The end of a year is always a sea of “best of” lists, most of which serve as political statements as much as objective comparisons, and it can all become quite tiring. It’s about time to put all of it to rest as we get our feet firmly planted in 2011, but before moving on completely I thought you might care to hear another list from some guy you may have heard of. I’ve also included a compendium of our own 2010 lists, with an overall ranking that can serve as a general overview of 2010 through CHUD’s eyes, for all of you who want to make sure to catch all of last year’s worthwhile films before 2011 gets heavy. Up first though…

Like any dedicated film geek, Quentin Tarantino loves making lists. Be it a simple end of the year “best of” list, or something more widely-scoped, Tarantino loses no opportunity to start a conversation about movies or endorse ones he loves. Oftentimes these are films you’ve never heard of or are too small/foreign to have been seen by many, but as you’ll see with his 2010 Best of the Year list, Tarantino’s tastes have run fairly mainstream in the last twelve months. Topping his list with the highest-grossing movie of the year, it runs right through many of the years most popular releases right down to Jackass 3D (on which, he and I agree). Of his list of 20 (which originates from the currently broken Tarantino Archives) there is only 1 film that didn’t have some kind of release in the States, and only 5 or so that you’d have any trouble at all finding if you live in any kind of notable market. And in typical Tarantino fashion, despite his talent in crafting some of the best and most iconic films ever made, it has some truly baffling inclusions. It runs as follows…

1. Toy Story 3

2. The Social Network

3. Animal Kingdom

4. I Am Love

5. Tangled

6. True Grit

7. The Town

8. Greenberg

9. Cyrus

10. Enter The Void

11. Kick-Ass

12. Knight and Day

13. Get Him To The Greek

14. The Fighter

15. The King’s Speech

16. The Kids Are All Right

17. How to Train Your Dragon

18. Robin Hood

19. Amer

20. Jackass 3D

There’s a fairly standard top 10 list scattered throughout Tarantino’s list, with Social Network, Animal Kingdom, I Am Love, The King’s Speech, The Fighter and a few others being staples of many critics year-end summaries. Tarantino’s always watched to the beat of his own drum though, often responding strongly to movies that most cineasts dismiss or outright hate, explaining the appearance of Jackass 3D, Tangled, Robin Hood, Knight and Day, or Get Him To The Greek (not to say they’re all bad films by any means, just not ones you’d expect to see on this kind of a list). The only film on his list that is a true underground pick is Amer, which is a Giallo-styled drama about a girl’s relationship with sex as demonstrated by three key moments in her life. Apparently the film is very textural, and more of a sensory experience that an outright narrative… sounds right up Tarantino’s alley. It played at Fantastic Fest if I understand correctly, but hasn’t seen many other screens across the world. You can see the trailer embedded below.

I’ll also hand it to Vulture for noticing that Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere, which won the big prize at Venice with the endorsement of a panel Tarantino was part of, is conspicuously missing. Rather than suspect there was any favoritism at Venice or any weird falling out since, I’ll just assume motherfucker forgot about it.

Moving on from Tarantino’s list to our own, I compiled a master ranking based on the four CHUD pieces the various writers produced. I essentially assigned points to a film for each time it showed up on a list, with the number of points corresponding to its ranking (fifteen points if it was #1, one point if it was #15, etc.). Taken as a whole though, you have a collection of just under 35 films that represent much of the best of what 2010 had to offer, and it should be a valuable tool for keeping your Netflix queue up to date as more and more of them enjoy DVD releases.


The Social Network (43)
Scott Pilgrim (42)
Black Swan (40)
True Grit (40)
Inception (36)
Exit Through The Gift Shop (36)
The Fighter (28)
Never Let Me Go (23)
Winter’s Bone (15)
Best Worst Movie (15)
Dogtooth (15)
Enter The Void (14)
A Prophet (14)
The King’s Speech (13)
127 Hours (12)
Mother (12)
How To Train Your Dragon (11)
The Illusionist (10)
The American (10)
Greenburg (9)
Everyone Else (8)
Monsters (7)
The Wild Hunt (7)
Catfish (7)
I’m Still Here (7)
The Ghost Writer (6)
I Am Love (3)
Four Lions (3)
Blue Valentine (2)
Cyrus (2)
The Town (2)
Hot Tub Time Machine (1)
MacGruber (1)
Jackass 3D (1)

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Tarantino Image by Image by © Nicolas Guerin/Corbis