There are a couple of movies I've yet to see that stand a good chance of being on this list (Inception and Never Let Me Go). Both are critically acclaimed, and one was the movie of 2010 in the box office, so just assume they'll wind up on this list in time. In the meantime, here's my five:
Robert Downey, Jr. makes a great Tony Stark. And Mickey Rourke would have made an amazing Whiplash if the character had been utilized better in this movie. Granted, Sam Rockwell in the role as the #2 baddie is a nice consolation, but the trailers for this movie had led me to believe that Whiplash was going to be a marquee supervillain. This was not a great movie, but I enjoyed it enough to include it among the five. But when I finally watch Inception, it's gone--fair warning.
The first fifteen minutes of this movie had me wondering if I was setting myself up for disappointment, because despite the flashy animation and opening action sequence, the characters didn't strike me as very interesting. Then, the relationship between Jay Baruchel's character and the dragon he captures, Toothless, gets going. After that, I was hooked. Depending on how much I enjoyed Despicable Me, this could very well be my favorite animated movie of the year.
It's not exactly fantasy and it's not exactly sci-fi, but I think it can sneak its way on this list. It's a damned good action movie, at any rate. What reservations I have about this movie stem from the misleading trailers that depicted this movie as a fun PG movie, when in reality it is a hard-nosed depiction of vigilantism with a comic book veneer--at least in the last half of the movie. It's got everything an action movie needs to make it worth watching, including a campy homage to Adam West's Batman by Nic Cage.
Comic book adaptations are dominating this list. And while I made fun of the fact that its target audience no-showed at theaters, I thought this was a fantastic homage to video-games of yesteryear. And the music was pretty good too. I'm one of those curmudgeonly types when it comes to popular music, but I really liked the songs played in this movie and could probably be swayed into buying the soundtrack. Cera does his usual schtick, which is fine, but it's the supporting cast that really carries this movie--especially Keiran Culkin.
Not only is this my favorite sci-fi movie of 2010--it's got a time machine so it counts--but it's my favorite comedy of the last couple of years, squeaking by The Hangover. Given the absolutely ridiculous premise for this movie, about a bunch of guys reliving their youth at a ski lodge in the 80s, but the cast wound up being perfect. John Cusack, Craig Robinson, Rob Corddry, Crispin Glover, Clark Duke, and Chevy Chase in a movie that pokes fun at and revels in 80s goodness. Fantastic.
Now that you know what my faves are: What were your favorite sci-fi/fantasy films from 2010?