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10 Best Movies of 2010

Peter Travers praises the movies that didn’t suck

Let us praise movies that didn't suck in 2010. Begone, sequels to Twilight and Sex and the City. Begone, chick flicks that bossed us around (what if I don't want to eat, pray, love?). Begone, epics Hollywood made in 3D because they couldn't make them good. This space is for 10 films that earned a place in the year's time capsule.

11

Tie for 11th

For psychodrama, Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island. For crime, Ben Affleck's The Town. For political thriller, Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer. For wit and wisdom, Mike Leigh's Another Year. For raw intimacy, Derek Cianfrance's Blue Valentine. For foreign film, Juan José Campanella's The Secret in Their Eyes. For disturbing laughs, the Duplass bros' Cyrus. For laughs that make no excuses, Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg's Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work. For muckraking doc, Davis Guggenheim's Waiting for Superman. For personal doc, Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost's Catfish.

JoJo Whilden © 2010 Fighter, LLC.

8

The Fighter

The family that fights together tries like hell to stay together in the true story of two boxing brothers (soulful Mark Wahlberg and electrifying Christian Bale). Gifted director David O. Russell refs in high style.

© 2010 by Focus Features

5

The Kids Are All Right

A sperm donor (Mark Ruffalo) comes between a doctor (Annette Bening) and a landscaper (Julianne Moore) in Lisa Cholodenko's raw, funny and humane family drama. Bening is Oscar-worthy.

©Weinstein Company

3

The King’s Speech

In Tom Hooper's vibrant human drama, the king has a stammer. He can't give a speech to save his crown, even when he needs to rally his subjects against the Nazis. As George VI, Colin Firth delivers the performance of the year, equaled only by Geoffrey Rush as his Aussie teacher.

© 2009 by Columbia Pictures

1

The Social Network

This is the movie that told us who we were this year, this decade: willing slaves to technology as a substitute for direct communication. Forget the letters of protest. You're probably text-messaging them on your BlackBerry. Or voicing them on iChat. Of course, the invention of Facebook by Mark Zuckerberg, played to potent perfection by Jesse Eisenberg, is just a part of the social-networking boom. What director David Fincher and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin are doing in this movie, which IMHO surpasses all other movies this year, is using Facebook to hold up a mirror to the way we live now. And doing it with wit, imagination, honesty and satire so cutting it can open wounds. Don't be afraid of friending The Social Network. It might just open your eyes beyond your computer screen.

The Social Network and 12 More Movies That Defined a Generation
The 10 Worst Movies of 2010
Rolling Stone's Best of 2010

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