Best Of 2010

It takes a while to see all the best movies for a particular year. (Especially going by the imdb years which indicate when a film was first completed rather than when it received a wide release.)

We have finally reached 2012 and I can finally provide a reasonable list for 2010.

Naturally I will add more as I discover them.
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1.
Black Swan (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A committed dancer wins the lead role in a production of Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake" only to find herself struggling to maintain her sanity. (108 mins.)
“ Darren Aronofsky's greatest movie yet. A nightmarish vision of the plight of an aspiring ballet dancer taking on the roles of the white and the black swan in "Swan Lake". Natalie Portman finally gets the role and the director she deserves and gives her best performance since her amazing debut in Luc Besson's "Leon". ” - fatpie42
 
2.
Winter's Bone (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
An unflinching Ozark Mountain girl hacks through dangerous social terrain as she hunts down her drug-dealing father while trying to keep her family intact. (100 mins.)
Director: Debra Granik
“ Almost fairytale-like movie about a girl who needs to search for her missing father or lose her home. Living in a hostile male-dominated society and knowing full-well that her father has been in disreputable company, this turns out to be difficult and dangerous task. No, not the "Disney" kind of fairytale.... Watch out for the chainsaw. ” - fatpie42
 
3.
Sarah's Key (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
In modern-day Paris, a journalist finds her life becoming entwined with a young girl whose family was torn apart during the notorious Vel' d'Hiv Roundup in 1942. (111 mins.)
“ A lot of reviewers are calling this "a holocaust movie", but that is to ignore that this film is highlighting a part of that history not often mentioned. The deportation of Jews by the French, which began by relocating all Parisian Jews to the Velodrome.

The story of one particular figure in this story, a little girl called Sarah, is slowly uncovered by American journalist Julia (played Kristin Scott Thomas). The way the various characters tied together reminded me very much of another recent Kristin Scott Thomas film "I've Loved You So Long". This is a powerful character-centred drama that pulls you in and will not let go. ” - fatpie42
 
4.
The King's Speech (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The story of King George VI of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, his impromptu ascension to the throne and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch become worthy of it. (118 mins.)
Director: Tom Hooper
“ Great fun, superbly acted and there are so many beautifully hearfelt moments that bring tears to your eyes. ” - fatpie42
 
5.
The Fighter (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A look at the early years of boxer "Irish" Micky Ward and his brother who helped train him before going pro in the mid 1980s. (116 mins.)
“ Christian Bale plays a has-been boxer with issues. He's supposed to be training his younger brother to be a champion and their mother (played by Melissa Leo) is acting as manager, but it seems like his issues are getting in the way and family bonds might be less supportive than they ought to be. Christian Bale is the real star, but Melissa Leo also gives a passionate performance and Mark Wahlberg was far better than expected. What's particularly special however, is the interaction between the lead roles. A very character-driven and engaging story. Not to be missed! ” - fatpie42
 
6.
Submarine (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
15-year-old Oliver Tate has two objectives: To lose his virginity before his next birthday, and to extinguish the flame between his mother and an ex-lover who has resurfaced in her life. (97 mins.)
Director: Richard Ayoade
“ Superb black comedy. Fantastic peformances all round, though special mention should go to Paddy Considine (normally known for serious roles) providing some incredible comic gold. There's rarely a moment where you won't be laughing. Wonderfully directed by Richard Ayoade and clearly showcasing his knack for comedy, this is not to be missed! ” - fatpie42
 
7.
Kick-Ass (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Dave Lizewski is an unnoticed high school student and comic book fan who one day decides to become a superhero, even though he has no powers, training or meaningful reason to do so. (117 mins.)
Director: Matthew Vaughn
“ Ultra-violent adaptation of a graphic novel satirising the superhero genre. An ordinary boy trying to turn superhero gets the stuffing knocked out of him on a regular basis. The older superhero with access to military hardware is not a nice guy, especially when he's training his daughter to be a violent killer. Of course when the trend is to be a superhero, even a drug lord's son wants in on the action...

Funny, thought-provoking and genuinely kick ass. And even better on second watch. :) ” - fatpie42
 
8.
Oranges and Sunshine (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Set in 1980s Nottingham, social worker Margaret Humphreys holds the British government accountable for child migration schemes and reunites the children involved -- now adults living mostly in Australia -- with their parents in Britain. (105 mins.)
Director: Jim Loach
“ There's been a bizarre lack of hype for this excellent hard-hitting film about the injustices committed towards British children and the struggle of one social worker to try to right the wrongs. Surprising that we haven't heard Bill Donohue ranting against it yet. Emily Watson is amazing in the leading role and, if this only gained the attention it deserved, perhaps she'd receive an Oscar for her performance. ” - fatpie42
 
9.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Scott Pilgrim must defeat his new girlfriend's seven evil exes in order to win her heart. (112 mins.)
Director: Edgar Wright
“ Underrated comedy from the director of Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz. Quite similar in some respects to Edgar Wright's TV series "Spaced", this features flawed characters whose relationship dramas are depicted through the use of videogame-based set-pieces. Don't be fooled by the trailers. Scott Pilgrim is not a hero, so even while he wins each fight you're not always convinced that he deserves to. This is a lot more subtle than it is often given credit for. ” - fatpie42
 
10.
Trollhunter (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A group of students investigates a series of mysterious bear killings, but learns that there are much more dangerous things going on. They start to follow a mysterious hunter, learning that he is actually a troll hunter. (103 mins.)
Director: André Øvredal
“ "Found footage" movie about student documentary makers who follow a troll hunter. Very impressive effects. Both scary and humourous elements are used to great effect and the whole film is fantastically inventive with its central bizarre concept. ” - fatpie42
 
11.
True Grit (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A tough U.S. Marshal helps a stubborn teenager track down her father's murderer. (110 mins.)
“ Beautiful and funny, but with that dark yet bizarre quality that tells you that you're watching a Coen Brothers movie. Hailee Steinfeld gives an absolutely stunning performance as the young but determined protagonist who demands tough justice and always gets her way. Jeff Bridges is excellent as the slurring and often drunken marshall whose sense of honour tends not to favour letting people live. Similarly excellent is Matt Damon as the overly self-righteous Texas Ranger. Altogether this is an excellent Western, yet also a remarkably faithful remake of the more run-of-the-mill original starring John Wayne. Perhaps not the Coens' best, but not far off. ” - fatpie42
 
12.
The Infidel (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
An identity crisis comedy centred on Mahmud Nasir, successful business owner, and salt of the earth East End Muslim who discovers that he's adopted - and Jewish. (105 mins.)
“ Omid Djalili stars in this awesome British comedy about a Muslim who discovers that he is ethnically Jewish. As events unfold he finds the need to understand his absent parents' tradition and gets some help from a very bitter and sarcastic American Jew living locally. Absolutely hilarious from start to finish. Don't miss it! ” - fatpie42
 
13.
Toy Story 3 (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
The toys are mistakenly delivered to a day-care center instead of the attic right before Andy leaves for college, and it's up to Woody to convince the other toys that they weren't abandoned and to return home. (103 mins.)
Director: Lee Unkrich
“ Remarkably satisfying third entry in the Toy Story trilogy. Some similar themes from Toy Story 2 are picked up again here and properly explored. There are also plenty of original ideas and it seems that the franchise is still quite full of life. Like other recent Pixar entries, this also manages to play with the heart strings quite intensely. - Bring tissues! ” - fatpie42
 
14.
Tucker and Dale vs Evil (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Tucker and Dale are on vacation at their dilapidated mountain cabin when they are attacked by a group of preppy college kids. (89 mins.)
Director: Eli Craig
“ Turns the "evil hillbillies" genre of horror movie on its head. Asides from some relatively harsh violence in flashbacks, this horror-comedy is much more comedy than horror. Absolutely wonderfully funny and any fans of Alan Tudyk (from Firefly and Dollhouse) or Tyler Labine (from Reaper) will find both on top form here. ” - fatpie42
 
15.
The Secret World of Arrietty (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
The Clock family are four-inch-tall people who live anonymously in another family's residence, borrowing simple items to make their home. Life changes for the Clocks when their daughter, Arrietty, is discovered. (94 mins.)
 
16.
Point Blank (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Samuel Pierret (Gilles Lellouche) is a nurse who saves the wrong guy -- a thief (Roschdy Zem) whose... (84 mins.)
Director: Fred Cavayé
“ The director of "Pour Elle" (Anything For Her) returns after his last film was remade in the decidedly inferior Russell Crowe vehicle with yet another film about a husband driven to extreme measures to protect his wife. In this case, however, the husband isn't working alone against the penal system, but rather has to work alongside a criminal.

Lots of action and not quite as dark as the director's previous effort, this is a fun and stylish thriller. ” - fatpie42
 
17.
Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The story of how an eccentric French shop-keeper and amateur film-maker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy... (87 mins.)
Director: Banksy
“ Famous street artist "Banksy" releases a movie about an eccentric aspiring documentary-maker. A tale that it is probably too crazy to be fake, about obsession and real-life surrealism. This documentary begins as an entertaining record of the beginnings of the street art movement, before taking a bizarre turn that has to be seen to be believed. It's all great fun though. Filmdrunk's movie of the year. ” - fatpie42
 
18.
Made in Dagenham (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A dramatization of the 1968 strike at the Ford Dagenham car plant, where female workers walked out in protest against sexual discrimination. (113 mins.)
Director: Nigel Cole
“ Good mix of comedy and drama in this film about the fight for women's rights and equal pay. Sally Hawkins is brilliant in the starring role and is backed up by quite a fantastic cast. Sweet, fun and guaranteed to put a smile on your face. (Watch out for Andrew Lincoln!) ” - fatpie42
 
19.
Easy A (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A clean-cut high school student relies on the school's rumor mill to advance her social and financial standing. (92 mins.)
Director: Will Gluck
“ Genuinely funny comedy with a real heart behind it. Excellent performances with special mentions going to the ultra-sarcastic parents. Does a fantastic job with ideas that could easily have been badly mishandled. Well-written, well-acted and with absolutely perfect pacing, this is a wonderful little gem. ” - fatpie42
 
20.
Animal Kingdom (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A seventeen year-old navigates his survival amongst an explosive criminal family and the detective who thinks he can save him. (113 mins.)
Director: David Michôd
“ A gritty crime drama about a family involved in armed robbery. Some outstanding performances make this something very special indeed and a smaller role for Guy Pearce doesn't do any harm at all. The plot takes turns you wouldn't expect and the film is extremely well executed. ” - fatpie42
 
21.
Inception (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  
A thief, who steals corporate secrets through use of dream-sharing technology, is given the inverse task of planting an idea into the mind of a CEO. (148 mins.)
“ Fantastic intelligent action movie in the same vein as The Matrix. Wonderful visual effects and a whole mythology built around the idea of entering dreams. It's essentially a science-fiction heist movie. From the guy who brought you The Prestige, Batman Begins and Memento, it's just as awesome as you'd expect. That said, it doesn't stand up so well on a second watch. ” - fatpie42
 
22.
Black Death (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Set during the time of the first outbreak of bubonic plague in England, a young monk is given the task of learning the truth about reports of people being brought back to life in a small village. (102 mins.)
“ Quite a stunning re-imagining of medieval times. Features some rather awesome violence from a group of hired hands led by Sean Bean sent out to do "God's work". There are myths of a village untouched by the plague due to the work of necromancers and witches. Time to get medieval on their asses?

An interesting ending which works even better on second watch. ” - fatpie42
 
23.
Elite Squad: The Enemy Within (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
After a prison riot, former-Captain Nascimento, now a high ranking security officer in Rio de Janeiro, is swept into a bloody political dispute that involves government officials and paramilitary groups. (115 mins.)
Director: José Padilha
 
24.
Monsters (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Six years after Earth has suffered an alien invasion a cynical journalist agrees to escort a shaken American tourist through an infected zone in Mexico to the safety of the US border. (94 mins.)
Director: Gareth Edwards
“ Mostly showing us the aftermath of the monster attacks, we are involved in a road trip to get out of extraterrestrial-ravaged Mexico. The backdrops are beautiful, the characters are engaging and the "monster attack" scenario feels unusually realistic. ” - fatpie42
 
25.
Salt (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A CIA agent goes on the run after a defector accuses her of being a Russian spy. (100 mins.)
Director: Phillip Noyce
“ Utterly crazy action movie with a kind of James Bond feel to it. Intentionally over-the-top in a way that really pulls you in. (Make sure you watch the director's cut!) ” - fatpie42
 
26.
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
A young girl sent to live with her father and his new girlfriend believes that she has released creatures from a sealed ash pit in the basement of her new home. (99 mins.)
Director: Troy Nixey
 
27.
30 Days of Night: Dark Days (2010 Video)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  
After surviving the incidents in Barrow, Alaska, Stella Olemaun relocates to Los Angeles, where she intentionally attracts the attention of the local vampire population in order to avenge the death of her husband, Eben. (92 mins.)
Director: Ben Ketai
“ Better than the original in spite of a much lower budget. Human characters have a proper personality and the vampires are just as brutal as ever. A really satisfying low budget vampire action movie. Deserves to be seen more widely. ” - fatpie42
 
28.
Machete (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
After being set-up and betrayed by the man who hired him to assassinate a Texas Senator, an ex-Federale launches a brutal rampage of revenge against his former boss. (105 mins.)
“ Absolutely ridiculous nonsense and feeling somewhat unoriginal after Planet Terror, yet even so the charm and excitement are overpowering. This is a fantastic piece of engaging entertainment and the Grindhouse elements are used to draw in the audience rather than as a cheap gimmick. ” - fatpie42
 
29.
Treacle Jr. (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Tom is forty. He walks out one day, rather abruptly, on his wife and baby boy and his seemingly happy life... (82 mins.)
Director: Jamie Thraves
“ A fun little film, held back by cheaper production values, but with a heart that shines through everything. Both sweeter and darker elements work against one another while Aiden Gillen holds the whole project together brilliantly. (Though if this was a big budget movie, it might well be accused of being "Oscar bait".) ” - fatpie42
 
30.
The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
An adventure set in the early part of the 20th century and focused on a popular novelist and her dealings with would-be suitors, the cops, monsters, and other distractions. (107 mins.)
Director: Luc Besson
“ A cross between Raiders of the Lost Ark and Amelie. More intentional failings of logic than you can shake a stick at, producing a bizarre yet charming fantasy adventure. Luc Besson is back on form at last. ” - fatpie42
 
31.
The Ghost Writer (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A ghostwriter hired to complete the memoirs of a former British prime minister uncovers secrets that put his own life in jeopardy. (128 mins.)
Director: Roman Polanski
“ A bit of a silly side to it, but well put together and a great opportunity to take sadistic pleasure from, essentially, Tony Blair being done for war crimes. It's a pity that the director is a rapist scumbag, but what can you do? ” - fatpie42