If it's crap ... We'll tell you
The thing that really stood out for me while struggling to narrow it down to 10 were all the amazing characters. From the demented creatures in Rango to the crazy monsters of Troll Hunter, the almost silent Driver to the totally captivating Caesar in Rise of the Apes, the hilarious Sergent Boyle in the Guard or the tragic real life Ayrton Senna, there were some exceptional performances.
It was also a year of big disapointments from directors I love. Tree of Life sucked the patience out of me, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was coma inducing, Super 8 had great kids / sh*t monster and Cowboys and Aliens should have been fun.
But all in all the good far out weighed the bad so here in no particular order are my top 10 -
I'm a sucker for a decent heart-warming punch up, hell you get two fighters to root for, Nick Nolte as Captain Ahab and Tom Hardies neck is worth watching it for alone! (what a freak!)
The very best animation I saw in 2011 and the best western too! Crazy as a box of frogs with wonderful music and some great lines - I once found a human spinal column in my fecal matter... LMAO!
KILL LIST -
Twisted Brit Hitman flick with cracking dialogue and great performances. This is probably the least known film on my list so I highly recomended you check it out.
I SAW THE DEVIL -
Intense Korean serial killer/revenge film. Had me rooting for more torture which is kind of worrying! So well done, certain scenes are still circling my brainpan. Would make a very warped double feature with Cold Fish.
THE GUARD -
I haven't laughed this hard in ages(mostly due to American comedies) Father Ted Meets John McClane. Nothing else came close to this for laughs. Brendan Gleeson is a class act.
Coolest looking film this year with a superb score and fine understated performance from Ryan Gosling and Albert Brooks is chilling. If I can't have pre digital Michael Mann this'll do nicely.
A great documentary should hold your interest no matter what the subject matter and this is the perfect example. I knew of Ayrton Senna growing up but had no interested in motor racing. I put the DVD in my computer to watch in the corner of my screen while working and five minutes in I'd sacked off work and was watching it full screen. Rivetting to the very end and as close to being inside someones head as you can get.
TROLL HUNTER -
My favourite monster film this year almost went to Attack the Block but this just pipped it coz it's got GIANT F*CKING TROLLS! such a well put together, low budget, found footage film with surprisingly great Special effects.
The bitter, twisted Joseph meets kind, gentle Hanna who suffers some really bad sh*t in Paddy Considines gritty Brit character piece. Amazing central performances from Olivia Coleman and Peter Mulan get my 'Aint Life sh*t' award of the year.
RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES -
The film I saw most times this year, this delivered on so many levels. Great story, acting and special effects with some neat nods to the original films and tense action. Oh! and the best jaw dropping scene of 2011 when Cesar finally has his say.
HONOURABLE MENTIONS -
Arrietty was charming, Melancholia was interesting, 13 Assasins was badass, Attack the block was cool, X-Men 1st Class was awesome (mostly for Fassbenders Magneto), Thor and Captain America were solid and The Skin I live In and We need to Talk About Kevin were f*cked up!
I didn't see Another Earth, Midnight in Paris, Hugo or The Artist yet so I'm looking forward to those.
TOTAL TURDS OF 2011 -
ADHD award goes to Sucker Punch, Stupid bollox award to Your Highness, Full Retard award to Just go with it, and the sh*tstorm of the year award goes to Battle LA which made me want to walk out because it felt like someone was papercutting my brain!
Bring on 2012