In my books, the year of 2010 has been pretty darn exciting in the world of film. Films that have become some of my all-time favourites have sneaked onto our screens and deafened us with their poignancy and twisting storylines. It is noteworthy to point out that for me this year has not been all about the genre of comedy. Sure, it’s peeked in here and there, but what’s really taken centre stage in my mind is the darkness of the thrillers.
(Law Abiding Citizen, directed by F. Gary Gray, starring Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler, USA, 108 minutes)
Okay, so I realise this actually exploded onto our screens in 2009, but I, an idiot it appears, was not aware of this fact. It has, however, become one of my most memorable films to view in 2010. Not only have I watched it countless times, jumping in a frenzied nature each time (even though I know what’s going to happen) but it’s a great film to invest in for your DVD collection – it never gets old, and watching those react who haven’t seen it before is an entertainment in itself. The script is powerfully succinct, the actors’ performances breathtaking, and the action? It’s heart-stopping. Literally. I was concerned I might go into cardiac arrest halfway through. Gray manipulates the twisting storyline with skill, allowing the damaged man, Clyde Shelton, to take life into his own hands and humiliate the justice system with an intelligent violence that we haven’t seen played out on our screens before.
(Shutter Island, directed by Martin Scorsese, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Emily Mortimer, USA, 138 minutes)
Ever seen such an arresting film that it’s storyline has clung to your memory, days, even weeks, afterwards? Shutter Island has definitely held its own as one of the most fascinating films of all time. Scorsese works his directing magic at the helm of an outstanding plot, while DiCaprio masters a character so complex, so obscure, that we are completely on his side from beginning to end. From the moment you rest your eyes on the eerie, spine-chilling setting of Shutter Island there is clearly something very wrong. Amongst the obscure and murky minds of the mentally amiss lies a secret aching to be discovered, and what a discovery it is.
(Inception, directed by Christopher Nolan, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Ellen Page, USA, 148 minutes)
Nolan directs the challenging storyline of Inception. Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his accomplices, enter the layers of the dream world via technology, and discover a place where reality becomes indefinite – a place where a spinning top decides their understanding of it. This is a film to stimulate the mind, to make it ache while trying to grasp such an exquisitely meandering storyline. It is a film very much of the 21st Century that recognises the ever growing knowledge of the human race, the progression of technology and our thirst for the understanding of the unknown.
(Machete, directed by Ethan Maniquis and Robert Rodriguez, starring Danny Trejo, Michelle Rodriguez and Robert De Niro, USA, 105 minutes)
Now, to lighten up this rundown of my top five for 2010, prepare to applaud the ever fresh production of Machete, a film with action (a lot, as it suggests, with a machete) and an undeniably remarkable cast. Machete Cortez (Danny Trejo) launches a violent rampage on his former boss, after being betrayed by the organisation who hired him. This obscure, witty and fabulously plotted film has a trace of Quentin Tarantino about it. If you liked his 2007 film Death Proof, then this is for you. So what if it’s unbelievable that Luz (Michelle Rodriguez) gets shot in the eye and doesn’t die? This is the perfect, cartoonish-violence where the unbelievable can, and will happen.
(Sex and the City 2, directed by Michael Patrick King, starring Sarah Jessica Parker and the usual high-heeled, designer clothed crew, USA, 146 minutes)
As the ultimate Sex and the City fan – this had to go on my list somewhere – and bottom place seemed the most appropriate. If anything it flopped its way into my top five for being the film most hyped up, and ultimately the film that caused the biggest explosion on screen when it crashed and burned. Yes, the girly glamour and glitz was still available in the usual Sex and the City way, but it just didn’t have that pizzazz of the previous series and prior film. However, as a committed fan, I still dutifully include it in my list this year because of the following reason:
Yes, it crashed and burned (brutally), but don’t let it put you off the series – for every girl there is a place for the Sex and the City box-set in her heart, even if this flop of a film didn’t quite promote it.
I like this list because you haven’t just put five films that are loved by critics, but just films that you genuinely enjoyed. However, I have to ask, how could you leave out Toy Story 3 and Monsters?!!