2010 Year in Review: 5 Best and 5 Worst of the year

Reel graphic courtesy of Vectorstock.com
Welcome to 2011!! What a year it has been, 2010 was the first full year of movie blogging. I had no idea where this blog would take me when I started back in June 2009, but now I can’t imagine life without it. So thanks everyone for your support, and I hope you keep on coming back! 😀

Looking back at my Most Anticipated 2010 Movies list, l’ve only seen six out of the ten (two are actually not even released yet) and of the six, one totally failed my expectation. Last year, I saw a total of 29 movies, with the last one being True Grit on the last day of the year. I know that 29 is a pretty dismal number for a movie blogger. Of course that doesn’t include all of the dvd viewings from previous years, but still! Hence one of New Year’s resolution is to try to see more movies and hopefully more independent fares to balance the mainstream stuff.

Anyway, without further ado, I present to you my five best and five worst flix list of 2010:

BEST

Please note that even though I saw The King’s Speech on January 1, I’m including it on my list as it was released in 2010.

    1. How To Train Your Dragon (full review)
      Even though I didn’t get a chance to see this in 3D, it’s positively my favorite of the year! The visuals are a spectacle, but this Dreamworks’ animated feature also has plenty of heart. It’s right up there with Wall-E in terms of how much this movie affected me. I’ve seen it twice already and loved every minute of it. I’ve seen bought the Blu-ray and will probably end up being my fave of all time! 😀
      5Reels
    2. Toy Story 3
      I didn’t review this Pixar masterpiece, but it inspired me to list my Top 5 Fave Pixar Characters. Watching Toy Story 3 was no doubt one of the most entertaining cinematic experience in quite a while. If there is such a thing as a ‘flawless’ movie, this one could count as one.  The beauty of Pixar animated features are how well written the characters are and how incredibly poignant are their stories. These incredible toys have faced all kinds of mishaps and misadventures, but nothing could prepare them — and us — for what they’re about to face here. That ‘hand holding’ scene packs an emotional punch that if you didn’t at least choke up, you’ve got to be made of stone! It made me feel like a kid again, I will treasure this movie (and the entire trilogy) for years to come.
      5Reels
    3. Inception (full review)
      One of the most original concept I’ve seen in a long time, Inception truly lives up to the hype. It’s an exhilarating experience watching this Christopher Nolan’s brain teaser, but one that certainly needs to be seen on the big screen. This is a film where the visual eye candy matches the brain candy (unlike Tron: Legacy), not to mention the wonderful performances from all of the cast. Totally agree with Ted’s assessment that Nolan should’ve been TIME’s pick for ‘the next Spielberg.’ In fact, even with less than a dozen movies under his belt, judging from the quality of his work, you could even say he’s already Spielberg’s equal.
      4halfReels
    4. The King’s Speech
      I was going to post my Best/Worst list on Saturday but I’m glad I waited until I saw this one. My wise blogger friend Mad Hatter warned me to be careful not to become a ‘victim’ of hype, and he specifically mentioned this movie “…just go in to watch a movie, don’t go looking for a new favorite. It’ll make the results that much more enjoyable.” And so I did. But guess what, as I’ve predicted in my top 5 favorite films about British monarch list, this one would’ve certainly made the list!

      Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush delivered masterful performances, certainly one of their career’s best that deserve major award recognition this year. This buddy dramedy between King George VI and his eccentric speech therapist Lionel Logue are affecting, funny and earnest. It made me laugh and cry throughout and by the end I really was ready to clap. Beautifully written and directed, it also boasted the wonderful performance of the supporting cast: Helena Bonham Carter as the King’s wife and Guy Pearce as the King’s brother David.
      4halfReels
    5. True Grit
      I never thought I’d put this one on my Best list given that I had no interest in seeing this at all. I’m not a fan of Westerns nor the Coen Brothers (don’t get me wrong, I think they’re talented, I just don’t really ‘get’ their movies). But for whatever reason, the trailer intrigued me enough to make me want to see it in the theater. Unlike a lot of the Coens’ fans, I’m actually more inclined to see it BECAUSE of its PG-13 rating, I figure I wouldn’t have to worry about all the extreme violence that my friends warned me about in No Country for Old Men.

      Well, obviously I dug it or it wouldn’t have been on the list. In fact, it knocked Social Network out of my Top Five. I was truly impressed by the fourteen year-old Hailee Steinfeld in her breakout performance as the tough-talking Mattie Ross set out to avenge her father’s murder. She was nominated for a SAG Award in a Supporting Role, but you could say the young girl carried the film alongside seasoned actor Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon. As Joel Coen said in this Screencrave interview, this film is “… Less a Western than a dark comedy… We wanted what was funny about the
 book, what was the humor of the book to come through in the movie.” Perhaps that’s why I enjoyed it so much.
      4Reels

Honorable Mentions:

  • The Social Network
    This one was in my Top Five before I saw True Grit, in fact, I was thisclose to making a ‘tie’ pick and broke the Top 5 rule 🙂 For a film about a social utility web site I hardly use, I found this David Fincher film surprisingly engaging. It has won practically every major award and though I was skeptical before seeing it, now I can see why. Aaron Sorkin’s well-written script and Fincher’s astute direction made for a suspenseful story and one that kept me engrossed from start to finish. As Ted mentioned in his Best list, it’s refreshing to see a film without a single gunshot or explosion being fired, yet still managed to keep me at the edge of my seat.

    Great performances abound from all the young actors, in fact, it should win Best Ensemble Cast of Actors Under 30 (the oldest in the cast is Justin Timberlake at 29). Jesse Eisenberg is great as Mark Zuckerberg, but Andrew Garfield stole scenes as Eduardo Saverin. His is one of the notable performances that I noticed from last year (I feel another list coming)
    4Reels
  • The Town
    Ben Affleck’s sophomore project after the excellent Gone, Baby, Gone proves that he’s not just a one hit wonder. This compelling crime drama set in his favorite town of Boston boasts dynamic action, poignant dialog and notable performances from Affleck himself, as well as Rebecca Hall and Jeremy Renner. Though his acting skill is back in a lot of people’s good graces, I still think he’s a more talented director than actor. It’s not quite as good as Michael Man’s Heat, but still a worthy heist movie in its own right.
    3halfReels
  • Nowhere Boy (full review)
    After watching Kick-Ass, I was really impressed by Aaron Johnson’s performance. But seeing him in this confirmed he’s definitely one of Britain’s hottest young imports working today. His spot-on performance as John Lennon is deeply affecting — he wasn’t merely impersonating the music legend but was able to capture the forlornness and unhappiness of his youth. Not to mention the terrific performances of Kristin Scott Thomas as John’s aunt Mimi and Anne-Marie Duff as his estranged mother. This is one biopic not to be missed.
    3halfReels

WORST

I was quite fortunate that I skipped a lot of films that look awful even from the trailer (Grown Ups, Cop Out, Valentine’s Day, The Back Up Plan, etc.). But still, compared to the others I saw, I think these five deserve to be on the bottom five:

  1. The Expendables (full review)
    Just downright awful, not worth seeing in the theater even for the cast! As I said in my review, there is absolutely nothing I could praise about this movie. In fact, the one star is for the “He wants to be president” line from Sly to Arnie the Governator, and the only not-so-cringe-inducing performance by Mickey Rourke.

    1 out of 5 reels
  2. Clash of the Titans (full review)
    Horrible acting, subpar script and so-so visual effects makes this a total waste of time. At least the Harryhausen original made an attempt to be somewhat engaging despite the poor CGI. I’m glad I didn’t waste my money seeing it on 3D (which I heard was even more terrible), but I wish I just wait until it came out in DVD.

    1 out of 5 reels

  3. Knight & Day
    It’s official. Tom Cruise has a superhero complex. He just loves being such a bad ass hero. It’s not enough that he’s got the Mission: Impossible franchise, he’s once again reprising the Ethan Hunt heroic character who defies logic and physics in order to fulfill his mission. Throw in an ever annoying Cameron Diaz who shares nearly every bit of screen time with him and the agony is complete. If I wasn’t cringing at all the ludicrous action scenes, I was scratching my head wondering what Peter Saarsgard was doing in this movie?? At least the gorgeous locations in Spain make this somewhat bearable, but overall, it was a vapid production.

    1.5 out of 5 reels
    ..
  4. The Bounty Hunter
    This is the movie that made me write this open letter to Gerry Butler. As I said in that post, I kinda had a hunch this was going to be bad, but saw it anyway as I already promised my friend Prairiegirl I’d go see it. Not even my affinity for Butler could make me enjoy this flick all the way through. Sure there were some funny moments but really, it’s more fun watching GB’s interviews!

    1.5 out of 5 reels
  5. The Tourist (full review)
    It pains me to put this on my worst list because I had been anticipating it so much and two of my favorite actors are in it (in fact, the two stars are for Rufus Sewell and Timothy Dalton to share! :D) But the inept script and preposterous plot forced me to do it. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a complete waste and I’d even recommend this one for a rental as it’s still an entertaining fare to spend a mindless afternoon on. As I said in my review, Johnny Depp is pretty funny on occasion, but certainly it isn’t one of his best work.

    2 out of 5 reels

So that’s my list folks. Obviously with a list like this, it’s all a matter of personal taste, so no offense if your favorite ends up in my WORST list 😀 Well, what are your best and worst picks of this past year? Let’s hear it!

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59 thoughts on “2010 Year in Review: 5 Best and 5 Worst of the year

    1. Sorry Andrew, but hey it’s just my personal opinion… I mean, I’m no critic 🙂 As I said, these aren’t necessarily the worst of 2010, just the worst amongst the ones I saw. The same goes for my Best list. I haven’t seen 127 Hours, Another Year, Black Swan that have been critical faves so that’s why you don’t see ’em on the list.

    2. PrairieGirl

      Hi EE, The Tourist would not be on my worst list either, I really enjoyed it for what it was. I’ve seen much worse.

      1. I’m glad you enjoyed it more than I did, Becky. You’re right I’ve seen much worse, but still, if it weren’t for Rufus, Dalton and the beautiful scenery, I wouldn’t be as generous in my rating.

  1. Ted S.

    Nice list, I saw two of your best films. I still have Toy Story 3 BD sitting on my selves, haven’t watch it yet.

    I would’ve included The Expendables on my worst list but it didn’t try to be more than it was, which was a bad action/adventure film just like all those other Stallone, Jet Li, Arnold and Dolph Lundgren flix of the 80’s and 90’s.

    Knight & Day was weird for me, didn’t hate it or like it either. To me it felt like they were writing the script while shooting the movie. Wish I knew what went on behind the scenes of this film. Hopefully M:I-4 will be better than this movie and the last M:I flick.

    1. You gotta watch TS3 Ted, seriously you won’t be disappointed!

      I stand by my loathing for Expendables. ‘it didn’t try to be more than it was’ is hardly an excuse for making such a terrible flick. I mean, yes I know it’s not Shakespeare but does the dialog have to be THAT dismal? I didn’t expect much but I was STILL let down by it.

      As for K&D, “…it felt like they were writing the script while shooting the movie” Ahah, I thought the same thing. They just made stuff up as they went along… a recipe for dismal flick I’d say. I have no interest in seeing more M:I movies… seriously, they should just retire that franchise.

      1. Ted S.

        I’ll probably watch Toy Story 3 this weekend since there aren’t any new film opening that I want to see in theater any time soon.

        I know what you mean, had Stallone come out and say he’ll try something new with The Expendables, then I would have included on my worst list but he said he wanted to make a movie just like the old 80s and 90s flicks and he did. I guess I’m just immune to that kind of film since I watched so many of them back when I was younger. Seriously, you name an action film from those two decades, I probably have seen it.

        I used to watch the tv version of M:I a lot when I was younger and really enjoyed the first two films, so I’m looking forward to seeing what Brad Bird can do with the new one. I mean a director who did The Iron Giant and The Incredibles can’t mess up his first live action film can he? I hope not anyway. I’m just a sucker for spy flicks.

        1. Glad to hear, hey it’s Tarantino’s #1 fave flick, whaddayaknow?

          I’m up for good ‘ol action flick but it really could use just a teeeny bit of nuance. But instead it was just pure nonsense and ludicrous. I think you’re the one who warned me about it, I should’ve listened to you.

          Oh I like the original M:I series, too. I even like the first Mission film and the one with Thandie Newton is pretty decent, but I’ve had enough with Cruise’s superhero complex. If Brad Bird did well, I still might give it a chance on Netflix, but that’s about it.

          Btw, I might see if I can catch Black Swan this weekend.

  2. I haven’t seen the rest of your best film, the only one I have seen is Inception. I’m still waiting for the right time to buy the DVDs all the other 4.

    I’m too lazy to remember or browse the release date of every movies I watched in DVD, so I can only make best 5 In cinema.

    Ah…Clash of the titans really deserve its place.

    1. Oh you’ve got lots of catching up to do, Nov. I’d recommend seeing the two animated features on my list… and definitely worth buying.

      Sorry I missed your Top 5 review, will catch up with it now 🙂

      Glad you agree with ‘Clash’… I have no interest in seeing the sequel now.

      1. Will definitely buy the animation, but I’m planning to read How To Train first then watch the animation. So, it might take more time to finally watch it.

        Thank for reading my list Ruth 🙂

        There will be a sequel?? wow…Hollywood really doesn’t know when to stop, does it?

    1. He..he.. glad I could warn you. Amongst the worst, I’d still recommend seeing The Tourist on dvd even just for the supporting cast. Plus, if you like Venice, the cinematography is gorgeous!

  3. INCEPTION and BLACK SWAN would by far be the worst films of the year on my list 🙂 But I’m sad to say that I didn’t like this year on film very much so I don’t really have a favourite film, although I do think HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON was super charming and amazing and it had a positive message.

    I wouldn’t put CLASH OF THE TITANS and PRINCE OF PERSIA SANDS OF TIME on the list of the worst films, myself, even though they weren’t really great, because you can’t really trash a film which never really had ambitions to be great in a dramatic sense 🙂

    1. Dezz, I wrote you back on my page, I am very interested in hearing your thoughts as to WHY Inception is one of the worst in your opinion. Quite the “Road Less Travelled” of you! 🙂

      1. Hey T, great idea. Maybe we both can wrestle Dezzy to get him to post his rationale for hating Nolan. Remember, he had no love for The Dark Knight, either.

        1. Can I join the wrestle too 😉

          It’s really interesting to read so many different opinions between movie buffs. I think Dezmond’s position is like me toward Kick-Ass, so many people love it and yet I stand alone in the corner.

          1. Awww, no love for Kick-Ass?? Well, I like it but not enough to put it on my Best list as it was a bit too violent for my taste (especially involving kids!)

      2. Yep, Scarlet, Dezz often takes the Road Less Travelled 🙂 But you must bear in mind that I’m not from USA which means that I’m not exposed to marketing mania and general buzz around certain films which again creates a different taste in films.
        I’ve found both INCEPTION and THE BLACK SWAN and THE DARK KNIGHT pompous, self-obsessed, overly dark and pessimistic, badly acted, visionless films with bad direction … and that’s all I will say about the subject 🙂 so you, Flixy and Novroz can’t wrestle me 😉

        1. I can respect your view and I love that you have a different outlook. I told some1 once b4…I LOVE when people post opposing views of movies. Why? Because when we both post our views on the films…we end up learning more about the film overall. Thanks for giving us some insight from your side. (I still disagree, but HEY, it’s all good! 🙂 )

        2. Well, well, well, why don’t you tell us how you REALLY feel, Dezzy?

          I wish you’d do reviews on Hollywood Spy, Dez, as it’d be an interesting read.

    2. Yes I know, Dezzy, you’re the only guy who loathes Nolan. I respectfully disagree of course, but you’re entitled to your opinion. Glad you agree with ‘Dragon’… it really is my fave of everything I saw this year. I just wish I had seen it in 3D 😦

      “…you can’t really trash a film which never really had ambitions to be great in a dramatic sense” Oh yes you can. I wasn’t looking for great drama but it failed to entertain on so many levels.

  4. nice list Ruth. caught ‘Dragon’ over Christmas, really is brilliant. that dragon is so cute. the King’s Speech is a funny one. i thought it was good and Firth is great in it, but it was just a bit twee and Sunday afternoony for me. a good film, but nothing amazingly memorable about it. but then you Americans lap that stiff upper lip British royalty shit right up.

    1. Why thanks McG. So far I haven’t heard anyone disliking ‘Dragon’ so glad you enjoyed that, too. Ahah, yes I have a penchant for British monarch movies, so I was already predisposed to liking it but yet the film still exceeds my expectation.

  5. a fun list. I am glad that you enjoyed The King’s Speech as I am still waiting to check it out! That gives me hope. Also glad to see that you enjoyed a Western. (I know that genre doesn’t really do it for you!) No disagreements on the likability of the movies on your “best” list!

    it’s your “worst” list that I have a differing opinion. Knight and Day was so-so at best, but was it so deserving of being one of the 5 worst? LOL

    and Grown Ups was just so much fun to watch. Bringing a reunion-of-sorts feel from films like Little Rascals, Stand By Me, Goonies, Hook, The Sandlot….just…grown up! I completely enjoyed this “boy’s group” film! (Rob Schneider was a bit much, no doubt). There were no other films worse for you? 😀

    Love the fact that the “Best” movies warranted use of a Movie poster and the “Worst” received no such love! 🙂 Nice touch, Ruth!

    1. He..he.. somehow I knew I’d get more gripes from my Worst list 🙂 Well, I stand by ’em… as I said to Andrew, they may not be the worst of everything 2010 offered, but they’re the worst amongst the stuff I’ve seen.

      So yeah, K&D really was vapid through and through, the jokes weren’t all that funny and both the leads had no charisma.

      Glad you enjoyed Grown Ups but I really have no interest in seeing that one.

      Ahah, I was too lazy to put the posters up for the Worst list, but like you said, they didn’t deserve such love.

  6. The Expendables certainly was terrible and thankfully that’s the only “worst movie” on your list I saw. Have yet to see True Grit and The King’s Speech but I’m not surprised to see the year’s top 2 animations as your favorite movies of the year 🙂

    1. Glad someone agrees on Expendables… high five Castor!

      Yes, I love animation in general but these two have such winning stories and voice acting that they even deserve to be nominated in main film category, not just on their own animated feature section. I hope The Academy will recognize them as such.

  7. Mike

    Couldn’t agree more. Really liked “The Town”. Didn’t see the animated flicks on your list. After watching YEARS of those things when my girls were little, I think, no matter how good, I’m gonna pass on anything animated thank you.

    Can’t wait to see “True Grit” …

    1. Glad you like my list, Mike. Ha..ha.. I see what you mean about not seeing the animated flicks. I mean, you’ve got more than your fair share of rom coms, so you deserve a break man! 😀

  8. PrairieGirl

    Agree with all your Top 5 and honorable mentions, but won’t see Inception, and might end up catching The Social Network and True Grit on DVD.

    I allow for a lot more leeway when it comes to movies Gerry Butler and Rufus Sewell are in, so just can’t say The Bounty Hunter or The Tourist are the worst for me. Every one deserves a little mercy now and then, especially those two!

    1. Why won’t you see Inception?? You might surprise yourself and end up loving it 🙂

      I guess I’m not as forgiving with my favorite actor… I mean, I have my guilty pleasure flick from GB but TBH and Ugly Truth aren’t even that enjoyable to watch. As I mentioned to you before, I rated The Tourist the way it is for the ludicrous plot and Jolie’s overacting… she knocks off lots of points from the movie for me.

  9. I must have really missed out on ‘Dragon’. I saw Despicable Me and thought it was cute and likable, but more of a guilty pleasure than it actually being good. Maybe I will give Dragon a try.

    Oh man… Bounty Hunter was the biggest waste of a $1 I’ve ever spent. Thank god it was only $1 though. Thanks RedBox! Haha.

    1. I kinda did too, I really wish I had seen it on 3D. Haven’t seen Despicable Me but I have a feeling Dragon is a better movie.

      Well lucky you. I wish I could get my full ten bucks back 😦

    1. Why aren’t you lucky!

      Btw, thanks for your wise advise about King’s Speech… but it really did met my expectation and then some.

      Ahah, this is the first time someone calls me dude 😀

  10. I don’t mind Cameron Diaz(I actually liked her performance in The Box.), although considering how most rom com heroines are written these days i’m not surprised that she may have come off as annoying in the movie. I actually thought about seeing that after a trailer for it, but now i’m second-guessing that.

    Unfortunately i haven’t been able to watch anything in the theaters in a while, so i will probably have to wait to see recent movies like Black Swan and the Social network till they are on dvdv

    1. Oh The Box looks interesting, I’d watch it mostly for Frank Langella and James Marsden though. I used to like her in her ‘Something About Mary’ days (or even My Best Friend’s Wedding), but she’s just all shrieks and yelps in this movie which is just irritating. Makes The Tourist looked like it deserved that GG nom, believe it or not.

      1. Well, i don’t remember Cameron shrieking or yelping in The Box. I do think at times the southern accent she used for the movie felt forced, but she didn’t strike me as annoying(And plenty of other good actors/actress’s have had trouble with accents). But overall i think she played the part well.

        There is only one time i can think of when i felt the problem was solely due to the acting. In the movie Bobby Nick Cannons performance just felt bad…The role seemed fine, but i just wasn’t able to believe Nick in his role. And it kind of stood out, considering all the other actors i feel fit there roles. I’ve been hesitant to see him in anything else ever since.

      2. Ted S.

        FYI Ruth, The Box made my list of the worst films of 2009, so I can’t recommend it. But if you really want to see it, let me know what you think. Richard Kelly, the director, is probably the most self important and pretentious director working in Hollywood today, he hasn’t done a single good film yet; but somehow he’s able to find projects and studio executives are kissing his ass. I didn’t really care for Donna Darko, his first “breakout” film.

        1. Well if I decide to see it, it’d be more for Marsden. I haven’t seen Darko so I have no opinion for Kelly one way or the other. But you usually have good instincts on filmmakers, Ted.

  11. I love that you’ve given as much thought to the worst as you have to the best. And your reviews of the worst movies are so entertaining. I’ve decided I have to start reviewing more crap movies. They’re fun to write! 😀

    There’s four movies in your top list I still haven’t seen, but I’m with you on all the ones I have. True Grit and The King’s Speech are definitely on my to-watch list.

    Great list, Ruth. Worth the wait. 🙂

    1. Hey thanks Richard! Y’know you’re right, it’s quite fun to write reviews of bad films, I guess that somewhat makes up for not-so-enjoyable time watching ’em 🙂

      Glad you agree with my list. TG and TKS are definitely a must-see, the latter is one I wouldn’t mind seeing over and over again.

  12. @Ruth If I had to pick a winner from your best it would be Toy Story 3, though I haven’t seen The King’s speech though we might see it this weekend as my wife is keen to see it.

    My worst from your worst would be Clash of The titans which felt like it was made for the sake it, to fill a billboard slot.

    Great post!

    1. Hi Ronan! Hope you got to see King’s Speech with your wife this weekend, I love that movie so much!

      Yes, Clash is an abominable. I mean if the only thing memorable line is ‘Release the Kraken!’ you know it hasn’t got much going for it 😦

  13. Pingback: Movie Blogger’s Best Films of 2010 in Wordle Form | CinemaScream

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