2011 was a pretty solid year for mainstream movies. From x-men to bridesmaids to harry potter, audiences got more for their entertainment dollar at the local multiplex. these 10 movies were my personal faces..
10) Midnight in Paris
I like woody allen's recent films mainly for his ability to poke fun at intellectual upper class that have been his biggest supporters. it's nice to see that he doesn't take himself as seriously as others do. Plus it is always nice for artist to make a statement that these times aren't so bad for quality art. add to that solid performance from his cast and midnight in paris is a nice perspective on how we view nostalgia.
is there anyone out there who didn't like this movie? even my 80 year old mother loved it. funny, real, with characters that were likable.. proof that Hollywood can get it right. if you didn't think kristin wiig is a star, you do now.
8) Captain America
The secret for a great superhero movie is that the director and screenwriter must like the character and have a sublet mix of respect and irreverence to the characters origins and their must be a strong villain. Captain America had all of this. It was a crowd pleaser without being too cheesy and had a retro 1940s setting that looked fresh and not to cgi'd. just try to not have fun watching this film.
7) Super 8
i loved Super 8 because it reminded me of movies i loved as a kid. JJ abrams treated his subject and the set of filming itself with the wonder that i felt when i first started liking movies.. it always helps when a filmmaker exudes a true love of film.
6) attack the block
if super 8 reminded me of films i loved when i was a child, attack the block reminds me of movies i loved when i was in Jr high. hip, a little scary and full of attitude, attack the block stepped out of the mid 80s.. it's like the last 25 years never happened. it's a beautiful thing and one of the coolest films to come out of england in a long time.
it is so hard to find original art these days. it's all been done. then see Bellflower. one of the most original indie films i've seen in a while. full of foreboding, personal apocalypses and a slow descent into madness, this is a film that will stay with you.
4) The Descendants
A charming indie drama with a lot of heart and a stand out performance from george clooney. it is movies like this that enforce my belief that films are the modern day literature. The Descendants examines human relations in an honest and humane way. A small window into a family that we can all relate to.
everything about the story in drive is cliche, but the execution was perfect film making.. expertly paced and beautifully shot, drive is a moody crime drama that stands with the best of michael mann. The violent can be graceful.
2) X-men First Class
Most people didn't like x-men last stand. i felt it was ok, but it didn't leave me too excited for x-men first class. Needless to say i was blown away. I think this is in the top 10 best superhero movies ever made. a great performance by michael fassbender, crowd pleasing cameos and a cold war plot that was believable this film delivered on more counts than i though possible.
1) Sucker Punch
i know i'm one of the few people who would put this on their list , let alone their number 1 movie. I have mad respect for zach snyder. he is the first post video game filmmaker and his aesthetic is visually stunning. his movies are more than empty popcorn flicks. they are state of the art geek cool. Sucker Punch was the most fun i had at the movies all year and met my expectations. i hope Zach explores more original ideas in his future films.