Dec 29, 2011 09:15 AM EST
Critic Chris Rebholz Weighs In On The Top Films of 2011
With the end of another year looming we always look back on the recent events of our lives and take stock, so why not do the same with some movies?? Here is this reviewers Top Ten of 2011!
The most recent comic book film to come from Marvel Studios, it tells the origin story of Steve Rogers who was a scrawny kid and with the help of brilliant science became the national war hero, Captain America. The film was fun and like with most comic films the story was fairly simplistic but what makes it kick off the top ten are two key points: 1, The phenomenal CGI work done to make Chris Evans look like a 98lb weakling and 2, the excellent propaganda piece in the middle of the film that carries the esscense of the 1940's within it.
This foreign film tells the tale of 13 Samurai warriors who embark on a mission to assassinate the current Shogun in an effort to end his reign of brutality. Beautifully shot and told with a sharpened skill similar to that of the Japanese sword, this movie does a wonderful job of depicting what it would have been like to be a Samurai at that time. And the final showdown in the abandoned village is well worth the wait.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
The final chapter in the beloved series, this film brings to a conclusion the tale of the "boy who lived" and his ultimate encounter with Lord Voldermort. On a grand scale, the effects alone are worth the lengthy fun time but what really brings it home is the personal moments and ultimate truth behind the tale: that no matter what, we all have to grow up some time.
The Ides of March
Starring the ever handsome George Clooney and the fast rising Ryan Gosling, the film showed the dark and very tricky world of politics from the point of view of an insider who utterly believes in his leader and what it is like to have that faith shaken when a secret is revealed.
Collecting some of the best themes from all classic sci-fi films, Paul tells the fun story of a laid back hipster alien named Paul who is looking to return to his home planet and winds up enlisting the aid of two enthusiastic sci-fi geeks. What occurs is a fun road trip across the west coast as Paul hurries to his rendezvous with the mother ship.
Crazy Stupid Love
Probably the most realistic and honest tale of how love and dating play in our world today. Steve Carell plays a sad sack husband whose wife admits she cheated on him. He befriends a handsome and charismatic youth in Ryan Gosling who teaches Carell how to regain his manhood. Surprisingly it is not the Carell story that takes center stage, but Gosling and Emma Stone who haphazardly find each other.
Writer-director J. J. Abrams' mainstream gem of escapist moviemaking is an inspired homage to the early movies of one Steven Spielberg, who also just happens to have produced this science fiction thriller about a group of middle-school youngsters shooting their own movie with a titular camera - just like like Abrams and Spielberg used to - who get more than they bargained for when a freight train carrying cargo from Nevada's Area 51 derails. This super coming-of-age dramedy mixing horror, humor, heart, nostalgia, and wonder is a delicious genre shake.
Mixed martial arts, of all subjects, is the focus here, and this ferociously intense pugilistic drama, familiar and maybe even predictable, is executed like a well-timed punch - or kick - to the solar plexus. Sibling rivals travel on a collision course in this fractured-family tale that smartly balances convincing conversation with perfectly paced and expertly choreographed fight footage, fascinatingly splitting the rooting interest. Director and co-writer Gavin O'Connor gets great work from rising stars Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton as the brothers, and Nick Nolte breaks your heart as their broken father.
The Adventures of Tin Tin
This film will probably fall by the way side, which is a shame because it has all the makings of a great children's film while still being accessible to adults. It follows the story of Tin Tin (Jamie Bell) who is a boy reporter working in London. Possessing qualities similar to that of Indiana Jones, he seeks adventure under the guise of uncovering a mystery. With the help of his faithful dog Snowy and boistrous Captain Haddock the film follows the trio as they attempt to recover lost treasure aboard a ship that sunk over a hundred years ago.
A movie buff's delight and a treat for families, movie maestro Martin Scorsese's ostensible kid flick is a visually mesmerizing, enthralling and poignant tribute to film artists of an earlier era . Set in 1931 Paris, visual storyteller Scorsese's first foray into comedy, the 3D process, and the wide family audience is not only a nostalgic puzzle to be solved but a vicarious road trip back through cinema history, a plea for crucial film preservation, and yet another demonstration of the dream-like quality and power of movies; a wonderfully whimsical and magically mysterious fable for kids of all ages.
So that is my Top Ten for 2011, it was a good year for movies and even near the final weeks we had some good drops like Sherlock Holmes and Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. But 2012 already looks to be even better with Prometheus, Dark Knight Rises, The Hobbit, Cloud Atlas and more. So prepare for some awesomeness next year and from me to you, Happy New Year!!!
About Chris Rebholz