Summer Action Movie Round-Up 2010

This has been a really good summer for movies, and I haven’t seen one that I really hated (yet).  These are ranked by quality and in order of my personal preference, from top to bottom.

***** The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – A smart, adult thriller with the best character, Lisbeth Salander, of the year
***** Inception
– Brainy SciFi caper, what it lacks in character it makes up for in style & SFX
***** The Girl Who Played with Fire
– Not as good as Tattoo, but characters you can care about make this one of the best
***** Toy Story 3
— Proves that plastic, and computer animation, can have heart than most live action features
***** How to Train Your Dragon
— I didn’t expect this to be great, but it is, on every level
****- Machete
— Action flicks don’t get much more fun, or funny, than this
****- Piranha
— Great monster-gore-exploitation flick (might have been even better if I’d seen it in 3D)
****- Scott Pilgrim vs. The World — Smart and funny with fun video-game SFX
****- Predators
— Superior SciFi action & effects with great characters & acting
****- Salt
— Great action flick hampered by a predictable twist
****- The Karate Kid
— A superior remake with good acting from Jackie Chan & Jaden Smith
****- Splice
– Solid genre monster flick with some disturbing, thoughtful undertones
***– Alice in Wonderland
— Depp is amusing, Burton wacky, and Alice heroic
***– Knight & Day
— Cruise is funny and Diaz is sexy in this breakneck action-comedy
***– Resident Evil Afterlife — Solid zombie actioner (might have been even better if I’d seen it in 3D)
***– Robin Hood
— Great actors and sincere performances lift a sometimes muddy script
***– Iron Man 2 — Not as good as the first, but still plenty of fun, & I love the Black Widow
***– Shrek Forever After — Far better than the last and a fitting end to the series
***– Despicable Me — If the previews hadn’t given so much away, I’d have liked this better
***– The A-Team — I love it when a movie is better than I expected, good action fun
***– The Expendables — Great action, great stars, a better script would have moved this up
***– The Sorcerer’s Apprentice — Family fun with some very cool magic SFX, but annoying young hero
***– Twilight Saga: Eclipse – The best of the series, but still needs 2 better main characters
**— Jonah Hex — would have been better with a smaller, more western-style scope
**— Prince of Persia — Close to being good, but annoying characters & predictable plot
**— Avatar: The Last Airbender — Clumsy script hamstrings this, and the SFX can’t save it, but I didn’t hate it

About Steve Sullivan 414 Articles
Stephen D. Sullivan is an award-winning author, artist, and editor. Since 1980, he has worked on a wide variety of properties, including well-known licenses and original work. Some of his best know projects include Dungeons & Dragons, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Dragonlance, Iron Man, Legend of the Five Rings, Speed Racer, the Tolkien RPG, Disney Afternoons, Star Wars, The Twilight Empire (Robinson's War), Uncanny Radio, Martian Knights, Tournament of Death, and The Blue Kingdoms (with his friend Jean Rabe).