This is more just a list of movies I saw and liked. I don't have ten and I didn't see any good foreign movies cause I live in Central Fucking New York.
7. The Descendants.
The best part of this movie was its scruffy, lived-in, beyond-the-postcards portrayal of Hawaii. Like Tinker Tailor, the atmosphere made it the kind of movie I genuinely want to live in for a little while. Some fine performances from smaller parts (Randy Quaid [ed.-- Beau Bridges?] and Judy Greer in particular, less so Clooney), though the script was oddly sitcom-ish and shifted tones wildly.
6. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.
The Dubai sequence was incredible, right up there with the Hugo flashbacks for sheer exhilaration, but even without it, this was a brisk, enjoyable action movie that made good use of Simon Pegg and whoever the French assassin lady was.
A few too many montages for my liking, but an impressive adaptation of hard-too-adapt material with some fine performances from Pitt and Hoffman and a tight script. Considering my visceral loathing of Aaron Sorkin and Jonah Hill, the fact I rather liked this movie says a lot. Hill managed not to annoy me too much and Sorkin seems to have finally realized that his obnoxious habit of having character speechify at each other and brag about themselves is phony and tiresome.
4. Super 8.
Amblin Entertainment lives! This lovingly detailed, almost fetishistic Close Encounters/ET/Back to the Future/Stand by Me homage kind of forgets to make the sci-fi mystery interesting, but the fine performances from Coach Taylor and a bunch of unknown kids have real emotional gravity, making this movie something more than just an exercise in skilled nostalgia. I'll admit, I saw this in the theaters twice, and it was thoroughly delightful each time.
A revival of the micro-genre of 80s noir? I'm not sure what this movie was really up to with its too-cool score, silk dragon jacket, and hot pink script titles, though I'm pretty sure that it'd be better with at least one less graphic skull-crushing. I found Albert Brooks to be enjoyable but a little hammy. Also a fine showcase of a delightfully trashy-looking Christina Hendricks, plus Carey Mulligan's distinctive acting technique of parting her dewy lips slightly, subtly furrowing her doll-like eyebrows, and slowly blinking. It also may have inspired me to see if I can pull off some sweet handbrake turns with my trusty lil Subaru Impreza.
The hand-painted-feel flashback scenes to Georges Melies's studio in the 1910s were some of the best 20 minutes of cinema I've ever seen, and undoubtably the finest 3D footage ever made. Too bad they come in the last act of a somewhat trite Amelie-ish-rip-off-plucky-orphan-cheers-up-old-man story that's laden down with a gratuitous CGI (minus the excellent use in the sumptuous looking flashbacks). But even then, it's Scorsese so even the hour and a half of Disneyish bullshit wrapped around the twenty-odd minutes of pure brilliance is better than it has a right to be.
1. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
How can you not love a stylized 70s Cold War mole hunt with such amazing lines as "It'll take us five hours to get drunk on this monkey piss!" There was not a frame of this movie I didn't love looking at, there was not a single line of dialog that wasn't impeccable, nor was there a single wasted performance from the incredible cast. And how does Gary Oldman manage to both dominate a whole movie and yet totally vanish into his character at the same time? Seriously, how does he do that?