My 10 favourite movies of the year.

I have no aspersions of authority, I am a guest-assisting popcorn addict who counts Hollywood as his only worthy deity. As such, what follows is not some pretentious countdown of the quantifiably best movies of 2010 (to my great chagrin I cannot scientifically prove that Inception is a better movie than, say, Furry Vengeance), but a list of the films that I was most entertained, moved and left gawping by this year.

10. Inception

Arriving in a shroud of secrecy, Inception herded customers into cinemas with its tantalisingly ambiguous promise of a crime-drama set within the architecture of the mind. Visually stunning and more intelligent than your average blockbuster, Inception was as entertaining as it was head-scratchingly complicated. Let down by unimaginative dreamscapes, an array of identi-suited cyphers and some of the clunkiest attempts at humour this year, however, Inception was not the masterpiece many claimed it to be.

9. The Crazies

A remake of one of Wes Craven’s lesser known works, The Crazies is a zombie movie without any zombies. Beautifully shot, delightfully eerie and featuring strong performances from leads Timothy Olyphant and Radha Mitchell, The Crazies was a genuinely creepy survival story and easily the best mainstream horror movie of 2010. The best not to feature CGI piranha, that is.

8. Toy Story 3

Helmed by Lee Unkrich, Toy Story 3 defied cynical expectations and proved a more than worth addition to the esteemed Toy Story franchise. Sending the toys to daycare, the film introduced a smorgasbord of new characters – each benefiting from Pixar’s trademark love and attention to detail. Ending the trilogy on a high,Toy Story 3 was as moving, funny and re-watchable as its two predecessors.

7. The Kids Are All Right

A film starring Julianne Moore and Annette Bening as two lesbian women trying to raise children and support a family, The Kids Are All Right features outstanding performances from all involved – including Mark Ruffalo and Alice In Wonderland‘s Mia Wasikowska. Honest, amusing and occasionally heartbreaking,The Kids Are All Right has something to say but nothing to preach.

6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

Although Part 1 of the series’ finale does little to justify the decision to split the movie in two for artistic reasons (the scene which ends it could have been inserted almost anywhere), it is thoroughly enjoyable from beginning to unceremonious end. A winning sense of humour and some unexpectedly endearing character moments keep the cast from getting lost in the growing dark, while the road-trip structure breaks from tradition, proving a breath of fresh air. Although the second act may drag at times, there is too much to like about this penultimate instalment to get hung up on a very slight pacing issue.

5. Piranha 3D

While The Hole 3D (my number 11) indeed proved a return to child-friendly Gremlins-esque horror, Piranha 3D was a more thrilling ride as it laced horror with comedy to g(l)orious effect. In a genre increasingly saturated with Platinum Dunes’ output, Piranha 3D was a reminder that horror needn’t take itself too seriously to be successful. Gory as you like and featuring a stand-out cameo from Christopher Lloyd, it was difficult to tell who was having more fun: Alexandre Aja or the audience.

4. My Name Is Khan

While it might be impossible to describe as anything other than a Bollywood Forrest GumpMy Name Is Khan manages to trump its spiritual successor in almost every way. A portrait of post-9/11 prejudices, Khan is one of the most poignant, haunting and heart-breaking movies of 2010. As the entry on this list that is most likely to have past you by, I cannot recommend highly enough that you track down this undeniable masterpiece and witness Shahrukh Khan’s Oscar-worthy performance for yourself.

3. Kick-Ass

While claims that The Dark Knight was “the greatest superhero movie ever made” had me grating my teeth, I now realise that the counter-argument I had been waiting for all along was already in production as none other than Matthew Vaughn’s Kick-Ass. Boasting a fantastically unabashed comic-book sensibility, Kick-Ass showed just how much fun a superhero movie could be without compromising on realism or emotional resonance. Hilarious, action-packed and at times heart-breakingly poignant, Kick-Ass is, if not the greatest, the truest comic book movie ever made.

2. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

A love letter to all things geek, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World beautifully marries director Edgar Wright’s love of comic books and gaming onscreen, with Bryan Lee O’Malley’s generation-defining source material proving the perfect impetus. Boasting a script as organic as anything written by Joss Whedon, a visual style that arrests your attention and wont let go and some truly unforgettable characters, Scott Pilgram vs. The World shows that nothing need ever be lost in adaptation.

1. How to Train Your Dragon

A Pixar-trouncing animation from DreamWorks? Who’d have thunk it? How to Train Your Dragon is an instant-classic, complete with a beautifully moving central relationship, breathtaking animation and a score that has not left my playlist since I first heard it. Consistently amazing, frequently hilarious and endlessly re-watchable, How to Train Your Dragon is easily the best animated movie of the year, in my opinion the best movie of the year, and possibly even the greatest animated movie of all time. It really is that good.

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About popcornaddiction
I am a psychology graduate, a News Writer for HeyUGuys/BestforFilm and, most importantly, a hopeless popcorn addict.

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