Tag Archive: animal kingdom


The Best Films of 2010

I’ll go out on a limb and declare 2010 the best year for movies since I’ve been watching them, going back almost fifteen years. That has something to do with Netflix, through which I’ve accessed more foreign, independent, and documentary titles than ever before, but it’s more a credit to the work of great filmmakers.

2009 was the nadir. That year had no shortage of good films, and a few great ones, and I unreservedly stand by each I listed among the best, but there were few I felt unequivocally passionate about, few that held up against previous years’ offerings. I started to question myself, wondering if I’d lost some of the thrill of moviegoing. 2010 put that fear to rest.

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Dir. David Michôd
(2010, R, 113 min)
★ ★ ★ ★

Animal Kingdom begins with possibly the best opening scene from any film I’ve seen in the last year. It introduces us to a teenage boy, Joshua Cody (James Frecheville), watching a television game show alongside his mother. But what appears to be a mundane scenario is revealed to be something quite different, something traumatic and sad. The rest of the film functions much the same way. As Joshua tells us early on, his experiences seem normal to him as he’s experiencing them. He settles into the status quo, and though he knows there’s something not quite right about his family, he doesn’t see how drastically his life is about to change.

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