A critic’s list of their favorite films of the year is pretty much a goldmine. It’s a look into what films really stood out to somebody who sees a ton of movies over the span of 365 days. It also gives an idea to readers just what that specific person thinks is good and what the standard for most films should be. One last note, this should not be considered a definitive list. It’s impossible to see absolutely everything that’s released in a year’s time. This is just the cream of the crop of what I was fortunate enough to get to see this year.
10. The Skin I Live In (REVIEW)
This was my first Almodovar film, but I certainly plan on seeking out his other films after this. Featuring one hell of a cast, an incredible score, a solid story, and a twist you won’t see coming, The Skin I Live in is exceptional.
9. Martha Marcy May Marlene (REVIEW)
Wasn’t sure what to expect with this one, but was completely blown away. Elizabeth Olsen is quite impressive in her first outing and John Hawkes is superb as always.
8. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (REVIEW)
I still haven’t seen any other Planet of the Apes movies, but really adored this one. The special effects are really astounding and Andy Serkis is able to accomplish so much through the use of motion capture technology. Caesar’s facial expressions tell a story all on their own.
7. Super 8 (REVIEW)
Some people saw it as a remake of E.T. while others felt it borrowed too much from Spielberg films, but I loved it for all of those reasons. The sound is fantastic as people are still talking about the train crash sequence and the score is pretty great, as well. Super 8 pretty much has it all when it comes to movies I recommend to other people.
6. 50/50 (REVIEW)
Funny, emotional, heartbreaking, and uplifting; 50/50 feels like its own twelve step program. It provides plenty of laughs, but turns around and makes you want to burst into tears. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is also at the top of his game.
5. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (REVIEW)
Unnecessary? Probably. Impeccable? Definitely. This is the version of the film we were meant to see. While the Swedish version is great in its own right, David Fincher lets us see the story through his eyes. Visually compelling with another astounding score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is as unsettling as it is fantastic.
4. The Descendants (REVIEW)
This one took me by surprise. It was one of the only times I laughed really hard at a comedy all year and The Descendants is a drama first and a comedy second. Although it was one of George Clooney’s better performances as of late, Shailene Woodley, Amara Miller, and Nick Krause manage to outshine him in the long run.
An extremely powerful film. Michael Fassbender delivers such a raw and unflinching performance and the score was beautiful. One of those films where one viewing doesn’t seem to do it justice.
2. Drive (REVIEW)
As a huge Nicholas Winding Refn fan, I was anticipating this from the get-go. I wasn’t anticipating how much I’d enjoy it though; the slow build, the soundtrack, how gory it gets, and how amazing both Albert Brooks and Ryan Gosling are. Plus who doesn’t want to own that jacket?
1. The Artist (REVIEW)
I saw this twice in theaters. That should tell you how much I enjoyed it. The Artist manages to just be perfection from beginning to end. It features one of the best scores of the year, amazing performances from both Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo, and quite possibly the coolest dog I’ve ever seen in a live action film. I had never wanted to see a movie end happily so badly in my life and that’s saying a lot.