I see my pals at MSN Movies have gone live with their best-of-2010 critics' survey, in which I was proud to take part, and that the gallery begins here. The individual critics' top tens, listed, as per the editors' request, in order of preference (something to do with the point-allotment system), are here. You may gaze upon my top ten and ask "What the fuck?" And well you may. I'd sure like nothing better than to be able to provide elaborate rationales for every choice on my top ten list, and every choice's particular placement, but today, alas, I haven't got the time.
So instead I'll just add some fuel to the fire and post, without comment (for now!), my top TWENTY films of 2010, that is, the twenty films I liked best which received something resembling a timely United States theatrical release or "run" in 2010. And they are:
It should be noted that this list was put together with one rather conspicuous gap in my film viewing yet to be filled. That gap shall be filled on this very day—one reason I'm pressed for time—and noted in an update.
Thoughts are welcome as always. And I'll add more of my own as my schedule loosens up.
UPDATE: So. I hate when this happens, but I also kind of love it.
21) True Grit (Joel and Ethan Coen)
22) Another Year (Mike Leigh)
The first omission was a result of my not having seen the film in question at the time of making the list. This one took me by surprise, I must admit. I had every confidence it would be good, but could not necessarily imagine that it would be SO good it would make me regret having compiled a best-of list before I had seen it. Goes to show what I know. A review for MSN Movies is in progress, but I'll just say here that as I watched, I thought, "Okay, this is good, solid, true, as the filmmakers have stated they intended, to the book." And then it got better. And then it turned into something different and strange and its very own (and still true to the book). And, I think, great. More, as I said, later.
As for the Leigh, that was merely a boneheaded clerical error. The film's grown on me a lot since I first saw it at the New York Film Festival. A proper review of it is also in the works for MSN Movies.
Some of the other films mentioned in comments but not in the above lists deserve an explanation. I'd say that these, for the most part, fall into what one could call the "close but no cigar" category. VIncere is a great story, and a great idea for a story; the execution struck me as a little overwhelming. Enter the Void, for me, had the inverse problem; innovatively, virtuosically executed, but a trifle, um, overreaching as far as theme and narrative were concerned. But if this was gonna be a list of 30 or 35 rather than, well, now 22, those pictures and others (Home springs to mind immediately) would have a place...so, no, on balance hardly a bad year for movies at all.