November is the month where my introspection tends to get the most unshakable. It literally burns holes in my brain thinking about what feats of artistic greatness and gestures of failure were made that year. It doesn’t help that I tend to listen to Guns ‘N Roses‘ classic tune “November Rain” on repeat to comfortably usher me into the thought of another winter.

When it comes to selecting the top five films of 2010, it is never an easy task for someone who essentially lives off this stuff. Last year, after I read the script of Synechdoche, New York (a moderately disappointing film), I began to think of life unfolding much like a screenplay. There’s nothing like an omnipotent narrator reading out stage directions while you do them. Salkin sits down on a park bench, pulls out a brown paper bag and drinks from it. Sighs. Watches the children play.

Enough of that. Here’s my list of the best films of 2010.

5. Get Him to the Greek

Have I mentioned that I generally hate mainstream comedies? Especially those spawned from the filmic loins of Judd Apatow (40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up)? Starring chubby and charming Jonah Hill, British comedian Russell Brand and superstar musician P. Diddy, this film was absolutely hilarious in a Jeffrey-kind of way. For those who don’t know what a Jeffrey is, you’re going to have to watch this one. Hill plays a music record employee who’s been assigned to accompany Brand, a former rock god turned washed up junkie, to the Greek to play an epic comeback show. Things get zany.

See the art of mindfucking here:


4. The Runaways

Joan Jett is fucking dope. Nobody can deny that fact. Starring Twilight tweenie Kristen StewartDakota Fanning and Michael Shannon, this film chronicles the challenges and drug abuse that riddled the all-girl rock band from the 1970’s. Tight pants, lesbian overtones and the everlasting promise of good old rock ‘n’ roll, this film is a must-see for anybody interested in the history of this vicious musical genre.

Ever wondered what it’s like to be a teenaged guitar player trying to make it in a man’s world?


3. Kick-Ass

I saw this one when I was on a plane to the UK, where I currently reside. I will admit that I’ve gotten rather swept-up in the tidal wave of graphic-novel inspired films that have been popularized by other movies like Green Lantern, the Batman series and Iron Man. They are popular, and although the pedestrian usually means bad (or often does), Kick-Ass lives up to its name. Also the first time I’ve liked Nicholas Cage, who tends to irritate me in some of my other favourite films (most notably: Adaptation).

This scene is the most epic action sequence that I have ever witnessed, a true testament to the potential powers of strobe. Warning: if you haven’t seen it yet, don’t watch it past 2:45.


2. Shutter Island

Martin Scorcese seems to have learned a thing or two from Christopher Nolan. This thriller set in the aftermath of WWII stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a grief-stricken, yet hard-lined marshal who’s sent to Shutter Island, a psychiatric institution, to investigate the case of a missing patient. It’s a great thriller worth watching.


1. Inception

I’m a huge sucker for Christopher Nolan. Anything he makes is gold, pure gold. Combine his layered-storytelling trademark and the ripening good looks of Leonardo DiCaprio and it’s surely a recipe for filmic ecstasy. Inception is the kind of film that confuses and disorients the viewer’s sense of reality, leaving an ambiguous ending and the taunts of an absurd moral justification. Like Memento toyed with the idea of finding happiness in one’s own lies, this film reveals the fine line between our dreaming and waking life, and the difficulty in existing between our conscious and unconscious realms.