Sunday, 1 January 2012

FILMS YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN IN 2011: 10 through to 6

Now with the clarity that can only come from people having to get ready to go back to work and having detoxed from alcohol after New Year's celebrations, it's the perfect time to look back upon the year that was 2011 and the films that graced our screens...

BEST FILMS OF 2011 - 10 thru to 6

10. Crazy, Stupid, Love
The rom-com genre was saved by this funny, insightful look at the different stages of love and how people face them. Unlike the types of New Years Eve, this ensemble cast all had story arcs that mattered and were worthy of your attention.

It also introduced us to Ryan Gosling and his bid to take over the world one film at a time. His clued-up romeo who takes Carrell under his wing and teaches him to respect himself whilst also becoming a player, pulls off the hard task of being a jerk that you care about.

And it's not all male shenanigans - Stone continues to cement her Best Young Actress bid as the perfect foil for Gosling's over confident guy and Tomei brings the laughter with her kooky teacher. Great fun.

From the most unlikely source came a film that approached the well-worn subject of coming-of-age and made it fresh and engrossing.

Ayoade, best known as quirky comedian from the likes of The IT Crowd and Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, made his directorial debut with the tale of an unusual boy who falls for an even stranger girl.

Confident direction with wonderful touches that belay its low budget, Submarine charms from the get-go with its central couple played perfectly by Roberts and Paige. The seduction sequence is hilarious and cringe-inducing in equal measures and more of the same is dished out throughout. Better than a slew of American gross-out coming-of-age movies all together.

8. Arrietty
CGI may seem to be the way forward for the movie industry but with the likes of Lassiter actively pushing traditional animation at Disney and Studio Ghibli still producing works of art, the form of hand drawn animation is not dead.

Based on The Borrowers, Arrietty charms you into grinning submission with not only its beautiful story telling techniques, but with its attention to detail which has you looking at every inch of the screen to see the clever uses of everyday objects being put to imaginative use by Arrietty and her family.

Showing that the art of art is not dead, this should be seen by all children so they can see how rich and beautiful cinema can be and it's not just shiny CGI. Beautiful.

7. Source Code
Coming out of nowhere, this was the follow-up to the fantastic Moon but you couldn't have two different films if you tried.

Both may have had mind-bending plots but Source Code mixed up the likes of The Terminator with Groundhog Day to startling effect. The simplistic idea is of a soldier continuously being sent back in time on a train to identify a bomber and prevent a major disaster which plays out in an increasingly tense segments lasting eight minutes each.

Each time travel segment produces more and more "who-is-its?" with Gyllenhaal trying to piece together clues and red herrings along with the audience. Perfect pacing and terrific twists, it demands repeat viewing.

6. Thor 3D
No one saw it coming! A comic-book superhero adventure dealing with a God of thunder when the trend of gritty heroes - Batman Begins - had become the norm... Then add to that it being directed by the bard lover himself - Branagh.

Despite the odds and any reservations, Thor is a success in every aspect. With the right amount of awe, wonder, laughter and action, it easily rivals the heights that the original Iron Man achieved. Branagh brings the Bard to the fore with elements involving the family politics and deftly handles the "fish out of water" plot upon Earth.

A great film in its own right, it doesn't feel like an extended trailer for the forthcoming The Avengers that Iron Man 2 and Captain America felt like. So much fun.

The countdown will continue with 5 through to 1.... What have you seen and what do you think should be included?


  1. So glad I've seen all of these...

  2. Ummmmmm only seen one and that's Submarine but it was a pretty cool film :)