Best And Worst Films Of 2010

well folks, it is january again and we all know what that means.... time to start breaking those new years resolutions and time to check out the Filmed But Not Forgotten lists of the best and worst movies of 2010.

this was maybe the hardest year, since i started the website/podcast, to narrow down my top 10. not because the films were so much better this year than any other. but moreso because i saw a whole lot more films this year, so had a lot more to choose from (this also gave me many more options for the worst of the year list).

the top two spots on both lists haven't changed since i saw each of those films, but the rest of the lists - especially the best of - have seen lots of movement over the last weeks. there are even a few films in the "honorable mention" section that were on the list until just a few days ago.

what stood out for me this year was the almost complete disappointments with the big budget flicks. stuff like Tron, Prince Of Persia and The Last Airbender were all beyond disappointing. but, on the up side were the documentaries.

and there were all kinds - from the follow-someone-around format of the joan rivers doc to the classic biography format of the hugh hefner story to Catfish and Exit Through The Gift Shop, two films that took very different turns from where they originally started. for me this was the stand out genre for 2010 in fact you will notice four docs in the best of list and one in the honorable mention section.

even though i saw a lot of movies this year, there are still some i wasn't able to get to before making my selections. so, as always, before you ask me why some film didn't make it, here are some of the ones i haven't seen that look to be making other top lists: Barney's Version, Inside Job, The King's Speech, The Tempest, Biutiful, Somewhere, The Ghost Writer, Shutter Island, I Am Love, The Tillman Story, Blue Valentine...

click the links for full written discussions of some of the movies and listen to the podcast to hear about all the films on the list, the ones that just missed and a lot more...

 

DON'T FORGET (THE BEST):

1) GREENBERG

it jumped to the top of the list when i saw it back in march and the only time i ever thought about dropping it from that spot was when i saw The Secret In Their Eyes.

2) THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES

it wasn't able to push Greenberg out of the top spot, but this film (released in north america in 2010) is no less excellent. the academy was right on when they gave this film the best foreign film award at the oscars last year.

3) TOY STORY 3

pixar frickin' does it again. funny, sad, dark, dramatic, original and presented in great 3d done properly (unlike so many other films with their poor, slapped together 3d experiences just trying to take advantage of the current fad).

4) JOAN RIVERS: A PIECE OF WORK/HUGH HEFNER: PLAYBOY, ACTIVIST AND REBEL

you might think you know joan rivers and hugh hefner, but these great documentaries reveal them beyond what we know and they are both very entertaining as well.

5) MICMACS

more than just a feast for your eyes,  the film is a brilliantly conceived and accomplished dark comedy/quirky/fable. jean-pierre jeunet is at the top of his game (released in north america in 2010)

6) THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT

like Juno a few years back, The Kids Are Alright is a film with a premise that could easily have gone the after-school-special route - but instead it went the route of being a great film with a really smart script and strong performances.

7) DOGTOOTH

it might take a little while to understand exactly what is going on. but this really good Greek film trusts itself and the intelligence of the audience enough not to rush things. i couldn't look away. (released in north america in 2010)

8) HOT TUB TIME MACHINE/SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD

Hot Tub Time Machine is simply the best comedy of the year and Scott Pilgrim isn't far behind

9) EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP/CATFISH

these are both great films. but what both of these docs also have in common is that they both began as one thing and then took on a life of their own to become nothing like what the filmmakers expected when they started.

10) THE AMERICAN/THE SOCIAL NETWORK

The American is a beautifully shot and realized film. The Social Network, beyond some playing with the truth, is really well done and features a script from aaron sorkin at the top of his writing game.

 

don't forget (honorable mention): Enter The Void, The Fighter, Kick Ass, Black Swan, Inception, The Disappearence Of Alice Creed, Winters Bones, 127 Hours, The Other Guys, Get Him To The Greek, 22nd Of May, Wasted On The Young, Client 9: The Rise And Fall Of Eliot Spitzer, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1, A Prophet

 

 

FORGET (THE WORST):

1) THE BACK-UP PLAN

j. lo and her co-star have no chemistry which negates the romantic part. and the film isn't funny at all, so there goes the comedy. but beyond just being a bad romantic comedy it is also just a crappy movie in general.

2) THE LAST AIRBENDER

i have been a fan of m. night shamylan's for a long time - i am one of the 10 people that liked Lady In The Water and i was able to appreciate some aspects of The Happening. but, with this one i just can't do it. The Last Airbender is awful!

3) THE PRINCE OF PERSIA

i loved the video game. but the film, not so much!

4) TRON: LEGACY

the film takes well-tred, universal themes and imposes them on the Tron world. and does it really poorly.

5) FURRY VENGENCE

not that i expected it to be very good, but it didn't even live up to those expectations.

6) CHLOE

atom egoyan has made some great films... this, however, is not one of them. it had a twist that was pretty obvious from the begining and the final act is ridiculous and uninteresting.

7) CHARLIE ST. CLOUD

while it might just a be an average melodrama, this one angered me in how manipulative it really was.

8) THE BOUNTY HUNTER

there are plenty of average/mediocre romantic comedies released every year and this is one of them. it is standard rom-com fair with nothing elevating it beyond that.

9) JONAH HEX

this one felt like it had some good potential, but alas at 81 minutes long it doesn't give itself enough time to be anything but superficial and disappointing. but, what do we expect from the sriters of Crank and Gamer (not the guys best suited for a film that might benifit from some actual depth of character and nuance).

10) COLD FISH

this is a violent and sometimes very greusome film. that isn't the problem though. the problem is that it is poorly executed and gratuitous.

Comment

Best And Worst Of 2009

looking back, 2009 was a good year overall. however, that overall positive average comes from a rather okay to disappointing big blockbusters and general cinema-near-you fair, to a good to great smaller film and surprise blockbuster year...

the summer blockbuster season was generally a disappointment with films like Watchmen, Terminatore and Transformers all ending up on the "worst of" list. and how can we forget Avatar (i know it wasn't a summer release). sure, it was a huge sucess money-wise and with many critics, but it wasn't a good movie... there were some successesthough, like Star Trek, Inglourious Basterds and District 9 - but even then, you look at the budget for District 9 at $30 million and that is almost independent film budget level.

on the other hand, many of the smaller/foreign/independent/less-publicized films that grabbed my interest ended up living up to expectations - which is often not the case (with the exception of the painfully disappointing The Limits Of Control of course).

like i always say: i can't see everything. so, now is time to list some of the films that have been making the rounds on other list, and garnering awards nominations, that i hadn't seen when i put mine together. they include:

Crazy Heart, Up In The Air, State Of Play, Bright Star, A Single Man, Moon, Anvil: The Story Of Anvil, The Cove, Public Enemies, Me And The Orson Wells, Food Inc....

with all that being said, let the listing begin......

DON'T FORGET (BEST)

1.  Inglourious Basterds
2A Serious Man
3Humpday
4Hunger
5500 Days Of Summer
6.  In The Loop
7.  Distric 9 & I'm Not Your Friend
8.  Fantastic Mr. Fox
9World's Greatest Dad
10.Bronson

don't forget (honorable mention): Up, Where The Wild Things Are, Away We Go, Precious, Star Trek, I Love You Man, Tyson, Adventurland, The White Ribbon, FAQ About Time Travel

 

FORGET (WORST)

if you want to read some short discussions on these crappy films, you can see a write-up on some of them at www.notgoodmovies.com 

1.   Terminator Salvation
2.   Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen
3.   Surrogates
4.   The Limits Of Control
5.   G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra
6.   Watchmen
7.   Angels And Demons
8.   The Invention Of Lying
9.   Gamer
10. Avatar

Best And Worst Of 2008

i kind of feel bad for 2008.  i mean, having to follow 2007 is like being an amateur comic at a comedy club and having chris rock pop in to do a set just before you go on - no matter how good your material is, it just isn't going to be as good...

2007 was one of the best years for movies in a long long time.  not only did you have two films, No Country For Old Men and There Will Be Blood, that i would not hesitate to call masterpieces, but then there was Juno, Eastern Promises, The Diving Bell And The Butterfly and Once which were all excellent films that all could have easily been 'best films of the year' almost any other year (check out the best and worst of 2007 lists)...

2008 however, turned out to be a good year all around, although up until the last couple months of the year, except for a few standouts, it wasn't looking like that was the case.  but, these last couple months have brought with them some quality films, and in the end i actually had a little bit of a hard time narrowing down my list.

and finally, i will mention, as i always do, the films that i haven't seen, as i put my lists together, that seem to be making other top lists: Seven Pounds, The Reader, Revolutionary Road, Australia, Ballast, The Class, Rachel Getting Married, Happy Go Lucky, Waltz With Bashir, W., The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, Doubt, Paranoid Park, Baghead and My Winnipeg.

click the links for the written discussions and listen to the podcast to hear discussions about all the films on the lists, the ones that just missed, and more - with all that being said, let the listing begin...


DON'T FORGET (BEST)

1.  Slumdog Millionaire
2.   The Fall & The Class (Entre Les Murs)
3.   Vicky Cristina Barcelona
4.   The Dark Knight
5.   The Wrestler
6.   Milk
7.   Young People Fucking
8.   Man On Wire
9.   Tropic Thunder
10. Tell No One & Wendy And Lucy

don't forget (honorable mention): Teeth, The Wackness, Elegy, Frost/Nixon, Wall-E, Be Kind Rewind, Body Of Lies, Roman Polanski: Wanted And Desired, Synecdoche New York,

 



FORGET (WORST)

if you want to read some short discussions on these crappy films, you can see a write-up on most of them at www.notgoodmovies.com 

1.   Righteous Kill
2.  Quantum Of Solace
3.   Jumper
4.   Vantage Point
5.   21
6.   Wanted
7.   The Day The Earth Stood Still
8.   The Incredible Hulk
9.   Untraceable
10. Burn After Reading

Best And Worst Of 2007

let's start with the best...

it's that time of year again.  ok, so it's a little past that time of year, but there were a bunch of movies i wanted to see before i put these lists together. even with that, there are still many that i haven't got to - i mean i am only one man and i do have to eat and sleep and work.  so, before you go asking where is (put title of movie you think deserves a place on the list here), let me just give you a rundown of some of the movies i just didn't get to at the time i am putting this list together that have been finding there way onto other top lists: Grindhouse, Lust Caution, Sweeny Todd, Ratatouille, Persepolis, The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford, This Is England, The Wind That Shakes The Barley, 4 months 3 Weeks 2 Days, the Savages, La Vie En Rose, Lars And The Real Girl, The Waitress, In The Valley Of Elah and Into The Wild

with that being said here are my lists for the best and worst movies of 2007 - many of which you can read more in depth discussions of on the site.  let the listing begin...

don't forget (best)                                                         

1) No Country For Old Men
- brilliant.  two filmmakers at the top of their game taking chances with complete confidence                                 
2) Juno
 
- a great and very funny comedy that takes an after school special premise and makes it anything but. 

                                                               
3) There Will Be Blood   
-
p.t. anderson has guts and talent beyond that of most filmmakers with many more years of experience

                                          
4) Eastern Promises 

- a great film and croenenbergs best work ever

5) Once
- a small and simple love story with great music, so much heart and a little off-hollywood ending which works to perfection.

6) The Diving Bell And The Butterfly

- a movie about a guy who is paralyzed and can only blink his left eye.  doesn't sound like great movie fodder, but shnabel makes a great movie

7) The Namesake

- this film is about so much more then the simple identity crisis played up in the previews.  in fact, the parents and their story are as much a part of this wonderful film as is that of kal penn's character, who gets most of the screen time in the trailer.

8) The Bourne Ultimatum
- the best action movie of the year and the perfect ending to a really good trilogy

9) A Mighty Heart
- even though you know how it ends winterbottom makes the story completely engaging and draws the audience in to the search and the mystery of what really happened with the documentary style, jump cuts and hand held camera.  jolie is great as mariane pearl as well.

10) Eagle Vs. Shark
- this little oddball film might seem to some like just another Napoleon Dynamite, but it is definitely its own film and a very good one at that.

this was a good year for movies. i went back and forth with a few of them and had a hard time narrowing the list down to just 10 films.  and while 10 is the traditional list number, it is also unfair to the quality movies that just missed the cut.  so here they are (in no particular order), a few of which were in and out of the top 10 during the weeding process so when i say 'just missed the cut' i mean exactly that...

don't forget (honorable mention): The Brave One, The Host, Knocked Up, 28 Weeks Later, Gone Baby Gone, the Simpsons Movie, Crazy Love, the Orphanage, Across The Universe, Interview, Breach, Zodiac

 

 

as for the worst.  i had a little harder time coming up with this list.  not because there weren't a lot of crappy movies released this year, but more so because i didn't see a lot of them. i avoided the Good Luck Chucks and the Daddy Daycares and The Number 23s (either because they didn't look good or were directed by joel shumacher).  but, i did see my share of not good movies, and here they are.  some are just bad and others are just not as good as they could have been.

forget (worst)

1) I Am Legend
- this isn't the worst movie of the year, but i put it at number one because it made me so angry in how it wasted its potential.  this movie had the potential to be on the best of the year list but it just gave in, went for the quick buck, treated the audience like impatient drones that just want mindless action and negated a very interesting premise that seemed to be developing for the first half of the movie.  for that reason it gets the number one spot (if you want to hear my rant you can check out episode #54 of the podcast)

2) American Venus
- not sure if it was trying to be funny, satire, entertaining or a combination of all three, but, it ended up being none of them.

3) Next
- great premise that is interesting for about 15 minutes and then we have to sit through the boring story and an ending that would have only worked if we had actually cared about the rest of the film up until that point.

4) The Invasion
- there have been four 'invasion of the body snatcher' movies made and two of them were good.  The Invasion wasn't one of those two.

5) The Transformers
- too long, uninteresting story and a big final battle that i couldn't care less about by the time we finally got to it.

6) Spiderman 3
- the worst of the three.  a mess with two many villians and not enough time spent on any of them or an interesting story

7) We Own The Night
- first third of the film works, then its all down hill from there

8) Disturbia
- a potentially good re-tellng of hitchock's Rear Window that falls completely apart as the last part of the film is rushed and ridiculous.

9) The Bucket List
- jack and morgan are always great, but this thing was totaly average.  it had some sweet moments, but it was predictable and regular.

10) The Lookout
- good performances but a very predictable heist movie

11) Black Snake Moan
- i was really looking forward to this one.  the problem was that the story didn't have a full movie in it, so that when the initial idea is played out the rest of the film doesn't quite know what to do with itself.  however, the music and the way he brewer uses it is really good.

best and worst of 2006

everyone does one, so here are my top 10 best and worst films of 2006 - remember that the list is obviously only based on the films i have seen up to this point - (some of the films that i have not yet seen as i put this list together include: Pan's Labyrinth, Volver, Apocalypto, The Last King Of Scotland, Flags Of Our Fathers, Letters From Iwo Jima, Half Nelson, The Science Of Sleep, The Queen) - feel free to comment and post your lists

Don't Forget (best)                                            Forget  (worst)

1) Brick                                                              1) Black Dahlia
2) The Departed                                                2) All The Kings Men
3) Little Miss Sunshine                                       3) Ultraviolet
4) The Prestige                                                  4) Alpha Dog
5) Little Children                                                5) Art School Confidential
6) Borat                                                             6) Oh In Ohio
7) The Lives Of Others                                       7) V For Vendetta
8) Dave Chappell's Block Party                           8) Bobby
9) United 93                                                       9) Mission Impossible 3
10) Perfume: the story of a murderer               10) Miami Vice

11)Lady In The Water

don't forget (honorable mention): Hard Candy, Tristam Shandy, Thank You For Smoking, Nacho Libre, Children Of Men, The Road To Guantanamo, An  Inconvenient Truth, 13 Tzameti