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2009 was a terrific year for movies.

2010 has been another story entirely.

I don't want to say that not one movie on the 2010 would have made the 2009 list, but that may well be the case.
Although I do try to stay away
from movies I know I'm going
to dislike, there are some
movies that qualify for the list
of the Worst Movies I've seen
this year. They are (in the order
I saw them):

The Loss of a
Teardrop Diamond

Dream Boy

Please Give

Dinner for Schmucks

The Switch


A Woman, A Gun and
a Noodle Shop

You Again
See all 2010 Comments
Top 10 of 2009
10  The Last Station  Helen Mirren is a wonder.  This is hardly news to moviegoers, especially those who remember her from The
en a few years back.  But she just keeps rolling along.  Here she plays the wife of the dying Leo Tolstoy (an excellent
    Christopher Plummer, who also keeps improving with age), who worries for the inheritance of her children as her husband nears
    death and comes under the influence of his manager, played by Paul Giamatti, who has his own ideas about Tolstoy's legacy.  
    To keep an eye on the Tolstoy family, Giamatti's character hires a new secretary for the aging author, in the person of James
    McAvoy, who's been good in a couple of things recently, includ
ing The Last King of Scotland and Wanted.   It's a fine movie,
    rich in detail, but in the end, you won't be able to take your eyes off Helen Mirren.  (1/19/10)

9  Easy A For those of you who have been wondering what the future holds without Lindsay Lohan, fear not.  I have the seen the
    future, and it is Emma Stone.  Ms. Stone's utterly charming presence makes this otherwise forgettable lump something that
    you're happy to see.  There are some good supporting performances by Thomas Haden Church, Patricia Clarkson, Stanley
    Tucci, Lisa Kudrow, Amanda Bynes and some terrific younger actors, but this is Ms. Stone's show, and she does not
    disappoint.  (9/28/2010).

8  The King's Speech   is extraordinary.  Colin Firth is being rightly praised for his performance as the man who would become
    Edward VIII.  His performance is remarkable.  However, it's Geoffrey Rush as his speech coach and Helena Bonham Carter as
    his wife (the future Queen Mum) who gives the movie its heart.  In a day when movies are remarkable when there is one
    outstanding performance, The King's Speech is blessed to have three.  (12/31/2010)

7  The Social Network First, I should say that I liked this movie--but I'm apprehensive about it.  I don't know how much I can
    trust it to be a credible retelling of the early days of Facebook (all the way back in 2003.)  Why?  It doesn't help that several of
    the key players have been paid tens of millions of dollars to keep the mouths shut about what really happened.  (I guess it's
    at least something that the movie admits this.)  As a story of nerds generating fortunes out of mid-air, it's very nearly perfect.  
    Mark Zuckerberg ( as portrayed by Jesse Eisenberg) is an insufferable creep, and he is surrounded by slightly more insufferable
    creeps--notably Justin Timberlake as "the Real Napster" and Armie Hammer (great-grandson of the billionaire, Armand) as
    not one, but two creeps who claim they had the original idea for Facebook--if not the technical expertise to make it happen.  
    (Speaking of creeps, even Prince Albert and former Harvard president and Obama advisor Larry Summers have roles in the
    movie.)  The movie has a few things to say about standing up for what you believe in, and that's good, but mostly, it's about a
    bunch of jerks. (10/24/10)

6  It's Kind of a Funny Story I wish I were a better writer, so that I could do a better of job of making you want to see this movie.
    The movie's director has said that his vision was rooted i
n The Breakfast Club.  I can see that.  It's certainly more attuned  to the
    John Hughes vibe than, say,
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.  The protagonist is a typical 16-year-old-kid who frankly doesn't
    seem to be sufficiently disturbed to be suicidal--but, for conversational purposes, let's say he is.  So he checks himself into a
    mental hospital.  I didn't know that a 16-year-old could do that, but again, let's say he can.  The teenage ward is being
    renovated, so he's put into the adult population where meets patients who are not nearly as threatening as you're used to seeing
    in movies about mental wards.  There's a cute girl (of course), and a mysterious guy who's there to keep the plot moving.  
    That person is played by Zach Galifianakis, who is wonderful here.  He wasn't what I liked best about
The Hangover, and frankly,
    I never expected to see him toiling outside of the Judd Apatow-hideous HBO comedy ghetto, but he turns in a wonderful
    performance in the movie that I'll remember at the end of the year when I'm wondering who to nominate for Best Supporting
    Actor. (10/12/2010)

5  Toy Story 3 Facebook Stalking = Death by Monkeys.  Pass it on.  (There's no point in telling you what I thought about the
    movie--although I did like it a lot.  You're either going to see it without any input from me, or you're going to avoid it like the
    plague.  In the meantime, much like one of the Plastics i
n Mean Girls who kept trying to "make 'fetch' happen," I'm trying to
"Facebook Stalking = Death by Monkeys" happen.   It's a long story.   (6/27/2010)

4  The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo I just read that this Swedish film is going to be remade with an American cast.  And I can
    only ask, "Why?  Are subtitles THAT hard to read?"  This is perfectly fine, perfectly understandable film that seems to
    fit it Scandinavian milieu just fine.  If they plop it down in California or New York, it won't lose much, but it will seem
    to be redundant.  This is alleged to be the most popular book in the world right now,so I won' t bore you with too many plot
    details.  A middle-aged, mid-career journalist is convicted of slandering some muckety-muck.  While the case is on appeal, he
    takes a job of trying to solve a 40-year-old mystery about a wealthy young woman who disappeared off the street one day
    and was presumed murdered.  In his quest, he is befriended (to his surprise) by a 20-something computer genius with a
    passion for justice and sticking her nose into where it doesn't belong.  And yes, she has a dragon tattoo.  It's an absorbing
    story (even if you have to read the subtitles from time to time), and I urge you check it out before some Hollywood studio
    wrecks it.  (6/21/2010)

3  True Grit In the interest of full disclosure, I have to tell you that I brought a LOT of emotional baggage to this movie.  Seeing
    the god-awful original was either THE last or one for the last things my family did as a cohesive unit before the divorce.  My
    most vivid memory of the movie was listening to my father snore through most of it.  When the girl fell in the snake pit, my
    mother jumped--causing my father to wake up screaming like white trash at a tent meeting.  I think I hated almost everything
    about the movie--John Wayne (not so much him, but the way everything else in the movie was subverted to make the movie even
    more about him); Glen Campbell, who was game but lost in his first movie role; and especially Kim Darby, who bore as much
    resemblance to a 14-year-old girl as I do now.  So when I heard that the Coen brothers were remaking it, I wondered if I'd be
    able to drag my butt to the theater to see it.  Well, I did, and I'm so glad I did.  It's one of the best movies of the year.  I haven't
    read Charles Portis' book, but I have to believe that this movie is more true to it than the earlier version.  At the very least,
    you're led to believe that the title refers to the girl, not Rooster Cogburn.  Like the best actors do, Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon
    disappear into their roles, and newcomer Hallie Steinfield shines as Mattie.  The biggest surprise is how
funny the movie is.
    Nobody ever laughed at the Duke.  Check it out.  (12/31/201

2  Joan Rivers:  A Piece of Work Yes, she is.  That's why you won't mind watching a movie about her that runs to about two
    hours.  This is not the most perceptive bio-pic ever made, but it is very revealing about who the woman is and how she lives
    her life.  Frankly, for me, that was close enough.  If you like Joan, check it out.  If you don't, you won't find much that will
    make you become a fan.  (6/20/2010)

1  The Ghost Writer   Last month, I had an opportunity to catch Chinatown during the 31 Days of Oscar, and It was like catching
    up with an old friend I hadn't seen in 25 years.  I never thought it was the classic that others have because, frankly, I just don't
    like Faye Dunaway as much as other people do.  But there's no one who can tell a story of absolute power corrupting absolutely
    like Roman Polanski.  He did it masterfully i
n Chinatown, and he does it competently in The Ghost Writer.  And here's something
    that Roman Polanski knows that you don't: despite what they tell you on CNN, Europeans are fascinated by Americans.  It's too
    bad that Mr. Polanski can't come to America to make movies like this one because we are his milieu, and his work suffers when
    he tries for similar effects elsewhere.  In this movie, he gets excellent work from his cast, notably Ewan McGregor, Pierce
    Brosnan, Kim Cattrall (really) and Olivia Williams.  The plot, which confirms the worst fears of Euro lefties about Americans, is
    solid.  Brosnan plays a former British prime minister--let's call him Tony Blair--who is so unpopular in the UK that  he has to
    come to Martha's Vineyard to write his memoirs.   Along for the ride are his wife (Williams), secretary (Cattrall) and ghost
    writer (McGregor).  In the process of writing the politician's story, McGregor finds evidence that  throughout his political
    career, Bla--I mean, Brosnan has been a CIA puppet.  (If only the CIA could manage American politicians as well.)  Mayhem
    ensues.  Except for the woeful decision to film the story on the northern coast of Germany, which bears about as much
    resemblance to New England as Algeria, this is a terrific movie.  (3/22/2010

                               MATT'S TEN FAVORITE MOVIES OF 2010!