My 10 Best Movies of 2011
Did you see any good movies in 2011? This past year must have been a good year for movies. How can I tell? Because at the end of 2010 I only managed to name my top 5 movies of the year. This was not a stylistic choice, but one of necessity. Because I couldn’t come up with ten. I saw a few more movies in 2011 compared to 2010 (19 compared to 15) but I must have seen more that I enjoyed because here’s my Top 10! Disclaimer: I obviously didn’t see everything. There are some movies out there that I have a feeling would have made this list, but I missed them. Let me know in the comments what you think should have made the list.
10) Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2
Should they have split this movie in two? While there’s plenty of meat in this movie, I wonder if most of Part 1 could have been scrapped. The makers of this film had a tough job in wrapping up a story ten years in the making, and overall I think they did a good job. There are some problems here (I still don’t understand how the bit with the resurrection stone works) but it hits all the right emotional payloads.
9) Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
A late entry for the year, coming out in December, but this is popcorn cinema at it’s best. The stunts literally have you on the edge of your seat. And what I really appreciated was that it wasn’t the Tom Cruise show. All the supporting characters had their own thing going on – each could have been the star of the movie. Can we have more action heroes like Paula Patton? Was good to see a female character in an action movie who wasn’t just there to be the victim/love interest.
8) Thor (Review)
This could have gone very, very bad. But Kenneth Branagh pulled it off. Great mix of sci-fi, fantasy and super-heroics. It could of used another 30 minutes or so to flesh out the characters, but overall, good job.
7) Attack The Block
Man, those creepy fluorescent teeth still creep me out. You don’t need a big budget to tell an alien invasion flick. And this is the proof.
6) Super 8
But that doesn’t mean a big budget can’t be put to good use. If you were to watch Super 8 as part of a movie marathon with The Goonies and E.T. it would fit right in. Sure, you’d be wondering how the puppet guys made the alien work, but tonally, this is a great “lost” 80s film. In fact, you could have gotten rid of all the sci-fi stuff and I still would have loved it.
5) Captain America: The First Avenger (Review)
Sometimes you just want your comic book heroes to be black and white. To stand up for good and oppose evil. Here’s a great movie about an old school hero taking on the bad guys. The visual aesthetic, the way they manage to capture the 1940s while still utilising sci-fi tech, gave us an action movie that stands out from the crowd.
4) Moneyball (Review)
How did you do that? How did you make me like a film about statistics (boring) and baseball (a game I know very little about)? Somehow Brad Pitt did it. You can’t help but love him.
3) Fright Night
This one had me scared. I enjoyed the original as a kid. But a recent re-watch reminded me that favourites of the past don’t always hold up. But the 2011 remake of Fright Night was brilliant. Colin Farrell was truly menacing, David Tennant was wonderfully over-the-top, and the movie makers managed to take everything in the plot/story telling that fell flat for me in the original and re-work it into something great.
2) X-Men: First Class (Review)
Give me a sexy period piece superhero movie with interesting characters and visually engaging use of super powers and I’ll be your best friend forever. Honest.
1) Red State
I thought Kevin Smith had lost it. I was one of those teenagers who endlessly quoted Clerks. I eagerly awaited each new Kevin Smith film. I was giddy with excitement as I lined up to ask Smith a question after a screening of Clerks II. But Zach and Miri Make A Porno was terrible. And I couldn’t muster up enthusiasm to go see Cop Out. But then Red State came out.
This is the movie I’ve waited years for Smith to make. A discussion of modern politics and religion where there are no good guys, just a whole stack of people doing the wrong thing for the wrong reasons. Michael Parks’ performance as the cult leader was particularly chilling. I was so shaken by what I had seen on the screen, that the next day, as I was preaching in the pulpit at church I almost froze, concerned that I might be even a little bit like this hateful man. If you haven’t seen this movie, you really should.
So those are my Top 10. Keen to hear your favourite movies of 2011.