Posted by Nick Poyner on December 21, 2011 at 12:10 am
2011: A Great year for genre films. Though, to say that for film’s themselves is a bit of a stretch. Overall, this was definitely one weak year for movies. So while the Oscar worthy film’s are few and far between, 2011 was filled with some great comedies, action films, sci fi adventures, and family films. They show what can happen when sticking to the script doesn’t mean churning out another bland remake. So without further ado, here are TheMovieBanter.com’s Top 10 films of the year:
Honorable Mention: Real Steel, 50/50, Moneyball, Warrior, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part II
10. Young Adult
Charlize Theron plays the girl everyone hates in high school, but everyone feels sorry for years later. Riding out the glory days for far too long, Theron plays a woman straddling the line between sane and childish so well, that, by the end, you dislike her as much as her high school peers. Another win for the Jason Reitman-Diablo Cody collaborative team.
9. Super 8
J.J. Abrams you’ve done it again! It’s impossible to dislike anything this man does. With also the most fascinating online campaign this year,Super 8 delivers with nothing more than good storytelling. Sure, the ending is a little corny, but it’s hard NOT to picture Abrams and producer Steven Spielberg running around with their cameras when they were kids. There were probably less aliens, but who knows looking at their collective output.
8. Ides of March
Rebounding form the awful Leatherheads, Clooney gets to stride once again behind the camera. Ryan Goslin, the ‘winner’ of this year, leads an all-star cast that include Clooney himself, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, and Marisa Tomei. Political strife is big right now as the elections approach, and Ides of March shines a bright light behind the scenes of those running for office.
7. Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol
The best summer blockbuster of the year came out in December. Tom Cruise converts even the biggest doubter in this action packed experience. A franchise on the verge of extinction comes back with so much brute force, the over two hour running time passes by with a breeze. Props to Brad Bird on his first live action film, and even more props to the Burj Khalifa in a great supporting role. See it in IMAX.
6. The Help
Emma Stone had a big year this year but this isn’t about her. The Help succeeds on the heavy shoulders of Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer. The film about racial struggle in the 1960’s became a hit with audiences old and young alike. You’ll be hearing even more about this triumph when award season rolls in. That is a guarantee.
5. The Muppets
Yeah. The Muppets. Who can argue that? Who didn’t love this movie? It’s no Oscar contender, but you’re lying to yourself if you didn’t come out of this movie on cloud 9. Jason Segel, being the obsessive puppet fan he is, brought back another rather dead franchise. A perfect family film.
4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Let the critics be hushed. From the moment the first teaser trailer revealed itself, it was clear David Fincher was destined to helm this adaptation. Dark, mysterious, and strange is his forte and Stieg Larsson’s novel became his great specimen. Daneil Craig is great, but Rooney Mara! Wow! A year ago (roughly), no one would have guessed the little girl who broke Mark Zuckerberg’s heart at the beginning of The Social Network would return as a tattooed, pierced detective. The transformation amazes, but it’s the powerful performance that sets Mara up as Hollywood’s next big thing.
3. Midnight In Paris
Woody Allen has done it again? Or has he done it for the first time? Midnight in Paris is now his most financially successful film of all time, which says a lot for the 76-year-old writer-director. It advertised itself as a movie for everyone and delivered on that promise. European cities have become Allen’s muses and this one is no different. It seems that all the others were stepping stones to this Woody Allen masterpiece.
Forget the “Hangover for women” titles. Drop the “best female comedy of all time” stuff. Bridesmaids was this year’s best comedy by far. It has the potential to be as influential as Old School, and it has nothing to do with the cast being predominantly female; it has to do with every single one of those females being funny as hell. When you get down to it. Kristen Wiig had created a movie with huge heart and huge laughs. What more can you ask for from a comedy?
What didn’t Drive do right? Excellent cast? Check. Phenomenal soundtrack? Yup. Suspense? Oh, absolutely. The Ryan Gosling led picture is exactly what happens when all the pieces come together. Sound and picture were used in such a beautiful way that the strong, violent subject matter untangled itself into more than a movie, but also a beautiful art project. These image-driven pictures tend to draw themselves out and end up ‘pretty’ rather than good, but Drive hurdles over these stereotypes and ends up as the best movie of 2011.