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A look back: best of films

Ever since the birth of James Cameron’s Avatar, many of the up and coming films of today have been dragged into a deadly spiral of trying to live up to a sequence of powerful directing, overflowing creativity and brilliant 3D graphics. While many have failed to meet the expectations of their audiences, (The Last Airbender) many have risen to the present challenge. The audiences of today are looking for something new, something that will take their breath away, something that will make them think or remember, and the following films have all accomplished this in some way.

10. Iron Man 2:

Why, yes, some may argue that it was a somewhat predictable movie, but it did what it was supposed to do. From the hands of Jon Favreau, the movie follows where the first left off – now that the world was aware of the identity of Iron Man, what would Tony Starks do with his newfound fame and, with that, enemies? With the acting of Robert Downy Jr. as Stark and Mickey Rourke as the evil Vanko, the movie was an entertaining, if flawed show to sit down and watch.

9. Easy A :

Being the only teenage drama on the list, Easy A tackles problems of today in a different, fresh way. Emma Stone is Olive, a teenager thrown into a whirlwind of problems when she is overheard lying to her ditsy best friend about losing her virginity, and the downward spiral that ensues. Quick and witty humor, grounded with superb acting, are tastefully laced throughout the entire story, with both the minor and major characters, resulting in a surprisingly fluid and well-made film.

8. Hereafter :

One of the darker movies of the year, Clint Eastwood’s Hereafter delves into the concept of life, death and, most importantly for the film, life after death. Matt Damon, portraying the protagonist of George, gives an outstanding performance alongside Thierry Neuvic and Cecile DeFrance. The piece moves the viewer and is another one of those movies that leave the audience wondering about what could be. Though there is really no conclusion provided by the movie, it by no means should be passed up.

7. Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World :

Original in many ways, Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World is definitely worth the watch. Sadly, though, it may not be a movie for everyone. It takes in generations of video game humor and mixes it with trials of romance and music, and then spices it up with today’s cultural spin. The visual design of the movie is refreshing and different, with all of the fight scenes outrageous, unbelievable, and laudable.

6. Kick-Ass :

As perhaps the only “superhero” movie with characters that have absolutely no powers, Kick-Ass is thoroughly entertaining. The movie does a good job with being relatable with the nerdy protagonist and action-packed, as expected from a movie from its genre. The only controversy comes over the character of ‘Hit Girl’ as some feel as if the 11-year-old persona, being slightly foul-mouthed and all kick-ass one moment and sweet the next caused the character to seem flaky and overdone. Regardless, the movie is still filled with humorous moments and brilliant acting.

5. The Social Network :

Many people were a little off-put at the idea of having a movie about Facebook, as most people wondered what there would be to tell. Somehow, there managed to be a lot. The film, revolving around Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg), is filled with powerful acting from all angles and a screenplay that was indisputably beautiful. The movie quickly proved to be more than just Facebook and the trials that it caused. It was a remarkable story of friendships and betrayals due to money, and their consequences.

4. How to Train Your Dragon :

For both children and adults alike, How to Train Your Dragon captured the hearts of many. One of the most moving and well-crafted pictures from DreamWorks Animation, the movie impressed from start to finish with the powerful voice talents of Jay Baruchel and Gerard Butler. Perhaps it was simple compared to others on this list, but the plot was decent, engaging and who couldn’t come to love Toothless, the not-so-toothless Night Fury?

3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1:

Although many fans had low expectations for this installment of the series after the disappointing Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, they likely thought differently of this excellent return to form. With Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint returning for the impressive seventh installment of the series, the movie has grown up with us college students. No longer is it the light and fluffy first film that we experienced with the 11 year old protagonists. The darker and scarier scenes have definitely grown to fit the evolving plot, and the graphics perfectly matched what was expected of them.

2. Toy Story 3:

To say a movie was better than its predecessor and that movie’s predecessor is, in the movie world, something extraordinary and nearly unheard of. In light of this, Toy Story 3 tackled and conquered the high expectations that were placed upon it. As another series that has grown up with our generation, the most moved of all by this film were definitely the adults and teens. How often do you find full grown adults crying over a simple film about toys? Well, Pixar did it by reuniting the powerful cast and pulling off the seemingly undoable in a sound powerful last installment.

1. Inception :

As the best film of the year, Inception has everything any film fanatic could dream of wanting in a thought-provoking masterwork. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Dom Cobb, a world class criminal who steals ideas from people’s minds. For the assignment that the movie revolves around, he is given the impossible mission in an attempt to clear his name, to plant an idea within someone’s mind – the perfect crime. The movie paints dream upon dream upon dream, leaving viewers marveling in wonder. Inception is unmatched in its originality. While Toy Story 3 definitely climbed the numbers because of how it moved us, Inception did the same just because it made viewers think.

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