A week rarely goes by that I don’t go to the movies. I love the theater experience, and no HD theater at home can ever rival it. At home, my DVR is full of shows that I record and watch faithfully. On the Internet, this makes me an expert in the best movies and television shows of the year.
Here’s my list of the top ten movies of 2011:
- Fast Five – I think it was the addition of Dwayne Johnson, but this installment of the Fast & Furious series was funny, tightly scripted, and a lot of fun without being overly stupid.
- Water for Elephants – It’s rare that a drama like this will interest me in reading the book, but that’s exactly what this film did. The movie may have simplified things significantly, but it improved on the book in many arenas, and I didn’t want to stab Robert Pattinson at all, which says something.
- Hanna – Dark thrillers about young sociopaths who learn about life always tug at my heartstrings. See also: The Professional.
- Rise of the Planet of the Apes – With minimal dialogue, and a “No!” that sent chills up my spine, this is the only POTA movie where the characters felt human.
- Rango – This is one of those animated films that will be better for adults than humans. The storyline is one you’ve seen before, but the creativity behind it is fantastic. Also, watching a Johnny-Depp voiced character run into his character from Fear & Loathing is a nice Easter egg.
- Bridesmaids – It’s a comedy that makes you feel something for the protagonist, which gives it a classic feeling that very few comedies have today. Kristen Wiig is amazing.
- X-Men: First Class – Even with a few missteps, this was the best X-Men movie yet. I wish they could all have the gravitas of this one.
- Paranormal Activity 3 – How often is the final movie in a trilogy an improvement over the original? Using the same techniques to build a sense of dread and anticipation, but upping the ante, this was a worthy sequel.
- Crazy, Stupid Love – I finally stopped hating Ryan Gosling with this movie. Steve Carell’s character starts off like every character of his, but transforms in this film that is an excellent look at relationships between people of all ages. Also, Emma Stone makes me feel funny in my pants, and so does Julianne Moore.
- The Muppets – The best movie of 2011. More than just a nostalgic look at the past, it builds on that wave by creating something fresh and new. Jason Segel and his team really, truly *get* what makes the Muppets so awesome, and I hope that there are more movies or another show in the future. “Man or Muppet” should win an Oscar for Best Song, too.
- Super 8 – It smells like Spielberg, tastes like Spielberg, looks like Spielberg, but it’s just missing that one secret ingredient that would have made this a successor to Spielberg’s classic films.
- Source Code – Taking cool future technology and using it to make a love story is the only tone that rang false in this otherwise excellent movie.
- Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows – I really enjoyed this, although the first 10 minutes almost ruined it for me (You’ll know if you see it). The final battle of wits was fantastic, too. This should probably be in my top 10, but it got edged out.
- Captain America: The First Avenger – It’s a great mixture of levity and gravity, and Chris Evans does an excellent job. It’s a movie worthy of having “The First Avenger” as part of its title.
What would you say is your favorite movie of the year?