I guess this shall be my mid-January tradition, to make a blog post with short reviews on the movies of the previous year. (For one year before, see the post Movies of 2009.)
2010 had some nice films, some of which I still haven’t seen. Once again, I’ll go in order of release date.
*At some points I quote my other posts. Just fyi.
Youth in Revolt (Jan 2010)
This is one weird but witty movie. Nick (played by Michael Cera, perfect for this role) and his alter ego (also Cera) are both hilarious, either in being awkward, as in the first case, or in being a super rebel, as in the second. A few parts of this movie are done very well—there are some very witty and nicely placed remarks—but most of the film is nothing special. Still QUITE funny though!
Leap Year (Jan 2010)
It was pretty funny at times, but seems overly dramatic and full of clichés.
The Book of Eli (Jan 2010) (New)
It lasted too long for what it delivered; the only parts with any meaning were at the very end, when a couple of key facts are revealed. Otherwise, it was very uninteresting: the plot moved slowly, the fight scenes were dull, and the characters undeveloped.
The Spy Next Door (Jan 2010)
Throughly funny and entertaining, but utterly lacking in any depth. It seemed the whole purpose of the movie was to star Jackie Chan.
Edge of Darkness (Jan 2010)
Mel Gibson’s acting doesn’t make up for the virtual lack of anything else in this “movie.”
Shutter Island (Feb 2010)
This is a deep, mind-boggling thriller with a strong cast and artistic direction; however, it wasn’t the most thrilling and it moved at an unsteady pace.
Alice in Wonderland (Mar 2010)
As I have said here before: “It is difficult to create a bad movie from Lewis Carroll’s ingenious vision of Wonderland, and likewise, it is exceedingly difficult to imitate or surpass it…. Tim Burton’s version takes place in a different time, and is hence necessarily different, but loses much of the fine wit and ridiculousness of the original work.” Otherwise pretty good. Just nothing outstanding about it, which was the whole point.
The Bounty Hunter (Mar 2010)
Yeah, I don’t recommend anybody to watch this. I should really be giving this a 1, but because you get to hear Jennifer Aniston occasionally saying funny things, I’ll bump it up to a 2. (Though if you wanted that, you could just watch Friends, which is much better.)
Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Mar 2010)
The problem is that at the end I could identify with none of the characters; even the protagonist was very unlikeable. And it’s plot seems without a lot of thought.
Hot Tub Time Machine (Mar 2010)
An unusually creative use of time traveling. It has its funny moments, but feels lacking overall.
How to Train Your Dragon (Mar 2010)
This animated film had a very convincing plot, excellent plot twist, and a good mix of Viking customs with dragon lore and fantasy. I was delighted by the film’s humor as well, especially in the protagonist’s name—Hiccup—and in the blacksmith’s tone that is jolly no matter the situation. The only part sub-par was the music, which I really wasn’t paying attention to.
Clash of the Titans (Apr 2010)
“I have not seen the 1981 rendition, but I will say the 2010 Clash of the Titans (the 2D version) was fairly nice. A fascination with Greek mythology also helps, as in my case, and it is fun to see the fight of gods from a modern lens.” Sam Worthington’s acting is pretty awesome, and the special effects that include the gods are dazzling.
Kick-Ass (Apr 2010)
Although the story is somewhat silly, one actress single-handedly more than compensates for it: Chloë Moretz. Her brilliant (and extremely violent) performance as Hit-Girl makes this possibly the most entertaining movie of 2010.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (Apr 2010)
This is a boring horror movie, which is almost a contradiction in terms. The plot is extremely simple: a bunch of teenagers get killed by Freddy. There is very little meaningful character development, and each death is predictable and unsatisfying. Many non-horror movies, such as The Terminator, are scarier than this.
Iron Man 2 (May 2010)
TOO MANY EXPLOSIONS!!! Seriously though. Every minute, approximately two things blow up—I didn’t actually count, but that’s what it felt like—and it wasn’t too pleasant at all. Later on, about two things blow up every second. The plot too was very fictitious and not developed the most clearly. Then again, I haven’t watched the first Iron Man, but even so, it should be watchable stand-alone, which it wasn’t quite. The acting is quite brilliant though. Props especially to Robert Downey Jr.
Splice (Jun 2010)
A fresh, original sci-fi movie, and that alone gives it at least an 8. The philosophical questions it raises are quite profound, and that for me bumps it up to a 9. The plot is basically that two genetic researchers illegally splice human DNA into a mix of other animals’ DNA, and the result is a creature named Dren (‘nerd’ backwards). Splice is a very believable movie—it could easily happen five or ten years from now, and it’s very scientifically accurate. [read more]
The Karate Kid (Jun 2010)
Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan are amazing actors. The fight scenes are excellent; however, there is not enough of it—the beginning and the middle of the movie are rather slow. This is more than compensated in the last 15 minutes, a scene that is one of the best in film history.
Toy Story 3 (Jun 2010)
Though this one in my opinion not as good as the first, it’s still a heck of a good movie. There were a lot of nostalgic moments from the earlier ones, and the timing of the release itself was perfect: the summer before the class of ’14 would go to college. (Yep, class of ’14 ftw!)
Predators (Jul 2010)
Fairly weak and uninteresting; it does not compare at all to the original Predator (1987), which I think is great. A Predator film without Arnold is like a Terminator film without Arnold—oh wait…
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (Jul 2010)
Terribly, terribly cheesy, but not too bad. The acting was done well, and I loved how physics played ironically a large part in the plans of both the good guys and the bad guys.
Inception (Jul 2010)
A film of intellectual brilliance. With stunning scenes as well, this is a solid film. Reminds me of The Matrix (1999).
Salt (Jul 2010)
Salt has a remarkable plot and equally remarkable acting especially from Angelina Jolie as Evelyn Salt. The other characters however seem stereotypical and uninteresting.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Aug 2010)
Despite the extremely predictable role of Michael Cera’s character (not that he’s a bad actor, but he’s pretty much the same person in every single movie), everything else about the film was entertaining, creative, witty, or a combination of the three.
Machete (Sep 2010)
A surprisingly good movie that exceeded my expectations significantly. The acting and action are perfect, and though the story may be cheesy, it does manage to provide a good amount of social commentary as well. The gritty scenes follow perfectly the crime-filled plot. And for an action movie, it does have a sizable share of scenes that scream awesome.
Resident Evil: Afterlife (Sep 2010)
Definitely not the worst, but perhaps the most disappointing movie of 2010. Having seen the first three Resident Evil’s (2002, 2004, 2007), I was expecting something interesting, but the creativity seems to have run out by the first movie. Also, I felt that this film would be very hard to grasp for someone who has not seen the other films in the series. The plot DOES make sense in context. But by itself, this film is quite random.
Easy A (Sep 2010)
Let me get this clear: I’m usually not into teen comedies. But there is so much wit in this movie that it’s hard to not like. It’s also really satisfying to hear Emma Stone make clever retorts at everything. Overall, it is a much more sophisticated film than most of its type.
The Town (Sep 2010)
An interesting crime movie, and a very good one too. The resolution was fairly weak, but this was made up for by the film’s overall intensity.
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole (Sep 2010)
Pretty engaging for a movie about owls. Even with an incredibly cliché plot, it manages to be convincing and provide beautiful scenes.
Let Me In (Oct 2010)
I found this impressive but at the same time unimpressive—it matched up almost scene to scene with the Swedish film Let the Right One In (2008) on which it was based. (I gave the original a 10/10, by the way.) The American version is basically different actors, same movie. Then again, it’s still a strong film on its own.
The Social Network (Oct 2010)
I think this was overhyped a bit; I didn’t think it was THAT good; then again, it wasn’t bad. And I’m actually quite a fan of Zuckerberg and Facebook, but after this movie, I was more unsure of Facebook’s origins than I was before.
Due Date (Nov 2010)
Funny most of the time, but Robert Downey Jr.’s role definitely could have been funnier than it was. Also, some of the funny parts were more awkward-funny than comedic-funny. For a good laugh, I’d watch Iron Man 2 again over this, and that says something.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (Nov 2010)
Yet another Harry Potter movie. Some scenes were cool, but many seemed forced and less emotional than before.
The King’s Speech (Nov 2010)
A splendid performance! It’s funny, serious, dramatic, and passionate.
The Warrior’s Way (Dec 2010)
What was the point of this? I have no idea. The only part interesting to see the juxtaposition of an Asian warrior culture with the small-town culture of the American West.
Black Swan (Dec 2010)
A very cohesive movie, more artful than any other in this list. There isn’t much action, but it manages to move at a brisk pace.
The Tourist (Dec 2010)
Another excellent film, its only weakness is that it pins all of its excitement on one single plot twist, which isn’t too hard to figure out. It was genuinely entertaining the first time around, but I’m not sure I could enjoy it a second time, knowing what happens from the very start.
Tron: Legacy (Dec 2010)
Some of the best visual effects I have ever seen, especially in 3-D. The storyline is a bit lacking though, and the dialog is nothing but cliché.
True Grit (Dec 2010)
Truly one of the best movies of the year.
Trópico de Sangre [Tropic of Blood] (2010)
A tale about oppression in the Dominican Republic under the rule of Rafael Trujillo, one of the most ruthless rulers in the Americas. If you watch this, I would strongly recommend that you watch this in the original Spanish version, even if you don’t know Spanish. I watched this in the English-dubbed version, and the voices were laughable. I initially gave this a 5, but then I saw a trailer of this in Spanish, and it was so much more convincing. I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt for a 7.
My Favorite 2010 Film:
- True Grit or Inception (woohoo!)
Movies of 2011 that I really want to watch (definitely incomplete list):
- Sucker Punch (see the trailer if you haven’t already!)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (big fan of the Pirates series)
For films outside of 2010, see Movies.