Yes Kansas City, you can’t have the good without the bad. How do we know when we’ve seen a really bad movie if we don’t have the good ones to compare the stinkers to? As the year two thousand and eleven comes to a grinding halt, it is time to remember those movies that stood up above the rest.
Ask Kansas City? Best and Worst Movies of 2011
As with the worst movies list, sometimes a movie can be as much of a pleasant surprise as it can be a disappointing surprise. The first half of the Best of 2011 movies list is evidence that you should never judge a movie until you see it.
Year in Review: Worst Movies of 2011 (6-10)
So without further delay, here are the movies that I felt were surprisingly good or right on the freakin’ money.
10. The Help– When this movie was released in theatres, I heard that women were openly weeping by the end of it. Based on a book by Kathryn Stockett, the movie features the always awesome Emma Stone (pictured) as a struggling writer who wants to write a book about African American maids in Jackson, Mississippi during the 60’s and how they really feel about their white, upper class employers. There are amazing acting performances all over the place here and pits the new Gwen Stacy (Stone) vs. the old Gwen Stacy in Bryce Dallas Howard. Winner gets to be in The Amazing Spider-Man next summer. For the record, I was not openly weeping during nor after this movie. Solid, still.
9. X-Men First Class– When they announced they were going forward with a prequel X-Men movie, I thought ‘uh-oh”. After all, part three was awful. When they announced it was a reboot that would also tie-in with the first three, I thought, “uh-wha?”. When they announced James McAvoy would play a young Professor X and that Kevin Bacon would be the villain, I thought, ‘uh…huh?” When they released the trailer, I thought, “oh, no”. When I saw the movie, I thought, “Holy hell, that was pretty freaking good.” Plus it has one of the best cameos– ever.
8. TinTin: Secret of the Unicorn– After the last Indiana Jones movie, Steven Spielberg kinda owed us one. This is his first attempt at an animated flick and he didn’t hold back, brining on Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson to produce and Shaun of the Dead writer/director Edgar Wright to touch up the screenplay. TinTin, based on the Belgium comic book strip, is a fantastic adventure for kids and adults that feels more like an Indiana Jones adventure than looking for alien heads with Shia LaBeouf.
7. Rise of the Planet of the Apes– Remember when Tim Burton and Marky Mark tried their darndest to remake PoTA about ten years ago and it was really…..boring? Rumors came and went for years about a possible follow up to that movie before apparently someone realized that making a sequel to that movie would be an even worse idea than remaking actually making that movie. Instead we get–not a sequel but a reboot– and this movie takes us back to explain how the Apes came to rise to begin with and gives the audience an interesting twist by making apes the sympathetic characters and us humans…the bad guys– kind of. Plus it has James Franco, one of the oddest dudes working in Hollywood today.
6. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo– Yet another movie based on a book, this is the beginning of the American version of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy. I didn’t read the book…that’s what I keep my wife around for. I also didn’t see any of the Swedish versions so I can’t say how well it has been adapted. What I can tell you is that this is one of director David Fincher’s grungiest and craziest movies since Se7en. From the trippy and crazy opening titles to the final frame, this movie will disturb and mesmorize you. This movie is NOT for kids– can’t wait for the next one.
Keep reading and check out the Top 5 Movies of 2011.
Year in Review: Worst Movies of 2011 (1-5)
Half way there, Kansas City. How many of these have you seen? Agree or disagree about where I put them on my list? Stay tuned for the next five, the movies I considered to stand above the rest as the best of the best in 2011.
You can also follow me on Twitter @tbenglish and @badkarmafilms; on my KC Examiner Facebook page; or on my own personal website tbenglish.com. Be sure to subscribe to my column to get an trusty email sent to you when I post something fresh.