While everyone’s buzzing about “Black Swan” and “True Grit,” there’s a handful of films in 2010 that seem to have slipped under the pop culture radar. We know you’re proud of your analysis of the ending of “Inception,” but everyone’s heard it already. Here’s a chance to get some new material.
1. ‘Never Let Me Go’
An acclaimed but depressing book turned into a beautiful, if bleak, film that’s out of theaters before most people knew it existed? It’s like last year’s “The Road” all over again. And just as tragic, given the subject matter of three star-crossed orphans in a grim love triangle.
2. ‘The Ghost Writer’
Maybe the Polanski drama kept people away, or maybe they kept confusing it with a kids’ series or a Nicolas Cage comic-book flick. Whatever the reason, audiences missed out on one of the best movies for grown-ups all year.
3. ‘Scott Pilgrim vs. the World’
Perhaps it tanked be-cause the studio flooded its target audience with free screenings for months. By the time it came out, most comic-book nerds who’d want to see it already had.
4. ‘The Illusionist’
Sylvain Chomet’s new masterpiece didn’t come out many places other than France until December, but if past audience behavior is any indication, most people will ignore it.
5. ‘Mother and Child’
While Annette Bening gets all the awards attention for her fine work in “The Kids Are All Right,” her real Oscar-worthy turn is in Rodrigo Garcia’s haunting, bittersweet look at adoption from all sides, co-starring Naomi Watts and Kerry Washington.
6. ‘Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll’
You likely didn’t hear about this biopic about polio-stricken punk-rocker Ian Dury, but it proved that “Lord of the Rings” star Andy Serkis is even better without all the computer wizardry.
7. ‘Animal Kingdom’
After wowing audiences at Sundance, this Australian import about a family of criminals failed to get much attention overseas, which is a shame since that means fewer people got to see Jackie Weaver’s incredible performance as the clan’s matriarch.
8. ‘Please Give’
This indie takes a few loving swings at New Yorkers and the rationalizations that help them sleep at night. Check the A-list actors: Catherine Keener, Oliver Platt, Amanda Peet.
9. ‘Fair Game’
Naomi Watts’ second entry here should’ve inspired outrage over the Valerie Plame scandal. Instead, it attracted commentary on co-star Sean Penn’s politics.
10. ‘The Switch’
It looked like another Jennifer Aniston rom-com, but it was secretly a Jason Bateman dark comedy.