The Best Films of 2010

The Social Network

2010 may have seen far too many sequels, remakes and pointless 3D conversions for my liking, but the year also boasted a heartening number of inventive, original and hugely enjoyable movies. My favourites ranged across a variety of genres and from all points of the filmmaking compass. Here’s my top 10, plus an additional ten that just missed the cut.

The Social Network
David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin’s dazzling movie about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is a compelling tale of ambition and envy, betrayal and resentment.

Winter’s Bone
A dogged 17-year-old Ozark Mountain girl – magnificently played by Jennifer Lawrence – searches for her missing father and puts herself at odds with a community ravaged by crystal meth in this grimly authentic thriller.

A Prophet
French director Jacques Audiard fuses beady-eyed social realism, savage action and hallucinatory fantasy in this gripping prison drama about an illiterate 19-year-old French Arab convict who becomes a jail kingpin.

The Secret in Their Eyes
Argentinian director Juan José Campanella’s thriller about a decades-long hunt for a killer took many by surprise when it pipped A Prophet and The White Ribbon but was a worthy Oscar winner for best foreign language film.

Inception
If Freud and Jung had decided to remake The Sting and hired MC Escher to do the production design they might well have come up with Christopher Nolan’s dazzling brain-twister of a thriller.

I Am Love
Tilda Swinton is both imperious and vulnerable as a Russian woman who has married into an upper-class Italian clan in this lush romantic melodrama that harks back to the heady days of Visconti and Antonioni.

Of Gods and Men
Xavier Beavoir’s deeply moving film – based on a true story – about a small group of Trappist monks in a monastery in Algeria’s Atlas Mountains who must decide whether to stay or leave when threatened by Islamist terrorists.

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
Dreamlike and sublime to some; bum-numbingly boring to others, Thai director  Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s enigmatic film was quite unlike any other seen all year.

Scott Pilgrim vs The World
You don’t need to be a geek to enjoy Edgar Wright’s deliriously inventive comic-book movie, but to get all the in-jokes and pop culture references it probably helps.

Monsters
First-time director Gareth Edwards filmed on the run and added the special effects in his bedroom, but he came up with a genre-blurring sci-fi gem.

Mentioned in dispatches
Agora
Gainsbourg
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Kids Are All Right
Kick-Ass
Leaving
Let Me In
Room in Rome
Toy Story 3
We Are What We Are

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