10. The Artist – The Artist is somewhat of a love letter to early cinema. It has very classic 20’s limited cinematography and features one of the most charming leading men of the year. From the classical score to the over exaggerated facial expressions, The Artist cheerfully takes a retrospective look.
9. Sucker Punch- This film is definitely the hardest film to defend. From what I understand, about 75% of the people that saw it hated it. And the other 25% understood it. I have said this many times and this film is all about metaphors. Every single second is a metaphor. The ambitiousness of that is what ruined it for a lot of people. A lot of people are not willing to put in the time to understand it and break it down and see how personal this movie is. People seem to refuse to even accept that it is anything besides an excuse to have skimpy girls shooting guns and wielding swords. But for the record Snyder did warn everyone by making the tagline for the film “You will be unprepared.” And everyone was. But that’s not an excuse. What I loved about the film was like I said, how personal the film was. It felt like I was sharing a really special experience with one of my favorite filmmakers. And because of that I will cherish this movie for the rest of my life. All of the actors I thought were wonderful, and the film introduced me to the brilliant Oscar Issac as Blue Jones. He completely stole the show as the insane rapist orderly and appeared later this year again in Drive. This film definitely deserves another watch if you are even slightly curious about what is under the surface.
8. The Adventure of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn – TinTin was easily one of my most anticipated films of the year. It has two of the greatest filmmakers of our time working together on what is considered the best comic of all time. Over the summer I had the luxury of seeing both of them on stage at SDCC promoting the film and just talking about it. And they delivered a wonderfully fun ride. The visuals done by WETA digital were incredible of course. And Andy Serkis delivered his second perfect performance this year, this time as Captain Haddock. The film was very well paced and had some lengthiest and intense shots I have ever seen.
7. 50/50 – What I don’t see a whole lot is a film that confidently holds firmly together as both a hilarious comedy and a heart wrenching drama. Seth Rogen played potentially his best role as the hilarious best friend who only looks at the bright sides of being riddled with cancer. The man who carries the film through all of happy charm, and all of the tragedy was none other than Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He by the way is becoming a fine actor. I am really excited to see him start popping up in more movies. He delivers an incredible performance as a man in his 20’s diagnosed with cancer. The film plays with what really goes on in the head of someone with a terminal illness. And it doesn’t hold back. For all of the comedy in the film, it really packs quite a punch when it comes to the tragic moments of someone both questioning and coming to a realization about what life is really worth.
6. Moneyball – I hate baseball. I was not excited for this movie at all. Then I got into this mood where I was seeing every new movie no matter what and I came across this gem. Sports movies have always bored me, but this film had something special. The dialogue was just so verbose and entertaining. It felt like an action movie I was so excited throughout the whole thing. Not to mention Brad Pitt as always did a fantastic job and it really felt great to see Jonah Hill getting some recognition and for such an awesome role.
5. Hugo- Hugo I saw actually without having any idea that Scorsese was directing it. On the posters they really didn’t push his name a whole lot. It may be because he has a past of very un-child friendly films. But if anyone ever questioned his ability to work with more diverse environments can now lay those questions to rest. This tribute to the conception of film was absolutely beautiful. In the Artist they paid homage to early cinema by recreating it. In Hugo they did it not by going back towards it, but by using the most advanced techniques of film to represent it. Just like the films in the 1920’s Hugo used everything at its disposal to really show how a dream or story can really come to life in film.
4. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – David Fincher’s 9th feature goes back to his roots with the dark underbelly of sick and twisted serial killers. Rooney Mara who played a small role in The Social Network makes her first star performance and delivers on every level. I can’t really think of many roles that demand this much from such a newcomer. I have such great respect for her and can’t wait to see her future career.
3. Super 8 – I love JJ Abrams. I hated MI3 but Star Trek blew me away, and now Super 8. Super 8 was everything I could ever want it to be. Very comparable to the works of Steven Spielberg, which was obviously a massive influence on the style. One of the great things about this film is how pressing it was on character development and plot. It did not waste a single second. From the opening shot to the last line we watched the hero go full circle and become everything that we wanted him to be. The movie was just so heartwarming and well crafted, I have been waiting all year to put this on my list.
2. Harry potter and the deathly hollows part 2 – This needs little explaining. This film brought to conclusion one of the greatest film achievements in history. We have literally been watching these kids grow up physical, and mentally right before our eyes. They started as little kids who just looked the part and sprouted into very fine actors. I recognize this film achievement as a stand alone as well. I do consider parts 1 and 2 one film since it is… part 1 and 2 of one film. Everything about this film was spectacular. Never had I ever been so swept away and engulfed in such a fantastical world. With all of our attentions at their peak, we were taken on a whimsical adventure that was not afraid to take us into the darkest areas of this world, and was not too proud to give us a little bit of that silly magic we got in the first couple of films. One of the really great things about this film was the dire sense of need. What these kids were doing in this film felt so personal to me. I have invested so much time and energy into this quest of theirs that I needed to see them succeed. Not only that but now I have a relationship with them. And now I have to let them go….. Until the ultimate Blu-Ray Edition comes out next Christmas!!!
1. Drive – Drive is one for the ages. Easily one of my favorite films of the last 10 years, Drive takes its place among the crime/gangster greats. It dead slow pace and brutal splurges make for one awkwardly entertaining piece of work. Refn (Dir.), delivers a genuine work of art that casually mixes John Hughes with David Cronenburg. If you havn’t seen this film, you must.