2010 was a somewhat disappointing year in filmmaking. There just seemed to be a limited number of films that looked very interesting to me. It may be because 2009 and 2008 were outstanding years in filmmaking. I’ve been somewhat spoiled over the last two years and, maybe because of all the great films that were released those years, Hollywood just ran out of good ideas. Even big hyped-up 2010 movies like Iron Man 2 or Robin Hood just weren’t all they were cracked up to be or could have been if done well. Here are my picks for the top three films of 2010, and let’s hope that 2011 will be much better in terms of choices.
3. True Grit
When I first heard the Cohen Brothers were remaking the film True Grit, my first thoughts were: “Why would you try to remake a film like that, especially when the original 1969 John Wayne film is such a revered classic? Trying to capture that same magic would be almost impossible.” But this remake doesn’t try to emulate or recapture that same magic. Instead, it makes its own. This film was a well-made film through and through. Everything this film does, it does right: the setting, the plot (which is more like the original True Grit novel), the language, and the cinematography. I think the acting surpassed that of the original 1969 film, except for maybe Jeff Bridges as Rooster Cogburn. Bridges was great, but John Wayne made that role famous and won an academy award for his performance. So when True Grit is released on DVD and Blueray, I have no problem in telling you to see this film if you haven’t already.
2. The Social Network
The main plot is simple and somewhat biographical. It’s about Mark Zuckerburg and how he invented Facebook. It presents the conflicts that ensued among the creators of the internet’s largest social network. It’s also about friendship, trust, betrayal, and greed. But yet it’s so much more. In this film, you have some of the sharpest and quickest screenplay and dialogue ever seen in film. You also have great performances from the actors who play the roles of the real people behind the origins of Facebook. You have an under-rated music score and great editing. But most of all, it’s a film about one teenager’s meteoric journey from a nobody to one of the richest and most successful and famous people on earth. It is the story of how events in his life shaped him and were inspirations for how Facebook would be developed. Even though Mark is on top of the world, he lost his best friends and his honor in the process. The Social Network is a film about human nature, the meaning of success, and choices we all have to make during our lives. This is an engaging and thought-provoking film everyone should see.
I think this is the greatest film of the year hands down! No other film had a better plot than Inception, no film had better action scenes than Inception, but most of all, no film was as mind-blowing or original as Inception. We have not seen a film anything close to this since perhaps The Matrix. But Inception goes well beyond The Matrix with mind-bending action sequences appreciated by both film critics and audiences. Who can forget the revolving hallway fight sequence? Of course, what most people will remember about this film is its awesome and original story. The story is about one man’s quest to get back to his family, but to do so he must perform inception (the act of inserting an idea into someone’s mind) on a business man’s son. He must insert an idea that will cause the son’s mind to shut down his father’s business. The concept behind inception and extraction is truly unique. It is a mystery because we (the audience) have no clear idea of how it works. Plus the whole dream versus reality mumbo jumbo is really interesting to try to figure out while watching the film. Besides the story and the action scenes, Inception does everything else at a high level. The music, the editing, the sound, the art direction, and great cast of actors are all masterfully well done and put together to produce a great film. On top of all this, you have one of the most talked about and controversial film endings in recent memory. It’s hard to find much fault with Inception. Perhaps it is somewhat complex and confusing at times and you have to really focus while watching. So I strongly suggest that if you haven’t seen this great film, rent it on DVD or forever wonder why you didn’t.
So this is one movie fan’s take on the top three films of 2010 to be sure to see. Inception, The Social Network, and True Grit have so much to offer that you may want to see them several times.