10. “Drug War” / “Ninja 2: Shadow of a Tear”
If “Drug War” isn’t Johnnie To at the top of his considerable game, it’s damn close. Full of moral ambiguity, betrayal, and intricate, interesting violence, this is the kind of movie John Woo would have made in his Hong Kong heyday. “Ninja 2” is straight up badass action of the old-school variety. Once again, Scott Adkins proves himself the reigning MVP of DTV action. Watching him dismantle an entire dojo full of rivals, in a single shot no less, may be my favorite film moment of the year.
10. “Pacific Rim”
Guillermo del Toro’s monsters-versus-mechs adventure “Pacific Rim” isn’t going to win any awards for acting or writing. There isn’t much in the way of plot or character, but that’s not the point. What this film does, and does beautifully, is capture the feeling of being a kid on a playground, smashing your toys into each other while making explody noises with your mouth, pretending that you’re right there in the middle of the action. For all of its myriad shortcomings, I couldn’t stop smiling during “Pacific Rim.”