I guess we’ll start with the good news. You can find an explanation of my rating system here but to sum it up: I favor entertainment value over production value when it comes to movies and my ratings reflect that. These appear in no particular order:
1. Toy Story 3 – The original came out in 1995. Think about that – the third installment coming out 15 years later! The story telling is just as solid, the characters just as charming and humor just as dead on. This is nearly a perfect movie and if you have a heart in your body or have experienced growing up and saying goodbye to someone it will move you to tears. Great for kids and adults.
2. Inception – This is the kind of movie that you talk about for days after you’ve seen it. Confusing at first glance but if you pay attention (you should be anyway) you’ll enjoy following these characters and plot deeper and deeper in the dreamworld. I could barely sleep after seeing this movie because my mind would simply not shut off. Brilliant!
3. True Grit – I don’t really like Western so my expectations were so – so. Also, I didn’t see the original so I can’t comment on that other than normally remakes don’t turn out well. But this movie was so much fun. Jeff Bridges had me laughing for a good deal of the film. I’m confident that this movie produced more laughs for me than any comedy I saw all year. Don’t worry about the genre, this movie is GOOD.
4. Kick Ass – Well the name of the movie kind of sums up my feelings toward it. (though I could do w/o the profanity). Regardless, this movie is what I wish more comic book movies would be like. It was funny, quirky, violent, and featured costumed heroes and villains. Any movie featuring Nick Cage that doesn’t make me want to walk out of the theater is all right in my book.
5. Harry Potter: The Deathly Hallows Part 1 – Splitting the final installment in two movies may be about the money but I don’t care because that book is long. So long in fact that you’d have to remove all the dramatic elements just to fit in all the action in a single movie. Thankfully we actually get to see these kids act and they do really well. I can’t help but be amazed at this cast – we have watched them become these young adults over the years. It won’t be winning any awards but it was the only midnight release movie I’ve seen in years that I didn’t regret.
6. Book of Eli – Post-apocalyptic setting, intense fight sequences, spiritual theme, and a decent twist backed by the star power of Denzel. I thought this movie was great and I don’t think I checked my email or facebook a single time when I saw it. That’s a sign of a good movie for me.
7. The A Team – Ok this is easily the weakest on the list but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I had a blast watching this movie. This is a summer movie and it delivers on all the things you want in a summer movie. Yes, I had to suspend more belief than I’m normally comfortable with but all in the name of fun. Also, having the original Murdock and Face cameo at the end was icing on the cake.
8. Moon – This movie didn’t come out in 2010 but I didn’t get around to it until last year. Maybe that’s cheating but you people need to give Sam Rockwell another chance. He usually plays a role that is set up for you to dislike (the nasty prisoner in Green Mile) but you’ll like him here. This movie has a certain way of making you feel uneasy though it’s not technically scary and no zombies or aliens will jump out at you. The feeling of isolation and abandonment are strong…which is really what they were going for.