Film Junk’s Top 10 Movies of 2010

Despite all the talk about 2010 somehow being a bad year for movies, I think we all had a pretty difficult time narrowing down our favourite movies of the year to just ten. Clearly there is a lot more good stuff out there than anyone seems to remember… hopefully this will serve as a reminder of sorts. Once again this year we have avoided putting together a combined list and instead decided to present everyone’s individual top 10 lists separately. Ironically, this is a year when we probably could have agreed on a combined list fairly easily since there are a lot of movies that are shared between our lists.

Generally speaking, a movie had to get a theatrical release in North America in 2010 in order to be eligible for our top 10, although there are some exceptions for movies that were seen at festivals. The option was also there for people to include honourable mentions, and a few of us did separate lists for our favourite documentaries as well (be sure to check out The Documentary Blog’s Top 10 Documentaries of 2010). We’ll be discussing our choices on the next episode of the Film Junk Podcast. What are your top 10 movies of the year? Let us know in the comments below!


1. The Social Network
2. Black Swan
3. Toy Story 3
4. Catfish
5. True Grit
6. Greenberg
7. The Ghost Writer
8. Enter the Void
9. The American
10. Easy A


1. Black Swan
2. How to Train Your Dragon
3. 127 Hours
4. The Social Network
5. True Grit
6. Inception
7. Shutter Island
8. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
9. Fubar 2
10. Mother

Honourable Mentions: Let Me In, Kick-Ass, Toy Story 3, A-Team, Winnebago Man, Youth In Revolt, Best Worst Movie, The Town, Greenberg, Easy A, Get Him to the Greek

Top 10 Albums

1. Marina and the Diamonds – the Family Jewels
2. Robyn – Body Talk
3. Scissor Sisters – Night Work
4. Sigh – Scenes From Hell
5. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
6. Twin Shadow – Forget
7. Agalloch – Marrow of the Spirit
8. Amorphis – Magic and Mayhem
9. Hot Chip – One Life Stand
10. Mark Ronson and the Business Intl – Record Collection


1. Black Swan
2. True Grit
3. The Social Network
4. Inception
5. The Fighter
6. Shutter Island
7. Let Me In
8. The Girl Who Played With Fire
9. Somewhere
10. Winter’s Bone

Honourable Mentions: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, Toy Story 3, The Town, Easy A, Rabbit Hole, Never Let Me Go, Kick-Ass, The Expendables, Jackass 3D, Trigger, I Saw the Devil

Top 5 Documentaries

1. Winnebago Man
2. Tabloid
3. Exit Through the Gift Shop
4. Boxing Gym
5. Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage

Honourable Mentions: Restrepo, Game of Death, The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town, Catfish


1. Shutter Island
2. The Social Network
3. Black Swan
4. Inception
5. Somewhere
6. I Saw the Devil
7. Toy Story 3
8. 127 Hours
9. Animal Kingdom
10. Monsters

Honourable Mentions: Four Lions, I’m Still Here, Mother, True Grit, Let Me In, The Expendables, Piranha 3D, How to Train Your Dragon, The Fighter, Never Let Me Go, Jackass 3D

Top 10 Documentaries

1. Happy People: A Year of the Taiga
2. Tabloid
3. Into Eternity
4. Last Train Home
5. Sweetgrass
6. Exit Through the Gift Shop
7. Cropsey
8. Boxing Gym
9. Caves of Forgotten Dreams
10. Life With Murder

Honourable Mentions: Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo, Armadillo, Gasland, The Oath, Cool It, Catfish, Waste Land, 12th & Delaware, Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow, Arsy-Versy, The Invention of Dr NakaMats, The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia

Top 10 Albums

1. Sleigh Bells – Treats
2. Salem – King Night
3. Marnie Stern – Marnie Stern
4. Sufjan Stevens – The Age of Adz
5. Arcade Fire – Suburbs
6. Vampire Weekend – Contra
7. LCD Soundsystem – This is Happening
8. Tanlines – Volume On
9. El Guincho – Pop Negro
10. The Social Network – Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross


1. Inception
2. 127 Hours
3. Black Swan
4. The Social Network
5. The American
6. Kick-Ass
7. Animal Kingdom
8. Mother
9. Toy Story 3
10. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Honourable Mentions: Somewhere, Never Let Me Go, Winter’s Bone, Let Me In, Splice, Shutter Island, Red Riding Trilogy, Fish Tank

Top 10 Documentaries

1. Catfish
2. Exit Through the Gift Shop
3. Tabloid
4. GasLand
5. Cropsey
6. Best Worst Movie
7. The Invention of Dr. Nakamats
8. Into Eternity
9. Restrepo
10. 12th and Delaware


1. Inception
2. The Social Network
3. Shutter Island
4. The Town
5. Exit Through The Gift Shop
6. 127 Hours
7. How To Train Your Dragon
8. True Grit
9. Toy Story 3
10. I’m Still Here

Honourable Mentions: Somewhere, Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. The New York Knicks, Jackass 3D, The Expendables


1. Toy Story 3
2. The Social Network
3. Inception
4. Shutter Island
5. Exit Through the Gift Shop
6. Black Swan
7. 127 Hours
8. Rabbit Hole
9. The Fighter
10. True Grit

Honorable Mentions: Animal Kingdom, Four Lions, Let Me In, The Town, The Ghost Writer, The Illusionist

  • Nice lists guys. So, nobody saw Mike Leigh’s Another Year and thought it worthy of top 10? Colin, nice to know you have Enter The Void on your top 10. For the rest of film junkers, if you have not seen ETV, it HAS to be seen in the theatre!

  • Falsk

    More GasLand love! Woo!!

  • Goon

    (not counting hon mentions)

    on every (6) list:
    The Social Network

    on 5 lists:
    Black Swan

    on 4 lists:
    True Grit
    Shutter Island
    127 Hours

    Toy Story 3

  • Patrick Simpson

    These lists are incomplete until you’ve all seen Blue Valentine. Just walked out of the first showing today in NYC, and it’s easily my #1 of the year. Nothing comes close.

  • I can’t wait to see BLUE VALENTINE! Still have a few to catch up on (also Sophia Coppola’s SOMEWHERE) but I’ll probably start list making before the end of the weekend.

  • Greg

    I’ve seen Blue Valentine. Meh. Great acting in rather ho-hum film. Glad you liked it though Patrick, make sure you post your top ten in the comments here.

  • Goon

    my top albums of 2010:

    1. Marina and the Diamonds – the Family Jewels
    2. Robyn – Body Talk
    3. Scissor Sisters – Night Work
    4. Sigh – Scenes From Hell
    5. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
    6. Twin Shadow – Forget
    7. Agalloch – Marrow of the Spirit
    8. Amorphis – Magic and Mayhem
    9. Hot Chip – One Life Stand
    10. Mark Ronson and the Business Intl – Record Collection

  • Did Frank not see Black Swan? He didn’t even have it as an honorable mention.

  • Pretty solid lists. I didn’t see as many movies this year as my fellow podcasters but “Inception” would be on a top 100 of all time for me so that would probably have to be my #1. “Black Swan” was well executed but I think I preferred Satoshi Kon’s “Perfect Blue” in terms of a psychological thriller about a female dealing with the pressures of stardom, etc. But that movie came out years ago.

  • Burgus

    Best Movies : 1. Greenberg 2. Somewhere 3. Inception
    Best Albums : 1. The National – High Violet 2. The Walkmen – Lisbon 3. Yeasayer – Odd Blood

  • matty

    Like all the love for How to Train your Dragon, that movie definitely deserves it.
    Greg and Jay – I REALLY want to see Boxing Gym but can’t find it anywhere, any tips on where to pick it up?

  • Falsk

    Movies: The Social Network, Toy Story 3, True Grit, Easy A, Winnebago Man, Winter’s Bone, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Inception, How to Train Your Dragon, The Karate Kid

    TV: Treme, Party Down: S2 [RIP], Mad Men: S4, Entourage: S7, Bored to Death: S2

    Music: Black Keys, Vampire Weekend, Mumford and Sons, Arcade Fire, Broken Bells

  • KeithTalent

    Glad Sean had Mother on his list, I love that movie, also he has The Invention of Dr. Nakamats which was freaking awesome. :D So Sean wins, but pretty solid choices all around.

    When the hell is Tabloid coming out? Been itching to see that ever since you guys first talked about it.

    My Top 10, not that anyone cares:

    Mr. Nobody
    Enter The Void
    Exit Through The Gift Shop
    Cold Fish (Tsumetai nettaigyo)
    Secrets of the Tribe
    Black Swan
    Animal Kingdom
    Shutter Island

    Happy New Year everyone!

  • Re: Tabloid and Boxing Gym… I don’t actually know if Tabloid has a distributor yet but Boxing Gym will probably eventually be available directly from Frederick Wiseman’s website like all of his other movies:

    Also, here is a list of the theatres where it will still be screening:

  • kyri

    KickAss (the movie) represents everything that I hate about movies and KickAss (the character) represents everything that I hate about people.

    KickAss is pretty much yet another proof that most people are unable to do real critical thinking and generally just tend to believe whatever and whomever hides his true intentions with beautiful words..
    KickAss is the equivalent of a corrupted politician in movies. Seriously just think about it for a moment, does this movie delivers what it promises? Of course NOT! it’s just a mediocre Fun-ride. Don’t get me wrong I don’t mind fun movies.. But I do mind insincerity and lies and this movie is very insincere to the viewer and full of Lies. I also hate hypocrites and phonies, and Kick Ass starts the movie by giving one big speech after the other about why people do not help each other and why the world it is the way it is, but at the end of the film the guy just gets the girl and stops giving a fuck about anyone else. Really if this isn’t the definition of hypocrisy then what is hypocrisy? And furthermore why should I give a fuck about this obnoxious duchebag that spends the entire film talking about how he is a real life super hero etc but really does NOTHING and helps NOBODY in the film rather than himself? Not even that God damn CAT!!!
    What is this movies message anyways? Just Take Travis Biggle from The TAXI DRIVER and compare it to Kick Ass.
    This is a movie that claims to be dealing with the Real Life super hero theme but in reality even Seth from SUPERBAD was a better “Real life Superhero movie” than this shit. At least he was honest right from the start. He just wants to FUCK a hot chick.

    And what’s with the narrative anyways? It gave me the impression that this movie used narration only for the sake of fast pacing and to add that stupid American Beauty joke at the end.
    . Just Skip the stupid “verbal justification” it justifies NOTHING it’s just obnoxious..

    And don’t even get me started about hit-girl.

  • Mikey T

    So kyri, what you are trying to say is you didn’t like KickAss all too much? No please, I’m sure we are all dying to hear your social commentary on Hit-Girl. To me it’s just funny to hear an eleven year old girl say cunt, but hey, I’m easy to please.

  • chris

    i’m glad to see “i’m still here” mentioned. easily one of my favorites. it was completely misunderstood by the public and was Joaquin Phoenix’s best performance.

  • Elder Wand

    I wrote a quick little program to compile all 6 lists into one ‘Filmjunk top 10′ list by giving 10 points to each movie at #1 and 1 point to that at the 10th spot. Here are the results

    1. the social network
    2. black swan
    3. inception
    4. shutter island
    5. 127 hours
    6. true grit
    7. toy story 3
    8. how to train your dragon
    9. the american
    9. somewhere (tied with The American)

  • someguy

    nice to see my top 5 are very similar as usual.

    1. Green Zone (not one mention of it)
    2. Robin Hood (not one mention of it)
    3. Catfish
    4. Prince of Persia (not one mention of it)
    5. Devil (not one mention of it)

  • Andrew

    After reading a few of these lists on various sites, I’ve become convinced that Scott Pilgrim vs the World was my favorite 2010 film. Not saying it is the BEST film of 2010, but it blew me away with hos I continue to enjoy it. Also, Shutter Island > Inception.

  • The Man

    Shutter Island was 2 out of 5 at best.

  • Mikey T

    Jay and Greg were the only two to mention the Korean film “I Saw the Devil” so I’m left to assume no one else has had a chance to see it. Rumor is that it will be availible on DVD in the next few months, I lucked into a copy with good subtitles on Ebay. This film absolutly deserves mention just on the taxi cab scene alone. It’s expertly directed by Kim Ji-woon (Bittersweet Life) and features the triumphant return of Choi Min-sik (Oldboy) from his self-imposed hiatus. Lee Byung-hun’s (Bittersweet Life) gives a stellar performance as well. The cinematography by Lee Mo-Gae (Tale of Two Sisters) is some of the finest you will ever see. The running time is a bit long and it’s definitely not for the faint of heart, but the boundries this film pushes are admirable. On par with 2008’s “The Chaser”, although I enjoyed “The Chaser” a bit more. Good call Jay and Greg!

  • Anthony

    The album lists contain a serious lack of Deftones

  • Werner

    I always knew it – Jay’s got great taste in music.
    (Okay – I might only say this because 8 of the 10 albums he listed are also on my list…)

    I agree: 2010 was a great year for movies.

  • I’m hoping Frank did in fact see Black Swan and left it off on purpose. It’s my biggest disappointment of the year and easily one of the most overrated films of 2010 alongside Winter’s Bone. The writing in that film is just weak sauce all around. I’m a huge Aronofsky fan and he could have taken Nina’s descent into madness so much further. He could have done so much more with the camera too. And he also could have gave us a more fascinating look into the world of ballet. Disappointing film, all around.

  • Christopher reed

    #1 movie of 2010 is Bushwhacked

    Daniel Stern lives on

  • Greg

    @ Anthony – Deftones would be on my list…if I had a list.

  • Steini

    This would be my list for 2010 (we can argue if The Secret in their Eyes is a 2010 film or not, at least it had a 2010 US release):

    3.Shutter Island
    4.The Secret in their Eyes
    5.The Social Network
    6.Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
    7.Toy Story 3
    8.The American
    10.Get him to the Greek

    Honourable Mentions: Piranha 3D, Easy A, Despicable Me and here it comes: Harry Potter 7.1

    I haven’t seen the following movies as they aren’t available yet over here in Germany: Black Swan, True Grit, 127 Hours, The Fighter, Let me In, I’m still here

    There were also two movies this year I absolutely hated which are Due Date and Grown Ups.

    I’m looking forward to the Podcast, I always love the Top of the Year casts.


    P.S.: Happy new year to everyone ;)

  • Napalm

    I totally forgot about I Saw the Devil. gotta watch that shit.

  • i still need to watch about 6 more films before i compile my list. I don’t want it to be incomplete.

  • Rolf

    Very interesting lists with lots of different movies. I agree 2010 to be a good year for movies… you just have to look close :)
    Very nice to see SOMEWHERE getting much love from you!!!

    My faves of 2010 (Release dates in Germany)

    01. Red Riding Trilogy
    02. Inception
    03. Somewhere
    04. The Kids are all right
    05. A Town called Panic
    06. House of the Devil
    07. Kick-Ass
    08. Moon
    09. A Serious Man
    10. Triangle

    Honorable mentions:

    Armored, Ponyo, The Town, Toy Story 3, A Very Gerry X-Mas, Secret in their Eyes, Buried, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs


    A Serbian Film

  • pcch7

    Nice to see that at least Sean had Kick-Ass in his top ten.

  • Brendan

    Since Kick Ass is getting a lot talk here, figured I’d weigh in. I wasn’t interested in seeing it; I had read the first 3 or 4 issues of the comic before losing interest, and the trailers didn’t make me interested. But, since a lot of people liked it, I watched it. I didn’t hate it, but it still had some of the same problems as the comic plus some other issues.

    I won’t get into everything, but one thing that stood out that I hadn’t heard mentioned is that this is clearly a story written by a guy, with a guy’s “voice.” I didn’t buy any of the female characters – or rather, either of the two female characters. I understand Hit Girl was supposed to be a reflection of her father’s twisted upbringing, but Kick Ass’s love interest had no excuse for her poor development and dialog. It just seemed like too many of the characters’ dialog was too similar in tone. It might have been intentional, but it just made everyone seem one dimensional, which was a big problem for me.

  • Colin

    Micmacs wasn’t even mentioned… this shit is null-and-void.

  • Peter

    Did anyone here see Carlos? It’s a great movie. Probably better than most of the films listed above. 5.5 hours just breeze by. This is Assaya’s best work, and that’s saying something.

  • FYI, here’s a quick rundown of some of the movies that none of us had a chance to see before the end of the year:

    – Blue Valentine (except Greg)
    – Micmacs
    – Carlos
    – The Secret in their Eyes
    – The King’s Speech
    – Biutiful
    – Another Year
    – Get Low
    – Mr. Nobody

    So yes, we still have some catching up to do.

  • Kurt

    Can’t wait to see SOMEWHERE!

  • Hey guys, great lists, here are my top films and documentaries:

    1. Trigger
    2. Last Train Home
    3. Black Swan
    4. I Am Love
    5. How To Train Your Dragon
    6. The Secret in their Eyes
    7. Mother
    8. The Illusionist
    9. Sci-fi Tie: Inception/Monsters/Mr. Nobody
    10.The Big Picture (original French title: L’homme qui voulait vivre sa vie)

    Top Documentaries:
    1. La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet (d. Frederick Wiseman)

    2. And Everything is Going Fine… (d. Steven Soderbergh)

    3. Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work (d. Ricki Stern, Anne Sundberg)

    4. Into Eternity (d. Michael Madsen)

    5. Catfish (d. Henry Joost, Ariel Shulman)

    6. Tabloid (d. Errol Morris)

    7. Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of the Rural Studio (d. Sam Wainwright Douglas)

    8. Farewell (d. Ditteke Mensink)

    9. Space Tourists (d. Christian Frei)

    10. Dreamland (d. Porfinner Gudnason)

  • Aaron

    Nice to see all of your top 10 lists, guys. Maybe after I’ve caught up with a few more films I can weigh in with my own.

  • Greg

    Fuck. I just saw the Ghost Writer. My Top 10 is already obsolete. God damn.

  • Pres Mony

    Shocked that Jay is into Salem… one demerit.

  • KeithTalent

    Greg, you and Polanski should hang out, it seems you have some things in common.

    Of course I saw The Ghost Writer twice in the theatre, so not sure what that says about me. Really enjoyed the classic thriller feel.

  • Greg

    I do love swimming pools.

  • I’m late to the party, but here’s my top ten:

    1. Inception
    1. Black Swan
    3. Winter’s Bone
    3. Kick-Ass
    5. Exit Through The Gift Shop
    6. How To Train Your Dragon
    7. The Book Of Eli
    8. The Social Network
    9. Despicable Me
    10. Easy A

    Honourably mentions: Shutter Island, A Somewhat Gentle Man, Machete and Get Him To The Greek.

    I have not yet seen 127 Hours, True Grit, Toy Story 3, Somewhere, The Fighter, The King’s Speech or Let Me In.

  • Richard

    Glad you all liked Exit through the gift shop, i think its a cracker. funny and makes you want to make shit art and sell it off the back of Banksy.

  • Seems weird to me that Inception and Toy Story 3 are on so many of your lists. Especially Toy Story 3, to me it was so super average. Toy Story was a classic, 2 and 3, nothing near classic-material.

  • Shervin Macklords

    The Social Network and Inception are the best among the lot