We dare you to disagree: when all was said and done, 2010 was a great year for movies.
Christopher Nolan managed to somehow create a summer blockbuster in "Inception" that actually required thinking. Animation dominated the Cineplex with perhaps the greatest lineup of cartoons a single year has ever seen -- "How to Train Your Dragon," "Despicable Me' and "Toy Story 3" just for starters. And "The Social Network" managed to combine our two national obsessions -- movies and the internet - in a way that, frankly, only we here at Nextmovie had ever previously accomplished.
There were a lot of tough choices, but we managed to crown the year's best movies, scenes and stars in our first annual year-end movie awards.
Best. Movie. Ever.
FTW: "The Social Network"
It didn't sound like a recipe for Hollywood perfection: the kid from "Zombieland" in a movie about Facebook? Really? But beyond the great performances turned in by Jesse Eisenberg and his cadre of young studs, "The Social Network" had something else going for it -- the fact that, for the last few years, just about everyone in America has had a hand in writing the story. Is it any wonder that we all "liked" it so much?
#Runner-up: "Black Swan"
Best LOL Fest
FTW: "The Other Guys"
There were a lot of funny movies this year, but nothing quite made us ROLFMAO like the truly inspired team of Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg as mismatched cops in "The Other Guys." Ferrell, of course, we expected to be funny, but Wahlberg was a bit of an unknown quantity when it came to comedy. Sure, the guy can do underwear ads, but could he bring the laughs? The answer was a resounding hell yes. We can't wait for the sequel.
#Runner-up: "Get Him to the Greek"
FTW: "Toy Story 3"
Some things just get better with age: cheese, wine, Keith Richards. You can add "Toy Story" to the list, thanks to what might be the best threequel in movie history. Given their incredible track record, we didn't think anything from Pixar could surprise us anymore, but making a third "Toy Story" movie that was even better than the first two? Well played, Woody and Buzz, well played.
#Runner-up: "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse"
Best Chick Flick
FTW: "Easy A"
For a long time, the phrase chick flick has been used as something of a derogatory term. But at its best, a good chick flick isn't entertainment just for the ladies. You want proof? Well, how about "Easy A," which not only turned Emma Stone into a superstar overnight but also showed that even a potentially crude story -- about a girl who pretends to sleep with guys at her high school and gets a bad rep as a result -- can become a subtle and sublime look at life when given a woman's touch. The lesson "Easy A" taught us all? Embrace the chick flick.
#Runner-up: Anything but "Sex and the City 2"
Best Use of 3-D
FTW: "Jackass 3-D"
Critics of 3-D have long derided the technology as little more than a stunt. To which "Jackass 3-D" offers this response: exactly. So it's no wonder that the latest collection of bone jarring and nut crunching stunts from Johnny Knoxville and company made the best use of 3-D yet. After all, from jet ski launches to flying port-a-potties, nobody does dumb stunts like the crew of "Jackass 3-D." So welcome to the 21st century, everyone, because the future of movies has finally arrived -- and it looks a lot like Wee-Man.
#Runner-up: "Despicable Me"
Best Animated Movie About a Supervillain Who Has a Change of Heart and Becomes a Hero
FTW: "Despicable Me"
In Hollywood, villains are just heroes with bad publicists. So it's no surprise that not one but two big budget animated hits came out this year with almost identical plots about villains undergoing a change of heart to become heroes. No, the surprising part was just how much heart those films actually ended up having, especially "Despicable Me" and it's almost indescribably cute combination of grumpy villain Gru, his goofy crew of inhuman henchpeople and his three newly adopted daughters. It is, in fact, so fluffy.
Best Breakout Performance, Male
FTW: Andrew Garfield, "The Social Network" and "Never Let Me Go" (But Mostly "Social Network")
When Andrew Garfield was announced as the new Spider-man earlier this year, fans around the world sounded like a flock of owls as cries of "who?" reverberated around the internet. But thanks to his instantly iconic turn as Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin in "The Social Network" -- and his less known but equally acclaimed role in the indie "Never Let Me Go" -- everyone in the world now knows his name. Which leads to a new question: is Spider-man big enough for Andrew Garfield?
#Runner-up: Tom Hardy, "Inception"
Best Breakout Performance, Female
FTW: Emma Stone, "Easy A"
Once upon a time, Emma Stone was a cool but little known actress whose only claim to fame was playing second banana in the cult flick "Zombieland." A nice way to earn some spending money on the sci-fi convention circuit, but hardly the path to becoming a household name. Then "Easy A" opened up this fall and lickety-split, Stone was a Hollywood superstar. And for good reason, because as the movie showed, Stone has both the acting chops and the on-screen magnetism to be a breakout star for years to come. "Easy A?" Easy A-List is more like it.
#Runner-up: Chloe Moretz, "Kick-Ass" and "Let Me In"
Best Leonardo DiCaprio Mind F**ker
If there's one thing we know about Leonardo DiCaprio after all these years, it's that he likes to f**k with your mind; when you expect him to zig, he zags. And this year, he zagged like never before in "Inception," anchoring 2010's biggest mind-bender with a performance that was equal parts action hero and mental patient. Did that top stop spinning or not? One thing's for sure: DiCaprio's never going to tell us the answer.
#Runner-up: "Shutter Island"
Best Multiple-Movie Performance, Male
FTW: Mark Wahlberg, "The Fighter," "The Other Guys" and "Date Night"
Anybody can turn in one cool performance over the course of a year; after all, like the say, even a blind dog eventually finds a bone. But turning in three very different but equally awesome performances in one year? Well, that takes a special talent. Enter Mark Wahlberg, who began the year by showing off his abs and his comedic timing in "Date Night," upped the laughs to full throttle with "The Other Guys' and then turned on a dime to become a serious award season favorite as a gritty boxer in "The Fighter." Let's face it: the guy gets more done before lunch than most actors accomplish in an entire year.
#Runner-up: James Franco, "127 Hours," "Eat Pray Love," "Due Date" and "Howl"
Best Multiple-Movie Performance, Female
FTW: Kristen Stewart, "Eclipse," "The Runaways" and "Welcome to the Rileys"
Newsflash to the world: Kristen Stewart is not just Bella anymore. Sure, that's something that most Twi-Hards actually knew already, but the rest of the universe seemed to have missed the memo. Until this year, that is, when K-Stew blew away audiences and critics in the indie rock epic "The Runaways" and the intense family drama "Welcome to the Rileys." Add yet another appearance as Bella and you have the makings of an actress that is going to be with us for decades to come -- sparkly vampires or not.
#Runner-up: Mia Wasikowska, "Alice in Wonderland" and "The Kids Are All Right"
FTW: Chloe Moretz, "Kick-Ass"
Let's face it: a lot of ass was kicked this year. From "Iron Man 2" to "The Expendables" to "Scott Pilgrim," villains and punks were pummeled in a variety of ways and with a variety of weapons. But despite the bounty of beatdowns, there was really no contest for this one, as Chloe Moretz executed the unrighteous with extreme prejudice. We're not sure how her middle school classmates felt about the performance, but we thought Hit Girl lived up to her movie's title: she kicked ass.
#Runner-up: Helen Mirren, ‘Red’
Best Use of Abs
FTW: Jake Gyllenhaal, "Prince of Persia"
After a half decade of being dominated by Ryan Reynolds, this year's Best Use of Abs award is being presented to a surprise winner as Jake Gyllenhaal takes the prize thanks to his unexpectedly moving use of abs in "Prince of Persia." While most of the movie was dominated by CGI, Gyllenhaal's abs were a special effect all their own, causing eyes to pop in theaters around the country. Our plea: put a shirt on those things, stat. After all, with great power comes great responsibility; you don't unleash the dragon unless the villagers act up. You hear us, Jake?
#Runner-up: Jake Gyllenhaal, "Love and Other Drugs"
Most Unexpected Nudity
FTW: "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1"
Fans heading into the theater to see a "Harry Potter" movie have grown accustomed to seeing the unexpected, as magic, wizards, trolls and flying cars are the norm in the world of Hogwarts. But nothing could brace fans for the truly unexpected when "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1" hit screens earlier this year -- a fantasy sequence featuring a nude sex scene between Harry and Hermione. We're pretty sure that wasn't in the book (except for that extra chapter we wrote for… our own purposes), but regardless, it quickly became the most surprising and memorable sequence in the film -- and perhaps the entire series.
#Runner-up: Anne Hathaway, "Love and Other Drugs"
FTW: Bella and Edward
We know what half of you are thinking; finally, someone agrees with us and recognizes that Edward and Bella are fated to be together. And we also know what the other half of you are thinking: nooooo, she belongs with Jacob! Whichever way your jib is cut, though, you've got to admit that the heroes of both Team Jacob and Team Edward continue to set the bar for on-screen chemistry with their lady love. Now if only we can convince the producers of "The Twilight Saga" to include Team Coco in the next movie…
#Runner-up: Bella and Jacob
FTW: "The Other Guys"
If you're a guy who loves movies about guys who love guys, then this was a great year, because bromance became a Hollywood buzzword thanks to mantastic films like "The A-Team," "The Expendables" and "Iron Man 2." For our money, though, the most bromantic film of the season was "The Other Guys," which featured Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg as policemen who were so wrong for each other they became right. We're not afraid to admit it: "The Other Guys" completed us and if you let it, it will complete you too -- in the most manly way possible, of course.
#Runner-up: "The King’s Speech"
FTW: "The Expendables"
Heading into last summer all the man-hype was about "The A-Team." But it turned out to be another group of action movie relics from the 1980's that stole the show as "The Expendables" became the surprise smash of the season. We should have seen it coming, though, because honestly -- Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzeneggar all in one movie launching grenades and bon mots with equal relish? That's just made of win whether you're a dude or not.
#Runner-up: "Jackass 3-D"
Best Dance Movie
FTW: "Black Swan"
Everyone loves a good dance movie. Get some dirty dancing going, maybe some flashdancing or some electric boogaloo -- guaranteed crowd pleaser. But a movie about ballet? That's gotta suck, right? Well, a funny thing happened this year, as director Darren Aronofsky turned the universe on its ear by not only making an awesome movie about ballet, but making a movie about ballet that was simultaneously sexy, smart, dangerous -- and, yes, even crowd pleasing. Natalie Portman as a (possibly) deranged dancer in a cutthroat ballet world? That's a tune that will get everyone's toes tapping.
#Runner-up: "Step Up 3D"
Best Tent Scene
FTW: "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1"
Movie goers had many chances this year to pitch a tent at the theater, but in a close race we had to give the Best Tent Scene to "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1." And it's not just because half the movie talks place inside a tent; it's because the tender dance between pals Harry and Hermione was one of the few additions to J.K. Rowling's text that actually improved the storyline. The kids are all grown up.
Best 2011 Movie (Judging Solely from the Movie Trailer)
FTW: "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides"
They say don't judge a book by its cover, but we say, why read in the first place when you can just watch movie trailers all day? And when it comes to snap judgments, we've already made ours, as we hereby name "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" as the best movie of 2011. Oh, sure, some of next year's biggest movies don't even have trailers out yet, but for our money, "On Stranger Tides" has already claimed the title. And that's a decision we're going to stick with -- at least until the next batch of trailer arrives.
#Runner-up: "Your Highness"