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Added by robertstackvoice on 6 Aug 2010 03:12
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Top Films of 2010

It's been a long road to this point. A very long road.
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Rodriguez and company has really made their ultimate mexploitation film. His 'El Mariachi' trilogy is just the foundation of what they've now done. He's made a big, bloody and explosive live action cartoon that's just as insipid as it is strangely brilliant. In a lot ways "Machete" has the kind of over the top social political satire that made films like (dare I say) "Dr. Strangelove" great. (REMINDER: I'm NOT saying it's as strong as 'Dr. Strangelove')
...a damn good entertaining film, that allows past politics within this war to ride shotgun with an enthralling thriller. It's not quite like either 'Bourne' film Paul Greengrass has done and is a far more suspenseful and entertaining Iraq picture then most of the dozens we've gotten since 2003.
On the surface none of them seem like nice people, but writer-director Rodrigo Garcia ends up displaying fantastically the ability for change. They are human and weak and often the weakest of people need something to pull themselves up. I'm not saying "Mother and Child" is all tears or all smiles by the end, but it's real.
I am a firm believer that given the right circumstances and the right material that people can stand out and prove that they've got something worth while and 'The Runaways' is that for Kristen Stewart. Here is a rock movie bio-pic that's filled with sex, drugs and rock n' roll; slapped together with a touch of 70's grit and glam and style that touches on work that we saw from Stone in the 90's or Scorsese in the 80's. Seriously after this I'll be shocked if director Floria Sigismondi isn't getting hardcore offers for her talents and this being her first feature film makes it all the more impressive.
"The American" has more in kin with samurai dramas or thrillers of the 70's than it does with the current spy genre and it's made all the better for it.
In the 142 minutes of "Inception" I found myself engrossed in the action, engrossed in the story and engrossed and invested in these characters. A heady science fiction thriller that not afraid to be more emotionally daring.
I had almost written off director Doug Liman a while ago. After the lackluster "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" and the God awful "Jumper" I had pretty much figured that he'd peaked and now enjoyed simply getting nice pay checks for crap work. I was a bit surprised given his strong prior works "Swingers", "Go" and of course "The Bourne Identity", but after those films and some poorly produced tv shows I thought he was done for. Happily I was wrong and Liman has returned with not just a good film, but his best film and one of the most intelligent and entertaining CIA dramas in years.
...a classy, intelligent and handsome looking picture with one of those endings that's 'movie awesome'. As in it's far fetched to happen in the real world, but in a film it's great stuff.
The entire movie really hinges on two things; the performances and relationship between Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) and Abby (Chole Moretz). There honestly is nothing for Reeves and co. to fall back on. The adult characters (Richard Jenkins and Elias Koteas) are in VERY much supporting roles and the true, blue horror movie elements are secondary at best. Happily it all works though. Their chemistry and performances are golden and actually work to make you believe it.
A triumphant return for director David O. Russell and a film overrun with great performances. As a drama it holds everything that I love in storytelling. As a sports film it's surprisingly brutal (as it turns out the boxing scene were real) and exciting. 'The Fighter' was Wahlberg's passion project for several years and happily all that work and care as paid off.
Mystery cinema is always a gamble and agreements on films in the genre are... rare. It's probably why so few of them get made anymore. For me getting to the end isn't important. I don't need to see the devil or know for certain who's the man behind the curtain. But the road leading up to that is what's important. "Shutter Island" is a masterfully assembled mystery with a vintage scare house mindset and terrific performances throughout. However it's finale is something up for debate.

By the way I have zero issue with the way the film ends. It wasn't a total shocker, but I also didn't spend two hours looking for it so I could say 'I knew it all along' as the credits rolled. Really if that's why you see mysteries, then you shouldn't see mysteries.
Edgar Wright has actually set down and crafted a joyful, exciting, funny and creative piece of work. "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" actually lives up and exceeds it's hype. No easy feet.
Yet another great and surprising submission from the Coen brothers. "True Grit" isn't a dark, hard boiled western in the vein of "No Country for Old Men". It's an attempt to re-create the epic adventure of the old American western picture with their kind of character work.
"Exit Through the Gift Shop" has a little bit of everything I love seeing at the movies. Not just in documentaries, but films in general. The characters, the humanity, the realistic humor, the tension, the stories and the experience of seeing something new and creative.
After leaving "Never Let Me Go" I couldn't shake so much as a second of it from my mind. Within it short running time to places you through a gauntlet of emotions and brings you into the short lives of beautiful people who aren't allowed to live.
There isn't a lot I can say about "Black Swan" except to see it. Then see it again. Then see it with friends. Once again Darren Aronofsky has created a work of tragic beauty with style and daring. Natalie Portman gives a great and fearless performance.
It is a 120 minute dramatic, funny, intelligent and sometimes tense ride through the modern business world as seen through the eyes of college kids.

From the opening scene between Eisenberg and Rooney Mara you see the pace and the tone of the entire picture. It's serious, but funny. It's fast, but methodical. It's got whimsy, but it's pretty damn dark. There isn't much or anything I didn't love about "The Social Network".

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