Monday, 19 November 2018
Top 10 of 2011
Written by Sandra Fitzpatrick   
Tuesday, 24 January 2012 10:15

Top 10 of 20112011 was an eventful, and sometimes difficult year for Popcorn Philosophy. After a fantastic eight year run, my relationship with Here Magazine came to a sudden halt and along with being an independent reviewer came a stop to my sponsorship from the movie theatres as well. I want to thank my great readers who stuck with me and continued reading, even though reviews have been sporadic. I will do my best to bring you as many current reviews as possible now that the New Year is underway!

2011 had it's ups and downs at the box office as well, and I'd like to present to you some of my favorite films I saw in the past year, as we look ahead to what promises to be a stellar year coming up.

My Top 10 of 2011

Deathly Hallows 2Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

The final chapter in one of the most groundbreaking film achievements of our time was no disappointment. Harry, Ron and Hermione are all grown up; and so are the brilliant young actors we've followed on screen for the past decade. The faithful film adaptations of J.K. Rowling's classic books are now classics in their own right, and have met or even surpassed the hopes of fans. Kudos to everyone involved for sticking with it and ensuring every film got done right - and that this last installment was a satisfying conclusion to the series.

 

Crazy Stupid LoveCrazy, Stupid Love

This is one of those "feel good" movies that was elevated to greatness by the performances of Steve Carrell, the "so-hot-he-looks-Photoshopped" Ryan Gosling, and everyone's favorite faux-ginger Emma Stone. A stellar cast, a touching story and a lot of laughs as well, this is a movie I would recommend to just about anyone!

 

The MuppetsThe Muppets

I'm a fan of pretty much anything Jim Henson touched during his amazingly creative existence. So when I heard The Muppets were trying for a comeback, I was skeptical about how they would be treated, but excited at the possibilities. When I heard that one of my favorite funny-men Jason Segal (How I Met Your Mother, Forgetting Sarah Marshall) was helming the project - I was over the moon! From that moment I knew he would do Jim Henson proud and I was not disappointed. The Muppets was one of the funniest, most timeless, and surprisingly emotional movies of the year for me.

 

Super 8Super 8

This sci-fi film touched a chord in me that made me feel like a kid again, bringing back memories of watching movies like E.T. and The Goonies - Perhaps not so surprising since it was produced by Stephen Spielberg. Elle Fanning and the rest of the cast of kids delivered mature performances for their years, and left me feeling nostalgic for those long summers of childhood. Oh yeah, and did I mention there are aliens?

 

Cowboys and AliensCowboys and Aliens

Who would have thought Jon Favreau (Swingers, Iron Man) had a secret talent for directing a damn good Western?! That's exactly what Cowboys and Aliens is at heart; in fact it's easy to forget at times that what these gunslingers are dealing with is not of this world. Daniel Craig is the perfect weather-beaten cowboy and Harrison Ford has fun playing his age for once.

 

Girl with the Dragon TattooThe Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

In the hands of David Fincher (Fight Club) this American version of the Swedish novel/film, turned into a triumph of filmmaking. I doubted that Lisbeth Salander could be embodied by anyone other than Swedish actress Noomi Rapace who had become synonymous with the role; but Rooney Mara delivered a surprisingly fearless performance and created a version of the character in her own right. True to the tagline this really was "The feel bad movie of the year", and there were moments when I just didn't want to watch... But it was true to the source material and a great film adaptation.

 

BridesmaidsBridesmaids

Yes, it was kinda' crass. No, those ladies weren't very ladylike. But Bridesmaids had moments of sheer genius, characters you could relate to, and potty humor that (let's face it) isn't just for men anymore. Anyone who thinks women can't be funny has never seen the likes of these talented, fearless comedic ladies; most notably Kristen Wiig who helped pen the script. She brought warmth and depth to a character that, in less cabable hands, would have turned into a paper doll with man troubles. 

 

Rise of the Planet of the ApesRise of the Planet of the Apes

I don't think I was as in love with this movie as the rest of the general public. For the most part, I found the script amateur and the performance by James Franco (whom I normally adore), lacking. But I'm including it on this list for one reason and that is the incredible performance of Andy Serkis, the talent behind the scenes who breathes life into the character of Caesar. I believe he single-handedly made this film work, through gesture and expression - even underneath layers and layers of computer generated monkey suit. 

 

War HorseWar Horse

This is just a visually beautiful movie for everything from the sweeping landscapes, to the enormous battle scenes and every camera angle and color scheme used along the way. Director Stephen Spielberg proves that he can still make a modern day masterpiece. Maybe it's an odd comparison to draw, but War Horse reminded me more than once of Gone With the Wind (which, by the way, is still an incredible film to this day).

 

50/5050/50

This little gem was one of my favorites, though it wasn't necessarily box-office gold. An understated and underrated look at the life of a young man diagnosed with cancer, and his struggle to deal with that fact. 50/50 takes a very human approach - there are no major story twists, no miracle cures, no religious epiphanies - just a guy and his relationships with other people and himself. Joseph Gordon-Levitt gives a great performance, backed by Seth Rogen as his best friend and Anna Kendrick as a medical psychologist. It's a touching, sometimes funny and always honest film.

The Rest of the Best

Hugo
X-Men: First Class
Hanna
Cedar Rapids
Puss in Boots
Captain America: The First Avenger
The Bang-Bang Club
Rango

And Some of the WORST:

Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon (Almost, but not quite as terrible as the previous 2)
The Smurfs
Season of the Witch
Larry Crowne
30 Minute's Or Less
Priest
Conan the Barbarian
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked
Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil
Just Go With It