1) (tie) "The Hurt Locker" and "Avatar" -- the two films of 2009 came out on DVD in 2010. These are the bookends, two directors -- Kathryn Bigelow and James Cameron -- working at the top of their craft.
3) "The Kids Are All Right." Lisa Cholondenko directed and co-wrote this film which has the sort of life that's been missing from the screen since "Flirting With Disaster." Annette Bening and Julianne Moore head up the cast as a happy couple with two teenage children, one of whom wants to meet his biological father which sets off all that follows. And that father? Played by 2010's DVD MVP Mark Ruffalo. Rufalo was one of the few bright spots (Mark Wahlberg was another) in the dreary "Date Night" and he was second only to DiCaprio in "Shutter Island." But it was in this film that he really got to strut his stuff and show how he's quickly become the best actor of his generation.
4) "Salt." The best action film of the year. Angelina Jolie plays Evelyn Salt -- a CIA agent who may be a Russian mole. And she's got everyone after her. You know she's going to kick butt, the fun is in figuring out just how. Not since Sigourney Weaver have American films had such a believable action heroine.
5) "The Blind Side." A moving film with strong performances and none stronger than Sandra Bullock's. Hopefully, enough time has passed so that we can let her performance speak for itself and not get distracted by the personal obstacles she had to overcome after receiving her Best Actress award at the Academy Awards.
6) "Tetro." Fathering one of the country's most talented directors, Sofia Coppola, doesn't appear to have thrown the master, Francis Ford Coppola, into a panic. Instead, he appears reborn with this moody and intense study of two brothers (Vincent Gallo and Alden Ehrenreich).
7) "Zombieland." If you're like us, this is one of those films you repeatedly avoided thinking you'd come back to it when there was nothing else left. If that's how you played it, you were, no doubt, as surprised as we were when you finally watched this one and realized it was an instant classic. Woody Harrelson has never been so good onscreen (and that's including his amazing performance in 2007's "The Walker").
8) "Shutter Island" -- starting with the classic film "Goodfellas," Robert DeNero became parsley in Martin Scorsese films -- so much so that his absence for over a decade and a half hasn't even registered. Leonardo DiCaprio has been Scorsese's alter-ego on film and it's given the films new life. "Shutter Island" is spooky and and haunting and unlike anything we normally expect from "Mean Streets" Scorsese proving that, unlike many peers, he hasn't ripened and been reduced to self-parody.
9) "Dear John" -- There aren't a lot of good weepy films. There's "Splendor in the Grass," "Dr. Zhivago," "The Way We Were" and, for the most part, just a lot of wanna-bes. So this Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried film wasn't one we were expecting much from, even with Lasse Hallstrom directing. Like all good love stories, you end up wishing the leads weren't so damn noble but that's what makes it so poignant. One of 2010's most underrated films.
10) "Inception." With a story too similar to John Woo's "Paycheck" and a cast whose best scenes feel like they were left on the cutting room floor, the only thing "Inception" has going for it is the look. We still think that's strong enough for it to land at number 10.
Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"