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James's Favorites for '10

I don't like the idea of compiling a year's "best" (too know-it-all for me), so here are my favorites out of all the movies I reviewed this year:

The Social Network

As far as I can tell, there's a must-see and there's a must-read this fall. The must-read is Freedom, a novel by Jonathan Franzen. The must-see is The Social Network. In my opinion, The Social Network is definitely a must-see. I'm not entirely sold on the Franzen. What's particularly impressive about The Social Network is the degree of difficulty in making the subject matter not just watchable, but riveting.

On DVD: Amazon  | Barnes & Noble | Buy.com
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon | Movie Poster Shop

The King's Speech

Very British and very good. Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush's performances are not to be missed.

On DVD: Amazon  | Barnes & Noble | Buy.com
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes

The Town

Very dramatic thriller directed by and starring Ben Affleck (though I liked his first, Gone Baby Gone, even better). Here's the catch (for me anyway): Hollywood keeps making these stories in which the bank robbers (and murderer) are the good guys; the cops are basically bad. This hasn't been my experience in the real world. The majority of cops are trying to do the right thing and their job is unbelievably difficult. The majority of crooks put themselves above everybody else. I prefer Alex Cross to Gary Soneji.

On DVD: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Buy.com
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon | Movie Poster Shop

Toy Story 3

Every critic I've seen gives this movie 4 stars. Jack, Sue and I agree. Enough said.

On DVD: Amazon  | Barnes & Noble | Buy.com
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon | Movie Poster Shop

Winter's Bone

I think it would be a shame if this film doesn't become an Academy Awards nominee. The direction, camerawork, acting is just about flawless. It's not a joyful tale so it won't be for everybody, but I absolutely loved it.

On DVD: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Buy.com
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Movie Poster Shop

The Fighter

Terrific ensemble of actors, really terrific directing, and a great story (though Jack Kerouac should have been the favorite son of Lowell, Mass., not a prize fighter who happened to knock down Sugar Ray Leonard.)

On DVD: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Buy.com
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon | Movie Poster Shop

Blue Valentine

A well told, very sad story and one that many high school kids would benefit from seeing (though it's fairly graphic). I missed Blue Valentine in 2010 but will now officially insert it into my favorites for that year.

On DVD: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Buy.com
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon | Movie Poster Shop

Inside Job

A terrific condensation of the high jinks on Wall Street circa 2008. This documentary makes the whole mess somewhat comprehensible and even more maddening.

On DVD: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Buy.com
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes

True Grit

I was a little disappointed, but I still found this to be terrific storytelling combined with first rate craft. The ensemble of Bridges, Damon, Brolin and Hailee Steinfeld (who plays Mattie Ross) is hard to beat.

On DVD: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Buy.com
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon | Movie Poster Shop

Get Low

A terrific story, beautifully shot, with flawless acting by Robert Duvall, Bill Murray and others. I can't imagine too many people over 30 not liking it.

On DVD: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Buy.com
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon | Movie Poster Shop

"Carlos"

Long, long, long, but powerful reimagining of Carlos the Jackal (assassin, playboy, sort-of-revolutionary).

On DVD: Amazon
Posters: Movie Poster Shop

Crazy Heart

The critics in Hollywood always love to see a movie star revealed in a bad light and here Jeff Bridges is fat and slovenly and greasy and ultimately quite wonderful in what everybody seems to agree is his best role yet. The love story wasn't entirely convincing to me but this is a well-made film.

On DVD: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Buy.com
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon | Movie Poster Shop

The Secret in Their Eyes

Great dialog, terrific story, strong direction. Subtitles, if that bothers you. Academy Award-winner, if that matters to you.

On DVD: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Buy.com
On Demand: Amazon | iTunes
Posters: Amazon | Movie Poster Shop

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