By Anna

1. The Social Network

Fittingly fast-paced, The Social Network brings clever dialogue, great direction, editing, and a pithy soundtrack making it the best film of the year. Aaron Sorkin’s a Shakespearean master in this film, and the cinematography takes itself seriously in a film that might not otherwise be concerned with perfect camera angles—everything fits.

2. 127 Hours

Speed-induced. From beginning to end, director Danny Boyle doesn’t take us out of the action, but makes each thought and action real. Because of James Franco’s apparent propensity to his character, the film needs few others. 127 Hours shows us what film is capable of by giving us a story of a man whose most heroic actions cause him to disparage the title of hero and become selfless—sacrificing part of himself to do so. Boyle trusts his audience to get what he puts in front of them and satisfies every feeling he evokes.

3. Toy Story 3

As anyone who has gone off to college may know, the transition from being well fed and taken care of to being on your own is easier said than done. This is just what the gang finds out in Toy Story 3, but they grow closer to each other and the audience than ever before. It’s hilarious and heart wrenching with enervating suspense to boot.

4. The Kids Are All Right

Taking its audience through all the emotions of a lifetime, it’s no wonder I couldn’t pull myself together for a couple days after I saw this film. It is so well executed and acted (by all) that you feel a part of their family—understanding the fun, pain and anxiety of what can happen to any family.

5. Inception

When I first saw Inception, I thought it was the best movie I’d seen in years. Then I started to think about it more and more and realized it was a great movie, but couldn’t be the best, because it lacked that old fashioned storytelling rule: show, don’t tell. However, it’s in my top films of the year list because it’s an amazing idea, executed to the fullest extent of filmmaking possibilities, and leaves you just plain awestruck.

6. The Town

My initial review of The Town stays the same: it uses the emotional scenes not only to develop characters but to also build suspense to the next action scene. The audience wants action, and director Ben Affleck delivers without letting go of his mission of declaring war on the system.

7. Greenberg

Though this is the last on my list and the most likely to drop behind the following unseen picks, it’s still noteworthy because Ben Stiller and Greta Gerwig, under Noah Baumbach’s direction, are infelicitous and ingenuous. Rhys Ifans role should also be noted in this quirky, lovable film.

Films I haven’t seen yet, but could very likely take a top spot (in no particular order):

  1. True Grit: If it’s better than the original film (for which John Wayne won his only Oscar), then damn if it won’t near the top of my favorites for the year. I only expect the best from Joel and Ethan Coen.
  2. The Fighter: We know what Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale are capable of alone, but their being together can only mean greatness.
  3. Winter’s Bone: Nature v. nurture. This film by Debra Granik looks beautiful and thought provoking.
  4. The King’s Speech: A stuttering royal who is going to be king under the direction of Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter? I’m in. Did I mention the royal was Colin Firth?
  5. Exit Through the Gift Shop: Banksy, Banksy, Banksy. You’ve got me more than intrigued.
  6. Somewhere: Each of Sofia Coppola’s films are more than magnificent, I expect nothing less from Somewhere.
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