Sunday, 1 January 2012

FILMS YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN IN 2011: 5 through to 1

And so here are my top five films on the year that saw both good and bad in equal measures...

5. Disney's Tangled 3D
When Disney do it right, they knock it outta the park. Now with the influence of Pixar firmly in place, the once dizzy heights of The Lion King should be back in their sights.

Great songs - Mother Knows Best - along with one of cinema's finest comic relief in the shape of Maximus the horse, saw the story of Rapunzel (changed to be more "boy friendly") charm and delight children and adults alike.

With eye-widening imagery - the launching of the lanterns - laugh-out-loud moments - a sword-wielding horse vs a frying pan-carrying thief duelling - things are looking for both Disney and its audiences.

4. Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes
Originally smelling of a studio trying to milk a franchise for all its worth, Rise Of The Planet... pretty much surprised everyone who saw it.

Pretty much the Andy Serkis show, his performance along with truly stunning motion capture and CGI made you forget that you were watching an ape and simply accept it and even more oddly enough, start rooting for it instead of the human counterparts!

Surprisingly engaging and emotional, the investment into characterisation pays off not only in the gripping finale but especially in the one sequence that could have had audiences laughing rather than stunned. Bring on another!

3. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Made famous by Alec Guinness, the BBC series was deemed one of those "untouchable" products by many. However, all their fears were for naught as Alfredson's version was the ultimate slow-burner with oodles of paranoia piled on from the opening sequence.

With a cast that didn't put a foot wrong, all were magnificent but the nod must surely go to Oldman come Oscar time. His quiet and methodical way throughout only helps to catch you off guard when his one moment of emotion slips through his calm exterior towards the end.

A truly engrossing film it showed that with enough care and attention, anything can be redone.

2. The King's Speech
Released at the very beginning of the year, this quickly became, and rightly so, a feel-good hit that devoured awards left, right and center.

The chemistry between Firth's buttoned-down Prince and Rush's down-to-earth therapist was a delight to behold whilst Bonham Carter was the Queen everyone would have wanted to reign!

Sure, steady and never over manipulative, it allowed the central characters to breath and grow making the viewers investment worthwhile when the big day inevitably rolls around and the public address has to be given.

Beautifully handled and funny to boot, it deserved all it got.

1. Super 8
No doubt a controversial choice, never-the-less, Super 8 was what a good film should be - entertaining in every way. A love letter to all those films released when I was growing up, it smacked of a wonderful tribute to all those early Spielberg films whilst still being an individual movie in its own right.

Not hindered by its young cast, it actually benefits from them as they all do a great job, none more so than the object of affection Fanning who is exactly the girl you wish you had your first crush on.

J.J. Abrams handles the sequences and the camera as well as you would expect giving such things as lens flare throughout and "that" awesome train crash also and his homage to growing up along with films is a heart-felt and grin-inducing one. A joy to behold again and again.

So, that completes the Top Ten for 2011. The list this time was hard to do with at least a few more nearly making it in until the last moments. Sadly, I was unable to fit in Hanna, Kung Fu Panda 2, The Extraordinary Adventures Of Adele Blanc-Sec, The Guard, Drive, Hugo 3D and The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret Of the Unicorn. Those films were standout for different reasons but in the end there are only ten places so you just have to do a Sophie's Choice and await the backlash!

So, over to you!


  1. Phew, again I have seen all of them..

  2. Small town gal like me only managed three out of ten. Mind you, have watched Tangled about ten times! Loved Super 8 and moments from Crazy, Stupid Love have stayed firmly with me.

  3. 'True Grit' and 'Drive' should have made it in..

  4. Ok seen three of these ones :) Tangled was cool, King's Speech was o-o-o-o-o-o-ok :)

  5. Not seen all of these...Kings Speech and Rise of Planet of the Apes are definately up there for me as is Source Code. Liked Adjustment Bureau and Paul too...surprised Mr Potter didn't make an appearance in your top 10!