Monday, July 12, 2010

2010 Mid-Year Top 10 List

Not all critics do this and it seems like a silly thing (maybe all lists are silly), but they are fun compiling and may be useful in seeking out a movie. Here are the best films I have seen so far, with links to my reviews. Note that I haven't seen everything.
10. The Crazies
Sometimes a movie surprises you, and this movie did just that. Don't phone the Academy, but this film was solid education filled with some nice scares and a few well-constructed scenes. Timothy Olyphant is becoming a reliable actor.
9.  The Book of Eli 
Again its not high art, just an entertaining Western of sorts with an utterly preposterous and the usually strong performances from Denzel and Gary Oldman.
8. Robin Hood
Many did not respond to this Ridley Scott/Russell Crowe reteaming, mainly because it forgot about the fun of the earlier entries. However, I found it to be an entertaining and rousing entry in the historical action genre and stands alongside and does not merely clone the likes of Braveheart and Gladiator
7. Brooklyn's Finest
A film filled of just about every cop cliche, and utterly entertaining as we watch three major cop characters head to their fates. Maybe director Fuqua has a knack for cop movies, and its fun to see Cheadle, Hawke, and Gere at there sleazy best. Wesley Snipes makes a welcome return.
6. Kick-Ass
A film panned by many due to its violence involving kids (which I can't argue against). Yet, it is utterly original and invigorating, due to its realization of its comic book violence.
5. The Red Riding Trilogy
Barely released in theaters, The Red Riding Trilogy tells a confounding and intriguing story of the Yorkshire Ripper and goes from good to great, as each entry becomes more involving.
4. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Great Danish action-thriller is smart and involving, as it maintains interest for its duration. Looking forward to the sequels coming out this month and October.
3. Toy Story 3
Another great entry in the series, another triumph for Pixar, a studio that can't miss lately. The old characters are there with some great new ones in a fascinating and great looking adventure. See it in 2D though.
2. Shutter Island
I called it a masterpiece when I first saw it, and I stand by that statement after two subsequent viewings. Despite an ending (a great one) many claimed they saw coming, there is much to admire about this film from the master Scorsese and top leading man Leo.
1. The Ghost Writer
Although the past has recently caught up with Roman Polanski, he still has not forgotten how to make a great film. The Ghost Writer is a wonderful and smart political thriller that looks great, goes to unexpected places, and makes sense of what does not always seem to.