New from Every Movie Has a Lesson by Don Shanahan: 10 YEAR RETROSPECTIVE: The 10 Best Films of 2010

Image: lifeatthemovies.com

Image: lifeatthemovies.com

Despite the overall crappiness of this year, 2020 has been the 10th anniversary of this website Every Movie Has a Lesson. I didn’t start this endeavor until May of 2010 and, when the end of the year rolled around, I didn’t have a complete “sample size” or body of work, so to speak, to write a proper “10 Best” list. Missing that chance has always bothered the completist in me. I’ve been meaning to fix that and this little anniversary seemed like the right time, especially after charting a “best of the decade” list a year ago at the close of the 10s. So, turning back the clock a decade, here are my “10 Best Films of 2010.” Enjoy!

1. Inception

2. Toy Story 3

3. Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World

4. The Social Network

5. Black Swan

6. The Town

7. Easy A

8. The King’s Speech

9. The Fighter

10. Winter’s Bone


The 10 Best Movies of 2010

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1. Inception


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2. Toy Story 3


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3. Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World


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4. The Social Network


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5. Black Swan


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6. The Town


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7. Easy A


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8. The King’s Speech


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9. The Fighter


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10. Winter’s Bone


Even if my tolerance of Christopher Nolan has faded every slow slightly with time, Inception, for me, remains his largest and grandest overall work at this point of his career. It captivated me then and it still does now. If that makes me a Nolan fanboy for a day, so be it. I call him to the carpet plenty. With my younger writer’s skills that used to really swing for hyperbole fences, I remember calling Toy Story 3 a “perfect” movie. It’s the end we deserved and I’m still salty Toy Story 4 has sullied that luster some. Inception and Toy Story 3 ended up my #6 and #7 films of the entire decade.

Coming in at #20 on that same list and #3 here was Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World. It’s arguably the most kinetic and visually inventive movie I’ve ever seen. It deserves more than a bubble gum pop level of acclaim. Hell, here I am putting Edgar Wright’s show over David Fincher’s worshipped The Social Network, many folks’ consensus pick as the top film of this given year. I recently revisited it for a retrospective piece for 25YL and enjoyed measuring its impact since its debut. A movie that has slipped for me a little was Black Swan. It’s my pick for the best thing Darren Aronofsky has done, and it was my unofficial #2 of 2010. Black Swan fell to round out the Top 5.

In the bottom half, there’s quite a mix. The biggest riser is Easy A. Something tells me that has to do with the rising talent of Emma Stone and being able to look back to her beginning brilliance. I know it’s become popular to label The King’s Speech pandering Oscar bait that ended up working in its favor. I won’t do that. It remains an inspiring and well-balanced film. The Town may not be as good as Argo two years later, but it’s rock solid still. 

The battle for the final spot was between 2010’s little-indie-that-could in Winter’s Bone or the jaw-dropping spectacle of Tron: Legacy. It went with quality over quantity with Winter’s Bone, a ballsy movie that some could call ahead of its time. For those of you looking for the Coen brothers’ True Grit, keep on scrolling or go to another writer’s list. It ain’t It ain’t making it this high ever. 


The Next 10 Best:

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11. Senna 

12. Tron: Legacy

13. Shutter Island

14. Tangled

15. Blue Valentine

16. Hereafter

17. Race to Nowhere

18. True Grit

19. Buried

20. 127 Hours

LOGO DESIGNED BY MEENTS ILLUSTRATED

LOGO DESIGNED BY MEENTS ILLUSTRATED

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