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't bored twenty minutes into it. Still, as I siad, we all get different things out of movies. For instance, I loved THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES but I know there are people out there who didn't. Interesting list though, and I liked your reasoning for why you picked them. I think 2010 has been a pretty good year for movies. Can't wait to see TRUE GRIT!

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 7:26 p.m. CST

    What about The Town

    by jae683

    I thought that was a great movie.

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 8:37 p.m. CST

    Inception was about "the will to create"?

    by Flip63Hole

    Seriously? Why? Who was the creator, what metaphors are you referring to? I can only guess what the deeper meaning to the Twilight films are... I wouldn't bother trying to find deeper meaning into Nolan's expositionfest. If there was ANY meaning to the film, you think he would have put it in there, eh? Crap list. Merry Christmas.

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 9:58 p.m. CST

    I saw Toy Story 3..

    by KGB3317

    really stoned and thought it was funny as hell...then I cried & wanted my Transformers toys back.

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 10:49 p.m. CST

    Zinc, dude, their not the same sedatives..

    by Simpsonian

    Just because they are called sedatives doesn't mean they are the same type and work on the same mechanism as the ones of today. "sedative" is just a generic term...

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 10:50 p.m. CST

    shit, meant "they're" not "their"

    by Simpsonian

    still no god damn edit button!

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 11 p.m. CST

    Kick-Ass? Crazy Heart?

    by ReportAbuse

    Agree with N's list ... this year I only saw Inception, Scott Pilgrim, Kick-Ass, Social Network, and Black Swan in the cinema. Caught Winter's Bone and Crazy Heart at the redbox. Haven't gotten to True Grit yet but I have high expectations for it ... the thing to compare it with is No Country for Old Men, however, if you're going to do a comparison. Jeff Bridges in great in Crazy Heart, which maybe belongs on the list. If you can put Scott Pilgrim on the list, I see no reason not to put Kick Ass on that list too. It's a non-awful Nic Cage film (which says a lot) and goes some interesting places with the tired superhero trope.

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 11:03 p.m. CST

    Nice list, Nord.

    by Zarles

    Happy 2011, my friend.

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 11:07 p.m. CST

    zinc_chameleon

    by Gimbledon

    So when you saw that scene, did security have to boot your ass out the theater when you were jumping and screaming "THATS NOT CORRECT, WAAAAH"? It's fiction bro. Fiction.

  • Dec. 25, 2010, 1:03 a.m. CST

    Watching "Exit..." right now

    by Loosejerk

    Good flick. But I don't see Guetta as much more than someone who should have been doing TeeFury shirts...an entrepreneur mind does not an artist make.

  • Dec. 25, 2010, 1:20 a.m. CST

    1997-2010 Hahahaha

    by TheUltimateMathTeacher

    Dude, that's what I sound like when I'm drunk too. Seriously, go back and read your post. I know what you were trying to say, but that was just comedy! Thanks for the laugh. Merry Christmas.

  • Dec. 25, 2010, 1:22 a.m. CST

    1997-2010 my mistake

    by TheUltimateMathTeacher

    On second read of your first post, I now think you're one of my brain dead high school students. I hope you're not drinking right now. Shame shame.

  • Dec. 25, 2010, 1:23 a.m. CST

    christian_bale C'mon man!

    by TheUltimateMathTeacher

    First no love for Green Street Hooligans and now no love for Social Network?

  • Dec. 25, 2010, 2:34 a.m. CST

    Merry effin Christmas!

    by macheesmo3

    and all of that stuff!!! may you all get Blu-rays til yer house tips over!

  • Dec. 25, 2010, 3:05 a.m. CST

    "Sedatives knock you out of a dream"

    by MattmanReturns

    That's why it's called "sci-fi". This sedative DOES allow for a dream state. Light speed is theoretically impossible for a human being to survive, but you accept that humans CAN survive it when you're watching Star Trek, because you want the characters to get from planet to planet quickly. Got any REAL complaints?

  • Dec. 25, 2010, 3:46 a.m. CST

    You know he's gonna get called "Nerdlinger" here...

    by ReportAbuse

    Welcome to elementary school redux, aka AICN.

  • Dec. 25, 2010, 10:23 a.m. CST

    Inception is so overrated

    by smackfu

    Sorry, I always wanted to say that.

  • Dec. 25, 2010, 2:59 p.m. CST

    Take out Scott Pilgrim and Jackass 3D...

    by RedJester

    And your list is actually pretty good.

  • Dec. 25, 2010, 5:02 p.m. CST

    America! Fuck Yeah!

    by Gluecifer

    Does that guy actually watch movies that aren't American? Inception: overrated. Scott Pilgrim: empty movie for geeks. Pixar: overrated. Jackass: well...let's stay polite.

  • Dec. 25, 2010, 9:30 p.m. CST

    My top ten

    by pleasebanme

    1. Black Swan 2. Mother (most underrated movie of the year) 3. The Social Network 4. Toy Story 3 5. 127 Hours 6. Inception 7. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World 8. The Fighter 9. I'm Still Here 10. True Grit Still need to see Winter's Bone, The King's Speech, and A Prophet.

  • Dec. 25, 2010, 9:43 p.m. CST

    Almost forgot "Never Let Me Go"

    by ReportAbuse

    This year's "Children of Men." Also, if I haven't mentioned it before, "Solitary Man" (with a great performance from Michael Douglas). Still, no matter how you look at it 2010 was Jeff Bridges' year (Tron, True Grit, Crazy Heart).

  • Dec. 26, 2010, 1:19 a.m. CST

    So near so far so in-between

    by maelgrim

    Alice in Wonderland! - (best score by far anyway)

  • Dec. 26, 2010, 2:24 a.m. CST

    Just saw The Fighter

    by MattmanReturns

    Any 2010 top ten list without that on it is a joke.

  • Dec. 26, 2010, 9:47 a.m. CST

    Yes, Tangled>Toy Story 3

    by dead youngling

  • Dec. 26, 2010, 9:48 a.m. CST

    Black Swan movie of the year for me!

    by dead youngling

    Haven't seen Grit yet, but Natalie wins for actress. Made me forget about Star Wars.

  • Dec. 26, 2010, 12:21 p.m. CST

    Facebook and THE SOCIAL NETWORK...

    by MooseMalloy

    ... have officially begun the end of friendship, now all we have is potential/future enemies. I had the same reaction to SCOTT PILGRIM VS THE WORLD as Nordling, having not seen it in the theater, but finding myself watching it a few times, seemingly against my will, on disc. My biggest complaint about the film ended up being the Branden Routh portion was too long. Ultimately the movie made me reflect on women from my past, and how beautiful women have the power to make you forget all the crappy things they have done in their past, including to oneself. And that is as bittersweet as you can get. As for BLACK SWAN, I'll just go re-watch SUSPIRIA instead.

  • Dec. 26, 2010, 3:58 p.m. CST

    This is Why I Hate Top Tens

    by Karuma

    Because, for the most part, half of them are movies the general public never sees or has a desire to see, and they are in a top ten simply because one reviewer says they are. Are they good? Maybe, depends on the viewer. You know why classic films are classic? It's not because of bunch of self styled critics got together and said, "This film is a classic". It's because the general public said "This film is a classic". Cases in point-"It's a Wonderful Life", "Rocky Horror", and "Willie Wonka" all started out being panned by the critics and ignored by audiences, and there are many others. But over time the general public and critics changed their minds. That being said, I agree with a few films on this reviewers list, "Inception", "Winter's Bone", "Toy Story 3", but the rest, no. I would add "Alice", "How to Train Your Dragon", "The Kids are Alright", and "Waiting for Superman".

  • Dec. 26, 2010, 7:29 p.m. CST

    FIRST!

    by danton1000

    Yes! I am FIRST! : )

  • Dec. 26, 2010, 8:37 p.m. CST

    How can I read the comments?

    by wintocha67

    This is madness.

  • Dec. 26, 2010, 9:47 p.m. CST

    Winter's Bone was fricken boring

    by MST3KPIMP

    I can't believe anyone could get into this self-indulgent bore fest. I listend to the commentary to discover it was made by non-americans so it made me realize how pretentious it was as they tried to paint a picture of down and out hillbillies and make pass for high art. funk dat!

  • Dec. 27, 2010, 8:12 a.m. CST

    True Grit was disappointing.

    by HoboCode

    Not bad...just disappointing to me. I didn't care for the tone. It was overly goofy when it would have worked better as a more serious film. I understand the original, and possibly the novel, are like that as well but it didn't make it any less ineffective to me. Hailee Steinfeld is INSANELY great in it and saves the picture but Bridges' Rooster was barely coherent as he growled and mumbled every line, and Matt Damon phoned it in and felt out of place in the film.

  • Dec. 27, 2010, 8:49 a.m. CST

    macheesmo3

    by Balcony Fool

    "Hell ass no?" Really?

  • Dec. 27, 2010, 9:15 a.m. CST

    who is this nobody?

    by jolliff89

    what's with all these random new writers on aintitcool, does harry let anyone off the streets write for him? at no point did I really get good reasons why he put these movies on here. I know why I personally would put some of these on my list, but all he did was give a little synopsis for each and said, yeah, it was cool,

  • Dec. 27, 2010, 10:02 a.m. CST

    BEST is as subjective as the one's I enjoyed the most.

    by openthepodbaydoorshal

    Jackass 3D - Yes, my jaw literally hurt from laughing, but best of the year? Face it. Knoxville and Co. are staging what you can find on You Tube any day of the week. People doing bodily harm to themselves. Granted there is a degree of creativity involved (tetherball with bees? ass geyser with miniature village?), but it boils down to someone getting hit in the balls. Yes, a curly hair away from Idiocracy. As for films that satisfied me artisically and emotionally I'd have to include The Town and surprisingly Let Me In, a remake that I found to be even better, by just a bit, than the original. Both excellent entertainments.

  • Dec. 27, 2010, 10:09 a.m. CST

    And Scott Pilgrim? As far as young adult romance

    by openthepodbaydoorshal

    I preferred (500) Days Of Summer, and even Going The Distance ONLY because Charlie Day makes everything better.

  • Dec. 27, 2010, 10:46 a.m. CST

    dead youngling

    by HoboCode

    Wait till you see True Grit before giving Portman the Oscar. Hailee Steinfeld is mind-blowing.

  • Dec. 27, 2010, 6:28 p.m. CST

    Haven't seen Swan or Grit yet.

    by notcher

    Been one fucking busy Holiday season, but I'm seeing them soon. However, so far "The Social Network" has been my favorite by FAR! Yeah, Nordling doesn't write enough, I like his shit the best! Although I'm always in the mood for a Harry review where he makes a shit film seem like a great one.

  • Dec. 27, 2010, 8:29 p.m. CST

    INCEPTION is just so fucking annoying...

    by carlanga

    and EXIT THROUGH THE GIFTSHOP is fucking genius

  • Dec. 27, 2010, 10:18 p.m. CST

    Scott Pilgrim

    by K-Gin

    Scott Pilgrim fell flat for me. I think there was too much of a disconnect between the superpowered fighting and the rest of the movie. Almost felt like two different universes...plus Michael Cera's character just didn't work for me in this movie. Haven't had the chance to catch as many movies as I would have liked. Harry Potter was a mess of a movie...really poor direction. I Thought "How to Train Your Dragon" was a good solid movie. Enjoyed Inception and hoping to catch True Grit, Black Swan and a few others in the theater.

  • Dec. 28, 2010, 12:28 a.m. CST

    No "King's Speech" = Travesty

    by Err

    Seriously, Scott Pilgrim? Can we get better contributors?

  • Dec. 28, 2010, 9:53 a.m. CST

    Jackass 3-D but no Fighter or Shutter Island?

    by Tikidonkeypunch

  • Dec. 28, 2010, 12:53 p.m. CST

    Inception WAY WAY WAY overrated

    by jawsfan

    I went to that film excited about seeing it and really wanted to like it. It's not a good film, folks. Many of you think it is, but it's not. It's a film that looks and feels cerebral, but isn't cerebral. Did someone go inside your heads and implant the idea that INCEPTION is a great film? If someone did, at least that would explain your totally non-critical and non-objective fawning over this film. Nolan is NOT a genius filmmaker, though I think we can all agree that MEMENTO was pretty darned good. THE DARK KNIGHT was extremely flawed (and buoyed mostly by Ledger's performance and widespread morbid curiosity to see how well a dead guy would be as The Joker). The massive success of and love-fest for INCEPTION only proves to me that the masses don't really care for intelligent fare but love pseudo-intelligent fare.

  • Dec. 28, 2010, 3:28 p.m. CST

    Inception was great!

    by high_as_in_berg

    And here's one of the many reasons why: The ending works on 3 different but complimentary levels: 1. The effect on the audience - if the top doesn't fall, was it all a dream? We, as collective film "dreamers", are compelled to ask this question, but Nolan means it literally as well. He wants you to answer the question as, "well obviously it was a dream. It was a film-dream. We all collectively watched it and now it's time to wake up." this is the cinematic interpretation. 2. Within the story - there is little evidence to suggest Cobb is still in limbo so the fact that the top wobbles indicates that the dream is over and he has returned to reality. All of the clues otherwise (his father asking him to return to reality, the fact he doesn't witness the top after the underground dreaming session) only helps to puncuate the existential ambiguity we constantly experience - how can we know for sure that we are in reality and not an elaborate dream? But even more crucial, the viewer is left wanting Cobb to succeed, therefore the earlier discussion about generating inception through emotional catharsis is essential. It's as if Nolan wants to plant the idea in our mind, not that our world is not real, but to let go of the worry, strife, even suicide, over whether this world is real or not. In this case, even if Cobb is still in the dream, his character has made the important leap of faith (in the existential sense) to return to his kids, and let go of his wife. Which brings me to the third level: 3. The character interpretation: Cobb throws the top on the table, sees his kids, and does not care whether it falls or not. The pan to the top could actually point to the opposite of what it pans to. We are drawn to the top, but we ought to be cognizant of Cobb reuniting with his kids and that he doesn't care about the top anymore. The beautiful thing about this movie is that the final shot, when taken in context of the story and philosophy that was built before it, supports all three of these interpretations and in fact, encourages the viewer to realize each one.

  • Dec. 29, 2010, 12:12 p.m. CST

    Social Network...sure. But Scott Pilgrim?!?

    by Stalkeye

    As for Black Swan, the jury is still out on this film as I fell asleep throughout the entire movie.My Wife however, thought it was brilliant. Have to remind myself to watch the rest of Inception in all it's 1080p glory.