I'm only picking from what I've seen (because that's the only way). So I'm sure True Grit or The King's Speech might have made the list,since the reviews are great and they're on a lot of lists (and the original True Grit was excellent) , but I've haven't seem them yet.
15. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World - Edgar Wright
Why: A great comic book adaptation. Anyone over 30 is probably going to hate it but the nonsensical, minimal attention span style of the film makes it an excellent watch.
14. Exit through The Gift Shop - Bansky - UK/USA
Why: A documentary? Or a farce. It works well either way, though probably better as a farce. It's strange and it's entertaining. And the ambiguousness only helps to make it better.
13. Lung Bunmi Raluek Chat (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives) - Apichatpong Weerasethakul - Thailand
Why: Don't go looking for a plot. Less of a film than a mindtrip. Visually beautiful journey through a sometimes inscrutable world. Expect to laugh and be confused in sequence.
12. How to Train Your Dragon - Chris Sanders/Dean Deblois - USA
Why: Brilliant animation. Somewhat predictable storyline but there's a lot of character depth (for an animated movie). One of the few films that used 3D well instead of a gimmick.
11. Easy A- Will Gluck - USA
Why: Teen comedy. Why do we even watch them when 90% are junk? Because every now and then there's a one like this. Creative and witty with a thoroughly original plot and an engaging star.
1o. Animal Kingdom -David Michod -Australia
Why: Crime-Drama about a family. Sound's familiar? This isn't The Godfather. It's a complex and sometimes confusing look inside the (very) dysfunctional family, that the young protagonist finds himself in.
9. The Town -Ben Affleck - USA
Why: Lots of tension. Affleck shows that Academy Award-winning writing talent. The action scenes are memorable (which isn't easy to do considering how much action movies there are) and the final shootout is the best one in a long time.
8. The Fighter - David O. Russell - USA
Why: Sports movie of the year. This decade needed a boxing movie, every decade does. Brilliant performances from almost everyone in the movie. It's a bit predictable but you wouldn't have it any other way.
7.The Kids are All Right -Lisa Cholodenko - USA
Why: Comedy-Drama and family values generally come together to form a disastrous movie. But this film beats that stereotype. Of course family values are different for the children of two mothers, but that's the part that doesn't make things feel boring.
6. Biutiful - Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu - Mexico/Spain
Why: A very bleak tale showing the love a criminal has for his family. The entire film is beset by the specters of mortality and punishment making it very heavy watching.
5. Inception - Christopher Nolan -USA
Why: It's everything. A action movie, sci-fi, there's romance and there's the fact that it's (literally) all in someone's head. It's reality and dreams fighting and merging till they can't be told apart, all with brilliant visuals.
4. Winter's Bone - Debra Granik -USA
Why: Very bleak and dark, though ultimately triumphant. The cinematography gives us a view of life in the Ozarks which at times veers from familiar to completely alien.
3.The Social Network - David Fincher - USA
Why: The brilliance of this movie was completely unexpected by me. (I somehow thought it was a comedy). Great performances and screenplay that manages to show the lead character's feeling of lacking even in total success.
2. Toy Story 3 -Lee Unkrich - USA
Why: The perfect trilogy about growing up; ten years was worth the wait for this finale. Overcoming adversity, jailbreak scenes and action are all there but it's the scenes with toys interacting with humans that are most poignant.
1. Black Swan - Darren Aronofsky -USA
Why: Psychological thriller, extremely intense and compelling even though it's at times unbelievable. Definitely one that draws you in and really what's expected from an Aronofsky movie. Natalie Portman is (even more) amazing (than usual).