Friday, January 21, 2022

The 100 Project: The Top 25 Movies of 2010

    At long last, The 100 Project is coming down the stretch. 2010 starts the final full decade that the project will cover. For me, it's interesting to look back at how my feelings have changed about certain movies since the first time I ranked the best movies of this year, which you can see here. Some movies have moved up, some down, yada yada. Some movies are no longer listed because of the methodology I used for this project. Basically, I trusted Letterboxd to dictate the year of release. Therefore, some movies that were on the prior list are now counted among 2009 or 2011 films. Let's just see how it shakes out. 

My Top 25 Movies of 2010

  • According to my Letterboxd account, I've seen 146 films released during 2010.
  • I saw 6 movies in theaters, 2 make the top 25.
  • 4 animated movies make the list.
  • I saw all 10 Best Picture nominees. 7 make the top 25.

25. Super

24. Piranha 3D

23. Exit Through the Gift Shop

22. Batman: Under the Red Hood

21. Machete

20. Easy A

19. The Social Network

18. Megamind

17. Shutter Island

16. Despicable Me

15. Black Swan

14. True Grit

13. The Fighter

12. The Book of Eli

11. Salt

10. Let Me In

Normally, an American remake of a movie just a few years old is a watered down mess. In this case, it's a film that tells the same story, but does enough of its own thing to more than justify its existence. Some good ol' 80s Americana pumps through its veins, and changing the order of a few key moments gives things a different feel. The result is the year's best straight up horror flick.

9. How to Train Your Dragon

I wasn't expecting much when I put this movie on for the first time. I figured it was just another movie I would watch with my kids and forget about. I'm happy to say that I was completely wrong. My first viewing was a delight. My next made me appreciate it even more and set me up for a wonderful journey through one of the great cinematic animated franchises.

8. Tucker and Dale vs. Evil

Let Me In might be the best straight up horror flick 2010 had to offer, but this underseen gem is horror-comedy gold. It takes aim at slasher flicks, particularly those where a group of kids find themselves in the woods with a group of inbred hillbillies, and mines it for every bit of humor it can find. 

7. I Saw the Devil

This is one of the more brutal movies I've ever seen. It's also one of the more unique revenge films I've come across. And like the best movies in the genre, we're not really sure who won when it's all said and done. This one's not for the squeamish.

6. Winter's Bone

The Coen Brothers remake of True Grit is back at #14 on this very list. That means, it's a really good remake. I might even say I like it better than the original. Winter's Bone is actually a better remake than that, though it actually isn't one. It also contains Jennifer Lawrence's best performance.

5. Inception

When I first did this list a decade ago, this was my #1 movie. It's slip to this spot is no indication of my opinion on it slipping. It's really that I've come to appreciate the movies above it that much more. This is still a mind-bending epic with visuals that still hold up as spectacular. And yes, that ending.

4. Poetry

Speaking of great endings, this movie has one as well. It's in no way ambiguous, but satisfying in a way that we're not so sure we should be satisfied. And that's only part of what makes it beautiful. I wish more people would see this. Maybe, just maybe, you guys will understand when I say Yang is one of the most compelling female protagonists of this century.

3. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

In my original review of this movie I write "if you can't understand the brilliance behind the pee meter, you'll never get this movie." That still holds true and speaks to why I love it. Everything about it is plucked from some hobby or another that I've had during my life and fleshed out in a big, bright ball of zaniness. The first time I watched it I felt like I was seeing a bunch of in-jokes only between myself and the people who made the movie.

2. Kick-Ass

I knew superheroes before I knew video games. Therefore, take everything I said about Scott Pilgrim speaking to me and multiply it a few times. Like lots of kids I dreamed of being a superhero - vividly. I collected comic books for years. During that time, I became pretty good at drawing. You know what? Most of my drawings were of superheroes. This movie took all of that and put it on the screen, along with lots of warm-hearted spoofing of superhero movies and TV shows. And Nicolas Cage doing Adam West is EVERYTHING.

1. Toy Story 3

I'm not going to go into some romanticized soliloquy about my toys. I had plenty of toys as a youngster, and played with them often, but I was never that attached to any of them. This gets the top spot because it's damn near perfect. It flawlessly completes the best animated trilogy of all-time. I know there's now a fourth film, which I love, but at the time this was it. It made me laugh. It made me think. It almost made me cry. I've only shed tears over a film once, back when I was eight. In the four-plus decades since, this movie came closest to making it twice. The lump in my throat during the incinerator scene was the size of a golf ball. It left, but returned during the film's last moments. Only the sheer willpower of the last few strands of my toxic masculinity kept the tears at bay. 

Honorable Mentions (alphabetical): 13 Assassins, 127 Hours, Biutiful, Blue Valentine, Cold Fish, For Colored Girls, Get Him to the Greek, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, The Kids Are All Right, Planet Hulk, RED, The Runaways, The Town, Troll Hunter, The Two Escobars


  1. From your 25, Batman: Under the Red Hood and I Saw the Devil are the films I haven't seen and from your honorable mentions, 13 Assassins, Cold Fish For Colored Girls, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, Planet Hulk, and Troll Hunter are the films I haven't seen as my list is more arty but with some commercial fare. That was a really tough and difficult year for me as I was going through a serious depression that took a long time to get through.

    BTW, fuck that fat has-been asshole Bully Ray for going off on Jon Moxley claiming that Moxley should apologize to the fans for being an alcoholic. At least Moxley went to rehab and recovery to deal with his issues like a man while Ray is nothing more than a fat bully who was given a main event push that no one wanted while almost destroying another wrestling company (Ring of Honor) with his bullshit booking as they're probably going out of business this year.

    1. I hate that it took a while, but glad you were able to get through your depression.

      Of the movies you haven't seen, I think I Saw the Devil, 13 Assassins, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, and Troll Hunter would be most up your alley. I'll have to admit my ignorance on Bully Ray since I pay zero attention to wrestling.

  2. Great list. I was delayed in watching Toy Story 3. Missed it at the theatres and came across it on TV one day with my friends. That scene with the incinerator had me on my knees. The ending was the perfect goodbye. That "so long partner" I couldn't hold the tears back. I had the first Toy Story on VHS. I grew up on Woody and Buzz.

    1. That incinerator scene is EVERYTHING!!! I went to see it in theaters with my kids and a couple of my nieces & nephews (yes, I'm showing my age). I'm 100% certain that scene hit me harder than it hit them. I was leaning forward in my seat with a lump in my throat while they I could be wrong, but years later when the subject of this movie has come up I find I'm more attached to it than any of them.

  3. You're kinder to a few of these than I would be, especially Scott Pilgrim. That said, it's one of my favorite reviews that I've written.

    Black Swan is my #1 from this year, but again, since both of my girls were hard-core into ballet (and one still is, professionally), it would be hard for it not to be.

    1. I've long held to the belief that the best reviews are for the movies we least like, lol.

      Black Swan is a great movie and a very worthy #1, no need to justify it. It's ranking here is more related to the fact I haven't seen it in a while. Most of the others I've watched several times over the years and have become more connected to me.

  4. I'm happy to see Super and Machete on here! Those were two of my favs that don't always get a ton of love anymore. I added Poetry to my watch list since I haven't seen it.

    1. I didn't love Super the first time I saw it. Something drew me back to it, several times. With each viewing I like it a little more, and here we are. Loving it. I've loved Machete since the first five minutes of my first viewing. Please see Poetry. I think it's amazing (obviously).

  5. There are few I have not seen that are on your list. I do like Inception, Toy Story 3, Let the R8ght One In but I can’t stand Black Swan. Let’s see what I have chosen...
    They Shall Not Grow Old- Excellent Documentary
    The Artist
    The Avenger flicks including Black Panther, Doctor Strange etc...
    The Kingks Speech..I don’t care what everyone says now, I love this movie
    The Martian
    Shutter Island
    Lady Bird
    The Grand Budapest Hotel
    The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
    The Book Thief- never read the book but I love this movie
    The Family
    The Man From Uncle
    Captain Phillips
    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
    12 years a Slave

    Ok that’s my list for the 2010s movies.

  6. I’m sorta late Dell but glad to see you are still working on these lists! Unfortunately, there are a slew of movies on your list I have not seen (16 to be exact) and honestly most of those will remain so. I do want to see Exit Through the Gift Shop though.

    Of those nine that I have seen I loved three-Easy A, Shutter Island and Inception-liked three others quite a lot-Black Swan, True Grit and Winter’s Bone-was more or less indifferent to two others-The Social Network (I hated all the characters and fail to see what all the praise was about) and Salt-and flat out hated one-The Fighter.

    We share a few picks though in differently ranked spots though we have Inception in almost the exact same slot. I struggled a bit with this and couldn’t come up with twenty-five films (I only made it to 18) from this year that I could say that I was a big enough fan of to rank. I’m only enthusiastic about my top ten, which includes two exceptionally fine documentaries, I do think the other eight are worthwhile pictures however.

    Top 10:
    Shutter Island
    Made in Dagenham
    Easy A
    Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff
    Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work
    Ghost Writer
    Loose Cannons

    Runners up:
    The King’s Speech
    Morning Glory
    Letters to Juliet
    True Grit
    Winter’s Bone
    Black Swan

    1. Good to see some love for Unstoppable & Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work. Thanks, Joel!

  7. Glad to see How to Train Your Dragon on here! I didn't know what to expect either and ended up loving it. It's now one of my all time fave animated movies ever. INCEPTION is great and holds up on rewatches too!

    1. How to Train Your Dragon is an amazing movie and has turned into an amazing franchise. Glad you love it.