Best and Worst of 2011

So 2011 has been rather slow for films, for me at least, but as I always do, I have constructed my list of every new film I have seen. Of course I also include new films I have seen on DVD and not just cinema visits, which vastly increases the numbers – to 101!

Of course, it is entirely my opinion, I’m sure there will be some disagreements 😉 In Descending Order:

1. Stranger than Fiction
I think as someone who enjoys writing their own fiction, I could not shake this film from my mind ever since I saw it. A simple premise of a man who finds his life narrated by a mysterious voice. A Will Ferrell movie in first place… Impossible!

2. Black Swan
Admittedly not for everyone, but Black Swan is both utterly disturbing yet mesmerising; great performances throughout and visceral imagery. Plus it has a great line of excellent posters!

3. Source Code
Probably my next most unexpected favourite after no1. Source Code is a small film with excellent execution and pacing, giving the audience just enough to keep them guessing without getting preposterous.

4. Splice
A predicted favourite, yet it took ages for me to see it! Two scientists break the rules and create a disturbing humanoid creature. Classic monster horror film with a unique modern feel.

5. La Femme Nikita
I always like Luc Besson’s direction, and with this picture of a drug abusing woman being trained into the perfect assassin, I found myself enjoying it without knowing exactly how. Casual pacing and intense performances.

6. Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Yes, yes, the child inside me still gets something from the mashing robot mayhem. While there are still problems, and makes you wish TF2 never happened even more, it has fantastic special effects. Leonard Nimoy returning to the franchise was fun too.

7. Tangled 2D
I was surprised how I enjoyed Tangled so much. While there may have been some questionable moments (and a near disaster at the end) the animation was great as well as show-stealing animals Pascal and Maximus.

8. Kung Fu Panda
Yup, it took me this long to see it, but my doubts of “Jack Black in lead role” were washed away immediately as Poh the Panda proved to be excellent with his creative supporting characters. Gorgeous 2D sequences included.

9. The Fall
Striking a note with my love for Del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth, Tarsem’s The Fall is an imaginative tale of love, lost and life’s hardships, told with bold and surreal visuals. A surprising entry to my top list.

10. The Fighter
Another surprise, a boxing film in my top ten! I don’t buy the hype of sport films, but The Fighter has such a rich and powerful supporting cast, both loving and terrifying, giving everything a very real strength.

The King’s Speech
True Grit (2010)
X-Men: First Class
127 Hours
Rango
The Girl who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest
Hugo (3D)
Mulan (1998)
Charlie Wilson’s War
The Good, The Bad, The Weird
Bronson
Buried
The Adventures of Tin Tin: Secret of the Unicorn (3D)
Kung Fu Panda 2
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (2011)
The Social Network
Atlantis: The Lost Empire
Treasure Planet
The Interpreter
Paranormal Activity 2
The Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Sucker Punch
Hanna
Stone of Destiny
Megamind
In the Heat of the Night
Gattaca
Ichi The Killer (2001)
The Karate Kid (2010)
Thor
Switchblade Romance
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Unstoppable
Cowboys and Aliens
The Green Hornet
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Slither
Crazy Heart
Drive Angry
Machete
Salt
The Girl who Played with Fire
Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker
True Grit (1969)
Rosemary’s Baby
The Tourist
Edge of Darkness
The Emperor’s New Groove
The Disappearance of Alice Creed
Bad Lieutenant – Port of Call New Orleans
Frankenstein (1931)
Flags of Our Fathers
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Immortals
The Prince of Egypt
Ran
The Spiderwick Chronicles
Patriot Games
Red Eye
Unknown (2006)
Let the Right One In
Titus
Exam
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Seraphim Falls
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief
Metro
The Losers
The Last Picture Show
Resident Evil: Afterlife
Green Lantern
Rubber
Saw VI
Battle: Los Angeles
Centurion
Hua Mulan (2008)
The Eagle
Skyline
Sherlock Holmes (The Asylum’s)

10. Knight and Day
Supposedly a comedy, yet provided no laughs with an airhead Diaz and a very threatening Tom Cruise, and even the action lacks any gravity. Like many films before, this celebrity-combiner failed badly.

9. The Human Centipede: First Sequence
The film with the premise that shocked a generation, yet as a film it is unremarkable and clunky with cliché, making it not so much unwatchable but rather unnecessary except to the die-hard horror collectors.

8. The Last Airbender
A film with too much to say and not enough time, horrible choppy editing and pacing, while all the magical mood is sucked out with unconvincing performances. Special effects alone cannot save it.

7. Frozen
From the very start the entire premise collapses in on itself. From then on it is merely laughter-control and trying to care about these sorry people stuck on a ski lift.

6. Brooklyn’s Finest
On paper I’m sure this film might have looked good, especially with its cast, but it is rife with the most generic clichĂ©s in its genre, making the gritty and sad life stories a slog to get through.

5. Saw VII
I’ve spend a good half day of my life exclusively watching Saw movies for a final act that has been building over five films. What did it build up to? The biggest cop-out and transparent “Sorry, we’ve got nothing for you” ending I’ve ever seen.

4. Transporter 3
Another two hours of life wasted! The other two films are “passable” but with possibly the most ear-splitting and horrible female companion, Statham’s Transporter series has been run into the ground completely. Exploding bracelets? Really?

3. Monsters
Does the title refer to the creatures we never see, or the monstrously inhuman acting on display throughout? The most drawl, uninteresting “monster” feature I will likely see… ever.

2. Bloodrayne 3: The Third Reich
It barely reaches sixty minutes runtime, Uwe Boll’s final attempt finally takes the video game’s setting… But once again provides to be so laughably bad with overacting and even a “run-out-of-budget” ending!

1. In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale
What’s worse than a bad movie? A bad movie that pretends it has potential, only to settle into a slow, inescapable whirlpool of total irrelevance and disinterest without you even noticing! A true cinema endurance test, and very much… not… worth it.

Here’s hoping 2012 is even better for movies, with Dark Knight Rises leading the way, Prometheus and The Avengers, two Snow White films and The Hobbit.

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