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The Best Films of 2010

By Bert Ehrmann
December 17, 2010

The best movie of 2010 was David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin's The Social Network.

The Social Network

When The Social Network was originally announced and the trailers for it were released earlier this year I wasn't that interested in seeing the film. I didn't care for what I saw and the overall story of the movie I got from the trailers didn't interest me that much. Luckily, though, the flood of positive press and good word on the film was so strong I decided to check the film out for myself and I'm glad I did so.

On the surface, The Social Network is about the founders of the social networking site Facebook and the creation thereof. But under the care of Sorkin and Fincher, The Social Network is really about the birth of an online empire and all the inevitable chaos and destruction that happens along the way.

Not only does The Social Network have a great story and cast, but it's told in an interesting way. The film plays out over two time periods; one present day where Facebook co-founders Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) and Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) argue over who owns what parts of the site after Saverin was kicked out of the company he helped create while concurrently Zuckerberg fights with other Harvard classmates over who initially came up with the idea for Facebook. As the groups give their testimony in two depositions, the story flashes back in time to the initial creation, rise and then dominance of Facebook.

 

Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom: I'm not sure what it is with the Aussies lately, but they're starting to corner the market on quality crime dramas. First they figured out a way to reinterpret the TV crime series with Underbelly and this year they went and revitalized the movie crime drama with Animal Kingdom. Animal Kingdom is the story of Joshua (James Frecheville), a teen who goes to live with his grandma and four uncles after his mother dies of an drug overdose. Four uncles who just happen to be cop-killing bank robbers who are being hunted by the police.

Joshua finds that the only thing worse than having no family is having a family who'd rather kill an outsider if it meant staying out of jail.

 

The Town

The Town: Much like Animal Kingdom, the focus of The Town is on a team of bank robbers, here led by the world-weary Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck who also co-wrote and directed the film), but The Town and Animal Kingdom are quite different. In The Town, MacRay is ready to leave his life of crime but things go wrong during his last robbery and MacRay's crew is forced to kidnap a teller (Rebecca Hall) in order to escape. MacRay follows the teller to make sure she can't identify anyone in his gang but things get complicated when he gets too close and she falls in love with him. The plot to The Town isn't too unique but under Affleck's skilled hand it's a story that's told well.

 

Inception: In Inception, writer/director Christopher Nolan skillfully weaves together a story told on multiple levels with multiple themes all taking place in the realm of dreams. Here, Leonardo DiCaprio plays Cobb, a man who's adept at entering people's dreams and stealing information within the minds of the dreamer. Things get tough forCobb when he's asked to place information in someone's mind rather than stealing it. Or maybe not. Is Inception really all a game to implant information into Cobb's head? Or perhaps what we assume to be The A-Teamthe real world of Inception isn't and instead the entire film is takingplace in some dream? I'm still not sure.

 

The A-Team: I know I'm going to take a lot of flack for this, but I really enjoyed The A-Team. It seems like the style of a lot of summer dramas these days is to go serious and dour, but instead the style of The A-Team was goofy with a mix of comic book sensibility that was a breath of fresh air.

 

Monsters: A movie that cost less than $1 million to produce that features incredible looking gigantic monsters destroying things like all good gigantic monsters do!? Count me in!