Best (and Worst) Movies of 2011 (thus far)

Best Movies of 2011 (that I’ve seen) (so far)

I’ll admit, this year has been busy, and many of the movies I have seen have been old or demographically disadvantaged for any sort of award (i.e. Real Steel, Paul). That being said, I compiled a list of 23 movies released in 2011 that I have seen (I’m pretty sure that is all), and writing down the list I can already tell that my list can be made fairly easily. I’ll tell you right off, I haven’t seen limited release movies like Take Shelter, Midnight in Paris, or The Artist, which I have much higher hopes for. Anyway, here it goes.

5. Paranormal Activity 3

While the first is still the greatest, the third installment of this terrifying franchise packs much of the same gut-twisting, fear-inducing punch. It doesn’t matter if it follows virtually the same path as the previous two, it still made me lose sleep. Here is my review of PA3.

4. Water for Elephants

Based on the equally amazing Sara Gruen novel, Water for Elephants provides great visuals, a convincing set of chemistries (Witherspoon and Pattinson/Waltz, Pattinson and Tai the elephant), and a terrific twist ending. Of course, if you read the book, the ending isn’t entirely surprising, but it’s still great to see it all transpire as it does. My review of Water for Elephants is here.

3. Rio

While this G-rated film will probably be too tame for Best Picture, it’s a sure bet for Best Animated Picture. The voice talents were perfectly cast, and the animated visuals gave the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro justice. It’s fun, action-packed, and the music is wonderful, sung by, Jamie Foxx, and others. My review of Rio (my personal favorite review) is here.

2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II

I saw the final film’s parts side-by-side, so I can’t guarantee the movie would be here by itself. However, the visuals were great, the actors was at the top of their game for the finale, the ending made many cry (though most of the nerds read the book and knew what was coming), and Alan Rickman will finally get his much-deserved Oscar nomination (knock on wood).

1. Contagion

The story, while not entirely original, is told with gripping drama, and the simplicity of the virus made everyone in theaters more than a little worried about the arm rests they kept touching. With a star-studded cast, most wouldn’t have guessed that the greatest acting talent in the film would be Jennifer Ehle, who played dedicated Dr. Ally Hextal. And here‘s my review of Contagion.

There were also a few “honorable mentions” that just missed the list. At number 6 is Red Riding Hood, the underrated mystery starring Gary Oldman and Amanda Seyfried. I thought the plot was gripping, and it had some great visuals too. At 7, 8, and 9, respectively, are The Green Hornet, The Hangover Part II, and the re-make Arthur. Rogen and Chou are a daunting pair, but it was Waltz and Franco that got them on the list. Part II is almost exactly like the first, and I loved that movie. Looking past the similarities, I couldn’t say too many bad things about the second. And I’m a shmuck for Russel Brand, plus I loved the choice of Helen Mirren to switch the gender of the butler in Arthur.

For my choice of the worst movies of the year (that I’ve seen, so far), I had a much easier time. I have seen many more bad movies this year than I’ve seen good, it seems. Here goes.

5. Scream 4

They really should have stopped after the first. It seems the franchise has retired to making fun of itself, and after 4 tries the scary is just about gone.

4. The Dilemma

The plot was weak, the acting was weak, and I saw the movie the night before I went to see Black Swan. With actors like Vince Vaughn and Kevin James, I had hoped for something a bit funnier.

3. Bad Teacher

In a movie about a love triangle, chemistry is vital. In Bad Teacher, they must not have thought of that when they cast ex’s Diaz and Timberlake. They seemed desperate for laughs, with unnecessary vulgarity and at one point, boobs. Here‘s my review of Bad Teacher.

2. Crazy, Stupid, Love

This one was just as Stupid as it’s name. The cast was full of actors and actresses that I’ve loved in different films, but for some reason they just didn’t click in this one. That review is right here.

1. The Tree of Life

The movie was too deep, and the twenty minutes near the beginning with no dialogue lost me. What plot there was didn’t impress, and the acting wasn’t amazing enough to pull this out of hell (they alluded to that in that mess of images, right?) Here is that review.

Of course, there were also some dishonorable mentions. At 6 had to be Colombiana. The revenge genre has definitely seen better movies, even though Saldana is a great choice. It’s not her fault. At 7 is probably One Day, even though I only got to see 3/4 of it before the theater’s electricity went out. I was hoping for more from Hathaway and Sturgess, but the plot (at least as much as I saw) just wasn’t there. I thought Battle:LA would be a good sci-fi war film, but it came and went fairly unforgettably, so that has to be 8. Also, I watched Your Highness until James Franco began to sing, and then I assumed that I could safely call it the worst movie of the year.

Let me know what you think about these picks, and tell me which ones I snubbed! Also, let me know which ones to see, I need to get out there and see some real contenders.

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