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2010 Mid-Year Report: "Everyone," "Delaware" and "Weather" Top criticWIRE

Photo of Peter Knegt By Peter Knegt | Indiewire June 29, 2010 at 2:56AM

The mid-way point of 2010 is just days away, and indieWIRE felt this would be a good opportunity to take a look at how the year's films have fared on criticWIRE thus far. At film festivals such as Cannes, Sundance, Tribeca, SXSW and Berlin, and as films are released theatrically, indieWIRE has been polling over 100 critics and bloggers to submit letter grades and review links.
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The mid-way point of 2010 is just days away, and indieWIRE felt this would be a good opportunity to take a look at how the year's films have fared on criticWIRE thus far. At film festivals such as Cannes, Sundance, Tribeca, SXSW and Berlin, and as films are released theatrically, indieWIRE has been polling over 100 critics and bloggers to submit letter grades and review links.

Of any film to either be released theatrically in 2010, or have their film festival premiere in 2010, only 12 managed to score "A-" level averages: foreign-language narratives Maren Ade's "Everyone Else," Yorgos Lanthimos's "Dogtooth," Palme' d'Or winner Apichatpong Weerasethaku's "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives," Jacques Audiard's "A Prophet," and Mia Hansen-Løve's "Father of My Children"; documentaries Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing's "12th & Delaware," Charles Ferguson's "Inside Job," Josh Fox's "Gasland," Lixin Fan's "Last Train Home," Banksy's "Exit Through The Gift Shop," and Robin Hessman's "My Perestroika"; and a lone English-language narrative film in Aaron Katz's "Cold Weather."

Interestingly, 12 of the top 30 films included in the overall recap were directed by women (including Ade's "Everyone Else," which is the overall top vote getter). This is still disproportionate to the overall population as most studies conclude that only 7% to 10% of films are actually directed by women. That said, if going by criticWIRE's standards, the fact that 40% of the films represented here are directed by women suggests that while they might still not make anywhere near as many films as their male counterparts, they also make disproportionately greater films.

Also notable is the festival origins of the films. All 30 films included debuted at a film festival, with 11 of those debuting at the Sundance Film Festival, and another 10 at the Cannes Film Festival. The remaining third was divided between Berlin (3), Venice and SXSW (2 each), and IDFA and Telluride (1 each). The timing of this poll obviously skews those numbers towards festivals like Sundance and Cannes, as it should be expected by year's end the crop of films debuting at both Venice and the Toronto International Film Festival will enjoy considerable placement on such lists.

The lists are divided into three categories: English-language narrative films, foreign-language narrative films, and documentary films. Criteria for inclusion is that the film must have either been theatrically released in 2010, or have had their film festival premiere in 2010 and are currently awaiting either distribution or pick-up for distribution. The averages are as of June 29, 2010, and only films with five or more grades are included. Click on the links provided for a full breakdown of grades, and for a complete list of films on criticWIRE, check out the criticWIRE homepage.

Top English-Language Narrative Films of 2010

1. Cold Weather, directed by Aaron Katz (SXSW 2010)
criticWIRE average: A-

2. Blue Valentine, directed by Derek Cianfrance (Sundance 2010)
criticWIRE average: B+

3. The Kids Are All Right, directed by Lisa Cholodenko (Sundance 2010)
criticWIRE average: B+

4. Winter's Bone, directed by Debra Granik (Sundance 2010)
criticWIRE average: B+

5. Tiny Furniture, directed by Lena Dunham (SXSW 2010)
criticWIRE average: B+

6. Another Year, directed by Mike Leigh (Cannes 2010)
criticWIRE average: B+

7. Fish Tank, directed by Andrea Arnold (Cannes 2009)
criticWIRE average: B+

8. Please Give, directed by Nicole Holofcener (Sundance 2010)
criticWIRE average: B+

9. The Ghost Writer, directed by Roman Polanski (Berlin 2010)
criticWIRE average: B+

10. Cyrus, directed by Jay and Mark Duplass (Sundance 2010)
criticWIRE average: B+


Top Foreign-Language Narrative Films of 2010

1. Everyone Else, directed by Maren Ade (Berlin 2009)
criticWIRE average: A-

2. Dogtooth, directed by Yorgos Lanthimos (Cannes 2009)
criticWIRE average: A-

3. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, directed Apichatpong Weerasethaku (Cannes 2010)
criticWIRE average: A-

4. A Prophet, directed by Jacques Audiard (Cannes 2009)
criticWIRE average: A-

5. Father of My Children, directed by Mia Hansen-Løve (Cannes 2009)
criticWIRE average: A-

6. I Am Love, directed by Luca Guadagnino (Venice 2009)
criticWIRE average: B+

7. Carlos, directed by Olivier Assayas (Cannes 2010)
criticWIRE average: B+

8. Lourdes, directed by Jessica Hausner (Venice 2009)
criticWIRE average: B+

9. The Certified Copy, directed by Abbas Kiarostami (Cannes 2010)
criticWIRE average: B+

10. Wild Grass, directed by Alain Resnais (Cannes 2009)
criticWIRE average: B+


Top Documentaries of 2010

1. 12th & Delaware, directed by Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing (Sundance 2010)
criticWIRE average: A-

2. Inside Job, directed Charles Ferguson (Cannes 2010)
criticWIRE average: A-

3. GasLand, directed by Josh Fox (Sundance 2010)
criticWIRE average: A-

4. Last Train Home, directed by Lixin Fan (IDFA 2009)
criticWIRE average: A-

5. Exit Through The Gift Shop, directed by Banksy (Sundance 2010)
criticWIRE average: A-

6. My Perestroika, directed by Robin Hessman (Sundance 2010)
criticWIRE average: A-

7. Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, directed by Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg (Sundance 2010)
criticWIRE average: B+

8. Restrepo, directed by Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington (Sundance 2010)
criticWIRE average: B+

9. Prodigal Sons, directed by Kimberly Reed (Telluride 2008)
criticWIRE average: B+

10. Sweetgrass, directed by Ilisa Barbash, Lucien Castaing-Taylor (Berlin 2009)
criticWIRE average: B+

Peter Knegt is indieWIRE's Associate Editor. Follow him on Twitter and on his blog.