Top 10 Films of 2010 – Allen’s Picks

#8: How To Train Your Dragon

Finally, DreamWorks has made an animated film that didn’t have to rely on pop culture references or straight slapstick comedy to be successful, but rather, brought it back to the basics with a strong story inhabited by sympathetic characters. How to Train Your Dragon is really about two parallel storylines. The first is the friendship between Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), a young Viking aspiring to become a fierce dragon hunter, and Toothless, the Night Fury dragon he unexpectedly befriends. The scenes between these two characters, as they both attempt to communicate and ultimately understand each other, are some of the best scenes of the film. The second storyline involves the relationship between Hiccup and his father, Stoick (Gerard Butler), the brave Viking leader. The dynamic that the two have, each one certainly loving the other and yet so completely different, is one we have seen before, but is told so well and convincingly that it tugs on an emotional chord that we may not be expecting. Backed by a wonderful score, the animation is the best I’ve seen from DreamWorks, with the flying scenes making us feel as if we were right there with Hiccup riding through the sky. A wonderful film that deserves more acclaim than it has received.

#7: Chloe

On the surface, Chloe may seem like a typical sexual thriller, but looking closer, the film examines a number of themes that may go unnoticed at first. The film is about love, desire, passion, and what happens when those things fade away in our life. Directed by Atom Egoyan, the film stars Julianne Moore as Catherine Stewart, a doctor who suspects her husband (Liam Neeson) of extramarital affairs. She hires Chloe (Amanda Seyfried), a high-end call girl, to try to seduce her husband and prove her suspicions. But as Chloe and the husband’s interactions continue to grow, and as Chloe continues to report back on their activities, Catherine’s suspicions soon turn to odd fascination, as she listens about a man whose sexual adequacy she has not experienced in a very long time. This unique “love triangle” quickly turns in to something very dangerous, putting everything Catherine knows at risk. Yes, this is a very erotic film, not so much in terms of graphic nudity, but in regard to Catherine’s longing for the passion she feels she has lost in her marriage, the kind of eroticism that a director like Atom Egoyan has worked with before. Great performances all around, in particular Amada Seyfried, who takes a role far removed from her work on Mean Girls (2004).

#6: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Here is the most fun I’ve had in a theater all year. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is a bombastic, hyperkinetic, electric film, unlike anything else that came out in 2010. Edgar Wright, who directed both Shaun of the Dead (2004) and Hot Fuzz (2007), uses nearly every cinematic trick in the book to tell the story of Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) and his conquest to defeat the seven evil exes and win the heart of his love, Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). Through editing, special effects, and just sheer creativity, Wright creates a film that literally feels like a living, breathing, comic book. Yes, Michael Cera is his normal, nerdish self, but how many movie nerds do you know have the ability to do a spinning uppercut with a flaming fist fifty feet in the air? That is just plain awesome. Bolstered by a rocking soundtrack, the film will play to those who love action films, kung fu films, video games, comic books, rock and roll music, and romantic comedies, as this has a little bit of everything in it. There is not one dull moment in this whole movie, it is just a constant onslaught of sight and sound, as if made for the music video generation on overdrive. It’s too bad that this film was not the big hit it should have been, every person I know who saw this said they had a great time watching it.


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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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