Top 10 Films of 2010 – Allen’s Picks

Obviously, to limit the amount of good films that come out in a single year to only ten is ultimately unreasonable. To take a group of films and say, “these are the best of the year” is a pretty bold statement, because there are a ton of movies that come out. Does this list include films that have come out from all over the world? Does it include animated movies, documentaries, TV movies, or short films? How do you rank a romantic comedy from America over a hard-hitting melodrama from Europe? You can’t, and for a while I scratched my head trying to put my chosen films in an order that made some sort of sense. I guess for me, there are two reasons why a list like this exists: 1) It gives me the opportunity to put the spotlight on a film or two that may not have gotten the attention I feel it deserves, and 2) it gives you (the reader) the chance to tell me how very wrong (or right!) I am in picking these movies.

I heard from different places that 2010 was a “down” year in movies. As I look over the movies on my list, and some of the ones that just missed the cut-off, I would tend to disagree. Yes, the summer blockbuster season did have a lack of notable entries, but the beginning of the year, and particularly the end, showcased a strong number of movies, some of which we may be still be talking about well into the future. As I tried putting my list together, I had to continually push it off because of a certain big movie that I had to watch before setting my group in place. Even now, with my list complete and here before us, I’m almost certain that I’m going to run in to another movie down the line that could have easily made its way to a spot if I’d only had the opportunity to see it earlier. But that’s what so great about the movies, it is continually growing, continually changing, continually bringing something new and fresh every week. I’ll gladly take another movie year like 2010 if it gives me the same amount of quality that it has here.

But enough blabbering, let’s get to the list:

#10: Shutter Island

It’s interesting to see Martin Scorsese move away from the mean streets of New York and tackle a straight genre story. Starring the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, and Ben Kingsley, Shutter Island tells the story of U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels, and his investigation of the mysterious disappearance of a patient from the island hospital for the criminally insane. Finely photographed and well-acted, the film is heavily influenced by film noirs and classic B pictures, but cast with strong actors and helmed by arguably the best director living today. The film received some criticism for allowing its “twist” over who Teddy really is to be easily deducted, but that is not what the film is about. The film is about Teddy’s past, the guilt over what he had done, and how that has affected who he is in the present. That is the key to the story, and what makes this more than your usual genre picture.

#9: Exit Through The Gift Shop

Here is one of the more fascinating “documentaries” I’ve seen in a long time. Unlike many other documentaries that had called into question their validity, Exit Through The Gift Shop does not rely on hype for its success; its story is engaging enough to warrant multiple viewings. The question of whether or not the film is real only adds to this movie’s appeal. Looking into the world of graffiti and street art, the film features Thierry Guetta, aka Mr. Brainwash, a self-proclaimed filmmaker and street artist, and looks in to how this quirky French shop owner moved from videotaping every single moment of his life to selling works of “art” for a fortune, despite never taking an art class or even making many of the pieces himself. The film highlights many famous street artists, such as Invader, Shephard Fairey, and the infamously elusive Banksy, who apparently directed the film as well. Funny, insightful, and entertaining all the way through, the film showcases this exciting yet dangerous world of self-expression, highlighted by a character that started out as a fan, but quickly became something else entirely.


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Allen is a moviegoer based out of Seattle, Washington. His hobbies include dancing, playing the guitar, and, of course, watching movies.

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