The Best Reviewed Movies of 2010

As the end of the year nears, Rotten Tomatoes have released the tallies for the best reviewed movies of 2010. I thought we’d compare the list with the other movie review compilation site Metacritic.

Both sites have their advantages. Rotten Tomatoes includes a larger sample of reviews, while Metacritic features a smaller more-selected grouping of film critics. Rotten Tomatoes calculates critic scores using a positive or negative score for each review. One movie could be 100% fresh with all the critics giving the movie a 7/10 grade. Metacritic attempts to gauge the score of each critic’s review (not just a positive or negative, but a number 0 to 100) averaged together, giving you a better indication of what the response is to any given film, and not just a percentage of positive reviews.

For example, How To Train Youyr Dragon is ranked #2 for the year on Rotten Tomatoes with a 98% fresh rating based on 146 reviews. But on Metacritic, Dragon has a 74% average with 33 reviews. Honestly, I like how Metacritic calculates the numbers, but their refusal to incorporate a larger sample of film critics puts them behind Rotten Tomatoes in my mind.

Hit the jump to find out what films ranked in the best reviewed films of the year.
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Usually, when The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announces their short list of documentaries eligible for the Best Documentary Oscar, a dark cloud comes over my day. Pretty regularly, some of my favorite films haven’t been eligible for a nomination. Shut Up and Sing, The September Issue and Dear Zachary all come to mind as heartbreaking snubs.

For 2010 the list is a little better, with films such as Exit Through The Gift Shop and Restrepo making the cut but, as usual, there are some notable snubs. Catfish isn’t on the list, nor are Babies, Oceans, Best Worst Movie, Freakinomics or Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, just to name a few. Is your favorite 2010 documentary eligible to be nominated an Oscar? Check out the list after the jump. Read More »

Movie Trailer: The Tillman Story

tillman-story-trailer

At this year’s Sundance Film Festival, one of the most talked-about pictures was The Tillman Story. The film drew generally great reviews and was quickly the object of an acquisition bid by The Weinstein Company. Now there’s a trailer that paints Amir Bar-Lev‘s documentary not just as a portrait of a huge, terrible lie, but as a thriller as taut as any fictional tale. Read More »

Hesher

UPDATE: Just after I published this, The Weinstein Company was announced as the distributor for Blue Valentine, the drama starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams. The film has been one of the critical hits of the fest, but I’ve got to wonder what TWC will be able to do with it. The company is struggling, and I don’t have much faith in its ability to give the movie a proper release. Check Peter’s video review of Blue Valentine here. Original article follows.

Right at the beginning of this year’s Sundance there were a couple of big deals made. The doc Waiting for Superman was bought by Paramount and Buried, starring Ryan Reynolds, was picked up by Lionsgate. (Read Peter’s review.)As the festival winds down there have been a couple other big buys. Hesher is the most notable, with the Joseph Gordon-Levitt starring film going to Newmarket. The very well-received The Kids Are Alright has also found a home, and while Joel Schumacher‘s Twelve isn’t the best-reviewed film at the fest, it’s got a deal now, too. Read More »

pattillman

In My Kid Could Paint That, director Amir Bar-Lev followed around the family of child prodigy Maria Olmstead, documenting her rise to fame and its subsequent painful backlash. But Bar-Lev’s film ended up becoming less a document of Olmstead’s life, and more about Bar-Lev’s own struggle to come to terms with the concept of truth and the role of journalism.

In The Tillman Story, Bar-Lev fixes his gaze on an almost equally contentious public figure: Pat Tillman. Tillman was famously offered a multi-million dollar NFL contract, only to give it up in order to serve in the military. When Tillman was shot and killed in the line of duty, the U.S. military spun the incident as a story of a brave soldier killed while fighting off Taliban forces. Later, it was revealed that Tillman was killed by friendly fire, and that the military had lied in its initial report about Tillman’s death. What went into these lies, and what actually happened to Pat Tillman? These are the questions that Bar-Lev examines in his film.

After the jump, a few thoughts about the film and my interview with director Amir Bar-Lev, in which he talks about the  of documentary filmmaking and the importance of holding government accountable.
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