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The Best & Worst of Film



Article Published: Dec. 30, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
The Best & Worst of Film

The Good - 1. 'True Grit'



frank@mountaintimes.com

The Good

1. 'True Grit'
The Coen Bros. make this classic western tale of revenge their own in this well-acted, superbly shot adaptation of Charles Portis's celebrated novel, starring Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and newcomer Hailee Steinfeld.

2. 'Inception'
Christopher Nolan continues his winning streak with this adeptly directed sci-fi thriller. The most mind-bending movie of 2010, 'Inception' also features one of the year's most intense action sequences, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ellen Page.

3. 'The Fighter'
The most well-acted film of the year, "The Fighter" takes the classic underdog boxing story and makes it fresh through superb direction from David O. Russell and standout performances from Christian Bale, Melissa Leo, Amy Adams and Mark Wahlberg.

4. 'How to Train Your Dragon'
This animated gem proves that Pixar isn't the only game in town. "Dragon" delivers top-notch animation, fine voice acting and one of the most heartwarming stories since 2009's "Up." Voices include Jay Baruchel and Gerard Butler.

5. 'The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus'
Director Terry Gilliam is at the top of his game with "Parnassus," a visually and emotionally captivating take on one man's struggle with the life-changing choices he's made, starring Christopher Plummer, Tom Waits and Heath Ledger.

6. 'Machete'
Grizzled character actor Danny Trejo gets a leading role in Robert Rodriguez's tongue-in-cheek "Mexploitation" film about a blade-wielding ex-federale seeking vengeance against those who murdered his family, also starring Cheech Marin and Steven Seagal.

7. 'Scott Pilgrim vs. the World'
One of the most original and visually compelling films of the year, "Pilgrim" turns a traditional love story on its head with clever writing and direction from Edgar Wright of "Shaun of the Dead" fame. It stars Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Jason Schwartzman.

8. 'Kick-Ass'
In a time when comic book movies run recklessly rampant, this no-holds-barred adaptation kicks ass, plain and simple, thanks to expert writing and performances from Aaron Johnson, Chloe Moretz and Nicolas Cage.

9. 'The Other Guys'
Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg and Michael Keaton have a blast in cop comedy 'The Other Guys,' taking an otherwise stale formula and making it utterly hilarious.

10. 'Jackass 3D'
The most disgusting film of 2010, 'Jackass' makes the list for one reason: 3D. Seeing this money-making gimmick for all its worth, Johnny Knoxville and company up the ante to awful levels in this gross-out comedy, featuring the crispest and clearest 3D presentation of the year.



The Bad

1. 'The Last Airbender'
I'll say it again: 'The Last Airbender' breaks wind. M. Night Shyamalan loses even more credibility with this laughable, pathetically written and poorly acted take on the acclaimed Nickelodeon animated series, "Avatar: The Last Airbender." It stars Dev Patel and not much else.

2. 'Robin Hood'
Despite direction from Ridley Scott and threats from Russell Crowe, this tale of a pre-Robin Hood Robin Hood is, perhaps, the most boring "Robin Hood" to date. It also features a brooding Cate Blanchett. Robin Hood.

3. 'The Tourist'
What boils down to 90 minutes of people gawking at Angelina Jolie is a dull, ambling mess of an action-thriller, featuring cinema's slowest boat chase and Johnny Depp.

4. 'Secretariat'
"Secretariat" is a film with a message: Never give up because giving up is the opposite of never giving up, which you should never do by never giving up, especially since you should never give up. Based on a truly intriguing story, the film suffers from Disney's overzealous sugarcoating, spilling over two-dimensional performances from Diane Lane, John Malkovich and his colorful hats.

5. 'Resident Evil: Afterlife'
The lackluster and seemingly never-ending series based on the popular video game somehow lives on, starring Milla Jovovich shooting things in slow motion, including the mind-numbing script, already filled with holes as it is.

6. 'Life As We Know It'
Painful. Simply painful. Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel do their typical Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel things in this trite dramedy about whiny people inheriting stewardship of their dead friends' kid.

7. 'Legion'
Two words: Zombie angels.

8. 'Burlesque'
As Obi-Wan Kenobi once said, "He's more machine now than man." Same could apply to Cher, whose surgically emotionless face stars alongside a bubbly Christina Aguilera in this misguided musical what-have-you.

9. 'Skyline'
This alien invasion flick is not just bad; it's hee-larious. Made by a couple of special effects wizards, "Skyline" includes some visual spectacle, namely the bizarre facial expressions of its protagonist.

10. 'Little Fockers'
Arriving just in time to make the list, this banal comedy takes the "Meet the Parents" series to new lows, including the DeNiro character's run-in with an erectile dysfunction drug.



Dishonorable Mention

'Couples Retreat'
Sure, this rotten piece of film came from 2009, but it hurt so much it deserves mention on the 2010 list. Mind-numbingly dull, poorly written and excruciatingly long, this movie is best watched with the television off.

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