This year I’ve seen 125 films; 115 in one of 21 various cinemas and another on screeners and in various video rooms. I imagine I’ll squeeze in a couple more before 31 December, but unless Tron: Legacy turns out to be much less shite than I anticipate, my top 10 list of the year is pretty much set.
It might look a bit different if I’d manage to catch everything I wanted, but inevitably one or two of the limited releases slipped through my fingers (Uncle Boonmee and Still Walking being chief among them). Anyway, the ten have been arrived at without much in the way of deep thought – I’ve basically picked the ones I enjoyed most at the time, and arranged them in an approximate order. The top five, I think, are essential viewing; the rest maybe less so, but all provide solid entertainment that’s more interesting than average.
Tenth place was a struggle, and I nearly bottled the choice by replacing it with a whole bunch of runner ups. But in the end, The Illusionist, The Runaways, The Last Exorcism and The Town all had to settle for honourable mentions. No doubt they’re gutted.
A film I very nearly walked out of after about 20 minutes, but thankfully stuck with. A very peculiar British fantasy comedy drama it’s certainly not for everyone, but edges out the competition by being completely its own thing.
9. The Secret in Their Eyes
One of those films that was greatly enjoyed by an audience you suspect might have shunned it had it not been subtitled. Never mind, it was melodramatic tosh but I enjoyed it greatly for all that.
This gets pretty much everything right, starting with a first appearance by a monster that’s as exciting as the one in The Host. After that we spend more time with the two leads than with the aliens, which is fine as they’re both very likeable and they’re traveling through some lovely scenery. Unfortunately I have some issues with the ending; I had been hoping throughout that they wouldn’t go that cynical horror movie route where you think everyones survived and then they haven’t. But they did.
My top ten usually has space for the year’s best blockbuster, and this was 2010s. An original screenplay (well, original in the sense that it’s not based on a comic book or another film – obviously it has its own antecedents), excellent cast and loads of cool visuals make it superior multiplex fodder.
A Bong Joon-Ho film is worth watching pretty much by definition, and if this didn’t seem quite up to his brilliant Memories of Murder it’s only because I now have such high expectations of him.
4. Four Lions
3. Toy Story 3
And the final two, which could easily switch places:
2. The Social Network
1. Winter’s Bone