The Movies of Summer 2010

The summer of 2010 is now coming to a close. With only a few days until September starts, the summer movie season is winding down. It’s time to close down the cottages, cover up the pools and take your mind off the word vacation. Back in June the summer looked quite promising. A couple big blockbusters were lined up and it looked like it would be an exciting summer for moviegoers.

Three months later here we are, all these movies that were once so highly anticipated have come and gone. Now it is time for some reflection. Which films lived up to the hype? Which were the sleeper hits? Which films blew you away and which severely disappointed you? Join us as we take a look back at the films of summer 2010.

Things looked promising as June started. The first week brought us a few films starring some big name actors. Killers, Get Him To The Greek, Marmaduke, Splice and Ondine were the first round of films to kick off the summer season.

Killers was murdered by the critics. Not even the star power of Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl could save this trainwreck of a film. Panned for the miscasting, lack of laughs and lame script, this was the first official flop of the summer. You can see our review here.

Marmaduke didn’t fare much better than Killers and as for Ondine, although it received moderate to good reviews, it wasn’t released widely enough to really produce any buzz. As for Get Him To The Greek and Splice, both found success and both earned fairly good reviews.

The duo of Jonah Hill and Russell Brand made Get Him To The Greek a non-stop festival of laughs and the consistently hilarious gags had audiences in stitches. It was one of my favorite films of the summer and I think I can safely say it was the funniest movie I’ve seen all year. Check out our review here.

Splice was a unique little horror film. Starring Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley, the film was dark and quite disturbing. The film wasn’t so much scary as it was unnerving and the character Dren probably stuck with audiences even after the credits started to roll. The film was very tightly written and pretty edgy. For horror fans it was a nice way to start off a summer that would be almost completely devoid of any scares.

Moving on, the week of June 11th saw two big films being released. The A-Team and The Karate Kid were both released on the 11th and for the next several weeks they would battle it out at the box office.

Neither film was original but both had existing fan bases and in the end, in terms of box office at least, The Karate Kid ended up knocking out The A-Team. Jaden Smith got audiences talking in The Karate Kid and, although most of the film faltered, Smith was enough to keep audiences entertained. The film was a bit too long and suffered from some poor direction but that wasn’t enough to keep it from making close to $300 million. Check out our review here.

The A-Team boasted a great cast but it proved to be inconsequential as the film only made $160 million and averaged a score of 47 on Metacritic. I actually enjoyed the film despite what the critics said and while Quinton Jackson has no business acting, the rest of the cast were entertaining to watch and the action was delivered in an exciting manner.

Another notable release that week was Winter’s Bone. Perhaps one of the best films of the summer, Winter’s Bone earned rave reviews and there weren’t too many people who didn’t like it. Unfortunately its limited release held it back from really gaining a larger audience.

June 18th brought us what most consider the summer’s best film, Toy Story 3. Buzz, Woody, Mr. Potato Head and more returned for their third outing. The 3D/IMAX ticket sales helped the film pull in an astonishing $985 million at the box office and the near universal critical acclaim gave it a 8.9 on IMDB and a 92 on Metacritic. It broke a couple records including becoming Pixar’s highest grossing film and the highest grossing animated film of all time. You can check out our review here.

Also out that week is a film you probably didn’t see, most likely it’s because almost no one saw it. The blink and you’ll miss it release of Jonah Hex was the next major flop of the summer. Awful reviews and even worse box office business led to this film disappearing pretty quick. The cast was pretty solid and the trailers looked ok but I guess the full film was a different story.

A couple smaller and very well reviewed films were released that week also. I Am Love, Cyrus and The Killer Inside Me all hit theatres that week and despite their smaller nature, they did fairly well with critics. Out of the three aforementioned films, I only saw The Killer Inside Me and I really enjoyed it. If you missed it in theatres be sure to pick it up on DVD/Blu-Ray. Casey Affleck gives a great performance and it’s a chilling and gripping film.

Rounding out June we had Grown Ups and Knight and Day. Neither were particularly good films but we did find out one thing. Audiences don’t like Tom Cruise. The film wasn’t reviewed well and the poor performance of the film may have repercussions for the upcoming Mission Impossible 4.

Grown Ups was pretty poorly reviewed but unlike Knight and Day, it did well at the box office. The Adam Sandler fans were out in full force and helped give the film a $218 million box office total. I saw both films and while Grown Ups was bad, Knight and Day was certainly worse. You can see our review of Grown Ups here.

Also released at the end of June was the documentary Restrepo. It has a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and the film takes a look at the Afghan war. It’s definitely on my to watch list.

My Top 3 Films of June

  1. Get Him To The Greek
  2. Splice
  3. Toy Story 3

3 Films In June I Wanted To See But Didn’t

  1. Winter’s Bone
  2. Restrepo
  3. Cyrus

3 Films In June I Wished I Hadn’t Seen

  1. The Karate Kid
  2. Knight and Day
  3. Killers

A new month and a new wave of summer blockbusters. July was arguably the biggest month for films this summer. Things got off to a quick start with the release of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. Although it hit screens a bit earlier (June 30th to be exact) its first weekend in release was July, so for the sake of this article I will be counting it as a July film.

There were more than enough Twilight fans to keep the folks at Summit Entertainment happy. The film only cost $60 million to make and it has made $676 million. Bonafide success? I’d say so. The reviews weren’t great but it didn’t matter. Those 12 year old girls were going to see this film regardless. Bella, Jacob and Edward, were all the fans needed.

That week also gave audiences a new reason to hate M. Night Shyamalan and a reason to boo everytime you see a trailer for the film ‘Devil’ in theatres. That reason came in the form of The Last Airbender.

The film was panned by critics and could easily take the award for being one of the worst films of the summer. It made a bit of money, $224 million to be exact but it also destroyed Shyamalan’s career, which is probably a good thing actually. The once Hollywood wunderkind has probably seen the last of his filmmaking days.

Also out that weekend was the Joe Pesci/Helen Mirren film Love Ranch. Despite having some decent star power, it was not well reviewed and I don’t think I’ll be seeing it.

As July progressed we were treated to one of the better films of the summer. Steve Carrell and the minions of Despicable Me gave audiences a wildly imaginative and funny film that also put Universal Pictures on the map in the animated genre. The film was reviewed very well and did amazing at the box office.

Failing to compete with Despicable Me that week was Nimrod Antal’s remake of Predators.  I actually enjoyed this one and I’m not sure why it didn’t do that well. The reviews were mediocre and the box office intake was decent. It offered enough bloody violence for the gore hounds and the cast did a good job. It was also nice seeing The Shield’s Walton Goggins on the big screen. If you did enjoy the film, you’ll be happy to know that talks of a sequel are still floating around. You can check out our review here.

Rounding up the week was The Kids Are All Right, The Girl Who Played With Fire, the sing-along version of Grease and [Rec] 2. The Kids Are All Right looked great and received very positive reviews. I’ve heard only good things about it and I’m disappointed I never got a chance to see it.

The Girl Who Played With Fire wasn’t as good as as The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and [Rec 2] offered some great atmosphere and some truly haunting scenes. You can check out our review here. As for the sing-along version of Grease….does anyone really care?

July 16th was a great day for movie fans everywhere. The highly anticipated and highly hyped Christopher Nolan film, Inception, was finally unleashed on audiences. After four viewings I can still safely say it’s one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. Featuring an intriguing premise, an extremely talented director and and equally as talented cast, Inception could do no wrong.

It was a success both with critics and with the box office and not only will it go down as one of the best films of 2010 but it will probably find itself on a couple best films of all time lists. You can check out our review here, our guide to understanding it here and our 5 favorite scenes here.

On the exact opposite side of the spectrum we had The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Panned by critics and hated by audiences, this Nicolas Cage/Jay Baruchel driven film bombed. Despite Bruckheimer’s backing of the film, it failed to find any fans and not even the nifty effects could save it from quickly departing theaters.

Seven days later we had the highly anticipated but ultimately disappointing Salt. You can check out our review here. Despite having Angelina Jolie in the lead role, the film failed to please critics. It brought in around $100 million and will probably spawn a sequel but the sheer silliness of it and the asinine plot twists really hurt the film.

Releasing alongside Salt was Valhalla Rising which boasted great cinematography but not much else. A couple other films hit cineplexes that week including Life During Wartime, Todd Solondz’s new film which was well reviewed but only received a LA/NY release, Countdown to Zero which like Life During Wartime only got a limited release and Ramona and Beezus which actually managed to sneak onto the top 10 in its first week.

Ending off the month of July we had a few films making their way to theaters. First up was Get Low which despite its limited release, is already received a bit of Oscar Buzz. Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore proved to us that films just shouldn’t have sequels and Charlie St. Cloud showed us that maybe Zac Efron should stick to the Disney channel. The biggest release at the end of July was Dinner For Schmucks.

Starring two very funny people, Steve Carrell and Paul Rudd, the film was a remake of the very well done French film The Dinner Game. I had high hopes for it but it was a huge letdown. There were a couple funny moments but the majority of it was simply too stupid and ridiculous and after a while I couldn’t even take it seriously. You can check out our review here.

A couple of smaller films also saw limited releases on the 30th. The Extra Man and The Concert both hit screens in LA and NY.

My Top 3 Films of July

  1. Inception
  2. Despicable Me
  3. Predators

3 Films In July I Wanted To See But Didn’t

  1. Countdown To Zero
  2. The Kids Are All Right
  3. Get Low

3 Films In July I Wished I Hadn’t Seen

  1. Salt
  2. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
  3. The Last Airbender

And so we come to August. The last month to enjoy the sunshine and put those cottages to use. Admittedly the month isn’t done yet but all the films have now been released. Overall August was a very strong month and probably my favorite month. While July had Inception, August had a whole slew of quality films.

Now that audiences had time to let their jaw recover from the laugh fest that was Get Him To The Greek, Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell teamed up with Adam McKay behind the camera, to bring us The Other Guys. The buddy cop flick was almost as funny as Get Him To The Greek (in my opinion) and despite the fact that the plot made little to no sense, it was still very enjoyable. It was reviewed well, pulled in some good numbers at the box office and I can safely say that it was a hit. You can see our review here.

Also opening up on the August 6th weekend was Step Up 3D. Boasting a great soundtrack but not much else, the film didn’t do a whole lot. The reviews weren’t great and who knows if there will be a fourth film in the franchise.

August 6th also saw a few smaller films find their way to theatres. Middle Men got decent reviews and tells the story of how internet porn started. It’s been one of my most anticipated films of the summer for a while now and I still have yet to see it.

The new Joel Schumacher film, Twelve also came out and is another one I want to see. The trailers look good but due to the limited release I probably won’t have a chance to see it until it hits Blu-Ray/DVD. Also out in limited release that week was Flipped, The Oxford Murders and The Disappearance of Alice Creed which looks very good. I haven’t found the time to see this one yet but I plan to do so before the month is up.

August 13th was one of the bigger weekends this summer. Fighting for #1 that week was Eat Pray Love, the Julia Roberts film, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World which is Michael Cera’s new film and The Expendables, the new Stallone movie.

Eat Pray Love surprisingly took the #2 spot at the box office that week with $23 million. The fans of the book supported the film and Roberts was enough to draw all the women out of their homes and into theatres.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World disappointed at the box office. Fans and most critics loved it but it pulled in only $10 million at the box office. The film is wildly entertaining and very original but perhaps it was just too quirky and out there for some. It mainly appealed to the youth in society and it failed to reach a larger audience. Most likely it will be destined to become a cult film. I enjoyed it though and I’d definitely recommend checking it out. Check out our review here.

The Expendables took the #1 spot at the box office that weekend and deservedly so. Stallone assembled a rocking team of action stars and proved to audiences that even at 62 he’s still got it. Sure it had a crummy script and some questionable plot points but boy was it entertaining. The fanboys loved it and although it got panned by critics, audiences loved it. It proved to be a hit and all I can say is bring on the sequel. You can check out our review here.

Lastly we also saw Animal Kingdom, the hit Aussie film, receive a limited release. It’s one of the better reviewed films this year and a film I need to see. It’s another film that is generating a lot of positive buzz and a film that I probably won’t get around to seeing until it hits DVD/Blu-Ray.

On August 20th Nanny McPhee returned for the aptly titled Nanny McPhee Returns. While the kiddies were off watching Nanny McPhee, Piranha 3D was giving audiences another reason to be afraid of the ocean (as if Jaws wasn’t reason enough). Despite only making $10 million during opening weekend, a sequel has been greenlit.

If you coudn’t find anything interesting in the aforementioned films, you also had a choice between Lottery Ticket, The Switch and the limited released Mao’s Last Dancer.

Lottery Ticket failed to gain much attention and The Switch proved to be a somewhat enjoyable romantic comedy which we reviewed here. As for Mao’s Last Dancer, it placed second to Precious for the Audience Award at TIFF and has performed well at most of the festivals it was shown at.

Closing out the summer were three films that were diverse enough to make sure everyone had a film to see during their last week of freedom. Takers was the new heist film starring the colorful cast made up of Chris Brown. T.I, Matt Dillon, Idris Elba and Hayden Christensen. It was pretty entertaining and one of the better heist movies I’ve seen. Our review will tell you why, check it out here.

The Last Exorcism is the one that horror fans have been waiting for all summer. Featuring a relatively unknown cast, the film managed to generate some positive buzz earlier this year and with Eli Roth grabbing a production credit here, the film may just surprise people. Unfortunately it didn’t please everyone, you can see why in our review here.

Lastly is Centurion which has been shown at numerous festivals and already been released in various countries.  It’s the third film by once Hollywood wunderkind Neil Marshall and you can check out our review here. Entertaining yet somewhat flawed. As I said in my review, the action and fight scenes make it worth a watch.

It should also be noted that the French film Mesrine, was released in a couple countries near the end of August. You can check out our review on part one here and part two here.

My Top 3 Films of August

  1. The Expendables
  2. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
  3. Mesrine and Takers (tie)

3 Films In August I Wanted To See But Didn’t

  1. The Disappearance of Alice Creed
  2. Piranha 3D
  3. Animal Kingdom

3 Films In August I Wished I Hadn’t Seen

  1. The Last Exorcism

There wasn’t anything else that I saw in August that I regret seeing.

So there you have it, a quick little recap of the film of summer 2010. What do you think? What were the best? What were the worst?