It's Finally Here - The 19 Best Movies That You Didn't See in 2010
by Alex Billington
February 25, 2011
← Back to the first page. Here's the second half of the best movies from 2010 that we suggest watching:
Jack Goes Boating
Opened on September 17, 2010
Directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman
A limo driver's blind date sparks a tale of love, betrayal, friendship, and grace centered around two working-class New York City couples.
Why it's on here: Having mastered work in front of the camera, Philip Seymour Hoffman pulls double duty by starring and directing this quirky adaptation of the play of the same name. Amy Ryan shines as she attempts to connect with Hoffman's introverted main character Jack. Meanwhile John Ortiz does his best to help Jack in his romantic endeavors even if his own marriage is on the verge of falling apart. This certainly isn't a straightforward romance, but the performances and direction from Hoffman make this a hidden gem of 2010. (Written by Ethan Anderton)
Leaves of Grass
Opened on September 17, 2010
Directed by Tim Blake Nelson (Interview)
An Ivy League professor is lured back to his Oklahoma hometown, where his twin brother, a small-time pot grower, has concocted a scheme to take down a local drug lord.
Why it's on here: This should've been an easy sell because it stars Edward Norton twice, as his own brother in dual roles and it's very funny, too - but it got screwed up in release a few times and never got the attention it deserved. Tim Blake Nelson both stars in and directs this down-South comedy about two friends who get in a bit of trouble and devise a scheme to get Norton's twin brother back to town. It's not a flawless film, but it's a fun indie comedy that borders on being more of a stoner flick than drama, but it's great either way.
A bullied young boy befriends a young female vampire who lives in secrecy with her guardian.
Why it's on here: I'm including this because it didn't do as well as it should have at the box office and because there are still too many people resistant to seeing it who need to open up and appreciate the work of Matt Reeves and his cast/crew. Also because it's a fantastic film that actually lives up to its Swedish counterpart. Kodi Smit-McPhee and Chloe Moretz star in this incredibly beautiful but gripping thriller about a "young" vampire girl and her relationship with a lonely boy. Richard Jenkins also adds some gravitas to this with an incredible performance and overall it's just a impeccable and polished film worthy of sitting next to Tomas Alfredson's Låt den Rätte Komma In.
Louis CK: Hilarious
Opened on September 8, 2010
Directed by Louis C.K.
With a simple "Hello, everybody," writer and stand-up comedian Louis C.K. opens his latest live show, Hilarious. This harmless salutation is the least-controversial thing that comes out of Louis C.K.’s mouth as he turns rants on everyday subjects into hilarious, expletive-laden diatribes where nothing is sacred, not even his children.
Why it's on here: It's truly sad that the stand-up comedy feature film has fallen out of the spotlight as Louis C.K., one of the funniest comedians working today, delivers one of the most spectacular feature lengths sets I've seen in a long time. Though he covers all the usual topics of family, sex, children and aging, his stark and poignant outlook on life make it freshly hilarious. Vulgar and full of cynicism, Louis C.K. is not for the faint of heart, but don't be ashamed if you find yourself laughing, because everything here is solid comedy gold. (Written by Ethan)
As children, Ruth, Kathy and Tommy, spend their childhood at a seemingly idyllic English boarding school. As they grow into young adults, they find that they have to come to terms with the strength of the love they feel for each other, while preparing themselves for the haunting reality that awaits them.
Why it's on here: Although the reaction from those who have seen this has been mixed, I'm a big fan and supporter of the film, I was moved by it and its stark beauty. It doesn't need sci-fi sticking out of every corner or explanations for every question (e.g. why don't they run away?) but for the story that Romanek tells, adapted from Kazuo Ishiguro's novel, this is a great film with subtle beauty and powerful performances. Give it a chance and try not to get too wrapped up in the occasional issues with the story. Read our lengthy interview with Mark Romanek for deeper insight into all of his decisions.
Opened on October 8, 2010
Directed by Sam Taylor-Wood
A chronicle of John Lennon's first years, focused mainly in his adolescence and his relationship with his stern aunt Mimi, who raised him, and his absentee mother Julia, who re-entered his life at a crucial moment in his young life.
Why it's on here: I was first introduced to director Sam Taylor-Wood by way of her short film Love You More, but this feature proves she's a director to watch out for, already talented and only getting better. Nowhere Boy is that Beatles prequel that tells the story of John Lennon, played superbly by Aaron Johnson of Kick-Ass, before he was really John Lennon, mostly as a teenager in England. This isn't a film only for Beatles maniacs, it's actually a great indie drama about the trials and tribulations of a young John Lennon and his soon-to-be-bandmates, including Sam Bell and Thomas Sangster. I really enjoyed it and I thought it deserved to be on here, too.
Opened on June 4, 2010
Directed by Neil Jordan
The story of an Irish fisherman who discovers a woman in his fishing net who he believes to be a Selke (a water nymph).
Why it's on here: Yea, this does star Colin Farrell as an Irish fisherman, but you know, it's actually really, really good. It's essentially an Irish fairytale starring a very easy on the eyes Alicja Bachleda as a "Selke", a water nymph (think mermaid, not the other nymph, though she does...) who falls in love with Farrell but the fairytale lore says it can't be so. There's actually a charming story at its heart about a father and his daughter and the fairytale elements to it just added some magic to all of that. It's actually very good, check it out.
Opened on May 7, 2010
Directed by Nicole Holofcener
In New York City, a husband and wife butt heads with the granddaughters of the elderly woman who lives in apartment the couple owns.
Why it's on here: After nabbing a surprise nomination at the Writers Guild Awards, I was pleased to find Nicole Holofcener's film Please Give (which she also directed) to be a breath of fresh air this awards season. With carefully crafted and genuine dialogue, Holofcener delivers a heartbreaking look at several people who don't seem to be very happy in their current lives. From teen angst to crumbling marriages and aging family members, Catherine Keener, Oliver Platt, Rebecca Hall and Amanda Peet deliver one of the more unique and overlooked films of 2010. (Written by Ethan)
Opened on December 22, 2010
Directed by Sofia Coppola
A hard-living Hollywood actor re-examines his life after his 11-year-old daughter surprises him with a visit.
Why it's on here: I really admire this film, even if it's Sofia Coppola doing what she does best. Once I finally got to see Somewhere late last year, I walked out pretty much instantly in love with it. Stephen Dorff does give a fantastic, nuanced performance, but it's Elle Fanning who will steal your heart. She's just adorable to watch and really makes this film work in so many ways. It is meditative and sometimes slow, but I found it to be a fascinating ultra-realistic look at the sometimes dull life of a famous celebrity. Plus it has a great soundtrack courtesy of the band Phoenix.
Opened on July 9, 2010
Directed by Ben Steinbauer
Jack Rebney is the most famous man you've never heard of - after cursing his way through a Winnebago sales video, Rebney's outrageously funny outtakes became an underground sensation and made him an internet superstar.
Why it's on here: After becoming an internet sensation due to his foul mouthed bloopers from his own RV commercials, Jack Rebney seemed nowhere to be found. But fortunately filmmaker Ben Steinbauer decided to find the man behind the mouth, and learn just who this man is. Seeming lost, bitter, confused and maybe even angry about his unintentional Internet success, slowly we see that Rebney might just be a lonely man who'd like some attention. Though the story seems to lack a bit of focus every now and the, it's interesting to look so deeply at a man who many people will only ever know as a foul-mouthed RV salesman. (Written by Ethan Anderton)
I hope I've been able to introduce everyone to a few more great must-see films that you have never seen. Not everyone will love all of them, that's certainly expected, but I guarantee there is something unique to discover in every last one of these. Support an indie filmmaker today, watch one of these 19, it will make a difference! Let us know what you think of it after, too!
I also need to make a quick shoutout to our friends at /Film for their similarly-themed article Best Movies of 2010 That You Probably Haven't Heard Of, which was curated mostly from a combination of stats (like box office, user ratings online, etc) than personal opinion. We've chosen most of the films listed above based on opinion, while still including considerations like poor box office performance or lack of marketing.
Honorable Mentions (aka Runner-Ups): Giorgos Lanthimos' Dogtooth, Cold Weather, Oscar winner The Secret in Their Eyes, Splice, It's Kind of a Funny Story, Winter's Bone, The Dungeon Masters, Gaspar Noé's Enter the Void, Shutter Island, Blue Valentine, Duplass Brothers' Cyrus and Alejandro Amenábar's Agora.
Commentary on Cemetery Junction, Greenberg, Jack Goes Boating, Louis C.K.: Hilarious, Please Give and Winnebago Man written by our own Ethan. We hope you enjoyed this year's selection of the 19 Best Movies That You Didn't See in 2010, as we're always happy to bring you guys a list of movies that should be added to your Netflix Queues or Must Watch lists. Leave your thoughts on any you see in the comments below!
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