Kickass Movies of the Year

Our Ten Favorites from 2010 – including Jackass 3D.

4. Inside Job
Directed by Charles Ferguson

Filmmakers like Ferguson remind me of Newbomb Turk in The Hollywood Knights...wait, hear me out. Here we are, the middle class, hanging out at the Residence Association party, commenting about how the punch has a little wang to it, while Turk is outside trying to warn us the bowl has been pissed in. Well, America is the punch, and that "wang" you taste is the mortgage crisis, 10 percent unemployment and the state of unending war we're being forced to swallow. If, at the end of Inside Job, you're not ready to dismantle Wall Street brick by brick, well, just go back to your punch.

3. The King's Speech
Directed by Tom Hooper

Sharply written and compelling: The Social Network, with Justin Timberlake and Jesse Eisenberg.
Sharply written and compelling: The Social Network, with Justin Timberlake and Jesse Eisenberg.

Winston Churchill was the face of British defiance during World War II, but King George VI's wartime speeches were also an important source of inspiration, and these were only possible after the monarch overcame a severe lifelong stammer.  David Seid­ler's excellent script and Colin Firth's best performance since Mamma Mia! uh, A Single Man anchor this study of the little-known king, who had the unenviable task of assuming the Crown after his older brother's abdication on the eve of World War II.

2. Jackass 3D
Directed by Jeff Tremaine

Movie critics and self-appointed custodians of moral integrity alike have found unlikely common ground in vilifying these movies, a fact that only demonstrates their collective ignorance, for you can trace a straight line from the comedies of Harold Lloyd and the Three Stooges on up to the antics of Johnny Knoxville and company.  Their anarchic exploits are about the only sane response to a society that treats Sarah Palin like a serious political figure and believes giving millionaires tax breaks is good policy. At least Knoxville will use his dividend to buy some more gorilla suits.

1. Winter's Bone
Directed by Debra Granik

Granik doesn't pull punches when it comes to the effects of drug addiction. Her first film, Down to the Bone, told the bleak story of a woman struggling to come clean for the sake of her family, while Winter's Bone follows a young girl's attempts to track down her fugitive father through the menacing labyrinth of Ozark meth country. It's Southern Gothic  updated for the crank era, yet still shows us how one can occasionally find hope amidst endless poverty and violence.

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