Our Favorite Movies of 2010

Published 3 years ago by , Updated January 3rd, 2011 at 9:39 am,

Inception2 Our Favorite Movies of 2010

We’ve spent the last few days carrying on about the worst films of 2010 and the biggest disappointments in the hopes of healing our and your collective psyches from the damage sustained after watching inane movies like Jonah Hex or Furry Vengeance (*shudder*).

Now we turn our attention to the high points of 2010 – namely, the movies that met or exceeded our expectations and entertained us enough so as to earn a permanent spot on our personal favorites films list.

While a favorite movies list does not strictly correspond with a best movies list (case in point – flicks like Citizen Kane or The Seventh Seal aren’t traditionally considered proper choices for a fun Saturday night viewing), there’s certainly a good deal of crossover between the two. A number of this year’s critical darlings were not only aesthetically and technically proficient pieces of cinematic artistry, but made for an overall memorable two or so hours of entertainment as well.

Here are seven of our favorite films of 2010 (as agreed upon by our staff), followed by some additional choices from individual members of the Screen Rant team:

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Screen Rant‘s Favorite Movies of 2010

Inception

inception review Our Favorite Movies of 2010

Yeah, you saw this one coming, but what can we say? Inception is a thrilling, thought-provoking blockbuster that utilizes some of the most innovative and breathtaking filmmaking techniques of the year to produce a truly creative action pic. Engaging performances, an intellectually stimulating plot, astonishing practical effects mixed with CGI – Christopher Nolan’s latest has it all.

It’s the manner in which Inception weds the modern Hollywood popcorn flick with art house cinema that is truly impressive. Nolan’s big-budget production succeeds at being a beautifully-shot heist movie in the vein of classics like Heat or the original Italian Job and serves as a reminder that filmgoers can handle a movie that demands their attention. Rest assured, none of us will ever trust our dreams or look at hotel hallways the same way again.

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True Grit

True Grit Theatrical Trailer Our Favorite Movies of 2010

Leave it to Joel and Ethan Coen to not only prove that there’s life left in the western genre, but once again deliver a film filled with dark humor and rich characters. True Grit boasts a star-making debut for Hailee Steinfeld as the plucky Mattie Ross; another memorable turn by “The Dude” himself, Jeff Bridges; picturesque cinematography by the incomparable Roger Deakins; impeccable production design; and something that the Coen brothers’ work sometimes lacks – heart.

There are few filmmakers currently active that are as prolific, diverse, and accomplished as the Coens and True Grit is certainly proof of that. Not to mention – who else in Hollywood could come up with a character as memorably odd as “The Bear Man”?

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Toy Story 3

Toy Story 3 movie image 14 Our Favorite Movies of 2010

Another obvious choice, but Toy Story 3 really is one of the best films that hit theaters in 2010. Combining everything you could want from a movie – exciting action, genuinely funny dialogue, a well-written story – with beautiful animation and colorful characters, the final installment in Pixar’s first and most-loved franchise is arguably the company’s best film ever – and that is saying something.

Pixar is the undisputed modern king of cinematic animation and it has yet to release a movie that is universally acknowledged as being an artistic failure. Toy Story 3 kept the studio’s win streak alive and also demonstrated that even a computer-generated flick that revolves around a plastic toy cowboy, spaceman, and their plaything associates can be as moving and emotionally-touching as the average drama featuring flesh and blood stars.

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127 Hours

127 Hours Review Between a Rock and a Hard Place Our Favorite Movies of 2010

That’s right – a true-life tale about a guy who spends several days with his arm stuck under a rock before he decides to lop the sucker off was one of our favorite movies released in 2010. 127 Hours proved that it takes nothing more than an intriguing premise and unique storytelling strategy to engage the audience. Danny Boyle fearlessly plays with the medium and employed a dynamic visual style to recreate the reality of mountain climber Aron Ralston’s life-changing experience.

What really distinguishes 127 Hours is how it delves into the depths of genuine emotion without alienating or manipulating moviegoers via insincere sentiment. This is a true tale of survival that reveals not only how far a person will go to survive, but what drives them to stay alive. Take that, Jigsaw.

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The Social Network

the social network image7 Our Favorite Movies of 2010

This time last year The Social Network was universally referred to as “The Facebook Movie,” and most moviegoers were highly skeptical of the idea that a story that revolves around a public figure who could be considered (pardon the term) the ultimate nerdball, Facebook co-creator Mark Elliot Zuckerberg, would be anything but a bore. So how did this project go so right?

Director David Fincher combined his deliciously dark visual style and meticulous filmmaking technique with Aaron Sorkin’s script, which crackles with witty, hip dialogue throughout, to make The Social Network a film to remember. That’s on top of the great supporting performances by the likes of Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake – along with Jesse Eisenberg, who turned Zuckerberg into one of the cleverest, most complicated geek badasses to grace the big screen in years.

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The Fighter

The Fighter movie reviews Our Favorite Movies of 2010

The Fighter is an interesting picture that demonstrates how sometimes a story itself isn’t always as important as the voice of who’s telling it. This true-life account of boxer Micky Ward’s heroic rise inside and outside the ring looked like yet another conventional inspirational sports drama on paper, and yet the film plays out like anything but that.

It helps that indie director David O. Russell’s quirky sense of humor shows through the seams of this underdog story and that The Fighter features a scene-stealing turn by Christian Bale as Micky’s half-brother, Dicky, alongside solid supporting performances by actresses Amy Adams and Melissa Leo. Far from being Oscar bait, The Fighter is one of the more raw and stripped-down dramas that hit theaters in 2010.

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Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

scott pilgrim spoilers Our Favorite Movies of 2010

From the list of our shared favorite 2010 movies, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is the one we can all but guarantee won’t snag a Best Picture Oscar nod. It was a financial flop at the box office and appealed primarily to a small but devoted group of moviegoers – namely, either 20-somethings and/or those that spent the 80s reading comic books, playing video games, and engaging in other rather nerdy activities. That said – who exactly do you think makes up most of the Screen Rant team? icon smile Our Favorite Movies of 2010

Even its detractors admit Scott Pilgrim vs. The World features eye-popping action, strikingly creative visuals, infectiously funny dialogue, and one of this year’s best soundtracks. Leave it to director Edgar Wright to deliver a movie in which Michael Cera gets to perform martial arts stunts that would’ve left Bruce Lee impressed.

Continue to individual favorite picks of the Screen Rant staff…

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TAGS: 127 hours, another year, black swan, blue valentine, buried, cash, catfish, clash, defendor, flipped, harry potter, how to train your dragon, inception, ip man, kick ass, monsters, red, scott pilgrim, the fighter, the king's speech, the social network, the town, toy story 3, true grit

73 Comments

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  1. good list

  2. scott pilgrim is cool but not top ten in my opinon.

    • It is my favorite movie of the year. Yes, even above films like Inception, Toy Story 3, Black Swan and The Social Network. No movie was a as fun for me in theaters than Edgar Wright’s latest.

      • Same. I watch SCOTT PILGRIM more than any of my other BDs.

        • i just bought the game on PSN lol it looks like old school mario :D

  3. awesome list
    My Favorites:
    Inception
    The Social Network
    Black Swan
    True Grit
    The Town
    Animal Kingdom

    • Animal Kingdom needs to be seen by more people. Deserves alot of respect.

    • Inception
      The Social Network
      Black Swan
      Toy Story 3
      True Grit
      The Fighter

  4. True Grit proves the Coens are one of the most diverse directors around, and that is why they are my favorite.

  5. TRON LEGACY

  6. How to Train Your Dragon was my favorite movie of the past year. There are a few other that I’ve really enjoyed like Planet Hulk, which I doubt many people have seen, Toy Story 3, and The Social Network. But How to Train Your Dragon impressed me the most.

    • If you thought that the movie about Planet Hulk was good, you should read the comic, it will blow your mind.

  7. This has got to be my favorite “best of” list I have seen this year. Such fun diversity and a lot of my favorites were there too!

    • LIKE

  8. Kick-Ass and Let Me In are my two favorites of the year.

    • Chloe Grace Moretz Rules!!

  9. In following Order:

    Scott Pilgrim (Love the graphic novels, Wright did the novels justice too!)
    Inception
    The Social Network
    Toy Story 3

  10. I really liked most of what I see on this list but 2 movies that I have in my personal top 5 completely surprised the hell out of me and they where Scott Pilgrim and Kick Ass. I was already a fan of Edgar Wright but I honestly thought Pilgrim would be the movie that didn’t stand up to his prior work. Boy was I wrong. And with Kick Ass my expectations where pretty low. Wrong again. From the opening minutes of both of these films I was sucked into rides that I hoped would never end. And when my wife gave me a Blu-ray for Christmas my first purchases where these 2 films…

  11. Really cool list. My favorite two movies of the year are Kick-Ass and Scott Pilgrim vs the world. By the way I dislike Inception, of all the movies I watched this year (and I go like 4 times a month to the movies, sometimes more)Inception was the one I like the least. I’m sure this comment will probably be reply by some guy who will start to insult me haha.

  12. I agree completely with Rob. Catfish was so good, and a documentary that really blew your mind. And How to Train Your Dragon was phenomenal.

  13. Winters bone had good directing, good dialogue, and great acting. But the story sucked. You don’t find out anything about what happened to the father. You just accept that he’s dead and these people want to completely forget about it. I understand that some people like that about the movie, but for me it was nowhere near enough exposision.

    Great list though. The only one on my list that I didnt see here was ” the way back”. And you may be the only person I’ve seen give “flipped” a good review. I haven’t seen it yet but after your review of it I still want to

    • Really? I haven’t seen the film but I’ve read the book and it implies a lot of stuff that happens to the dad that provides more closure than what it appears the film provides.

  14. I cried too Benjamin dont worry ;)

  15. ya IP man was awsome. dude was such a beast.

  16. Predators… :) I really liked that one

  17. You guys pretty much nailed that list. Although I’ve only seen, like, 3 or 4 of those movies, it was an interesting read. Here’s my top 10:

    10. Prince of Persia (It was fun enough for my taste)
    9. Clash of the Titans (Didn’t see it in 3D, so I got the good deal!:P)
    8. Despicable Me
    7. Iron Man 2
    6. TRON Legacy
    5. The A-Team
    4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
    3. Toy Story 3
    2. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
    1. Inception

    Not the best list, I know, but I’m not really old enough to be seeing the likes of ‘Black Swan’ or ‘The Fighter’ :)

  18. Finally saw the Fighter it’s my number one of the year. Simply amazing and Bale gives one of the best performances I’ve ever seen from an actor.

    The Fighter
    Inception
    The Town

    are the best three of the year IMO

    • The Fighter is rated PG-13. No reason not to see it although it does use the F word more than a few times. If you like a good dramatic movie this is one of the best.

      • Umm no The Fighter is rated R. In PG13 the f word is allowed only one time no more. Check the rating again if your seeing a site that says PG13 they are not trustworthy check another the official rating is R.

        There is always a reason to not see a movie… Money.

        • Your right Daniel. I got the rating from the newspaper but I checked the official site and it is an “R”. Thanks.

  19. Just watched IP Man the other day and that movie is wild. I thought it was great as far as the action goes but it was really funny to boot.

  20. As long as everyone is putting up their personal favorites. MY ARE:

    The Fighter: Terrific flick: I hope this film sneaks up and takes it all at the OSCARS.
    The Social Network:
    The King’s Speech:
    The Town:
    Hereafter:
    Black Swan:
    Kick Ass:
    Secretariat:
    Inception:
    Unstoppable:

    Most over hyped and over rated: “True Grit” which I found to be a long winded bore.
    Winter’s Bone, The Kids Are All Right.

    • I was absolutely awed and amazed by Inception. The Town was a very well-told and beautifully done crime drama, and Unstoppable was a pleasant surprise.

  21. awesome list kick ass and inception and potter were awesomemeee

  22. I see where Darren Aronosky can’t go wrong with awards or as far as boxoffice is concerned. He is the director of “Black Swan” and one of the producers of “The Fighter”.

  23. i loved red, HP 7, scott pilgrim, and the town

  24. my top 10 of 2010 are:

    Narnia: voyage of the dawn treader
    iron man 2
    alice in wonderland
    red
    despicable me
    harry potter 7 part 1
    scott pilgrim vs. the world
    toy story 3
    inception
    grown ups

    • how in the right mind do you find Iron man 2 at the least bit good. That was one of my low points of 2010

      • it had good action, a good story, good characters, good acting, good humor…..what else do you want? lol

      • Mine too.
        @Ben, the first Iron Man had good action, a good story, good characters, good acting, and good humor. Iron Man 2 tried to do the same, but in the end I almost felt like Tony Stark should just die already.

        • lol well i felt it succeeded in doing it but to each his own :)

          • I can understand the first one, it was very good, but i think the second one was a little overated. i guess everyone has differnt opionions

    • Grown Ups? really?

      • lol i loved it but after i posted i remembered how good the town is.

  25. Good list.

    The most overrated film in that group is easily the fluffed up Social Network.

    The best films of the year IMO…are Toy Story 3, Inception, True Grit and The Fighter.

  26. Red was a fun film and The Town was solid also.

    The other overrated film of the year is Black Swan.

  27. The Potter film was a good film also.

  28. Best Picture- Inception (hand’s down)
    Best Actor- Colin Firth (Over Due)
    Best Supporting Actor- Christian Bale (Also Over Due)
    Best Actress- Natalie Portman
    Best Supporting Actress- Amy Adams (not sure which she’ll be nom. for)
    Best Director- Christopher Nolan
    Best Original Score- Hanz Zimmer (Inception)
    Best Animated Film- Toy Story 3
    Best Original Screenplay – The Social Network

    That’s my list..let’s hope it comes true.

  29. Great list. Here’s my top 10:
    1. Somewhere
    2. Inception
    3. Winter’s Bone
    4. The Town
    5. The Ghost Writer
    6. Never Let Me Go
    7. The Kids Are Alright
    8. Kick Ass
    9. Exit Through the Gift Shop
    10.Scott Pilgrim vs. The World —-mash up of awesomeness!!
    Considering I haven’t watched The Fighter, Black Swan and True Grit; it’s been a great year for movies.

    • @ Alex

      I somehow convinced myself that Exit Through the Gift Shop had been released in 2009 and that I’d just seen it in 2010.

      In retrospect, I probably would’ve included it as my individual choice from 2010. That said, I’m cool with at least mentioning it here. ;-)