I SAW MOVIES THIS YEAR! I HAVE OPINIONS ABOUT THEM! BEHOLD AS I ARRANGE THEM NUMERICALLY!
Look, I’m not going to start by apologizing for the movies on the list. We all know the idea of assigning movies numerical value is ridiculous, but that doesn’t stop us from reading lists, comparing lists, and arguing about lists. It’s human nature, like love, or pooping. At some point, you just have to sack up and commit to the format. That said, it’s a truth critics rarely acknowledge: no one saw every movie that came out this year. I saw fewer foreign movies than I usually do, and in retrospect, I should’ve spent more time watching those and less time on The Last god-d*mned Airbender. Oh my God that was terrible. People are entitled to their opinions, but anyone who liked that movie should be locked a cage and buried in the forest.
Anyway, enough foreplay, it’s time to drop your panties. Here are my favorites of this year. KNIVES OUT! GRRR, MIXED METAPHOR!
10. The Social Network
I went back and forth many times in choosing this over some other films that will be mentioned later. But as terrible as the first scene was (“You don’t have to study because you go to B.U.!”), and as wildly different from reality as I’m almost positive the story was, it was still a hell of an entertaining movie. This was the snapshot-of-an-era movie Oliver Stone tried to make in Wall Street 2 (and failed wildly). How much you liked it sort of depends on how much you’re put off by pure, slick, Hollywood gloss. All things being equal, I’d prefer not slick Hollywood gloss to slick Hollywood gloss, but at least The Social Network did it well. It was the cliché that showed why there are clichés. Aaron Sorkin’s script even basically wrote in an explanation for why everything seemed so slick and Hollywood. That’s clever filmmaking, right there. I’m still waiting for my explanation from The Blind Side. He scored in the 98th percentile in “protective instincts?” Go f*ck yourself.
I’m sure 99% of you haven’t seen this movie and it’s up in the air whether it’s technically a 2010 movie or a 2011 movie (played Sundance and Philadelphia in 2010, current IMDB rumor lists a theatrical release next month), so consider this is my hipster pick of 2010. Oh, Hesher? I liked that before it got all corporate and actually distributed. (*adjusts keffiyah, steams soy milk*)
That said, even with Joseph Gordon-Levitt AND Natalie Portman in it, it’s not really a hipster movie. JGL just f*cks way too much sh*t up for that. At every turn, writer/director Spencer Susser resists the urge to make him the least bit cuddly. I was never even a JGL believer before Hesher. I mean, he was okay. Now I am a believer. Gordon-Levitt in Hesher is one for the time capsule. The foul-mouthed, boundary-free psychopath is always a fun character, but it’s never been quite as awesome as Hesher, THE ULTIMATE WILD CARD. By the way, how awesome is this poster?
The movie… it’s like that. Just imagine JGL telling Natalie Portman about the time he finger banged four chicks while driving around in his crappy van. I don’t care that the non-Joseph Gordon-Levitt parts were at times slow and/or uncomfortable, or that I only gave it a B+ in my original review. It’s been almost a year and I’m still thinking about how much I want to see it again. I give Hesher four metal fingers up. m / m /
You can’t deny a film that contributed this many memes.
I concede almost every criticism of this movie — that the characters are wooden, that Chris Nolan is always substituting trickery for heart (“a born con artist” who satiated “the digital audience’s delectation for relentless subterfuge” with his “two and a half hour hackery” as Armond White wrote). I still loved it. I don’t know how you could watch it and not at least be impressed. I accept some of the limitations of “heart” or interpersonal relationships or whatever you want to call it, because Chris Nolan clearly thinks more like an engineer. But damn it, he’s a really g*ddamned good engineer. He made an ultra-ambitious, psychological, two-and-a-half-hour movie with a $160 million budget, and turned it into a popcorn summer blockbuster. It was a huge risk, but it got done because Nolan had some clout, and maybe somebody at the studio even thought it had the chance to be something great. That’s what A-movies used to be (Transformers, Fast/Furious, and most of today’s big budget movies are glorified B-movies, and not the fun, Tarantino kind). Chris Nolan’s just about the only director who’s pulled it off since the 70s.