Ain't It Cool News (
Movie News

The Critics Say …

I am – Hercules!!
 The critics have been rolling out their picks for top movies of 2011, and the vague  impression I was getting? They were really spreading the love around.

But a closer look suggests three films could claim the most journalistic applause:

1) At least SEVEN critics associations pick “The Artist”:
New York Film Critics Circle
The Artist
San Diego Film Critics Society
The Artist
St. Louis Film Critics
The Artist
Indiana Film Journalists Association
The Artist
D.C. Area Film Critics Association
The Artist
Oklahoma Film Critics Circle
The Artist
Detroit Film Critics Society
The Artist

2) At least FIVE critics associations pick Alexander Payne’s “The Descendants” (Did you know the actor who plays Dean Pelton on “Community” co-wrote “The Descendants”?  Is true!) :
International Press Academy
The Descendants
Los Angeles Film Critics Association
The Descendants
 Dallas/Fort Worth Film Critics Association
The Descendants
Houston Film Critics Society
The Descendants
Florida Film Critics Circle
The Descendants

3) At least TWO critics associations pick Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life” (Did you know the actor who plays Dean Pelton on “Community” co-wrote “The Descendants”?  Is true!) :
Chicago Film Critics Association
The Tree of Life
Toronto Film Critics Association
The Tree of Life

Utah Film Critics Association
Austin Film Critics Association
National Board of Review
The Artist
The Descendants

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Harry Potter and the Death Hallows 2
The Ides of March
J. Edgar
The Tree of Life
War Horse
But “Tree of Life” was the only movie to make the top five of the three “At The Movies” critics:
Christy Lemire (At The Movies/The Associated Press)
1. Martha Marcy May Marlene
2. 50/50
3. The Myth of the American Sleepover
4. The Tree of Life
5. Bellflower
6. Melancholia
7. Take Shelter
8. Hell and Back Again
9. Beginners
10. Bridesmaids
Ignatiy Vishnevetsky (At The Movies/Mubi)
1. Mysteries of Lisbon
2. House of Pleasures
3. The Skin I Live In
4. Certified Copy
5. The Tree of Life
6. Film Socialisme
7. Essential Killing
8. Road to Nowhere
9. The Girls With The Dragon Tattoo
10 Detective Dee
Roger Ebert (At The Movies/Chicago Sun-Times)
1. A Separation
2. Shame
3. The Tree of Life
4. Hugo
5. Take Shelter
6. Kinyarwanda
7. Drive
8. Midnight in Paris
9. Le Havre
10. The Artist
11. Melancholia
12. Terri
13. The Descendants
14. Margaret
15. Martha Marcy May Marlene
16. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
17. Trust
18. Life, Above All
19. The Mill and the Cross
20. Another Earth
“Tree of Life” also scored in the top six with two AICN critics:
Steve “Capone” Prokopy (AICN)
1. Drive
2. Martha Marcy May Marlene
3. Melancholia
4. 13 Assassins
5. Warrior
6. The Tree of Life
7. Moneyball
8. Midnight in Paris
9. The Artist
10. Young Adult
11. Take Shelter
12. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
13. A Separation
14. Mildred Pierce
15. The Muppets
16. Submarine
17. X-Men: First Class
18. Another Earth
19. The Descendants
20. Hugo
Alan “Nordling” Cerny (AICN)
1. Drive
2. A Boy and His Samurai
3. The Tree of Life
4. Attack The Block
5. I Saw The Devil
6. We Need To Talk About Kevin
7. Juan of the Dead
8. The Muppets
9. Hugo
10. Project Nim/Rise of the Planet of the Apes
“The Artist” also failed to make the top-ten of the two big “Ebert & Roeper” fill-ins:
Michael Phillips (Chicago Tribune)
1. Poetry
 2. Moneyball
 3. Certified Copy
 4. The Descendants
 5. The Interrupters
 6. Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench
 7. A Separation
 8. The Tree of Life
 9. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
 10. Weekend
A.O. Scott (New York Times)
A Brighter Summer Day
Cedar Rapids
A Dangerous Method
The Descendants
The Future
The Help
Into the Abyss
Margin Call
Meek’s Cutoff
Mysteries of Lisbon
 Le Quattro Volte
The Tree of Life
Tuesday, After Christmas
War Horse
Winnie the Pooh
Young Adult
Manohla Dargis of the New York Times didn’t include “Tree,” “Descendants” or “Artist” among her top 22:
Manohla Dargis (New York Times)
The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu
A Dangerous Method
J. Edgar
Le Havre
My Joy
Mysteries of Lisbon
Of Gods and Men
Le Quattro Volte
The Return
Seeking the Monkey King
The Skin I Live In
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy  
Voluptuous Sleep
More critics associations will be weighing in in the coming days.  If you’re aware of a group of journalist we’re overlooking, kindly drop me a line at

Follow Herc on Twitter!!

Follow Evil Herc on Twitter!!

Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • Jan. 2, 2012, 12:04 a.m. CST


    by Tank Williams

    Go Drive!

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 12:04 a.m. CST

    Warrior #1

    by dead youngling

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 12:23 a.m. CST

    'Ebert's at the Movies' last show was this weekend

    by mistergreen

    They might come back later this year but who know. Thanks for the news AICN.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 12:26 a.m. CST

    I haven't seen any of them, honestly

    by Kammich

    Eagerly anticipating the moment where I get to sit down, enjoy the peace and quiet, and watch/digest "Tree of Life." I'm an unapologetic lover of all things Malick. The holiday season was hectic beyond belief, so I'm waiting for the right moment to give "Tree of Life" my full attention. I've read the ad-nauseum praise for "The Artist," and hopefully I'll get to see it in due time. I had the same hopes for viewing "The King's Speech" last year when it was becoming so heavily lauded, but I never got around to it. *shrug* The same probably goes for "The Descendants." I'm sure its a good film, but, honestly... I've got enough of my own family issues to deal with, so I'm not champing at the bit to see George Clooney deal with fictional ones. "Drive" is still my #1 movie at the present moment. There's a number of films I still need to see before casting final judgement, but the badassery of Gosling and Refn reigns supreme for the time being.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 12:28 a.m. CST

    Detroit Film Critics Society

    by zillabeast

    Makes me think of Clarence Boddicker

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 12:30 a.m. CST

    The Artist and awards...


    The Artist will get awards for the same reason Shakespeare in Love won big. They're both big circle jerks for people in the industry, in particular actors, people who are all exclusively involved in the voting process.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 12:54 a.m. CST

    Can we all agree on one thing?

    by TheNotoriousDRB

    Albert Brooks will win Best Supporting Actor this year.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 12:59 a.m. CST

    Brooks was great


    But I don't know if the fancy pants Academy are going to vote for him. This was a weak year for oscar-bait films. I actually haven't seen those top 3 movies but they sound dreadful.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 1:09 a.m. CST

    Too much attention is paid to the Oscars.

    by Hercules

    Because too much of the Academy is comprised of bitter ex-starlets who can't be bothered to see "today's movies." If you're looking for quality product, it's smarter to take the advice of people who see movies for a living.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 1:09 a.m. CST

    @lisab re:Tintin

    by annie_michael_hall

    It was on Katey Rich's top 10 at Cinema Blend and David Ehrlich's top 20 at Criterion Corner and it has been on a bunch of honorable mentions, etc.... I for one, thought it was going to suck after hearing all of the hype. But I saw it a few days ago and really loved it. Not everyone does. But the film, with Spielberg in this new format and Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright, and Joe Cornish writing (who seemed to know what they were going for and succeeded on all fronts IMO), really worked for me.

  • There are people out there trying get together funding for films which will never see the light of day, mostly due to the studios' entrenched stables of gatekeepers of mediocrity. If there was ever a year that proved this, 2011 was it.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 1:13 a.m. CST

    Dean Pelton has a very real chance of winning an Oscar...

    by Ribbons

    ...and Community will still get the goddamn axe. I hate you NBC!

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 1:21 a.m. CST

    TinTin does suck.

    by KilliK

    sorry but the movie is mediocre at best. you will have some fun,especially if you are a kid but you will forget it immediately after it finishes.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 1:22 a.m. CST

    The Artist will be the big Oscar winner this year

    by KilliK

    and the rest awards will be divided between Drive and Tree of Life.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 1:23 a.m. CST

    Brooks will get it.

    by KilliK

    he is Jew and an old-timer in the business.he has already won it.

  • did u see the television nominees and winners? a chick from desperate houswives beats margo martindale? opie from sons of anarchy ties peter dinklage and both aaron paul and giancarlo esposito aren't even nominated? i can't comment on the movies because the ony movie ive seen in the oscar race this year is drive but based on the tv, nobody should take them seriously

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 1:25 a.m. CST

    Disagree HERC on taking a CRITICS opnion of film...

    by KHjLL

    ...ansd critic over a filmmaker...Critics get paid to write their opinion of a film whether right or wrong alot of the time throwing the people who liked the film or the millions who liked it under the bus because they didn't and thought it dumb that people went and saw said film... Most those list don't have DRIVE in the top 5... Nor do most have 13ASSASSINS in their lists at all... So most of those critics I cannot trust... But I see a film because I want to and havent seen a film to date that I didn't like... A critic to its audience is only as good as that critics taste in film or a critic is only as good as their liking a film... Those list prove my point... And so do most of critics reviews... HARRY liked ANOES you hated it... Who's right?

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 1:26 a.m. CST

    I lasted 1 hour into "Tree of Life"

    by MisterManReturns

    Looking forward to "The Artist"......

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 1:26 a.m. CST


    by Daremo

    Warrior is the best movie I watched in 2011, and someone deserving of an Oscar nod is Nick Nolte for his performance in this movie.

  • And fuck you if you don't know what that film is. I'm not talking about Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, though, that is another one that should be on any Top 10 list.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 1:35 a.m. CST


    by Xen11

    nevermind. I see Rise coupled with Nim for Nordling's list.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 1:38 a.m. CST

    I know a lot of film critics and a lot of Oscar voters.

    by Hercules

    The big difference? The critics tend to see a LOT more of what's out there. Also, academy members can and do vote for movies they haven't seen, simply because they know or like somebody involved with the project.

  • Best typo ever. I have no doubt he'll get an Oscar nod, here's hoping that lends a little more credibility to Community's chances. Who knows though, it didn't exactly save Sorkin

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 1:43 a.m. CST


    by Eli_Cash

    Fuck me, but I don't know what the film is. Mainly because I don't wanna look thru the lists and try to figure out what's missing. What is it?

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 1:48 a.m. CST

    The Descendants was fucking horrible

    by Rupee88

    I walked out after 30 min... heavy handed voiceover and weak script and tone was way off. People are dumb if they like this movie...reminds me of American Beauty. But I've seen Drive on more Top lists than this one.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 1:52 a.m. CST

    And Albert Brooks was good..

    by Rupee88

    ..but not an incredible performance by any means. He was superb in that role but just not best supporting way.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 1:59 a.m. CST



    Now I can cross The Descendants off my list. I already eliminated Tree of Life off my list of films to watch because I downloaded it and it's just sitting on my hard drive, might just sit there forever I can't manage the will power to press the play button. Now I need an excuse not to watch the Artist?

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 2:10 a.m. CST

    not that anyone cares about my list, but here it is

    by drave117

    I'm not a critic. I don't write reviews. I just see a lot of movies. I saw 100 in theaters this past year. Here they are, with a single best and worst, and the rest are sorted into tiers of quality, with each tier sorted chronologically by the order I saw them.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 2:23 a.m. CST

    we need to vote on a talkbackers top ten.

    by rakesh patel

    if there was only a way for talkbackers to vote on films they watched, via some sort of magical polling system that could collate votes. Damm you interwebs!

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 2:28 a.m. CST

    I like slowburn and thoughtful

    by tomdolan04

    But The Tree of Life is the Emporers new clothes. There is nothing there. 'B-b-b-but its a Malick film' - film critics seem to think they need to put a film like this in their lists above a popcorn type affair regardless of whether they liked the film otherwise they'd be perceived somehow not to be doing their job.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 2:29 a.m. CST

    The Help is seldomly mentionned by any critic here,

    by Franck

    But although I have mixed feelings about the movie, I think it will do some damage at Oscar time..

  • Sucker Punch

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 2:49 a.m. CST


    by diseptikon

    Nothing will turn "hey lets have sex tonight after a movie" in the opposite direction than watching this.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 2:59 a.m. CST

    diseptikon speaks truth

    by drave117

    It's more like "Let's never have sex again. Forever."

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 3:23 a.m. CST

    Tree of Life

    by The Lone Funman

    Are people sackriding this film for the visuals or because it's a Malick film? I went to see it with several other people in the industry and every single one of us loathed it. It had some pretty shots, and not a great deal more.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 3:38 a.m. CST

    This article goes to prove One thing

    by MMacKK

    That AICN is pretty much being held up by Hercules and Nordling. Occasionally Merrick pops up, but yeah, it's a pretty rare thing for me to turn here for 'breaking' or 'cool' news anymore. Can the other contributors, like, contribute also?

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 3:52 a.m. CST

    Albert Brooks

    by P862010

    sorry while he was great nick nolte blew me away give him his oscar already

  • I look at these choices, as a life long film buff and wonder why it has become an essential ingredient for a critic to also to be a wanker. Really, let's just thrown in Bridesmaids just make make it appear that we are 'common people'. Seriously.. when did going to the movies become less about just having some fun and more about leaving feeling either morose about the world or pretending you have been elevated in your thinking.... Don't get me wrong some of the movies mentioned deserve to be there and I am not above thought provoking cinema but did these critics have any fun doing their job this year? Are we at the stage wher every critic has to pretend that they didn't think a movie was just cool.. Movie critics are the new politicians, they are slowly losing touch with the common man. If I read a review nowdays that just said "This movie was just f#$%ing cool... go check it out", I would be there in a second

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 4:35 a.m. CST

    Can't wait to see The Artist.

    by Nerfee

    Terry Malick on the other hand, leaves me cold. And Bored. There I said it.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 4:46 a.m. CST

    Props to Ebert for respecting Shame.

    by DougMcKenzie

    It's ridiculously good in covering its subject matter, and Fassbender is amazing. I imagine a lot of critics didn't want to praise a sexual movie or get the moral majority calling them out for pushing perversion. Remember in our society, Violence = Good and Sex = Bad. Over in Europe it's the reverse. Too many fat fuckers here that use their poor body self-image to cause them to despise sex, and condemn, those that do enjoy it.

  • No one ever comments on TAKE SHELTER, I guess because no one has seen it except for critics and (unfortunately) myself. But I keep seeing it on list after list of the years best and it really blows my mind. Hands down the biggest let down of the year for me was TAKE SHELTER. Other great disappointments were J. EDGAR and MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE...two movies I genuinely wish I hadn't bothered with. The most pleasant surprise was WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN. Gee, I really loved this movie and I can't recommend it enough. If TILDA SWINTON doesn't take home the Oscar this year, the echoed voice you hear screaming SCANDAL will be coming from me. I've seen an awful lot of movies this year and DRIVE is thus far my favorite (still need to see TREE OF LIFE and HUGO though - I'll get to both this week). But, DRIVE has a snowball's chance in hell of winning an Oscar...mostly due to the pacing and bursts of violence. THE ARTIST will probably take the Oscar for best picture...but, it was a little too cute for my taste. Same for THE DESCENDANTS, which was really enjoyable and well made, but didn't make my butt pucker like a truly great movie generally can. I loved TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY and I loved A DANGEROUS METHOD even more. I recommend both wholeheartedly. These movies would both be major Oscar bait in the 80s...too bad they're guaranteed to be labeled boring and confusing and overlooked this year. SHAME was a good movie, but in my eyes kind of a pointless. Really it's a keen exercise in great acting and neat-o mise-en-scene. YOUNG ADULT had some laughs, and a knockout performance from Charlize Theron...but who gives a shit? She got her premature Oscar for that piece of shit serial killer movie...which goes to show you how little confidence the Academy actually had in Miss Theron, you know, GROWING as an actress. Normally, I love me some Lars von Trier...but I'm afraid MELANCHOLIA left me for a great performance from Kirsten Dunst. This could finally be Brad Pitt's year for Best Actor. I thought MONEYBALL was pretty terrific and Pitt is way past due. The poor guy's just too damn handsome to be taken seriously. But, I think he's damn fine actor and he's at the top of his game in MONEYBALL (and 12 MONKEYS and FIGHT CLUB, but who's counting?) Not sure what he's got coming up next year, but I can almost guarantee 2013 will see an Oscar for Ryan Gosling...for his terrific 2011 performances in DRIVE, THE IDES OF MARCH, and (gasp) CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE. Gosling was dynamite in each one. And next year, the Academy will realize it. Wouldn't it be something if TAKASHI MIIKE took home some gold this year? It could happen if Pedro Almodovar doesn't get in his way. I liked I SAW THE DEVIL a whole hell of a lot. But, I'm surprised to see it on so many best of lists...considering it's pretty much a gory B-movie. Lastly, Christy Lemire is an interesting critic, but she has bad taste in movies. Sad, but true. Happy New Year, everyone!

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 5:13 a.m. CST

    Tree of Life is my number one

    by Nomoredirtyanything

    The best film I have seen since There Will Be Blood. Snowtown came in second for me this year.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 5:25 a.m. CST

    Tree Of Life is DRIVEL

    by barnaby jones

    end of. Even Sean Penn has been quoted as saying he didn't know what the hell was doing and the film is pretentious wank.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 5:33 a.m. CST

    Jesus christ Barnaby...

    by Nomoredirtyanything

    just because it didn't appeal to you doesn't make it worthless. To me and many other people it was sublime. I'd like for you to find the quote by Penn calling it a pretentious wank, as I don't think that probably happened. I think you spout bullshit and claim it as fact just as much as you confuse your own opinion with actual provable fact.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 5:51 a.m. CST

    look it up

    by barnaby jones

    Don't curse me because you're too bone idle to check for yourself.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 6:21 a.m. CST

    Warrior and Drive are my number 1's

    by BlaGyver

    If you're a guy and didn't at least choke up at the end of that movie, I don't trust you as a person on principle. Because you're probably a sociopath.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 6:21 a.m. CST

    At the end of Warrior, I mean.

    by BlaGyver

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 6:40 a.m. CST

    I choked up at the end of DRIVE

    by fanboy71

    Thinking of the money and time I had just wasted on a movie with a retarded character as the lead. Warrior was great though. Nolte deserves recognition for that.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 7:26 a.m. CST

    Tree Of Life is DRIVEL... if you're a fucking idiot.

    by NeonFrisbee

    Ah, another one who didn't get it. Perhaps you should stick to the 3D cgi transforming robot vampire superhero 'splosions oeuvre; it's less taxing on the adolescent mind.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 7:37 a.m. CST

    And the Devil's Double is missed again!!

    by david starling

    Sorry to go on, but its a bloody good movie!! The only film on these lists I haven't seen and want to see is Drive.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 7:53 a.m. CST

    Takes no talent to be a critic so their opinions are worthless

    by alienindisguise

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 7:58 a.m. CST

    'Drive' was ruined by the use of Brian Eno's 'An Ending'...

    by workshed pulled me right out of the movie. And I thought Winding-Refn was smarter than to use a piece of music so associated with another movie (28DL). That's the kind of thing a film student does! Very lazy imo... all those musicians in the world; I'm pretty sure one of them could have come up with something similar to the style of Eno's piece. Hold on - Angelo Badalamenti doing the OST... WTF!? The bloke who made the music for some of my fave Lynch moments can't come up with something..? I'd love to love Drive but that one creative decision (maybe NWR did it purposely?) has made me question the intelligence on display. 'Senna' (hands down the film of the year) & 'A Separation' should be up for Best Picture awards but we don't live in a sane world.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 8:04 a.m. CST

    Did you know that the actor who played....

    by Baron Von Penguin

    the fella with the limp in The Usual Suspects didn't actually have a limp in real life

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 8:04 a.m. CST

    Did you know that the actor who played....

    by Baron Von Penguin

    Dirk Diggler in Boogie Nights didn't really have a 13" penis

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 8:05 a.m. CST

    Cedar Rapids?

    by gridlockd

    Really? I coulda swore that sucked.

  • Gosling all the way. Just putrid in that Anthony Hopkins movie. Did he somehow pull a Keanu Neo redemption because he sucks shit. The one where his cunt wife is leaving him was alright because he barely spoke. Is this another case of him shutting his mouth so people don't realize his incredibly limited range?

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 8:12 a.m. CST

    Hey, did The Artist steal from Captain America?

    by gridlockd

    The whole seeing-themselves-in-a-suit-in-the-windows'-reflection was in both their trailers.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 8:14 a.m. CST

    where is beaks list ?

    by Miyamoto_Musashi

    I would imagine I Saw The Devil, the Girl with Dragon Tatoo and Incendies will make the list

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 8:16 a.m. CST


    by UltraTron

    You di-di-didn't ma-miss a fffph-ffuhh-ffffucking tha-thing. Except maybe a headache. Movies like the King's Speech and Crash win awards because nobody is at the helm.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 8:16 a.m. CST

    Did you know that the actor who played....

    by Baron Von Penguin

    Chewbacca in the original Star Wars trilogy was actually a man in a suit and not a 7 foot wookie

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 8:16 a.m. CST

    I Don't Understand How Shame Isn't on Every Top Ten

    by Crow3711

    That film was so much better, and so much more powerful, than almost anything else on these lists. Drive and Shame are the best films of the year, but it seems only Roger Ebert gets weird. And whoever up top said the descendants was heavy handed with shitty voiceover and a completely unlikable tone.....thank you for expressing my exact feelings. that movie was pretty close to fucking horrible and i don't understand how anyone loved it. Shame, Drive, Hugo, and Tree of Life destroy everything else. EVen the artist, which is only getting this attention because it a genuine silent movie made in 2011....a very good silent movie, granted, but still, just a silent movie. I liked watching it...but its not a best picture of the year. Sorry.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 8:27 a.m. CST

    The Hurt Locker:

    by UltraTron

    it was pure cunt-froth. The academy gets no respect from me. I would take Nordling's opinion on a movie before letting them steer me. And he sent me off to Our Idiot Brother- in a theater! Can you imagine sitting in a fucking theater watching that by the numbers shit? Blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnd. I saw it with my parents. We go giant teabagged for our trouble.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 8:29 a.m. CST

    Just to reiterate, 'Senna' was the best film this year...

    by workshed

    ...I'm talking about the full three hour cut.

  • You guys know me. I'm a pretentious douchebag and would normally pick Tree of Life, Hugo, or Drive as the top film of the year. They were all flawed (but great) films though, so I'm picking Moneyball as the best film of 2011. Sue me.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 8:35 a.m. CST

    The Descendants and Moneyball were both good films.

    by The Founder

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 8:35 a.m. CST

    Strange how it's only AICN that rates Drive so highly?

    by cameron

    Submarine, Tinker tailor soldier spy, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and Senna are my fav's of, what was a VERY poor year for big movies; Green Lantern, Thor, Captain America, etc; all fell way short of expectations. Transformers DOTM was as shit as i expected, but given that there are an awful lot of people that love this brain dead loud SFX porn it was a huge commercial success, not sure what that says about 21st century society. I can't include The Artist omn my list, although i've heard nothing but high praise for it, i can't comment on what i've not seen. So The Artist will be my 1st movie of 2012, along with TDKR, Prometheus, The Hobbit, Skyfall. 2012 will be one of the best years for movie goers for a very long time. Can't wait.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 8:37 a.m. CST

    War Horse was good but predictable.

    by The Founder

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 8:38 a.m. CST

    Oh, and The Artist is going to win everything

    by proevad

    It's really good movie, so whatever. Won't watch it again though--kindof like the year Chicago won. Liked it at the time, but don't remember a song from it or a frame of it now.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 8:40 a.m. CST

    the founder

    by proevad

    They don't make 'em like that anymore. Good movie.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 8:41 a.m. CST

    The slam dunk Best Picture of the year would have been...

    by mooseaka

    ... if they stitched the following 2011 episodes of Community together into a feature length movie: -Advanced Dungeons and Dragons -Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking -Paradigms of Human Memory -A Fistful of Paintballs -Remedial Chaos Theory -Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps -Studies In Modern Movement -Regional Holiday Music A rare Oscar win for a comedy, but well-deserved.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 8:43 a.m. CST

    Warrior should win best screenplay...

    by zinc_chameleon

    a whole buncha times; that's how to create multiple character arcs. As good as Nolte is, he does some serious scenery chewing. It's Tom Hardy's tortured Tommy that really pulls a viewer in; this guy is going to own the world as Bane.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 8:44 a.m. CST

    Did you know that the actor who played....

    by Baron Von Penguin

    Christy Brown in My Left Foot did not actually sport a beard in real life

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 8:46 a.m. CST


    by Shawn F.

    Just a heads up that the Boston Society of Film Critics also chose "The Artist" for Best Picture. Just an FYI in case you wanted to update the list. Keep up the great work!

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 8:53 a.m. CST

    Neville Longbottom and Billy Bean ftw

    by proevad

    That is all. Happy New Year everybody. Was hung over yesterday.

  • Although it should be nominated and win for cinematography, it was arguably the best shot film I've ever seen. But I story/characterwise I just don't get the praise. I haven't seen DRIVE yet. but will be watching it on blu-ray as soon as it comes out. I still need to see The Artist, it looked very good from the trailer. I have no idea what The Descendants is, but I do like alexander payne so I may have to check that out. I've heard Hugo is really amazing from a lot of people, need to see that also.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 8:58 a.m. CST

    Sucker Punch was far and away the years best film

    by James_Camera_On

    I a big thank you for those who felt the same. I am a Malick lover from way back, went to see Days of Heaven some twenty times when I first came out. The Tree of Life still sucked. It was just pathetic. I thought Another Earth, a film with some problems of its own, was much better. I liked TinTin a lot and consider it easily the years best animated film. The above is why I can never be a film critic.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 9:04 a.m. CST

    Wow, I actually thought that "Artist" trailer was horrible.

    by notcher

    Seemed like some amateur editor cut it together, it's really bad and it gave me a splitting headache. That being said, I want to see that film, whenever it gets out to my area, which will be like a week before the Oscars, FUCK.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 9:13 a.m. CST

    The only thing TinTin was missing was the Indiana Jones theme

    by Dr_PepperSpray

    I'm kind of serious. It really lacked a good theme tune to tie everything together.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 9:16 a.m. CST

    Oh my God, Herc, that was pretentious and douchey even for you.

    by Mugato5150

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 9:21 a.m. CST

    james_camera_on - I'm stunned

    by Xen11

    to find another that thinks Sucker Punch is the best film of the year. I thought I would be alone on that, at least here in AICN. A very deep and thought provoking film disguised as a big budget action flick which fooled just about everybody. I could go on about how I felt after watching it, how it was like a sting of an idea that grew, how it didn't fully impact me until a day later, how I discovered something eerie and extraordinary with it (a parallel way to view the film), what everything means and the ultimate message that, I think, even most lovers of the film don't fully realize. How someone, a "film critic", could possibly say they have knowledge of film and proceed to trash Sucker Punch (the very sort of film a true film lover would and should find extraordinary in that its loaded with metaphor, symbolism, and the very definition of why we watch movies) is despicable. It makes the film that much more powerful in that its message is for those alienated in a world of mass idiocy and oppression.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 9:30 a.m. CST

    Tree of Life

    by Native Son

    Yeah, I got Tree of Life. I got that it was a flaming pile of shit made by a well-worshipped curmudgeon who only comes out of his cave every few years when he runs out of beer money.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 9:31 a.m. CST

    Did any of these "critics" actually see Tintin?

    by memento108

    For the love of respect at all.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 9:31 a.m. CST

    Of course Ebert loved Shame

    by gumbyandpokey

    He will champion any film that Conservatives will dislike. Ebert even loved the horrifically bad Redacted from DePalma, when even most liberals admitted it was total biased/slanted crap. Roger Ebert used to be one of the great ones before he completely let his personal politics influence his job.

  • You know, if he had played it straight, instead of trying to make an (awkward, unconvincing) point about geek misogyny, it would have come off as less stupid and overcompensate-y.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 9:38 a.m. CST

    *instead of covering up your proclivities, it underscores them.*

    by NeonFrisbee

    Got cut off? AICN - keepin' it 1998 on the reg forevers.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 9:45 a.m. CST

    I enjoyed "The Tree of Life," but...

    by notcher

    It wasn't Malick's best film and I understand why a lot of people hated it. It's very slow, so anyone with no attention span or hates thinking during films would clearly hate it, and that's most of the American movie going audience.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 9:55 a.m. CST

    My worst films of the year:

    by Nerfee

    Horrible Bosses. Lazy, barely written, every gag half-cocked. I have to say Jennifer Aniston is a top comic actress and even she couldn't save that shit. Sucker Punch. Sometimes a film is so bad, I just can't keep my eyes open, no matter if I'm caffeine-wired. It's as if my brain says; 'Nope. I refuse to function while that shite-ness is happening.' The last time I absolutely could *not* stay awake for a movie was Triple-X Part 2. Not that my expectations were high anyway, but man the crapness of it was immense.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 9:57 a.m. CST

    I love mouth breathers criticizing TREE OF LIFE's story...

    by FlickaPoo

    as if that was the point. I love stories too, but it's possible to do other things with sound and moving images on a screen. It isn't for everyone, but TREE OF LIFE is a work of art.

  • If there's a hidden meaning I want to know exactly what it is. He tells you to fight at the end. Is this a rallying cry for people about to undergo lobotomies to virtually fight inside their ravaged brains? A message to the oppressed who will never see this film? Please set us all straight if you know the answers because zack Snyder doesn't know. You can't find him on the net sounding like he has any idea what the hell he made

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 10:09 a.m. CST

    Have not see the Artist

    by KevinMuller

    The other two seem to severely divide the audiences. In my opinion, I thought "The Descendants" is very highly over rated. It is a good movie, but there were elements in that film that were not that strong: The kid sister and idiot boyfriend. I will give that film props for getting a dramatic performance out of Matthew Lillard though. I thought he was great in the little screen time he was given. Payne may get the big prize for this movie, even though he should have gotten it for Sideways. Like Scorsese, he will get it for a movie that I personally wasn't thrilled with. I loved "The Tree of Life". I know it is a movie that is very hard to get through, especially the 20 minutes of imagery, but I thought it took a typical plot of a family growing up in the 50's/60's and turned it on its head. That said, it has no chance of winning Best Picture at the Oscars. It is TOO out there. I think "The Artist" will be named best picture this year.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 10:10 a.m. CST


    by KevinMuller

    There is no meaning in that movie. That movie is only fuel to the fire of Ebert's argument that video games are ruining society. I hated that movie so much. It tried to be a girl power film, but failed miserably.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 10:15 a.m. CST

    The Muppets was only on two lists

    by glenn_the_frog

    And both of those AICN. I'm not sure what it says about AICN, and I'm not sure what it says about all the other critics, but it certainly says SOMETHING.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 10:16 a.m. CST

    Tintin was fun . . .

    by Rob Jenson

    . . . but I felt it fell apart in the last third. The attention shifted to the captain and he became in effect the main character. It was he that (SPOILER) fought the villian at the end, etc. and Tintin had asolutely nothing to do in his own movie. I have a lot of respect for the screenwriters and Speilberg/Jackson, so I'm not sure how this massive storytelling blunder happened. Otherwise I really enjoyed the movie and up till the focus shifted to the captain I thought it was destined to be a family adventure classic. Really disappointed by the ending. Anyone else?

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 10:18 a.m. CST

    DEAN Pelton? You mean CRAIG "Dean" Pelton?

    by Tigger Tales

    That blows my mind!!!

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 10:20 a.m. CST

    Saw The Artist yesterday, it's not for everyone

    by sunwukong86

    I took my parents to see it, my mom loved it but I could tell my dad was getting really bored with it. I'm not sure how well it would do in wide release.

  • Dear Snyder: You're dumb. You're a "bro." You're not Jane Campion. Stick to what you know and stop embarrassing yourself. Sincerely yours, REALITY

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 10:28 a.m. CST

    my top ten of the year:

    by kim

    Best movies of 2011: 1-Warrior. 2-Xmen: First class. 3-Rise of the planet of the apes. 4-The conspirator. 5-Attack the block. 6-The ides of march. 7-Limitless. 8-Melancolia. 9-Bridesmaid (the end sucks and is predictible, but is the best comedy of the year by far). 10-Margin call. Special mention to: Moneyball, The last hour of Transformers III (best action I ever seen), Sanctum (funny movie and well done), your highness, Insidious. I haven't seen: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and mission impossible IV (yet), but my aracnic radar tells me that this too flicks could easily be in the top ten or have some "Special mention". Worst movies of 2011: 1-Conan (missed opportunity) 2-The tree of life (pretencious bunch of crap). 3-Killer ellite (such a good cast wasted). 4-Hangover II. 5-Apollo 18. 6-Pirates of the Caribbean IV (stupid and very ugly and bouring) 7-Cars II 8-The son of no one. 9-Battle: Los Angeles (even Skyfall was better) 10-Afraid of the dark (well done, but the end is soooo stupid). Note: I haven't seen "the artist" but my 6º sense tells me that is crap. I think is been a poor year, but in this new year there'll be a lot of good movies!!! Happy new year to everyone!! ;)

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 10:28 a.m. CST

    Wow, all these lists and only one mention of "The Help"

    by Dreamwriter

    ...the movie I thought was the best movie of the year the day I saw it, and nothing I saw after that (including The Descendants) changed that. Now, I'm not saying everyone should agree with me of it being the best but the fact that they aren't even listing it in their top 10 movies makes me think movie critics have lost touch with reality. A.O. Scott (New York Times), I salute you!

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 10:31 a.m. CST

    Thanks, Herc! (Purveyour of the Seven Labours.)

    by ChaunceyGardiner

    Nice to see the diversty here. Haveing them all together is a much more enlightening experience then haveing the marketing campaigns roll out the critics for us in a desire to push end of the year/start of the year awards season tickets (though, I do love this time of year because we do get a chance to rewatch stuff in theatres). Really liked A.O. Scott's list, mainly because of how many small pictures he had listed there. This was great reading. Thanks, Herc, for the work.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 10:32 a.m. CST

    I love TREE OF LIFE but hate the ending

    by Autodidact

    The last 30 minutes of that movie are just too much. Basically it's the longest perfume commercial you'll ever sit through. The first two hours are worth it though.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 10:42 a.m. CST

    Brooks will not win...

    by scors54

    ...Christopher Plummer will. He's an old (81), great actor still getting it done who has only been nominated once (deserved about 5 others) never won and he's playing a gay man in "Beginners". Sorry, but that is a "winning" Oscar combination, especially when you add to the mix that he is also actually very good in the role, as he always has been. And I agree about Nick Nolte--he should also be nominated in this category for "Warrior" as I think it's his best stuff since "Affliction". In fact, "Warrior" deserves a best picture nomination as far as I'm concerned. It probably won't get one because to many of the voters will not actually watch it and will write it off as just a martial arts film, and that's unfortunate. As a New Yorker, though, I'm very proud that two of the three New York Times critics had it in their top ten. In fact, two of them had Tom Hardy as one of their 5 best actor nominees, and I agree--especially since Ryan Gosling actually WAS nominated for a Golden Globe for "Drive". I thought Hardy was WAY better in "Warrior"

  • don't have sex kids! it leads to your sister trying to kill herself, and you'll end so desperate to get your jollies that you'll even do it with a man!

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 11:12 a.m. CST

    Did you know that the actor who played....

    by Baron Von Penguin

    The Elephant Man wasn't an elephant AND was actually allergic to peanuts

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 11:13 a.m. CST


    by slone13

    I fucking HATE Kyle Smith. With a passion. One of the worst "critics" I've ever read. Having said that, I can't stop reading his dreck. I actually love loathing him and his writing. Happy New Year everyone.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 11:20 a.m. CST

    I don't get any of these lists

    by room23storeblogspotcom

    I have no interest in most of the best of lists. I saw a good number of movies this year, but most of them didn't appear on the list. I'm kind of tired of the critics and/or oscars voting for movies that ether play to their pet causes or are so called thought provoking and edgy.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 11:41 a.m. CST

    To hell with THE TREE OF LIFE...

    by ninpobugei

    My wife and I couldn't make it through 20 minutes of this pretentious load of crap. Talk about overblown nonsensical art house b.s.</p><p>Any more super-close-ups with artsy-fartsy, semi-poetic, disconnected and disjointed narration and I'd have shot myself in the head. Glad it came via Netflix and I didn't actually pay for this fluff. Once again, AintItCool disappoints.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 11:55 a.m. CST

    "My wife and I" ?

    by Xen11

    Maybe you should try watching it alone. That's the problem with people. They are afraid to think on their own, so they create a team so that they can ask the other and judge based on the other's reactions. Movies are like masturbation. You can't fully get into it when others are in the room. You need to be able to have the film be a reflection of what's within yourself so that you can introspectively enjoy it. Having a third party and worrying what they think and effecting your timidity of wondering if the other person is enjoying this is just fucking bothersome and belongs to redneck life. Baby Jesus doesn't decide for you, you do.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 11:56 a.m. CST

    Christopher Plummer is a shoe-in

    by mypalfish

    Playing an old gay man finally coming out of the closet...can you get more PC than that? Anything homo guarantees you the Oscar.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 11:56 a.m. CST

    The Tree of Life haters, can any of you...

    by brad negrotto

    ...actually explain why it is a pretentious mess?

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 11:57 a.m. CST

    Rebel Scum

    by Dr Eric Vornoff

    Thanks for spoiling SHAME, you cunt. How about thinking before you write?

  • Jan. 2, 2012, noon CST

    Critics aren't paid for having opinions...

    by Dr Eric Vornoff

    ...they're paid to write about them (hopefully well). You don't have to agree with them but if enough people want to read them they'll make a living out of it. What exactly is wrong about that? Jealous because no-one cares enough to pay for your poorly-expressed opinions?

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 12:09 p.m. CST

    The Artist is a gimmick, just like shitty Chicago was...

    by Mel

    So is it really supposed to impress me that they made a movie that looks old? They used to do that all the time, you know. All you have to do is remove the color, put gay mustaches on all the men, have everyone act ridiculous, and poorly direct and edit the movie.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 12:32 p.m. CST

    Yes, because all silent films were poorly directed and edited

    by Dr Eric Vornoff


  • Jan. 2, 2012, 12:35 p.m. CST

    I thought WAR HORSE was beloved by critics?

    by Orionsangels

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 12:37 p.m. CST

    Ever since Dicky Tracy in 1990. We get the gimmick movie

    by Orionsangels

    Sky Captain, SIN CITY, Scanner Darkly, 300 to name a few. That movie that everyone says, it's like nothing you've ever seen before! That's the Artist right now.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 12:44 p.m. CST

    for most audiences...

    by Dr Eric Vornoff

    ...a silent b/w film IS like nothing they've seen before.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 12:52 p.m. CST


    by Rebel Scumb

    Well I can't speak on behalf of anyone else, I just felt personally it was too much style over substance. And bare in mind I quite like Malick's style normally and especially consider Thin Red Line one of my top 10 movies of all time. There was plenty to like in the movie, but it just felt directionless to me, and there wasn't anything I could grab hold of. I liken it to a friend of mine who is a big David Lynch fan, but didn't like Inland empire for similar reasons, because he felt it was so much of Lynch's trade mark weirdness to the extent that it overshadowed the content of the film itself (or served to distract from a lack there of). Tree of Life felt more to me like a 3 hour sizzle real of what Malick's style is, but as a film itself I just couldn't get into it. That could be as much to do with me as anything. And I do admire the visuals and tone quite a bit but it just wasn't enough for me, anymore than a movie loaded with dazzling visual FX won't salvage a film for me that I still feel is weak storywise. I did quite enjoy seeing so much of Jessica Chastain though!

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 12:53 p.m. CST


    by Rebel Scumb

    I wrote a spoiler warning into my post. Never the less my apologies.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 12:55 p.m. CST

    accidental shame spoiler apology

    by Rebel Scumb

    I just rechecked my post, the first 90% of it is missing, but I most definitely included a spoiler warning at the top when I originally wrote it Unfortunately the only part that got left in was the spoilery part I must have used quotes or something. I would have thought AICN would have fixed that issue by now

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 12:56 p.m. CST

    agreed choppah

    by Rebel Scumb

    The General is a masterpiece even by today's standards for stuntwork

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 12:58 p.m. CST

    Did you know the actor who plays.......

    by Brian

    ....that guy in Alien is Brian Cox???.... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ................coxxed!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 1:04 p.m. CST

    Spoiler warning?

    by Dr Eric Vornoff

    Where? Still, apology accepted. Now I'll just have to wait a few years before I watch it and your post has been erased from my mind.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 1:05 p.m. CST

    TREE OF LIFE is almost a primer for Malick movies...

    by FlickaPoo

    it retroactively helped me understand them better.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 1:05 p.m. CST

    rebel scumb

    by brad negrotto

    Interesting, I found TTOL a companion piece to TRL. I also found TTOL to be his most structured (three acts) and concise film since Badlands. I'd recommend watching it again.

  • it made explicit themes that have been woven through all his movies.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 1:12 p.m. CST

    People who complain that TREE OF LIFE is boring...

    by FlickaPoo

    leaving aside questions of intelligence and taste for a moment, I think it's fine if your mind wanders from time to time in a movie like that. It's like looking at a painting or listening to music. It's meant to trigger associations, memories, etc. Soak it in and see where it takes you.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 1:46 p.m. CST


    by Rebel Scumb

    Well I would definitely give it another shot based on my love for his other films. It is by far his most ambitious film, and I'm told personal as well since some in is (I'll avoid the risk of further spoilage today) in it is apparently very similar to expirence TM had himself. And I will never fault a film for being ambitious. I just for whatever reason did not connect with it when I saw it.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 1:48 p.m. CST

    Tree of life is for people who think they are smart.

    by Eric

    if you had any real intelligence you could see the problems this work has at its core.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 1:48 p.m. CST

    Don't you mean The DEANscendants?

    by Chicken Grease

    six seasons and a movie

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 1:51 p.m. CST


    by Rebel Scumb

    I have a friend who adored Tree of Life and saw it 4 times in the theatre who made a similar comment about the act structure. I most definitely will give it a second chance on blu-ray. I don't disagree with any of the comments made about comparing it to a painting and whatnot, It's also hard to go into a movie like that without lofty expectations, which may have impacted my enjoyment as well. All I know is as I watched it, I felt like I watching a parody of a Malick film made my the people who are normally critical of his work. The way The Thin Red Line would seem in the mind of someone who highly dislikes it. I think my immediate comment after the film was 'wow an entire film of pillow shots'

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 1:53 p.m. CST

    dr eric vernoff

    by Rebel Scumb

    Yeah upon further investigation the vasy majority of my post was erased except for the line (unfortunately the spoilery one) you saw. If it's any consellation it's not really a movie where plot matters as much as tone anyways. But still, as an adamant hater of spoilers myself, I certainly did not intend to spoil it for anyone.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Just more reasons to say fuck you to 2011.

    by DarthJedi

    Seriously? These are the best? Pathetic.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 2:23 p.m. CST

    I just dont care enough to watch Tree of Life

    by Mel

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 2:26 p.m. CST


    by Ribbons

    "Having a third party and worrying what they think and effecting your timidity of wondering if the other person is enjoying this is just fucking bothersome and belongs to redneck life." What the fuck? What does that even mean?

  • Awful.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 2:54 p.m. CST


    by Eli_Cash

    I'm not gonna curse you for your choice, but I have to say I disagree, and don't understand where you're coming from. I didn't hate sucker-punch as much as I thought I would, but I still didn't like it. It seemed like a whole lot of nothing, dressed up in video-game visuals, which is the the stylistic pattern that I most hate about Snyder. It seemed like The Escapist, but done as a crappy video-game fantasy instead. And I didn't really like the escapist that much either, but I still thought it was better than SP. This statement intrigues me tho, *what everything means and the ultimate message that, I think, even most lovers of the film don't fully realize.* Could you elaborate?

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 2:56 p.m. CST

    Critic hate.

    by Manatee

    I've never understood all the venom that people spew at film critics. Why? They watch movies for a living, are generally impartial, and many of them (especially those who pre-date the 'I'm reviewing films on my blog!' days) have a genuine understanding of film technique and aesthetic. If you find a couple of critics who share your tastes and sensibilities, you can save yourself a ton of time, money and bile.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 2:58 p.m. CST

    Not ONE mention of Bellflower???

    by Sick Fixx

    Seriously? That boggles my mind.

  • All sound like they'd make good fluff pieces for slow news days or History Channel features, but not full blown documentaries in a cinema. Except for Monkey King, which sounds like, well, nothing. Just some poor bastard filming gold foil at different speeds and lighting.

  • Now they believe they can make a film out of anything and there will be an audience for it. What's next? A documentary about the Cheese Steak Wars between Pat and Geno??? I mean, you know it would win an award SOMEWHERE at SOME festival!

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 3:09 p.m. CST

    2011 has a great pool of best actress contenders.

    by fustfick

    Tilda Swinton is my favorite for WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN. But... Charlize Theron was great in YOUNG ADULT. Kirsten Dunst was great in MELANCHOLIA. Kiera Knightly was great in A DANGEROUS METHOD. Carey Mulligan was great in both DRIVE and SHAME.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 3:12 p.m. CST

    Did you know that Baronvonpenguin...

    by angry_spacboy

    is a penguin, and is actually a Duke rather than a Baron.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 3:36 p.m. CST

    Stran that My week with Marylin is not in the lists

    by KilliK

    what gives? i thought it was going to be one of the stronger contenders in this year's oscars.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 3:36 p.m. CST

    Stran = Strange

    by KilliK

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 3:37 p.m. CST

    @lisab, regarding Tintin

    by Jay

    Is this one of those instances where people are now putting the film on such a high mantle, fully knowing it's not even supposed to be there, just to say how disappointing it was and trash it? If any of you really thought Tintin was going to be up there with the likes of The Artists, Moneyball, Tree Of Life or The Descendants, than you guys are more out of touch and misinformed than I could have ever imagined. God damn do I feel bad for you guys.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 3:47 p.m. CST

    I use to work at a theatre where critics' screenings were held...

    by Rebel Scumb

    ... I lost a lot of faith in critics when I saw how many of them showed up late for the movies (sometimes half way through!) and still wrote reviews for them. I don't completely ignore critical reception for films, and sometimes it comes in handy if I'm on the fence about seeing a movie. But otherwise I don't see their opinions as any more valid than anyone elses, and they certainly have their various bias like other people remember that whole phase Ebert went through where he would give a thumbs up to any movie with angelina jolie or piper perabo, just because he had a crush on them?

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 4:03 p.m. CST

    Workshed - Drive soundtrack

    by MegaBaz

    At the risk of wasting my time by replying to a comment about 100 posts ago, i think, Workshed, that you may have been watching one of the many bootlegs of Drive that were bouncing around online, with an incorrect soundtrack. As far as i'm aware, Badalamenti had as much to do with the soundtrack to Drive as i did, it's just that his music and some other tracks, possibly including the Eno one you mention, were glued onto it because the stolen copy didn't have a soundtrack. Which makes me wonder why on earth don't people go and see movies at the cinema anymore? Granted, it costs money, but the experience is SO much better than watching online (unless you have an IMAX laptop). Read a few reviews from reviewers you trust and you'll rarely have wasted your money. Have to say though, 2011 was the worst year for film that i can ever remember...

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 4:17 p.m. CST

    If you want to see an interesting flick

    by mrbonefish

    check out Kill List. It will at the very least get you thinking, "What the hell?". And that is a good thing.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 4:18 p.m. CST

    Yes bantuwind, that's exactly what LisaB is doing

    by D.Vader

    Pretending that everyone said Tintin was going to be the greatest movie of the year, just so that she can trash it when no one puts it on their Best of List. She tries bringing this up in many talkbacks. Its pathetic behavior, really.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 4:22 p.m. CST

    And as for seeing movies at the cinema

    by mrbonefish

    I totally agree with Megabaz. Seeing "The Immortals" at the theater blew the home version out of the water in every way.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 4:24 p.m. CST


    by shodan6672

    I was going to criticize your post. But it does a good enough of a job doing that to itself.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 4:24 p.m. CST

    @rebel scrumb

    by mrbonefish

    You are forgetting Ebert's favorite actress, J-Lo. Check out his "The Cell" review. Granted, I love the flick, but it surely isn't one he would normally endorse, much less with a 4 star.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 4:28 p.m. CST

    do you people like anything?

    by sunwukong86

    it sure doesnt seem like it, you all just insult each other for liking a movie

  • 'Cause it's the better of the two, if you ask me. It has a narrative drive that the new one lacks.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 4:38 p.m. CST


    by master_of_realty

    Easily movie of the year. Nothing else comes close.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 4:39 p.m. CST


    by UltraTron

    Thanks for clearing that up about Sucker Punch. I didn't even realize it was trying to be misogynistic what with those transvestites they had dolled up like women.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 4:44 p.m. CST


    by Baron Von Penguin

    That is still with the courts and has yet to be proven. On the other hand did you know that the actor who played Chief Brody in Jaws was not afraid of water in real life and was in actual fact Dustin Hoffman's brother who worked for some unspecified cloak and dagger internal government department that had ties to a Nazi war criminal with a passing interest in dentistry......

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 4:58 p.m. CST


    by proevad

    I would put 2011 one step up from awful. Bad is the word that I would use--but yeah--you're on the money. Struggled to put 10 on a list--and there are flawed movies even in my top 5.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 5:07 p.m. CST

    Glad "The Debt" isn't on any of those lists.

    by Jarrete Barnett

    Everything about that movie was surprisingly weak; namely the casting for instance. Only made it forty minutes in before I totally gave up on it.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 5:09 p.m. CST

    Super, Hesher, & Drive

    by shitstorm23

    Those were my favorite movies of 2011.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 5:13 p.m. CST


    by Buck Turgidson

    Film Socialisme... ugh...

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 5:20 p.m. CST


    by mayorofsmpleton

    Believe it or not film is a craft like any other. They are paid for an 'opinion' just like anybody else expressing an opinion. Ebert, for example, writes bitingly funny reviews. Regardless of his opinion of a film he delivers basic facts about it -- the story, the characters, etc. Often I've disagreed with him but I could immediately tell from his review that it was a movie I would like... despite his negative opinion. Critics aren't paid to write opinions any more than authors are paid to tell a story that is largely just their opinions in a fiction story. In each version a writer is using his/her skills with words to convey a message to the reader. In one it's a story the author has created, in another it's how a particular art project (a movie) came across to the writer. If you've ever asked a friend for advice on a movie your argument is pretty much null and void. Actually try reading a full review instead of a few taglines on a movie poster. Some film critics are very worth reading, if just for the excellent jabs or way they describe a particularly good part of a film. Paid for an opinion would merely be "X Movie = Good. Not Good. Bad. Terrible." That's not was a film critic does. I'd like to see you type 800-1000 words describing each film you see. Can't? Right. That's cause you aren't a writer. Nor a critic who studies and writes about film as an art. So shut the fuck up and bitch and moan about something worth bitching and moaning. Your words make little to no sense. I mean, is your entire post not merely your "opinion?" by your own definition we shouldn't pay any attention to your viewpoint... oh wait, it's not being paid for -- it must be accurate! ;) As he says, they aren't paid to see movies -- they're paid to write about them. They see almost every movie in a given year -- that's way bigger a sample size than just about ANY friend. Their job isn't to necessarily

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 5:22 p.m. CST

    Gee, I really loved this movie

    by Roger Moon

    Golly Beav, glad ya did.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 5:22 p.m. CST

    tell you if you'd like a film... just report on what it's about

    by mayorofsmpleton

    how well it works, pacing, structure, plot, character, character motivation, entertainment value -- usually only a minor bit of a review ends up even being legitimate "opinion" -- which is usually "Points A, B, C, D why I did/didn't dig this film. You might not agree with said points... so make up your own mind." Again. READ a few full reviews of a couple of movies you like or dislike. Not just blurbs on video sleeves.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 5:35 p.m. CST

    eli_cash and others - about Sucker Punch

    by Xen11

    I don't have time right now, gotta run. I'll start by saying that its pretty much impossible to fully get Sucker Punch during the first viewing. Similar to Inception in that you are just trying to figure out what the hell is going on during the first viewing. I also consider Shutter Island, Inception, and Sucker Punch this unofficial trilogy about the mind and reality.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 5:37 p.m. CST

    You'll get the plot

    by Xen11

    but you can't really FEEL the film upon first viewing. You have to come away from it and ponder on it a while. Then watch it again. It should get better with each viewing even though you think it won't. Inception was heavenly upon third viewing in the theater. It was very cathartic for me.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 5:38 p.m. CST

    Whereas on first viewing for both films

    by Xen11

    I didn't think they were all that. I initially thought Sucker Punch just alright on first viewing. I thought the "action" scenes were a complete bore. I initially thought Inception was just alright as well. But if you don't allow yourself to think about them, you'll never understand. Laters.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 5:40 p.m. CST

    Dr Eric is spot on in regards to critics.

    by time2323

    But I could see how one could have the same opinion of "themeofme" if their only source for critical opinions was this site.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 5:42 p.m. CST

    favorites of 2011

    by Rebel Scumb

    The movies I've really liked this year (either in terms of serious films, or just for fun popcorn factor): (and in no particular order) Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol X-men First class Sherlock Holmes 2 Thor Take Shelter The Girl with the dragon tattoo Nothin else really springs to mind. But as mentioned before, I have not seen Drive or Hugo or some of the other more talked about films yet. Is it just me or is the overall quality of feature films diminishing, while the quality of television seems to be getting better and better? When I look at the blu-rays I've bought over the past year almost all of them are for TV shows. prior to around 2004 I could barely be bothered to turn on the TV there was so little worth watching, where as I had trouble making time to see all the movies I want to. Now it feels like the ratio has reversed. Could just be me, but it seems like alot of the best writing is for television now.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 5:44 p.m. CST

    xen11, I've found that with a few films...

    by Rebel Scumb

    that it wasn't until repeat viewings I really fell in love with them, but for the most part my initial reaction to a film remains going forward, or my interesting in a movie diminishes with each subsequent viewing.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 5:48 p.m. CST

    dr eric and mayorofsmpleton

    by Bass Ackwards

    Well put, glad I scanned the talkback first. I was revving up to post similar sentiments in response to themeofme but I doubt I could have put it any better then the two of you.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 5:58 p.m. CST

    I forgot to put Planet of the apes on my list

    by Rebel Scumb

    didn't see it until homevideo but both as a movie fan and an original PotA fan I quite enjoyed it

  • it should be more a matter of how good the acting/writing/directing is, and how invested they got in the story and characters

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 6:19 p.m. CST

    buck turgidson

    by Ribbons

    I'm guessing you're not aware that Film Socialisme is directed by Jean-Luc Godard, arguably the most influential director of the last 50 years, and are instead taking issue with a certain word in the title and felt compelled to let us all know it. Because you don't need to know anything about a critic or the movies he likes in order to hate everything he stands for, apparently. However, Ignatiy Vishnevetsky IS a dope because that movie came out in 2010.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 6:27 p.m. CST

    These lists serve to remind me...

    by Chris Moody

    ...just how mediocre the quality of films were at the Box Office this year. Meh.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 6:30 p.m. CST

    I didn't like 2011 like most other years for movies.

    by Detective_Fingerling

    My top 5 : 5.) Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol 4.) Shame 3.) Melancholia 2.) Midnight in Paris 1.) Incendies For some reason, I kept wanting to add Rabbit Hole and Rango to the list, but couldn't budge on those 5. Really, any of my top 3 could be interchangeable depending on my mood. If you haven't seen Incendies yet, do yourself a favor and pick up the Blu Ray.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 6:46 p.m. CST

    thanks for the recommendation detective!

    by Rebel Scumb

    hopefully next year has more great films than this year did. Certainly blockbuster/geekwise its got quite the line up, but hopefully some good serious films as well.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 6:49 p.m. CST

    Super 8

    by crashbarbarian

    Loved it. Watched it twice in the theaters. Bummed no one else feels the same, but heck I loved Speed Racer too! My top 10 (haven't seen Drive, Warrior, and some others) most on the critics lists i've never even heard of.. i guess i'd have to live in NY or LA? anyway... 10. Immortals 9. Thor 8. Kung Fu Panda 2 7. Cowboys and Aliens 6. Transformers 3 - (so what?) 5. Adjustment Bureau 4. Moneyball 3. Rise of the Planet of the Apes 2. Hanna 1. Super 8

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 6:52 p.m. CST


    by crashbarbarian

    "These lists serve to remind me.....just how mediocre the quality of films were at the Box Office this year. Meh." - agree!

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 7:14 p.m. CST


    by Crow3711

    please tell me your list is comprised of the only ten movies you saw this year....because it is hilariously bad.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 7:25 p.m. CST

    In a perfect world, The Muppets would win them all.

    by sweeneydave

    Wait. Not a perfect world. I meant a muppet world. An alternate universe comprising totally of muppets. The Muppets (2011) would win all the awards followed closely by the Muppet version of Tree of Felt. And some loser talkbacker would be whining about how in a perfect world, The Humans (2011) should win all the awards.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 7:41 p.m. CST

    Hated Suckerpunch

    by Turingtestee

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 7:41 p.m. CST

    I loved The Tree of Life

    by Turingtestee

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 7:42 p.m. CST

    Those opinions really are worth your money

    by Turingtestee

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 8:17 p.m. CST

    If true, I can understand Sean Penn feeling off about Tree of Life

    by Turingtestee

    His adult character does not interact with anyone, and just kinda mopes around during voice-overs. Seems like it would be difficult to please oneself as an artist with such limited material.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 8:36 p.m. CST

    Kill list

    by Kill List Hammertime

    Im gonna keep banging the drum for that movie, not everyone's cuppa tea but I fucking loved it

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 8:40 p.m. CST

    Glad to see Drive and Warrior get some love.

    by SID 8.0

    I really don't know why Warrior didn't do better in the theater. It had all of the elements to do big numbers. However it's doing great on video, flying off the shelves. Drive is a little easier to understand why it didn't, still awesome though. Only one mention of Rise of the Planet Apes, My favorite of the year along with X-Men, Captain America, and Mission Impossible.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 8:51 p.m. CST

    re: Tintin

    by movieManiac

    To be fair, Tintin even in the comic books is kind of a bland character. Besides the point of the Secret of the Unicorn/Red Rackham tales was to explore Haddock's past, introduce Marlinspike and Nestor after which they become permanent fixtures in later Tintin adventures. Even though the movie is titled Tintin, think of it more as Tintin and Haddock, cause they really share the spotlight in all the comics.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 8:53 p.m. CST


    by movieManiac

    and so? whats your point? Attack the Block, Serenity, Scott Pilgrim, Kickass were all excellent movies. Just because audiences didn't love em doesn't mean much. Most of them continue to be well loved and watched.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 9:02 p.m. CST

    Nice job, LisaB

    by D.Vader

    Picking movies that have a HUGE amount of detractors on this site. Not helping your case whatsoever. It still doesn't change the fact that you walk into talkbacks bitching about a movie you never saw based on a property you hate. Makes you look real good.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 9:04 p.m. CST

    Lisab confuses AICN editors with the rest of the world

    by D.Vader

    If the editors here are excited about a movie, then it must mean the entire geek community is too. It's a very immature position. And no one said any of those things about Tintin that she mentioned. Her memory is terrible.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 9:05 p.m. CST

    2008 was the last decent year for summer movies.

    by DanielnocharismaCraig

    Which coincidentally is the year the economy tanked and Obama was voted in. 2012 should be an all around classic year for blockbusters. Combine that with a Ron Paul victory come november, I am starting to love this year already.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 9:10 p.m. CST


    by Jeff

    I disagree, but that was fantastic. I don't know if you're drunk or sober, but whichever... Stick with it. It works.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 9:37 p.m. CST

    james_camera_on - I'm stunned by xen11

    by James_Camera_On

    Sorry about the delay in responding. BTW, I'm equally stunned. :) I think the best way to quickly describe the film is that it is what One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (the movie) should have been: a retelling of the Christ-myth as a story of personal liberation and redemption, and that sometimes the only freedom and escape is to be found in the mind. It is not an easy film and it took me several viewing to get it. I personally find Snyder's comments unhelpful. I think this is one of those works of art that transcends the artist, i.e. even he doesn't grasp what he has created. What is remarkable to me is the degree to which the film transcends itself to become a story of the self-destruction of the West. I saw the film 9 times in theaters and I never failed to be moved, weepy-eyed in fact, by Sweet-Peas tentative escape at the end thanks to Baby Doll's personal sacrifice. Unlike Chief Broom, however, Sweet-Pea has "a long way to go" and it is far from certain what the outcome will be. As for your comments, I agree with them 100%. Well put. You got it. Too bad the haters didn't but the loss is theirs.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 10:01 p.m. CST

    The Best List I Can Come Up With

    by Crow3711

    1) Drive 2) Shame 3) The Tree of Life 4) Hugo 5) Martha Marcy May Marlene 6) Hanna 7) Moneyball 8) Midnight in Paris 9) The Artist 10) Crazy, Stupid, Love

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 10:02 p.m. CST

    Don't understand the love for Tree of Life or 13 Assassins

    by JacksParasites

    If you loved 13 Assassins, you'll also love Matrix Revolutions and other plotless films. And as for Tree of Life, sure it's pretty to look at but that doesn't excuse its utter meaninglessness. If someone would like to explain what this film is actually about, I'm happy to hear it, but all I got from it is that Malick can't decide between science and magic and so, like Deepak Chopra, has invented his own ridiculous amalgam of the two, thus creating a god that is completely unnecessary and really bad science. You can't have it both ways, Terry. Pick a side.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 10:14 p.m. CST

    13 assassins?

    by Jeff

    No plot? Really? It's a retelling of a thousand stories from a style that was whitewashed with watered down remakes and caricatures, and recaptured the soul of the righteous revenge movie. At least have respect for someone taking what's out there and making it better.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 10:27 p.m. CST


    by brad negrotto

    TTOL is about Jack and the lost of his brother (and God). It is with the themes of the film that things get complicated. Malick uses Jack's journey to explore guilt, a godless word, death, and Nature and Grace. I really can't give you any more than that without writing an essay on the film.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 10:29 p.m. CST

    Congratulations lisab ...

    by DrMorbius

    In just a few short months you've gone from... a CIT ... to a ... FFC. Make your mama proud!!!

  • fact

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 10:37 p.m. CST

    13 Assasins works for a couple of reasons.

    by SID 8.0

    The hero of the story is noble, the villain is one the most vile creatures anyone would want that dude dead. I put him right up there with the kid playing King Joffrey on Game of Thrones. If I saw either of them in the street I'd punch them in the face.which only proves how good they are. Toss in the incredible fight scene in the end and it's awesome.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 10:38 p.m. CST

    losing touch with the common man

    by Subtitles_Off

    At least you don't have to waste as much money on hand sanitizer that way.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 10:55 p.m. CST

    Eh - I stopped reading at "The critics say..."

    by Joaquin_Ondamoon

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 11:02 p.m. CST

    The best film of the year

    by Keith 'Drive'.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 11:22 p.m. CST

    By the way

    by Jeff

    Some jackass above stated in an all too abrupt declaration that any job in which one is paid for there opinion isn't a real job. Doctors? Lawyers? Architects? Finacial consultants? Authors? Directors? Thank god for the safe haven of the internets for poorly thought out opinions.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 11:22 p.m. CST


    by Xen11

  • Zack Snyder fully understands what he has created. He just isn't going to spell it out for everyone. I agree, in his interviews for it, he doesn't explain anything. He wants people to see it and figure it out on their own. Its a very personal film and people will see it differently. I find it fascinating that both Zack Snyder and Christopher Nolan were both working on these really personal passion projects of theirs: Sucker Punch and Inception. Both films are very similar in their message and how they creatively present it, yet very different. I also see Shutter Island as a bridge between them. An unofficial trilogy to me: Shutter Island, Inception, and Sucker Punch. All dealing with the worlds we create in our mind, which is to say that life is literally a dream, its what you make it. There is no difference between when you are dreaming and when you are awake. It's all real to you either way. Reality is a dream that you have created, you are the center of your reality, when you die reality will cease to exist. Everything is perceived through your mind. It's something I thought deeply about far before Inception came out. In a dream, we are the creator and the player all at the same time and we are not even conscious of it. We/I am my own god. I create this story and am the main character in it. I even came away from Sucker Punch with this crazy notion that Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon could sync with it like it does with The Wizard Of Oz (Sucker Punch reminded me a bit of The Wizard Of Oz). And it does. Not kidding. "Dark Side Of The Sucker Punch". That's the alternate way to view the film. I put it together. Look it up, download it if you like. For the ultimate meaning of Sucker Punch: (Please stop reading if you haven't seen the film or want to see it again and would like to think/figure it out on your own.) Baby Doll (M. Rease) displaced herself onto that girl sitting on the bed and imagined herself as her. Sweet Pea was Baby Doll's Courage and her courage was the star of the show, her escape from her physical self, her courage within her to overcome the guilt of her sister and to escape through that character that she created. Sweet Pea is her creation and she used that girl as a template. It's the same with the other girls, they are just models for the parts of Baby Doll. Baby Doll, Sweet Pea, Rocket, Blondie, Amber are all aspects of that one girl (M. Rease) (you) because you displaced yourself onto that one girl when the curtains opened. You used her as a model to project yourself on, to escape this reality. Rocket is innocence. Amber is loyalty. Blondie is fear. Baby Doll is the physical self. Sweet Pea is courage. Innocence is killed. Loyalty shattered. Fear falls away. Physical self is lobotomized. All that's left is Courage. At the very end, the physical self is defeated (Baby Doll) but the courage of the mind (Sweet Pea) lives on. And that's what this movie is saying, that it's you who holds yourself back, you determine what you are afraid of, you are capable of escaping whatever prison you are in, take the courage from your mind, from this fantasy you create, and fight. M. Rease = Memories = Mind Erase Maybe the other patient she helped to "escape" (as Madame Gorski said in an interpretive manner) is you.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 11:52 p.m. CST

    I still hated it

    by Turingtestee

    Ok, maybe I'll watch it again though.

  • Jan. 2, 2012, 11:58 p.m. CST

    I disagree with Tree being 'godless'

    by Turingtestee

    Wouldn't theophany be correct?

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 12:31 a.m. CST



    haha.... Lisab is definitely a man. just saying.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 12:37 a.m. CST

    Sucker Punch


    This was one of my favorite films of the year. I'm a little surprised how much hate it gets but after reading people's comments and reviews it becomes clear. The average human being apparently is a moron, and much stupider than Zack Snyder. People proclaim, There's no story! Wrong. They say that it's all a "video game cut-scene." Ha ha. Wrong. (The visuals are superb by cinematic standards) Or they say there is a story, but it's Too confusing! Wrong! You're just too fucking stupid! Oh! And they say There's no characters! WHAT?!

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 12:40 a.m. CST

    Why is it that Zack Snyder isn't allowed to make an impressionistic film


    but it's o.k. for Terrence Mallick (and David Lynch) Terrence Mallick = Impressionistic Drama? whatever the fuck Tree of Life is Lynch = Surrealist thriller/mystery Zack Snyders Sucker Punch = Impressionistic Action Sucker Punch > Tree of Shit

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 12:55 a.m. CST

    nobody who isn't insane thought Tin Tin would do great in the US


    many people here correctly proclaimed that it was going to tank because it has no appeal in the States. Also, the tracking accurately predicted that it would flounder so the entire industry was aware of that as well.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 1:01 a.m. CST


    by Eli_Cash

    Interesting. I don't remember enuff of the movie to determine whether I agree or not, but from what I do remember that seems like it could be true. I should probably watch it again sometime, but I really dislike the fantasy elements and cgi style. So much in fact, that I probably wouldn't have liked the movie even if I'd picked up on that theme when I first watched it. But, to each their own.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 1:05 a.m. CST

    xen11, ever seen Terry Gilliam's Brazil?

    by GordoSan#1

    It predates your trilogy by 25 years or so, but years ago I was always defending Brazil because it was always about escapism from the confines of life and what becomes of humans when society makes us all obey without question. That movie was often taken at face value, when it was meant to be something deeper. It was also a true surrealist vision... that being not random, weird events (even though many people claimed it as such), but parallels to situations in our society as shown through another universe... one that Burton basically called Gotham City a few years later. What a rip-off artist Burton can be. Anyway, I admit that I have yet to see Sucker Punch. I just thought your defending of those movies reminded me of myself defending Brazil so many years ago.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 3 a.m. CST


    by Xen11

    I actually just saw the first 15 minutes for the first time about a month ago. I was stunned, it was absolutely beautiful. It was playing on television, so it may have been fullscreen and I don't watch movies that way, though I'll casually check something out. Even if it may have been widescreen, I wanted to wait to view it on a HighDefTV when I purchase one. Brazil is something I'm very much looking forward to experiencing as soon as I get a home theater set up.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 7:04 a.m. CST

    RE: Sucker Punch

    by Joaquin_Ondamoon

    I squealed like a fanboy when I saw the trailer for this movie: the visuals were stunning. Never got to see it in the theater, but bought it the week it came out on blu ray. Wow, was I disappointed. Yes, there's a story there, somewhere. I can only describe it as 'Showgirls' meets 'Watchmen'. I shut it off about halfway thru - honestly because it was late, and I was tired (hate to sound like Harry, there). But to me that says something, because if I had found it worthwhile I would have stayed up to finish it. Now, I actually like Synder and I loved 'Watchmen', but I haven't felt any need to revisit this. Perhaps I will eventually.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 9:13 a.m. CST

    moviemaniac, thanks for the clarification . . .

    by Rob Jenson

    . . . re: Tintin. Knowing that Haddock is such a big player on the printed page helps explain why they made the choices they did. I really did enjoy the movie and recommend it, but the fact that Tintin SPOILER doesn't play a pivotal role in the climax really, really annoys me, whether it stemmed from the comics or not. He's the main character! He should do SOMETHING at the end! Aaargh! Especially because Tintin had been so cool and proactive, the perfect boy detective and excellent movie hero, till that point. That said, I'm really looking forward to the sequel (and hoping for some sort of fan edit that fixes what I see as problems in the last third of Tintin 1. Anyone willing to take up that challenge? I'll be watching.).

  • Despite the OVERWHELMING opinion of the Talkbackers that Tintin is not well known in the US and it would have a hard time being a blockbuster *here* (but definitely not overseas). So a minority of people said Tintin would be a hit, and you have to factor in a margin of error bc there are lots of crazy people here who shout all kinds of crazy things, so an even smaller percentage of talkbackers were hyping Tintin up to be the best thing since sliced bread, according to Lisab (And for the record, I NEVER saw anyone say such things, and while that doesn't mean those comments don't exist, its been proven over and over again that LisaB has a completely shit memory). So like I said, a small percentage of talkbackers may have said this, and yet... LisaB feels the need to come into every talkback and bring up Tintin as some badge of honor. Congratulations. When compared to three talkbackers, you were right. Like I said up above- pathetic.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 10:14 a.m. CST

    I hate to sound naive, but.......

    by david starling

    .......I have seen for a long time now that people, when they want to strike at the heart of an argument on this site, will bring to light the earnings a movie makes. Also, as in this article, professional critics opinions are being brought to the fore. So where does this site stand then, when Harry and co shout from the rooftops of the classics, of which were chastised in their heyday, that flopped then, critically and commercially, only to find their audience years later? When I state this of course, a film that springs to mind instantly is John Carpenter's The Thing - another is Big Trouble in Little China, from John Carpenter again. I've probably lost my point somewhat, but the thing is, the above two movies tanked chronically when they were released - so shouldn't they be viewed as lesser films, as those being compared to their earnings are now? Or perhaps - just perhaps - this site, and its talkbackers, have lost the fight. That a large portion couldn't give a flying monkeys about whether they actually enjoyed the film - that its all about whether everyone agreed with you, and hey, if they didn't, then shut-up and shuffle-on, you made a mistake. Kudos to those sticking up for Suckerpunch. If they enjoyed the movie, and find their own meanings within it, kudos to them. The same as well, to those who enjoyed the Tree of Life, Drive, or Tintin, or whatever. All I'm saying is, watch and enjoy what you want to. Don't be pushed by hype, or cause, or whatever.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 10:15 a.m. CST

    Anybody who voted on DRIVE to be on top are right.

    by AsimovLives

    What a fantastic movie.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 10:17 a.m. CST

    d.vader, you found your new nemesis.

    by AsimovLives

    how does it fel to have a nemesis?

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 10:21 a.m. CST

    It's fun, Asi

    by D.Vader

    By the way, I think she's your nemesis too. She hates Drive!

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 10:21 a.m. CST

    choppah, you ever read the TINTIN comics?

    by AsimovLives

    they are quite fun to read, and ocasionally pretty intelligent too. If you feel so, your first should be the two parter that tells the story how Tintin went to the moon. Brillant stuff. That it's a two part story is alos a nod and reference to the two Jules Verne books that also tell the story of voyage to the moon. It's no coincidence. I remember reading Tintin when i was younger. Asmany of you i here already knew, Tintin is huge overseas from the USA. And huge barely defines how big it is.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 10:25 a.m. CST

    Or rather, Asi...

    by D.Vader

    She pissed on Drive. She'd be sure to make a differentiation so I will too.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 11:24 a.m. CST


    by golden tribw

    What a primitive.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 11:27 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    She dies!!! Valhalla Rising style. Man, her opinion of Valhalla Rising must be a dozy!

  • ... but on the other hand, the name of Spielberg still carries a lot of commercial weight.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 11:38 a.m. CST

    So Asi, does that mean...

    by D.Vader

    She gets clubbed over the head? Or gutted by bare hands?

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 11:40 a.m. CST

    I loved the Tintin cartoon, Asi

    by D.Vader

    The one on HBO. Never saw the books in any stores growing up, but I did on my trips to Europe. Never picked one up, though I'd love to read them now.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 12:27 p.m. CST

    This was a good year for family movies that appealed to adults

    by kidicarus

    Hugo, The Muppets, War Horse, Tin Tin, Rango, any more?

  • I never have - think its silly to do so. Nor does the box office total ever really have the final word on whether or not there's a sequel. Many movies have had crap box office totals and still received a sequel (or two). <p> But in regards to TinTin (which will probably get a sequel just because it's Spielberg and Jackson), $310 million is by no means a success yet on the profit front. Movies need to make somewhere around twice their budget (if not more) to show a profit. The budget for TinTin has not yet been released, but I'd guess it was $200 million minimum and probably somewhere north of that. After worldwide video sales and television rights are done I'm sure it will make money, but I wouldn't be so positive that it's doing so right now.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 4:14 p.m. CST

    The Artist Is a movie Lover's Movie.

    by cookylamoo

    But nobody much likes the French.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 4:35 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    it was not his bare hands, One-Eyed used the tip of the arrow he found before which he used to free himself.

  • and admit it, the french can do make good cool movies, and thankfully not bogged down my problems of morality or sex as the american movies suffer from.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 4:45 p.m. CST

    Oh yeah, that's right

    by D.Vader

    But he did use his bare hands to actually pull out the guts, right? Besides, its more gruesome to think he used his nails.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 4:45 p.m. CST

    Oh yeah, that's right

    by D.Vader

    But he did use his bare hands to actually pull out the guts, right? Besides, its more gruesome to think he used his nails.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 9:09 p.m. CST

    Anybody ever play World of Warcraft?


    On a role playing server? You create a character on a rp server and walk towards Stormwind and then a female night elf walks up to you and starts flirting with you. And it's a man controlling the female character, he's role playing as a person with a vagina. This is what Lisab is doing but in the fanboy universe.

  • Jan. 3, 2012, 10:28 p.m. CST

    Warrior and Drive

    by Cruzboy

    are my picks. And Star Wars The Old Republic.. I know, it's not a movie, but on the other hand, go fuck yourself. :0)

  • and my avatar in the game is female. the reason why so is because i find it more pleasant to look at a pretty female then a male, and it's loads of fun to see the mission female characters flirt with my female avatar. it's hot lesbian good!

  • as you know, it introduces the character of Irene Adler, and boy did they chosed the right actress for the role! you will fall inlove just by hearing her hot british accent. and then you also get to see her naked. i doubt you got to see rachael mcadams naked in the Robert Downey Jr's Sherlock Holmes movies, have you? Man, Lara Pulver is one hot (and damn talented) lady!

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 3:47 a.m. CST

    Good to see "Tree Of Life" on virtually every list!

    by RedJester

    Hands down my favorite film this year!

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 5:53 a.m. CST

    Suckerpunch sucked rancid moose balls


    It's the action equivalent of Showgirls.

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 7:59 a.m. CST

    Tree Of Life...

    by horvak

    watching it was more like contemplating my navel on the "Tree Of Woe"..... utter shite

  • i do not berate much the people who couldn't enjoy it, because it's not the easiest movie to get into. But if you do, you are in for a movie treat most certainly unlike you have seen before, specialy if you are not into 70s cinema.

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 10:01 a.m. CST

    I liked Sucker Punch up until the middle of the third action piece.

    by Detective_Fingerling

    I just found myself wanting to get the action over with to move on with the story because nothing of real value to the story happened during the action. I still purchased it on Bluray when it came out, but it definitely lost steam as it went on. And can someone explain a certain part in Tree of Life to me? ***SPOILER*** What was the significance/meaning behind the boy going into the house, taking the women's underwear and then letting it go in the stream? I wanted to love ToL, as that and Melancholia were the two movies I was most looking forward to in 2011, but ToL just felt very tedious. The person who said that the last 20 minutes was like one long perfume commercial was spot on.

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 10:10 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    the way i see it, the kid going to the hot neighbour and stealing her nightgrom and let it float downstream is pretty much a representation of the transgressions we all do, both in though and in actions, when we reach adolescence, are flooded with hormones and make us act and think like total idiots. The kid does a transgression, and he lets the vidence of his crime, the article he stole, float away as getting rid of the evidence. which doesn't help, because he still is riddled with remorses. Basically, that sequence and the one where the same kid goes on a destructive rampage with his pals of the same age, are a depcition of that time in your lives when we truly lose our innocence, our adolescence, and the shit that goes though us all because of the raging hormones and because, despite the best efforts of even the most dedicated of parents, we are so ill repared to face life, and all lessons came with a price and a pain attached to it. For some, the pain and shame never goes away. Which is, i believe, the point about Sean Penn's character as the same kid but as an adult. I hope this helped. It's my view of it, anway, for all it's worth.

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 10:45 a.m. CST

    That helped a lot Asi

    by Detective_Fingerling

    was basically what I thought when I watched it. Just felt like every scene had so much room to breath and then the nightgown/rampage stuff was so quick and fast that it may have had some other meaning. Definitely hear what you're saying.

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 10:51 a.m. CST

    Critics are abunch of pretentious assholes

    by masteryoda007

    Nuff said.

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 12:53 p.m. CST

    masteryoda007, that's a silly absolute statement.

    by AsimovLives

    In fact, all critics are movie geeks, that's why they do what they do. some of them might have a different set of references either because they have a more intellectual approach to film review (thou those are far less then you might think), some went to film school (contrary to popular belief, film school does exist just to create directors, it's far more wider then that, and one thing film school trains is film criticism and semiotics), and some are just like the average movie geek. some critics are so fucked up there is no difference between them and the average low-brow michael bay/jarjar abrams action movie junkie fanboy. you statement above doesn't make any sense.

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 1:14 p.m. CST

    Jar Jar Abrams is a talentless hack

    by Asimov_Lives

    Nuff said!

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 1:20 p.m. CST

    When I was a young tot growin up in Borgo

    by Asimov_Lives

    I used to steal ladys undergarmints and take them back to my tree fart and blew a load in them.


  • Jan. 4, 2012, 4:25 p.m. CST

    go fuck youself

    by AsimovLives

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 5:49 p.m. CST

    JJ Abrams isn't overrated, but he does have hits and misses

    by kidicarus

    Seriously, why hate on Abrams when directors like McG and Michael Bay exist, who should have concentrated movie fan hate directed at them at all times of the day?

  • Jan. 4, 2012, 6:25 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Just because there are other hacks around doesn't make JarJar Abrams any less so. McG is shit, Bay is shit, and Abrams is shit. They're all shit.