My top five movies of the year

‘Tis the time of year to make lists. Usually I direct your attention to Fimoculous’s great list of lists, but from the looks of that site, we may not get a 2010 version.

In any case, I thought I’d make a quick list of my five favourite movies of the year. I don’t necessarily feel these are the five best or most Oscar-worthy movies I saw this year–just the five I enjoyed the most. For example, “The Social Network” won’t be on my list, despite it being a critical darling. And, obviously, I haven’t seen every major release that might make this list.

I tweeted these, so I’ll include my 140-character justification for each.

  1. The Kids Are All Right – A thoroughly-modern story that’s funny and charming without buffoonery. Also, an acting clinic.
  2. Winter’s Bone – A dark, gripping film, and a striking debut by Jennifer Lawrence. People actually speak like that in 2010 America?
  3. Oceans – A joyful love song to the sea. The eye candy was extraordinary, and there’s a sequence with a shark I’ll never forget.
  4. The American – A masterclass in on-screen stillness from Clooney. Slow without being boring, and an unusual portrait of small-town Italy.
  5. Inception – Christopher Nolan is a terrific director. Great cast. Not as sophisticated or complex as people think.

Films that didn’t make that list, but would be in my top ten, include Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Shutter Island and Greenberg. I suspect that True Grit might qualify too, though it’s not out until December 22.

On a related note, I just saw the trailer today for The Tree of Life, Terrence Malick’s new movie. It might be the 2011 film I’m most looking forward to.

What was your favourite movie of 2010?

UPDATE: Phillip asked sur la Twitter what my, uh, bottom five movies of 2010 were. In no particular order, they would be The Losers, Takers, Knight and Day, Predators and Dinner for Schmucks.


  1. I would have placed Scott Pilgrim a little higher than Inception but then I would be mobbed by my cinephile brothers and sisters.

    Other worthwhile 2010 movies IMHO: Toy Story 3, The Wild Hunt (amazing Canadian movie).

    One of the most overlooked 2010 performances: Peter Bettany in Creation.

  2. Darren, we also have Scott Pigrim in common.

    Scott Pilgrim was my favourite film of the year. +3 game points for being filmed in Toronto – the scene where they rode the Red Rocket brought back many positive memories.

    It had so much buzz, I don’t understand why it wasn’t more successful. I still have to see Inception and Social Network though.

    1. This is an unsatisfactory answer, but it’s the only nature documentary I saw in the big theatre this year. But I did find the visuals particularly mind-blowing.

  3. Problem with Inception: In a first-level dream, the brain is going at full speed (20x waking). There is no way that a second-level dream could go 20x as fast – the only thing dreaming is the physical dream.

    Too bad – nice idea though.

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