2010's Top Ten Best & Worst Movie Round-Up

The Year in Review

2010 has been a peculiar year for movies. We had few sizable super hits, but a good run-down of some impression-makers to go along with the hefty serving of remakes. Below, we look back at what we've seen, pass on recommendations for the creme of the crop, and then hand out the awards to the stinkers.

The Best...

#10) The American (A-)
No one expected George Clooney to be this suave and silent as he plays an American mercenary posing as a photographer hiding out in the mountains of Italy while awaiting his last assignment. Competently directed by Anton Corbijn, The American possesses top notch character development.

#9) Iron Man 2 (A-)
The second Iron Man movie stands side-by-side with its proud predecessor in a modern winning streak that has done Marvel well. 

#8) Despicable Me (A-)
Not since The Grinch Who Stole Christmas has a sour puss made such a redemption as in Despicable Me, starring Steve Carell, who is the voice of Gru in this lovably creative story sure to please adults and children.

#7) Splice (A-)
It may be a little too showy in its creepiness, but this awesome sci-fi horror, starring Adrian Brody and Sarah Polley, has much to say about the abortion and stem cell/cloning controversies, with riveting suspense and a lot of food for thought on medical ethics in general.

#6) Machete (A+)
Gargantuanly gory and shamelessly sacreligious, this 100% exploitation film starring Danny Trejo and Jessica Alba is a riot of star power, nudity, and relentless humor that will both anger and offend many. The rest of us, however, will be rolling laughing in one of the most satisfying films of the year. 

#5) Easy A (A+) 
Exposing hypocritical stereotypes and chauvanistic double-standards against women, Easy A, featuring Emma Stone, is an "A+" example of teen comedy that goes above and beyond the pale in being way better than expected.

#4) The Town (A+)
Crisply directed by (and starring) Ben Affleck, The Town is a bank robber movie that does a lot more than feature heists. Well acted and built on a sure foundation of fine writing, The Town is a delightful surprise.

#3) The Fighter (A+)
Similar in theme and play-out to 2008's The Wrestler, The Fighter is an articulate pressure-cooker of family dynamics and fighting that shows off some great directorial skill in a movie based on the true story of Dicky Eklund and Micky Ward.

#2) How to Train Your Dragon (A+)
Imaginative, entertaining, and educational - with a healthy moral outlook to boot - this endearing animated story of a boy (Jay Baruchel) who tames dragons has something in spades for every member of the audience.

#1) The King's Speech (A+)
Firth's Oscar-winning performance isn't the only way this boundlessly inspiring and uplifting film will render audiences "speechless," with every eye welled up. Perhaps best of all, this heartfelt bringing-to-life of a chapter in the life of a British monarch with a speech impediment trusts its viewers to be intelligent enough to follow it in a perfectly-paced distribution of high-output drama that is virtually impossible to disappoint.

Directed by Tom Hooper, this Golden Globe-winner slams The King's Speech right into the #1 film of the year spot.

The Worst...

#10) Grown Ups (D-)
The flop humor in Grown Ups manages to be a real disappointment for a movie with such promise (what movie wouldn't have promise with Colin Quinn, Chris Rock, Kevin James, Rob Schneider, David Spade, and Adam Sandler, not to mention Salma Hayek and Maya Rudolph?) The answer: this movie.

Grown Ups gives us approximately 15% solid laughs, 35% blatant repulsiveness, and 50% weak slapstick that will be a ball-dropper for the fans of these superstar comedians who did themselves – and us – no favors here.

#9) Jonah Hex (D-)
This movie is an un-energized and one-dimensional bore that itself gets closer to the flat-line right to the end. While none of the performances are to be repudiated on their merits, not a single one stands out as convincing, not even an always-gorgeous Megan Fox as Hex's confidant, Lilah. The amazing John Malkovich himself fails to bring home the focused fanaticism that the character of Turnbull is supposed to exhibit.

#8) Skyline (D-)
Take a still-shot of these aliens at any point and you have a perfect screensaver or free blog template header pic. But any drooling dimwit who is impressed with alien octopus technology and extraterrestrial blue lighting alone is going to be totally impressed with this film, starring Eric Balfour.

#7) Repo Men (D-)
What is not logistically unsupported in the plot is as repulsive as anything you've ever seen. Poised as a political statement on corporate greed and the health care debate, Repo Men, starring Forest Whitaker and Jude Law, hides its obtuse back-end in an unsatisfying use of techno-gadgetry and comes to a head in an ending that will leave viewers feeling as depressed as they will cheated.

#6) The Spy Next Door (D-)
The Spy Next Door, starring Jackie Chan, is a bad movie. It will take a very young audience to appreciate it even a little.

The Awards...

Of course, bad movies there are aplenty, and for that reason, we present to you the worst of the worst with these well deserved awards.

#5) The Back-up Plan (F)
Recipient: Copper Crap Award

It's more three-year-old breastfeeding bits and other repulsive (and I do mean repulsive) antics in a movie starring Jennifer Lopez that is like Gigli, only nastier. The Copper Crap Award is fit for movies like this one that do all they can to suck the energy and likableness out of every single scene and feature sex in cheese factories and scenes of a to-be mother shooting out a turd in a pool during a water birth, and then carrying it across the living room. It's not funny. It's awful.

#4) The Warrior's Way (F)
Recipient: Bronze Bomb Award

The Warrior's Way is not a tribute to cool ninja movies like the trailers suggest, not with midgets and surreal circuses and raping cowboys--all filmed indoors on a green screen, and with such a boring, stupid, and inept use of accompanying comedy that it may prove, quite literally, to be a mouth-dropping experience. 

#3) The Last Airbender (F)
Recipient: Silver Sucker Award

Sadly, Shyamalan's out-of-bounds creativity has him in the penalty box once again in the making of another sorely disconnected cinematic concoction, without a care in the world as to how it would be perceived by viewing audiences. The bad 3-D and effects, with stiff martial arts poses and tiring talk of spells and elements, will probably even be repudiated among the gaming communities just the same.

#2) Legion (F)
Recipient: Golden Gag Award

Taking the gold is this awful movie that features, in part, some of the worst dialogue around. If a Tennessee hillbilly wrote the script, a stoned seventh-grader was the brilliant editor who put the final touches on things, making sure that with Legion, the audience got possibly the worst dialogue of any major release film in the last year or two. 

Having respect neither for its source material (the Bible), nor itself, this abomination is one of the stupidest and psychedelically inept conglomerations of scriptural themes ever to be seen.

Recipient: Platinum Purge Award

Treading right along with the likes of Daddy Day Camp (2007), this family-targeting abomination starring Brenden Frasier manages to be lame and insulting to environmentalists and Asians at one and the same time. To it we present the year's lowest-highest honor for bad movies.

Being a near unwatchable and downright torturous experience, we hereby present the Platinum Purge Award to Furry Vengeance.