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Nov 2, 2011

My Top 20 Movies Of 2010

Below is the list of my Top 20 favorite movies of the year 2010 followed by some Honorable Mentions. Note that i can change the list whenever i want.

Top 20 Movies:

1. The Social Network:
                                             Coming from David Fincher, i knew this movie would be in my Top 5 at the end of the year. Wasn't sure at first since the idea of making a movie on how Facebook was formed would make a ridiculous teenage college geeks kind of a movie with added cliches. But i was surprised at how amazingly this movie unfolds the story in such a grand way, it feels like a biopic to be honest. The movie basically features flashbacks by Mark Zuckerberg the CEO who is on trial on how he got the idea, how he pursued it and what he did on the way. The Slow burning drama with a flawless screenplay, the best editing for a movie i have seen in years followed by one of the most terrific score and some amazing performances, specially by Jesse Eisenberg makes this movie phenomenal. I can't stop watching it, the sharp dialogues by Sorkin is a cherry on the top. This movie should have won Best Picture Oscar like it did everything else ... period!

2. Black Swan:
                             One of the most amazing experiences i have ever had watching a movie was when i watched Black Swan. Truly the best indie movie of the year that reaches a place that makes it the masterpiece that it is. The story of a struggling ballerina trying to make it big in a play while battling it out with the her insecurities as she ages and the competition she faces, her trainer, her obsessed mother etc is a shocking, twisted, scary and almost surrealist orgasmic experience that you would ever have. Natalie Portman outshines in the performance of her career. The movie scared me like no other horror movie ever did, i constantly got goosebumps watching a girl slowly dragging herself to the depths of despair, darkness and in her words "achieving the perfection". I laughed at many people getting scared of the "Ballet Dance can be Deadly" aspect of it, what they don't get is that this movie in its insanity tells us what happens in this particular or any profession as you age and you need to prove of your worth to yourself first more than anyone else. Call it a Psychological thriller or a horror movie, it is an unforgettable experience.

3. Inception:
                          Everything Christopher Nolan does is at the grandest most epic scale in both scope of the subject or literally with its jaw dropping grand production. From narrative masterpiece Memento to yet another mind-twisting narration, with the ever changing scope he raises the bar even for himself. Inception is an ensemble sci-fi, action/adventure movie and truly the best Science Fiction movie since The Matrix. The adventure these character has is quite different, they peacefully sleep and lets their subconscious do things. The dreams within a dream within a dream sequences builds up such tension every time i watch it that its literally impossible not to get a headache thinking about how the hell he came up with this idea. Nolan uses very realistic and not so glossy effects while he always tries to keep things natural in every way by mostly doing the live action scenes not relying much on the effects. Hans Zimmer's breathtaking score adds a lot to it while at the end of the day, it makes you think ... while you scratch your head trying to solve the puzzle.

4. Toy Story 3:
                             The third installment in wildly popular Pixar Trilogy (the only Pixar movie that deserved a trilogy) is nothing but one of the best animated movies of all time. I had the best time watching this movie, it is filled with everything you love about animation or movies in general. It got amazing humor, adventure, action, love, beautiful and adorable characters added with some superb voice cast. What this movie does in the end is make you cry, the ending is what really hits you hard and reminds you of how hard it is to let go of your childhood or the things that really matter in your life.

5. True Grit:
                         Coen brothers always brings amazing movies, with True Grit, they took a popular old western and made into a much needed modern western movie while staying with the original source and still adding their own uniqueness. The breathtaking cinematography and some great ensemble performances makes this movie a modern near perfect classic. It doesn't have big explosions but whatever action that this movie has is shown in a brilliant way reminding us of the Westerns that they were. It always moves at a very slow pace which is why i love it because it is not the usual over the top ridiculous stuff. Newcomer Hailee Steinfeld gives a stellar performance as a girl looking for the man who killed her father while taking help from US Marshall played with perfection by Jeff Bridges.

6. The King's Speech:
                                           This was the movie that won Best Picture over my favorite The Social Network because it was destined to. I found this movie to be a very inspiring story of someone who is overcoming the odds and doing what he thought and believed to be impossible and if that someone is none other than the King of England, we get a winner. Colin Firth gives the performance of his career in this movie perfectly portraying a character like this while both Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter gives strong performances in a wonderful drama directed by Tom Hooper. At the end of the day, the warm fuzzy feelings and cheerful endings really matters right?

7. The Kids are All Right:
                                                  One of the best Modern American family portrayal in a movie since 1999's American Beauty. Ironically both the movies stars Annette Bening giving wonderful performances. While here, joining her are Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson. Its a very smart comedy with added drama and where it succeeds is its screenplay, flawless and marvelous that really helps in getting a perfect balance between those two extremes. Not a single unnecessary moment. Very Straight-forward and honest.

8. Blue Valentine:
                                    Starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams in a movie directed by the promising director Derek Cianfrance. This movie explores the rawest, deepest and most personal details of two people in love, marrying each other and then the ups and down of their relationship. Its as brutal as its honest featuring equally great performances by the lead pair. Its a bit hard to watch them grow apart like this but that is what makes this movie a daring indie movie that it is.

9. 127 Hours:
                          While many people would prefer Slumdog Millionaire over this one, i do the opposite. Starring James Franco as Aron Ralston, this survival drama is based on a true story that follows Aron as he experiences something that changes his life. While i wasn't as swept away by Boyle's previous film like most of the world was, i found this movie better in almost every aspect. It could have been a complete bore but Boyle's clever film making techniques offers an excellent ride through the adventure with an amazing uplifting and dramatically sweeping power that leaves you in a emotional state. Excellent cinematography, editing and Score while Franco in his marvelous breakthrough performance.

10. Winter's Bone:
                                      Not only this movie has one of the best performance by a newcomer (Jennifer Lawrence) but the movie itself is like nothing you'll have seen this year. This indie drama which acts as a very naturalistic thriller follows a girl named Ree Dolly as she struggles finding her drug dealing father through rough community and difficult conditions while looking after her two young siblings. Lawrence gives a breakthrough performance followed by John Hawkes. This slow paced but still tensed drama is a brilliant but dark look at humanity at its darkest.

11. The Illusionist:
                                      This French Animated movie is from Sylvain Chomet who is known for making beautiful animated movies mostly for adult audiences. The Illusionist has this very sad, melancholic, tragic, lonely and atmospheric feeling to it that truly sucks you right in. Its silent, which makes it extra special. The way he tells us story of this man and the girl is nothing short then magic and pure extravagant cinematic brilliance.

12. Dogtooth:
                            This Greek movie got nominated for Foreign Language Film Oscar followed by raised eyebrows over its subject, weirdness and excess violence. While i was watching this movie, i really for a second didn't felt like i was watching something else altogether. The family is shown in a very isolated house where the twin sisters are kept away from the outside world and their father teaches them some extremely bizarre and strange things. From strange meanings of particular words to weird scenarios and actions. For what it is, this absolutely insane ride is worth giving a try.

13. Another Year:
                                    Mike Leigh always makes such moving and brilliant indie dramas and he is one of the reason why i really look forward to what British Film Industry has to offer. What Leigh always nails is his characters, their development, their goods and bads and he treats them in a way no one does. This is one of his gems, showing an ordinary family like his every movie and their portrayal that often leads to either moving, powerful, emotional or hilarious conclusions. Its honest in every way as it shows how these characters makes a sense of their life and existence.

14. Animal Kingdom:
                                            This small Australian Crime drama surprised me with its rawness and brutality when i watched it after i heard big praises for it. What i loved the most about this movie was Jacki Weaver's stunning performance which has to be one of my favorite performance by an actress in years. How desperate this mother is protecting her family even though literally she might be making things worse, but a mother is a mother after all. Cleverly written and made while told in such a way that it leaves you feeling like you just watched an indie version of The Godfather.

15. The Ghost Writer:
                                            Roman Polanski's comeback was a bit low profile but hey, how can you make another masterpiece like The Pianist when you are under house arrests, endless trials and what not. The Ghost Writer won Polanski a best Director award at Berlin Film Festival. Starring Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan and Olivia Williams, this slow burning and atmospheric Political Suspense Drama takes its time and truly delivers the premise with its uniqueness. Terrific direction and cinematography.

16. Please Give:
                                One of those rare American Sundance Indie movies that i really love watching, this is the best example of it. A brilliant drama packed with brilliant performances by indie regular Catherine Keener and surprisingly by both Rebecca Hall and Amanda Peet. Some would find the emotional scenes a bit too much or will question the overly-tragic tone of it but i love it. As i said, one of those rare Sundance hits which i actually love.

17. Udaan:
                      Rarely does a Bollywood movie enters my Top 20 and when it does, you know its special. Udaan is a movie that is very close to my heart. Its story of most of you out there, our parents have expectations, some force them upon you, many of us give up and some of us stand up to that. Its not your typical Bollywood movie and its something i really recommend you watch. It really hits your heart and you can't help but get swept by the emotional intensity of the story because you have been there and you'll relate with it.

18. How to Train Your Dragon:
                                                                How to Train Your Dragon is the third animated movie in my Top 20, something that never happened before. The movie while takes time to grow up on you and when it does, you emotionally get attached with it. What seems like an odd story feels so much close to you as you watch it. Vikings and Dragons and Warriors and a simple young boy who has to prove to his father and people that he is no less of a warrior himself like his father, feels oddly similar. Brilliant visuals and amazing score.

19. The Fighter:
                                 David O' Russell's comeback as a director with a movie about the famous Irish Boxing Family was stellar. Packed with brilliant performances and how he nailed delivering us their story is amazing. Melissa Leo, Amy Adams and Christian Bale makes this movie what it is. One of Russell's brilliant work.

20. The Town:
                              Ben Affleck's second movie as a director is a wonderful crime thriller based around Boston. I have yet to see his debut movie but this is one hell of a fascinating movie and the manners with which it explores the roots of the characters and what they do is just spectacular. There are some entertaining, melodramatic and over the top sequences that actually makes the movie a lot better. It also features an excellent performance by Jeremy Renner, one of the year's best in supporting category.
Honorable Mentions: (21-30)

1. Peepli Live
2. Easy A
3. Buried
4. Shutter Island
5. Rabbit Hole
6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
7. My Name is Khan
8. Kicks Ass
9. Never Let Me Go
10. City Island

Check out my complete list of all 2010 movies i watched on