Sure, comedy is subjective, but there were so many diverse comedies in 2010, I can practically guarantee that more than a few of the movies on this list made you laugh out loud. There was a little something for everybody this year, and you can check out ten of our favorites below.
10. 'Hot Tub Time Machine' -- There's got to be a place on this list for something truly stupid, and this movie, in which John Cusack travels back in time to the 1980s with the help of an enchanted hot tub, fits the bill. Yes, it's ridiculous, but for someone who grew up on the films of Savage Steve Holland ('Better Off Dead,' 'One Crazy Summer') it feels like an R-rated return to that wacky world.
9. 'Cyrus' -- Surprisingly gentle and low-key considering its two stars (John C. Reilly and Jonah Hill) usually play broad. While it's not exactly a laugh riot, it has a sweet, honest emotional core that elevates it above the standard rom-com.
8. 'Get Him to the Greek' -- The big difference between Aldous Snow in 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall' and this spin-off is that Russell Brand inhabits the role with genuine sadness this time. The film could have been a simple cartoonish follow-up, but director Nicholas Stoller doesn't take the easy route, injecting real tears-of-a-clown pathos into his rowdy comedy.
7. 'Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World' -- At this point, I don't think Edgar Wright could release a comedy and not have it show up on a year-end "Best of" list. This comic book adaptation carries over creator Bryan Lee O'Mallley's memorable characters and loopy asides with a visual flair barely hinted at in Wright's earlier work.
6. 'I Love You, Phillip Morris' -- It's been a long while since Jim Carrey has found a role that clicks, satisfying his need to be taken seriously as an actor, while cashing in on his cartoony tendencies. 'I Love You, Phillip Morris' hits that sweet spot.
5. 'Exit Through the Gift Shop' -- Banksy may dubiously insist that his documentary is 100% real, but that hardly matters. 'Exit Through the Gift Shop' is a hilarious and vital skewering of the art world, regardless. It's easily this year's funniest doc.
4. 'Tiny Furniture' -- People who criticize Lena Dunham's film for being yet another whiny movie about privileged rich folks miss the entire point of 'Tiny Furniture.' The comedy comes from Lena's character's sense of entitlement and laziness amidst people far more ambitious and tenacious than her. Dunham is a sparkling new voice as a comedy writer, and I look forward to her next project -- a television series for HBO.
3. 'Easy A' -- In a perfect world, 'Easy A' would have grossed over $100 million dollars and we'd be talking about Emma Stone as The Next Big Thing. Stone gives an honest-to-goodness star-making performance here, proving herself to be a formidable and unique new comic talent. (Also, I wish someone would make an entire film about Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson's characters.)
2. 'Toy Story 3' -- Easily the most crowd-pleasing comedy on this list, 'Toy Story 3's' delightful riff on prison movie cliches provided last Summer's biggest belly laughs. In fact, there may not be a single sequence in a movie from 2010 that caused as much audience laughter as the "Mr. Tortilla Head" escape.
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1. 'Four Lions' -- Somewhere between the willfully ignorant idiocy of a character like Ali G and the knife-sharp social satire of 'Dr. Strangelove' lies 'Four Lions.' This is the year's most quotable film ("If was a mosque, which I'm NOT..."), and while its subject matter (terrorism) may cause some to balk, it's practically guaranteed to become a cult hit over time.
Missing this list by a hair are two different odes to stupidity -- 'MacGruber' and 'Jackass 3-D.' 'MacGruber' turned out to be the best SNL adaptation in ages, while 'Jackass 3-D' provided exactly the kind of ball-crushing action you've come to expect from the gang.
Some of the best comedies are still making the festival rounds, but if you get the chance, make sure to see 'Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil' and 'A Somewhat Gentle Man.' 'Tucker and Dale' is a satisfying horror-comedy that turns the conventions of the killer hillbilly subgenre on its head. 'A Somewhat Gentle Man' is a bittersweet character study, starring Stellan Skarsgard as an ex-con trying to make good.
As for 2010's biggest stinkers? Avoid 'Cop Out,' 'The Spy Next Door,' and 'The Back-Up Plan.' You'll save yourself 270 minutes worth of pain and suffering.