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My Top Movies of 2011

  • Mar 6, 2012
I am a man of the people, and when the people make a request I listen and often ignore it and then just go about my day. But if it is a good request then I take it a little more seriously. A suggestion like what did you think were the best movies of the year. That is a hell of a question and actually took some time to think about. While the top movies are easy to pick deciding what to leave off and what to leave on got infuriating so I thought I would make a go of it. Since the Academy gave us nine nominations here are my Top Nine Movies of 2011
Drive (2011 film)
"You tell me where we start, where we're going, where we're going afterwards. I give you five minutes when we get there. Anything happens in that five minutes and I'm yours. No matter what. Anything a minute on either side of that and you're on your own. I don't sit in while you're running it down. I don't carry a gun. I drive." Ryan Gosling on the top and bottom of this list, obviously. He was so bad ass in this movie. He was perfect and I loved all the brilliant parts to this movie, from the retro fitting text to the nameless characters to Albert Brooks eating Chinese in an Italian restaurant. I loved it all, but here is the thing, I didn't love it at first. It took me a while, after seeing the movie I didn't really know what I just saw but then I thought about it and kept thinking about it and just how brilliant this movie was. Just ask The Artist, you don't need dialogue to make a character interesting and that is exactly what they do with the driver. And once the movie passes the half way point and the tone changes the movie becomes all the better. This is a movie that could be examined and picked apart by experts and they still may miss bits of brilliance from the movie. This is a movie that will be remembered years to come.
See the full review, "Drive".
Maybe it is because I'm a sports fan that two of the top three movies are sports movies, or maybe it is because both movies are fantastic, probably the latter. Aaron Sorkin takes what is essentially an unfilmable book about sports statistics and makes it compelling to any viewer even if you are not into baseball. I originally thought only sports fans would enjoy this movie but after speaking with a lot of people I found it transcended sports and I love that. Brad Pitt is pitch perfect as Billy Beane and Jonah Hill is fantastic as his counterpart and has some of the best scenes in the movie. The movie moves fast and the dialogue is even quicker, without question Aaron Sorkin is one of the most talented men in Hollywood.
See the full review, "Moneyball".
I wanted to put this movie higher on the list but I just couldn't do it because the movie was so telegraphed but I don't care. This movie still sticks with me and it came out in frickin September, sometimes the lines and music will just pop in my head and I love to leave them there. That is the sign of a great movie, a movie that sticks with you. Nick Nolte is fantastic as the alcoholic father; a role I assume is easy for him to play. Gavin O'Connor who directed the movie also directed Miracle which has the same feel good-id-ness about it. Oh and Tom Hardy is bad-ass. I cannot wait for the new Batman movie
See the full review, "Warrior".
How was this movie not nominated for anything at all?!?!?!? Seriously the screenplay is brilliant and heart wrenching without being too depressing. The characters are all amazing, but a special shout out to Bryce Dallas Howard for rocking the bitch character, oh and I loved the overbearing mother, oh and the music. God so much of this movie was so good I really need to watch it again. And that is all before mentioning just how great Joseph-Gordon Levitt has become as an actor. Or how fantastic Seth Rogan's character was and how well he portrayed him even though it's not so much acting as it remembering as this ACTUALLY ALL HAPPENED. Will Reiser who wrote the script was diagnosed with cancer and Rogan convinced him to write a screenplay about it. He was going to make it a lot darker; luckily he didn't as the movie was super enjoyable, well as enjoyable as it can be with the subject being someone dying of cancer.
See the full review, "50/50".
The Artist
This is just a feel good movie. Yes it is just a giant hand job to all that Hollywood is and all that it was, but whatever I'm down with it. And I personally love watching the rise of one lead to the fall of another. And while the love story doesn't stick with me so much I do remember falling in hook, line, and sinker when I was originally watching the movie. Plus the music is fantastic and I love the difference in acting styles from when they are on the screen to when they are out on the streets. Plus that dog, god I love simple pandering that a cute animal will bring to a movie
See the full review, "The Artist".
Maybe you saw it after everyone was telling you how funny it was and left this movie unimpressed by all the hype. You know how it got all that hype? By being fuckin hysterical. Kristin Wiig wrote a seriously funny movie and then gave all the best lines to someone else. Not that she wasn't brilliant in the lead role, but Melissa McCarthy stole this movie right out from under her. The story is sweet and doesn't dumb down the entire gender which so many movies in Hollywood do by assuming all they need in life is a good man. Plus poop jokes.
See the full review, "Bridesmaids".
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Say what you will about the book or all the annoying people who read the book, or even worse the people who dress up for the movie. This was a good movie and deserved far more adulation than it got. It is clear J.K Rowling does not know how to write, but man she created a fantastic story with wonderful characters. And in the hands of David Yates who filmed the movie as darkly as the tone demanded the project played perfectly where so many others failed before him. And who would have guessed that Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson would grow into such fine actors, even if he was half in the bag during most of the shooting. These two young actors were able to stand out when there were people like Ralph Fiennes and Alan Rickman on set, that is impressive.
See the full review, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2".
Midnight in Paris
A lot of people had this a lot higher on their list, and to be named one of the best movies of the year by anyone is an accomplishment. This is on everyone's list. And it is Woody being Woody; you have to like his work to really like this one. And I actually really liked the casting of Owen Wilson as a gentile younger Woody. Some of the characters were great like Hemingway and Dali, but this was one of the few times I got annoyed with Marion Cotillard, she really took me out of the film which is odd being that she was one of the few French actresses in the movie. I don't know, it was great and I liked it but it didn't keep me hooked which is why it is lower on the list.
The Ides of March
Damn what an incredible cast. If it seems like this movie just snuck on you'd be mistaken. This was going to make the list no matter what I just needed to think where to place it. All the acting is incredible and Ryan Gosling is so clearly The Guy right now, and all he had to do was look across the room to find out what it's like to be The Man and boom there's Clooney. The movie goes at an incredible pace and while it is a short movie it moves even faster. There were so many moving parts, and Clooney as the writer and director puts it all in there efficiently and has you gripped to the edge of your seat all with tons of nods to campaigns of the past.

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March 12, 2012
Hmm. Good list. Only one on here I agree with, though, is WARRIOR.
March 06, 2012
What were the critics thinking? Most of your films weren't nominated but seem a lot better than the ones that were. I am in total agreement with you on 50/50. It was 100 times better that what those stuffed shirts that always choose for their outdated Oscars.
March 20, 2012
Love 50/50!
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