Please note the opinions and views expressed in this blog are my own and you
should agree with them.
10. Mission: Impossible 4
The best summer movie came out during Christmas. The movie showed us countless times in the trailer it’s most spectacular sequence, and it’s still not ruined. Probably the only movie this year that I would pay money to go see again, I had so much fun and was so geeked out at the action, I had to put it on the list. Brad Bird is a great director and I look forward to his next live-action effort.
9. (Tie) Shame/Take Shelter
I liked both of these movies a lot. I couldn’t really decide what to write about them and how to rank them. In thinking about both films I’m really left with how impressive the lead actors are. Both movies are character studies about men with mental problems. Both performances make you both understand and feel their pain. In the end you know they may never get better and that’s what makes them so fascinating, they’re are like real people, flawed with flaws that won’t be unflawed. Both movies are intense films, but it should be mentioned that I don’t agree with the NC-17 rating on Shame, maybe I’m desensitized or maybe I have a problem…
8. Source Code
It’s sad this movie came out in April and got forgotten. The concept and execution were so well matched, few high concept movies can pull that off. I still hear people complain about Inception, but Source Code doesn’t really leave you asking questions or finding holes. The movie speeds by so fast you don’t really have time to. You’d be hard pressed to find another fast-paced, smart slick thriller this year. In a year with big budget sequels, prequels and Super-heroes, Source Code gave me a hero that I could care about and want to see more adventures for. Maybe because it’s the Quantum Leap movie we’ll never get, you may laugh at that but Scott Bakula has a cameo in this so it’s not that much of a stretch.
7. Our Idiot Brother
This year had a lot of raunchy comedies but my favorite comedy and for my money the best comedy was Our Idiot Brother. Paul Rudd is so likable in this movie you want to hug him and strangle everybody else. When you’re not laughing during the movie you’re smiling. It’s a feel good indie comedy, which since Little Miss Sunshine has been a requirement every year, but Our Idiot Brother stands on its own two feet as a strong comedic endeavor that’s both believable and very funny, which isn’t surprising since it is somewhat autobiographical according to the writers. Plus, who doesn’t love an idiot brother, we all have one, I know I do or so my siblings tell me.
Tintin was a fun movie, but my biggest complaint was that there wasn’t enough Snowy. In the comics we get to read Snowy’s thoughts like Garfield, which, just like Garfield, are hilarious. Beginners, a movie about a man dealing with loss and maturity did what Tintin couldn’t do and had a hilarious dog, so for that reason I have it on this list. Also, the movie has a Woody Allen vibe about it that makes it romantic/funny/depressing in a way Midnight in Paris really failed for me to achieve. Easily Ewan McGregor’s best work in years, with Christopher Plummer probably earning himself an Oscar without breaking a sweat. It’ll make you wish your dad was gay, if he isn’t already.
I love cartoon movies. I love cartoons. I love Pixar. I was let down this year by Pixar, the Toy Story shorts were good, but not great and Cars 2 was Cars 2. Nobody phoned it in more than Pixar, it’s as if The Muppets worked extra hard to make up for them on Disney’s behalf. Pixar aside many other animated films came out but didn’t really try to go above and beyond and while they were all almost easily better than Cars 2, none of them, not even Tintin, came close in my mind to how awesome, beautiful, fun and funny Rango was. I love westerns and wish there were more western comedies, Blazing Saddles is probably the greatest American comedy ever made so that’s probably why nobody else has really tried. Rango isn’t Blazing Saddles, it’s more Shakiest Gun in the West by way of Pixar. Johnny Depp does his best acting since the first Pirates movie in a cartoon, that shouldn’t be a compliment but it is. Probably the only movie this year I could recommend to the most hardened film buff as well as a young child, that’s what makes it so great.
This is a surrealist movie about a tire that comes to life and starts killing people. A commentary on film itself, the movie works on many levels. I feel the less said about the better, it’s about a killer tire, that’s really all you need. Easily the most innovative storytelling I’ve seen all year, a film triumph in my opinion.
3. The Future
I’m very surprised that I’m not seeing this movie on more top 10 lists. Probably the most realistic/fantastical portrayal of the dissolution of a relationship ever put on screen. Realizing that you’re getting older and don’t want to waste time being with somebody that you don’t think you love anymore is not an uncommon topic in this the land of divorce. Also, the movie has a talking cat, so that’s pretty cool. No movie made me cry this year but this one came close. The ambiguous ending fills you with hope and closure at the same time and makes you question how you feel about not only the relationship on screen but your own.
2. Tree of Life
Probably one of the most divisive films in a while, Malick created an art film that is the Avatar of art films in a good way, maybe. Four people walked out of the theater I was in, it’s not hard to see why. The weather worn film cynic in me couldn’t help but see the faults, the indulgence and the lack of actual scenes but still the emotion, the imagery, the feeling of the film got to me. It leaves you thinking AND feeling. I was touched and felt like I had an experience watching the movie and I can’t remember another movie that made me feel that way, not since Glitter anyway.
The soundtrack alone gets this movie the top spot, I could stop there and most people would agree. I didn’t even need dialogue in this movie, I could’ve just watched the violence and listened to the music and still would’ve given this movie high praise. Probably the coolest movie that came out last year. Easily the best of the 30 Ryan Gosling movies that came out last year. Probably one of the few non comic book movies of 2011 that I would repeatedly watch. I honestly just love how cool it made me feel watching it, it’s like “The Fonz” of movies.
And there you go.