Well, it’s that time of year again when we’re inundated with critics’ picks for the best films of the past twelve months and – after resisting the urge in 2009 – it’s about time we got in on the act here at Flickering Myth. Rather than presenting individual lists from our writing team we’ve taken everyone’s choices and processed them through a complex algorithm to compile our selection of 2010’s best cinematic offerings (or rather, we gathered together our individual choices and assigned points to each film based on their positions in said lists). So without further ado, let’s begin the countdown of our Top 10 Movies of 2010…
10. The Wolfman (dir. Joe Johnston)
Just managing to fend off competition from Green Zone (dir. Paul Greengrass) and Winter’s Bone (dir. Debra Granik) for tenth place is Joe Johnston’s Universal Monster remake The Wolfman. Released way back in February, The Wolfman stars Benicio del Toro as Lawrence Talbot, an actor who returns to his family estate after the death of his brother and becomes infected with lycanthropy after he is attacked by a wolf. Co-starring are Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt and Hugo Weaving, while the creature itself was brought to life by legendary make-up and effects artist Rick Baker.
9. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (dir. Niels Arden Oplev)
Adapted from the first instalment of Swedish novelist Stieg Larsson’s best-selling Millennium Trilogy, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo sees reporter Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) teaming up with troubled computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) to investigate the strange disappearance of a young girl over thirty years earlier. The highest-grossing Swedish movie of all-time with over $104m at the world-wide box office, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo spawned two sequels and has every chance of appearing in next year’s list with an English language remake from director David Fincher.
8. Four Lions (dir. Chris Morris)
The only British film to make the top ten comes courtesy of Brass Eye creator Chris Morris, who made his feature debut with the controversial terrorist satire Four Lions. Written by Morris and Peep Show scribes Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong, Four Lions follows a group of radicalised British Muslims who decide to become suicide bombers. After a successful premiere at Sundance in January, Four Lions struggled to find a North American distributor (it eventually received a limited release in November) but enjoyed strong returns at the UK box office. Read our review here.
7. A Prophet (dir. Jacques Audiard)
Jacques Audiard’s French prison drama A Prophet stars Tahir Rahim as a young Arab man sentenced to six years in a brutal prison, where he soon comes under the protection of a Corsican mafia group and begins to rise through their ranks. A Prophet had already earned a host of accolades prior to its UK release in January, taking home 9 César Awards, the BAFTA for Best Film Not in the English language, the Grand Prix at Cannes and Best Film Award at the London Film Festival, not to mention an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.
6. Kick-Ass (dir. Matthew Vaughn)
Based on the comic-book series by Mark Millar, Matthew Vaughn’s satirical superhero movie Kick-Ass stirred up quite a storm with outraged critics kicking off about the film’s levels of violence and profanity, particularly with regards to 11 year-old Chloe Moretz’s Hit Girl character. Of course that didn’t put off audiences, with the independently-funded feature more than tripling its $28m budget at the global box office and delivering a damn fine action-comedy to boot. Aaron Johnson stars in the lead role as ‘real-life’ superhero Kick-Ass, and is joined by a strong supporting cast including Nicolas Cage, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Mark Strong.
5. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (dir. Edgar Wright)
Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World may have bombed at the box-office [read our thoughts as to why here] – earning just $47m worldwide from an estimated $60m budget – but the critical consensus was generally positive and the comedy seems destined to gain cult status as it finds an audience on home video. Scott Pilgrim’s (Michael Cera) quest to win the heart of Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) by defeating her ‘seven evil exes’ was chosen as film of the year by two of our contributors, which helps it to secure an impressive fifth-placed finish overall. Read our review here.
4. Shutter Island (dir. Martin Scorsese)
Legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese followed up his Academy Award-winning The Departed with Shutter Island, a psychological thriller based on Dennis Lehane’s best-selling 2003 novel of the same name. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Teddy Daniels, a US Marshall who ventures to a secluded mental asylum in order to investigate the disappearance of a patient from a locked room. The film – which also stars Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams, Emily Mortimer, Max von Sydow and Jackie Earle Haley – went on to give Scorsese a career high in terms of worldwide box office, banking an impressive $294m. Read our review here.
3. The Social Network (dir. David Fincher)
The creation of popular social networking site Facebook may not have seemed like the most obvious of source material for a feature film but David Fincher’s drama has received near-universal acclaim and will be looking to make a big impact come awards season. Jesse Eisenberg stars as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and is joined by Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Armie Hammer, Rooney Mara, Max Minghella and Rashida Jones. The Social Network was selected as film of the year by three of our contributors for a third-placed finish overall. You can read our reviews of the film here and here.
2. Toy Story 3 (dir. Lee Unkrich)
Pixar continued its incredible run of critical and commercial success this year with their latest animated masterpiece Toy Story 3, which became the first film from the studio to break the $1b mark at the global box office and more than doubled the combined haul of its two predecessors. Pixar seem to have eschewed the Disney tradition of churning out sub-standard sequels and with Toy Story 3 they delivered one of the most entertaining and moving films of the year (come on, you know you were fighting back the tears towards the end). Read our review here.
1. Inception (dir. Christopher Nolan)
Christopher Nolan’s follow-up to The Dark Knight was described as a ‘smart’ blockbuster, delivering a complex story to compliment the usual action, thrills and excitement expected of big summer movies. The gamble paid off handsomely with audiences flocking to see Leonardo DiCaprio and his team (including Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ken Watanabe, Ellen Page and Tom Hardy) infiltrate the dreams of a wealthy businessman (Cillian Murphy) to extract corporate secrets. Inception banked a mighty $825m world-wide and topped the lists of four of our contributors, while it just managed to pip Toy Story 3 by a whisker to take the crown as our film of 2010. Read our review here.
In all there were sixteen of us who participated, selecting 69 films in total and with eight different titles managing to take home number one spots. Here are our individual picks for best film of 2010…
Jamie Baker – [Rec] 2
Gary Collinson – Toy Story 3
Oli Davis – The Social Network
Jon Dudley – The Social Network
James Ellis – Inception
Louise-Afzal Faerkel – The Killer Inside Me
Amy Flinders – Toy Story 3
DJ Haza – Inception
Trevor Hogg – Inception
Roger Holland – Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Vicki Isitt – Mary and Max
Tom Jolliffe – Inception
Simon Moore – Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Luke Owen – Toy Story 3
Cherokee Summer – The Illusionist
Liam Trim – The Social Network
Update – 08/01/11
We’ve been running a poll since New Year’s Eve asking for your votes for your favourite film of 2010 and the results are in. Thanks to the 299 people who took part, and here are the results…
Inception – 40% (121 votes)
Something else, you fools – 20% (61 votes)
Toy Story 3 – 11% (33 votes)
The Social Network – 10% (30 votes)
Shutter Island – 5% (15 votes)
Kick-Ass – 3% (10 votes)
Scott Pilgrim vs the World – 3% (9 votes)
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – 2% (8 votes)
A Prophet – 2% (7 votes)
The Wolfman – 1% (5 votes)
Four Lions – 0% (0 votes)
What are your choices for the best movies of 2010? Please feel free to leave your thoughts…