Most years are slow for movies until December, at which point audiences revel in the cinematic bounty known as the Awards Season. 2010 was a little different, as I had the good fortune to see several great movies in the months leading up and including December; the type of movies that reaffirm my love for the medium and make me proud to be a film critic. And then there some that are so embarrassing, I thank my lucky stars that I’m practically invisible nestled in my comfy theater seat. It’s bad enough that they were made – it’s even worse that I’m admitting to having seen them.
At this time, it’s customary for a critic to select ten films that represent the year’s best and worst of the best, and I see no reason not to join in the year-end superlative list-making fun. Here now are my picks for the Best and Worst movies of 2010. I hope you’ll agree with them, with links to full reviews when available.
Chris Pandolfi’s WORST Movies of 2010
10. TRON: LEGACY
The makers of this sequel to the 1982 cult classic somehow forgot that screenplays are just as important as special effects. Full review right HERE!
09. THE SPY NEXT DOOR
Jackie Chan owes us an apology for starring in this film, a horrendous blend of action, comedy, and family entertainment.
The lowliest sci-fi B-movies of the 1950s pay more attention to plot that this embarrassing alien invasion turkey. Full review right HERE!
07. CIELITO LINDO
An indecipherable train wreck that rests solely on co-director, co-editor, writer, producer, and executive producer Alejandro Alcondéz.
06. THE NUTCRACKER IN 3D
A fascist Nazi-like rat regime burns toys in furnaces so that the smoke can blot out the sun? Yes mommy, I wanna see that movie! Full review right HERE!
05. THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE (FIRST SEQUENCE)
Words like “sickening” and “depraved” are for some directors a source of pride. For Tom Six, they should be a source of shame. Full review right HERE!
04. THE FINAL
Making light of bullying and school shootings is bad enough, but exploiting them in a gory teen slasher film is reprehensible.
I don’t care that it’s a stylized comic book movie. An eleven-year-old girl murdering people is not funny.
02. FURRY VENGEANCE
A new low for Brendan Fraser and Brooke Shields, this family comedy sets environmental activism back years, if not decades.
01. STANDING OVATION
Young girls want to become faceless, packaged products in the bubblegum pop music scene. This is just plain sad.
Chris Pandolfi’s BEST Movies of 2010
Sofia Coppola’s quiet, somber examination of a bad boy movie star who must make changes for the sake of his daughter. Full review right HERE!
09. THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT
One of the smartest and most honest films about family, relationships, and the institution of marriage.
08. THE KING’S SPEECH
The absorbing, touching, inspirational true story of King George VI, who had to overcome a stammer to lead his country through World War II. Full review right HERE!
An engaging piece of cerebral science fiction and a masterpiece of craftmanship, it shows Christopher Nolan in top form.
06. BLACK SWAN
Darren Aronofsky’s bizarre masterpiece, a film that skillfully combines the spectacle of ballet with the melodrama of insanity. Full review right HERE!
05. WINTER’S BONE
A stark, raw, gritty, unflinching societal drama set against the backdrop of the Ozarks. Jennifer Lawrence gives one of the year’s best performances.
04. THE SOCIAL NETWORK
One of the year’s best written films is a wise and witty portrayal of corporate relations and today’s internet culture. Full review right HERE!
03. FOUR LIONS
A comedy about modern jihadism sounds like a recipe for disaster, but director Chris Morris pulled it off splendidly. Full review right HERE!
02. RABBIT HOLE
A resonant and honest film that examines grief and how it’s individually processed. Based on the Pulitzer Prize winning play. Full review right HERE!
01. Blue Valentine
A human story with no agenda; so simple and yet so complex, full of drama and humor, mindful of the situation yet vague with its answers. My pick for the best movie of 2010. Full review right HERE!