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Archive for December, 2010

The Top 20 Movies of 2010: #1 – 10

Here it is, ladies and gentlemen: the top 10 films of 2010, as ranked by you — the users of Criticker. It’s a great, highly varied list. Two animated films get in, a documentary, a western, and a mind-twisting psychological horror film set in the world of ballet (I’ll let you guess which that is).

Did your favorites all make the cut? Please leave a comment letting us know your Top 10 of 2010!

Best Films of 2010: #11 – 20

10) Scott Pilgrim vs. the WorldAvg Tier 7.52

“Not just canny commentary on how this generation’s experiences are inextricably mediated through the prism of pop culture; it captures an attendant myopia, too. Any coincidence the film parallels Scott’s fundamental narcissism w/ the endless parade of exclusionary inside jokes? Or that Scott (and by extension the audience) finds it impossible to separate his culture-saturated inner world from the world at large? It’s all exhilaratingly, uninhibitedly hyperreal: Baudrillard would have a field day” – theficionado
9) The Social NetworkAvg Tier 7.76

“You might get wrapped up in the fact that Sorkin writes more for story-telling than 100% factual accuracy but if you do then you’ll miss out on a superb film. More than anything The Social Network captures how ill-equipped every involved was the the explosion of Facebook. The entire cast is superb, the soundtrack is terrifyingly good and Fincher masterfully directs a film about nerds suing one another into a emotionally gripping and tension filled movie. Incredible.” – doctor7
8) True GritAvg Tier 7.77

“This movie carries the veneer of light adventure, one which it does deliver upon, but that isn’t what the movie’s really about. This one is about the subtleties and what the characters don’t say – it is a Western after all.” – Bmunise
7) The King’s SpeechAvg Tier 7.89

“A based-on-a-true-story Weinstein-Produced Historical Piece about a protagonist who, when inevitably faced with crisis brought about by a period of immense historical change, is forced to overcome personal adversity against everyone else’s expectations, and, ultimately, learn to believe in himself. In other words, most definitely a Shoo-In for a Best Picture Nomination, for sure.” – CosmicMonkey
6) 127 HoursAvg Tier 7.92

“This film is an experience as much as a film can be an experience rather than a detached series of scenes. It succeeds putting you in the shoes of Aron, a man with a zest for life and solo adventure. It took me back to a time when I wasn’t too busy to spend all my time biking and hiking. Some parts of this movie (including the part everyone knows about by now) are very difficult to watch unless you have a stomach of steel, but they are all very necessary to complete experience.” – somnivore
5) The IllusionistAvg Tier 7.96

“Seen in twice in the last 5 days, fearing my local cinema would pull it out to pave way for some Hollywood hogwash. It’s sad to witness this tale of friendship come to an end. Luckily, life is composed of these bittersweet moments, meaning another one is right behind the corner. Chomet’s attention to detail and comedic tone manifest themselves throughout. Recommended and pay close attention during the film, you might miss its nod to ‘The Old Lady and the Pigeons’.” – frederic_g54
4) Exit Through the Gift ShopAvg Tier 8.00

“A fascinating documentary about an ongoing cultural phenomenon. Manages to be thought-provoking and hilarious at the same time. I can’t say I’d be willing to deface another man’s property in the name of art; nonetheless, I would be very slow to persecute any of these undercover artists for doing their best to make everyone’s life a little less normal in a day and age where mindless conformism seems the norm. Best goddamn movie of 2010 so far” – Stain
3) InceptionAvg Tier 8.31

“Inception is not a lot of things. It’s not a psychological examination into the subconscious nor is it a complex character study. So don’t expect it to be one. Instead, the film aspires to be a mindbending adventure heist film set in the realms of dreams and in this regard, the film is flawless. With jawdropping and visceral sequences, it not only engages the intellect but also the emotions as it deals with guilt and loss and being haunted by your past. The best of the year so far.” – RaymundLi
2) Toy Story 3Avg Tier 8.32

“Pixar is the only American animation studio that can take some of our most iconic characters, have them swim in existentialism, get tortured by a villain who refuses redemption, and send them to a literal hell and back – but do it with such undeniable tact, grace and aplomb nobody even bats an eye. Actually, it might make the ending that much more stirring. It’s a good thing there are credits videos for those… um, other people, clearly… who teared up.” – jacobb1313
1) Black SwanAvg Tier 8.43

“Obsession is Aronofsky’s forte: taking the subtle neuroses destroying a person and holding them in the spotlight for the viewer to be shaken to their very core by. It is clear from the first scene where the film is going, but it’s HOW Aronofsky and Portman reach it that is so remarkable. The surreal metamorphosis of Nina is one of the most mesmerizing character developments I’ve ever seen. An emotional crescendo of how brutal and deranged the life of a dancer can be – it’s all in the details.” – alecec24

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The Top 20 Movies of 2010: Part One – #11-20

2011 is nearly upon us, which means it’s time to take a look back at the year that was. As we did last year, we’ve split the Top 20 of 2010 into two posts — check back tomorrow for the top 10.

In compiling this list, we considered the 248 films which are eligible for the 2010 Oscars.

20) Rabbit HoleAvg Tier 6.75

“This is the type of material that screams for the Academy’s attention. Somehow, however, Mitchell sidesteps cliche and brings us a measured account of how people react to and deal with tragedy. Both Kidman and Eckhart deserve Oscar-buzz. It could be pitched as ‘In the Bedroom’ meets ‘Rachel Getting Married’ which sounds explosive and/or drab but rather it’s in fact dialed down and completely engaging.” – KasperL
19) Never Let Me GoAvg Tier 6.78

“Beautifully directed, phenomenally well-acted love story set in an alternate past. This is a subversion on the typical Hollywood fare and actually invites audience interpretation and reflection. Rather than belittling the characters for their atypical response to their “purpose”, I condemned a world that would marginalise and trample on the underclass so carelessly, at once reminded of the brevity and preciousness of life. Remarkably restrained and poetic in its elegance” – anchovies
18) The Girl with the Dragon TattooAvg Tier 6.81

“Some films take you flying, but this film drags you in. The characters, particularly Rapace’s damaged Lisbeth, are rivetting. Her modern story is deftly juxtaposed with an old investigation taken on by Nyqvist’s Blomkvist. This mystery feels remarkably present, and the films consistently intriguing turns left me riveted to its luxuriously paced unraveling. I would have expected the disparate pieces of this film to feel incongruous, but they come together with a delightful elegance.” – thaklos
17) LebanonAvg Tier 6.99

“This is what cinema is for. For an hour and a half, I was in that tank, I was in that war.” – soarom
16) Shutter IslandAvg Tier 7.02

“Shutter Island is a deep and complex picture. It is more than what is tossed to us. It is an examination of a man, his sanity, and the avocation of the populace. The film is too predictable. You know it, I know it, but I believe it is obvious for a reason. Scorsese made a film that is purely psychological; there is NO twist. What we the viewer are left with is an ending that is meant to be explored to the point of being able to find the answer only in between the lines, and in the shades of grey” – Farzan
15) How to Train Your DragonAvg Tier 7.18

“A definite feel good movie, I don’t really know why. I was just really happy when I left the theater. The dragons are all pretty cute, which coincides well with the story. The animation is really great and the voice acting is very good as well (finally Gerard Butler gets to do a movie without faking an American accent). It’s great to see Dreamworks bring the goods so Pixar doesn’t just dominate animation every year. Extra-kudos for taking a slight risk at the end. Recommended to all.” – SirStuckey
14) Let Me InAvg Tier 7.23

“For one reason or another, remakes of superb films often have about the competence of Ke$ha covering the Rolling Stones. Fortunately, Let Me In exceeds in predecessor in almost all respects. Grittier, more atmospheric, and better-filmed, Let Me In improves upon the structure and storyboarding of Let the Right One In while still redoubling the stylistic characteristics. Backed by a dark, menacing score, the suspenseful moments of Let Me In bring intensity where the original lacked. Superb.” – NorthSider
13) The FighterAvg Tier 7.32

“The boxing takes a backseat to dysfunctional family drama, and David O’Russell handles it perfectly. “The Fighter” packs an emotional punch to gut, brims with humor, and shakes of sadness. Wahlberg is perfectly overshadowed by his fierce co-stars, particularly Bale and Melissa Leo delivering career-defining roles. You won’t find a larger grab-bag of talent and power this season.” – MJVmovieMan
12) Four LionsAvg Tier 7.39

“A comedy about British Muslim extremism? There’s only one person who could pull it off: Chris Morris. His secret? Research. You cannot make a film like this – carefully negotiating a minefield of potential outrage while cracking jokes – without having learnt a lot on the subject and the people. The final act is the sobering conclusion to his research, the demystification of the mindset and motivation of people who have radicalised, how we react to them and Muslims at large. Also a crow explodes.” – DaWolfey
11) Winter’s BoneAvg Tier 7.42

“So raw and hard-edged, but surprisingly subdued all the same. It never feels overcooked or unbelievable, and the matter-of-factness with which the material is dealt gives it a slow-burn quality that makes it that much more intense and powerful. Jennifer Lawrence and John Hawkes are fantastic.” – Criminal5

DVD Report

Still looking for a last-minute Christmas gift? The last batch of new DVDs before the holiday season hit stores today, and includes Angelina Jolie’s latest film Salt — whose plot is best summed up as “Angelina is a sexy spy” (haven’t we seen that movie before?) A smarter pick for the non-knuckle-draggers in your family might be Easy A, based on The Scarlet Letter, and featuring a pitch-perfect performance from up-and-comer Emma Stone.

SaltAverage Tier 4.04
After she’s accused of being a Russian sleeper spy, rogue CIA agent Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) goes on the run, using every tactic, accent and disguise she knows to elude her pursuers, clear her name and protect her husband. Her supervisor, Winter (Liev Schreiber), buys her story, while counterintelligence officer Peabody (Chiwetel Ejiofor) decidedly does not and will do anything to stop her in this fast-paced, intrigue-filled spy adventure. Salt @ Amazon

Easy AAverage Tier 5.94
High school is the setting for this freewheeling comedic twist on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 19th-century novel The Scarlet Letter. Ambitious student Olive (Emma Stone) decides to boost her popularity by pretending to be the school slut. As the school’s swirling rumor mill increases both her notoriety and her finances, Olive enjoys her newfound status but eventually must decide which is more important: popularity or self-esteem. Easy A @ Amazon

Wall Street: Money Never SleepsAverage Tier 4.24
As the global economy teeters on the brink of disaster, a young Wall Street trader partners with disgraced former Wall Street corporate raider Gordon Gekko on a two-tiered mission: To alert the financial community to the coming doom, and to find out who was responsible for the death of the young trader’s mentor. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps @ Amazon

DevilAverage Tier 3.76
Based on a story by M. Night Shyamaian and directed by the brothers Dowdle (Quarantine helmers Drew and John Eric), this edgy thriller is set in an elevator, where a group of passengers are trapped with none other than the king of the underworld. Luckily for them, a homicide detective (Chris Messina) is on board. Not so luckily: the cop has issues of his own, including a not-so-long-ago-kicked addiction to alcohol. Devil @ Amazon

Step Up 3DAverage Tier 3.91
New York’s intense street dancing underground comes alive in eye-popping Digital 3D in the third instalment of the STEP UP franchise as the raw, passion-fuelled culture goes global. A tight-knit group of street dancers, including Luke (RICK MALAMBRI) and Natalie (SHARNI VINSON), team up with NYU freshman Moose (ADAM SEVANI), and find themselves pitted against the world’s best breakdancers in a high-stakes showdown that will change their lives forever. Step Up 3D @ Amazon

The Only Yogi Bear Scene You Need to See

I won’t ever see Yogi Bear, under any circumstance, not even at the tearful insistence of my demanding niece. But, though I’ll never know for sure, I’d bet a lot of money that there isn’t a scene in the entire film which reaches the emotional heights of this “alternate” ending.

I love how conflicted Boo-Boo is. He really doesn’t want to hurt Yogi, but $5000 is a lot of cash.

[Via Comics Alliance]

Christmas Gift Ideas 2010

DVD Report – December 14th

Ben Affleck’s career resurgence hit full stride this summer with his triple-threat turn in The Town, which he directed, co-scripted and starred in. But it fell just short of being marked a Criticker Pick. That honor fell this week to the street art documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop, about the mysterious graffiti artist Banksy.

The A-TeamAverage Tier 5.14
A group of Iraq War veterans looks to clear their name with the U.S. military, who suspect the four men of committing a crime for which they were framed. The A-Team @ Amazon

The Other GuysAverage Tier 5.07
While an elite pair of New York City cops (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson) nabs headlines for their amazing heroics, fellow boys in blue Allen (Will Ferrell) and Terry (Mark Wahlberg) toil in obscurity as lowly desk jockeys, until a big break finally gives them a chance to tackle real police work. The Other Guys @ Amazon

Despicable MeAverage Tier 5.88
Villainous Gru (Steve Carell) lives up to his reputation as a despicable, deplorable and downright unlikable guy when he hatches a plan to steal the moon from the sky. But he has a tough time staying on task after three orphans land in his care. Julie Andrews voices the role of Groo’s malevolent mother in this comical animated tale. Despicable Me @ Amazon

The TownAverage Tier 6.54
As he plans his next job, a longtime thief tries to balance his feelings for a bank manager connected to one of his earlier heists, as well as the FBI agent looking to bring him and his crew down. The Town @ Amazon

Criticker Pick!Exit Through the Gift ShopAverage Tier 8.00
The story of how an eccentric French shop keeper and amateur film maker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on its owner with spectacular results. Billed as ‘the world’s first street art disaster movie’ the film contains exclusive footage of Banksy, Shephard Fairey, Invader and many of the world’s most infamous graffiti artists at work. Exit Through the Gift Shop @ Amazon

New Feature: Sort Rankings by Date

Yesterday, we released functionality that allows you to sort a film’s list of rankings by the date they were ranked (most recent first). You can also view just those with reviews.

This will help when you want to see the new reviews for films you’re interested in, without having to scroll through all those you’ve already seen.

Let us know what you think!!

Fake Criterions

We love the Criterion Collection — their transfers are of incredible quality, the DVD covers are stylish, and the films chosen for the canon are often surprising. Thought-provoking.

But even though they occasionally takes you off-guard with unconventional choices, plenty of films will never get the Criterion treatment. It was for all those crap movies that the Tumblr blog Fake Criterions was created. Enjoy.

Online Game Collection