December 29, 2011

2011 Year in Review - Mike's Introduction

Mike: I think 2011 was a pretty good year at the movies, but there were no absolute stand-outs for me. At the end of a typical year, I'm deciding what to put at number one, having to choose between two or three films that I'm totally in love with. Or there's just one undeniable Top Film for me. This year, I had no trouble picking films to put in my top 10 - there were plenty of great films to pick from, and it was tough to decide which ones to leave out. Yet there were no films where, as I was watching it or after I finished watching it, I thought to myself "This might just be the best movie I've seen this year."

I don't get it when people say that there's nothing good out anymore. Yes there is. There are plenty of good movies, and the films of 2011 were no exception. People just aren't always looking in the right places.

There were plenty of times where I was certain I was watching the worst film of the year, though. I always make a Worst list to go along with my Best list, but it's tricky because most bad films I know to avoid without watching them. I'm not a paid critic and don't get invited to screenings, so there are plenty of films that I (thankfully) get to skip. Stuff like Big Mommas, Abduction, The Roommate, Monte Carlo, New Years Eve, Hoodwinked Too, I Don't Know How She Does It... That said, my somewhat OCD filmgoing habits still made me sit through plenty of trash like The Smurfs, Green Lantern, Atlas Shrugged, Jack and Jill, Zookeeper and Conan the Barbarian. I knew they were trash when I bought the ticket or pressed play, but that didn't stop me from watching. Why? Beats me.

I saw about 180 2011 films in total this year, 101 of which I saw in a theater. That doesn't count older films I saw on the big screen this year. And there's still a few I regrettably missed or just didn't get to and will be seeking out in the near future, including: Mysteries of Lisbon, Higher Ground, Pina, Pariah, Machine Gun Preacher, W.E., and Bucky Larson.

Over the next few days, Erica and I will be summing up the year, highlighting the best and worst of the 2011, as well as our favorite stories and a complete list of our 2011 reviews.

Every year I write a top 10 list and usually a bottom 10 list as well. I've been doing this every year since 1999. I thought I'd post some lists to put my tastes into context: 

2005:

Best:
1. The New World
2. The Squid and the Whale
3. Match Point
4. Me and You and Everyone We Know
5. The Upside of Anger
6. Crash
7. Brokeback Mountain
8. Broken Flowers
9. Good Night, and Good Luck.
10. Turtles Can Fly

Worst:
1. 9 Songs
2. Havoc
3. Kingdom of Heaven
4. Cursed
5. The Dukes of Hazzard
6. The Jacket
7. Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price
8. Deuce Bigalow: European Gigalo
9. Fantastic Four
10. Mindhunters

2006:

Best:
1. Children of Men
2. The Proposition
3. The Departed
4. Dreamgirls
5. Little Children
6. Letters from Iwo Jima
7. Half Nelson
8. Stranger Than Fiction
9. Black Book aka Zwartboek
10. Little Miss Sunshine

Worst:
1. Date Movie
2. Basic Instinct 2
3. Zoom
4. Lady in the Water
5. Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World
6. Slither
7. The Wicker Man
8. Crank
9. Beerfest
10. Stay Alive

2007:

Best:
1. There Will Be Blood
2. No Country for Old Men
3. 3:10 to Yuma
4. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
5. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
6. Atonement
7. Rescue Dawn
8. Juno
9. Into the Wild
10. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Worst:
1. Epic Movie
2. Evan Almighty
3. Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theatres
4. The Brothers Solomon5. The Ex
6. Next
7. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
8. Rush Hour 3
9. Redacted
10. Reserved in case I ever see Saw IV (as of 2011 I have not)


2008:

Best:
1. The Dark Knight
2. Wall-E
3. The Wrestler
4. Let the Right One In
5. Rachel Getting Married
6. Snow Angels
7. In Bruges
8. Milk
9. Gran Torino
10. The Wackness

Worst:
1. The Love Guru
2. War, Inc.
3. In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale
4. Bankok Dangerous
5. 88 Minutes
6. 10,000 B.C.
7. The Day the Earth Stood Still
8. Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed
9. Vantage Point
10. The Happening 

2009:

Best:
1. District 9
2. The Escapist
3. Watchmen
4. Inglourious Basterds
5. Crazy Heart
6. Moon
7. Mammoth
8. Summer Hours
9. An Education
10. The Hurt Locker

Worst:
Didn't write a list this year (or can't find it)

2010:

Best:
1. Inception
2. Black Swan
3. The Ghost Writer
4. The Social Network
5. Exit Through the Gift Shop
6. I Love You Phillip Morris
7. Let Me In
8. Toy Story 3
9. A Serbian Film
10. The Next Three Days

Worst:
1. How Do You Know
2. Yogi Bear
3. The Tempest
4. Shrek Forever After
5. MacGruber
6. Agora
7. Love and Other Drugs
8. Extraordinary Measures
9. Twilight: Eclipse
10. Catfish

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