Honorable Mentions: Kick-Ass, Get Him to the Greek, Tangled, The Other Guys, Easy A
10) How to Train Your Dragon (Chris Sanders, Dean DeBlois)
One of Dreamworks Animation’s best work yet. How to Train Your Dragon is a breathtaking tale of a boy befriending a dragon. Beautiful storytelling, stunning animation, and an amazing musical score made this a surprise for everyone to enjoy.
9) The Fighter (David O. Russell)
You can call this a comeback for David O. Russell. The Fighter is a fascinating true story that holds together by its direction and performances from Mark Wahlberg as Micky Ward and an unbelievable performance from Christian Bale as Dicky Eklund. One of the best sports movie to come out in years.
8) True Grit (Joel and Ethan Coen)
Quite possibly the best remake to be better than the original. The Coen Brothers take on True Grit is amazing. Though it’s a slow burn, this western is captivating from the film’s directing and performances from Jeff Bridges and a breakout performance from Hailee Steinfeld as Maddie Ross. Revenge story at its finest moment.
7) The Town (Ben Affleck)
Ben Affleck’s second film he’s behind the camera after Gone Baby Gone is nothing short of greatness. The Town is a fantastic crime thriller that doesn’t lose its edge from its screenplay and tension-filled moments of action. Affleck’s role was perfect and Jeremy Renner’s supporting role as Jem Coughlin.
6) Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky)
Disturbing yet fascinating, Darren Aronofsky’s best film yet is beautifully made this masterpiece of a psychological thriller known as Black Swan with the best performance of the year by Natalie Portman and an ending that’s a piece of work. Did this make me wanna take ballet? Nope.
5) 127 Hours (Danny Boyle)
An unbelievable true story that’s carefully crafted well by Danny Boyle’s directing and James Franco’s career-defining performance as real-life Aron Ralston, who had his arm trapped under a boulder. Beautifully told and difficult to see how this will end, 127 Hours is a riveting tale that’s unforgettable. This also has the most unnerving scene I’ve ever witnessed. Though the film is primarily set in one location, it still kept me invested.
4) Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Edgar Wright)
It’s dumb that nobody saw Scott Pilgrim vs. the World when this came out. Edgar Wright’s unique adaptation of the popular graphic novel series is a massive feast for the eyes as it hilarious, has fast-paced action sequences that make it look like you’re watching a video game come to life, and it teaches you a lesson about not dating someone with seven evil exes. Michael Cera was very likable in the lead role, and the different mixtures of genres made this an energetic film for everyone. Most underrated movie of the entire year.
3) The Social Network (David Fincher)
Never has a screenplay this like kept me invested in a movie about the creation of Facebook. The Social Network is one of the smartest movies in history, in my opinion. Near perfect drama that only director David Fincher and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin can handle. Elevated from spectacular performances from Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield, fantastic score, and pristine editing, what’s not to love about The Social Network?
2) Toy Story 3 (Lee Unkrich)
Grew up watching the original two films when I was a child, and now it ends in the most touching way imaginable. Nobody can’t hate Toy Story 3. It’s impossible unless that person doesn’t have a soul. But Toy Story 3 could be connected to everybody to grew up watching the series come along as the third entry in Pixar’s most popular franchise has everything to fall in love with. Great characters like Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the gang, heartwarming story, stellar animation, and moments of hilarious and sad. Toy Story 3 is the greatest movie to close out a trilogy since Return of the King or even The Last Crusade.
1) Inception (Christopher Nolan)
The definition of mind-blowing means overwhelmingly impressive. That’s the ultimate word to describe Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece Inception. Every single aspect of Inception is purely incredible as it doesn’t feel dumb whatsoever. From its great, original storytelling, jaw-dropping action sequences, Hans Zimmer’s absorbing score, a great ensemble including Leonardo DiCaprio, and overall a sci-Fi film that challenges you to use your brain, Inception is the summer blockbuster that achieves all possibilities. Greatest movie of the 2010s by far.