Many of the films I thought would be on this years list (Never Let Me Go, Black Swan, True Grit, 127 Hours, The Fighter) are out in the US already, but have slipped into next years scheduling for the UK. So I can't put them in this list, but I will probably have forgotten about them by the time it gets to December next year so they might miss next years...
Anyway, feel free to ridiucle my choices, but here it goes (in a kind of order that's open to change at any moment)...
I think the hype surrounding it's supposed intelligence is starting to go against it, but taken as an event movie, I don't think it disappoints and I loved it. Yeah there's some dodgy plot holes here and there, but as an intelligent (in it's blockbuster field) action adventure, with spectacular visuals and a stunning (and often overwhelming) score by Hans Zimmer, it surely ranks as one of the best of the year. I rarely go to see a film twice at the cinema, but I made an exception here. I think that was almost a joke...anyway...
2. The Social Network
3. Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans
4. Four Lions
6. A Prophet
7. Toy Story 3
8. A Single Man
9. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
10. How To Train Your Dragon
I'd liked to have had The King’s Speech and Animal Kingdom on this list, but I saw them in previews at Cinecity and they will only go on wide release next year.
Not quite on the main list...
Down Terrace (Brighton based black comedy), The American (a stylish look at familiar character types), Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (strangely uplifting), Nowhere Boy (interesting view of a young Lennon), Winter’s Bone (great performances in a gritty story. What's with the squirrels though?), Shutter Island (get's better and better as it goes along), The Kids are All Right (very close to being in the top ten, it's a top notch family comedy), Up in the Air (some great scenes in this enjoyable dramedy) ,The Illusionist (beautiful but slight), Of Gods and Men (an interesting look at religions role in society), Monsters (looks great for the budget)
These are mainly films I enjoyed, but weren't as good as I'd hoped...
Iron Man 2 (enjoyable but cluttered with references), Harry Brown (some great scenes, like the gun dealer, but too morally and politically simplistic for me) , The Expendables (disappointing, except Stallone's fleeting erotic glance over at Arnie), The Wolfman (a bit of a mess except for the fantastic Hugo Weaving), Predators (not bad, but should have made more of it premise),
Youth in Revolt (more French Cera needed), I’m Still Here (An interesting start but wears very thin by halfway through), Monsters (only the last third, which fails to add tension when events escalate), Enter the Void (I was with it for the first hour and a half, but ended up hating it by the end. I know your heading for the light!!! Just go there!)
The ones that got away...
I'm still annoyed I missed so many of these -
Exit Through The Gift Shop, Splice, Green Zone, Let Me In, Easy A, The Town, Buried, Mesrine, Robin Hood, Greenberg, Piranha 3D, Another Year, The Killer Inside me, Perrier’s Bounty, Centurion, Cyrus, Heartless, Cemetery Junction, Fish Tank, Made in Dagenham, The Ghost Writer, Tron: Legacy (although I'll see it next week, along with Catfish)
Hope you enjoyed reading my breakdown, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!