Saturday, January 28, 2012

2011 Best Movies

Admittedly, this wasn't a great year for me with new movies.  Honestly there just wasn't the draw to the box office that there has been in other years.  I'm been busy with my DVR and Netflix, catching up on great films that I'd missed over the past couple years.  I'm still averaging a couple trips to the movie theater a month but in the past it was once a week or more.  

For me the biggest problem is that I can't trust reviews.  Years ago Rotten Tomatoes was the gold standard for movie reviews.  But in the past couple years it has become horribly inaccurate.  Any movie with action and a little T & A is suddenly the best movie ever made and a must see. Entertainment Weekly is a great resource for information on what movies are coming out but their reviews are awful.  It seems like any movie that has a big budget and can afford to pay Entertainment Weekly to do a feature article on it's film is a must see.  Not to mention that some of EW's critics are directors and film makers who pimp their own films.  

It's much safer to wait until a movie has been out for a while to see if it's really worth your time.  This is my list of the top 11 films of the year.  This list is totally subjective.  I didn't see all of the Oscar nominees and I won't pretend like all of these deserve to be held up as great all time films.  But for one reason or another these movies resonated with me. 

10. Bridesmaids- It's nice to see a comedy that isn't totally predictable and has women in leading roles.  A nice departure from the sappy, romantic comedies that usually involve women and weddings.  

9. Larry Crowne and Everything Must Go- Neither deserve to win any awards but both show great actors in great roles with an enjoyable story line.  Sometimes it's nice to leave the theater with a smile on your face.

8. Super 8- This was a much better movie than I was expecting.  Nice to see young actors that aren't featured on the Disney channel.  This generation's ET.  

7. X-Men First Class- The last X-Men movie (Origins: Wolverine) was awful so I was worried that the franchise had died.  But much like the Dark Knight did for the Batman series, this movie was as good as the original and make me excited about the next one.  Great action and story lines and no unnecessary sex.  

6. Crazy, Stupid Love- Great acting all around and a not so predictable ending.  Lots of laughs without being a stupid chick flick.  

5. Moneyball- Yes, a movie about baseball that involves very little actual play is very enjoyable.  The fact that it is true and that it happened during my lifetime makes it even more entertaining.  Great acting all around. Whoever wrote the script should get an award. 

4. Hanna- This little girl kicks some serious butt.  I'm hoping they make another one just so I can see more people get beat up.  I'm surprised this movie didn't get more hype.  Great story and cinematography. 

3. Thor- The best of the comic book movies by far.  The action, the story line, the ties to the future Avengers movie.  All great.  Edge of your seat action and the lead actor isn't too hard on the eyes either.

2. Win Win- The little independent film that could.  Like any independent film, I wish they had a little more of a conclusive ending but still a great watch.  Paul Giamatti continues to be the darling of independent movies.  If he's in it, you should see it.  Should win for script.  A great story that is well acted and keeps you engaged. 

1. The Help- A fantastic book that was made into an almost equally fantastic movie.  Perfect casting.  Only a few details from the book skipped. Displays a part of history that isn't often discussed.  Nice to see historical fiction that isn't stuck on slavery.  Hope it wins every award it's nominated for.  

Best Picture Nominees that I haven't seen:
 The Artist- Haven't seen it but I'm guessing it's fabulous based on word of mouth.
 Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close- Haven't seen it.  Been told that the book is better than the movie.
 Midnight in Paris- Woody Allen is hit or miss at this point and so is Owen Wilson.  
 The Tree of Life- Mixed reviews.  Brad Pitt factor may have contributed to hype.  
 War Horse- Not every play needs to be made into a movie.  Using real animals in movies should be a thing  
  of the past.  Would be hard to watch without wondering how the animals were affected. 

Best Picture nominees that I have seen: 
The Descendants- Good by not great.  Only nominated because George Clooney is in it.  
Moneyball- Agree
The Help- Agree
Hugo- Good but not great.  Dragged at points.  Probably best family movie of the year; it deserves a nod.