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12.30.2011by: Mike Sampson

TOP 10 MOVIES OF 2011 (According to Mike Sampson)

I have the benefit of going last in these "Best Of" lists with our film critics. So I've seen how the JoBlo.com readers have taken to the lists of Chris and Jimmy. To help counteract that negative feedback, I'll simply say that what you're about to read below is not a definitive list of the "best" films of the year. These are simply ten films I really enjoyed. I had a great time watching them, talking about them and then watching them again. Some of them, I can admit, aren't "great" movies and would probably never win any awards. I probably saw some movies that are technically "better" than these movies. HUGO, for example, is probably more well done than some of these films but I just didn't connect with it on an emotional level. But if someone asked me to recommend a movie to them, I'd pass them along this list.

Also, I see a lot of overrated! comments and, well, there's really nothing I can do about that. I can only tell you my honest reaction to a movie and if I loved a movie, it would be disingenuous to not include it in my list. You can disagree but I'm being up front and telling you these are just my personal choices. Like them, love them or hate them.

Dishonorable Mention - Worst of 2011

#5 - BELLFLOWER: I know good things will eventually come from director Evan Glodell but BELLFLOWER isn't it. A half-assed meditation on the male ego that left me so pissed off at the wasted talent, I almost started booing.

#4 - PAUL: Speaking of wasted talent, how can a film starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (with a supporting cast that features Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig and Seth Rogen) be so unfunny? Content to just reference classic sci-fi tropes instead of making any kind of statement about them, PAUL is lost in space.

#3 - SUPER: A super dark comedy that is never once funny. It tries to be sad and dramatic and bizarre and scary and essentially tries a little too hard to be too many things without ever being anything at all.

#2 - YOUR HIGHNESS: What hurts most about YOUR HIGHNESS is that I really thought this film was going to work. As a fan of the genre they were paying homage to, this film should've been right up my alley but instead I rolled my eyes and groaned at some of the abysmally bad jokes. A comedy that fell flat in almost every possible way.

#1 - SUCKER PUNCH: Zack Snyder's masturbatory fantasy of a sci-fi epic is just about everything that's wrong with big-budget movies. Too much CGI, a senseless plot and camera tricks and hot girls trying to make up for everything it lacks. At least TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON knew it was stupid. SUCKER PUNCH insults your intelligence by actually pretending to be smart.

#10 - Hanna

I've seen the comments on both Jimmy's and Chris' list that most people don't seem to like HANNA and frankly I can't explain why all three of us like the movie so much. We saw it separately, all at different times and all enjoyed it thoroughly. Last year, I was somewhat surprised at all the love for KICK-ASS, a movie I felt was wildly uneven. But this year I was even more surprised at how much I loved HANNA, another crazed-teenage-girl-assassin movie. In fairness, it has very little to do with KICK-ASS aside from that hook, and that's a good thing. It's more of a beautiful and demented fairy tale mixed up with a hardcore hitman actioner. If you haven't seen it yet, definitely check it out, and if you didn't like, give it another shot.

#9 - Warrior

I maybe didn't like this film as much as some other people did, but it's still very well done. Like MONEYBALL, which we'll get to in a little bit, WARRIOR isn't exactly breaking new ground. It's a classic sports underdog story but this one at least features two underdogs. But even with that, the movie wouldn't be much without its performances. While Nick Nolte will likely get a deserved Best Supporting Actor nomination for his role in the film, I can't believe how many people are overlooking Tom Hardy's performance. Is there at least an award for Best Lats in a Movie? It was a little groan-worthy at times (they're going to wait until after the fight to arrest him?) but despite all that, it sucked me in and I couldn't help but feel it at the end.

#8 - Fast Five

It may seem ridiculous to put the fifth installment in the FAST AND THE FURIOUS franchise in my list of favorite films from 2011, but c'mon this movie was sooo much fun. I went in expecting almost nothing. I'm not a gearhead and had really only seen maybe two movies in the franchise. When I left I wanted to hop in my Saturn, floor it and race home (I sat in traffic). FAST FIVE straddles the line between being ridiculously cheesy yet sincere about its action that makes for a perfect combination. It knows it's silly (how else can you explain that monologue about Vin Diesel's dad?) yet serious (The Rock vs. Vin Diesel). It's not THE ARTIST but in an era when our action stars are 5'8" and 160lbs soaking wet, I'll take FAST FIVE any day of the week.

#7 - Rise of the Planet of the Apes

I didn't think I was going to like this movie. I was never a huge fan of Andy Serkis' work as Gollum in the LORD OF THE RINGS movies (I know, flame me now) and was worried that some of that might translate to his work as Caesar. But once the movie got past the baby chimp (where the mo-cap technology was at its weakest) the film took off. Sure it featured some leaden acting from James Franco but you don't go see a PLANET OF THE APES movie to see James Franco emote. It's a slow burn of an action/sci-fi film and one that pays off with a glorious third act. And all these years later the story still works as a powerful metaphor for race and liberation. (But also giant apes smash stuff!)

#6 - Moneyball

MONEYBALL is the very definition of a nice movie. It's not trying to be anything controversial or crazy or make a huge statement about something, it's just a superstar (Brad Pitt) delivering a superstar performance in a an old-fashioned good movie. So many times we put so much pressure on a movie to be something new, but MONEYBALL proves that sometimes you can take a story that is tried and true and when you've got creative talent firing on all cylinders (Jonah Hill, writer Aaron Sorkin, director Bennett Miller), you can still have yourself one of the best movies of the year.

#5 - We Need to Talk About Kevin

There were a lot of scary movies to be enjoyed in 2011 but my favorite horror film was WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN. It's not scary in the traditional sense but I defy anyone to watch it and tell me it's not a horror movie. Tilda Swinton gives one of the year's best performances as the mother of a monster of a child. But THE OMEN this is not. Kevin is not possessed by the devil, he just acts like he is. And the real horror isn't just what he does when he finally snaps, but the mess (both literal and figurative) he leaves his mother to clean up.

#4 - Bridesmaids

Say what you will but some nine months after I first saw it, BRIDESMAIDS is still the funniest film of 2011 and it still makes me laugh when I catch parts of it today. What makes this a great film though, isn't just that it's funny. It also tells a story, has characters you can relate to, it's intelligent and has heart and a mean streak and everything that makes a good comedy a great movie. Along with ATTACK THE BLOCK, I can't think of a film I recommended more this past year.

#3 - 50/50

It took me a while to process my thoughts on 50/50. Sometimes when you get emotional at the end of the film, it can skew your thoughts on whether it's actually a good movie or just struck a particular emotional tone for you. After a few days of thinking about it (and later, a repeated viewing), I became convinced that 50/50 really is a great film. It's full of performances that will go largely ignored this Oscar season but still deserve respect. Early on in the film it name-checks TERMS OF ENDEARMENT and while it may not quite be on par with that James L. Brooks classic, 50/50 holds its own and creates a winning film about cancer and how it affects those diagnosed with the disease and everyone around them. And yes, you'll cry.

#2 - Attack the Block

I saw this film at the US premiere at SXSW and films like ATTACK THE BLOCK are the reason I go to film festivals. ATTACK THE BLOCK, a smart, scary, funny and wonderfully executed bit of commercial pop cinema that curiously never caught on with American audiences in a big way. When many have tried (and failed) to emulate the success and tone of SHAUN OF THE DEAD since that film's release, Cornish achieves it in spades and puts his name right up alongside producer Edgar Wright. A few people have called this film overrated but being in the audience that night, I wanted to stand up and cheer.

#1 - Drive

Yeahhh, I know, you're sick of seeing this movie at the top of these Best Of lists. But what can I tell you? It really is that good. And I saw it after all the hype and it still lived up to expectations. In The Driver, Ryan Gosling has created an iconic movie character (who doesn't want one of those Scorpion jackets and a toothpick?) in a world of recycled comic book superheroes. DRIVE is one of those movies that you'd say, "They don't make movies like that anymore!" But guess what? They do and they did.

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11:09PM on 01/06/2012
This movie was so boring, I didn't laugh once.. I was expecting, at least, the female version of the hangover. The lead character was awful and pathetic.
This movie was so boring, I didn't laugh once.. I was expecting, at least, the female version of the hangover. The lead character was awful and pathetic.
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6:22AM on 01/03/2012

I just don't get it...

I just don't get all the love for Moneyball... I was bored out of my mind! Now granted, I don't know the first thing about baseball, but the same is true about hockey, boxing and MMA and it hasn't stopped me from enjoying movies that featured those sports heavily, like Mighty Ducks, Mystery Alaska, the Rocky series and of course Warrior. I think that Moneyball focused too much on the baseball aspect of the story, the dialogue was full of terminology and acronyms, thus making the film very hard
I just don't get all the love for Moneyball... I was bored out of my mind! Now granted, I don't know the first thing about baseball, but the same is true about hockey, boxing and MMA and it hasn't stopped me from enjoying movies that featured those sports heavily, like Mighty Ducks, Mystery Alaska, the Rocky series and of course Warrior. I think that Moneyball focused too much on the baseball aspect of the story, the dialogue was full of terminology and acronyms, thus making the film very hard to follow and understand for non baseball fans... Hell, I STILL haven't figured out what was so revolutionary about the way those guys picked their players... I think that maybe this story would have been better told in a documentary. Oh and BTW, I don't get all the praise for Jonah Hill's performance. If you want to see a trully excellent supporting performance in a sports movie this year, look no further than Nick Nolte's on Warrior, hope he gets an Oscar nom for that!
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+0
8:31AM on 01/02/2012

wrong!

Bellflower was incredible! just saying... =)
Bellflower was incredible! just saying... =)
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+1
8:48PM on 01/01/2012
Drive was in my top ten as well, and despite what people say about this being overrated, I guess I understand but at the same time don't. With cinema so full of garbage these days, how come people like to bag on films that come along and actually deliver. Drive is a good mix of effective action and arthouse storytelling. Yes, it's quiet and underplayed, but isn't that what makes it so good? The Driver is a great character because he is effective without having to say very much at all. We learn
Drive was in my top ten as well, and despite what people say about this being overrated, I guess I understand but at the same time don't. With cinema so full of garbage these days, how come people like to bag on films that come along and actually deliver. Drive is a good mix of effective action and arthouse storytelling. Yes, it's quiet and underplayed, but isn't that what makes it so good? The Driver is a great character because he is effective without having to say very much at all. We learn all about him in that first 30-40 minutes and he hardly says a thing. He's the kind of character I love seeing on screen, someone who can take command and whom you can respect and maybe even fear, but can also see the good and honest side in. And, again, he does it all in his action and not in his words. Characters just aren't written like this anymore, so I have to agree that he IS an original character in an industry where most characters are written too loud and dramatic.
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+0
8:26PM on 01/01/2012
This was a pleasant film for me, living by the Bay and growing up with the A's. I'm not a baseball fan anymore, so all this with the A's wasn't something I was aware of, but I agree that it made for a pretty incredible, recent true story. It was also pretty big to realize that the A's went through all this and I was completely unaware. It's also nice to see that Jonah Hill is talented in an area that doesn't involve him making a fool of himself and attempting to be the funny fat guy.
This was a pleasant film for me, living by the Bay and growing up with the A's. I'm not a baseball fan anymore, so all this with the A's wasn't something I was aware of, but I agree that it made for a pretty incredible, recent true story. It was also pretty big to realize that the A's went through all this and I was completely unaware. It's also nice to see that Jonah Hill is talented in an area that doesn't involve him making a fool of himself and attempting to be the funny fat guy.
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-1
8:21PM on 01/01/2012
This actually almost made my list as well (before I finished out the year with Dragon Tattoo). No matter how much I told myself that I couldn't put this on my top ten list, I kept coming back to it, realizing how much of an absolute blast I had with it. I value all kinds of things with film: good acting, great direction, great story. But when a film is as fun and entertaining as this one, then it also deserves a place way up there. Certainly one of the best films of my 2011 summer.
This actually almost made my list as well (before I finished out the year with Dragon Tattoo). No matter how much I told myself that I couldn't put this on my top ten list, I kept coming back to it, realizing how much of an absolute blast I had with it. I value all kinds of things with film: good acting, great direction, great story. But when a film is as fun and entertaining as this one, then it also deserves a place way up there. Certainly one of the best films of my 2011 summer.
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+1
8:15PM on 01/01/2012
I can understand why Hanna isn't loved, and is in fact hated. It's a very unconventional film with a very unconventional story. In fact, it really shouldn't work, but for me, it was my number 1 film of the year. I was expecting a simple tale about a child assassin, and what I got was a thought provoking story about a teenagers exploration of the world for the first time. The use of sound and imagery in this film is brilliant, from her exploration of the world through the various sounds of it,
I can understand why Hanna isn't loved, and is in fact hated. It's a very unconventional film with a very unconventional story. In fact, it really shouldn't work, but for me, it was my number 1 film of the year. I was expecting a simple tale about a child assassin, and what I got was a thought provoking story about a teenagers exploration of the world for the first time. The use of sound and imagery in this film is brilliant, from her exploration of the world through the various sounds of it, to the unique locales and fairy-tail like nature of it all. This is an incredible film with a story I fear is misunderstood by many people. But, this is also the kind of film that you wouldn't really expect to have a big following anyway.
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+2
2:19AM on 01/01/2012
Attack the Block did effortlessly what Super 8 tried so hard to do.
Attack the Block did effortlessly what Super 8 tried so hard to do.
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+5
6:38PM on 12/31/2011

No love for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy?

Saw it again, it's even more remarkable upon second viewing. Best film of 2011, followed by Drive
BTW what's the problem with people here lately? You complain because the writers follow their own taste and personal opinion? I didn't get Hanna at all but I don't get my knickers in a fucking twist just because someone else likes it
Saw it again, it's even more remarkable upon second viewing. Best film of 2011, followed by Drive
BTW what's the problem with people here lately? You complain because the writers follow their own taste and personal opinion? I didn't get Hanna at all but I don't get my knickers in a fucking twist just because someone else likes it
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8:16AM on 12/31/2011
The most overrated movie of the year by far is Drive. I can't understand the hype. And what the hell was the deal with his gloves. I laughed every time he had them on.
The most overrated movie of the year by far is Drive. I can't understand the hype. And what the hell was the deal with his gloves. I laughed every time he had them on.
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6:33AM on 12/31/2011

omfg

Your choice for best and worst movie of the year has to be the most ridiculous in the history of mankind Drive is a B-movie like billions of others. The acting is horrendous if you call Ryan acting great then im gonna pack my bags and go to Hollywood to be the next robert de niro the dude stays 90% of the movie with no expression looking dumb at people and taking an hour to answer any fucking question. The story is simple as fuck and the movie as no fucking end what happened to him or the girl
Your choice for best and worst movie of the year has to be the most ridiculous in the history of mankind Drive is a B-movie like billions of others. The acting is horrendous if you call Ryan acting great then im gonna pack my bags and go to Hollywood to be the next robert de niro the dude stays 90% of the movie with no expression looking dumb at people and taking an hour to answer any fucking question. The story is simple as fuck and the movie as no fucking end what happened to him or the girl why did he left the money there let me guess you like it because its mysterious do you want a mysterious end that leaves you saying WOW see Inception my friend now thats a movie that makes you think . The soundtrack is horrendous montruous and the vilain is an old fatso that nobody gives a shit and that elevator scene as to be in the top dumbest moments of cinema history the bad guy waiting for them to kiss and them attack wen he looks and dies jesusss.. And Sucker Punch the worst of the year omfg you criticize hot women are you gay ???? Did you really saw the movie because it as a story but instead of Drive simple and with no end story Sucker punch as a begining and an end. You prefer to see Drive retard moron driving a car in a simple action scene to hot amazing women fighing samurais the size of houses with an amazing scenario with Bjork amazing music WOW your most exciting moment of your life must have been wen you kissed a girl (or a guy since you dont like to see hot women on screen cough cough) SUCKER PUNCH = amazing special effects amazing hot women amazing action sequences amazing soundtrack it actually as a story and that Train scene is one of the most amazing action scenes of all time that slow motion the movements the epic soundtrack the camera movements jesus EPICCC
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6:50PM on 01/02/2012
You're kidding, right? You should not be allowed near a keyboard until you learn how to spell, punctuate, and form a coherent thought. I'm not lying when I say that this is single dumbest thing I've ever seen someone post on this website (and there are a lot of stupid people here). I don't say this because I disagree with you, but because your paragraph reads like it was written by a 7 year old girl with downs syndrome.
You're kidding, right? You should not be allowed near a keyboard until you learn how to spell, punctuate, and form a coherent thought. I'm not lying when I say that this is single dumbest thing I've ever seen someone post on this website (and there are a lot of stupid people here). I don't say this because I disagree with you, but because your paragraph reads like it was written by a 7 year old girl with downs syndrome.
+1
5:08AM on 12/31/2011
I think the Hangover 2 should replace Paul on this list.
I think the Hangover 2 should replace Paul on this list.
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10:04PM on 12/30/2011

Re: SUCKER PUNCH

There's nothing wrong with movies providing masturbatory fantasies. Some of my favorite movies of all time provide me with masturbatory fantasies.
There's nothing wrong with movies providing masturbatory fantasies. Some of my favorite movies of all time provide me with masturbatory fantasies.
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9:03AM on 12/31/2011
Come to think of it, I have fapped on every Zack Snyder movie to date
Come to think of it, I have fapped on every Zack Snyder movie to date
8:37PM on 12/30/2011

Thank you JoBlo

All 3 of the guys who gave their top ten put the VERY much deserved Warrior on their lists. While I agree a little more with where Bumbray put it on his list I'm more than happy you guys recognized it. That's why you guys are my favorite movie site
All 3 of the guys who gave their top ten put the VERY much deserved Warrior on their lists. While I agree a little more with where Bumbray put it on his list I'm more than happy you guys recognized it. That's why you guys are my favorite movie site
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8:31PM on 12/30/2011
I've seen three of these lists from "different" people here and they were all the same. Overrated drivel like Hanna, Bridesmaids and Drive on all three means you need to hire more diverse people at JoBlo. Just terrible.
I've seen three of these lists from "different" people here and they were all the same. Overrated drivel like Hanna, Bridesmaids and Drive on all three means you need to hire more diverse people at JoBlo. Just terrible.
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8:22PM on 12/30/2011
This movie was awful! Completely inauthentic, with the main relationship (that of bride and maid of honor) being impossible to give two shits as the bride is a truly awful character.
This movie was awful! Completely inauthentic, with the main relationship (that of bride and maid of honor) being impossible to give two shits as the bride is a truly awful character.
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8:18PM on 12/30/2011
This was an immense amount of fun! Glad to see it on here!
This was an immense amount of fun! Glad to see it on here!
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8:14PM on 12/30/2011

SPOILERS! SPOILERS!

Your opinion is fine, and while I didn't hate the movie felt it had several flaws that prevented me from truly enjoying. First off, Hanna is a terrible person. She let's the henchmen tailing her live, despite knowing what they are capable of, and by virtue of that, gets an entire innocent family killed. Why am I suppose to like Hanna? How am I suppose to relate?

The movie never gives us any moments of grief or introspective, and the geography of some of the fights is non-nonsensical.
Your opinion is fine, and while I didn't hate the movie felt it had several flaws that prevented me from truly enjoying. First off, Hanna is a terrible person. She let's the henchmen tailing her live, despite knowing what they are capable of, and by virtue of that, gets an entire innocent family killed. Why am I suppose to like Hanna? How am I suppose to relate?

The movie never gives us any moments of grief or introspective, and the geography of some of the fights is non-nonsensical.
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-10
7:23PM on 12/30/2011
Considering I liked 4 of your 5 "dishonorable mentions", I stopped reading right there on page 1.
Considering I liked 4 of your 5 "dishonorable mentions", I stopped reading right there on page 1.
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1:28AM on 12/31/2011
Are the thumbs down because all of you here think Paul or Super were awful movies?
Are the thumbs down because all of you here think Paul or Super were awful movies?
+3
5:58PM on 12/30/2011
Paul on the "Dishonorable Mention" list? I'm not saying it is on my "Best of" list, but in no way should it be on the same list as Sucker Punch .

Fast Five actually on the "Best of" list? Wow.
Paul on the "Dishonorable Mention" list? I'm not saying it is on my "Best of" list, but in no way should it be on the same list as Sucker Punch .

Fast Five actually on the "Best of" list? Wow.
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4:51PM on 12/30/2011

Hanna

I fucking hated, hated, HATED Hanna. One of the worst films I have ever seen and that is no exaggeration. It goes from an interesting plot about a little girl raised to be an assassin to her running away all the damn time to a weird artsy lesbian thing and it just goes on and on.
I fucking hated, hated, HATED Hanna. One of the worst films I have ever seen and that is no exaggeration. It goes from an interesting plot about a little girl raised to be an assassin to her running away all the damn time to a weird artsy lesbian thing and it just goes on and on.
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4:26PM on 12/30/2011
Ive seen this film and while it is a good movie and pretty funny i would not put it in my top 10 matter of fact i would put Crazy, Stupid, Love and Friends with Benefits before this! I thought FWB was one of the more underrated comedies of the year and found it more funny than Bridesmaids. Bridesmaids is still decent though.
Ive seen this film and while it is a good movie and pretty funny i would not put it in my top 10 matter of fact i would put Crazy, Stupid, Love and Friends with Benefits before this! I thought FWB was one of the more underrated comedies of the year and found it more funny than Bridesmaids. Bridesmaids is still decent though.
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3:31PM on 12/30/2011
Only Drive also appears on my top ten list. The rest of these range from films I strongly disliked (Bridesmaids, We Need to Talk About Kevin) to fairly entertaining mainstream trifles, to good films that just missed my top ten (50/50, Moneyball).
Only Drive also appears on my top ten list. The rest of these range from films I strongly disliked (Bridesmaids, We Need to Talk About Kevin) to fairly entertaining mainstream trifles, to good films that just missed my top ten (50/50, Moneyball).
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2:52PM on 12/30/2011
fucking loved this movie. saw it on imax. how is SPOILER Leddy alive? ugh...
fucking loved this movie. saw it on imax. how is SPOILER Leddy alive? ugh...
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2:51PM on 12/30/2011

A possible reason

I loved "Hanna" and own it. I saw it with my then-gf and she wasn't a fan. Her reason was she didn't like the whole 'sci fi' element of it. Maybe that's why some people didn't like it or couldn't believe a kid could do this. badass movie, though.
I loved "Hanna" and own it. I saw it with my then-gf and she wasn't a fan. Her reason was she didn't like the whole 'sci fi' element of it. Maybe that's why some people didn't like it or couldn't believe a kid could do this. badass movie, though.
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+1
2:34PM on 12/30/2011

The single most overrated film of the year

Best of the series? Yes, but come the fuck on, it's the Fast & Furious franchise. In 130 minutes, there's a good half hour (at the end) and there's Dwayne Johnson being awesome. Jeez...
Best of the series? Yes, but come the fuck on, it's the Fast & Furious franchise. In 130 minutes, there's a good half hour (at the end) and there's Dwayne Johnson being awesome. Jeez...
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2:23PM on 12/30/2011
I was just sure you were gonna make this your #1. It's different enough I'm loath to compare it with Shaun of the Dead (even with Wright producing), but it's one helluva good ride with originality to spare and a killer finale.
I was just sure you were gonna make this your #1. It's different enough I'm loath to compare it with Shaun of the Dead (even with Wright producing), but it's one helluva good ride with originality to spare and a killer finale.
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2:21PM on 12/30/2011
I havent seen we need to talk about kevin, but your top ten was close to mine. the only thing is your top five worst movies were not that bad. the only two I didn't think belonged was paul (an ok movie, that doesnt diserve worst of the year) and Super ( this movie kicked ass) way worse movies than these. Are you just trying to start a fight. I have yet to see anyone put the twighlight movie in there top five worst, plus there was zookeeper, and two adam sandler movies. those two movies do not
I havent seen we need to talk about kevin, but your top ten was close to mine. the only thing is your top five worst movies were not that bad. the only two I didn't think belonged was paul (an ok movie, that doesnt diserve worst of the year) and Super ( this movie kicked ass) way worse movies than these. Are you just trying to start a fight. I have yet to see anyone put the twighlight movie in there top five worst, plus there was zookeeper, and two adam sandler movies. those two movies do not deserve worst of the year. pick to better ones
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2:20PM on 12/30/2011
First off, I liked your humility for your opinions in a lot of these; I think that's the first time I've read someone who loved Hanna who could admit others didn't without trying to undermine their expectations, sensibilities, etc.

But on Drive: if you think "The Driver" isn't recycled -- jeesh, he's basically the GTA3 guy and Stuntman Mike combined. I still can't believe how Drive's hollow, derivative straining to produce iconic elements (imo) suckered so many into thinking it was
First off, I liked your humility for your opinions in a lot of these; I think that's the first time I've read someone who loved Hanna who could admit others didn't without trying to undermine their expectations, sensibilities, etc.

But on Drive: if you think "The Driver" isn't recycled -- jeesh, he's basically the GTA3 guy and Stuntman Mike combined. I still can't believe how Drive's hollow, derivative straining to produce iconic elements (imo) suckered so many into thinking it was doing anything else at all.

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3:08PM on 12/30/2011
He said the character was a contrast from "recycled comic book heroes" whihc implied he was not recycled. And one of the elements he highlights is that jacket, which is (naturally) really similar to the one worn by Mike, who while obviously a different character, still had a murderous underside and some special relationship with his wheels. In any case (your comparison included) he's about as recycled as it gets imo.
He said the character was a contrast from "recycled comic book heroes" whihc implied he was not recycled. And one of the elements he highlights is that jacket, which is (naturally) really similar to the one worn by Mike, who while obviously a different character, still had a murderous underside and some special relationship with his wheels. In any case (your comparison included) he's about as recycled as it gets imo.
2:28PM on 12/30/2011
When he says "They don't make 'em like this anymore" that doesn't to me suggest Driver is "original." But he's little to do with Stuntman Mike aside from being a stunt driver. I think he's more like Lee Marvin's Walker in "Point Blank," a professional of few words who you don't want to get on the wrong side of.
When he says "They don't make 'em like this anymore" that doesn't to me suggest Driver is "original." But he's little to do with Stuntman Mike aside from being a stunt driver. I think he's more like Lee Marvin's Walker in "Point Blank," a professional of few words who you don't want to get on the wrong side of.
2:16PM on 12/30/2011
I didn't think this movie was oh-so-terrific, but it absolutely was an old-fashioned underdog story that did exactly what it came to do. Been a long time since I saw a movie that connected me with that romance of the game theme.
I didn't think this movie was oh-so-terrific, but it absolutely was an old-fashioned underdog story that did exactly what it came to do. Been a long time since I saw a movie that connected me with that romance of the game theme.
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8:23PM on 01/01/2012
All this made more amazing by the fact that it's a recent, true story.
All this made more amazing by the fact that it's a recent, true story.
1:49PM on 12/30/2011
Probably one of the most refreshing films I've seen in a long time. I really enjoyed this movie too.
Probably one of the most refreshing films I've seen in a long time. I really enjoyed this movie too.
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1:45PM on 12/30/2011
I could care less for Seth Rogen in this movie... The real stars of this film for me were Anna Kendrick (who will be the only actress to escape the Twilight Saga with a proper career) and of course, JGL, who can do no wrong for me.
I could care less for Seth Rogen in this movie... The real stars of this film for me were Anna Kendrick (who will be the only actress to escape the Twilight Saga with a proper career) and of course, JGL, who can do no wrong for me.
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1:43PM on 12/30/2011
I've watched this movie 3-4 times and it's STILL hilarious. I have to watch the Unrated Version soon... Love the hell out of Kristen Wiig.
I've watched this movie 3-4 times and it's STILL hilarious. I have to watch the Unrated Version soon... Love the hell out of Kristen Wiig.
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1:41PM on 12/30/2011
People didn't like Hanna? This is one of my faves of the year too! Loved it!
People didn't like Hanna? This is one of my faves of the year too! Loved it!
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1:13PM on 12/30/2011
Fast Five was def more enjoyable then MI4.
The forced Renner subplot and the lack of a serious villain is what made the movie not as great as it could have been.
Fast Five was def more enjoyable then MI4.
The forced Renner subplot and the lack of a serious villain is what made the movie not as great as it could have been.
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+0
1:12PM on 12/30/2011

HANNA

I too love this flick. And it improves on repeat viewings, not that it had anything wrong in the first place.

I remember CBum writing about how this one might get overlooked at the end of the year just because it came out so early (March was it?). But I haven't forgotten this one.
I too love this flick. And it improves on repeat viewings, not that it had anything wrong in the first place.

I remember CBum writing about how this one might get overlooked at the end of the year just because it came out so early (March was it?). But I haven't forgotten this one.
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12:21PM on 12/30/2011
Fast Five? Better than MI:4? Really?
Fast Five? Better than MI:4? Really?
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+4
12:05PM on 12/30/2011
seriously no love for Source Code and Super 8 my favs this year..still cool list
seriously no love for Source Code and Super 8 my favs this year..still cool list
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