Ok, so this is a little 4 months overdue. I was waiting to see 'An Education' just in case, and I'm glad I did because it made my list. **Spoiler Alert** You won't find 'Avatar' on here.
10) Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
I'm bias. You all knew that. From an book adaptation point of view, this film was horribly adapted. I've come to except this from HP's terrible screen writer Steve Kloves. He's always going to suck at adapting Harry Potter. I won't get over it, but I'll look past it. If you ignore the fact that there was an extra scene added to the film that added nothing to the story (The Burrow getting attacked), the complete ruining of Harry and Ginny's kiss, the fact that they didn't show Dumbledore's funeral and that they totally F**ked the ending when Snape reveals that he is in fact the 'Half-Blood Prince'. (they explained it in the book, unlike the film. Instead Kloves wrote in some un-need un-canon Harry/Hermione cuddling)You actually have a good film. Great special effects, great acting all around. I've loved watching the Harry Potter kids grow up. (Except for Emma Watson, she's still horrid) They're only getting better. I loved Tom Felton's (Draco Malfoy's) performance. I loved all the angst, I'm glad they didn't hold back on the "sectumsempra" scene. Michael Gambon owned as Dumbledore, and it makes me more excited for the final films. Plus more Alan Rickman in never a bad thing.
Great Acting, lovely setting and a good story. Sure we all figure out what is wrong before Jenny does. But watching her go along and learn from it is a good lesson.
This was the coolest stop-motion film I've seen since 'A Nightmare Before Christmas'. It's a cool story (maybe a little dark for the kiddies) they cast some great voice actors (LOVE Dakota Fanning) and it taught a good lesson. You may not think your parent's are the coolest, but it could be so much worse.
A compelling story told by a great cast, and through a great director. 'Precious' introduced us to the talented Gabby Sidibe, and showed as talent that I didn't think Monique had. If you had told me two years ago that Monique would be an Oscar winner I would've laughed at you, now I can't agree with you more. The story was hard to stomach, but in a way it was beautiful. There's so many terrible things in this world, but there's also a little bit of beauty in everything. I'm referring to the teacher in 'Precious' of course. That line "Your baby loves you..I love you" might not seem like much from the trailer, but it made you cry in the film.
I hated the Star Trek TV series, but I couldn't have loved the movie more. I was very surprised, and very pleased. That was a film that everyone could love, even if you weren't a Trekkie.
How this movie got so ignored during Awards Season is beyond me. Sam Rockwell was great. He was practically the only actor we saw in the entire film. He carried it! He was amazing, he really proved himself there. It was an interesting story with a good twist. Not to mention Kevin Spacey's voice as his computer was a plus.
4)Up in the Air
When I first heard of this film, it didn't appeal to me at all. I'm not a huge Clooney fan, I didn't have a lot of faith in Anna Kendrick after seeing the cringe-worthy 'Twilight' but Jason Reitman is a great director, so I gave it a go. I'm glad I did. George Clooney fit the role well and I couldn't love Anna Kendrick more after watching it. I feel bad that I doubted her so much based off of one performance. I really do. Even though her role really could've been done by anyone (Ellen Page, Evan Rachel Wood, Emily Browning all could've pulled it off) I'm glad it was her. She was charming. Vera Farmiga was awesome as well. Her last few films involved her children going crazy (Joshua, Orphan) it was nice to see her in this role.
The only thing recognizable in this film was Peter Jackson's producer credit. We didn't know who Neil Blomkamp or Sharlto Copley were. They proved that didn't matter. 'District 9' was a great Sci-Fi film (with some interesting underlying messages) Copley had never acted before, and I thought he was great. I feel the same way about him as I did Sam Rockwell in 'Moon': Where was he this awards season? This guy deserved some love!
2) Inglorious Basterds
Brad Pitt's accent alone would score this film a spot on my list. I loved it. Quentin Tarintino rarely fails me, and awhile the film was a little different than what I expected it to be. It still delivered. Loved all the stories involved, loved the acting. Christoph Waltz deserved his Oscar. Melaine Larent deserved a nomination.
1) (500) Days of Summer
The film opens with a disclaimer saying " Any resemblance to people living or dead is purely accidental ... Especially Jenny Beckman ... Bitch." This isn't a romantic comedy. It's not going to have a happy ending. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel are top notch in playing doomed lovers Tom and Summer. The film doesn't show us their relationship in order, it jumps around showing the ups and downs. I loved it, it was clever. It had a great soundtrack, and really, really should've gotten a Best Original Screenplay nomination at the Oscars. I was surprised it didn't.
That completes my list! Honorable mention to 'Crazy Heart', 'Brothers', 'Zombieland', 'The Hurt Locker', 'Invictus' and 'Where the Wild Things Are' all great films. Sorry for ranting on Harry Potter, if you can't tell. I'm not a fan of Steve Kloves.
Thanks for reading!