Let's face it--there are really no three more different movies than these. In fact, despite all being well-rounded and fully-formed films, they are each an achievement of a different art: Black Swan is the ultimate director's film, with a crazed, fully realized vision, Blue Valentine is the ultimate actor's film, filled with lived-in performances and a brilliant mix of scripted and improvisational acting, and The Social Network is a writer's movie, featuring one of the best screenplays ever written.
I say this more than enough, but it's a shame that all three of these films had to be released in the same year. They will, in my mind, all stand the test of time as works of art, films that set out with a purpose of narrative and fulfilled it completely. One is a psychosexual thriller that acts as a horror film for anyone involved in the arts. One tells a story (not a retelling of events, but a story) about how the site that drives our lives was made. And one is a portrait of a collapsing marriage that breaks your heart with no mercy.
There is indeed so much to love about these films, but what is perhaps most important is that they show us how modern cinema is not dead. There are films out there that are beyond the remakes and sequels you see everywhere. There are films beyond the traditional genre molds. There are films that are still what film truly should be: art, exquisite and beautiful. These are the films of the year--they could be in any order depending on the day, but they are the best. Black Swan, Blue Valentine and The Social Network: truly the Best Pictures of the year.