While many films like Black Swan, The Fighter or Monsters would have probably been on my list had I seen them, this list is for films I watched last year. Here they are in no particular order other than the best picture of the year at number 1.
10)Machete- An awesome take on the grindhouse films of the 70's, Danny Trejo gets his first starring role and nails it with the titular Machete, a Mexican James Bond type. He kills a bunch a people, beds Lindsey Lohan, Michelle Rodriguez and Jessica Alba, all while looking like a piece of beef jerky. Funny, great action and some spectacular nudity. A must see.
9)the Other Guys- One of the funniest picture of the year. Even if you don't like Will Farrel, check this gem out. Two down and out cops go after a crooked bank owner in one of the most subversive movies of the year. Mark Walberg is hysterical as the hated cop who shot Derek Jeter during game 7 of the World Series. Stay for the credits which are filled with trivia about what the banks are really doing to us. Fabulous.
8)The Social Network- Aaron Sorkin's dialogue is razor sharp as is Jesse Eisienberg's performance as the Facebook creator. If someone had told me a year ago that Facebook: the Movie would be one of my favorites I would have thought you drunk, stoned or both. A riveting piece of life in the new century.
7)True Grit- Normally not one for Westerns, this remake is hands down light years ahead of the awful original. Expect to see Jeff Bridges with another award for Best Actor. Newcomer Haille Steinfeld is riveting as Mattie Ross, the girl out to avenge the death of her father. Gary Ross should be looking at her for The Hunger Games movie.
6)Hot Tub Time Machine- Another laugh riot that is almost semi autobiographical to me. I used to go on ski trips with my friends bank in the eighties and they nailed what it was like. Highlights are Craig Robinson singing the Black Eyed Peas, John Cusack on screen at any time and the fate of the one armed bell man. A true comedy in a year devoid of most.
5)Scott Pilgrim Vs the World- A failure on the box office, this movie was inventive and different. Michael Cera is still playing the same part he always does but the persona works well here. I still think Knives Chou should have been the girl he winds up with but then again I am partial to Asian women.
4)Shutter Island- Martin Scorcese scores again with this mindtrip about a disappearance at an insane asylum. Leo DeCaprio is white hot with this and Inception this year. Does this guy ever make a bad movie? Not lately.
3)Red- Bruce Willis hits comic gold in this graphic novel about retired CIA agents who are being assassinated and are forced out in the cold again. A sequel is in the works. I can't wait.
2)Kick Ass- Another great comic movie about real superheros in today's world. Influential enough to start actual superheros from being born, Phoenix Jones is such a guy, stalking LA in tights and a tazer fighting crime. Way to go dude.
1)Inception- Easily the best movie of the year, this film will take multiple viewings to get all the nuances. Dreams within dreams, Mike Nolan is one of the best directors working today. I can't wait for his final Batman movie.