Top 10 movies of 2010

Compiling the top 10 movies of 2010 was much harder than expected, even with the popular sentiment that the top spot should go to The Social Network. Although that film is right up there, for a year that did not see too many fantastic films, 2010 should have been a much easier year to narrow down the 10 “best.”

When that film year includes some important films [Fair Game], break-out films [Easy A] and captivating the entire world films [Inception], the process of choosing 10 is quite difficult, actually. SheKnows starts its Top 10 Movies of 2010 with a comedy and one that made a name for its vivacious star.

10. Easy A

Easy A rocked our world in the summer of 2010. Drowning in a sea of mediocre sequels and movies based on TV shows, Easy A emerged as an indie darling with a star possessing more new Hollywood wattage than we’ve seen in the last two years.

Easy A stars Stanley Tucci, Emma Stone and Patricia Clarkson

Emma Stone lit up the screen and with her Golden Globe nomination, clearly we weren’t alone in our appreciation. Stone’s character is an average high school student with a bit of a reputation problem — which she created! The film is told with a humor that is more intelligent than ninety-five-percent of the comedies in 2010. The cast, including Stone’s onscreen perfect parents Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson, Amanda Bynes as an overly religious student seeking to push her beliefs on the student body and Easy A herself — Stone — collectively comes together to bring more smart laughs per minute than any other film provided in 2010.

9. Fair Game

Rarely does a film make you as rightfully angry as is achieved in Fair Game. The true story of Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson, Fair Game shows that it is indeed just that when it comes to the politics of war. Naomi Watts was astounding as Plame and Sean Penn riveted as Joe Wilson. Plame’s story is infamous. She was famously a CIA undercover operative with a gift for working in the Middle East.

Naomi Watts in Fair Game

Joe Wilson was a diplomat hired to find proof of a weapons of mass destruction deal between a nation in Africa and Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. He found none existed, the U.S. went to war, and when Joe Wilson continued to push his findings on the public despite stern rejection from the Bush administration, Valerie Plame and her years of experience were released from the CIA when she was exposed in a column by conservative writer Robert Novak. With her identity out, her career was gone and in some cases, the lives of those she depended on in the field were lost as well.

Fair Game clip

Thank you Summit Entertainment!

8. The Kids Are All Right

Annette Bening and Julianne Moore are a couple raising two teenagers who begin to ask life’s questions that all parents face with difficult answers. The difference in Lisa Cholodenko’s The Kids Are All Right is their children come from a sperm donor and the youngest is eagerly seeking his identity. When his sister in fact finds the man [Mark Ruffalo], the peaceful and harmonic family dynamics at the center of Bening and Moore’s family life are drastically distorted. The Kids Are All Right is as funny as it is thought provoking. Sure, Bening may finally earn her Oscar for her riveting turn, but let’s not count out Moore and her turning in another breathtaking, nuanced performance. Toss in Ruffalo and his never-been-better role, Alice in Wonderland‘s Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson as Moore and Bening’s children, and The Kids Are All Right is one of the year’s best acted films.

The Kids Are All Right

7. Inception

The thriller of the year — that is a definite when it comes to Christopher Nolan’s Inception. A reality-busting inferno of ingenious filmmaking, Nolan takes audiences into a world where dreams can be entered and altered. Leonardo DiCaprio leads an all-star cast including Ellen Page, Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a breakout performance. But the real star of Inception is the mind of Nolan and how the director of The Dark Knight transports viewers into a world that is their own, yet with deeply existentially ambiguous differences. I sure don’t remember having dreams like those that are portrayed in Inception, but perhaps that is the magic of the subconscious! Thank goodness there is a Christopher Nolan to take us out of our cinematic subconscious and into a brave new reality.

Leonardo DiCaprio in Inception

6. 127 Hours

Just as Black Swan is not a ballet movie, 127 Hours is not a movie about a man who cuts off his arm. Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle and his star, the stellar James Franco, bring to life a story of survival and human triumph that more than paid tribute to the real life man at the center of the story. By now, everyone knows the story about the hiker who fell into a barren crevice with his hand trapped beneath an unearthly heavy rock. Where 127 Hours triumphs is how Boyle and Franco team up to weave in the moments in one’s life that lie at the heart of why we as human beings fight to survive — even when the odds are completely stacked against us.

127 Hours stars James Franco

Up next…the Top 5 Movies of the Year!