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My Favorite Movies of 2010

true grit jeff bridgesI haven’t done a lot of writing about movies here on World’s Strongest Librarian. I’m not sure why. This blog basically serves as a way for me to catalog and organize my own existence, and how I engage with the world, and I watch as many movies as I read books. I’m also a fan of lists, so I’m going to take a brief look back at the films I cared about in 2010.

I’ve heard a lot of people say it was a bad, or a slow year for good movies. I disagree. If there are six movies in a year that I absolutely cannot wait to see in the theater (as someone who doesn’t go to the theater much), it’s a good year. Of course, the ratio of crap:good was heavily skewed in favor of the wretched, but we’re sending the message that that’s okay with us: we’ll keep paying and they’ll keep letting Ashton Kutcher star in films and letting the Focker franchise to ooze back into the public semi-consciousness.

But enough of that.

Not in order of greatiness:

1. True Grit

Actually, this was my #1 movie of the year. After this entry, they’re in no particular order.

Love or hate the Coen brothers, they do their own thing. I love their work almost without exception, and when I saw they were going to do a Western I just about wet my pants. True Grit was everything I wanted it to be. Loved Jeff Bridges’ performance, loved the cinematography, and the starry sky in the final scenes made me want to go camping in Texas. I also loved the original and am finally going to read the Charles Portis novel the movies are based on.

2. The Social Network

“But I don’t want to watch a movie about Facebook.” That was me. Then I got invited to a free screening and wound up loving it. Here’s my full review of The Social Network that I wrote that day.

3. Toy Story 3

I don’t watch kid’s movies unless I have a kid who wants to watch one. My son is at the age where a movie can actually entertain him…for about 15 minutes. But when he ran off after 15 minutes, I watched the whole thing. The sheer creativity of the sight gags and the dialogue is tough to beat, and the first scene where the kids run into the daycare made me laugh pretty hard. A rare third entry in a series that was every bit as good, in my opinion, as the other two.

4. Inception

I wonder if Christopher Nolan ever smiles about anything. His box office takes might give him some joy, but his movies are very light on levity. Doesn’t matter. They still rule. I loved Inception even more than I thought I would. People (my mom)  said it was confusing, slow, boring, and that “people don’t really dream in three layers.” Maybe, but it was so unlike anything else that I didn’t care about any possible downsides. I love movies that are obviously labors of love for the writers and the director.

5. A Prophet

I love gangster movies if they’re done well. A Prophet is one of the best I’ve ever seen. It tracks the rise to power of one inmate whose ethnicity (He is a Frenchman with Arab descendants) causes a lot of trouble for him. A complicated, tense, well-written movie with one of the most visceral, grim murder scenes I can think of.

6. Winter’s Bone

As good as the book in its own way. I loved the atmosphere, the acting (especially the lead), and the spareness of it all. I also felt that the filmmakers were able to accurately depict the lives of people that many of us would consider sad and pitiful, without making the film feel judgmental at all.

If you’re a reader, here’s my Winter’s Bone book review.

There were more, but I don’t want to hog the whole post. What did I leave out? What did you love?


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Allison Reynolds January 8, 2011, 1:54 pm

    Scott Pilgrim vs The World – what an awesome movie and I really wish I had got to see it at the cinema. This movie should not really appeal to a 45 year old woman, but being the red hot geek and gamer that I am it just “does” it for me. It’s my first movie obsession and I watched several times over consecutive days.

    Every time I watch it I see something new and funny/quirky in it.

    I can’t believe how much I LOVE this movie.

    • Josh Hanagarne January 8, 2011, 2:42 pm

      I watched this for the first time last week. I’m not sure if I liked it or not, but I’ve never seen anything like it. I can respect that. I’m a retro gamer, so that part of it was a lot of fun for me. I can totally believe that there are a lot of easter eggs hidden in there for repeat viewers.

  • Blaine Moore January 8, 2011, 6:18 pm

    I watched Toy Story 3 last night, and thought it was a fun way to end the series. They did a good job with it.

    The only other movie on your list that I’ve seen is Winter’s Bone, which a friend of mine worked on (sound engineer.) His attempts to create the sound of a chainsaw going through bone makes for a humorous story over drinks post-movie.

  • Lynn January 13, 2011, 7:38 pm

    I loved “True Grit” and also “The King’s Speech.” I just saw “Marwencol” and would include it in my favorite movies of the year, near the top. It’s a must see.

  • EOW JR January 14, 2011, 8:46 am

    The Fighter was really good. like 4 out of 5 stars good.

    True Grit blew my mind.

    And though it came out in 2009, i watched it for the first time recently, “A Serious Man”. Much better than any stateside critic gave it credit for.


  • Retro Hound January 24, 2011, 3:34 pm

    Hey, I’m a librarian too! My wife somehow found this blog and pointed me to it. I love the Coens and can’t wait to see True Grit. Actually, I can’t wait to see all of the films on your list except Toy Story 3 which I’ve already seen.