2010: The Year in Movies

Hey Swaggernauts, this is Hal from Team Swagbucks here to talk about the movies that shaped 2010 for me. From blockbuster sequels to breathtaking remakes to smaller independent fare, this year was not a bad one for movies. Just to give you some background, I consider 1997 to be a banner year for flicks – just look at the collection of films that came out that year and you’ll know why I say that.

Here’s my personal top 5 for 2010 – I’d love to hear what yours were:

5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 – The Harry Potter movies, much like the books on which they’re based, continue to mature and get better. I’ve heard this movie referred to as the “Empire Strikes Back” of the Harry Potter franchise, and I couldn’t agree more, as the focus is less on large action sequences and more on relationships and character development, with each of the actors giving great performances; who knew 9 years ago that the little kid cast to play Harry Potter would turn out to be such a great actor? Breaking a large book into two pieces isn’t easy, but Director David Yates and Screenwriter Steven Kloves have done an amazing job – I can’t wait for part 2!

4. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World – being raised on video games and comic books, this film from Edgar Wright (and adapted from a comic book itself) provides the perfect intersection of the two. The fight scenes are innovative, the special effects and sound design provide the perfect amount of color to the world and the actors are all great, making this film funny, exciting and ultimately a pretty darn good love story to boot. If you didn’t see this while it was in the theater I would highly suggest renting it (or snagging it from us for free).

3. The Social Network – David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin together is filmmaking dream team; throw in highly relevant subject matter and a lead actor (Jesse Eisenberg) whose portrayal of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is both obnoxious and extremely sympathetic and you have, simply put, one of the best films of 2010. If this film doesn’t score some big time Oscar nods, there is something wrong with the system. From pillar to post this film is engaging, funny and sharp.

2. Toy Story 3 – It’s really hard to make a sequel that’s better (or at the very least as good as) the original. With animation, it’s even harder, but the Toy Story franchise has built itself (and Pixar) on a foundation of telling great stories first, and this film is perhaps the perfect end to the Toy Story saga. It’s funny, beautifully animated, and if you don’t tear up at least once, you clearly having been with Woody, Buzz & Co. since they first hit the screen 15 years ago. This movie is pretty much flawless.

1. True Grit – Leave it to the Coen brothers to remake a classic western with a bonafide Hollywood legend in the lead in an Oscar-winning role and top it. That’s exactly what they’ve done here. With all due respect to John Wayne and the original, this film looks better, has better dialogue and will have you hanging on every moment. When the movie ended I was left with the feeling of disappointment that there was no more left to watch. Choosing between this movie and Toy Story 3 for my top film of 2010 was difficult, and this movie might get a nudge for being fresh in my mind, but I also feel pretty good about placing it #1.

What were YOUR top films?

~Hal, Team Swagbucks