Well now that it is 2012 I can officially list my top films of 2011. I wasn’t able to go out and see as many as I wanted to towards the end of the year because of personal issues. However of what I did see throughout the year I’ll gather a list. In the past few days I have gone and seen quite a few films just to make sure I didn’t miss anything released in 2011. I know I’ll probably get some flack for a few of my top films this past year. In all honesty, I don’t give a fuck. It’s all based off of opinion. My opinion. Also, I did mention that I wasn’t capable of seeing everything that I wanted to see. So I obviously left those ones off. Well let’s jump right into the list.
10. 30 Minutes or Less (8.5/10)
We are given Danny McBride, Nick Swardson, Jesse Eisenberg and Aziz Ansari. What more could we ask? Oh wait, it’s from the director of Zombieland. Everything seemed to work about 30 Minutes or Less, from the acting to the jokes. The performances of each other those actors was spot on. Each of them was perfect for their role. It was nice to see Ansari step up and play a different role than he normally plays. When I first saw this in the theaters I absolutely loved it and immediately wanted to see it again. However once I got it on Blu-ray the replay value went down drastically. Regardless, it is definitely worth the time to see it.
9. Fast Five (9/10)
Remember how I just said that I was going to get some flack for some of my choices. Well here is the one that I was expecting it from. Fast Five was hands down the best film of the Fast and the Furious series. Of course without the first few we wouldn’t know the background of all the characters. Still, Fast Five was everything everyone was expecting plus more. For those of you who have seen it, I’m looking forward to where they lead off at the beginning of Fast Six. Especially since how the last one ended. I’m okay with them making more as long as they are just as good as this one was. The movie itself was packed full of action between Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Vin Diesel. Plus, they brought the entire gang back. Which was pretty awesome to see them on such a huge scaled heist.
8.X-Men: First Class (9/10)
X-Men: First Class was refreshingly good. Seeing as I’m not a fan of the other X-Men films. This one was a nice surprise. Granted when I watched the trailers I instantly knew that I was going to like it. The acting was great all across the board. Michael Fassbender stole the show as Magneto while James McAvoy held his own as Professor X. However, Fassbender did steal the entire show. It might even be politically correct if the title of the movie was X-Men: Michael Fassbender.
7. The Ides of March (9/10)
The Ides of March is another film that took me by surprise. I knew that it was going to be interesting yet I wasn’t sure what kind of twists were going to be brought to us. I mean, it’s politics. That topic alone is already twisted so its hard to ever judge a politician. I felt like Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Paul Giamatti all did a great job. The Ides of March really shows the nitty gritty dirty politics that is out there these days.
6. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) (9.5/10)
Quick facts about me and this series; I have not read the the books. However I have seen the original films that were released in 2009. There is only one issue, that is that I don’t remember the originals very well. I do owe them a rewatch. Well that is enough mumbo jumbo, getting back to the 2011 one. I felt like David Fincher did an excellent job directing this. Granted when I first heard that there was going to be a remake of the trilogy, my first thought was “Are you kidding me? Why?” However once I figured out that Fincher was directing it I knew that it could only go up from there. Then Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara were both brought onto the project. That only excited me more. I felt like they both did an amazing job in their respective roles. The only thing that disappoints me about The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) version is to see it’s not doing so well in the box office. On the contrary, Sony just announced that they will go ahead with The Girl Who Played with Fire.
5. Warrior (9.5/10)
Warrior was a film that I really wanted to see. I even got some shit from some friends that said it was going to be terrible. Turns out they were wrong and even some of them really liked it. Regardless if The Fighter came out last year. Regardless if there was a comeback, underdog fighting film last year. This one took a twist of its own. Warrior was capable of telling a very powerful story of two different fighters who come from the exact same family. You have Tom Hardy playing the war vet who has the backing of the nation and you also have Joel Edgerton who is playing the old fighter who has history. To top off those two actors you’re given Nick Nolte who is playing an unreal father. He can literally toy with your emotions throughout the entire film. Warrior is the film that should have gotten attention instead of some of these other terrible films out this year, yet it didn’t. Unfortunately, people have missed out on such an inspiring story.
4. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (9.5/10)
Where do I even begin with this one. I haven’t seen any of the other Ape’s films. So I didn’t know where they were heading with this one. Besides the obvious, rise of the apes. I felt like the acting wasn’t the best from James Franco considering the previous year he gave us 127 Hours. However the way they went with it was amazing. So many points in the movie that were just powerful. It was intense. It was nice that they laid it out like they did. It was nice to see it slow and explaining everything at the beginning and then have it ramp up like it did. Of course what would this film be without the likes of Andy Serkis‘ portrayal of Caesar? If it wasn’t for Serkis and the effects done for Caesar, Rise of the Planet of the Apes wouldn’t have been anything.
3. Midnight in Paris (9.5/10)
To say that I know Woody Allen‘s other films would be a blatant lie. The only reason I decided to check Midnight in Paris out was because of the good numbers that it was bringing in while in the box office and because TDR’s own Jeremy Lebens insisted that it was a great film. When watching the trailer I didn’t know what the point of the movie was. It felt too straight forward. To be honest it was pretty straight forward. Midnight in Paris was simply a gorgeous and fun film. Woody Allen did a fantastic job transforming the film from genre to genre. It completely sucked the viewer into each of the themes. Owen Wilson did an excellent job at playing the everyday normal person. He played his normal fun loving character. I think that is why I was able to delve so far into the film. You could relate to Wilson’s character and just wished that was you sometimes.
2. The Descendants (10/10)
Once again George Clooney delivers. I felt like I was watching the Clooney of 2009 when he filmed Up in the Air. Clooney definitely gives it all that he has in this performance. While watching his character you literally feel every emotion that he is feeling. The storyline of Alexander Payne‘s The Descendants is such an emotional and real thing. It’s one of those films that is ridiculously sad yet it has an underlining meaning to it. Not only was I impressed with Clooney’s performance I was also really impressed with his onscreen daughter, Shailene Woodley. I felt like both of them together were a fantastic duo. I wasn’t sure how to feel at the end of The Descendants. Mainly because Clooney’s character is literally pulling on every emotional string in your body yet you can’t help but think of the underlining meaning to the film. It’s all about how life is hard and you can struggle through stuff yet you will always find a way to work through those things because it’s the end product that is worth it.
1. 50/50 (10/10)
Once again, just like my second favorite of 2011, it comes down to the reality scenarios. Films that can happen to everyone. Both of which have their ways of touching people. 50/50 starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen was unexpected. When I first saw the trailers I knew that I wanted to see it. However I didn’t quite know how much I would like it. 50/50 hits every emotion throughout the film. With that fact and how superb the cast was it was easily my favorite film of the year. Who would have thought a movie about someone getting cancer would be such a great movie. I feel bad about putting it that way but it’s true. One would assume that such a story would be devastating. Which in all honesty it was but watching Joseph Gordon-Levitt‘s character progress though all of it was inspiring. Of course with a co-star like Rogen, 50/50 wasn’t short on it’s humor. Granted it is immature humor like Rogen normally does but it’s humor that most people have when they don’t know how to deal with such a rough situation. 50/50 is one of those must see films for everyone because of it’s wide range of emotions that are brought upon watching it.