I think that this year was a good one for films… and here are the best 10 films I saw…

OK so I didn’t get to see all the movies I wanted to see this year (I missed Tintin, The Beaver, Ides of March, Lincoln Lawyer and Moneyball, but will get to them eventually… and Hugo, Machine Gun Preacher and The Artist are still not out here in Singapore). But of the ones I did see here are my favorites.

Here’s some things I noticed this year:

  • This is probably the first year a Pixar movie hasn’t made my top 10 for a LONG time (Cars 2 was meh…)
  • (Is this the year of the dark comedy? Everything Must Go? Crazy Stupid Love? Win Win? 50/50?)
  • I don’t know about you, but I thought the summers movies were pretty weak this year, with the exception of X Men First Class, Super 8, Fast and Furious 5 (yeah I said it) and Planet of the Apes (which I know many people weren’t expecting much from) the movies this summer were pretty average if not slightly above.

Again, just like my list of Top 10 albums these are not in any order, and yes there are others that I could name here as honorable mentions like Everything Must Go, 50/50, Drive, X-Men First Class and yes, Fast and Furious 5, but I’d be glad to hear of anything I missed in this years list:

MIDNIGHT in PARIS - Woody Allen’s best movie in YEARS – great screenplay, and the romanticism of Paris in the 1920′s lures you into this gem of a movie. Great performances from the Owen Wilson led cast, but the city of  Paris is the star – she never looked so stunning…

WARRIOR – Best fight movie in a very long time. Tom Hardy solidifies his place as an actor that our generation will be remembered for, whilst Joel Edgerton knocks it out of the part, and Nick Nolte gives one of the best supporting performances of the year. Well worth a look.

THE HELP - Two of my favorite actresses at the moment light up the screen (Emma Stone and Viola Davis) and although this one gets heavy in parts, I don’t think the laughing and crying ratio has ever been this broad in a movie. I truly did laugh out loud and, yes, audibly cry.

WIN WIN - Paul Giamatti has always been one of my favorite actors, but I must say, in this one, it’s the understated performance of Alex Shaffer that makes this one well worth viewing. Much like the aforementioned Everything Must Go, it’s the understated manner of execution that makes it well worth a watch.

SUPER 8 I am a fan of anything that JJ Abrams touches, so when I heard he was doing this with Spielberg, I couldn’t wait to see it. This movie definitely hearkens to my childhood – a definite shout out to that 1980′s fan of family sci-fi/fantasy in me. The 80′s was the final era where kids and their friends could run around everywhere on adventures – I think in this day in age for reasons of safety, the only one doing that now is Dora and her monkey friend. If you didn’t grow up in that era, I don’t think you’d enjoy this movie as much as I did. Oh and that train scene needs to be seen with loud speakers and a decent screen!

RISE of the PLANET OF THE APES - This movie crept up on me like a good sucker punch, then knocked me out until next week. Andy Serkis nailed Caesar, and if Midnight in Paris made Paris look stunning, this one made San Francisco look like one of the scariest places ever! No-one expected it to be this great, the epitome of going into a movie with low expectations and coming out knowing you’d seen a near classic. My summer movie of the year.

TREE of LIFE – I’d love to meet Terrence Malick, and although I’ve not necessarily been a fan of his films overall (I wasn’t ready for “Thin Red Line” before watching it, so came out a little bewildered only to watch it again much later and appreciate it more within it’s intended context), I’m definitely an avid admirer of his cinematography and his approach to the eternal themes underlying his movies. Tree of Life is probably his best movie to date if not his most ambitious, with strong performances (especially from probably the actor of the year, Brad Pitt) and a precise delve into the topic of the life (Everyone gets involved here from dinosaurs to Sean Penn!). This one is either one you’re going to love, or hate.

SOURCE CODE – Initially thought that this was going to be your run of the mill Groundhog Action Day type movie… Boy was I wrong… This is the ride movie of the year…

PRESS PAUSE PLAY - This documentary was so well presented for me as an insight into the relationship of creativity and the media age we live in here in 2011. This is a subject close to my heart and was the topic of many conversations I had with creatives this year… Why aren’t people as hungry today? Thought provoking…

What were your top 10 movies of the year? Which on my list shouldn’t be there? What should?

Comments
  1. Luti Richards says:

    Hi Neli.
    Yep I am right up there with Midnight in Paris (brilliant idea…fun fun fun to watch), The Help (heart and the full emotional experience), Source Code (another great idea to change it up cos automotive action usually one in the same)…..and I haven’t seen the others you listed, but sound cool…

    Of the ones Ive seen (and remember right now while Im traveling from Welly to the big smoke):

    SUCKER PUNCH – left the cinema so inspired. Loved how action and creative thinking was used to communicate a profound message. The symbolism and acting was A+. I took a bunch of youth to see this but I was more engrossed, because I felt like I could see what the creators were seeing. Not a braindead flick as you’d imagine with an all-girl cast doing the fighting.

    JANE EYRE – Im not normally one for films from this era but the complex protagonist had me hooked with her undying commitment to herself….even moreso once history unfolded. A g reat love story that told love differently – for once the lead wasn’t selling their soul for romance.

    COURAGEOUS – clearly a simply made film with modest resources, but the message was clear-cut. No beating around the bush and no compromising of biblcal truth was enough for me to overlook some so-so acting and awkward screen silences. Clearly the courage began with the writer and his team. I appreciate that because not many Christian filmmakers keep it that real

    THE ORATOR – not just because it was an obvious feat for pasifika film, but purely for its universal theme of self-belief and belief in a mission that is greater than yourself, as being the key to finding your voice and stepping out on a dream! I loved being inspired by my own:)

    Those come to mind without question.

    Being creatively inclined I naturally am engaged by what is visually stimulating (cinematography…landscape….wardrobe etc) or even just by the music that accompanies the picture, but without a doubt, hands-down, the STORY will win me over if the message is true enough and from a place of wanting to enhance the ‘real’ life journey of its viewer/s. I love the art and power of story-telling!

  2. Matt Stewart says:

    The Tree of Life, Super 8, Midnight in Paris are all films I loved from the year. I would add a few such as Harry Potter, Hugo, The Muppets, and a couple of more.

    Great work though!

  3. Sumitra says:

    hey pastor – thanks for the list – always thought TREE OL would be lousy. will go watvh it post reading the comments above.

  4. the scud says:

    I dig your list although I wasn’t really impressed with The Help. hehe.

    Happy New Year!

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