25. The Other Guys
From the trailer I suspected this would be a perfect mix of 80's cop buddy movie and self-aware inside jokes on the police movie genre, with a great exaggerated performance by Mark Wahlberg and a surprisingly subdued Will Ferrell. What I got was... Exactly that! This was the FUNNIEST film I saw in 2010!
24. The Disappearance of Alice Creed
I love a film that makes me think "I could have done that, if only I had that one great idea." Director J Blakeson did have a great idea, and he made a tight thriller that mostly takes place in one room and only features three actors. Plus, it ends with a great twist you realize you should have know from the very first moment.
Such a great simple premise! Four great characters, played by four actors I love! Fun and games for the whole family... We've seen a million different zombie movies, but they're rarely this much fun!
22. The Losers
So this is basically poor man's The A-Team, but where its big-budget Hollywood counterpart landed with a dud, this ridiculous little action fest pulled all the right punches. Full of crazy OTT action scenes and funny characters. It even had some emotional moments that actually worked!
Angels and demons? A fight to save humanity? Dennis Quaid? I love it! Sign me up! An awful lot of people hated on this... I really don't know why.
20. Sherlock Holmes
This was everything I had hoped for... And then a tiny bit more. Of course, Jeremy Brett is THE Sherlock Holmes, but for an updated, modern version this one sure hit the spot. The sequel is going to be epic!
19. Lake Mungo
There were two pleasant surprises in Lionsgate's After Dark Horrorfest, Volume 4 series. This faux documentary was one of them. The story deals with a family whose daughter goes missing, only to reappear as a ghostly image in the background of family photos. Damn, it freaked me out!
The second good surprise from After Dark Horrorfest, Volume 4 was this Norwegian thriller. Beautifully shot, scary as hell, and with a great David Lynch mood.
Any kind of Science Fiction movie is a good movie, but it's hard to be original these days. Pandorum takes equal parts Alien and Event Horizon, and combines it with the the great setup "what if you woke up alone on a spaceship, and couldn't remember how you got there?"
16. Easy A
This modern take on The Scarlet Letter - you know, the Demi Moore movie - actually manages to be both funny and socially relevant, without losing sight of its fairytale roots. Charming and irresistible, both the movie and star Emma Stone.
15. Rec 2
The sequel to the Spanish faux documentary, POV zombie movie turns up the heat, and even though it can't match the insane scary experience of the first film, it comes damn close. Some great twists, some great new ideas, and more insane Spanish zombie madness!
Vampires are everywhere these days, yet this film managed a fresh, original take. What if the vampires had taken over the world and humans were almost extinct? A great story and the film is a visual feast! Plus, Ethan Hawk is such a cool and charming bastard in the lead.
Without a doubt the most freaky, weird, out-of-control, unbelievable film of the year. What the EFFING hell is going on here?! Seriously! The film follows a family, where the parents have kept their children protected from the world. It's in Greek, but don't hold that against it. This is truly mind-boggling stuff.
12. An American Affair
I was so surprised by this little gem. A very different and slightly controversial coming of age story, tied together with important historic events. A young boy becomes fascinated by the sultry, lonely woman living across the street. Little does he know how much her life is about to change... She's JFKs mistress, and the year is 1963.
One of those "the less you know, the better"-films, but trust me, this little thriller had an original story and a great mystery. Don't miss it. I can't wait to watch it again!
10. The Social Network
I wasn't swept away by this film, but I respect everything about it. A great, relevant story. Good casting. Great dialogue. The film looks good too. Only reason it's not higher on the list is that it just didn't get to me on an emotional level.
9. Don't Look Back
This taught French thriller has Sophie Marceau losing control as her life seems to change around her. First it's simply a matter of furniture moving around, but suddenly her husband looks different too. The Americans would have let the thriller aspect run away with the film, the French keep it honest and real.
8. Knight and Day
I'm not going to apologize for this! I had a BLAST watching Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz flirt their way through this modern Cary Grant-esque romantic comedy. Such a charming and delightful film.
7. Winter's Bone
This tight little detective story - I guess you could call it a film noir - will chill you to the core of your soul. Young Jennifer Lawrence is a revelation in the lead, as is veteran actor John Hawkes in a key supporting role. Such a solid film.
6. How to Train Your Dragon
I wasn't completely sold on this, based on the previews, and truthfully I only checked it out because it was starting to get some Oscar buzz. What a treat! Beautifully designed, a heartwarming story, and just damn funny. Love the fact that the dragon behaves almost like a cat! I love cats.
Like I said, a good science fiction movie is hard to come by these days. Most big Hollywood sci-fi films cost so much money that they dumb down the story to maximize the number of butts in the seats. This low-budget Swiss movie didn't. It's a smart, challenging story, the designs are great, and the mood is incredible!
4. Despicable Me
Yeah, I'll admit it: I cried. Just a little bit. If you're not touched by this film, your heart must be a cold, black, little stone. I expected to see a silly animated film, I didn't expect to be moved so much.
The film deals with a captured terrorist who knows the location of several bombs, set to go off in a few days. How much would you do to get him to talk? How much would you let others do? The ethical questions and the thrills of the story are equally exhilarating. No film experience this year had me screaming and yelling louder at the screen (be it cinema or TV) than this one.
2. The Expendables
Sly, we love you! You brought back the 80's, the 90's and the 00's in one freakin' film. You brought back all the beautiful forgotten action stars. You made a freakin' kick-ass action movie with heart. And you did it all by yourself. We salute you, Sir. You're one of a kind.
Man... I don't know what to say. This film impressed me so much on every level. One of the best films I've seen in the last 10 years. Incredible. Outstanding. Glorious. Damn, now I have to see it again!
So I guess that wraps up my wrap-up of 2010. Now your time has come 2011. Do your worst!