Reel Critics: The year on the silver screen

Suzanne Perez's picks for best and worst movies of 2010:

Favorite Films

1. "The Social Network" — A real-life geek inherits the Earth. Aaron Sorkin's quicksilver dialogue and Jesse Eisenberg's acting delivery are superb.

2. "The Kids Are Alright" — Annette Bening should finally get an Oscar for her portrayal of an uptight, controlling spouse.

3. "Winter's Bone" — Nineteen-year old Jennifer Lawrence is stunning as an Ozark girl desperate to keep her family from losing their home. Bleak, brittle, brilliant.

4. "Girl with Dragon Tattoo," "Girl Who Played with Fire," "Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" — The "Millennium" trilogy movies are the most exciting thrillers of the year.

5. "Toy Story 3"— Will give you the giggles, but even guys may get verklempt at the ending.

6. "Animal Kingdom" — "The Sopranos" in Australia, complete with a grandmother who'd eat her young.

7. "The King's Speech" — A stuttering prince who would be King. This role may do for Colin Firth what "The Queen" did for Helen Mirren.

8. "The Fighter" — Christian Bale is a knockout as Mark Wahlberg's crack-addicted brother/boxing coach.

9. "Mesrine: Killer Instinct" and "Public Enemy No. 1" — Vincent Cassel ("Black Swan") is electrifying in this two-part biopic of a brazen French thug. Fantastic action sequences.

10. "Hot Tub Time Machine" — So stupid, it's good. A one armed bellboy? Say no more.


Worst Films

1. "Grown Ups" — A waste of Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Kevin James, et al. The trailer showed all the best bits.

2. "RED" — Stands for "Ridiculous, Extremely Disappointing"

3. "Love and Other Drugs" — Anne Hathaway, Jake Gyllenhaal fall into bed and love against their better judgment. And ours.

4. "Dinner for Schmucks" — You know it's bad when the biggest laughs come from little stuffed mice. Seriously.

5. "Why Did I Get Married Too" — Janet Jackson heaves her ample bosom, shatters glass and every ounce of acting credibility.


This year produced a wide variety of films from very different genres with a shot at Oscar attention. Here is John Depko's Top 10 list:

1. "True Grit" — The Coen brothers gloriously update the classic Western to create a serious run at Best Picture, Director, Actor and Supporting Actress.

2. "Inception" — A highly complex, surreal and mind-bending action thriller.

3. "The Social Network" — It might be the "Citizen Kane" of the Internet age.

4. "Toy Story 3" — Pixar's best. Satisfying on so many levels for all age groups.

5. "The Fighter" — A gritty true life "Rocky" that puts Christian Bale in line for Best Supporting Actor.

6. "The King's Speech" — Classic British historical drama.

7. "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" — An unexpected gem that combines comedy, action, romance, fantasy and science fiction elements all at once.

8. "Winter's Bone" — Tough Indie film based on a true story of a young woman's search for her missing father in the meth labs of the Midwest.

9. "The Ghost Writer" — Roman Polanski's return with "Chinatown" overtones.

10. "Hereafter" — Clint Eastwood's thoughtful meditation on life and death is one of the year's hidden treasures.

SUSANNE PEREZ lives in Costa Mesa.

JOHN DEPKO is a retired senior investigator for the Orange County public defender's office. He lives in Costa Mesa and works as a licensed private investigator.

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