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Harry's Top Ten Films of 2011...

 

Before I get into my top ten, I have to comment upon the maddeningly depressing exploration of emotionally numb films that seem to be showing up on a great deal of film critics’ best of lists.   The “AWARD FILM SCREENERS” that deluge us critics at the end of the year, in 2011, felt like the biggest bummer festival in many a year.   End of the year lists are always so terribly pretentious because everyone making them has seen different films, had different years – and for me…   2011 was an incredibly brutal year.  The first 3 months of the year, I didn’t see a film in a theater due to the spinal surgery that I had to go through, pretty much exactly a year ago, this January 13th.    

 

Due to the regimen of therapy & rehab – I found myself seeing less films theatrically than I have.   Video on Demand and Studio sent screeners meant that I could enjoy a great deal of new cinema from the comfort of my home.   Being out in public when you feel like shit, well, it keeps you out of theaters.   At least it did me this year.  But be reassured, I’ve seen just about everything.  I’ve loved a lot of popcorn films this year, some that my fellow critics hated, but then…  they’re not Harry.   And thankfully, I’m not them.  

 

The following 10 films represent the 10 films that I not only feel are absolutely excellent works of cinema, but that you might actually want to BUY – because they’re truly wonderful films that you would share with fellow film lovers and mark the year with.   They come from the theatrical releases, along with the film festival screenings that I attended.  There will be films on this list that will be released later on this year in the United States, but if anything, that should tell you that if you truly love film, you should make the effort to attend a film festival or two a year, just to flush out your film experiences.   After all, if you’re only watching films that get distribution – you’re possibly missing the best films of the year, because the films that get distribution, those only represent the films that the studios marketing departments can figure out how to maybe make money on.   Their best guesses. 

 

Here are the 10 films I take with me from 2011.   To me, they represent the best films I saw this year.

 

      

 

10.  ATTACK THE BLOCK

 

I didn’t get to see this film at SXSW, where the online army of critics embraced it, humped its leg and I just had to believe that it couldn’t possibly be true.   ATTACK THE BLOCK was the best young adventure film of the year that wasn’t directed by Martin Scorsese.   And the year had SUPER 8 and TINTIN that were also outstanding youthful adventure films, but ATTACK THE BLOCK felt new, refreshing and vitally progressive in a way that the other two felt nostalgic.    Joe Cornish’s directorial debut is highlighted by the discovery of John Boyega, who plays Moses.   A street thug that aspires to be the big man on his block.  Moses and his friends start off as the sort of street bastards that most audience members would express zero sympathy with…  but over the course of the story, we learn more about Moses, from his apartment, from his own mouth and mostly through his actions.  Moses is a leader.   Ultimately, this film is one of the best action films of 2011, one of the best suspense films of 2011 and one of the best first films of the year.  

 

 

 

9.  WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN

 

Back in 2002, director Lynne Ramsay made MORVERN CALLAR with Samantha Morton as the titular character – and grabbed my attention.   WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN is a brilliantly frightening film that could scare folks from ever wanting to have children.   Tilda Swinton plays a tormented mother, who’s son went on a killing spree at his High School.  Much of the film takes place as she is victimized in the town that holds her accountable for her son’s actions.   We see much of the story as a series of flashbacks, watching Kevin as a toddler, a pre-teen and as an increasingly dangerous teenager.   Swinton’s performance is my pick for Best Actress of 2011.   She is incredible in this film.   Ezra Miller’s teenage Kevin is another superior performance that should be strongly considered for Best Supporting Actor.   I also feel strongly that the Music by Jonny Greenwood be considered as one of the best scores of 2011.  Seamus McGarvey’s cinematography and Joe Bini’s editing are also quite superior.   I really fell in love with this film, which takes a very smart look at the nightmare child we hope to never raise.

 

                  

 

8.  THE TREE OF LIFE

 

Terrence Malick’s TREE OF LIFE is a cinematic experience, a cinematic memory…  Malick plays with the huge themes we consider in life.   Be they the essence of life and death, the beginning and the end, our familial legacies, the progress of the modern world as it is contrasted by the world of 50 to 60 years ago.   Praising the cinematography of a Terrence Malick film is very nearly redundant.   It is what his films do best.   Lubezki is one of our finest cinematographers working today, and this is his best work to date.   There are images and camera movements that left me breathless by their elegance and beauty.   This is a film that requires your complete attention.   This is High Cinema.   I’ve seen the film over 5 times this year & every viewing I see new things and think different thoughts.   Truly a great work of art.

 

                        

 

 

7.  HEADHUNTERS

 

As far as featured Best Actors in the films I saw in 2011, Aksel Hennie’s Roger Brown from Norway is the only actor that even approaches the awesome of Liam Neeson’s turn in THE GREY.   Hennie’s Roger Brown in his documented life is a Headhunter, finding talented executives for companies wanting the best executive talent in the world.   He’s confident, charismatic and smooth.   This is all a veneer though.   He has a stunningly beautiful wife, quite taller than himself.  His sense of inadequacy and paranoia about being good enough for her motivates his real source of wealth, which is as a brilliant Art Thief.   I’ll simply say things take a whole lot of wrong turns for Roger – and Aksel Hennie just is so impressive.   Being pushed into situations that begins to make him take his entire life into perspective and it is beautiful.    This film is being remade in the U.S. and the film does have distribution, playing limited engagements this April.   Which is so deserved.   I feel that Aksel Hennie is going to be a very well known actor.   He's amazing to watch on film.   I can't wait to see him in more.  Also check him out in MAX MANUS.   Such a great little film.

 

                                

 

6.  A BOY & HIS SAMURAI

 

If you haven’t seen Yoshihiro Nakamura’s GOLDEN SLUMBER and FISH STORY, just know that FISH STORY is available on Netflix right now, and you’ll begin to discover a filmmaker that is basically unknown in the western world according to about 98% of their critics, but those few folks that have taken in his films, well they will never miss another.   Massawyrm went gaga in love with FISH STORY in a fashion that is highly appropriate for anyone that has ever seen it.   That said, as pervasively awesome as FISH STORY is – I love A BOY & HIS SAMURAI even more.    Like MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, it involves fantastical time travel, meaning time travel that doesn’t require technology…   Here, it comes in answer to a prayer to Buddha…   In MIDNIGHT IN PARIS it comes simply by hitching a ride.   The notion of a feudal era Samurai coming forward in time, being adopted by a modern day single mother and young boy living in Tokyo…  only to find his true calling in life as a brilliant dessert chef…  well, you probably can’t imagine the metaphysical perfection that this film effortless squirts out of every microscopic part of its emulsion, but it is there all the same.    People that talk about the joy of THE ARTIST – should probably see the superior 0SS 117 films those filmmakers made prior to that, and then behold the very real brilliance of Nakamura.   That I didn’t get a great PIXAR film in 2011, well, it was ok, because I got to see A BOY & HIS SAMURAI.   It doesn’t get much better than this!

 

 

5.  THE GREY

 

I know, party foul, this film is not a film about fist fighting wolves.   I know that’s what the trailers tell you, but this film features two of the very best performances I saw in 2011.   Liam Neeson delivers one of his very best performances ever, if not his very best work for Carnahan’s tale of a man that was a heavy finger from death, but will fight with everything he has to stay alive.   The best acted scene of 2011 is Liam Neeson preparing a man for his own death.  The scene is just simply riveting.   The power in Neeson’s face, voice, eyes…  it captivates every character in the scene and the whole of the audience watching it.   That this film wasn’t played in NY & LA to qualify for this year’s Academy Awards, may go down as one of the worst Publicity mistakes in years.   Once y’all see this film, let’s all work to make sure that 2012’s awards don’t overlook this stunning work.    And it isn’t all Liam.   Frank Grillo’s John Diaz is a tremendous supporting performance that when taken in combination with Grillo’s work in WARRIOR – Frank Grillo is going to be an actor to watch, he’s going to get a lot of attention for his work in THE GREY.  Joe Carnahan fought back after A-TEAM with a film that is simply so far and away his best work, that it forces me to think of Carnahan as a filmmaker that from this point forward has a heavy task of making a film better than this.   It won’t be easy, but I look forward to seeing him try.

 

                                            

 

4.  I SAW THE DEVIL

 

It played at Fantastic Fest 2010, but I didn’t see it till it was theatrically released in 2011, so I find it here.   Director Jee-Woon Kim first caught my attention with his segment of 3 EXTREMES, then when I saw THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE WEIRD – I lost my mind with his show-stopping visual flair.   I loved his A TALE OF TWO SISTERS, but nothing in his career prepared me for I SAW THE DEVIL, which is the best Serial Killer cat & mouse flick I’ve seen in ages.   You can see this on Netflix right now.  Do so.   The serial killer who makes the unfortunate hunting choice of killing Byung-hun Lee’s bride is played by Min-Sik Choi (you know him better from OLDBOY) and as Byung torments him, you’ll see a brilliant performance come  out of Min-sik Choi.   The way this film plays is just brutally invigorating as a work of suspense.   Byung-hun Lee’s extraordinarily talented special agent has focused his amazing talents on revisiting the torment and horror that Min-Sik had put his victims through…  but a hundred times worse.   I’ve shown this film to more people this year than any other.   It is great.

 

                                                  

3.  TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY

 

The director of LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, knocks another one out of the park, and for a bit of time, I felt this was my pick for the best film of 2011.   I can still make the argument for it.   Gary Oldman is riveting in the film.   It is amazing what this film does for him as an actor.   To bottle up the mania that we know he is capable of, to bottle up all of the fierce intelligence that he’s capable of – and to express it in glances…   you see everything in his face, that the others in the film can’t read.   His George Smiley is one of my favorite characters on screen this year.   I never questioned the reality of the film, it felt real to me.   I love that the camera doesn’t go nuts.   That the film is told in a fashion that rewards those that pay attention, but most of all – I just love how rich the performances are.   Mark Strong, John Hurt, Toby Jones, David Dencik, Ciaran Hinds, Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch and a small army of supporting players that are each absolutely wonderful in their respective roles.   In many ways the finest crafted film of the year.   Just wonderful, I could watch it repeatedly and will.

 

                                                      

2.  MIDNIGHT IN PARIS

 

I instantly fell in love with this film.   Woody Allen hit pay dirt with MIDNIGHT IN PARIS – a film that plays as wish fulfillment.   I think increasingly we are becoming disillusioned with the time in which we live and Woody explores this theme, believing that in all times, people yearn to live in what they consider a golden era.   For me, I have always wanted to live in the 1930’s & 40’s.   I love the style, the attitude and the period of film like no other.   To live through the birth of sound, color, the advent of cinemascope…   That said, I believe I was meant to live in exactly the times in which I am living.   From my spinal surgery to my website – had I not been exactly where I was at the time I was given, the alternative might have been quite frightening.    Whimsical Woody is amongst my favorites – and for the first time since PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO he nails it exquisitely.   I’ve seen this film upwards of 10 times this year.   It gets better on every viewing, becoming a film I just want to watch…  and look forward to those future viewings.

 

                                                            

1.  HUGO

 

This is no surprise to anyone that knows me.   When the film first played at the New York Film Festival, I had multiple friends in attendance that tweeted at me, IM’d me and they each said that the movie made them feel like they were Harry Knowles loving a movie completely as they watched it.   Some of these folks had a high degree of cynicism…  So I didn’t know entirely what to make of their statements, but then I went to the Alamo South on that fateful morning that I first saw HUGO and fell in love with the film like I fell in love with GODS & MONSTERS, CINEMA PARADISO and MALENA.    It felt like I was getting a hug from Martin Scorsese and at first it was just so damn fucking weird to be getting a cinematic hug from Scorsese…   but then I decided, wow…  This is Scorsese’s cinematic soul laid bare.    HUGO is the first brilliant 3D film.   Thelma Schoonmaker, Scorsese and Robert Richardson gave the world of cinema a master’s class on how to use this very old, but constantly new technology.   This film should win Best Picture, Best Cinematography, Film Editing, Directing, Production Design and more.   It is simply Scorsese showing that a brilliant director can master any genre.   Do not let this film escape you.  

 

 

That’s it for this year’s list.   As usual I do not do Honorable Mentions or Runner ups…  I just feel that a Top Ten should be exactly that.   Telling folks what missed the Top Ten is just…  well not where I want the focus to be.   These are the 10 films I take from 2011 into my life for always.   In all, I feel there were some wonderful films that didn’t make this list – and I might do a list of my favorite Popcorn flicks of 2011, if anyone is interested.   But for me – these are the films I hug hardest this year.

Readers Talkback
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  • Jan. 6, 2012, 10:33 p.m. CST

    Foist?

    by KonkBob

  • Jan. 6, 2012, 10:34 p.m. CST

    Gettin my popcorn ready, the bodyslams are a 'commin

    by zillabeast

  • Jan. 6, 2012, 10:35 p.m. CST

    THE GREY

    by jimmiescoffee

    sorry buddy, but putting this on your list invalidates the whole thing. its a 2012 release 7 days a week. learn the rules fuck.

  • Jan. 6, 2012, 10:38 p.m. CST

    WARRIOR I think topped my year-end list

    by zillabeast

    Rocky-lite, but still better than 99% of all the other junk released last year

  • Jan. 6, 2012, 10:42 p.m. CST

    sorry to hear that

    by jimmiescoffee

    that movie flawed more than your last physical.

  • Jan. 6, 2012, 10:43 p.m. CST

    Dragon Tattoo is Swedish

    by James

    No need to apologize to Fincher, Harry.

  • Jan. 6, 2012, 10:45 p.m. CST

    Very similar top 3, Harry...

    by Box_Bruceleitner

    Tinker, Tailor was in my top spot, followed by Hugo and then Warrior. I am so disappointed that Warrior just never found an audience, I wanted to stand up and cheer a few times while watching it in theatres and Tom Hardy deserves awards recognition. Nick Nolte should get a nod but Hardy was INTENSE.

  • Jan. 6, 2012, 10:46 p.m. CST

    Hugo is the first film to use 3D correctly

    by ZoeFan

    That said, overall I still think of it as a gimmick.

  • There's nothing grounded in reality during the "Midnight" portions of the film and it never tries to tell you that there is. I dug the weirdness of that idea - almost felt like the younger Woody Allen was making movies again. <p> Unfortunately, Rachel McAdams plays an annoying wife so well that she actually annoyed me whenever she came back on screen. I just wanted to watch the Owen Wilson scenes. <p> Also, and this is a BIG gripe, I HATED the overly happy, plucking jazzy guitar music that played through most of the movie. It drew WAY too much of your attention to the fact that it was playing again... and again.... and again... I like jazz, too, and I get the connection to Woody and Paris. But it was just too much.

  • Jan. 6, 2012, 10:47 p.m. CST

    Jimmiescoffee

    by LowDevil

    The Grey has been playing at a number of film festivals already and will be wide in 12. If i saw it in 11 it would then mean the obvious.

  • Jan. 6, 2012, 10:48 p.m. CST

    Really? I found I SAW THE DEVIL to be...

    by Purple_Tentacle

    gratuitous, indulgent, frustrating and tedious. And, most surprisingly, both visually and thematically banal. But yes, a good performance from a great actor.

  • Jan. 6, 2012, 10:54 p.m. CST

    @Jimmiescoffee LEARN HOW TO READ, DUMBASS!

    by Candice

    To me, they represent the best films I saw this year

  • Jan. 6, 2012, 10:55 p.m. CST

    Weird to see...

    by djscott95

    Harry love a film that critics love but nerds hate in "Tinker Tailor". He normally falls on the film geek side of things rather than the high brow critic side of things... Most other critics I trust have hated this thing... but I guess I'll see it. But I have more than once heard it called "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, SNOOZE"... ... and the best film of the year isn't on this list. It is, in fact, "Martha Marcy May Marlene", with "Bellflower" close behind.

  • Jan. 6, 2012, 10:57 p.m. CST

    djscott

    by Box_Bruceleitner

    Tinker, Tailor is phenomenal, I was blown away by how much I enjoyed it, definitely go see it if you have a chance.

  • Jan. 6, 2012, 11 p.m. CST

    jimmiescoffee

    by mrwho

    They come from the theatrical releases, along with the film festival screenings that I attended. There will be films on this list that will be released later on this year in the United States....

  • Jan. 6, 2012, 11:05 p.m. CST

    I thought Hugo was pretty much the best too

    by CherryValance

    I still have movies to see unfortunately so I can't say for sure. I loved WARRIOR but was so-so on TTSS. I thought the ensemble acting was great but the movie was missing something. I never got caught up. Same with MIDNIGHT IN PARIS. I thought it was kinda bad in spots. I wanted another hour of TREE OF LIFE, so it's incomplete to me. WE TALK ABOUT KEVIN was really good. And ATTACK THE BLOCK was great. I'm really hoping 2012 is better because I was mostly underwhelmed by 2011. You've have a tough 2011. I'm glad you made it. :)

  • Jan. 6, 2012, 11:19 p.m. CST

    Good to see "I Saw the Devil" on this list

    by Toe Jam

    Does anyone know if it will be eligible for best foreign language film at the Academy Awards? I could see it winning if the very out-of-touch voters can get past the liberal amount of violence. Also, I enjoyed "Midnight in Paris," but it wasn't nearly as great as the critics led me to believe. It seems pretty obvious -- news flash! -- that Woody Allen has some deep-seated issues with females. Most of his films portray them as temptresses, adulterers, shrews or innocents easily influenced by others. "Midnight in Paris" would have been much better if Rachel MacAdams' character wasn't such a one-dimensional, materialistic, grating harpy. Would have made it more interesting if Owen Wilson's character had to choose between his love of Paris and a woman he actually loved, rather than a cheating, uninteresting cunt.

  • Jan. 6, 2012, 11:19 p.m. CST

    HEADHUNTERS is great.

    by Jarek

    Saw it at AFM. Very cool movie.

  • Jan. 6, 2012, 11:24 p.m. CST

    That Hugo poster is AWFUL!

    by Powers Boothe

    Which country was it used for?

  • Jan. 6, 2012, 11:25 p.m. CST

    Warrior

    by Toe Jam

    Don't really understand all the love this movie got, especially from the AICN crowd, which usually doesn't embrace cliche-riddled sports movies. It was well-made and had good performances all-around -- Nolte and Hardy, in particular -- but just wasn't compelling or very interesting. I really wanted to like it, and it fell short. Gavin O'Connor's earlier sports movie, "Miracle," was much, much better, in my opinion. That one and "Toy Story 3," I think, are about the only movies that have brought me damn near to tears in the last 10 years.

  • Jan. 6, 2012, 11:27 p.m. CST

    WOW... That Hugo poster is bad

    by ZoeFan

    Talk about mailing it in

  • Jan. 6, 2012, 11:30 p.m. CST

    Is "Hugo" really all that great?

    by Toe Jam

    The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford," "Zodiac," "Inglorious Basterds," "The Illusionist" and "Drive" are my favorite films from the last few years, if that is any indication of whether or not I'll like "Hugo.

  • Jan. 6, 2012, 11:32 p.m. CST

    Hugo is a movie lover's film

    by ZoeFan

    The trailers don't do the film justice because it would give away too much

  • The only film on Harry's list I've seen is "Hugo," which kind of saddens me. I intend to correct the issue regarding "Attack the Block" soon. Those of us who live in cities that aren't Austin, L.A. or New York and don't make a living as film critics who get sent screeners, have a very limited access to films on most critic's "best of" lists. It can be frustrating. Sometimes you just want to read a Top Ten list from someone who got to see the same movies you got to see. For example, almost everyone I know has "Captain America" on their Top Ten list. Maybe you should run that "Popcorn Top Ten" list, Harry. Popcorn movies are the movies most of America see. I still really love "Warrior," even though it hasn't made a single Top Ten list I've read on the Internet.

  • Jan. 6, 2012, 11:43 p.m. CST

    Hugo and Attack the Block

    by Boxcutter

    One is a thing of genuine beauty, the other is a nifty little thriller - but the glaring difference between the two are the performances of the kids. Hugo and his lass were so stilted and wooden sometimes it looked like they were reading cue-cards. Marty hasn't directed that many kids in pivotal roles other than Jodie in "Taxi Driver" and the boy in "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore", just sayin'. But the visuals, the technical artistry and the sheer love of the material and its significance raised the film.

  • Jan. 6, 2012, 11:48 p.m. CST

    Xen11's Top 11 of 2011

    by Xen11

    Xen11's Top 11 of 2011 Really, it's all the films I've seen in theaters in 2011 (27 films) ranked from my favorite to least. 11/11/11 just sounds better for the title. The date is when I saw it. Some movies I saw twice. Some movies were seen back to back. In my brief words on each, there may be allusions to spoilers, but not really. It's really the themes I might talk about, a few vague descriptions of affecting moments, and not any real plot twists or spoilers, but some can be misconstrued as such if you haven't seen the movie. With Tron: Legacy, technically it came out last year, but I saw a repeat viewing this year. So it doesn't make the list, but if it stayed in, I would probably have to put it as number two. Maybe one. It would be a top entry. It's just a perfect film. It's heavenly. It's like something procured from my dreamworld. ****Tron: Legacy 3D - January 25**** As for 2010, I would have Inception, Shutter Island, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, and Tron: Legacy as some of the top movies. The first three in this list are pretty much deserving of the top spot. SUCKER-PUNCH April 3 April 19 - You either like to think or you don't think. You either got it or you didn't, even though you like to think you did. When the curtain opens, you either projected yourself onto the person you saw or you were just there to watch, hoping it'll just get your rocks off. If you are one of the majority of people that say, "Yea, I got it, but..." no, you didn't and probably never will. The misunderstood response from the masses solidifies the movie as one of the all-time great cult movies. Bonus: It's Dark Side Of The Moon compilation, Dark Side Of The Sucker-Punch, elevates it to something meta, and is an alternate way to view the film. X-MEN: FIRST CLASS June 7 - Wow. If you don't like this movie, then fuck you. One of the greatest ever. I had always wished for a superbly emotional Magneto movie and this is it and more. RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES (2011) August 29 - I'm speechless. Holy fucking phenomenal character piece and a pure emotional journey. Perfect parallel of how the world hates intelligence and tries to restrain it from rising to the top. This and X-Men First Class are very similar in the themes of a religious/redneck/hateful world vs. an intelligent/loving existence. FRIGHT NIGHT (3D) (2011) August 28 September 1 - I absolutely hold the original dear and holy. This is a different version of Fright Night. I loved how, like the original, the characters were smart and had logical reactions. I fell in love with every character. I love the setting, the tone, the music, the characters, the atmosphere. Everything just gelled so right and there's just something about it as a whole that I fucking love. Much like the original at its time, I feel this one at this time, is a classic in a similar sense. This movie was the final nail in the coffin that made me realize that I don't dread the coming of remakes/reboots anymore, I now invite them in. (They do sometimes suck though.) THOR (3D) May 10 - Fucking epic. That's how it should be done, visually, emotionally, artistically. The villain was actually awesome and sympathetic, unlike most movies. I give the props to Zack Stentz and Ashley Edward Miller, the writers of Thor and X-Men: First Class and wrote some superb Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. They know how to write characters and they hit another one out of the fucking stratosphere. SCREAM 4 April 14 Midnight showing - Saw it at first midnight showing, the way its meant to be seen, with a full crowd of fans, all seeing it for the first time. What a fucking thrill this movie was. Pretty much what I was hoping for. The fun of figuring things out, the familiar faces, the likable new ones, the twists and turns and shocks (all figurative and literal). Loved that it was about how the new generation is just fueling itself off the former, loved the commentary, loved how fucked up it got, and loved how it diverted my expectations as to who survives and dies. That was a one time experience that can never be outdone. There's something about this series that is extremely powerful in a thrilling, adrenalistic, pop-culture way. I hope they use time-travel in the 5th...the last 10 minutes of this movie should turn out to be just a dream. THE GREEN HORNET 3D (2011) February 2 - Superbly done movie. Felt like a delicately handled pilot for a big budget tv series, and that's a very good thing. It felt like watching a good series from television, much like it should. I really enjoyed this flick and the two main actors/characters and their chemistry. Bring on more with this level of quality. TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT March 6 - I love the '80s. I love Topher Grace. I love his girlfriend (Teresa Palmer). I love Michael Biehn. I love this movie. A throwback to those '80s movies but done with more levity and reality. That scene where Matt (Topher Grace) gets busted by his father, the cop (Michael Biehn), for stealing a car is a cold bucket of sobering reality that sums up the whole movie in its best moment. SOURCE CODE April 27 Love cerebral studies like this one about the possibilities of existence and the mind. Thought it was a bit short, a bit cookie cutter in the length and pace structure, and could have been a longer, more solid, more exploratory masterpiece. But its pretty fucking great as is. I love the common theme of the great films of the past couple of years (Shutter Island / Inception / Sucker Punch {the unofficial trilogy}): What difference is there between reality and dream? It's all in your mind. THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU March 6 - Wonderful concept. Pretty entertaining execution. A bit hokey though. And that's what kind of brings it down a bit with the whole "God" bullshit and that copout ending. FAST FIVE May 17 - Really fun. I love all the Fast and Furious movies. I just saw them all for the first time before seeing this. I thought they would be horrible , but they are all actually really good. Fast Five feels like the second half of Fast And Furious, as one big movie. MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL (IMAX) December 21 - The sound (in IMAX) is the highlight. Best sound I've ever felt. The film is a blast. Very fun. Compared to MI 1 and MI 3 it pales. Nowhere near the awesomeness of those films. There's very little to feel emotional about. It's just one big action set piece divided into smaller ones that are never as great as most of the other pieces of the previous films. Take away the thick candy shell of the IMAX experience and I imagine you'd be left with a very thin shell of the film, easily drilled through to see how hollow it is. I really had a hell of a great time with this, though and can't wait to go back again. Though, if it wasn't in IMAX, I wouldn't bother with a second go. MIDNIGHT IN PARIS August 28 - Pretty good movie. Great concept. Very Enjoyable. I like that it was low-key and under the radar. HUGO (3D) December 18 - I really like the movie, though I feel its a bit bland. It's almost as if its trying to ride on the sentimentality that it referenced the earliest films made, as if its enough. I only point this out due to the hype from its critical acclaim. I've experienced much better films of this nature in Be Kind Rewind and Cinema Paradiso. But I do love this film. It just seems like not a lot was going on. I pretty much figured out the "secret" of the film right when the robot drew that picture and wrote that name. I also don't care for the "family-friendliness" that made it seem dumbed down. Such as the hunky-doriness in the dogs falling in love, the meany guy falling in wove. Love wove lovey dovey is in the air. Awwwwwww. I feel sick now. I get that it was homage to the films of old and how they were hunky dorey as well. I may seem very critical of it, but I appreciate the film, just not as much as everyone else seems to. I think the first two thirds are pretty spot on, but the last third feels too cliche and that's where my hold of its arm snapped off. I still adored it on the way down though. DRIVE ANGRY 3D March 9 - Balls to the wall Grindhouse cinema. Fucking fun, fucking cool, and fucking A. TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON (3D) June 28 Midnight showing - I LOVED the first Transformers. I HATED the second Transformers. I very much ENJOYED this third Transformers. It's also the only one that had me really holding back tears. Fucking great time. Could've been better, but considering my low expectations for it, it surprised me. RANGO March 13 - Great message. Enjoyable. GREEN LANTERN (3D) June 21 - Pretty good movie. The whole character arc of Hal Jordan is fucking great. The thing that brings this movie down is the boring parts with the villain doing stuff while being transformed (reminded me of Howard The Duck) and that whole cookie cutter party scene (the race car-track). Even a few of the scenes on that planet with all those aliens was a bit boring (like bringing the movie to a screeching, sleep-inducing halt.) I'd say as long as Hal Jordan was in the scene, the movie was great. When he's nowhere around, the movie is a fucking bore. Kinda reminds me a bit of the last third of this next superhero movie... CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER (3D) July 26 - First two thirds is just really great stuff. Then degenerates into boring, unexciting action with no feeling, including the climax. The result of the climax and the very end were really great though. I've seen people say that this is the best Marvel movie ever(?????) I think its the worst of the Marvel bunch (this decade, this golden age of superhero movies), though this worst movie is pretty great for the most part. The whole first half is golden. Those action scenes were a bore. Reminded me of those old serials in that way - the action scenes usually put you to sleep because of their blandness. FINAL DESTINATION 5 (3D) August 28 - While watching it I couldn't help but feel that this was just the same thing as "The Final Destination". It felt like it was shot by the same people with the same visual style. But as I distance myself from the movie, I can't help but really like it more and more. Every death is fresh in my mind from when I saw it. I love the buildup to every kill. That bridge piece was just fantastic and so real. It made me interested again in the franchise after the 4th one made me wish it would just die. There's so many great stories they can have with the premise. We know the rules of the game and thus, there could be some really great serious and heavy tragedy epics if they just go for it. I've enjoyed every Final Destination film (even the weak fourth entry), but as they went on I would get increasingly frustrated that the end result is the same. But by now, I have accepted that and enjoy it for what it is. They can do some really great period pieces. Death is universal in every way imaginable, USE THAT. They should do one where Jesus is the main character. Think of the possibilities. SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS December 18 - A bit of a disappointment. The first was really great. But this one just feels like a bridge to something else. Not bad. But it feels like there was no point or they just skimmed over the point of making this film. It got kinda boring when they were just going all over the place with a gypsy woman. Blah. PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES (3D) May 31 - What a fucking disappointment. I didn't hate it, except for existing. The first three are phenomenal and should have stayed as a trilogy. Much like Crystal Skull, its just an unnecessary sequel that ruins a perfect trilogy. Unlike Crystal Skull, though, I did enjoy it. It just really didn't have much to say in theme or subtext or plot or character-wise. I was hoping this would be a Jack Sparrow character piece. Sure you get an old girlfriend, blah blah blah, but there wasn't any purpose. They wasted The Fountain of Youth storyline. Though, like Crystal Skull, I look forward to a 5th in the series to wipe away this shit as being the last taste of an otherwise superb series. In the hopes of my unfulfilled future wishes: if only the 4th was an elaborate setup to something that is much more complex, a beginning piece of a puzzle that can't be fully appreciated until the other pieces are shown. But that shit ain't happening. SUPER 8 June 14 June 28 - I dig the homage, I dig the genuine moments, but it just felt like something was missing, especially with that "climax". Felt a bit too hokey. Didn't quite fully gel into a classic, but it was appreciated. Good movie. 127 HOURS February 2 - Pretty good movie, but the editing with the African music video tone throughout was just ... not good. Especially the ending, it just felt like they got so into wacking off the real-life armless protag so much that they forgot we were watching. --------This would be the cutoff point separating the enjoyable movies(^) from the non enjoyable(v) movies.------------- SEASON OF THE WITCH January 20 - The movie is not really bad. It's not good though. It's just like an upscale Syfy movie of the week. There's nothing to hate except for its blandness and lack of excitement. The premise could've been great, but execution is horribly done. This could have been a great mystery where you don't know if the girl is a witch or not and you have all the men turning on each other, not sure of who to trust (ala The Thing). Instead it just becomes this really flat mess with Nicolas Cage and Ron Perlman; two greats wasted. INSIDIOUS April 3 - Actually quite effective in its first half. Then it degenerates into a pile of shitty Poltergeist/Nightmare On Elm Street dreamworld-fishing. I'm not saying Poltergeist and Nightmare are bad in any way. I'm saying that Insidious is what those two films would have been if they were fucking awful. Atrocious degeneration where I'm just waiting for the film to end so I can get started on my self-hatred for seeing it. BATTLE: LOS ANGELES March 13 - This movie is beyond a piece of shit. It's offensive to intelligence. It's like watching a recruitment video for any U.S. government suicide team. Christian Conservatives will most likely love this film with all their redneck hearts. It's worse than Transformers 2: Revenge Of The Fallen. One of the most absolute horrible things I've seen in a theater ever, maybe the worst of all.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 12:08 a.m. CST

    no WARRIOR no love for this list!

    by DeineHinokischeSigile

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 12:09 a.m. CST

    wasnt harry the one who told us how great x-men, green lantern & cap america was?

    by DeineHinokischeSigile

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 12:10 a.m. CST

    WARRIOR best movie 2011 everything else wasnt even close after that 13 ASSASSINSS!

    by DeineHinokischeSigile

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 12:11 a.m. CST

    I haven't seen Super 8 on any of these "Best of 2011" lists.

    by Yelsaeb

    That's almost as inexplicable as War Horse's absence.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 12:13 a.m. CST

    Yay! More rehab/back pissing and whining!

    by Bob

    Not even a paragraph in before we get more of this shit. Maybe you could use the back injury to explain this site's inability to actually break a story in three years, rather than on your desire to be a full time ass kissing star fucker.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 12:27 a.m. CST

    Just watched Warrior tonight and...

    by krabklaw

    It was not all that good. Good acting but just poor character development left me feeling uninvolved. Tom Hardy was given nothing really to work with- he's just a jerk you don't care about. It felt like a commercial for the UFC and ended up being rather silly. There's a numbingly long training montage stuffed into the middle of this thing that's laughable in it's sloppiness. This movie doesn't play nearly at the level of The Fighter or The Wrestler. I didn't hate it, but it's terribly over-rated.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 12:41 a.m. CST

    Top 10 Popcorn flicklist please Harry...

    by Tacoloft

    Interesting that Drive wasn't listed here... Watching "Faster" at the moment...

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 12:45 a.m. CST

    There was no room for Drive amidst all the pretentious douchery

    by krabklaw

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 12:47 a.m. CST

    Hahahah, I called it

    by Mattman

    I said Harry would put a 2012 film on his 2011 list.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 12:52 a.m. CST

    The Grey? WOW.

    by ciroslive

    Didn't think it looked THAT good. Now I need to check it out. Hopefully its playing on an IMAX in/near San Diego.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 12:58 a.m. CST

    lol such a try hard

    by celebritydave

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 1 a.m. CST

    Would Love a PopCorn List...

    by KHjLL

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 1:08 a.m. CST

    haha

    by jimmiescoffee

    get a clue. its not a 2011 film. sorry. learn how the business works or do not expect credibility.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 1:14 a.m. CST

    all that being said.......

    by jimmiescoffee

    i like every film on this list. it just cheats the process and frankly, 2012.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 1:21 a.m. CST

    The Grey

    by Tank Williams

    We get it Harry, you saw The Grey in 2011 and you loved it. But everyone is right, the fact that you included it in your top 10 is just ridiculous. No one outside of critics will see this film until this year, ya know, 2012. Should have been replaced with something that actually came out last year, something that the masses actually saw. Should have saved The Grey for this year pal. But kudos for I Saw the Devil. That movie kicked so much ass!

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 1:23 a.m. CST

    Yea I'm really surprised Harry didnt put Captain America on here???

    by Tank Williams

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 1:26 a.m. CST

    Top 10

    by Jared

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 1:27 a.m. CST

    stiguy

    by HEADGEEK

    It almost did. But the more I see it, the more I wish it was 3 hours long and had had intermission music and animation.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 1:28 a.m. CST

    Top 10 of 2011

    by Jared

    10. Young Adult 9. Shame 8. Moneyball 7. Drive 6. Martha Marcy May Marlene 5. Melancholia 4. Terri 3. Take Shelter 2. Midnight in Paris 1. Tree of Life

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 1:30 a.m. CST

    fuck man attack the block is overrated wanna-be hipster shit

    by WINONA_RYDERS_PUSSY_JUICE

    naw it was aight

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 1:39 a.m. CST

    damn

    by WINONA_RYDERS_PUSSY_JUICE

    I've got some catching up to do. I've only seen 2 of these. Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy is indeed a great film. It could have been spiced up just a bit but it's very entertaining. The cinematography, editing, and set design are a bit dull. The story and acting are fucking top shelf though.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 1:48 a.m. CST

    What is it about The Tree of Life?

    by mattgil

    What am I missing? The movie is just awful. You can't slap together what amounts to 2nd unit film footage and call it a movie. It is probably the first film I actually stopped watching while viewing in the past decade.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 1:49 a.m. CST

    RE: Harry

    by Tank Williams

    Totally. It definately could have been at least 20-30 min longer. Little more depth into the character, a few more explosive action scenes, and it quite possibly could have been my favorite Marvel adaption. Spiderman 2 still wears the crown IMO

  • I mean I've not yet seen this film myself, but given the high praise it's getting

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 1:57 a.m. CST

    @theseeker7

    by Tank Williams

    That's what I'm afraid of.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 2:08 a.m. CST

    No "The Last Circus?"

    by Tell_Your_Mom_I_Said_Hi

    Fuck, that movie hit me so hard and tasty in all the right places, can't believe I don't see the love for it here. I Saw The Devil is only one I saw on the list that topped it. Haven't seen half of them though, so that's not the fairest comment.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 2:30 a.m. CST

    I gave up on Allen after the crappy ending of Whatever Works

    by chien_sale

    No More

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 2:33 a.m. CST

    I love Hugo but the best use of 3D I've seen is ...

    by heroic_duo

    Coraline! The 3D in that film was perfect.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 3:24 a.m. CST

    Didn't you forget...

    by Sir Pirvan

    Drive???

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 3:51 a.m. CST

    yelsaeb

    by kwisatzhaderach

    NOBODY has Super 8 on their year-end lists, because it is terrible. Where are all the people who proclaimed Abrams "the new Spielberg" now?

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 3:51 a.m. CST

    Super 8 has been completely forgotten

    by kwisatzhaderach

    and rightly so.

  • Drive? Sad.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 3:59 a.m. CST

    kwisatzhaderach, not forgotten by you, apparently

    by Mattman

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 4:01 a.m. CST

    Top 10

    by Chang-A-Lang

    For me it's something like this: Drive The Guard Super Hesher I Saw the Devil Bellflower The Last Circus 50/50 Super 8 Bridesmaids

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 4:16 a.m. CST

    My top 5...

    by Rasmus Starup Petersen

    Would be Drive, Tree of Life, Warrior, Hanna & Melancholia. Everybody else might be wrong.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 4:27 a.m. CST

    Wow I thought X Men would've made the list...

    by Brian

    .....for that Harry, you just got...... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...........coxxed!!!!!

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 4:31 a.m. CST

    another Top Ten list with no War Horse or Tintin!!

    by Titus05

    ba da bing!

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 4:34 a.m. CST

    Harry(Potter) does not exist in this dojo

    by Cobra--Kai

    Harry's list, like Capones, seems to bear zero relation to what they wrote in their reviews over the past 12 months. In fact I don't think Harry even reviewed some of the films in this top ten above! He did review HARRY POTTER AND DEATHLY HALLOWS 2 and not only said it was the best in the series but that the series itself was one of the best series in cinema history.... ...and yet the best film in the best series doesn't even make a spot in his top ten?!??!??!?!?!?!?!

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 4:37 a.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    Particularly when Harry explained his criterai for choosing his top ten was based on films he'd want to buy and rewatch... I guess he expects us all to have multiple views of WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN, the heartwarming tale of a boy who goes on a killing spree at his high school.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 4:39 a.m. CST

    I don't know what I find more astonishing:

    by Dollar Bird

    1. That Harry actually appears to have written some competently organized movie reviews, forgoing his usual stream-of-consciousness style. (Many thanks for that, Harry.) 2. Xen11's 27-film "top 11" (where "Midnight In Paris" and "Green Lantern" are both "pretty good") Sir/Ma'am, your taste is bewildering. But, more power to you, I guess. 3. The fact that I have only seen one of the films in Harry's list. Long gone are the days when I used to see a movie every weekend. I guess I just have other things to do. I don't know if that's a good or bad thing, actually.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 4:45 a.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    canned_dirty_ape, to be fair a lot of film critics are fuckwits. Perhaps 10 or more years younger than you, who are less experienced in movie watching/history than you, and who write bland vanilla reviews. To be fair Harry's, shall we say, *informal* style of writing has become his USP. Spelling mistakes, bizarre turns of phrase, etc do differentiate him from the vanilla flavored writers at least. Plus there's no denying that has seen a SHITLOAD of movies, and accumulated experience is the single most important thing for a critic to possess.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 4:46 a.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    But what I don't like is hypocrisy or reviewers contradicting themselves, which is why i'm pulling him up for what he wrote about HARRY POTTER earlier in the year.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 4:58 a.m. CST

    cobra--kai

    by Titus05

    just because Harry wrote that Deathly Hallows 2 was the best in the series does not mean that it deserves a place in the Top Ten movies of the year...no contradiction at all...it can still be the best in the series and NOT be one of the 10 best movies of the year

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 5:34 a.m. CST

    Lynne Ramsey..

    by Nerfee

    ..claims to be writing a sci-fi film now- 'Moby Dick' in space, is how she described it. Also: Nice list, Harry.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 5:39 a.m. CST

    Really solid list...

    by Andrew Coleman

    Minus the 2012 The Grey thing. Very good list. For me 2011 was a good year. Lots of good movies. At least for me. But I still go the theater a lot.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 6:17 a.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    titus, except for the fact that he did go on to write that the series itself was one of the best in cinema history.... I'm not suprised. Most critics bottle it when it comes to celebrating commercially successful films. It's not the done thing. Rather give their highbrow blessing to to something obscure from Norway that no one saw than to a film enjoyed by millions.* *see Beaks top ten list for this for affirmation of this principle.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 6:59 a.m. CST

    cobra

    by Titus05

    you can't go back and place Prisoner of Azkaban or another Potter entry into the 2011 Top Ten list...it doesn't work that way...the series could be one of the best in cinema history but it doesn't mean it deserves a spot in this list...it might deserve another type of award or honor though separate from this list I understand you point about mainstream movies and I agree...but unless you've seen these foreign and independent movies that make these type of lists you have no valid reasoning behind objecting to their inclusion in people's end of year Top Ten's

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 7:11 a.m. CST

    cannded dirty ape

    by lochkray

    So please stop pretending to be something you're not

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 7:20 a.m. CST

    Why would Super 8 be on any best film list?

    by Fortunesfool

    It's and average, ultimately forgettable film, made by an average, ultimately forgettable film-maker.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 7:24 a.m. CST

    HUGO is a great movie

    by D.Vader

    Great performances (particularly by Kingsley and Cohen), great story, great finale.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 7:25 a.m. CST

    No Drive?

    by elsewhere

    Good movie.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 7:55 a.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    Titus, i'm not trying to place a previous entry into 2011 list...sigh. Harry constructed a little equation in his review it went like this: 1/ Potter series one of the best in the history of cinema. 2/ DEATHLY HALLOWS II best film in that series. 1 + 2 = no place in Harry's top ten. I've got nothing against the films he did choose, but it seems strange that when he originally saw some of them he wasn't sufficently inspired to write a review.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 7:57 a.m. CST

    Harry

    by master_of_realty

    You are absolutely unbearable in nearly every way and are easily the worst thing about this site, which is saying a lot. Stop posting - please. Just stop.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 8:02 a.m. CST

    The reason I didn't see Hugo...

    by Wormie1

    Is because my local cinemas were only showing it in 3D. So, take that, Scorsese, you lost my money there!

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 8:14 a.m. CST

    This is a surprisingly solid list from Harry.

    by Mostholy

    Yes, the man is far too forgiving when it comes to crap. But, when the rubber hits the road, 3 of my top 5 are on here: (Midnight in Paris (#1), Attack the Block (#2), Tinker Tailor (#4).

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 8:19 a.m. CST

    My Top 10 From This Year

    by gksquire9

    10. Timebandits 9. Disney's Flight of the Navigator ("Compliance") 8. The Jazz Singer (No, the other one) 7. Overboard 6. West World 5. Memento 4. Josie and the Pussycats 3. The Third Man 2. The Dark Knight Rises (I know it isn't qualifying for this years awards but it was mesmerizing and an unforgettable finale to Nolan's Bat-universe) 1. Spaceballs: The Movie

  • That a group of kids accidentally film a government secret and this knowledge puts them in peril. It's sacrificed for cheap exposition. Also, the adults do much of the heavy lifting, a cardinal sin in these kinds of films. (take ET or Goonies, parents are either absent, helpless observers or provide obstacles) And finally, the idea of having the creature cause all the military artillery to malefaction is nothing but an excuse to blow up a bunch of stuff and doesn't serve the story. In the end, Abrams wanted to make Stand by Me but thought adding an otherworldly antagonist would make it more magical. It didn't.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 8:26 a.m. CST

    zombie fatigue- i found the list to be the same.

    by zom-bot.com

    and like others have said, having THE GREY on there invalidates the whole thing. i wonder what film that was actually mass released in 2011 should better fill the slot. not saying THE GREY doesn't deserve it's number, but just because harry was able to see it in 2011 doesn't actually make it a film of 2011 if it wasn't technically released yet.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 8:28 a.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    *I have a friend who is a plane spotter. It's been his hobby for over 30 years. Does that qualify him to be a pilot?* Unfair analogy, by that you are asking whether being a film critic qualifies them to be a film director. I still believe that accumulated experience is the number one requirement for being a good film critic. If you spent a month plane spotting, you'd know abit about it, but you're never going to achieve the depth of knowledge that your friend has (although admittedly you might have better communication skills to inform others about the uber cool Airbus A380 you just saw!).

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 8:28 a.m. CST

    The Grey isnt out yet

    by sunwukong86

    how does it qualify?

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 8:32 a.m. CST

    Dissapointing list

    by kim

    Dear harry... You just have dissapointed me. You cheated with "Grey", and how the heck did you forget 'bout "Warrior"???? "I saw the devil" is too long and overrated. It's just an ok movie, for me. The main character is suffering a depression for the lost of his wife and he dresses like a top model in the whole film... come on!! And the tree of life has a great camera work, sometimes is like you can feel the film, that's true. But the movie is just BAD. Too many shadows and curtains dancing with the wind. Malick should do some horror movie some day, cos' the movie has moments of horror (by the sound, the music, the silences- when the father is fixing the car...) I'm going to have some good time now. I'm gonna watch "we need to talk about Kevin". I hope is as good as you say. Thanks my man :)

  • Special Access= specialness of critic

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 8:39 a.m. CST

    mattgil/Tree of Life

    by JRcanReid

    My sentiments exactly. And it bothers me because I go into movies like that with a predisposition to like it. It bothers me that I don't "get it." It did nothing but bore and frustrate me. Couldn't get through it. And I worship 2001 and artsy-fartsy movies and non-linear movies. Hell, I even got through Enter The Void (and liked it).

  • But it's clear that the enthusiasm is waning: like a 13 year old on Christmas.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 8:43 a.m. CST

    Chien_Sale, I agree with the sentiment but ...

    by ChaunceyGardiner

    I believe that it was just a flunk. (I hope so at least.) I hated "Whatever Works" also. But if you are a Woody Allen fan, keep reading. I thought it to be one of Allen's most simplistic (in the worst way), lazy, most condescending films. Its gags are for the most part plays on trite and tired stereotypes - and the movies conclusion is solidified only by the fact that the stereotypes expressed early on merely meet full fruition and are left behind for what I can perceive as more stereotypes (simple solutions). Partly, I think that is due to the character of Boris and maybe Allen's perception of Larry David's comic demeanor as a curmudgeon - yet, the way the film ends it is as though he is reshapeing the world to fit the way that Boris sees it, a way that would make him happy. And what is supposed to be a happy ending merely feels forced and unpleasantly contrived to assert one man's opinions over anyone else's. As fanciful as an opium smoker's dream of life. In short, it really put me off. But do not dispair. While my reaction to "Midnight in Paris" is not anywhere the reaction that most people had, I still found it a very enjoyable fantasy film. I felt like a tourist in someone's wonderful dream. It is a thoroughly pleasant film - and for those who like to read and enjoy discussing culture past and present, it is a great little treat. But what it was not was "The Purple Rose of Cairo." Have you ever seen "The Purple Rose of Cairo?" Harry was talking earlier about films that espouse love for film-makeing. You know, movies of about movies. Well, the best film about movies that I've ever seen is "The Purple Rose of Cairo." It is perfection. One of Allen's best and it seems filled with a confluence of joy and pain that informs it to the point that at moments it is one of the happiest movies you'll ever see, and at other moments the saddest. It is also food for thought. I do not think that there is much susentenance in "Midnight in Paris," maybe beyound some wine and cheese. Pleasant. But not much for the bones in winter. But that is merely what the film is. No less. No more. I am glad that people enjoyed it as much as they did - and honestly, I'm surprised. Of all the Woody Allen films to get people talking again, it was this one. It is also good to see Owen Wilson getting good work - the man is too talented not to be in these pictures by our master comedic directors. As a side note, there was a little picture that came out two years ago, between "Midnight in Paris" and "Whatever Works." It was Allen's "And You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger." Besides "Cassandra's Dream," it is one of my favourite films of Allen's this century. It is more in line with "Hannah and Her Sisters," "Deconstructing Harry," and "Crimes and Misdemeanors." It is one of his "moral comedies," or "comedies of morality," which he does so well. A great big rotateing cast with multiple stories, all whittleing down to a great central performance by Josh Brolin as the centre of the film's locus. He is the one that goes the furthest to the edge for the sake of personal gratification, for the desire to "be happy." And Brolin imbues the film with the weight it needs to give it balance between the light-hearted witticisms of these losers in love and the central premise of what we are willing to sacrifice for facsimiles of happiness. For those "greener pastures." (It also has a great Anthony Hopkins supporting role that will knock your socks off - he is like bourbon in eggnog.) "And You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger" and "Midnight in Paris" share some themes, but "Tall Dark Stranger" has more meat on its bones. If you watch any of these mentioned films, it is my sincerest hope that you get the enjoyment out of them that I did. Allen, though there are things I disagree with, is still a very vital artist for me. I find him saying things that very few artist say now-a-days, and nobody quite says it like Woody. ("Vicky, Christy, Barcelona" is a more feminist picture, like some of his 70s and early 80s wor - and while it might be frustrateing at times dealing with the vacillations of the characters (ain't that why we watch Allen picture in the first place, cause we identify with the same sort of indecsiveness), I think it is a much more truthful picture than "Whatever Works," while dealing with similiar issues of lifestyles lived outside the framework of normal cookie-cutter demographics. It is at the least bit interesting. And for that, it is worth a small recommendation.)

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 8:47 a.m. CST

    Chauncey: I've said it before

    by P

    I really appreciate your writing and encourage you to start a blog. There's an audience for what you do.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 8:58 a.m. CST

    "Hugo" is not the first film to use 3D correctly...

    by ufoclub1977

    It uses it interestingly (especially in two character close ups), but still uses 3D on occasion like a featured gimmick instead of simply another sensory cue along with color and multichannel sound.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 8:58 a.m. CST

    Tree of Life

    by Alientoast

    Was it shot well? Sure. Was it a good movie? Laugh. I can maybe see someone getting something more out of it if they could somehow relate to the kid's family situation. I couldn't help but laugh when that mother is essentially asking god why her child had to die, then it basically turns into some Discovery IMAX film about the history of the Earth. I really liked the footage, but I had to laugh because it almost had a cynical message that read as "Guess what? Your kid is just one thing out of billions that have died over billions of years! His death is meaningless!!!!! LOLOLOL". Thin Red Line sucked as well, although a big part of that is coming from a family with a 1st Marine Vet who actually fought on Guadalcanal. He -DESPISED- that film because he felt it was insulting to people who actually fought there.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 9:03 a.m. CST

    Thanks for the list, Harry!

    by Hipshot

    I've not seen six of them, but the ones I have ("Block", "Devil", "Midnight" and "Hugo") were all immensely enjoyable. Harry is like a good buddy with quirky tastes--won't always agree, but his choices are often interesting, and he's introduced me to many valuable cinematic experiences. Sometimes I wince, but hell...that's true of anyone and anything.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 9:09 a.m. CST

    I don't know Zombie Fatigue...

    by ChaunceyGardiner

    I just wrote "flunk" instead of "fluke" - in the opening sentence no less. (Well, as far as mistakes go, at least it is actually a word. And one that makes a reasonable amount of sense.) But, sir, jokes aside, I do appreciate it. And glad you liked reading it. If there wasn't response, it wouldn't be much worth the writing. Even when there's silence, you hope for hearing.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 9:19 a.m. CST

    canned dirty ape

    by lochkray

    The comment from my previous post was a quote from your comment - This was part of a much longer message that appears to have been partially deleted due to some technical glitch. The long and short of my comment was that this site is a film geek site, by a film geek and for film geeks to post on, and Harry has only ever presented it as such. I then made disparaging remarks about your long and rambling commentary, questioning why you would bother to make a post on this site if you have such a low opinion of it, rather than just not attend it. Due to what you expressed your opinion of Harry as being, on his own site, I equated your view as being lower than even the worst of Harry's reviews. In a nutshell. Sorry for the confusion. Damned technical errors.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 9:20 a.m. CST

    AlienToast, I have no desire to be insulting, myself...

    by ChaunceyGardiner

    But why was it felt that "The Thin Red Line" was insulting to the men who fought on that island? I am not saying that it isn't, but I am curious to know the reasons for that sentiment. (By the way, James Jones himself writes in the book's introduction that the geography of the island and much of what occurs there is fictionalized. He'd created a fable of sort, what he felt was a more accurate rendering of the moral dilemmas faced by men in that war, on that far corner of the world, their fear and confusion on that island piece of earth. And that was James Jones. And he fought there, on that land. And he wrote a great book about it.)

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 9:37 a.m. CST

    Hugo is the first film to use 3D correctly?...

    by jimmy_009

    Coraline was the first movie I felt that with, and there have been numerous since that did it right, including Avatar. Maybe you just don't see enough movies.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 9:38 a.m. CST

    I think I am the only person in America...(spoiler detail)

    by KevinMuller

    Who hated "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy". I love movies that make you think and don't mind slow moving ones if they are interesting. I just couldn't get into that movie at all. I thought it was incredibly dull and boring. I did not care about any of the characters or their stories. I hated when Colin Firth's character got shot in the fucking tear duct.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 9:38 a.m. CST

    Hugo...

    by KevinMuller

    First year that I agree with you Harry... I love that movie and it may also be the best film I saw this year. Absolutely incredible film.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 9:40 a.m. CST

    War Horse > Tree of Life

    by bat725

    If I want to interpret art, I'll go to a museum.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 9:43 a.m. CST

    That Midnight in Paris poster...

    by jimmy_009

    ...has got to be the worst poster in decades, and we've seen a lot of terrible posters lately. It looks like a guy using Photoshop for the first time cut himself out of a photo and put it in a Van Gogh painting, complete with lots of blur tool and with no consideration for things like choosing an appealing color pallet or a laying out a composition that doesn't want to make you gouge your eyes out. The whole thing is just UGLY. Just the worst.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 9:48 a.m. CST

    HATED Midnight In Paris

    by Stormshadow4life

    Can't understand how anyone could have enjoyed that bore-fest

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 9:51 a.m. CST

    Thanks for the list Harry

    by Jason Peacock

    I always look forward to your year end list. Tree of Life was good in the way you walk away with feeling, emotions, and you think about your place in the universe but I would never watch it again. I just watched ," I saw the devil," and it was awesome. I love my South Korean revenge films. "We need to talk about Kevin" was good but wouldn't be in my top ten and "Attack the Block" was great. Still waiting to see TTSS and Hugo. Thanks for introducing me to so many great movies on your DVD column.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 9:52 a.m. CST

    Attack the Block is overrated

    by w4tkn

    I British and I couldn't understand all of the dialogue I don't know how Americans can manage. Its a fun film but a novelty piece - I had higher hopes and tracked it down in Austin the day of release and was a bit disappointed. Its not laugh out loud funny if your expecting that.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 9:55 a.m. CST

    leave it to harry to include a film that comes out in january 2012

    by Philip Tolken

    as one of the best films of 2011... jesus

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 9:55 a.m. CST

    Canned, I'm with Loch on this one

    by P

    Harry is an unapologetic fan, predisposed to gooey hyperbole and an, at times, uncritical eye. When he is hard on a film, like Muppets or Toy Story 3, for example, it isn't approached aesthetically or even critically: it's the result of the film not projecting his idealized childhood tastes back to him. Harry grew up in a movie magic funhouse and has often said as much. Those experiences shaped and informed his idiosyncratic tastes. But as he grows older, he finds that everything in the funhouse has crumbled to dust save for the hall of mirrors. Harry lives in a mirror maze of his own creation: always looking for film to project himself back onto himself. He has every right to live in his own Xanadu, but it certainly comes at a price Harry

  • A list that's open for debate but doesn't have anything on it that I would flat out call wrong. Good job. Can't wait to see The Grey.

  • I once fell asleep watching Enemy of the State. This time I was awake but stopped watching the film and sat there looking at what else was happening around the darkened auditorium and enjoyed an internal reverie or two while paying little attention to the screen. This has never happened before or since in ANY film I have seen and I go to the cinema a lot.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 9:59 a.m. CST

    Hugo's biggest problem is it was sold as a kids movie

    by SoylentMean

    I thought it was great, and will revisit it in the future, but I can just imagine some hapless couple bringing a gaggle of kids to sit down and watch Hugo, only to contend with those aforementioned kids yawns, tears, and eventual screams of boredom and frustration.<P> It is a movie for cinema lovers, not cartoon addled tots. <P> Still, it was a very welcome surprise to see Scorsese create, control, and master that world.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 10:03 a.m. CST

    I'm suspicious of The Grey and all its hype...

    by SoylentMean

    I want to see the movie. I want to like the movie. But this site, if it's known for anything, is known for its rampant and unwarranted hyperbole.<P> I'm hoping it's better than Stallone's Rambo, but not expecting it to be a contender for personal awards consideration at year's end.<P> Hopefully Liam and crew will prove me wrong.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 10:04 a.m. CST

    I Saw the Devil has been my favorite movie of the year...

    by SoylentMean

    for pretty much all of the year. I have to rewatch it. But yeah, that movie really sticks in my mind.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 10:09 a.m. CST

    Attack the Block was AMAZING!

    by SoylentMean

    My favorite creature design in many, many years. <P> Kid characters not only stepping up to fight an alien menace but also being put in real, consequence laden peril.<P> A tight knit community doing whatever it takes to survive. <P> And one helluva character arc for Moses.<P> Yeah, Attack the Block is more than aces. One of the few hyped films I saw this year that I felt actually exceeded its praise.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 10:17 a.m. CST

    PAUL

    by LT Weezie

    Though I haven't heard of and will probably never see most of the movies on the list, I have JUST FOR FUN favorite. We loved PAUL. we have watched it more than any other blu-way movie we have purchased this year. Most of it was filmed right here in my area (the fireworks store is less than five miles down the road from me in Moriarty, NM on Rt. 66). From the beginning to the end, the inside jokes, the fantastic computer work, and everything in between. PAUL rocks and I hope they can see it in the future that a return for a second movie would be awesome!

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 10:20 a.m. CST

    WARRIOR was my favorite movie of 2011

    by IAmTommyWiseau

    Nolte deserves an Oscar for that movie.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 10:20 a.m. CST

    Really glad to see Warrior getting TB love

    by BlaGyver

    I was heartbroken when I saw that film opening night and then watched it fail, box office-wise. Glad it's getting the love it deserves. Definitely tops my "Best-Of" list thus far.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 10:23 a.m. CST

    Canned Dirty Ape

    by BlaGyver

    Beautifully put. I've been saying similar stuff for a while, but you summed it up better than I ever have. I'd also give you credit for mentioning that the other writers on this site are full-on critics. Most of Beaks' articles (especially his year-end lists) piss me off, but dammit if I don't respect his writing. They all know their shit.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 10:38 a.m. CST

    Why the sudden uproar?

    by Your Moms Box

    These assholes ALWAYS add movies to their Top 10 List from movies they saw at Butt-Numb-A-Thon that don't open until the following year for the rest of us. I remember calling "Father Geek" out on it for Shutter Island, and being lambasted in the talkbacks by a bunch of apologists that cried "IT'S HIS LIST AND HE SAW IT THIS YEAR!" I am more shocked that Cabin in the Woods didn't pop up on Harry's Top 10 than the fact that The Grey did.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 10:52 a.m. CST

    And AlienToast, about "Tree of Life."

    by ChaunceyGardiner

    This seems to me to be the big decisive issue when it comes to "Tree of Life," that on one hand you have people who respect its beauty, but from a distance, and you have those comeing out of the theatre literally shaken by it. The first part of the audience, the skeptics, they watched and lost interest. The second part of the audience, which I was a member of, watched and - while admittedly confused or unsure at times - had intense emotional responses. I am not saying that "Tree of Life" is in some way a barometer of emotional intelligence, but I do feel that there is a rift between those who allowed themselves personal involvement in the film and those that did not. I have read very good negative criticisms of the film that nonetheless dealt honestly with the issues at hand. It reminds me of a comment made during the commentary recording for the Criterion Collection edition of the Maysles Brothers' "Grey Gardens." They recount a story that occurred during the events surrounding the films initial release. And yet before telling this story, I find it important here to state smartly, cleanly, definitively that what I am talking about is film as art. Film as art is a different animal than film as entertainment. If a movie that is meant to entertain does not, it has failed. Yet, a film that has no desire to "entertain," in the basest iteration or expectation of that word, then becomes responsive to a whole new set of rules. And the rules of art concern the work of art itself. What is the intention, if any? Why was it made? What composes it? How does it make its viewer feel? What does it draw out in them? It is an examination that takes on the components of an inquiry. The answers to this inquiry are not nearly as important, or qualitative, as the questions themselves and what takes place within the observer, the participant that is the audience as they undergo the experience that is this questioning, this potential discovery. It is a precious form of alchemy, this. The observer is asked to take part in the ideas, to digest that which may not be a part of the normal diet, a strange taste to the pallette. But what it is feeding is what is extraordinary: emotion created and sustained and transformed by image. Whether it is an image inspired by words, sounds, or visual material. This chaotic cohesion is what makes film so vital, why we can watch a film throughout our lives and still be transfixed, challanged by it. It is also why our tastes in film change throughout our lives. Films reflect who we are. As Nico said under the guise of the Velvet Underground, "I'll be your mirror, reflect what you are..." When the Maysles were going through the rounds of interviews, they came across a journalist who met their film with a great feeling of dislike. He couldn't quite explain what it was that made the film distasteful to him, but he knew the feeling existed. As they and their two female co-directors Muffie Meyer and Hellen Movde discussed the interviewers' reaction to the film, they discovered something: the journalist had a profound fear of ageing. It was something that unsettled him, to think not merely about mortality but the changes, the transformation that we are all at whim to in what many see as the reductionism of age. He had met the subjects of the films with revulsion, had shrinked away from what they were showing him. The hosts themselves were what repelled him, not the story. He couldn't hear what was being told to him because his eyes had filled his ears with false noise. This story of two women, a mother and daughter surrounded by the moldering trappings of a world that had passed them by, that lay only in the past, who were inspired by this bypassing to create a world of their own makeing. They were impoverished, lived in a collapseing old castle of a house, and yet told the story of their lives with such fond remembrance and honesty that it was hard to hate them. They were examples of people we have all left behind. Yet they had stayed together and were allowing us to be with them and study that love, study their dignity despite a world of ruin. The journalist had responded to them in a way that described himself. Great art inspires us. It challanges us. And when being honest with it, it can be a revelation unto us. There are just some artists who create great works of art. It is their gift, and in a way not of any consequence of who they are as individuals. Their subjects, their themes, yes. But in their ability to open their world to us, they allow us to come to combined truths about ourselves. They are mediums of a creative spirit. And a vision of the world becomes something shared by all - discussed, dissected, digested. And afterward possibly we can look at our collective selves differently due to it. "Tree of Life" does this. It has gathered together critics of all ways and types. I see it as one of the most decisive films of our times, one that inspires cheers on one side of the aisle and boos on the other. Literally. That is incredible to me. Athiests, Christians, deists, those of no defined religion, those of an agnostic mindset. Here is a film that speaks of God, of faith, of one individual's experiences and thoughts on the matter, one's very personal story, and yet the positive critcs and the negative critics cannot be defined by one single thread of thought - except for their prevailing love or hate of the film. It inspires. What Malick has done by placeing very strong elements of his own life alongside a story of the universal narrative is to reconcile his own belief in a Creator. For with all those with belief in God, there is a time in their faith where they must weigh the two truths of their life. That all life ends and yet they believe in a God who controls that life. And so you have varying faces of god. A god who hates. A god who loves. A god who demands obedience. A god who couldn't care less. A distant god. An ever-present god. Malick gives us a picture of a god of Love. His God is Love. And so he reconciles that with his vision of the world. It is a vision informed by both faith, science and a tremendous love of story. A man who was born to tell stories. So he uses one of the oldest, one of the greatest stories ever told as a lense to tell his own. This is the way it must be, if he believes in its worth and its truth. So, Terence Malick who has always flirted with tales of biblical scope and magnitude, tells his life story useing the book of Genesis. I do not agree with everything here, but what others have called a film of simple and trite platitudes, I see as one of the most honest films I've ever seen. Malick gives us the story of his life: how he has found a way to love a God that allows the most beautiful and kind and creative of his creation to die, to wither, to be crushed and depleted. It is how he understands God. It is a place that a believer comes to. He gives us a God that is Always. Despite. And not only despite, but because. Because love still occurs. He gives us a vision of a God that is ever present. He shows us our future: he were born to die. And yet he finds the beauty, the majesty of this most deep of riddles, this the most mysterious facets of God. And in doing so, in presenting himself so openly and nakedly, as showing himself as a sinner, as a faulted man, one who hates and lusts and covets, he has also shown us a picture of a God that weathers all of that. Malick is an artist and he has told his most beautiful story beautifully. Whether you believe similiarly is not the point: it is what you see that matters. Some have seen it as the most of the world's greatest artist's most beautiful works of art. It is that simple. What we must wrestle with now is how feel about it as a whole, as a group. That might sound as pretenious as pretenious gets, but art is worth shareing. It is worth fighting for. It is worth being disagreed with. I see how you saw it and its subjects AlienToast, and I hope, if you've read this, that maybe you see how I saw it. I hope so. My viewing of it is an expression of myself. It is one of the most intense filmic experiences of my life. It might be one of the most intense experiences of my life, period. I feel as though he shared something with me during my time there in that theatre. And that is what is being applauded. It is a feat for some, and an admission for others. Whatever you say about it, I am glad that it exists. It is one of a kind. And extraordinary for it.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 11:01 a.m. CST

    hugo was awful

    by robamenta

    truly this emperor has no clothes..and the poster on here is not displayed corectly. its stretched out..just saying

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 11:03 a.m. CST

    canned_dirty_ape

    by DrMorbius

    * Real critics write using correct grammer, not the country-bumpkin yuk-yuk English you use in your pathetic writing.* Notice anything amiss?

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 11:06 a.m. CST

    How much wood could a woodchuck chuck... ?

    by ChaunceyGardiner

    You would have thought that I'd have found a much easier way to say that, wouldn't you? FACT!!!

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 11:07 a.m. CST

    Seth Rogen is the new Will Smith

    by SiouxCitySarsaparilla

    I came to this realisation watching the trailer for Men in Black III having caught Paul again on television earlier in the week.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 11:11 a.m. CST

    The Fighter > Warrior

    by elsewhere

    Hardy is a beast in Warrior though and Nolte gives a pretty good performance.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 11:12 a.m. CST

    WARRIOR thoughts...(in disgust)SPOILERS!

    by Squidgy_Faced_Vigilante

    I watched Warrior on DVD last night. Had heard many, many great things about it, and was really interested in seeing it. Wow, what a complete and near-total disappointment! I am continuing to see people on here posting about it as being one of the best of the year?!?! The story is absolutely and completely absurd! The amount of coincidences and plot contrivances that are used to just get to that fariy-tale ending are ABSURD! Two brothers, separated at a young age...now suddenly they are in the ring against each other! LOLOL! When the on-screen announcer made that big reveal that they were actually BROTHERS (gasp!) I actually laughed OUT LOUD at the utter absurdity and ridiculous thought that this could ever happen. Oh, and then the school teacher beats all comers, including the badass Russian AND his brutal brother! Rrrrrrrrrrrrrright.....that'll happen! To quote the guys from ESPN..."C'mon man!" Puh-lease! Absolute garbage in the plot department. Now, I will admit that Nolte and the two lead actors did some good work with crap story, no doubting that and I am sure that is what everyone is hanging this "best of year" assessment on, but it's not even close to enough. The plot contrivances just destroyed any chance of this being good for me. Good acting within a terrible movie. Ugh.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 11:25 a.m. CST

    squidgy_faced_vigilante

    by IAmTommyWiseau

    If you have a hard time with "plot contrivances" then you're going to have a hard time with movies in general. And, if you went into WARRIOR, without knowing that the two brothers would end up fighting one another then I want to congratulate you on having the ability to avoid all marketing for a movie and for not looking on the back of your DVD cover. WARRIOR was an amazing movie. It's not often a movie can overcome cliches in the way this one did. It has plenty of potential to stumble and fall but, for me, the movie did a great job at showing exactly why we should invest in both brothers. With a runtime of over two hours, I didn't feel bored once because the movie knew how to pace itself and every minute was essential. Did it have problems? Yes. It wasn't a perfect movie, but it was good enough for me to overlook the flaws that were there. I loved the fact that each brother was shown to have a particular strength in the ring and the fights were thrilling. I know nothing about MMA. I'm sorry that the movie didn't work for you but, for me, it was the best 2011 movie I've seen and I saw a lot of good ones. The three main leads were astounding but Nick Nolte, especially, broke my heart.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 11:28 a.m. CST

    @tenenbaum

    by frank_butcher

    'Terri' is a great film. Kudos.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 11:29 a.m. CST

    Yes Harry

    by shawn_h

    Please make a list of top popcorn films please...i am curious and interested. please and thank you

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 11:29 a.m. CST

    And ZombieFatigue, I have to disagree about Harry's list.

    by ChaunceyGardiner

    I see what you mean about obligatory but it does seem that Harry tried his hardest to make a "Best of 2011" list. You can clearly see Harry's love of genre pictures on here. And yet he tries to balance it with a very strong focus on what was best in film this year - and not merely what was "cool" to him. I think that for Harry that shows a great deal of restraint. One of the better lists I've read this year, because of how well-rounded it seemed to me (for the critic that is). Just as with other critics you already know that their personal tastes will dictate at least part of the list (and why so many have picked "Hugo" as their numbero uno picture this year). Maybe the trouble is that you dislike "End of the Year" lists, the way that Ebert does. The perfunctory need for them. (I didn't really try this year as I didn't see everything I wanted to and because, honestly, what I saw and liked this year was so disparate that I couldn't think of a good tone, a good touchstone for the list, meaning I had no idea really what to go on. Quality was all over the board this year, and I found myself being really rewarded by the films that surprised me. So it would have to be more of a "Favourites" list than a "Best of.")

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 11:32 a.m. CST

    @squidgy_faced_vigilante

    by kim

    In fact, right now, in the UFC, there're two twin brothers fighting (I think they haven't fought against each other yet), the Nogueira brothers and the Diaz brothers. Sometimes we said thinks that in movies is all fantasy. But sometimes life surprises us and goes harder than movies. Open any newspaper and you'll see the kind of crazy stuff that happens in everyday. Just, for you to know, I have two brothers that were gymnastics, and they compite against each other on the Spanish championship. One won and the other lost. Life goes beyond movies. Cheers ;)

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 11:53 a.m. CST

    This list is a mess.

    by cinemixtape.com

    Attack The Block?!?! It's slightly above straight-to-DVD quality and there's absolutely nothing special about it. I wish this site would stop trying to make movies like this into hits. It cost $13 million to make and made just under $6 million in theaters... worldwide. Doesn't that say it all? The Grey? It's a Joe Carnahan picture that's getting pretty tepid reviews thus far. I haven't seen it, though, so I'll reserve judgment. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is wildly confusing yet somehow manages to be a bore, in which all of its characters are quite one-dimensional (although, I think that was the point). It's very nicely shot and the cast is good in it, but I can't fathom why anyone would rave about it unless they were already a fan of the book. I fell asleep during Hugo. I probably should give it another chance, but I found it incredibly tedious. And the 3D was just as mediocre as in all the movies that supposedly have "awesome 3D." The only film here that I agree with is Midnight In Paris. That one definitely worked really well.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 11:53 a.m. CST

    WORST OFN 2011 List PLEASE

    by The Angriest Planet

    While I always enjoy well written Best of Lists, nothing seems to cleanse the soul like an intelligently worded yet rage filled "Worst of." for some reason, it seems like people aren't writing them as much these days. Bring it on Harry!

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 11:54 a.m. CST

    Whoops..I meant Worst OF as opposed to OFN!

    by The Angriest Planet

    But you knew that.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 11:59 a.m. CST

    "I saw the Devil" absolutely the best!

    by Riverman

    Hands down. "Devil" is the best serial killer film since "Silence of the Lambs"

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 12:26 p.m. CST

    Super 8 was shit

    by shaft478

    Talk about a cinema letdown

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 12:51 p.m. CST

    Super 8 is possibly the most implausible...

    by Jaka

    ...things happen just so the story can move along movie I've ever seen. The last 2/3 of that thing are utterly ridiculous.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 12:53 p.m. CST

    I'm surprised so many people dislike Attack The Block

    by Jaka

    I thought it was great. Totally unexpected movie magic, for me. Looking forward to the sequel so I can find out what happens with those characters.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 12:56 p.m. CST

    zombie_fatigue

    by Jaka

    If Harry could write that well I'd still read everything he posted.

  • The "go back and start over" crap got tired after the third time, none of the science makes one damn bit of logical sense and there was three endings - all of them bad. After the first hour I didn't even want to watch it anymore, but I needed to know what type of ridiculous "everything turns out OK" bow they were going to tie on the ending. Ugh.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 1 p.m. CST

    Thank you Harry...

    by nightvip

    ... for showing love to Tinker. Tailor. Solider. Spy. It's my film of the year. I think it's a work of art and I genuinely do not understand why its getting snubbed for awards contention so far... not even Oldman has been getting any recognition. I can only asume it was because it was released late in the USA. Anyone who thinks this is boring... just does't understand film and should probably stop watching movies.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 1:05 p.m. CST

    Super 8

    by Kill List Hammertime

    I just found it pretty fucking boring. Which for a movie involving a big ass alien is pretty shocking.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 1:05 p.m. CST

    The only film on this list I saw...

    by bubcus

    was Attack The Block and I really enjoyed it. I don't know if it's on my top ten, but I loved seeing kids I thought were complete deadbeat assholes become of worth and even heroes by the end. I am really anxious to see The Grey. It's on my must watch list. A Boy and his Samurai & Hugo are also films I want to see soon. The rest will have to wait.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 1:07 p.m. CST

    I Found Super 8 to be a decent film myself

    by conspiracy

    In my opinion I thought JJ got very good performances out of his leads, and the film moved along well enough. No...it was far from perfect, but this was a year of imperfect films and misfires. I think one problem with Super 8 is that JJ wanted it, and designed it to be the type of film we all remember fondly from our childhood...and that is simply impossible to achieve. Watching Super 8 for me was like someone saying.."Try this cookie...it's just like Grandma used to make" and when you take a bite it isn't bad...but it sure isn't grandma's; even if your beloved grandma in reality cooked like shit, that cookie in your memory was the tastiest motherfucker you ever had...nothing will ever compare.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 1:13 p.m. CST

    Wow, was expecting . . .

    by Nice Marmot

    . . . Harry to put Serbian Film in all 10 slots . . .

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 1:18 p.m. CST

    Good list... but y'know...

    by Mechasheeva

    I watched Kevin the other day, and while on the initial viewing I found it unsettling and weird, I was surprised by how much it stuck with me. As a teacher, it's a film that really gets under the skin. But bad call, Harry, REALLY bad call, on telling Kevin's crime right there in the blurb. The reveal is what hammers home the horror. I live in Korea, and I watched I Saw the Devil awhile ago. Good flick, but Harry doesn't mention how much black humor is in this flick. There's a whole section of the movie, that I won't spoil here, that teeters dangerously close to parody, and the movie recovers only by embracing its own insanity and going full-tilt into madness. It's an awesome flick, and it keeps you scared for the first half. The second keeps you wildly entertained, but the scares leave once the film totally abandons reality. But I show it to all my horror-loving friends, if only for the incredible camera work in that taxi scene. On my list I'd put Driver and Contagion, first movie that ever made me want to throw up because I forgot to wash my hands.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 1:21 p.m. CST

    Oh yeah . . .

    by Nice Marmot

    . . . am I the only one that thinks Rango was f'n' fantastic?

  • ...would have been able to do any of those things? That the military would just let them run around through their vehicles in the middle of an all out action? lol I get it - its a movie. You're supposed to suspend your disbelief. I tried - I really did. But the movie actually ended up making me angry it was so ridiculous in its premise. Basically, they wanted to make a "found footage" alien movie (which it really isn't) so they strung together a bunch of insanely implausible scenes around that plot idea. Could have been great - wasn't.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 1:22 p.m. CST

    @chaunceygardiner

    by Alientoast

    Re: Thin Red Line, I think he felt mostly insulted because of the setting he used (Guadalcanal) and how completely unrepresentative it was of the actual conflict. I can see the message Terrance was trying to convey in the film, but at the same time I can see why someone who actually went through the conflict wouldn't like it, even if I can't fully imagine what it was like. I'm paraphrasing, but he thought it was ridiculous premise to have a Marine contemplating life and beauty and what have you during that conflict, since most people were primarily focused on just surviving and getting food (they were forced to eat jungle rotted Japanese provisions after the Navy ditched them to avoid the incoming Japanese fleet). He was a scout during a good portion of that battle, so that probably impacted things a lot when you consider that type of role has a more micro vs. macro interaction with the enemy. As for Tree of Life, I suppose it works for some people because, as you had stated, it almost has a "blank canvas" aspect to it...the viewer more or less fills in the scant narrative with what they see in it, thus "completing" the film. While I can understand the appeal and impact of that, personally the film just didn't click with me at any deep emotional level.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 1:36 p.m. CST

    canned_dirty_ape

    by DrMorbius

    I posted simply to point out the irony in your post. If I was trying to single you out in some manner I could have noted your misspelling of *experiance*[sic] in your reply to Cobra. I did not respond otherwise because what you wrote was your opinion and you are welcome to it. I feel that, at this point, Harry is not going to change the way he does things, so the point is moot. And yes, I have plenty of time on my hands, and apparently you do too! If you find errors in any of my posts, feel free to point them out. And thanks for keeping it civil, even though somewhat sarcastic.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 1:37 p.m. CST

    Attack The Block REALLY ?

    by anakinsoyo

    Im from england and i would just like to say i am very ashamed we produce such terrible films as Attack the block . Why the fuck would you start a film with a bunch of kids mugging a women walking the streets alone ? From that moment on i wanted the aliens to wipe them all out and it wouldnt be such a loss to humanity or society really would it ? I have friends who live in high rise flats and they aint exactly got alot of money and some of them are black but they dont go around mugging women walking the streets . What kind of fucking message is this film giving out ? We had the riots here last year and it was shocking . The police did nothing and people cry oh the kids they have no future and no money ect and society doesnt care ! What a fucking crock of shit ! I grew up in the 1980`s thatchers britian and alot of us growing up had fuck all but that didnt give us the right to act like a bunch of animals . They really should have made clean up the block where aliens come and clean up the human scum . Harry you are off your fucking head . I think you even called the film progressive ? ARE YOU SMOKING CRACK ?

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 1:47 p.m. CST

    Jaka I meant

    by P

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 1:49 p.m. CST

    Super 8 vs Attack the Block

    by Chang-A-Lang

    Super 8 wins. Attack the Block was all hype. It fell apart over and over and over again as I watched it. Take, for example, the scene where Moses is confronted by the head honcho drug dealer after being attacked by aliens. We've all seen this scene before: a character is attacked by an implausible force and so they are then forced to convince everybody who didn't witness it that they're not insane. The aliens show up and make quick work of the dealer's buddies, but the drug dealer doesn't seem to care and continues to pursue Moses, despite having just witnessed his pals being slaughtered in less than fifteen seconds. Let me put it a little more simply: the script was shit. My friend and I laughed during the climax when Moses is running through the block wearing a dead alien like a backpack. Not to mention all the residents who somehow know that Moses saved them all even though the audience was never really given an indication that the aliens were bothering anybody besides the lead group of kids. I can't believe this film is on so many Best of '11 lists.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 1:54 p.m. CST

    Bottlefingers AKA The Grey

    by Badger23

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 2:09 p.m. CST

    We need to talk about Kevin

    by kim

    I just watched... Buuufffffff!!!!! Is a very hard and touching movie, it makes you feel unconfortable and sad at the end of the movie. Just like when I saw "Eden Lake". It has flaws. The songs that are in the movie are anoying for my taste. And in the first 10 or 15 minutes of the movie the editing is irritating. SPOILER: . . . . . . At the end of the movie there're a couple of shots that will break your heart. And the last words that Kevin says in the movie and the reaction of the mother... are very sad. I recomend it. Is in my top 10 list?? Maybe... I'm not sure, yet. But I need some beers and get some hot girl right now, to compensate. This movie is unpleasant. Thanks Harry for the recomendations. BTW I dislike Woody Allen. He has never try to do a western, an action movie or sci-fi. Always doing the same movie. He's mediocre as a film maker. I don't watch movies from that guy.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 2:13 p.m. CST

    ATTACK THE BLOCK

    by SUPERJIM

    Is it just us from Britain who didn't like ATTACK THE BLOCK? It looks that way from comments on here. On the whole, Americans like it and Brits don't. I wonder why that is? Is it because life is actually similar to that over here, excluding all of the aliens of course?

  • It subverts the typical awe experienced by Spielberg's (and Abrams)more sheltered, suburban kids. These punks are so disaffected and nihilistic that even an otherworldly threat is met the same as any other they would encounter: with hyper machismo (which is, of course, a front) and street posturing. These kids grew up watching all that crazy shit in movies and video games. So when it lands in their back yard (lot) they treat it with appropriate ironic distance and an expected knowing.

  • midnight in shitstain doesn't even deserve capitalization it was so bad. Hey kids, didja sleep through high school? Here's a moron's cliff notes of a bunch of famous artists, none of whom talk or sound like human beings, directed by a shitty little pedophile who hasn't made a good movie in more than 20 years.

  • YOU ARE THE DUMBEST PERSON ALIVE

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 2:28 p.m. CST

    Green Hornet was Citizen Kane compared to Green Lantern

    by golden tribw

    I don't know why everybody shit all over that movie so hard, it was nothing special but it really didn't do anything to piss anyone off, unlike GREEN LANTERN and so many others. I hate Seth Rogan too, but he's not the 'superhero' -- it's his Asian butler or whatever the hell.

  • I can't even summon the energy to tell you how stupid you are.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 2:39 p.m. CST

    Loved Midnight in Paris

    by Mattman

    Very creative romantic comedy that deserves the praise it's getting.

  • Everybody got a hard-on for it because of the revisionist history, but the characters were horrible and the arcs were rehashed shadows of X-Men 1 and 2 (I just want to feel normal!). What a load of shit. The special effects weren't even good.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 2:47 p.m. CST

    Glad to see Headhunters

    by psychedelic

    Regarding Harry's opening comments---Yeah, God forbid movies on top ten lists be FUN to watch.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 2:54 p.m. CST

    I really appreciate the response, AlienToast.

    by ChaunceyGardiner

    I worked on a reply but it got too long and there was issues I found myself raiseing that I felt were worth developing - but I ran out of time. My father wants to go see "War Horse," as do I. He rarely asks to go see a movie. So I'm there. Well... I will be there. Eventually. Now, I am apologizeing for not giveing you the type of adequate response that I felt your post deserved. It was honest and made your arguements much more clearly - and they are arguements I think are very worth considering. Thank you, again.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 3 p.m. CST

    canned dirty ape

    by dagwood

    hostile much? I used to be like you, accusatory towards those I'd never met, threatened by the most minor of things. It's unbearable. And I wish you nothing but the best in climbing out from underneath your blanket of hate. Drink a glass of wine and relax.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 3:13 p.m. CST

    Yeah Hugo......ugh, me and Scorsese are done professionaly.

    by Stuntcock Mike

    Hang it up gramps.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 3:50 p.m. CST

    attack the block @ goldentribe

    by anakinsoyo

    Where are you from ? Probably not england ! You dont get the fucking point im trying to make . We dont get many good films over here any more and the good ones we have dont get promoted . All they seem to do is promote are these in the hood chavy teenage london bullshit films that the majority of the population dont care for . So kids are going to watch this attack the block and follow the story of a bunch of scum bag kids who go out robbing women walking the streets alone at night and look to them as some kind of heroes . How can you start a film when the people you are supposed to give a shit about and follow do shit like that ? Are you fucking kidding me ?Goldentribe go fuck yourself . If you like that film then you are a retard . What kind of message is that film sending ? Dont bring in speilberg films into the discussion when talking about the piece of shit that is attack the block . You dont know what the fuck you are talking about .

  • You don't have to look at anyone in A.T.B. as a hero, and frankly I don't think you're supposed to at any moment to any extent. They are just people reacting to their situation. You're upset that the ghetto is getting (good) publicity, which has nothing to do with the movie, and you're apparently too stupid to appreciate anything without Prince Charming in the lead role. Good god you are a waste of air.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 4:06 p.m. CST

    anakinsoyo, you need to seriously unbunch your panties

    by Jaka

    Do you honestly believe that it's not possible to be aware of everything you said and STILL like the movie? Do you honestly believe that most people are not fully aware of everything you just said? Lastly, have you SEEN any other movies, like, ever?! Because if you had you would know that there are tens of thousands of them that contain bad people doing good things. Seriously man, relax. I don't believe Attack the block was attempting to have a "message". It was about some fucked up kids who got put into a more fucked up situation and did the best they could. Didn't make them heroes for me, just made for an interesting movie.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 4:10 p.m. CST

    Just watched Attach the Block.

    by Your Moms Box

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 4:11 p.m. CST

    Damn enter Key.

    by Your Moms Box

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 4:11 p.m. CST

    Just watched Attack the Block

    by Your Moms Box

    Hated it. It almost made me racist.

  • The Grey is 2012. Leave it at that.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 4:14 p.m. CST

    attack the block

    by anakinsoyo

    Attack the block is a film about wankers made for wankers and if you asked anyone from england they would say the same . If you like it good for you im just speaking my opnion so dont get all pissy mate !

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 4:19 p.m. CST

    anakinsoyo - seriously?

    by Jaka

    You told someone to go fuck themselves. You called someone retarded. You're calling ANYONE who like a movie a wanker. It looks like you're the one who needs to work on not being so pissy.... mate.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 4:20 p.m. CST

    @ jaka

    by anakinsoyo

    AGHGHAGHAGHAGHGAHAGAGHGH !!!!! lol Where are you from dude ?

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 4:20 p.m. CST

    Why does everyone love the first Mission: Impossible?

    by Mugato5150

    I suppose because the first 15 minutes were the only time in any of the films where there was an actual team who had different skills beyond Tom Cruise and the guy with the lap top. But they all got killed. Ghost Protocol comes closest to this and the action was greatly directed so I think it was the best action film of the year.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 4:20 p.m. CST

    Also, you're not "speaking an opinion"

    by Jaka

    Doing that is perfectly well understood. What you're doing is stating your opinion as fact, belittling anyone who says otherwise. The two are very different from one another.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 4:25 p.m. CST

    @ your moms box WELL SAID DUDE !

    by anakinsoyo

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 4:50 p.m. CST

    Most of my favorite films are mainstream

    by WINONA_RYDERS_PUSSY_JUICE

    but when it comes to top 10 lists we're talking about top shelf. Harry Potter films are very entertaining but you don't put Coors Light on the top shelf. Plus it was like a 2 hour action scene, not much story.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 5:09 p.m. CST

    seems like somehow Super 8 is mentioned in ever top 10 talkback

    by WINONA_RYDERS_PUSSY_JUICE

    It can't possibly be a bad movie if it's getting so much attention. ;)

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 5:19 p.m. CST

    No Drive But The Grey ???

    by oborostyle

    But yeah great to see that Super 8 got no love and I Saw The Devil is on it. And A Boy & His Samuarai is now on my To Do List.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 5:20 p.m. CST

    Also, here's Harry's REAL TOP 10 FILMS OF 2011 (that list above is a fake)

    by Mr. Pricklepants

    1. THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN PART 1 and ABDUCTION (tie) 2. THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE II (FULL SEQUENCE) 3. BUCKY LARSON: BORN TO BE A STAR and JACK AND JILL and ZOOKEEPER and JUST GO WITH IT (tie) 4. TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON 5. ATLAS SHRUGGED PART I 6. NEW YEAR'S EVE 7. BIG MOMMAS: LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON 8. ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: CHIPWRECKED and THE SMURFS (tie) 9. TRESPASS and SEASON OF THE WITCH and DRIVE ANGRY 10. RED RIDING HOOD

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 5:38 p.m. CST

    chaunceygardiner

    by jimmy_009

    Jesus H Christ, you're a terrible writer. DON'T give up your day job. I don't know which was worse, the amount of blatant misspellings buried in faux-intellectual musings or the horribly jilted prose. Speak it aloud. It sounds like you're a philosophizing robot. "Great art inspires us. It challanges us" It certainly does 'challange' us doesn't it? That's not a typo, it's a misspelling from someone that doesn't know how to spell correctly. "and you have those comeing out of the theatre literally shaken by it." The only one 'comeing' during your essay were grammar Nazi's who just hit the mother lode. "They recount a story that occurred during the events surrounding the films initial release." Dude, trim some words from that. Learn to write before you dump something like that in public. "And yet before telling this story, I find it important here to state smartly, cleanly, definitively that what I am talking about is film as art." We have a budding James Lipton here, methinks... "That might sound as pretenious as pretenious gets, but art is worth shareing." Dictionaries are worth "shareing" too. Borrow one from a friend, you "pretenious" fuck. And to the moron that said he should start his own site... no one can help you.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 5:39 p.m. CST

    mr_incredible, haha, that makes much more sense

    by Mattman

    You forgot Conan though...

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 5:44 p.m. CST

    chauncey

    by BlaGyver

    Yeah, there were a good many spelling/grammar errors.... That said, ignore what Jimmy said and start a fucking blog. Those errors don't disguise the fact that you have some very thoughtful things to say about film. Maybe edit a little more closely, but definitely make it.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 5:57 p.m. CST

    I watched I Saw the Devil tonight

    by david starling

    A superb movie, bloody good, but it left me feeling cold. Agree with Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, but why the omission of The Devil's Double?

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 6:02 p.m. CST

    My favorite 10 films of 2011

    by antonphd

    i would list them, but the talk back won't work in this story

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 6:05 p.m. CST

    My favorite 10 films of 2011

    by antonphd

    Midnight in Paris, Sherlock Holmes - A Game of Shadows, 13 Assassins, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Drive, The Descendants , Limitless, Warrior, The Lincoln Lawyer, The Green Hornet

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 6:22 p.m. CST

    The Grey shouldn't count because it hasn't been released, dude!

    by Judge Briggs

    My favorite movies: -I Saw the Devil -13 Assassins -X:Men First Class .... finally got an X:Men movie right! Nothing else really sticks out like those three! I wish I could nominate Breaking Bad because it's fucking amazing.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 6:23 p.m. CST

    this is a 'best' list?

    by SPACEHUNTER3-D

    cos other than midnight in paris this looks like a 'worst' list. tinker tailor, attack the block, tree of shit-- fuckn awful. only pricktentious bitchholes say those movies r 'works of art' they fuckn suck- endofstory

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 6:29 p.m. CST

    spacehunter3-d

    by IAmTommyWiseau

    Transformers 3 was rad wasn't it, dude? Best movie, like, ever!

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 6:31 p.m. CST

    Seriously no Drive?

    by elsewhere

    It's not a masterpiece, but I guarantee it's better than at least one of the movies on that list. Is Drive this years Inception, Harry?

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 6:50 p.m. CST

    The Grey

    by plissken77

    Every year Harry puts a film on his top ten that wasn't even released that year...its just bullshit. its a cheat to your readers and to yourself actually. It dismisses your whole list. it's based on release dates dude...enough of this shit its getting tired...

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 6:59 p.m. CST

    Attack the COCK

    by ToughGuyRizzo

    Cause if you root for the teens then you support potential rape and woman beating. Why would that make a credible anti-hero? But oh, then they fight aliens. And they become good guys or something. Of course Harry liked it (and Nording) so, they continue to loose credibility.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 7:08 p.m. CST

    Well said Toughguyrizzo

    by anakinsoyo

    AMEN !

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 7:12 p.m. CST

    Has Malick made any films better 'The Thin Red Line'?

    by even9

    The rebellious grunt soldier (Jim Caviezel) rising above war , corruption, chaos, dis-appointments, dis-location & cowardliness amidst the semi-jungle settings of the pacific in finding peace and inevitable death to save his platoon? If so...what ever it is must be a pretty good film.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 7:26 p.m. CST

    I liked Hugo too...

    by pr0g2west

    But can somebody tell me why exactly it's getting so much attention this year? Every critic has it in their top 10, I don't get it. Yes its good, I get the "correct usage of 3D" as a story-telling element. But seriously other than that...why is it so great? Any feedback on this will be appreciated.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 7:42 p.m. CST

    Why does Harry get so much flack from the pretentious douches on here?

    by DanielnocharismaCraig

    You all realize that you can just leave here and never come back correct? That you are not forced to read and take the time to create your own rebuttal to what he wrote here. I mean, because you all must have such creative and successful lives to keep on coming back here for more punishment. Would it really kill the nay-sayers on here to just relax and enjoy Harry's reviews for the extremely individualistic and unorthodox style he has chosen to craft his reviews and not expect Roger Ebert? I for one find his writing to be witty, full of passion, and without cynicism. And for me at least, I find that to be extremely refreshing.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 7:42 p.m. CST

    Thanks anakinsoyo

    by ToughGuyRizzo

    I just remember hearing so many good things about ATB from AICN and then.......it SUCKED. I would rather kill the fuckin teen "heroes" in this flick rather than the aliens.

  • Salivating to see KEVIN, just because she's in it. What a powerhouse. She's on another level, talent-wise. Also, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS deserves every accolade it receives. A movie with real heart and soul. Very funny, too. Allen sends up the "ugly American" beautifully and gets in some great digs on Republicans.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 7:48 p.m. CST

    Bellflower really is a piece of work...

    by Sick Fixx

    It only made it onto one year end list, but everyone ought to give it a shot. It is this generation's Fight Club, only more sentimental and not as nihilistic.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 7:52 p.m. CST

    Liking Moses from Attack the Cock is like liking Casper in KIDS

    by ToughGuyRizzo

    I'd say fact out loud but I dont wanna be a creepy dickbag.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 7:56 p.m. CST

    danielnocharismacraig RE: Harry's reviews

    by ToughGuyRizzo

    1.) there's the credibility factor in what he writes about. He supports films in which ALOT of talkbackers know to be crap films. 2.) We're entilted to our opinion. Valid or not, welcome to AICN TB's. 3.) Do you understand how to construct a paragraph? If so, like many of us TB'ers, please join in telling Harry he needs to learn how to write a proper structured review. Fuckin noob.

  • Is Driver (Ryan Gosling's character in Drive) a good guy? Is Tony Montana a good guy? I could probably name a thousand of these type of characters from well-loved, popular movies - classics even. Its absolutely ABSURD to say that Attack The Block is a bad movie because the lead characters aren't "good guys".

  • So, then if you like Attack of the Cock, you're ok with Moses looking out for himself. After he beat the shit out of Sam and robbed her. And then they only need her cause the asshole kid's leg was busted.

  • Seriously, putting a film that you saw in 2011, but is getting a theatrical release in 2012, should NOT count! Especially, when all of us are unable to see it. I sure as fuck want to see The Grey, but come on. As for your list, I disagree with Attack of the Block and Tree of Life, but those are your choices and opinions and I respect that. Drive, imo, IS the best film of the year. Oh and I thought Captain America and Super 8 were terrible.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 8:02 p.m. CST

    The Grey 2012. Cause Harry got an advance copy. So, there ya go

    by ToughGuyRizzo

  • Seriously, you cannot be serious with ATB. I can understand you like it but no way in plant hell can you say it's top 10 of 2011. The silly over grown muppet with glow n the dark saliva was suppose to be scary or threatening?

  • fact

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 8:47 p.m. CST

    @jaka,..u r wrong about tony montana

    by Mr anderson

    He wasn't a good guy, but he sure wasn't a bad or evil guy either. The masses love him because he was just like the rest of us struggling to make ends meet anyway we can. All the guys he killed in the scarface deserved it if you recall. The hotel massacre was totally self defense. Frank and his right hand man betrayed him 1st. And the hitman killing women and children triggered his demons. He wasn't perfect but he played by the rules for the most part and ended up a tragedy like most drug king pins.

  • Harry's real top 10 based on his comments throughout the year 1. Hugo 2. I Saw the Devil 3. The Grey (its inclusion is ridiculous but its consistent with Harry) 4. A Boy and his Samurai 5. Headhunters 6. Attack the Block 7. Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows Part 2 (he loved this movie, and loved the series) 8. Captain America ( he was gushing over this movie) 9. Super 8 ( again was gushing over it, compared it to his childhood) 10. X-Men First Class So the following movies were added in to give himself what he percieves as credibility of some sort; Midnight in Paris, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Tree of Life and We Need to Talk about Kevin

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 8:52 p.m. CST

    13 Assasins not in his list?

    by Miyamoto_Musashi

    Did he include it last year, because its exclusion really surprised me

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 8:53 p.m. CST

    WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN is really great.

    by fustfick

    It's full of visual metaphors and ridiculously entertaining. It's a movie I'm very confident in recommending to any adult and I'm happy to see it on Harry's list. I loved TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY and found it to be really quite exhilarating. DRIVE is my favorite of the year, but I saw it in the theater (and recently watched a DVD screener). Some of you may recall that Harry unwittingly revealed in his review that he watched a bootlegged version of DRIVE...with a temp score and fake credits. To wit, Harry hasn't really seen DRIVE, and in good conscience, cannot count it among his favorites of year. I just saw HUGO the other day and found it pretty disappointing. So much crying! And better 3D can be seen in SHARK NIGHT, RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE, FINAL DESTINATION 5, and (gulp) YOGI BEAR. Seriously. I fell asleep about 25 minutes into TREE OF LIFE the other night, but I'm determined to give it another shot. It was late...but I did manage to watch another movie (THE RUM DIARY) in its place. Not sure what that means. I haven't seen any of the other films on the list. But I did see A DANGEROUS METHOD and THE GUARD and they are among my favorites for the year. WARRIOR is one of the oddest of the year. The performances are truly outstanding and because of this there is an emotional reality to the movie that's really quite satisfying. But, the plot is so completely ridiculous it's almost impossible to summarize with a straight face.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 9:01 p.m. CST

    The kids in ATB are anti-heros

    by P

    Have you not seen any number of gangster films or westerns that have anti-establishment protagonists who are flawed but nonetheless follow their own code? It's a classic dramatic archetype.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 9:04 p.m. CST

    @Jaka

    by Your Moms Box

    I can only speak for myself, but I think characters like Tony Montana or the driver in Drive are completely different than the kids in Attack the Block. Montana was no angel, but he's a complicated character who keeps getting more and more in over his head and consumed by greed. People root for him because it can happen to any of us. The driver in Drive was clearly a psychopath, but (at least for the confines of the films running time) was forced into a situation where he had no choice but to respond violently. Most of his actions are in self-defense or in the interest of self-preservation. Again, people relate to it because they sit there and say "I'd do the same thing" regardless of it they would or not. This may not be true for other gray area characters of cinema, but again, for me, the kids in Attack the Block were simply unlikeable pieces of shit right from the jump. There needs to be layers and motivations to a character in order for me to root for them, in spite of their flaws. Those kids were just one-layer, and that layer was dirt.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 9:53 p.m. CST

    DRIVE. What the hell? Seriously... Hugo, but not Drive. I'm disappointed.

    by Santiago Charboneau

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 9:57 p.m. CST

    HARRY,I AM DISAPPOINT.

    by KilliK

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 10 p.m. CST

    Lousy List Harry

    by Kraaken

    I knew this list waas fucked right from the start with the cheesy man-in-ape-suit Attack the Block film. Harry must have been on serious meds when he saw this one. Can't even begin to be credible after seeing that on the list. C'mon dude.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 10:03 p.m. CST

    miyamoto

    by HEADGEEK

    it was on last year's list.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 10:18 p.m. CST

    ALL THESE MOVIES R BETTER THAN DRIVE!!11!11!

    by WINONA_RYDERS_PUSSY_JUICE

    FACT11!!!!11!!!11

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 10:22 p.m. CST

    REFN ARE YOU PAYING ATTENTION?

    by WINONA_RYDERS_PUSSY_JUICE

    ONLY GOD FORGIVES BETTER BE BETTER OR HARRY WILL LAUGH AND LEAVE YOU OFF HIS TOP 10 LIST AGAIN. OK? THAT MEANS NOBODY HANDING OUT ACID TABS INSTEAD OF 3d GLASSES AT THE THEATER YOU FUCKING WEIRDO

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 10:33 p.m. CST

    Once Again

    by plissken77

    The Grey come out in 2012...you idiot. And thank you I remember you putting 13 Assasins on your list last year when none of us saw it until this year...your awesome Harry...if awesome meant big fat and dumb

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 10:56 p.m. CST

    HUGO was a great movie

    by VoiceOfSaruman

    Cheers Harry.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 11:39 p.m. CST

    Here everyone keeps saying 2011 was a horrible year for movies...

    by Sick Fixx

    And everyone has completely different lists, completely different favorites. I keep trumpeting Bellflower as best of the year. Others inevitably mention Kill List, A Boy and His Samurai, Hugo, 13 Assassins. Someone even mentioned Red State (good choice) in Capone's talkback. All in all, you'd have to believe it's been a great year for movies with no one able to agree on anything other than Drive and Tree of Life, both of which seem to be on everyone's list.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 11:40 p.m. CST

    Canned dirty ape pwned the Head Sell-Out

    by Jerkmeister

    Well said. Although his airplane analogy was incorrect. His grammar wasn't perfect either but then again he's not claiming to be a movie critic. Reading Harry's review is like reading some shit that a lazy fat kid wrote.

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 11:54 p.m. CST

    Why does Harry's list have to look like yours?

    by Powers Boothe

    I honestly don't understand why people on here are so outraged that certain films are "missing" from Harry's list. This is HIS personal list of favourite films for the past year. Right? Why does his list have to look like yours? Do we all have to feel the EXACT same way about each film? How boring would things be if we agreed on everything? Calling someone an "asshole" because they don't feel Drive is one of the ten best films of 2011 is really silly. Lighten up, people!

  • Jan. 7, 2012, 11:55 p.m. CST

    upon further review

    by WINONA_RYDERS_PUSSY_JUICE

    2009 was actually the worst year ever

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 12:52 a.m. CST

    Hellooooooooooo winona

    by ajit maholtra

    I am ajit. From where are you?

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 12:54 a.m. CST

    Finally caught Tinker, Tailor a few hours ago

    by Kammich

    And, wow. Just awesome. I have no doubts that le Carre's novels(as well as the original mini-series) are fantastic spy-thriller yarns... but, for me, "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" is an exhibition in material being elevated by the principals involved. Alfredson's directing is unrelenting. It is purely a movie made up of talking heads, and Alfredson never once waivers in his delivery of the narrative; the audience is fed to a point of gluttony on the comings-and-goings of the spy trade; jumping from timeline to timeline in chronology that only becomes aware to the eagle-eyed and earnestly-attentive viewer; but Alfredson never once decides to dumb down or spoon feed it to the audience, which makes it all the more rewarding. And visually? Shit, its a grand slam. I am a 23-year old American kid. I am just about the FURTHEST thing from those represented in this film, the 1970s English gentlemen's club of spies. And yet I was there for every punch, every single highly-punctuated visual beat that Alfredson puts forth. By the end of the film, I felt right at home in the otherwise foreign(to me) aesthetic. And the cast is just ridiculous. Gary Oldman's restrained and pained Smiley sweats nuance from his pours, and Oldman is essentially giving a 2-hour workshop on the craft of acting. His entire detached monolog about his sole encounter with Karla is just fucking riveting. But it is also one of those movies where you can throw a dart at the screen at any point and say, "give this guy a supporting Actor's nod." Toby Jones plays one of the most petulant, slimy motherfuckers I've seen on screen in awhile. Tom Hardy steals his screen time as the one member of "The Circus" who is willing to show any emotion at all; an agent whose only fault was acting rationally, from the heart. Colin Firth takes his 25 minutes of screen time and beats the living hell out of it. And the best performance of all, in my opinion, was Mark Strong's Prideaux. How nice is it to see Mark Strong slay a script as an actual PROTAGONIST? The guy is just fantastic. "Drive" is still my favorite film of the year. A few other oddballs, like "Bellflower" and "Shame" follow closely behind. But huddled in with all of them is now "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy." Fuckin' loved it.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 12:59 a.m. CST

    AJIT!

    by Kammich

    fuck the police, Ajit. how is life in your neck of the woods? I hope you are running an Ajit Train on a bunch of bitches.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 1:05 a.m. CST

    The best compliment I can give to two actors...

    by Kammich

    Watching Gary Oldman as an emotionally shutdown, closeted career-man(Smiley) doing his best to (vacantly) reassure Tom Hardy's love-sick rogue agent in "Tinker, Tailor" just made me appreciate the two of them as actors even more. Because in about 6 months, we're going to be seeing that same Gary Oldman as a weathered Northeastern American police commisioner trying to tackle the extremist terrorist threat of Tom Hardy's masked, eastern European mega villain Bane. Wait... what? Thats hard to believe. But thats just how good the two of them are at what they do.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 1:07 a.m. CST

    Hellooooooooo kammich

    by ajit maholtra

    How are you my friend? I am good but not doing any train on ladies. All ladies here are fat and they are too much bitch.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 1:09 a.m. CST

    Those are the facts of life my good friend Ajit

    by Kammich

    But you must learn to find the diamond in the rough, the needle in the haystack, the skinny non-bitchy lady in the gaggle of geese. Keep fighting the good fight, Ajit. I have your back until the ENDS OF TIME.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 1:14 a.m. CST

    @iamtommywiseau DAMN RIGHT. nolte deserves an oscar 4 WARRIOR

    by DeineHinokischeSigile

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 1:20 a.m. CST

    at least it should be, sorry!;)

    by DeineHinokischeSigile

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 1:36 a.m. CST

    ATTACK THE BLOCK is incredibly average

    by bruce

    ...and no one on the face of the earth would ever say "that the movie made them feel like they were Harry Knowles loving a movie completely as they watched it."

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 1:41 a.m. CST

    kammich thank you my friend

    by ajit maholtra

    One day I will find my Raat ki Rani. Until then there are plenty of naked ladies on the internet for me to watch.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 1:42 a.m. CST

    AND QUIT TELLING US ABOUT YOUR SPINAL-BIFIDA-THERAPY WOES

    by bruce

    we get it, you're fat and it keeps you going. in 2012 lets not mention this ever again in any piece of "chit" you write on your inter-web-page you call aintitcoolnews, 'cause that topic is definitley not.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 2:19 a.m. CST

    No Love For 50/50.

    by WillBell

    It was a great film! My favorite of 2011 (from the films I've seen).

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 2:37 a.m. CST

    Tintin/Warhorse vs Minority Report type Spielberg

    by even9

    Well there is a mega Robopocalypse to look for in best of for 2013 right? The thing about Minority Report is, the irony for the sci-fi mind bending movie geeks is, that the force behind the 'flawless system' takes it's first opportunity to cause murder of at the very minimum of one person in order to seek justice....and getting away with the very crime it has been used to 'flawlessly' stop. Is this intentional plot or natural consequence of, who knows? War of Worlds is most potentially great realised bananas EPIC film of Steven though, so Robopocalypse has great possibility i would say...

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 3:25 a.m. CST

    I Saw The Devil is terrific indeed!

    by centilope

    You could see a few of the tweests coming, but as a whole it's it's just incredible. Well directed, brilliant acting by the guy from Oldboy, great suspense, cinematography etc. It grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go until the movie is over. A must watch.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 3:33 a.m. CST

    I wish WARRIOR was 4 hours long

    by centilope

    Not very original, but just so effective, so emotional, powerful, gripping etc. I laughed, I cried. If you haven't already, see it now.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 3:33 a.m. CST

    captaindude - just saw 50/50 this week...

    by Jaka

    ...and I liked it much more than I thought I was going to. Really great job by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anna Kendricks and Anjelica Huston, but Seth Rogen was still the fast talking, too loud, "hey look at me I'm hip" guy that he is in every movie. Its not that he's bad, its that he doesn't fit in some of the parts he plays, and for me this was one of them. But overall I did really enjoy the movie.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 3:35 a.m. CST

    Just finished watching 'Perfect Sense'

    by Jaka

    Wow. Actually made me really freakin' sad. It's what Contagion would be if it was small, introspective and genuinely frightening... and did I mention sad? Definitely deserves more attention than its gotten so far.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 4:43 a.m. CST

    I don't get the love for "I SAW THE DEVIL"

    by Eli_Cash

    Its derivative. Basically combine Chaser with Man From Nowhere and you have ISTD. Its a decent movie in its own right, but those two movies are great, and it was obviously trying to emulate them. Which kinda makes it suck for me. And it isn't as interesting as either Chaser or MFNW. Because, in the end it just becomes a long drawn out revenge story. It pisses me off that so many critics are falling all over themselves to praise this movie, when it really isn't innovative at all, unless you've never watched Korean thrillers. For that reason, I NEVER recommend this movie to friends, even if I know they'd enjoy it. My small way of countering the bullshit reputation this film has NOT EARNED.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 4:45 a.m. CST

    Great list Harry

    by melonman

    Very different from my top 10, but that's the great thing about personal movie love - we all have our own favourites. Also, as usual you've come up with another great tip - I'm definitely going to be checking out HEADHUNTERS. Thanks man!

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 5:12 a.m. CST

    winona_ryders_pussy_juice

    by Eli_Cash

    *seems like somehow Super 8 is mentioned in ever top 10 talkback It can't possibly be a bad movie if it's getting so much attention. ;) * You're right. Its an awful movie. Probably the only movie I've ever watched that was so bad it pissed me off. Regular bad movies don't do that to me. I fucking hated super8, to the point that I almost sympathize with Asi. It almost makes me want JJ's career to be over. I'm gonna be skeptical about any movie with his name attached to it for quite a while now.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 6:24 a.m. CST

    good call on headhunters

    by palewook

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 6:27 a.m. CST

    @jaka, I'm with you

    by kim

    "Perfect sense" is a very good movie, but i won't put it in my top ten. I made my mind and I have to say that "we need to talk about Kevin" deserves an Oscar for Tilda Wilson. The movie hits very hard. A clasic!! Kill list is a nice movie too, but the end felt too rush. I don't understand the love for "Drive", is not a bad movie, but, for me, is average. And Ryan Gosling seems sleep the whole movie. I can do that role too, and I'm pretier than him. But his role on "Ides of march" (good movie) is much better. Attack the block" was the funniest movie of the year. I had a really great time. It has nice moments: the dialoge about ONG, the scene of the flag... Top ten for sure!! And I don't undestand people crying about the kids are bad guys (just one of them is a bad guy, the rest are just kids). When I was a teeneger I had some problem with the law and I was on jail once, that dosen't makes me a bad person. Is not black or white. The kids have and arc of transformation, and finally we see them just as kids. And someone said that Tony MONTANA wasn't a bad guy!!!! You kidding me?!! The first killing he does in "Scarface"is in cold blood and in the back. Contagion" is too cold and is not touchin, but is nice to watch, just that. No top ten. NICK NOLTE AND OSCAR FOR WARRIOR, NOW!! AND WARRIOR IS NUMBER ONE!!

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 9:23 a.m. CST

    just saw Headhunters and enjoyed it

    by Miyamoto_Musashi

    but not top 10 for me read the book and definitely a faithful adaption

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 10:21 a.m. CST

    So Attack The

    by alexander

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 10:24 a.m. CST

    ... Block and Green Hornet: Two films this year that were

    by alexander

    throughly underappreciated by the majority of dickwad knee-jerk uber masturbatory online talkbackers! *ducks for cover*

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 10:25 a.m. CST

    there thats my thoroughly subjective, ham-fisted two cents

    by alexander

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 10:29 a.m. CST

    Wow, kammich

    by Roger Moon

    If that review doesn't convince people to see Tinker Tailor, I don't know what would. Have to make time for this.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 10:41 a.m. CST

    I Saw the Devil

    by JackieJokeman

    Good to great premise and two great leads but it is executed only adequately. Its no Oldboy and I wish people would stop pretending that it is.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 11:27 a.m. CST

    Yes and don't forget Lisab

    by P

    The Elle Fanning character, who is probably the strongest and most complex character in the film, becomes a generic damsel in distress and disappears for most of the third act.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 11:47 a.m. CST

    iamtommywiseau U dumbass

    by SPACEHUNTER3-D

    transformers3 was an overly long, characterless, self-indulgent boring mess of a movie...much the same experience as tree of life. having jack-shit for a story isnt made better with endless shots of the sun shining thru leaves & slow-mo of wind thru grass. its just as uninspired as explosions and robots fighting. both films are equally pointless and un-engaging. spoon-fed is spoon-fed even if its supposedly good 4 u. both movies r 2 sides of the same epic-suck coin

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 12:03 p.m. CST

    The Grey -Ridley & Tony Scott producers credits?

    by Franck

    Any clue as to their involvement, anyone?

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 2:01 p.m. CST

    Glad to see Warrior getting some love in the talkbacks...

    by The_guy_in_the_rated_R_movie

    Just saw it recently and was blown away, what a film. You don't even have to been an MMA fan to like it, it's just a good ol' fashion sports drama....and that scene between Hardy and Drunk Nolte, wow.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 2:07 p.m. CST

    HUGO fell a bit flat for me.

    by HarryWannaBe

    I only went to see it to see what Scorsese could do with the 3D format, and the answer to that, sadly, was not much. There were a few scenes here and there that worked really well in 3D, but I agree with what someone else mentioned earlier, most of it was just gimmicky. Well, maybe "gimmicky" is a bit strong, but I don't feel the 3D really added much, so the extra charge I had to pay for 3D certainly wasn't justified. Also, HUGO was possibly one of the most improperly advertised films I've ever seen! I don't mind children's/family films, but had HUGO been advertised as the (to paraphrase Harry from his review) "love letter to film" that it ended up being, I probably wouldn't have waited weeks after it's opening to see it out of pure boredom on a Sunday afternoon like I did. But even when that all started happening in the movie itself, I didn't really care much about the silent films they reference in HUGO. I found the techniques and such interesting, and I love Scorsese's appreciation of all things film, but beyond that...it simply bored me. I will agree that HUGO is a good film, but best of the year? Not even close. (I'm not sure what my #1 would be at the moment, because there's still a bunch I've not seen yet from 2011.)

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 2:18 p.m. CST

    LisaB

    by ChaunceyGardiner

    I have only seen "Super 8" once thus far, but I was not quite certain during that viewing whether the alien was in fact eating the citizens of that small burg. Actually, the one time where it seems that he is eating the citizens I was pretty sure that it was really Abrams giveing us the disjointed point of view of a very frightened, very confused child. I may be wrong. That may have in fact been a leg he was eating. But at the time, I didn't believe that he was actually eating people. Merely that the child was seeing something that looked a lot to him like the monster eating a person. The reason I felt for the presence of captives in his den was that he was useing them for sources of information. It may also be similiar to the case in "It Came From Outer Space" in which the "monster" was useing the people he collected as insurance that he would survive his time on earth. Hostages. But this is a theory that hopefully I can clear up later with repeated viewings. (I felt that the alien's ability to glean information/emotion from those he had contact with was too big a plot point to be disregarded.)

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 2:24 p.m. CST

    And ZombieFatigue,

    by ChaunceyGardiner

    I like that the adults have to pony up. It makes the story as much as their's as the children's. And in a way, this reflects the reality of children in the lives of their parents - helping them, in some cases, to disregard the past in order to move on. A lot of people don't learn forgiveness in life until they have children and understand firsthand, and painfully, the human capacity for failure and mistakes. I know it breaks from the Spielbergian mold, but I was quite thankful for the dramatic presence of these men being placed in a situation where they must trust one another, let old wounds heal. I don't believe it to be a cop-out at all. At least we have the military/government as the faceless source of all misunderstanding and unjustified use of force. That's 1980s Spielberg in a nutshell.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 2:40 p.m. CST

    Plus,

    by ChaunceyGardiner

    doesn't Peter Coyote's "grown-up version of Elliot" make a decision to disobey authority by absconding to the forrest launchpad without notifying his peers? I like you am a fan of early Spielberg's distrust of adults, his tremendous respect for childhood and youthfulness, and his probeing into a world where adults are not allowed or at least don't have the empathy and intuition they once had in order to realize the truth of the situations they are in. One of the first filmmakers to make a point of the ignorance and apathy that society breeds into adults. ("War Horse" was an interesting counter to this. So far I see it that he has made too anti-war films: "Empire of the Sun" and "War Horse." One is entirely from a child's point of view and the other very much seems the work of a man who is a father himself. I saw "Empire of the Sun" when I was a child and it was a splash of cold water on my face, an early awakening to some of the hard facets of the adult world I would soon inherit. I saw "War Horse" last night and it again recreated that shock felt when one's sense of security is met suddenly with the undeniable facts of existence: the hard frozen crust that forms on men and women embattled, turned into combatants and forced to endure the rigors of war. It was a very calculated film, but one that looked with humanity and the warmth of hope at things we would do best not to ignore. My blood ran cold when I first got a glimpse of Spielberg's Somme. What a showman he is. I was back there again, in my living room, watching "Empire of the Sun," and I was reminded of all that had changed in me, and all that had remained intact, still, and same. Great film.)

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 3:36 p.m. CST

    flipped

    by taff

    I have flipped Hugo & Midnight with Midnight my #1 for the year.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 5:33 p.m. CST

    chaunceygardiner...please, please please...

    by jimmy_009

    ...learn how to write. I almost feel like you are trolling us with your unnecessary verbiage and third grade spelling. "by absconding to the forrest launchpad". It's like listening to the narration on Cheaters. Facepalm doesn't cover how I feel about your posts. Soulpalm comes much closer. You hurt me to the soul.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 5:59 p.m. CST

    Thanks for the Fish Story recommendation!

    by GoDFaDDa42

    I'm watching that now onNetflix - it's TERRIFIC!

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 7:17 p.m. CST

    TAG!

    by ChaunceyGardiner

    I punched your soul! (But only open-handedly. You will recover. I will send you flowers. With a letter. Written in crayon. For your eyes, and your eyes only. The most egregious mistakes I will save for you and you alone, my dearest detractor.)

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 7:18 p.m. CST

    And he does abscond. It is better than "flee."

    by ChaunceyGardiner

    Or "rush." Or "tear ass."

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 7:56 p.m. CST

    Well, not as ridiculous as the other AICN lists.

    by Lesbianna_Winterlude

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 8:32 p.m. CST

    Chauncey...

    by jimmy_009

    ..."And he does abscond. It is better than "flee." No. No, no, no, a hundred times no. Any writer will tell you not to use a ten dollar word when a one dollar word will do. You think it makes you look smart but a reader rolls his/her eyes at word choices like that. And that was just one among several in that sentence alone: "absconding to the forrest launchpad without notifying his peers?" And then there's this gem: "whether the alien was in fact eating the citizens of that small burg." It's like you're a robot that just had a thesaurus app loaded into your sub-routine. No one thinks you're smarter, they think you're a pretentious d-bag. Read some books on writing and drop the transparent "smart guy" bull-shit. Smart people don't speak like that. They speak with wit, clarity, and brevity. I'm serious, watch the show Cheaters and listen to their hilarious narration -- that's what you sound like.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 8:37 p.m. CST

    And Chauncey...

    by jimmy_009

    ...if I seem harsh, it's because somewhere buried in that terrible prose there was some real thought behind what you were saying. I'm very serious, learn to write without all that nonsense and you'll connect with people a lot more effectively.

  • I admire the talented young cast and the economy of the script's first act (before it falls apart, or runs sideways, as lisab aptly put it). The notion of the alien being sympathetic and misunderstood is Abrams wanting his cake and eating it too. He introduces Cloverfield (again) before pulling the rug out from under us and trying to get all E.T. It doesn't work. Also, the set pieces- namely the train derailment and the bus attack- never come close to what Spielberg does. Normally, I'd say it's not a fair comparison, but when the whole film is built upon this What Would Steven Do? mantra, I'd say Abrams invites the criticism. I wanted to like the film. I liked the idea of Spielberg's protege creating a valentine to his mentor. But unlike De Palma did with Hitchcock, or Carpenter did with Hawks, Abrams' homage never develops an identity of its own. As I said earlier, the closest comparison is what Singer did with Superman Returns: a superficial pastiche.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 8:55 p.m. CST

    TIM TEBOW IS A FUCKING FAGGOT!

    by AzulTool

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 9:21 p.m. CST

    I had no idea Super 8 was so hated by the AICN community.

    by Yelsaeb

    Sure, its not a masterpiece, but its still pretty entertaining. It's not the type of movie that's supposed to be picked apart. Its got a little on its mind, but just a little. First and foremost its trying to entertain and I think it did it pretty well.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 9:23 p.m. CST

    And JJ Abrams is not the next Spielberg.

    by Yelsaeb

    His movies are pretty good but nowhere near the level of Spielberg. Super 8 is miles below ET.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 9:39 p.m. CST

    Thank you, bacon_aesthetic

    by Kammich

    Coming off of a fresh viewing of the film, my greatest concern was spewing unreasonable hyperbole about it. I hope I don't lead anyone astray. Personally, I really loved 'T,T,S,S.' But I can't speak for everyone; it is certainly not a film FOR everyone. But I loved it. I am about to sit down and watch "Warrior." Very excited.

  • Jan. 8, 2012, 10:10 p.m. CST

    I saw the Devil is crap compared to The Man From Nowhere..

    by Mr anderson

    I really can't stand most korean films because they're mostly very boring and over rated by westerners who are tired with shit from HOllywood. But Man from Nowhere was one the best films I've seen in a really long time. It was executed nearly perfect in all aspects of a solid film.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 1:51 a.m. CST

    The only Woody Allen film I've walked out of.

    by Flip63Hole

    And I LOVE jazz and love some of the people in thosee eras, dig Owen and McAdams is one of my favorite actresses. I guess the hype killed it for me. Funny, between "Paris", "Attack the Block", "Kevin" and "Tree of Life", there's four films on Harry's list that I walked out of/turned off before the end. "Tree of Life" being embarrassingly bad. Like "Americans just may not have the artistic talent or the rest of the world" bad. I do believe I'll be skipping the rest of the films on the list, just to be safe. Bummer because I'm a huge Scorsese fan...

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 2:24 a.m. CST

    flip63hole

    by Xen11

    I stopped reading your post halfway before the end. So if there was something that tied it all together, I wouldn't know. I thought I'd give being a pretentious douche a try.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 2:39 a.m. CST

    Malena?? Tree of Life?

    by Suskis

    I am Italian and I cannot believe you like a piece of garbage like Malena. This can explain the reason you like mental masturbation stuff like Tree of Life... That's embarassing stuff, you know? Their gloss can't hide the meh factor unde it.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 2:44 a.m. CST

    I kinda liked Super 8

    by WINONA_RYDERS_PUSSY_JUICE

    It's a decent enough movie. Let's see here. Yep. 82% on Rottentomatoes. You guys that say "it's just not a good movie." Just fucking shut up you stupid shit eating butt cheese munching hermaphrodite anal sex addicted toolbags! Fuck off I don't fucking care what you think OK. Got it? GOOD!

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 3 a.m. CST

    And I specifically remember

    by WINONA_RYDERS_PUSSY_JUICE

    Harry jizzing all over Midnight in Paris as well, so some of you other cum drinkers are fucking full of fucking shit too you full of shit fucks!

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 3:37 a.m. CST

    ahem

    by smylexx

    This looks like a list of films designed to make people think you know a lot about films. I regularly visit the website and cant remember Harry so much as mention some of these titles before today. Since we know how much he likes to talk about films that he's passionate about, perhaps we should compare column inches given to Headhunters etc over the coverage The Green Lantern got. Perhaps i'm being unfair. Maybe Harry REALLY loves the above list but something tells me that given the chance to actually rewatch a film from 2011, the ones he'll return to time and time again will more likely be Captain America or something less arthouse. I'd much prefer some honesty and integrity from the websites editor rather than a 'look at my eclectic taste' list which, to me, screams of pretention.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 3:46 a.m. CST

    HARRY Yes please for a BEST OF POPCORN FILMS LIST

    by silentbobafett2

    WOULD BE AWESOME :-)

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 3:59 a.m. CST

    Thankyou apple916

    by Eli_Cash

    Have you seen Chaser? I feel the same way about that one. And ISTD seems like the director just saw both movies and decided to rip them both of by taking the protagonist from MFNW and the antagonist from Chaser. Then stringing together a few key elements and shots from each by using a dull revenge plot. It wasn't even emotionally engaging. I didn't care about any of the characters. And the outcome sure wasn't surprising, though the setup was kinda promising, with the prot deciding to toy with with the ant instead of getting it over with.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 4:09 a.m. CST

    winona_ryders_pussy_juice

    by Eli_Cash

    You may not care what we think, but I'm curious about what you think. Why did you like that movie? To me it was like being promised a cool scary monster movie, and ending up babysitting a bunch of screaming obnoxious brats for two hours. I didn't watch any of the previews except the teaser. I read some reviews that said it was scary. Instead I got a retarded family movie about the coming of age of some of the most irritating kids ever put on film. Oh yeah, and there was a monster there that doesn't even become relevant until the last 15 minutes of the film. And then we're supposed to sympathize with it, which is both weak for a monster movie, and perverse considering the things that it has done. So what's the appeal? Did you think it was scary? Did you think the monster was cool? Would you spend any extended amount of time around kids like that, without choking them? I'm not a hater, but I honestly can't understand what anybody could possibly find to like in that movie.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 4:31 a.m. CST

    uhhhh

    by WINONA_RYDERS_PUSSY_JUICE

    I kinda liked the kids. Like I said, I kinda liked the movie. Yes the kids were sometimes annoying. Sometimes they were likeable tho. I mean, you know this was supposed to be a modern E.T. right? It sounds like you don't know the story behind the film. Spielberg mentored Abrams because Abrams wanted to make an 80's Spielberg movie. How many aliens were in Close Encounters? Not many. It's all about the story. So you shouldn't have been surprised that it wasn't a monster thrill ride. The most memorable part to me is the train crash. That entire sequence is great, I loved it. When the girl does an amazing job at acting, and she asks them if that was o.k? Then their reactions, that was cool, I dug it. The train crash was perfect, it couldn't have been done any better. That was one of the best action scenes the whole summer. Then the dude in his car, when it looks like he definitely bit the dust, but he opens his eyes and scares the shit out of the kids, that part was fucking great also. There's so much creativity in the screenplay here. No, I don't think the creature was as scary as it could have been. If Spielberg directed the bus crash scene he probably could have ratcheted up the tension a couple notches. Or maybe not have you seen War of the Worlds? Lol. Too bad it wasn't more like Jurassic Park right?

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 4:32 a.m. CST

    In mine eyes

    by Xen11

    when doing a 'best of' list, the brain should list every film that is a contender, then rank those films. Because to have just a 'top 10' or 'top 5' leaves out what they are being compared to. Because no one has seen every film released this year. So, taking Harry's Top 10 as an example, do I take it that he thinks these films are all better than Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes? I don't even know if he's seen that film. I don't know what other films they are competing with in Harry's viewings. So, if I had my way, in my view, it should be every film you've seen this year listed and ranked from your personal favorite (the films that mean the most to you and that you loved more rather than ranking what you think others expect you to like more). So I would ask of all of you to rank every film you've seen this year, from what you feel is most of worth TO YOU to what you consider least worth (worthless) TO YOU.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 4:42 a.m. CST

    You illiterate fucking toolbags

    by WINONA_RYDERS_PUSSY_JUICE

    Do you see the search bar at the top of the page to the right, right next to "sign out"? Are you still with me or do I need to do it for you while your mom is changing your bib? OK type in the box: "Midnight in Paris" After that you have to press the "enter" key or nothing will happen. the enter key is on the right side of your keyboard above the shift key and below the backspace key. OK now then. Hover your mouse over the letters that spell out "Article #50,000: Harry believes that Woody Allen's MIDNIGHT IN PARIS is the best film yet of 2011!" and press the left mouse button. class dismissed!

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 5:03 a.m. CST

    @anakinsoyo

    by koalaofdoom1982

    I'm British and really liked Attack the Block. So i'm a wanker right? Get off your soap box and stop believing whatever the Daily Mail tells you. Idiot.....mate.....

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 5:26 a.m. CST

    We don't double space after full-stops anymore.

    by mothandrust

    We just don't. The typewriter age is over Harry.

  • And they beat women.

  • When it way waaaaaaaay overrated. The thugs aren't likable "anti-heros." They're women beating assholes. Although super 8 wasn't a masterpiece, the kids in that were a bit more tolerable. (and didn't rob and beat people.)

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 6:52 a.m. CST

    Forgot the C in FUCK. Cause C is for Cock in Attack the COCK.

    by ToughGuyRizzo

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 7:42 a.m. CST

    spot on smylexx

    by Miyamoto_Musashi

    a few others have said the same thing, this years top 10 list in particular has 4 or so that seem out of place and a few that he completely gushed over that weren't included.

  • Yep you said it Harry and you've also proved it with your list. Also the absurdity that critics top film lists are effected by the type of year they had personally? And being so principled about having a top 10 list with no runners up but including a film "The Grey" that was not released in 2011 on your list?

  • should be the title.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 8:39 a.m. CST

    ATB over rated by AICN yes...

    by koalaofdoom1982

    Calling everyone who's view differs to yours a wanker is throughly trollish. But hey, if forgot its easy to hide behind your moniker and be a tough guy on an internet forum. Personally, I found the kids in the film more engaging and relatable than the typical hollywood typecast of say Super8. Considering that both films were homages to 80's kids films ATB at least dared to be a little different.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 8:56 a.m. CST

    and women beaters?

    by koalaofdoom1982

    If my hazy memory serves me right, didnt the victim get knocked over by accident as part of a struggle by Moses the lead character? And if my hazy memory serves me better werent the other kids quite alarmed that she had fallen over? Yes the group reaction was one of macho back slapping but it hardly equates to breaking out the white vest. I live and work with these types of kids everyday, robberies, assaults etc. And in almost 99% there is something likeable about them, its not on show often, just like the Kids in the film but when you get to see through the chinks in the armour (like moses' Spiderman duvet) you can see that they are at the end of the day just kids. You dont like it I get it. I even get that you dont like Harry et al and the reviews and support the site gives. But holy shit, isnt that what this site is about? Supporting new film that ties in with pop/geek culture?

  • Sorry dude. You loose.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 9:02 a.m. CST

    I'd wager that appreciation for ATB characters...

    by Hipshot

    Is somewhat split along political lines. Liberals probably like them more--Liberality tends to believe that character is created more by circumstances than "nature"--and would appreciate the aspects of the film that suggested that these behaviors are adaptations to the environment. Conservatives probably, on average, liked it less. Conservatives tend to believe that our behaviors are controlled more by innate nature than experience and environment, and therefore their criminal behavior is an expression of their basic character. Not 100% either way, but I've noticed the tendency.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 9:08 a.m. CST

    because the Bronx had violent rioting and looting this summer?

    by koalaofdoom1982

    anyway..... when did this become a conversation about who's inner city young people were more dangerous? It didnt really. Are you saying that if this was an American film set in a Bronx project, it would equate better with you and you could relate more to the characters?

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 9:13 a.m. CST

    hipshot

    by koalaofdoom1982

    I think you nailed it on the head with that assumption. The more conservative media in the UK had a field day with ATB, espeically given the riots around the time. Doesnt make either opinion right or wrong, just makes the opinions different.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 9:24 a.m. CST

    All I gotta say is that Wings of Desire ruled.

    by ToughGuyRizzo

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 9:41 a.m. CST

    I might check out this HEADHUNTERS movie

    by Spandau Belly

    Everything else on this list I have either seen or have no interest in seeing.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 10:28 a.m. CST

    Glad you didn't say Captain America FA (my fave superhero

    by Bedknobs and Boomsticks

    character). The actors and characterizations were awesome, but most of the movie, script and production, were just awful.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 10:48 a.m. CST

    Props for HUGO and MIDNIGHT IN PARIS

    by kidicarus

    Just saw Tinker Tailor this weekend. Cold and cerebral, and the subtlety in characters like George Smiley will likely be lost on most audiences, but great movie. Serves as a sort of realism counterpoint to the new breed of spy movies, a la Bourne, et al.

  • I'm not sure where I rank it as far as films of 2011 as I didnt see as many this year..and I agree whole heartily with Harry on what he had to say about the character of Moses.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 11:12 a.m. CST

    Awesome list Harry.

    by TheDark0Knight

    Im soo fucking amped to see The Grey. Its about time Carnahan is looked at as an incredible filmmaker. I've loved all that dudes films.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 11:33 a.m. CST

    Thanks for the list Harry!!!!

    by phifty2

    Who the fuck writes shit like that?

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 11:34 a.m. CST

    BTW

    by phifty2

    Canned dirty ape: If you live in the tri state region I'd like to buy you a beer.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 11:54 a.m. CST

    Fish Story is truly great Cinema...

    by workshed

    ...as was Golden Slumbers. AB&HSamurai is my most anticipated movie of 2012. Hope you enjoyed the movie Godfadda42.

  • The first, say, hour of the film is pretty good. The murder, the cop tracking down the killer, than catching the killer. Sadly, the remaining hour and change is really, really dumb. The cat n' mouse game becomes more and more ridiculous as the film rolls on, and the ending didn't provide the catharsis you would want. It's not a completely terrible film (like I said, the first hour is pretty good), but it sure as hell isn't much of a good one either.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 12:47 p.m. CST

    The Muppets was easily my favorite movie of 2011.

    by frank

    Hugo was mostly average and forgettable, imo. The only thing that set it apart from other films was the inclusion of the Melies footage and that of the other silent films (and the recreation of the making of those films), which was amazing to see in the theater as well as in 3D. Scorsese always has great camera work also, which was enjoyable to watch, but the actual story of the movie was nothing we haven’t seen many times before. It was all very safe and by-the-numbers. The Muppets, on the other hand, was excellent in every regard. Hilarious, engaging, well-paced, emotionally resonant and above all, fun.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 12:47 p.m. CST

    errr... Attack The Block is not set in The Bronx

    by alexander

    you moron.

  • OK, You may be right in that aspect as there wasnt the big payoff you were expecting, But I loved the idea of Soo-hyun putting his wife's killer through all kinds of hell and humilation (sticking a tracking device in his body while beating the shit out of him.) before ultimately killing his sorry ass. (and with a guillotine at that.) Him walking off in tears, well there wasn't much of a closure there. but atleast he took down the killer's cannibal friends as well. Brutal, shocking and just as good as The Chaser and man from Nowhere. (IMO)

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 1:14 p.m. CST

    2011 also had GANTZ and Space Battleship Yamato.

    by Stalkeye

    Two very good Japanese Anime based films that I had the pleasure of watching.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 1:28 p.m. CST

    No love for Kill List? Is that 2011 technically?

    by alexander

    Kill List was fantastic. One of the best of 2011 ive seen so far. Alot of reviews seem to be mentioning the same thing - the ending. A rip-off, a shoe-horn etc. But the ending really brings this movie full circle. Makes for a really interesting pairing with Inception too...

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 2:42 p.m. CST

    Although I have not seen it, critics are tripping over themselves

    by openthepodbaydoorshal

    giving praise to The Artist. Since it's a movie about the movies, silent and black & White, I thought it would be right up Harry's alley. No room Harry, or you didn't get a change to see?

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 2:45 p.m. CST

    Watched 'Warrior' last night

    by Kammich

    Found it to be pretty terrific. In my creative arts class last semester, I had a a professor tell me that "no great story can be told without an antagonist." I immediately disagreed, and vaulted a few examples of the contrary at him. I can now safely add "Warrior" to the list. By the 3rd act of the movie I was rooting my guts out for everyone in the film. That could've dictated an overly-sappy, hand-holding fluff piece of made-for-TV drama, but the razor-edged script and the performances from the lead actors prevents that. You find yourself truly, emotionally invested in all the principals involved. Gavin O'Connor's directing is never too in-your-face, nor does it strive to be overly cinema verite. The end result is that I completely lost myself into the frames of the film; the actors disappeared, and all that I could see after that were the characters they were portraying. Joel Edgerton is probably given the least to do amongst the 3 main actors, but he's still terrific as the "every man" of the group. Nick Nolte is equal parts frustrating and heart wrenching as the father, and his encounter with Tom Hardy in the casino just wrecked me. And, speaking of Hardy... the dude just continues to blow me away. I saw "Bronson" in early 2009 and thought, "wow, that crazy mustachio'd weightlifer can really act! Wonder where they found that crazy motherfucker?" Then he popped up in "Inception" as the slick con man Eames, and it took me the entire movie before I realized it was that dude from "Bronson." Add to that, his wildly varying roles in movies like "RocknRolla," "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" and the forthcoming Batman flick... and I honestly think Tom Hardy might be the best actor working today. For me, "Warrior" was a rare case of a film that managed to be completely engaging from start to finish; managed to range emotions from funny to sad to hugely uplifting; and offered up a genuinely satisfying conclusion. I found it to be a better film than David O. Russell's "The Fighter," and I liked that film quite a bit. I hope it gets some awards accolades, because it deserves them.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 3 p.m. CST

    What about "The Guard", that movie was fucking fantastic

    by LegendarySpartanBlood

    Also, I thought Melancholia was really good too...

  • Sorry, but Tree of Life is a very important film - but because the characters are dealing with Christian faith, and that the film actually has the nerve to talk about God, it will be totally discriminated against at awards time. Golden Globes already ousted it, and it's just very obvious.

  • But you're right in that anything remotely spiritual that isn't Eastern or Native American in context is going to make Hollywood queasy.

  • That's why they're good, they could've had more fights, more action, more CGI, but they stuck to the story. I loved em! Too bad they didn't get the attention they deserved, but I think "Warrior" may find it over time through DVD.

  • Also, what is it with you Christians and this delusion of persecution? It's really weird, man, I gotta say. NOBODY is trying to take your religious freedoms away. Hell, at the rate we're going as a country (down the drain), we'll soon be fighting for freedom FROM religion rather than freedom OF it. That said... I thought Tree Of Life was great, beautiful, really something special, but if it's going to be overlooked at the Oscar's (and it will be) it's because it's an arty, nontraditional (maybe not avant garde, but close to it), visual film with almost no dialogue and an experimental narrative structure. It's like you're watching someone's dreams and internal emotions as they deal with traumatic loss and reconciliation rather than a traditional narrative exploring similar themes. THAT'S what's going to cost it the Oscar -- the fact that it went right over everybody's heads when all they wanted were 'splosions and transforming cgi vampire superheros.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 4:29 p.m. CST

    Ok so I just watched Sucker Punch.

    by phifty2

    And based on most comments here I expected very little plot and girls with swords fighting dragons and robots. That's what I got. I realy can't complain given my expectations.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 4:42 p.m. CST

    Maybe "Christian film" isn't quite what I meant -

    by venvariants

    In that era, those characters are most assuredly Christian. By "Christian film" I didn't mean it had Christian agenda - maybe I should have been clearer. Nevertheless, the film IS talking about the common suburbia America's God and Faith of 1950's and 1960's era, which is likely Christian - and for that being the characters' Faith, it will be discriminated against come awards time. Whether because the film is talking about Faith from that background, or God in general, I can't say. But it will be ousted 100% completely, as if it never even were made at all. Even Cinematography will be ignored. Director, Picture - everything. It won't have a single Oscar nomination.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 5:03 p.m. CST

    I wanna see Suckerpunch for the broads

    by BIG_BAD_WOLF_IN_CAPS

    I think I'll watch it when the wife goes out of town, and have a fap fest to it

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 5:13 p.m. CST

    Fapping does not exist in this dojo

    by Cobra--Kai

    big bad wolf, I think the reason so many tb'ers ended up being a bit down on SUCKER PUNCH is because for all its promise it is not fap worthy. The whole movie is a bit grimy and sepia toned, and for some reason rather unsexy. It should have been fap worthy, but is not*. * obviously fap-worthiness is highly subjective and if any tb'ers did indeed manage a half-hearted fap to SUCKER PUNCH then please feel free to correct this assumption.

  • I mean WTF!!! No Drive and Warrior.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 5:21 p.m. CST

    So, are the broads in Suckerpunch fap worthy?

    by BIG_BAD_WOLF_IN_CAPS

    I mean, seeing those scantily clad hotties gets me all tingly...kinda like seeing Evelyn Lin or Tia Tanaka's ass

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 5:23 p.m. CST

    Venvariants, you may be right. But I hope not

    by P

    Folks can argue about the dramatic merits of the film (I love it) but who can argue that TOL doesn't have the best cinematography of the year? One of the most beautiful films of the 21st century.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 5:30 p.m. CST

    Fllm lol

    by P

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 5:34 p.m. CST

    Don't believe the Attack The Block hype

    by django_il_bastardo

    I was so disappointed by it when I finally saw it after all the good word of mouth. I was rooting for the aliens the whole time.

  • hahah! LOL! hahah! LOL! hahah! LOL! hahah! LOL! hahah! LOL! hahah! LOL! hahah! LOL! hahah! LOL! hahah! LOL! NIGGA, PLEASE!

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 5:47 p.m. CST

    Moderator: please ban Zodnothot immediately.

    by P

    No room for that crap.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 6:13 p.m. CST

    @NeonFrisbee

    by Your Moms Box

    I don't think there is a delusion of persecution among Christians at all. There is, however, a reality of different religious agendas that try to stifle and hide it. You seriously mean to tell me you never once read a news story about a group of Jews or Muslims demanding that a Christmas tree be removed from a town square or whatever? I have experienced it first-hand. How often nowadays do you hear "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas"? I don't want to tell you to pull your head out of your ass, but it really seems that it is way up there given your comment.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 7:18 p.m. CST

    Great list...

    by ranma627

    but Hugo??? Fuck that film. The film has no energy whatsoever and the Meiles storyline feels completely thrown in and therefore out of place.

  • Harry, you have created a site and atmosphere suited less to fans of Roger Ebert, but more to the fans of Joe Bob Briggs. It's now time to face that reality. This site throws out news and rumors about projects geared towards the fanboy community, but then when it comes time to rate the year's best films, the writers act like they work for the NY Times. So, enough with the arthouse bullshit, and give us the REAL top 10 of 2011. If you have to call it your "popcorn list", so be it.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 7:54 p.m. CST

    zombie_fatigue... super8

    by MurderMostFowl

    I agree with you somewhat on that. I enjoyed the movie but it fell a little flat. The ending was pretty good, though I think there were some interesting unexplained things that could have added some value had they explained them or at least expounded on it. The kids were believable, the forbidden relationship was interesting, etc. The dialog was entertaining. The whole aspect of the military pissed me off. They were so blatantly.... so... 1 dimensionally evil. That doesn't fit with the 80s kid story. In a Kid's world the grownups make the rules. They are dismissive of kids. They are forceful with kids... sure. They aren't *evil* though. It would have worked better if the top brass thought they were acting in the best interest of everyone, and were playing the role more of the reluctant defenders of past misdeeds. If we could see some sort of moral conflict in them, it would have helped. Giving them some sympathy on screen that ultimately gave them a believable premise that they felt their actions were necessary evils and were just blinded to the true nature of what they had done. ( being a little vague here just in case there's some people who still haven't seen it ) That part was done so much better in Close Encounters, and ET. I don't think I agree with you about the adults. I didn't see them driving the story, except for the dad... but his distance and grief and transition to loving father/learning whats important is a major plot point. I felt some of the kids interactions were slightly forced but I can't pinpoint what it was. The older sister flirting with the stoner was pure 80's awesomeness though. The "malfunctioning" weapons really was unnecessary, I wish JJA had resisted some of the flash bang explosive stuff. The train wreck scene was also too much. Not for the explosions themselves, but just the complexity of the wreck and the kids narrow escape... that doesn't fit the characters. The succeed not by skill ( which they don't have, rightfully ) or by good decisions ( like, run 90 degrees to the wreck you idiots ) but by amazing coincidences of flying wreckage and fire. That's just too unbelievable. ( contrast this with the train wreck for The Fugitive,) If they just simply run or duck and hide, and survive that's more clear, but to put them through such an obstacle course is ridiculous. But JJA can't resist shit like that. His trademark lensflare is all over that scene too.

  • I couldn't quite put my finger on it. As far as some of the interaction between the kids seeming forced, I agree. It's as if Abrams didn't trust (or had forgotten) the way kids interact naturally, and instead tried to ape Goonies and Stand By Me: the over-lapping dialogue, throwaway line deliveries, excessive swearing. The reason those aforementioned films worked so naturally is because I'm fairly certain some scenes were improvised (I think I remember seeing that on Goonies DVD years ago). Completely agree with you regarding the military depiction.

  • Jan. 9, 2012, 8:28 p.m. CST

    lisab, the monster bother me too

    by MurderMostFowl

    But I chose to see the monster more symbolically. Sure the movie is s light on the symbolism and deep thought but the movie does put out a clear message that: Just because something absolutely awful happened to you in your life, doesn't mean all things are bad. That you have to "let the monster out" (ding ding ding ) and deal with your grief and anger, so that you can begin to truly heal. Even the monster learns this lesson in a way. I think the movie glosses too lightly over this... several great opportunities were there to tie the monster's rage with the son's ( or even the dad's or the other dad's ) feelings ( most importantly missing here is that the son wasn't angry seemingly at all...) And because of this, I think the monster scenes end up creating an accidental separate tale. Interweaving the monster a little better would have helped a lot. Like by making the monster interact with the kids, infiltrate their dreams or something. I dunno.. that might have been too kitchey. All in all I thought it was not bad. Just could have been better.

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 2:07 a.m. CST

    @kammich damn right! WARRIOR was easily the best film in 2011

    by DeineHinokischeSigile

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 2:10 a.m. CST

    wanna see a really good movie people watch WARRIOR

    by DeineHinokischeSigile

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 2:52 a.m. CST

    neonfrisbee and stalkeye

    by centilope

    There was no catharsis at the end of I Saw the Devil, because that's the point. At first you want Secret Agent Man to kill Oldboy/make him suffer before ultimately killing him. You give him carte blanche to do whatever he wants, just like his fiancee's father did, at first. It's intentional. As the film progresses, the movie is making you doubt whether S.A.M. should continue or just let go, in the end making the message of the movie clear. Revenge won't give you catharsis, it's not going to make things any better, the pain won't go away, it won't bring your loved one back. S.A.M. became a monster, made his own life and the lives of the people around him much worse, and in the end it was all for nothing. That was the whole point of the movie.

  • it was overall just alright.

  • And yet, if one were to share that screener with others, you would yell and holler that its "PIRACY" "and this has to STOP immediately!!!!" But you get a free pass. You see, if you introduce a little anarchy into the system, you upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. You have the MPAA trying to rule the fucking internet through SOPA and Obama is being paid off to sign on to this bullshit. And I'm not even a Fox News-watching christian-conservative redneck (stupid fucking idiots). I liked Obama, but now I see he's really no different. He's still WAY better and more intelligent than the fucking retardicans. But it seems Obama has succumbed to the dark side, thanks to stupid religious right nut wings that rule the country and won't let him do any good. Maybe he's deep undercover, planning to get in good with them or maybe he's just given up (realized its impossible to do any good) and just enjoy the income of money that he gets paid off with. The point is that, Harry, you are supporting the death of freedom if you support the death of "pirates". Deep down inside, you are a pirate, Harry. You get paid off like Obama. So whatever it is you rationalize your position with, keep telling yourself that, darling.

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 5:01 a.m. CST

    xen11 for the record...

    by Stalkeye

    ..during the premiere of Captain America, there were only Whites heckling and making commentaries throughout the film. The rest of the audience within the theater were silent and somewhat annoyed by our fellow Caucasian brethren. Oh and it's not the first time either mind you. If you're annoyed by individuals making noise while trying to watch a movie, please notify the management or just tell them to shut the fuck up. As I have done so in the past. No need to single out one particular group of people. Jeez you sound like that douchebag sierratangofoxtrot. (or is it golftango these days since he was banned for saying one too many racial remarks or getting on the fat ginger's last nerve?)

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 5:05 a.m. CST

    Oh and xen11, for the record Super 8 was pretentious shit.

    by Stalkeye

    Abrams pathetic opus that came off like a Spielberg also-ran. Sorry, but he could never carry the torch if Stevie boy passed it to him.

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 5:09 a.m. CST

    Which is worse? Hecklers or Crying Babies in the theater?!?

    by Stalkeye

    Hmmm..I'll pick "the fucking Parents that are too cheap to hire a Babysitter when going out on a Movie date, Alex". (0:<

  • Obviously, he wanted his fiancee's killer to experience fear, pain and suffering before finally doing away with him. When doing so, he became more of a Monster himself but imagine if your wife/GF who was carrying your child were to be murdered in such a horrid fashion. That would push almost anyone over the edge. Other than Kyung-chul finally meeting his end, there was no true closure nor should there be. The way I see it, the writing was on the wall, just like the final five minutes of Se7en in which Brad Pitt loses it once he found out that the serial killer decapitated his GF and pops a cap in his ass. (maybe a few caps at that, it's been awhile since I last saw that Movie yanno.) Revenge to that extreme is a vicious cycle ergo, you can't really expect a bittersweet ending now can you?

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 5:44 a.m. CST

    stalkeye

    by Xen11

    I couldn't get management as 1) I would miss some of the movie, thus it would be completely ruined. 2) Management doesn't fucking care. 3) Management could not manage them as they were in a big pack and not just in that theater, but other theaters as well. They were coming in and out, meeting their other friends in the pack between movies. They were texting on their Boost Mobiles. I was scared for my life. There had to be at least 20 of them in that group. They were unstoppable. A ball of violence in a crowd of decent people trying to enjoy a heartwarming experience. One person actually had the balls to tell them to be quiet, they just shot back in unison, "YOU BE QUIET. HAHAHAHAHA!!!!" I'm not a racist person. But when there's a big group of black people, you are outnumbered and they have the benefit of the "racist card" to play. They also have guns, knives, and rage. Again, I'm not racist, but why is it that (taking the Katrina incident as a perfect example) when things get a little chaotic its the black group killing and raping. If it was white people, you would more likely have people helping each other out instead of raping each other in the superdome, sh!tting all over the place with no decency whatsoever. I'm just telling it like it is. Black people are notorious for being loud in theaters. It's not just black people, but they stand out.

  • And they cheer the ghetto rat at the end. Pffff. Crap.

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 6:57 a.m. CST

    Great List!

    by symon

    I've got to say I agree with all the movies on this list that I've seen. And those I haven't - well, apparently I need to. Especially liked your choices for 1st and 2nd. I'm sure I wasn't the only person who immediately set up a silent film marathon on Netflix after I got home from Hugo. As a result, my kids now love Buster Keaton. Thank you, Mr. Scorsese.

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 8:55 a.m. CST

    Attack the Block - meh!

    by Philvis

    I went into Attack the Block just knowing some aliens invade and some locals had to fend them off. That being said, I figured it would be a good little movie, and it very well could have been. Instead, I loathed it. The movie presents a gang of hoodlum shitheads and they somehow end up being the protagonists I am supposed to cheer for...I think not. When I lived in London, I hated little wankers like that who would try to rob the elderly or smash your car window to get what they could in your car. At NO point in the entire movie did I feel compassion for them in any way, shape, or form. I was rooting for the aliens the entire time, especially after watching them rob that lady in the beginning. Sorry, but the punks were not misunderstood youth...they were just punks. Had the movie incorporated different "protagonists", it could have been good. I still want to take a bat to those punks just thinking about the movie as I write this.

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 9:01 a.m. CST

    I saw the devil (spoilers

    by Dr_Prunesquallor

    The reasons this movie doesn't work: - It takes 2.5 hours to make a point Oldboy managed to make in one facial expression; when Lee Woo Jin gets in the elevator, victorious, then stops smiling and starts crying. Bam. Revenge doesn't work. No need to drag this point out any longer than that. - There's only so many times we can feel shocked by watching a person being repeatedly hit in the head gratuitously with a blunt object. For christs sake exercise a bit of restraint. Show it once and it will have more impact. Seriously this happens like fifteen times throughout the film. - Once the main character catches the killer every ounce of tension is jettisoned from the film. We know he is stronger and more dangerous than the killer, yet he

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 9:11 a.m. CST

    Continued

    by Dr_Prunesquallor

    - spends the rest of the film ALLOWING the killer to brutalise and nearly rape various members of the public up to a point, before stepping in. If the main character is more concerned about exacting revenge than preventing bad things happening, how are we supposed to care about anything that happens throughout the rest of the film? - SPOILER - the 'revenge' the main character finally takes on the killer is to effectively ruin the lives of the killer's family. But its already been established that the killer has no emotional ties to his family so why would this be any worse than just killing him outright? It's like they were struggling to come up with an ending and settled for something that really doesnt make sense in the context of the rest of the film.

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 9:39 a.m. CST

    I saw the devil and 13 Assassins were both superb.

    by UltraTron

    13 assassins reminded me of a live action princess mononoke. I'll take a shot for shot live action mononoke over just about anything I could think of.

  • into the room and make me turn it off. Just street punks with food and cotton in their mouths trying to talk. I've seen up to where they team up with the girl. Total chore. I fucking despise everything on screen. I'm really trying.

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 9:47 a.m. CST

    Good luck fapping to the transvestites in Sucker Punch

    by UltraTron

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 9:48 a.m. CST

    Fuck I want to see battleship tomato

    by UltraTron

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 10:36 a.m. CST

    ABOUT PIRACY

    by kim

    Some one said something about piracy. Here's my two cents: In my country (Spain) films like "Triangle" (2009) or "Eden Lake" (2008) haven't been premiered yet. Not even in the domestic market!!!! This weekend is the premiere of "The Collector" (2009) on cinemas... a movie I saw two years ago!!! "Warrior" there's no news of that fantastic movie on the horizon. Still waiting. "Prometheus" it will be premiered Two months later than in the US... I could go on... I live in Barcelona, one of the biggest city of Spain, along with Madrid. And I dreamed to go and watch MI:Ghost Protocol on IMAX, but no way. there's only one IMAX in my city and they always doing shity documentaries. No movies. In my country all the movies are dubbed. So you cannot enjoy the work of the actors. Is true, there're some cinemas (3 or 4) who play movies in the original version (always with annoying subtitles and wrong traductions). In the rest of Spain, only in Madrid you can enjoy movies in original version (with fucking sub.). And the dubbed movies comes with changed dialogue for two reasons: 1-To adapt the words to the movement of the lips betwen the real and the fucking fake voice "actors". 2- Censorship. I love cinema. I own more than 300 original Blu-ray, each cost me 30 euros. And some movies comes without the extras that you have on the USA. I downloaded "Warrior" for free in Blu-ray quality. And I'll buy it cos' I love cinema (if some day is previewed here), and the extras. But I'm tired to spend 30 euros per movie. Fuck taht!! I'll wait a couple of years until the blu-ray cost me 10 euros, no more. I think that is reasonable. Meanwhile, the greed of some bussines shity people is destroying the industry of cinema. And it will dissapear, like the music industry (anyway, the music they 're given us now is rubbish). By the way... Tony Iommy, from Black Sabbath, has cancer... my encourage to him from here. Get well. The world needs you. Hero.

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 11:58 a.m. CST

    All this ATB hate, you people are full of shit

    by Jaka

    I say again, there has been an endless stream of movies with these type of characters as the protagonists. Movies with people WORSE than these characters. Movies with characters who don't even try to do anything redeeming and people shower them with love. A bunch of you are talking as if you've never seen a single movie with this type of character before and I'm calling bs. How about somebody say something original in regards to why they may not have liked the MOVIE. Stop aping the same damn comment about the kids over and over.

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 12:55 p.m. CST

    Piracy was the only way I could see Hurt Locker

    by Mattman

    And because I liked it, I bought the blu-ray. And then that asshole producer started suing people for pirating it.

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 2:05 p.m. CST

    I agree with Harry for once!

    by Lance2769

    Hugo was the Best Film of 2011! Scorsese at his best.

  • and by pircacy I don't mean shitty camcorder at the cinema knock offs they hand out on the streets.

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 2:18 p.m. CST

    And Jaka is spot on with Attack The Block

    by alexander

    I take it all you people fucking hate The Warriors as well thren for example and think its just a movie about scummy wankers for scummy wankers who need a good hiding.

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 3:08 p.m. CST

    Your defense of Attack the Block haters

    by Your Moms Box

    is fair enough, but stop pretending that not being able to relate to characters isn't a valid enough reason for not liking a movie. If you can't relate to, or like, the characters around which a film revolves, odds are you aren't going to be invested in what transpires on screen. I don't understand why some of you need more reasons rattled off to you. I didn't like the movie. I found the direction to be pedestrian, the action lacking, the pace boring, and the comedy bits unfunny. I also didn't like the frigging characters. I don't need my heroes in film to be cookie-cutter good guys. I love "The Godfather". Shit, I love "There Will be Blood" and the main character is a despicable human being with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. For me though, the difference is, those are adults. It may seem silly to you, but I relate more to adults being one myself. Kids just come off as punks and I want to slap them. Men behaving badly is more tolerable when you're a man. I don't know if I am making sense to any of you harping for a better explanation or not, but dammit I tried.

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 3:54 p.m. CST

    something about Bugsey Malone?

    by alexander

  • so you could slap them, and can then see them as punks you have no time for... j'accuse!

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 5:17 p.m. CST

    Attack The Block Kiss My Ass

    by m_prevette

    Really, there hasn't been such an overrated pile of crap in a few years. The character arcs aren't really there, they just go from being bad to ... not being good...but just being less assholish... you can make your heroes rogues who turn good but damn it...they rob someone at knifepoint... and never really turn over a new leaf. The lead thug is only happy at the end because he thinks the crowd loves him... fuck it. Fuck this bad movie, its marble mouth actors and awful score

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 7:41 p.m. CST

    I hated Warrior

    by animas

    aside from being one giant cliché of a movie, it was too long and predictable. Acting can't carry a movie alone, especially when 90% of the movie is just fight choreography. I haven't seen any of the movies on this top 10 list.

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 7:45 p.m. CST

    I did see Tree of Life

    by animas

    I forgot that I even saw that.

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 8:10 p.m. CST

    Warrior may be cliched but it's still amazing

    by The Grug

    I knew as I was watching it that the plot was ridiculous. My brain kept telling me that, but my heart didn't care. I laughed, cried and even frigging cheered after one of the fight scenes. So 'silly' be damned - if it works, it works. And Warrior works - I'd recommend it to anyone.

  • Jan. 10, 2012, 9:51 p.m. CST

    Attack The Block ruled.

    by frank

    Probably my second favorite movie of 2011 after The Muppets. Allowit.

  • Jan. 11, 2012, 12:21 a.m. CST

    If you "hate" Sucker Punch

    by Xen11

    you are a total fucking moron. You are not a lover of film if you cannot appreciate Sucker Punch. I know this place is filled with retards, as any other place on the internet, but its seriously disturbing how this film is dismissed without any thought or comprehension.

  • Jan. 11, 2012, 2:01 a.m. CST

    Only 1 out of 20 people really like Sucker Punch

    by WINONA_RYDERS_PUSSY_JUICE

    Myself included.

  • Jan. 11, 2012, 4:46 a.m. CST

    Kill List...

    by jpdisco

    Definitely should be in there somewhere. And probably Drive. I loved I Saw The Devil.

  • Jan. 11, 2012, 6:44 a.m. CST

    Uh, your moms box

    by NeonFrisbee

    The reason why you hear "Happy Holidays" is because not everyone celebrates Christmas. There are several different holidays at the same time. This does not, in any way, demonstrate "persecution." "Persecution" would imply you're not allowed to worship. Has your church been closed down? No. Are you allowed to pray as much as you want in the way you want? YES. There is no law that says you have to say Happy Holidays, you can say Merry Christmas as much as you want. Persecution would imply you weren't allowed to do this. Has a police officer ever told you not to say those words? No. SO STOP WHINING AND GROW UP. I think you're mistaking "persecution" for "diversity." NOBODY is telling you you can't worship your god as loudly and as longly as possible. And you're INSANE to think otherwise.

  • Appreciate that everyone has their personal faves etc, but fuck me sideways… …still at least you love RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES.

  • Jan. 11, 2012, 7:10 a.m. CST

    But what's it ABOUT???

    by The StarWolf

    Again with the "it's great! it's fantastic! it's amazing!" and not one actually useful word such as what the thing's about. Hugo Comedy? Drama? Romance? Science Fiction? Historical? What??????

  • Jan. 11, 2012, 9:06 a.m. CST

    Oh - and The Grey ISN'T FUCKING OUT YET

    by DiamondJoe

  • Jan. 11, 2012, 9:44 a.m. CST

    diamondjoe: Agree with you 2 out of 4

    by melonman

    Hanna - No - found it hollow Tinker Tailor - No - loved it 3D - Yep - it's a fucking con Attack the Block - couldn't agree more It'd be a bloody boring world if everyone thought the same…

  • Jan. 11, 2012, 9:59 a.m. CST

    And now my Harry Number is 0

    by Tigger11

    When I first started reading the site, I would have seen most/all of the movies on Harry's top 10 list and even would have liked most of them, but over the years thats changed. Each year fewer and fewer movies on Harry's list do I even see much less think of as Top 10, but this year for the first time, my Harry Number is 0, I have seen none of Harry's top ten, and I'm really not sure I have interest in any of them. The Cycle is complete.

  • I am possibly biased re Tinker Tailor having read the book and seen the TV series, and therefore I know what's been changed and/or left out. Still thought the movie was incomprehensible, overrated tosh. I love Oldman and he will get the Oscar because they owe him one. But he did not ACT in that film per se. His face never fucking changed.

  • Jan. 11, 2012, 10:36 a.m. CST

    Not allowed to dislike Attack the Block???

    by Philvis

    So I am not allowed to dislike Attack the Block because I think the main characters are shithead punks and in no way does the film 'redeem' them? I'm sorry, but I really couldn't get past my thorough dislike for the punks and because of that, it did sway the movie. What I got out of the movie was that I was supposed to band around the shitheads because they were "saving the block". Bollocks! They were doing nothing more than saving their own scumbag asses. At no point did I think, "awww, those little juvies are just misunderstood and they really do have a good heart." I understand that not all movies have clearly definied good and bad characters, but I really felt this movie failed because of that. If you can't relate or feel for the characters, it's not a good movie in my opinion. When the movie is meant to have you root for the locals, but instead you are hoping it will be an alien apocalypse, the movie failed. Sorry, but I am not going to "love" a movie because it's the cool thing to do. Screw Attack the Block!

  • ...because that's what it is: a (largely "British") film, based on a classic book by a British author, from which was made a classic British series, now starring every critically acclaimed British actor they could get their hands on. I bet you could have not bothered showing that film to half the critics in the UK and they'd still have given it 5 stars. Its a confusing, muddled mess of a film. But to say so is practically blaspheme.

  • And I've actually read some pretty poor reviews in some areas of the press. Like I said - it'd be boring if we all agreed. Personally I loved it, and found it really repaid a second viewing - I liked the fact that so much was played out in nuances, and background details rather than everything being spelt out in capitals for once. HANNA I just didn't get, which was a shame because it was one of my most eagerly awaited movies last year - really thought Joe Wright would knock the action genre out of the park, and for me, he just didn't. Appreciated skill in minor moments, great camera work, editing etc but overall I just didn't care about anybody in the movie, and the fairy tale metaphor really grated. Maybe I'll give it some time and give it a rewatch and appreciate it more. The ATTACK THE BLOCK and 3D love makes me gag.

  • Jan. 11, 2012, 11:07 a.m. CST

    I seem to be catching the same shit for not liking Attack the Block

    by Your Moms Box

    as I did for not liking Made. I wanted to jump through the screen and beat Vince Vaughn's character to death with an oversized marble ashtray. Maybe that was the point, but I found him so over-the-top unlikeable that the rest of the film didn't matter. I was far too revolted every single time he was on screen to concentrate on anything else.

  • Jan. 11, 2012, 11:09 a.m. CST

    HUGO

    by Sw0rdfish

    I was enthralled by Tree of Life, and I admired and enjoyed Midnight in Paris. I LOVED Hugo. Seen it twice now; teared up with a big dopey grin on my face both times. My wife (who hates 3D) loved it; my very picky son loved it as well. The fact that it did not do better saddens me, but cannot override the fact that such a wonder even exists.

  • Jan. 11, 2012, 11:36 a.m. CST

    xen11

    by fat_rancor_keeper

    RACIST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • From that scene where they mug the woman onwards I not only didn't care about the characters for the rest of the film, I actively hated them and they wrecked the film for me. Which I'm sure wasn't the point. And its a shame really because the action and the execution of it was quite stylish and fun.

  • So Green Lantern isn't exactly my favorite, but you are right about the others. They are great movies. What in my list would you rank higher? It would be nice if everyone did this, but it seems like everyone is too chicken shit. I bet most of everyone's list of what they saw doesn't consist of pretentious arthouse films.

  • Jan. 11, 2012, 5:47 p.m. CST

    No Harry is complete without a mention of a health problem!

    by coconutgroves

    And it is usually in the first paragraph, as we see here. Is not visiting your site enough attention for you Harry, or are you just perpetually seeking attention and sympathy in everything you do?

  • Jan. 11, 2012, 7:45 p.m. CST

    For the fuck of it....

    by Your Moms Box

    My Top 10 of the Year: 10. Into the Abyss 09. Super 8 08. Rise of the Planet of the Apes 07. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol 06: Young Adult 05: Hanna 04: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 03: War Horse 02: The Descendants 01: Drive

  • Jan. 11, 2012, 8:58 p.m. CST

    I downloaded WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN

    by animas

    45 minutes and i'm out. my god what a boring piece of shit.

  • Jan. 11, 2012, 10:55 p.m. CST

    Easier to read list

    by Xen11

    All the films I've seen in theaters in 2011 ranked from favorite to least, with that cutoff line separating the enjoyed films to the non enjoyable films. Sucker Punch X-Men: First Class Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes Fright Night (3D) (2011) Thor (3D) Scream 4 The Green Hornet (3D) Take Me Home Tonight Source Code The Adjustment Bureau Fast Five Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (IMAX) Midnight In Paris Hugo (3D) Drive Angry (3D) Transformers: Dark Of The Moon (3D) Rango Green Lantern (3D) Captain America: The First Avenger (3D) Final Destination 5 (3D) Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (3D) Super 8 127 Hours ------------------------- Season Of The Witch Insidious Battle: Los Angeles

  • when comparing Female lead action dramas. But fuck, I'm anticipating the release of Haywire. (Now THAT looks promising. ) Underworld 4 looks like the same cliched ridden bullshit you would come to expect from Len Wiseman and his baby's Mama. Fucking pass

  • Jan. 12, 2012, 5:45 a.m. CST

    xen11: my top 10

    by melonman

    Submarine Rise of the Planet of the Apes Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy 13 Assassins Midnight in Paris Warrior Drive The Inbetweeners Movie (just because it really made me laugh, and sometimes that's enough) X Men: First Class Thor With special mention for SNOWTOWN - maybe the most profoundly disturbing movies I've ever seen, and actually gave me sleepless nights for a week. Like I said before - it'd be a boring world if we all liked the same shit. Apologies for twat/cunt line…

  • Jan. 12, 2012, 5:49 a.m. CST

    stalkeye: I actually preferred SALT to HANNA

    by melonman

    Or at least the alternative cut which was more coherent and satisfying than the theatrical release version. It had a tied up ending and the twists were better handled. Think it was also faster and shorter. It worked as a lean, propulsive actioner all the way through, whereas for me HANNA felt like a series of well shot scenes bolted together for quite a lot of it. Totally agree about HAYWIRE. Just love the fact that SODERBERGH is enjoying making genre pics his way.

  • Jan. 12, 2012, 10:02 a.m. CST

    Shit, I forgot about WINNIE THE POOH on my faves of the year

    by melonman

    Fuck it, the silly old bear's Number One.

  • Jan. 12, 2012, 10:12 a.m. CST

    Fuck Tree Of Life

    by JackSlater4

  • Jan. 12, 2012, 12:36 p.m. CST

    Good list, Harry.

    by Ninja Nerd

    I've only seen 5 of your 10 but I generally agree with your choices. My own list would probably run to 30 films, LOL. So far, Midnight In Paris is near the top of my list...just love, love, love this film. I'm not a big Woody Allen fan, mind you, but this is an absolutely wonderful film. The fact that I'm old as dirt and have often thought I was born in the wrong time may have something to do with that. On a personal note, the movie I have a role in, "Bringing Up Bobby", will apparently never see the light of day or find a distributor. Honestly, it'll never make anyone's top ten list but I'd like to see the final product on a big screen someday. *SIGH*

  • Jan. 12, 2012, 9:55 p.m. CST

    How could you watch 45 minutes of a film and not finish?

    by Jaka

    See, that's another downside of our "downloading" culture. It means nothing to you because you just grabbed it from a torrent site in 15 minutes. I realize that's a conversation for another time, but it makes me a little sad all the same. <p> I really dug We Need To Talk About Kevin. Found it somewhat riveting actually, and very visually interesting. I didn't know what the story was about before I saw it, though. Just watched it on the recommendation of it being "good" and I'm glad I did so.

  • FREEEEDOOOOOOM! and all that. I just find it an incredibly odd reason for so many people to dislike the film when so many others have characters just like them. I'd even go so far as to question whether or not its a race issue, but there's plenty of other films with "bad" black characters that people love, too. I just don't get it - can't get my brain to process it. Should be a geekfest of joy, but because the kids are punk asses, the film sucks. *shrug*

  • And unfortunately a lot of talkbackers have run into unpleasant shitstains like them in real life. I lived in London for quite a few years, and any attempted idolisation of these soulless little cuntbags is genuinely stomach churning. It's not a liberal/conservative thing either - people who excuse these wankers have obviously never run into shits like them, or had to walk through areas like the ATB estates.

  • Jan. 13, 2012, 10:35 p.m. CST

    Harry, you're an idiot.

    by Jerkmeister

    Liam Neeson delivers one of his very best performances ever, if not his very best work for Carnahan’s tale of a man that was a heavy finger from death, but will fight with everything he has to stay alive

  • Jan. 14, 2012, 12:13 a.m. CST

    Just saw HUGO...

    by Purple_Tentacle

    and I completely and utterly agree with you Harry. I feel like I've fallen in love with film again. Which I haven't felt in a while. And genuinely the first time I've liked 3D. The way this film is shot and cut totally nails the format.

  • Jan. 15, 2012, 11:13 a.m. CST

    Tinker/Tailor bored me to tears

    by TheLastCleric

    It's a very well made film and the cast is exceptional but the whole thing felt flat and dull and bored me until the credits rolled. Just not my thing I guess.

  • Jan. 15, 2012, 11:44 a.m. CST

    funny melonman because i've lived in Danbury Avenuee

    by alexander

    and run into shits like them several times. I had the world most pathetic mugging attempt (tm) thrown on me, plus a nasty encounter that left me having to tell my family i slipped in the shower and banged my head. And I don't idolise them. To think your 'spose to do so, is missing the point of the movie and its characters entirely.

  • Jan. 15, 2012, 2:46 p.m. CST

    Tree of Life DVD

    by glenn_the_frog

    At the start of the film, there is a message that, no joke, says "Turn the volume on your tv way up, because this movie is really quiet because our sound mixing couldn't be arsed to make the movie audible." And then everyone proceeds to speak in whispers and vague narration the entire movie. That was probably the first warning sign that I was going to hate it.

  • Jan. 15, 2012, 5:52 p.m. CST

    Scott Pilgrim Vs the World was really well executed

    by seansarto

  • The X Factor style chav applause in the final minutes seemed to suggest to me that one last ditch heroic action from the gang leader brushed away a lifetime of scumbaggery. For me, that's bullshit. Re: retarded embarrassing mugging attempts - I was walking through an alley and a bunch of little shits jumped me and threw a cardboard box over my head. I spazzed out fists flying everywhere (scared, panicking etc), threw the box off, only to reveal I was facing off against a gang of 12 year olds. Who ran off. I managed to feel angry, scared and embarrassed all at the same time. A week later MP Tony Banks was jumped in the same alley, beaten up, and a little media shit storm about crime prevention ensued.

  • Jan. 16, 2012, 8:51 a.m. CST

    No love for The Guard

    by Papalazeru

    I'm a little bit upset about that. I thought it would have made your list for sure Harry

  • Jan. 16, 2012, 9:43 a.m. CST

    X Factor style chav applause

    by Azby

    Its just applause - it tends to sound the same whether it is since most people have hands.

  • Jan. 16, 2012, 9:44 a.m. CST

    *wherever

    by Azby

    stupid lack of edit function.

  • Jan. 19, 2012, 10:04 a.m. CST

    mm re: the ending

    by alexander

    Just another big love letter cunningly subverted to me, this time to Ghostbusters ending. So Moses let them all out the vault instead of the furious ginger white man, so it was kind of his fault.... Oh well! Except who knows what would have happen and/or will continue to happen with the Alien Invasion? Again, for me, its commentary on those taking responsibility and protecting their own block, and getting a heros welcome/chant for it, as opposed to invading someone elses country/region culture (note how Moses is dressed by the end, note the comment "Tango Nuetralised!" after Moses ancient warrior cry and charge etc). The 'hero worship' was reflecting this - rather than Moses blowing some shit up and being a bad boy and survivor - that people look after themselves, their own community and internal development, rather than relying on an external imperial or barbaric force. Even if that means having to deal with our own problems, learning to acknowledge-admit to them, and trancend them, rather than always blaming it on the boogeyman... in this case the boogeyman was just fucking stupid or plain fucked up by dropping its kid in the middle of nowhere in an alien environment/culture. I don't think it depicts a perfect world, people, ideal for human nature etc... but is deliciously tounge in cheek in a bugsey malone esque homage to Assult on Precinct 13, Alien, The Warriors, Ghostbusters to name but a few about this, and a mentality going on in Britain that Moses clings to at the end.

  • Jan. 19, 2012, 10:10 a.m. CST

    alan_grant: that's a far better take on it than I viewed it

    by melonman

    Through my cynical baggy eyes I saw a chav relegated to hero status and all past sins forgiven, in much the same way that in our diseased celebrity culture transgressions are instantly forgotten through the incredible talent of warbling a shit song or swallowing a few bugs in a sweaty jungle. I prefer your take - it's way more upbeat. I still don't like ATB much (much prefer the movies it homages still) except for the monsters themselves - designing them just as balls of black with neon teeth is pretty much genius.

  • Jan. 19, 2012, 10:34 a.m. CST

    WOODY>GOD

    by gus

    WHAT GIVES HARRY, THE WAY YOU GUSHED OVER CAPT. AMERICA AND DRIVE I WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THE WOULD BE NEAR THE TOP, I AGREE WITH YOUR TOP 2 THOUGH, HUGO WAS BRILLIANT AND MIDNIGHT IN PARIS WAS SO MUCH FUN, WOODY WILL GET A FEW MORE OSCAR NOMS TO GO WITH HIS OTHER 50 THOUSAND...HONESTLY WOODY HAS TO BE THE MOST NOMINATE LIVE ACTION FILMAKER EVER...IM LAZY SOMEONE FIND OUT I WOULD BE INTERESTED IN KNOWING

  • Jan. 19, 2012, 10:49 a.m. CST

    TREE OF LIFE

    by gus

    THIS FILM WAS A COMPLETE MESS, I THINK CRITICS WERE AFRAID TO PAN IT BECAUSE THEY DIDNT WANT TO LOOK STUPID, BUT THEY DIDNT REALISE IT WAS NOT SOME DEEP FILM BEYOND THERE UNDERSTANDING, IT WAS JUST A CRAPPY MOVIE THAT WAS PUT TOGETHER BADLY AND BURIED ITS INTENDED MESSAGE UNDER A MOUNTIAN OF PRETENTION

  • Jan. 25, 2012, 2:53 p.m. CST

    Lol at AICN thinking The Grey would have got oscar noms.

    by Randy

    Overhype, we meet again.