Top 20 Best Movies Of 201125.10.10 # Top Ten # 181 Comments
Let’s explore the best movies of 2011. Ok 2011’s top movies didn’t enjoy the sort of buzz that surrounds next year’s big titles, but there was still plenty to get excited about. We’ll run through our favourites, then mention a few that almost made it. This is the best of 2011 at the movies –
20. Crazy, Stupid, Love
Starring: Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Analeigh Tipton
Directors: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Release Date: 29th July 2011
A happily married family man (Carell) is shocked when his wife (Moore) asks for a divorce. Now he’s trying to manage the relationship with his kids while finding himself thrust back onto the dating scene. When he realises he’s too deeply uncool to pick up women he enlists the help of a stylish life coach (Gosling). The directors of I Love You Phillip Morris (who wrote Bad Santa before that) bring something wonderfully subversive and entertaining to the ‘marital crisis’ sub-genre. This has the honesty of a good indie movie with the appealing gloss of a Hollywood picture.
19. Fright Night
Starring: Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, David Tennant, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Toni Collette
Director: Craig Gillespie
Release Date: 7th October 2011
Star Trek’s Anton Yelchin is Charley, the young man trying to convince everyone that a deadly vampire (Colin Farrell) has moved in next door. Soon he turns to gothic celebrity Peter Vincent (David Tennant) only to discover he’s not the fearless supernatural guru he portrays. Christopher Mintz-Plasse plays Charley’s best friend ‘Evil’ Ed, and Toni Collette is the mum. The 80s original was an enjoyable, well written comedy horror. This has upped the stakes with a near perfect cast of fun actors, and Farrell is on career best form as the despicable, yet faintly bored, vampire. The sharp script knows how to have fun, without ever losing its intensity.
18. Super 8
Starring: Joel Courtney, Elle Fanning, Kyle Chandler, Ron Eldard
Director: J.J. Abrams
Release Date: 10th June 2011
Set in 1979, this is a homage to Spielberg’s ’70s and ’80s science fiction films, written and directed by J.J.Abrams. It tells the story of a group of small-town teens who are filming a home movie on their super 8 camera when a train derails, releasing a dangerous presence into their neighbourhood. E.T., Close Encounters, Goonies, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park all have story threads or shots lifted from them, and while some might think it overdoes the tribute this is ultimately nostalgic for a style of filmmaking that is sorely missed.
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Release Date: 29th July 2011
When heir-apparent Thor (Hemsworth) arrogantly ignores his king’s (Hopkins) wishes, he is stripped of his powers and banished from the fantastical realm of Asgard. On earth, Thor must learn humility before his treacherous brother Loki seizes the throne in his absence. This is one of the best movies of 2011 because it was a difficult character and world to introduce to live-action, and Marvel did a very good job. It never strays too far into cheese, and Marvel’s gamble that Kenneth Branagh would bring some Shakespearian gravatas to the court of Asgard paid off. Hemsworth is excellent as Thor.
16. Captain America: The First Avenger
Starring: Chris Evans, Hugo Weaving, Sebastian Stan, Hayley Atwell
Director: Joe Johnston
Release Date: 22nd July 2011
During World War II, skinny Steve Rogers (Evans) volunteers for an Allied research project which turns him into super soldier ‘Captain America’. Soon he is up against Red Skull (Weaving), Hitler’s head of weaponry, who intends to use a tesseract as an energy-source for world domination. This is an enjoyably old-fashioned adventure set apart from other comic book movies by its ’40s atmosphere. The set pieces serve the narrative rather than the other way round and its filled with enjoyable, shaded performances.