10 Great Movie Characters 2010

Sunday, January 23 by William Gish

Though it was a strange year for movies, the 10 great movie characters of 2010 are ones for the ages. A blood thirsty federale, a drug addicted boxer, a pair of vengeful girls and a handful of enigmatic Russians. Tread lightly if you fear spoilers.

  1. MacheteMachete don’t text. He also doesn't mess around. In Robert Rodriguez’s hilarious exploitation send-up “Machete,” the titular character, a disgraced Mexican federale-turned-day laborer invokes the ire of conservative politicians and drug cartels. He also cuts off heads, hacks limbs, cuts one guy plump in half and films a threesome with a mother/daughter tag team.
  2. Dren Dren is a mutant child created by husband-wife scientists played by Adrien Brody and Sara Polley in the film “Splice.” A mild-mannered and highly alert child, Dren matures into an insecure teenager with serious sexual identity issues. It’s all severely messed up, though Dren is surely one of the best movie characters of 2010.
  3. Dicky Eklund Eklund is the washed up, drug addicted brother of Mark Wahlberg’s titular pugilist in “The Fighter.” As played to perfection by Christian Bale, Dicky is serpentine, slippery, antagonistic, resentful, arrogant and prone to bursts of extreme violence. Both the performance and character are masterful and among the best of 2010. 
  4. Hit Girl Hit Girl is the 11-year-old vigilante at the center of “Kick-Ass.” One of the ten great movie characters of 2010, Hit Girl swears up a storm (to the point that it’s uncomfortable to hear a young girl say such things) and beats the living turd out of bad guys left and right. Bad ass.
  5. Mattie Ross Ross is one of the central characters of the Coen brother’s sparse and darkly comedic western, “True Grit.” The character is a young woman—14-years-old to be exact—who conscripts a handful of Texas lawmen to help her track down the outlaw who killed her parent. Ross is tenacious and strong, a standout female character in an industry dominated by men.
  6. Eames “Inception” is a high-concept film filled with largely generic characters. All, that is, save, Eames. The British madman, played by Tom Hardy, is funny, kinetic, dangerous, unpredictable and one of the ten great movie characters of 2010.
  7. Ivan Vanko Mickey Rourke’s Russian baddie in “Iron Man 2” is a nasty piece of work. The booze-soaked former Soviet scientist is a physics mastermind who uses his unmitigated cranial power to create weapon powerful enough to bring down Iron Man. His quest for revenge fuels the film and is thoroughly believable.
  8. Evelyn Salt Another score for mother Russia! Evelyn Salt, of the film “Salt,” is a like a female Jason Bourne. She’s enigmatic, intelligent, lethal and highly adaptable. The mystery surrounding her character drives the film and the completely preposterous truth that eventually comes out makes it all that much more fun.
  9. Noland The makers of “predators” should pay royalty checks to the estate of Marlon Brando. Laurence Fishburne’s expert turn as madman “Noland,” a fully-fledged sociopath hiding out on a planet full on predators, errs dangerously close to Brando’s performance as Colonel Kurtz in “Apocalypse Now.” Still, Noland is a great character.
  10. Derrick Jones Derrick Jones is a sleazy producer of “Girls Gone Wild” type films at the center of facetious horror send up “Piranha 3D.” In a number of ways, Jones is a totally generic character and yet that’s kind of the point. If his status as one of the ten great movie characters of 2010 is in doubt, get a load of his signature line: “They ate my penis, Jake.”