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Well, it feels like just yesterday that 2011 just started. Now it’s December and the year is nearly over and I have to say, it’s been quite an impressive year for movies in my opinion. Sure, the two previous years were quite good too however this year had a great amount of films that were either, good, great, or even amazing. And that’s what this list is all about the amazing films of 2011. There were so many good films this year; I felt a top ten would not be enough for some of my personal favorites of this year, so I decide to add five extra films to the mix. Keep in mind, this is my personal opinion of the films I have enjoyed the most this year, so it’s most likely that not everyone is going to agree, but that’s the whole point of a list like this anyway. Besides, I haven’t seen every film some of the other movies of 2011 that are considered the best of the year such as Drive, The Artist, or The Descendants. I’m sure if I get a chance to see them, my list will change, but as of now these are my personal top 15 favorite films of 2011
What’s a better way to start out a best of the year list by talking about one of the biggest surprises of the year. After hearing about the fact they’re making a Thor movie and especially after seeing the trailer, I honestly thought Thor was going to be horrible or mediocre at best from what I have seen. Every trailer I saw, I thought look bad, and I thought a character like Thor would not transition well on to the big screen. However, not only did this movie surpass my expectations and was actually really good, but it was even better than the two comic books movies that I thought were going to be better than Thor which were Green Lantern and Captain America. Thor is an enjoyable and fun superhero movie and another great film to add to The Avengers franchise. Now let’s hope the Avengers will be an even better film than Thor.
14. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Speaking of great surprises this year, Rise of the Planet of the Apes is another movie that was much better than I originally expected it to be. Though unlike Thor, I didn’t think Apes was going to be necessarily horrible, however from the trailers I saw, nothing really impressed me about this movie either. After seeing the trailers, I thought it could be either really good or really bad, good thing that it turned out to be really good. Rise of the Planet of the Apes, despite the long title is another great and smart Sci-fi film of this year. Plus, not only that, it’s probably my pick for best special effect of the year and with an incredible motion capture performance by Andy Serkis, it truly deserves the Oscar for Best Special effects at least. Nothing else to say except this is a great prequel and a must see for any sci-fi fan.
Even though this film isn’t really being talked about too much for Oscar season, I still think it does deserve a few small nominations. What works great about 50/50 is that it feels very real with both the drama and even the humor and that’s what I love about it. I love films that feel very real, they’re not too over the top in terms of drama and comedy and 50/50 does a great job of doing that. Add in some great performances by some of my favorite actors like Anna Kendrick and Joseph Gordon Levitt, than you got a personal favorite of mine of this year.
12. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2
Depending on who you are, either you think I shouldn’t put this movie on this list at all, or I should put this much higher on this list. Either way, coming from someone who isn’t the biggest Potter fan, I have to admit, they really saved the best movie for last because this Harry Potter is pretty incredible. It has the best acting, the best effects, and just over all the best emotion out of any of the Harry Potter movies in my opinion. It’s a film that I’m sure die hard Potter fans will absolutely love, and even for the minor fans like myself, I’m sure you can find something very enjoyable about this last movie.
Yeah, I know I’m going to get a lot of flak for putting this over Harry Potter, but I have to be honest with myself, Paul is one of the most enjoyable films I have seen this year. It’s no Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz compared to the other comedies featuring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, but despite that this movie just put a big smile on my face while watching it. It’s a fun, sweet and great little comedy with two of my favorite actors and even if it’s not the best of their films, it’s still worth a watch in my opinion.
10. X-men First Class
I already mention Thor being one of my favorite comic book movies of this year, but my pick for my real favorite comic book movie is easily this. X-men First Class took what the past few X-men movies got wrong and made it the best X-men movie out there. It has great action, great characters and just a great origin story of the X-men. I can’t see any real Marvel fan not thinking that this is one of the best movies from Marvel out there.
9. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
I do have to be honest with myself and say that I was hoping that movie would be much higher on this list, but I can’t deny the fact that I still love this movie. Even with the length of this movie really bringing it down for me, The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo is everything David Fincher does right and put it all into one great film. Definitely one and might as well be the darkest film of this year. Though if you’re like me, a dark film is actually a really good film when it’s done right, and this film does it pretty dang well. Any fan of David Fincher will have at least something to appreciate about this film and even if I don’t think it’s his best work, it certainly is one not to miss out on either.
8. The Adventures of Tintin
In terms of great adaptation, Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson created a whole new meaning of the term bringing the comic book to life with The Adventures of Tintin. They did what Robert Zemeckis has been trying to do with his motion capture animated films and actually made it work well. The film looks absolutely gorgeous and not only that but the film is a great adventure film that is enjoyable for both kids and adults. Add in some great characters and a really solid script written by Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish, then you got yourself one of the better Spielberg films to come out in the past ten years.
7. Midnight in Paris
It’s hard to really describe what makes Midnight in Paris so good, but in the end, I guess it just comes down to the fact it’s just incredible enjoyable. It’s a pleasant and very fun movie to watch. It’s a movie that puts you in a good mood and this is mostly due to Woody Allen’s directing and writing along with the performances. I haven’t seen too much of Allen’s work before this but safe to say after seeing this I really want to now. Midnight in Paris is definitely one of the most relaxing time I had watching a movie this year which is why I consider it to be one of my favorites too.
We all know that this year was not Pixar’s year considering that Cars 2 was the biggest mistake they have probably made so far. Though what we got in Pixar’s place as the best computer animated film this year is Rango and it’s a great replacement to say the least. Rango is everything right done in both an animated film and a western and that factor alone makes Rango one of the best of the year. It has great characters, a great plot, incredible visuals and just an all-around solid kids movie that doesn’t talk down to kids either. If there’s one computer animated movie and one western you have to see this year, it has to be Gore Verbindki’s animated masterpiece with Johnny Depp as a lizard.
I already mention X-men and Thor being some of the best comic book superhero movies of this year, but in terms of my true pick for best Superhero movie of the year has to be Super. Of course the comparisons to Kick-Ass is undeniable, however this took what Kick-Ass got both right and wrong and made it a million times better in my opinion. While it is certainly one of the darkest movies of the year easily, it still manages to be one of the best of the year as well. Plus with great performances by Ellen Page and Rainn Wilson, some great humor and probably the best opening credit sequence I’ve seen to a film all year, and then the results are possibly my pick for the best superhero movie of the year.
4. Attack the Block
The best way to describe Attack the Block is this, think of it as a modern day version of James Cameron’s Aliens, just taken place in the ghetto of the U.K and made ten times more violent and bloodier. At the same time, it isn’t a rip off of Aliens either, in fact it takes what made Aliens good and created a great original sci-fi, action, horror comedy. This movie is considered what Super 8 should have been and I have to agree. It has great humor, tons and tons of impressive violence, awesome performances, one of the best soundtracks of the year and just a fun movie to watch. I’m sure not many of you have seen it, but now since it’s on Blu-ray and DVD now, it’s a good time to see this movie now, trust me, it’s worth it.
It’s sort of weird putting this movie on the list considering I’ve just saw it at the time I’m writing this list, however Hugo is a movie that impressed me on so many levels than I originally expected to. It’s so incredible, it makes me wonder why Martin Scorsese never created a kids film before this, but either way, this is a fantastic piece of art from him. Speaking of art, on a visual level, Hugo is easily the best thing I’ve seen all year; the movie looks absolutely amazing, and I can’t imagine how great it looked in 3-D as well. Though unlike some movies where it’s all style but no substance, this film is still an incredible one on its own with great characters and a really sweet story as well. It’s definitely not a movie for everyone out there, however if you’re a movie lover like I am, especially a lover of classic film, Hugo is a movie you have to see. Hugo is so amazing that I still can’t believe how Martin Scorsese created what could have been a solid kids film into an absolute masterpiece.
2. Winnie the Pooh
This is a movie so good, I’m disappointed that it became so over looked. Seriously, this is my pick for the flat out best animated film of the year and it’s not getting the attention it truly deserves. Winnie the Pooh is a fantastic nostalgic return to form in terms of the Winnie the Pooh series. It’s funny, sweet, and just a great kids movie that really makes me wish there were more good kids films like this. Not only that, but It’s a film that makes me wish that traditional animation is made more often now these days. Hopefully Disney will still continue to create more traditional animated films like this because they are incredible. If you haven’t checked this movie out yet, I highly recommend doing so, especially if you are a Disney animation or just an animation lover like I am.
1. The Muppets
Speaking of nostalgia, The Muppets is another fantastic movie of this year that made me feel like a kid again. It is one of those movies where I loved almost every moment of it. It’s not only a great way to show these characters again to long time Muppet fans like myself, but it’s also a nice way to introduce these characters to a younger audience. The Muppets has everything there that can be enjoyable for both kids and adults. It’s clever, charming, has an amazing soundtrack and an excellent return to puppeteering in movies. In the end The Muppets is a fantastic movie and truly my pick for my favorite movie of 2011,.
Before I officially end this list, here are some quick honorable mentions for the best of 2011.
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots
Those are my picks for the best of 2011. If you have any other favorites of this year whether you agree with me or not, comment below and let me know what were your favorites of 2011.