Rant – My top 11 of 2011

To me, Top 11 means ‘Best’, ‘Worst’ and the most overwhelmingly ‘Meh’ films of 2011.

It was a great year for cinema – we finally got to see Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life – but it was also a terrible year; remember the travesty that was The Green Lantern? So here, without further ado and in no particular order, are my Best and Worst and most Meh films of the year…

Best

Drive
Ryan Gosling kicks all kinds of ass to one of the best soundtracks of recent years.

The Tree of Life
This is less a film than a meditation on life. Don’t over think it, just watch it.

Melancholia
Lars Von Trier’s beautiful film about the end of the world. Normally I want to slap Kirsten Dunst, but she is tolerable in this…

Fright Night
This film is just fun. Colin Farrell is great and David Tennant… Swoon

The Artist
I saw this in May in Cannes. I had no expectations or knowledge going in, and I was absolutely blown away. Avoid the hype, avoid the reviews… Just go and see it. You will fall in love with cinema all over again.

We Need To Talk About Kevin
Tilda Swinton is on top form as a bewildered mother. Not an easy watch, but a necessary one.

The Skin I Live In
Antonio Banderas and Almodovar team up for the first time in 20 years. Gloriously creepy and wonderfully twisted.

Beginners
Ewan McGregor is adorable in this tale of a man whose life is thrown into turmoil as he searches for love.

Cave of Forgotten Dreams
Werner Herzog is wonderfully mad, and this makes for great cinema. Cave is, quite simply, the best use of 3D in 2011.

This Must be The Place
Sean Penn is outstanding as a faded rock star who must finally face his demons.

Project Nim
Heartbreaking documentary about the fate of a young chimp named Nim who was raised ‘as a human’.

Yes, I know some of these films were not released to the public in 2011, but I saw This Must Be The Place and The Artist twice in 2011, so therefore they qualify.

Worst

The Green Lantern
The worst use of 3D in 2011. Daft story and a pointless villain. I was so bored that I tried to go to sleep in the middle of it, but it was too noisy. Sigh.

Cars 2
Not the worst film I have ever seen, but definitely the worst Pixar film I have ever seen. Disappointing.

Happy Feet 2
Trite and cliche. Ugh.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Why does Megatron have a cloak?

One Day
Beautiful book that just falls flat on the big screen.

Beastly
The only good thing about this movie is Mary-Kate Olsen, and she is not in it enough.

Soul Surfer
Trite.

Demons Never Die
It’s been done… Many times before.

Justice
Just a big old mess.

Immortals
Plays fast and loose with Greek mythology and is, ultimately, boring.

Dolphin Tale
Sickly, saccharine sweet and cliched.

Meh

Bridesmaids
Everyone else loved this, I was underwhelmed.

Tower Heist
It’s fine, but it’s not going to set the world alight.

Real Steel
Fighting robots sounds like a good premise, and it is, but the movie falls foul of cliche.

Anonymous
Another movie that plays fast and loose with the truth. It’s entertaining, but does not end up being about Shakespeare.

Moneyball
I am not a sportsball fan, so this one was lost on me.

The Change Up
Big did it. 13 Going on 30 did it. Also, it relies too much on toilet humour.

Friends with Benefits
Pretty people in pretty places. It looks good, but ends up being vapid.

Cowboys and Aliens
Good premise, but leaves too many questions unanswered.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Ruins the mystery.

The Devil’s Double
Great performance from Dominic Cooper, but the movie loses itself in the middle.

Contagion
Underwhelming and lacks an emotional heart.

All in all, an interesting year… Roll on 2012!

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