TOP 10 BEST FILMS OF SUMMER 2010
I was about to give up on Hollywood this summer. "Iron Man 2" did not soar like its predecessor, audiences gave up on "Sex and the City 2," and "Jonah Hex" imploded at the box-office.
But there were still some bright spots in our summer moviegoing experience. These films provoked, entertained, cajoled, and gave us hope. Here are my Top 10 picks for the Best Films of Summer 2010.
1. "Inception" -- Writer/director Christopher Nolan proved time and time again that big blockbuster films could be both smart and entertaining at the same time. His Batman masterpiece, "The Dark Knight," was my favorite during summer 2008. This year, the maestro returned with a mind-bending tale starring Leonardo DiCaprio that was gripping and awe-inspiring.
2. "The Kids Are All Right" -- Easily one of the best featured ensembles in cinema this year. Annette Bening and Julianne Moore shine as a committed couple who must face reality when their kids decide to meet their biological father. Writer-director Lisa Cholodenko crafted a film that spoke volumes about marriage and partnership.
3. "Winter's Bone" -- This thought-provoking film about poverty, drugs, and the Ozark Mountains was anchored by Jennifer Lawrence's career-making performance. It's a mystery seen through the eyes of an unyielding teenage girl.
4. "Toy Story 3" -- Pixar Animation did it again! The third installment of the popular "Toy Story" franchise was heartwarming and inspired. It made many grown-ups cry and gave children the freedom to imagine. It's no wonder "Toy Story 3" is now the biggest animated film in box-office history.
5. "Restrepo" -- This feature-length documentary chronicles a year in the life of a platoon of U.S. soldiers deployed in the deadliest valley in Afghanistan. It's an unflinching look at war and certainly one of the best documentaries this year.
6. "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" -- Geeks, videogames, and romance are at the heart of "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World." It was one of the most original films this summer as it tried to uncover the mysteries of love while making audiences laugh out loud.
7. "Despicable Me" -- Universal Pictures' first entry into the 3D CGI territory was also one of the freshest, buoyant films of the summer. Steve Carell was a delight as the voice of the main character, Gru, and the 3D animation rocked!
8. "Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work" -- Say what you want, but Joan Rivers is one of the most influential stand-up comedians working today and this documentary aimed to prove it. Following Rivers for an entire year when she turned 75, "Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work" humanizes the comedian more famous for her multiple plastic surgeries than her witty and guffaw-inducing stand-up routines.
9. "Lebanon" -- Set in June, 1982 during the First Lebanon War, this prize-winning film is as morally complex as its subject. Much of the horrors of war could be seen inside a claustrophobic tank. "Lebanon" succeeded in honoring our heroes -- the soldiers.
10. "Cyrus" -- During the turn of the twenty-first century, a movement within the independent cinema emerged. It's called mumblecore and it featured personal relationships between twenty-somethings, improvised acting by no-name actors, and ultra-low budget production. While "Cyrus" had a comfortable budget and big name stars (Marisa Tomei, John C. Reilly, Jonah Hill), its mumblecore directors, Jay and Mark Duplass, maintained their independent cinema creativity and came up with an oddly satisfying movie full of humorous and dramatic pathos.
Runners-up: "Babies," "Splice," "The Girl Who Played with Fire," "The A-Team," "The Other Guys," "Dinner for Schmucks," "Ramona and Beezus," "Predato
Country: United States
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