The Best and Worst Movies of 2010

  • Comments: ↓ 54 user comments
  • Publish Date: January 7, 2011

Limited releases: Nothing but the truth

Breakdown of 2010 Limited Releases (Min. 7 Reviews)
Good (Metascore ≥ 61) 155 films
Mixed (40-60) 102 films
Bad (≤ 40) 29 films
Average Metascore 60.5

Though highly acclaimed 2010 dramas Winter's Bone and A Prophet tell original stories (the former, based upon a novel), the bulk of the year's 10 best-reviewed limited release films turn to real life for their inspiration. In fact, six of the top 10 films are documentaries, while the year's best-reviewed limited release -- Carlos -- is based on the true story of terrorist Carlos the Jackal.

In total, critics enjoyed 54% of the year's limited releases, down from 58% the previous year, but still well higher than the 26% approval rate for 2010's wide releases. And only 10% of limited releases last year received truly bad reviews; the worst 10 of those films are listed below, after a quick look at releases by month and a list of the year's best-reviewed limited releases.

Limited Releases by Month, 2010

In the chart above, Green represents the number of positively-reviewed movies (Metascore of 61 or higher). Yellow represents movies receiving mixed or average reviews (40-60). Red represents negatively-reviewed movies (0-39).

The Best Limited Releases of 2010
  Title Genre(s) Netflix Metascore Users
1 Carlos Foreign/Drama + Queue 94 8.1
2 A Prophet Foreign/Drama + Queue 90 8.9
3 Winter's Bone Drama + Queue 90 6.6
4 Inside Job Documentary + Queue 88 8.8
5 A Film Unfinished Documentary + Queue 88 6.3
6 45365 Documentary + Queue 88 n/a
7 The Tillman Story Documentary + Queue 86 7.1
8 Last Train Home Foreign/Documentary + Queue 86 8.8
9 Lebanon Foreign/Drama + Queue 85 7.3
10 Exit Through the Gift Shop Documentary + Queue 85 8.5
11 Vincere Foreign/Drama + Queue 85 6.8
12 Restrepo Documentary + Queue 85 8.0
13 Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench Musical/Drama + Queue 84 n/a
14 Boxing Gym Documentary + Queue 83 n/a
15 Animal Kingdom Drama + Queue 83 8.6
16 Neil Young Trunk Show Documentary + Queue 83 n/a
17 Mademoiselle Chambon Foreign/Drama + Queue 83 8.5
18 Ajami Foreign/Drama + Queue 82 8.6
19 127 Hours Drama + Queue 82 8.3
20 Marwencol Documentary + Queue 82 n/a
21 White Material Foreign/Drama + Queue 81 n/a
22 The Secret in Their Eyes Foreign/Drama + Queue 81 8.7
23 The Secret of Kells Animation + Queue 81 8.3
24 Fish Tank Drama + Queue 81 8.5
25 The Illusionist Foreign/Animation + Queue 81 n/a

Only movies with seven or more reviews released between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2010 were considered. Re-releases are excluded. The Metascore is a weighted average of scores from top professional critics, on a scale from 0 (bad) to 100 (good). Although scores have been rounded to the nearest whole number, movies are ranked prior to rounding. User scores represent an average of scores assigned by site visitors on a scale from 0 (bad) to 10 (good).

The Worst Limited Releases of 2010
  Title Genre(s) Metascore Users
1 The Nutcracker Family/Fantasy 18 n/a
2 To Save a Life Drama 19 6.8
3 Crazy on the Outside Comedy 21 5.0
4 Alien Girl Foreign/Thriller 21 n/a
5 Twelve Drama 22 6.0
6 Happiness Runs Drama 24 n/a
7 Knucklehead Comedy/Drama 24 n/a
8 Burzynski Documentary 24 n/a
9 I Spit on Your Grave Horror 27 n/a
10 Hemingway's Garden of Eden Drama 28 n/a

What are your favorites?

What are your picks for the best or worst movies of 2010? Let us know in the comments section below.

We're sorry, but comments are closed for this article.

Comments (54)

  • Your Momma  

    I'm surprised Twilight didn't land as worst movies of 2010.. I think this garbage deserves to be on that list. I am disappointed.

  • jenna  

    i love tangled and how to train your dragon. toy story3 sucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • jenna  

    ilove how to train your dragon but toy story 3 sucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • sara  


  • sara  


  • sara  

    Piranha 3d
    Tron: Legacy
    The Town
    Toy Story 3 Lottery Ticket
    Kick-Ass Salt
    Red Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

  • Devin stevens  

    The best film this year was easily 127 hours. A great plot, backed by terrific editing and music, and truly lifted by one of the best performances of decade. From there on....
    2) Kick-Ass. A close second and easily best comic book movie this year, which deserved a best supporting actress nominee for Chloe.
    3) The Town
    4) True Grit. Newcomer Steinfeld and Bridges were great.
    5) Shutter Island
    6) Scott Pilgrim VS The World
    7) Black Swan. Easily best female performance this year by the great Natalie Portman.
    Inception. Where's Chris Nolans best director nomination? Damn you oscars!
    9) Toy Story 3. The best of the Toy Story trilogy and tentatively the best animated film of all time.
    10) Social Network. And undeniably great film, but maybe a tad overrated. Honorable Mentions
    The Fighter
    I Love You Phillip Morris
    Get Him to the Greek
    Jackass 3-D
    The Kings Speech

  • Analredemption  

    Didn't like anything in 2010

  • the great silence  

    I can't believe Black Swan didn't end up on any list. Here's my top 15 of the year. Think it beats metacritics in diversity.

  • Oscar Nomination Rou  

    [...] Metacritic has Toy Story 3 has the second-best reviewed wide release of 2010, as does imdb (to different movies, interestingly enough).  So clearly lots and lots of people really like this film.  Up‘s nomination last year showed that the move to ten best picture nominees allowed the Academy to be OK with nominating an animated film for the big prize, so there’s no real reason it should miss.  I’ve heard a couple people theorize that The Kids Are All Right‘s spot is in danger.  I certainly don’t know enough to dispute that, I’m just a little hard-pressed to see how it could miss when its rivals appear to be indier and/or not having the support from at least one acting nomination, like this one. [...]

What Our Users Are Talking About

  1. /feature/movie-trailers-and-news-for-week-ending-april-18-2014 Image
    Film Friday (4/18): This Week's New Trailers + News
    April 18, 2014 - 1 comment
    1. LamontRaymond : Sign me up for The Green Inferno. Trailer is bad-ass. Read »
  2. /feature/predict-the-summer-movie-metascores-2014 Image
    Predict the Metascores for Summer's Biggest Movies
    April 16, 2014 - 3 comments
    1. jrs71991 : Two Michael Bay films? Well that obviously will get a score lower than 40. Read »
    2. GuillermoBosque : Godzilla and Maleficent will be great! where's Into the Storm? Read »
    3. LamontRaymond : Love that you put the trailers right there - I hadn't heard of several of these. Read »
  3. /feature/movie-trailers-and-news-for-week-ending-april-11-2014 Image
    Film Friday (4/11): This Week's New Trailers + News
    April 11, 2014 - 4 comments
    1. TheQuietGamer : 22 Jump Street and Neighbors still look absolutely hilarious. Definitely my most anticipated movies of the year. Read »
    2. Will : "It began with Twilight..." Don't forget Harry Potter. Read »
    3. Will : "Spoiler Alert! If you don’t want to know what happens to Juliette Binoche...." Yeah, great spoiler alert, Metacritic. Read »
    4. silasbodnick : There is just something about the sound effects in the new Godzilla trailer that make me really want to see that... Read »
  4. /feature/dvd-release-calendar-april-2014 Image
    DVD Release Calendar: April 2014
    March 27, 2014 - 1 comment
    1. silasbodnick : Ride along is much funnier than the critics gave it credit. Definitely take a chance on it if you are up for a little... Read »
  5. /feature/breaking-bad-episode-514-ozymandias-reviews Image
    Episode Review: Breaking Bad, "Ozymandias"
    September 15, 2013 - 15 comments
    1. dgroberts27 : Look at the one critic review that wasn't "extremely positive" and see what it says. "Last night's 'Ozymandias'... Read »