The Best Movies of 2010 (so far)

The Roundtable looks at the top releases from the past six months.

Ryan Peters:

On the whole, this has been a terrible six months for movies, saved only by my increasingly irrational anticipation for Inception. Still, I have to pick five films, and so I shall go with...

The White Ribbon: So absolutely no one saw this German film from Michael Haneke about a rural German village in the weeks before the outbreak of World War I, which is a shame because of how moving and intelligent it is. Is it a crime thriller? Is it a domestic drama? Do the films events portent something about the rise of Nazism? All of the above? I don’t want to give any of the surprise of the film away, just trust me that it’s worth seeing. It technically was released on December 30th of 2009, but if you know me, then you know I’m a rebel and you can just sod right off with your rules and technicalities.

Shutter Island: I love Scorcese. I love Noir. I love twist endings.

The Crazies: This is the only best-of list that The Crazies will probably ever be featured on, so I hope the filmmakers are enjoying the moment. This isn’t a great film because it doesn’t transcend the horror exploitation genre; but that said, it is an excellent genre entry. If you love horror films, you could do a lot worse than one as intelligent and tense as this.

Toy Story 3: Yes, it is as good as everything you’ve heard. And yes, you will cry at the end. But the real pleasure of the film, for me, are the exceptionally dark scenes leading up to the sentimentality of the ending. Pixar keeps taking risks on its own terms, and they keep impressing me for that.

The Killer Inside Me: Like I said, I love Noir. Throw in some pulp violence and mystery, and I’m in with both feet. Plus Casey Affleck is a fantastic actor.

Max Alborn:

Shame on me, the only 2010 films I've seen up to this point have largely been "wide release", so my list notes only those releases.

Toy Story 3: If this comes as a surprise...shut up. Like everyone else in my bracket, I grew up on Toy Story, chances are I was going to love the movie no matter what. The fact that Pixar actually grew up with it's core audience built on the first Toy Story only helped and if the first 10 minutes of Up made you cry, the last 10 of Toy Story 3 will definitely make you well up. Face it, you're still a kid.

Kick-Ass: This one did not get as much play as it deserved; shame as it was one of the better fares in a so far dismal year for film. Taking a fun (violent) take on the masked hero genre and bolstering a career making performance from a young Chloe Moretz (who I'm kind of afraid of now); Kick-Ass is one of the most entertaining films to come out in 2010. Not a single person I've met who has seen it has had anything but praise for it's humor and (often creative and over the top) violence.

Alice in Wonderland: Only Tim Burton could have really pulled this off. What made the movie for me was actually not Johnny Depp but the rest of the ensemble; special shout out to Stephen Fry, playing the Cheshire Cat to absolute perfection. Centered by Mia Wasikowska (see her in the HBO drama "In Treatment") Alice often felt rushed but never forced and was a visual experience with just enough meat on it's bones to warrant a positive mention.

Iron Man 2: Not really any better or worse than the 1st, Iron Man 2 delivered exactly what I wanted from it: summer entertainment. It only helps that it has the always awesome Robert Downey Jr at it's core, combined with strong cast chemistry, an amplified budget and larger scale, it may not be The Dark Knight of the Iron Man franchise, but it fits right at home in Marvel's growing library.

Inception: What the hell am I doing?! I have not even seen the movie yet! Well, seeing as how we're so close to the release date and the publishing of this piece, I'll take my chances when I say that Inception is likely to blow me out of the water. Christopher Nolan tends to do that, so sue me. It's been a dry year for bigger movies.

Dominick Mayer:

Kick-Ass: The best superhero movie since The Dark Knight. The way in which it mixes broad comedy, seriously brutal violence and earned moments of genuine emotion is astounding.

Toy Story 3: Go ahead. Keep running your mouth about how you won't cry during the last twenty minutes of this movie. You'll be humbled just like the rest of us.

Exit Through The Gift Shop: Banksy is an absolute genius. It's easy to expect this film to be thought-provoking and a clever social commentary (it is on both counts), but what you don't expect is how laugh-out-loud funny it is too.

Greenberg: Best performance of Ben Stiller's career. Noah Baumbach finally directs a good movie by getting out of New York and stealing a phenomenal Greta Gerwig from the mumblecore scene.

45365: To call it a documentary is a bit of a half-truth, because nothing much happens. As a piece of visual poetry about Midwestern life, it's fantastic.

Posted by Ryan Peters on Jul 12, 2010 @ 11:11 am

shutter island, Kick-Ass, Toy Story 3, iron man 2, Inception