2010 master chart 1 preview

Our friend Ziyad Abul Hawa has really outdone himself with this year’s final chart of charts, expanding the scope to include 114 films. Compiling data from 4 prominant ratings sites (the BFCA, MetaCritic, Rotten Tomatoes, and IMDb) with a column tabulating the current box office earnings provides us with a handy way to scan the numbers for all the titles we’ve been tracking the past 12 months. Plus, it’s just an awesome piece of artwork in itself — a year-end montage of movie ratings. Full list of 114 films after the cut, as well as links to giant size versions. Thanks Ziyad!

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Thanks to Matt Mazur for this link. The Village Voice couldn’t help but recognize David Fincher’s The Social Network:

1. The Social Network
2. Carlos
3. Winter’s Bone
4. Ghost Writer

The full list after the cut.

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Best Picture

  • 127 Hours and The Social Network (tie)

Toy Story 3
True Grit

Best Achievement in Directing

  • Christopher Nolan, Inception and David Fincher, The Social Network (tie)

Danny Boyle, 127 Hours
Joel and Ethan Coen, True Grit
Edgar Wright, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

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Marshall Fine makes a list of the year‚Äôs “10-best unseen or unacknowledged films ‚Äì think of it as the downer-dozen-minus-two.” Movies he considers either under-appreciated, under-attended or both.

  • Greenberg
  • Somewhere
  • The American
  • Biutiful
  • Winter’s Bone
  • Blue Valentine
  • Another Year
  • Mother
  • A Prophet
  • Tiny Furniture

Fine reminds us that this “is NOT a 10-best list.”

Rather, it’s my list of the best movies of 2010 that you probably didn’t see, didn’t want to see or didn’t know about. But they were all movies that challenged the viewer in one way or another. Which is why, for the most part, they went (or will go) unseen.

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(Thanks Marshall). The top 10 films of 2010, according to AP movie critic Christy Lemire:

1. “The Social Network” ‚Äî The movie of the year because it captures where we are in time in captivating fashion. In depicting the origin of Facebook, director David Fincher and writer Aaron Sorkin have created an epic tale about how we tell the world the tiniest details of our lives, and they convey potentially dry, unwieldy topics ‚Äî computer coding and competing lawsuits ‚Äî in an intimate way. This represents the best of what they do: Fincher’s mastery of fluid, visual storytelling, Sorkin’s knack for crisp, biting dialogue. It’s sharp, funny and tense, has great energy and pulsates with the thrill of discovery, with an excellent cast led by Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake.

2. “Inception” ‚Äî All the hype is justified. Writer-director Christopher Nolan’s film is a stunningly gorgeous, technically flawless symphony of images and ideas. In its sheer enormity, it’s every inch a blockbuster, but in the good sense of the word: with awesomeness, ambition and scope, featuring Leonardo DiCaprio at the center of a classy, eclectic cast. The cinematography, production design, effects, editing, score, everything down the line ‚Äî all superb. But unlike so many summer movies assigned that tag, this is no mindless thrill ride. With its complicated concepts about dreams within dreams, it’ll make you work, but that’s part of what’s so exciting.

3. “Winter’s Bone”_ There’s not a single false note in this intense, intimate story about a teenage girl struggling to keep her family’s home. Debra Granik’s backcountry drama oozes authenticity, both in its small details and its grand, haunting gestures. Jennifer Lawrence proves she’s a flat-out star as a young woman who ventures deep into the Ozark Mountains to track down her drug-dealing father. As she confronts increasingly dangerous foes, she discovers her own strength. But there’s also unexpected hope to be found toward the film’s end, especially in the scenes Lawrence shares with the formidable John Hawkes as her ornery uncle.

4. “I Am Love”

5. “Black Swan”

6. “127 Hours”

7. “Never Let Me Go”

8. “Animal Kingdom”

9. “The King’s Speech”

10. “Exit Through the Gift Shop”

Top 10 from AP movie writer David Germain, after the cut.

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(Thanks garras)

Best Picture

  • The Social Network
  • Runner up: Toy Story 3

Best Actor

  • Jesse Eisenberg for The Social Network
  • Runner up: Colin Firth, The King’s Speech (by one vote)

Best Actress

  • Natalie Portman for Black Swan
  • Runner up: Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right

Best Supporting Actor

  • Christian Bale for The Fighter
  • Runner Up: Andrew Garfield for The Social Network

Best Supporting Actress

  • Juliette Lewis for Conviction
  • Runner Up: Melissa Leo for The Fighter

Best Director

  • David Fincher for The Social Network
  • Runner up: Darren Aronofsky for Black Swan

Best Screenplay

  • Aaron Sorkin for The Social Network
  • Runner up: Nicole Holofcener for Please Give

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As one of the first out of the gate with his Top 10 list, Peter Bradshaw at the Guardian UK is champing at the bit. So we’ll let him run ahead before he makes all the other critics skittish. He claims to have “compiled an Oscar-style nomination list” but it only takes one glance to understand he means “10 nominees” and that’s where the Oscar overlap ends. Two sentences from his intro have relevance to our more practical purposes:

Mike Leigh gave us another gem in what is becoming a gloriously fruitful and accomplished “late period”… And The Social Network was mainstream American film-making of the smartest, most sophisticated and yet accessible sort.


  • ANOTHER YEAR (dir. Mike Leigh)
  • KICK-ASS (dir. Matthew Vaughn)
  • THE OTHER GUYS (dir. Adam McKay)
  • UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES (dir. Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
  • ENTER THE VOID (dir. Gaspar No√©)
  • OF GODS AND MEN (dir. Xavier Beauvois)
  • THE HEADLESS WOMAN (dir. Lucrecia Martel)
  • DOGTOOTH (dir. Giorgios Lanthimos)
  • TOY STORY 3 (dir. Lee Unkrich)
  • THE SOCIAL NETWORK (dir. David Fincher)

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This opinion I hold to be true is not a popular one on the web. We live in a time when anyone with the energy, desire and wherewithal can start up a blog and write about movies. Life experience not required. A knowledge of film history helpful but not required. Of course, you’d never know how important having a film education — an education at all — and life experience was unless you had lived past the phase where you don’t think it matters.

There is a story about a young artist who wanted to chip away at the feet of Michelangelo’s David because it represented the “old” and not the “new.” While it’s true that sometimes it takes a young and unspoiled mind to see the purity and greatness in something that might have otherwise been written off by an elder, most of the time, wisdom is the reward you get by having lived through things.

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Most important resurrection for film-lovers since lost footage of Metropolis was found in an Argentinian vault. Reuters reports the happy news that veteran film critic Todd McCarthy is returning to the printed page. Unceremoniously dismissed by Variety 7 months ago in a misguided cost-cutting purge, McCarthy’s incisive writing will soon be restored to ink and paper at his former employer’s rival.

After decades as a five-day-a-week publication, The Hollywood Reporter is being revamped as a weekly magazine under its new editorial director, Janice Min.

The Hollywood Reporter’s Kirk Honeycutt moves into the role of international film critic, where he will expand the paper’s global coverage while continuing to review Hollywood films…

McCarthy told the New York Times Wednesday that he was grateful to IndieWire but had received “a very interesting offer” from the Reporter, and was happy to return to a trade paper. “Trades are what I’m versed in,” he said.

After 31 years at Variety and 7 months to recharge at IndieWire, it’ll be a pleasure to see McCarthy’s work showcased again in a traditional format.

(thanks to Jun for bringing the good news)

The Town 2

Imagine there’s no haters
It isn’t hard to do…
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

Stop dreaming. But this week critics came closer to that mellow state of mind than we’ve seen since forever. When reviews for The Town started coming on strong a few days ago, planting Ben Affleck’s ensemble thriller firmly in the healthy green zone, I said “all it needs now are a few 100s in the mix.” Well those 100s never materialized — but happily, amazingly, only one single assessment on metascore rates it lower than a 60. For those of you keeping score at home (please tell me I’m not the only nerd), this benevolent critical reception gives The Town an overall average of 76 — yep, two points higher than Inception’s 74.

That’s right, Inception, with its 11 glorious scores of 100. And its poisonous bashing from Stephanie Zacharek, Rex Reed, and other haters whose 25s and 30s dragged it down off the pedestal. It’s a perfect example of something I rail about from time to time: how a metascore scale that runs from 1-100 is inherently flawed because it’s an open invitation to review abuse, permitting a critic to single-handedly wreck a movie’s critical perception. I mean, how shitty would a term paper have to be for a professor to give it a 0? Isn’t a grade of 50 in college already FAIL enough? Yet, when one critic out of 35 is given the mathematical power to wreak havoc, he can destroy a film’s ranking with a single deplorably low number in the red zone. No amount of counteractive adoration can save it; it’s sunk.

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No one else but Ebert would do something this cool. Because it’s PBS, he doesn’t have to go the traditional route of “two white guys,” he can change it up and hire those who do the job well. This will be on my must-watch list, as it is with Anne Thompson, who just wrote about it on Thompson on Hollywood. Elvis Mitchell and Christy Lemire will be interesting to watch, even if it likely won’t have quite the same reach as it would have on ABC, though I suspect it will still have a pretty decent influence on Academy members, who are known PBS watchers:

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I’ll go ahead and assemble the names we’ve collected into a poll ballot, just for the curiosity element and sheer time-killing fun of it. (which, obviously, were the only real reasons for me raising the question to begin with. My own idle thumb-twiddling curiosity.)

Sasha’s reply to this headline question looks to be the definitive answer, and hers was the hypothesis I was secretly hoping to prove anyway. The verdict and my own addendum are too unwieldy to put in a post, so I’m going to lift Sasha’s earlier comment and transplant it to the top of the discussion thread on page two. We can rebuild the conversation from that foundation at Ground Zero.

Honestly? What sparked this question in my head yesterday was my increasing frustration with everyone brandishing RT numbers like fucking Ninja throwing knives every time a movie comes along that needs “validating” or “dismissing”. If this were a New Yorker cartoon, we’d be comical trial lawyers yelling in front of a jury and the only thing filling our dialogue balloons would be “66!” “87!” “42!” When in fact it’s just a silly weekly ritual we go through. I myself feel ashamed to have encouraged it. So I want to blow the whole ceremony to smithereens. And was hoping to do so with our readers collusion — by having you decide for yourselves that only 10 or 12 critics really make a whit of Oscar difference in the end.

Meanwhile, here’s the pre-slanted poll, after the cut. You can vote for 10 critics. Just choose the 10 writers whose opinions mean the most to you. It’s not as if any of us strung across the four corners of the globe really have an insider line on who’s influential in Hollywood. But at least these poll results will show me which critics you guys think are worth quoting in the future.

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MetaCritic typically collects reviews from around 40 critics and Rotten Tomatoes names roughly the same number among its ‘Top Critics.’ The individual lists of critics change from film to film, with a core group of 25 who never seem to miss a movie. 20 other critics slide on and off the edges of the guest list.

Among these 4 dozen film critics there might be 10 writers so esteemed that they can help make or break a movie with their review. A few of those critics we’ll all agree about. A few more will receive less “universal acclaim.” There are only 20 critics I really give a damn about, and maybe 5 who’ve made a weekly impression on my ongoing film education over the years. We’ll all have our favorite writers; but this poll I want to assemble is not about prose skills. I’m more curious to find out who we think has clout and real industry influence.

Not particularly interested in ranking the 40 most familiar critics from best respected to least — though that ranking will soon shake out. I’d like to find out who’s at the very top. The premiere film authorities. The writers we think are the 10 or 15 most important critics in the business.

I’ve thrown together a preliminary list. We’ll take suggests and hear arguments for the next few hours. Sometime tomorrow after all the suggestions are made and gaps filled in, we’ll put the top 35-40 names in poll and open it to voting this weekend.

Find my very rough list of candidates after the cut, and let me know who I forgot to include.

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Ziyad Abul Hawa has built us a beautiful chart to display key stats at-a-glance for the year’s most acclaimed movies at the half-way point. Longer list encompassing the top 35 films after the cut.

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