December 19, 2011

My 10 Favorite Movies of 2011--and my least favorite

I haven't set foot inside a movie theater in years. I just can't justify it. I still love movies, but I want to sit in a comfortable chair--maybe stretch out on the sofa if I'm lucky--eat good food, and not have to endure a-holes who talk or text through the whole movie. Since TV is garbage, at least for me since I don't get HBO, I watch a couple DVDs a week. As such I've seen some great movies and some truly horrendous wastes of plastic.

So have a look at these lists and tell me how far off the mark I am:

The 5 movies from 2010 I watched this year and loved:

#5 Easy A - Emma Stone's wry performance in Super Bad caught my eye, and she's gotten better with each role she's had. And she's about the only thing about the new Spider-Man movie that might make me watch it.

#4 The American - George Clooney doesn't always knock it out of the park, but more often than not he does. And this brooding tale of an aging assassin is one of the best ones, and more understated performances on his resume.

#3 Black Swan - It was pretty easy to see why Natalie Portman won an Oscar after I saw this. She really busted her ass to put on the performance of a lifetime. And this is probably the only time I'll ever care to watch ballet.

#2 True Grit - I still the Dude whenever I see Jeff Bridges on the screen, but when he dives into a role like Rooster in this film, he just disappears into his role and makes it come to life. And he may have done an even better job than John Wayne.

#1 Let Me In - Easily the best vampire movie I've seen in ... maybe ever. It's also one of the best coming-of-age stories, not to mention tragic love stories. The only real way to top it is to go back to the original Swedish adaptation, or just go and read the book.

The 5 movies from 2011 I've seen so far and loved:

#5 X-Men: First Class - I had my doubts about this movie when I first heard about it, but it really impressed me and wound up one of the better superhero movies in the last few years.

#4 Cedar Rapids - This dark, hidden gem of a movie caught me by surprise. Ed Helms' rube character is annoying and endearing at the same time, and the supporting cast only bolsters his performance.

#3 Rango - Johnny Depp is the kind of actor who is hit-or-miss with me. Sometimes he seems to take his role a bit too seriously, then with movies like this one he really embraces the silliness of it and makes the whole movie better.

#2 Super - Boy, this movie was dark. The last time Rainn Wilson and Emma Page were in a movie together was Juno. Well, Super kicks Juno's snarky, pregnant ass. And it's got Kevin Bacon playing sleazeball at full volume.

#1 Trollhunter - A breakout movie if there ever was one. A Norwegian monster movie shot like a documentary. I tend to despise shaky cameras and mockumentaries, but this one really worked and the monsters were amazing.

The 5 Movies that might make it on the list once I see them: Bridesmaids, Hanna, Horrible Bosses, Insidious, Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

The 10 Movies I absolutely hated from the past year:

#10 The A-Team - Purposely campy, yes, but I didn't buy Liam Neeson for a second in the role of Hannibal. Cutting in old footage of George Peppard would have been better.

#9 The Social Network - An over-hyped and overwrought waste of my time. The critics can rave all they want, I thought it was terrible and Justin Timberlake was a big reason why.

#8 Transformers 3 - Sequels tend to be worse than the originals, but the first two Transformers films were so bad I figured there was nowhere to go but up--I was wrong.

#7 Children of the Corn: Genesis - I've effectively wiped the original movie from my memory. Hopefully, in time, I can do the same with this dreck.

#6 Pandorum - A movie with a lot of potential on paper, but it only ended up a pile of hot garbage. Poor Dennis Quaid. The guy deserves better.

#5 Gulliver's Travels - I'm officially over Jack Black. I was on the bandwagon like everyone else when he hit it big, but he should probably stick to Kung Fu Panda for a while until he finds a good script.

#4 Cars 2 - Disney really needs to knock it off with all the sequels, especially when the lead character is voiced by Larry the Cable Guy. How did Michael Caine get snookered into this?

#3 The Last Airbender - I made it through forty minutes before I had to turn this flavorless slop off and pour salt in my eyes just to feel alive.

#2 Killers - Whoever it is in Hollywood that keeps trying to convince audiences that Katherine Heigl is a bankable star should be publicly flogged. And Katherine should learn to read those scripts before she signs on.

#1 I Am Number Four - I made it through a whole twenty-five minutes before I quit this movie. Had I not borrowed it from the library I would have set fire to it or used it as a substitute for a clay pigeon.


  1. I loved Easy A and Black Swan. I still have to see True Grit. And now maybe I'll watch the X-Men movie. Yeah, Killers was pretty bad.

  2. They did such a horrible job marketing The Last Airbender. They played it up as an M. Night movie when it was really a Nickelodeon production for kids. It was a great movie to take my (then) 3 year old to see.

    I Am Number Four was my worst movie, too.

  3. Midnyte - X-Men one is pretty darned good. Better than it had any right to be.

    Jen - Agreed on Airbender. Plus, I think it really would take a fan of the anime series to appreciate it.