By Daniel J. Hoag


Another year has drawn to a close, and it’s time to look back and recognize 2010 for what it was:  the year that Avatar’s long, luxurious run at the box office (that began in 2009) altered the face of theater-going by ensuring that every week or two some new film will hit screens with an often-annoying extra dimension and a definitely-annoying added surcharge.  Now I’m not saying that all 3D films are bad; the gimmick was certainly the best part of James Cameron’s otherwise formulaic sci-fi epic.  But, at this point, the majority of these releases are hasty conversions of films not originally intended to be in 3D.  The result?  Crappy films like The Last Airbender and Clash of the Titans look even crappier, AND you just paid three or four more dollars for it.  I believe the epithet “sucker” is in order.

Unsurprisingly, only one of my top ten films was released in 3D.  The last thing I want is for the tiresome trend to hit my “Oscar films.”  Who wants to see stuff like Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire in 3D?  (“It’s like the baby was being thrown right at me!”)  I should also point out that this list marks my top ten of 2010 so far.  There are a number of limited-release films that have not made it to a theater near me yet.  As such, this list may be revised sometime around the Oscar broadcast.  But until then, here are the ten films you should rush to see if you haven’t already.


1.       The Social Network
I “like” those who say
it’s the defining film of
its generation.


2.       Toy Story 3
Pixar brings you on
an emotional journey
you’ll never forget.


3.       Winter’s Bone
An Oscar-worthy
lead performance anchors this
suspenseful drama.


4.       Exit Through the Gift Shop
A mind-blowing doc
about art, culture, and one
crazy brainwasher.


5.       Inception
Nolan proves that big
films can be original,
inventive and smart.


6.       Black Swan
Powerful, brutal,
gut-wrenching, beautiful, hits
like a sucker punch.


7.       127 Hours
Never has cutting
one’s own arm off been made such
a pleasure to watch.


8.       The Red Riding Trilogy
Three bleak films about
corruption, murder with a
cast that bleeds talent.


9.       A Prophet
You’ll need to shower
after this gritty prison
film. Don’t drop the soap!


10.   Inside Job
Pure greed destroyed your
economy and all you
got was this great doc.


I would like to give an honorable mention to one of the best films I saw all year that is not in contention for the top ten, since it has yet to have an official release date.  That would be the horror comedy Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, about two hapless rednecks who get mistaken for murderous serial killers by a group of unintelligent and unlucky college kids.  You’ll laugh, you’ll cringe, and you’ll want to watch it again and quote it with your friends.  Write your local senator and demand this movie get a wide release (or at least “like” it on Facebook)!  Check the website out here: http://www.tuckeranddale.com


The Haiku Review has some worst movies of the year for you as well.  It should be noted that these are only taken from movies I’ve seen, and until someone pays me big bucks to do it, I won’t sit through obvious dreck like Furry Vengeance, Marmaduke, or anything from Nicholas Sparks.  So you’ll have to do with these bottom feeders.


1.       The Book of Eli
Blindness, the Bible
bad FX and boob jobs. It’s
The Road for morons.


2.       The Human Centipede: First Sequence
Quite possibly the
stupidest concept for a
horror film ever.


3.       From Paris With Love
Travolta sure has
used up the last drops of his
Pulp Fiction good will.


4.       Cop Out
When was the last time
Kevin Smith made a movie
worth a second thought?


5.       Knight & Day
Formulaic crap
from the Bug Lady and the
Scientologist.

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