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John’s Top Ten Movies of 2010

Here at DaMorgue, we take our time when it comes to selecting our favorite films of the year. We all have so much passion for film, so it’s something we don’t take lightly. I mean it takes time to see all the movies worth seeing, especially when they cram all the best ones into the last couple of months. There’s still some films I wanted I see from 2010, but I’ll have to settle with the 42 I’m at right now, which is certainly more than last year. Either way, I can confidently say I loved all ten of these films and am very much satisfied with my final ten, but before we dive in let’s acknowledge the film’s that came close.

Honorable Mention
Buried: The fact that this is movie is entirely set in a wooden box and is still entertaining is reason enough for an honorable mention.

The King’s Speech: A marvelously acted period piece that just barely made the cut.

Kick Ass: Dumb fun, but man, you’d be hard pressed to find a more entertaining action flick.

Little Big Soldier This Jackie Chan period piece is a heartwarming buddy picture. These are the kind of movies Chan should be devoting his time to, not The Spy Next Door.

10. The Fighter

What it lacks in originality it makes up for in thrills and dramatic skill, hey maybe I’m a poet and I just don’t know it. Marky Mark is surrounded by perhaps the best supporting cast of the year including; Melissa Leo, Amy Adams and the always intense Christian Bale. The fights are full of highs and lows as are the heart aching scenes between it’s struggling characters, it’s a real knockout.

9. The Ghost Writer

Rarely do I have the taste for political thrillers. Too often these kind of films seem to slip into convoluted plots, involving stiff characters with even more convoluted motivations, but leave it to a seasoned filmmaker like Roman Polanski to add a spark to the genre. A likable Ewan McGregor plays “The Ghost”, a talented ghostwriter hired to complete the memoirs of a former British Prime Minister (Pierce “Mr . Charming” Brosnan), but what happens when he digs too deep? It’s suspenseful, dramatic, and clever, but not so much that it loses sight of telling a great story of deception and oh yes, death!

8. Winter’s Bone

Had it not been for the award buzz, I may have never even heard about this subtle portrait of poverty and family hardship. The young Jennifer Lawrence carries this heavy drama (that borders on neo noir) with a stunning amount of professionalism and the supporting cast of dark and colorful characters truly bring this heartbreaker to life. I’ve been a fan of the talented actor John Hawkes since Deadwood, so he’s what originally drew me to this film, but he’s just one part of this heavy hitter. A prime example of a movie that doesn’t need big names to attract attention, just something to say.

7. The Kids Are All Right

Nothing like a well fashioned “Dramedy” to deliver both the laughs and tears we all look for in the movie going experience, the one’s of us that aren’t braindead anyway. It’s the classic high and low film about family, with a bit of a twist. Annette Bening and Julianne Moore as a gay couple doesn’t sound too shocking to must of the people that will probably see it, but still I can’t recall seeing that in any recent film and in that case, it’s a breath of fresh air. Both leads are equally amusing, exchanging surprisingly genuine dialogue between their children (Mia Wasikowska, Josh Hutcherson) and who else but “Mr. Nice Guy” Mark Ruffalo. There’s awkward pauses and silences, it’s an excellently executed slice of life.

6. 127 Hours

I still get dizzy thinking about the latest ADD survival film from Danny Boyle. Who thought you could make a movie about a guy (James Franco) pinned by a rock, so overwhelmingly intense? Maybe it’s the build up to that finale, I mean we all know what’s coming right? Even so it’s never dull or even remotely tedious. For that I think you can thank one; the energy of it’s star James Franco and two, the high adrenaline visual storytelling of Danny Boyle. That guy never wastes a frame and every one here is beyond intense.

5. The Town

You’ve heard of films that are nail-biters right? Well by the end of this one you’ll of probably knawed your whole arm off, a la Aron Ralston. Really, it’s that suspenseful and one of the best heist films in years. It’s like if Point Break and Heat had a baby and then gave it Surge cola, a roller-coaster of drama and some of the best action scenes of the year. Remember how people used to make fun of Ben Affleck? Like “Oh Bennifer, he was in Gigli he sucks blah blah.” well you can shut the fuck up now, because he’s proven himself with this one. Not only as an actor, but as well as a writer and director. I never lost faith in Ben Affleck but if you did, check this out, you’ll plummet right out of your seat and straight into the crossfire that is The Town.

4. Toy Story 3

The film that apparently can bring even the most hardened men to tears, I present to you Toy Story 3. It’s bittersweet saying goodbye to the beloved franchise, but what a way to go out. The story is moving and exciting, the laughs timely, and the animation awe inspiring. On one hand it’s like the conclusion to my childhood, but on the other it’ll be with me forever. Future generations are going to be spoiled with this beyond amazing catalog of classics Pixar has created and this is one of their best.

3. The Social Network

I remember how opposed I was to this once. “It’s not even that original of an idea, why should we put these douchebags in the spotlight?” But that’s not what it’s about. It’s not about the content of the creation as much as it is the struggle to protect that creation. I mean what can I say, a good story is a good story and Fincher and Sorkin deliver a film that’s not only fun to look at, but to listen to. It’s young stars are captivating including; the neurotic Mark (Jesse Eisenberg), the naive Eduardo (Andrew Garfield), the sly Sean (Justin Timberlake, never thought I’d compliment him) and my favorite, the arrogant but entertaining Winklevoss twins played mostly by (Armie Hammer.) With Facebook being one of the most defining social devices of our time, it only makes sense that The Social Network will go down as a defining film of this era, glad I was there to experience it.

2. Black Swan

Few films left me this year with the kind of goosebumps I received from viewing Black Swan, or should I say “swanbumps?” Darren Aronofosky has clearly emerged as one of the most interesting directors working today and Black Swan will only further his status as a true auteur. It’s an eerily beautiful film propelled by the eerily beautiful performance of Natalie Portman (possibly her best role to date.) It almost reminds me of the kind of nightmare Italian director Dario Argento would dream up, like Suspiria, which coincidentally is set at a ballet academy. The difference being that in all it’s twisted imagery and scenes, Black Swan is surprisingly coherent in it’s parallel of the iconic Swan Lake and that makes it dance circles around Suspria

1. Inception

As if it’s any surprise, Inception is an instant classic rich with visuals and metaphors. It’s the kind of film that taps into your mind and sits there, eventually laying eggs in your brain. The fact that writer/director Christopher Nolan can make a movie this dense a blockbuster hit, just goes to show that he knows entertainment and quality storytelling. He pulls our strings with suspense and fucks up our minds with one of the most clever films in years. He has truly incepted my heart.

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