From the Editor

Movie Review Archive

Thank you for checking out my movie review archive. I'm in the process of transitioning to something else, so I will no longer post new reviews to this blog. In the meantime, I will keep these reviews archived; these are from the fall of 2008 to April 2011. Please watch this blog for more info and keep in touch (you can still find me on Facebook and Twitter). Here's to more great movies!

Wes Singleton

North Texas Film Critics Association

Thursday, December 30, 2010

My Best and Worst Films of 2010

Before the year ends I better throw out my picks for the best and worst films of 2010.

Everyone's a critic, including myself and I don't pretend to be the expert of all experts when it comes to movies, but after having seen almost 200 movies this year, these are the best (and worst) that I've seen in 2010.

2010 wasn't the best year we've had in film, but latter part of the year came some great films (I don't have a single film before June on my list, sorry). Drum roll please...

Best Films of 2010 - My Top 10
(in no particular order)

The King's Speech
This fact-based story on King George VI is a complete, utter winner, with an unforgettably stunning and Oscar-worthy performance by Colin Firth as the stuttering king. Keep plenty of tissues for the ending.

The Fighter
Sure, boxing stories have some of the same, predictable themes: people get beat up inside and outside the ring. But the stellar, affecting performances from all in the cast made this gritty true story of Boston fighter Mickey Ward a must-see. Christian Bale is a shoo-in for the Supporting Actor Oscar.

Black Swan
This behind-the-scenes psychological ballerina tale from Darren Aronofsky is bizarre, twisted and sublimely performed by Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis and Barbara Hershey. You won't easily forget the stunning ending, either. Portman is a strong front-runner for the Best Actress Oscar.

127 Hours
Yes, the scene in this true story based on stranded hiker Aron Ralston where he chops his arm off is difficult to watch. But director Danny Boyle and actor James Franco succeed in making the year's most affecting, wrenching tale with grace, humor and charm.

The year's most original, mesmerizing movie is also the year's most difficult to understand. However, Christopher Nolan and his actor look-alike, Leonardo DiCaprio, have you hooked from the first scene to the most-provocative cinematic ending of the year. Worth multiple viewings.

The Town
I would have never thought I'd have a film made by and starring Ben Affleck in my Top 10 list, but Affleck has become a smart, astute filmmaker, and this tense, taut and believable heist flick works only because of Affleck's stellar direction (who delivers a decent performance here too).

The Social Network
Maybe a smidgen overrated by now, you can't deny the influence that Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook have had on our society. With smart, zippy dialogue and superbly acted by Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield, put this on your must-see list if you haven't yet.

The Kids Are All Right
A wonderful, touching story about a lesbian couple and their family, delivered sublimely by an A-list cast that included Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo and especially by Annette Bening, who delivers another layered award-worthy performance. Note to the Academy: please give Bening the Oscar already.

Toy Story 3
2010 was a great year for animated films, with "How To Train Your Dragon," "Tangled" and "Despicable Me," but Buzz, Woody and the gang were back for their most touching adventure yet. After the three-hanky ending, you'll need time to yourself.

Winter's Bone
Sure, this story about a back-woods teenage girl searching for her father was on the depressing side, but the unforgettable, mature (and likely Oscar-nominated) performance from newcomer Jennifer Lawrence was one of the year's breakthrough turns.

Honorable Mentions:
How to Train Your Dragon, True Grit, Despicable Me, Ghost Writer, Get Him to the Greek, Iron Man 2, Nowhere Boy.

Worst Films of 2010
(in no particular order)

Gulliver's Travels
Sure, it's easy to list this one since it just came out on Christmas Day, but this is not only an awful travesty, it's just plain awful. A 3D, all-star kids version of Jonathan Swift's classic story starring Jack Black seemed playful on paper, but on screen it's a painfully unfunny embarrassment to all involved.

Little Fockers
Another star-studded miserable year-end experience. This woefully unfunny, unecessary and expensive sequel in the "Meet the Parents" franchise was its worst. Even the presence of DeNiro, Stiller, Owen Wilson, Streisand and Hoffman couldn't make this watchable.

Katherine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher are two of cinema's most handsome actors. Put them together and what do you get? One annoying, boring, lousy mess of a rom com about spies in the suburbs that's what. Brad and Angelina they're not.

Furry Vengeance
Pair a hyper Brendan Fraser and some vengeful animals and you get what you might expect: a terrible, cheap, unfunny kids movie that even kids hated. After actually paying for this movie, you might want revenge too.

Grown Ups
This offensive, sloppy comedy was the only time that Adam Sandler and all his comedian pals were on-screen together. With that in mind, you'd think there would be something actually funny to watch. Inexplicably, one of Sandler's biggest hits was one of his worst, which says a lot. Proves that all you have to do is grab a camera, some friends, act stupid and call it a movie.