Well another year has come and gone and has been a great year in film for the more independent films. I will admit that several of the movies that I loved are not wide released films. I also want to thank everyone for the constant support and encouragement. I have rewritten this list several times for I had to evaluate them all in terms of what I truly thought about them. Feel free to leave comments below and if you think that I missed a movie that you loved then let’s hear it. If you did not like any of the movies on the list than once again feel free to post, respectful disagreements are encouraged. The magic of films is that we all can have different opinions and different tastes.
Any time you put three Oscar winners and one nominee in a room together for eighty minutes you will see some interesting aspects. Carnage does just that but the story itself dragged and I found myself enjoying what I was watching but I did not love what I was watching.
In a year where good animated movies were a rare occurrence. Rango managed to break that train of thought.
A smart and well made film that explored the struggling professional baseball organization known as the Oakland Athletics. Although Moneyball is intelligent the plot was too thin for me to love it like I really wanted to.
MY TOP ELEVEN MOVIES OF THE YEAR
It was only a matter time before Hollywood jumped on the MMA bandwagon. Warrior although slightly clichéd works based on how genuine the underdog story is by the time the end of the movies comes around the audience does not want to see either fighter lose. Nick Nolte may have problems in his personal life but when he brings his best to the table he is one of the best actors in the world.
10) Rise of the Planet of the Apes:
This is the first time that I truly loved a prequel. Rise of the Planet of the Apes is lead by the direction of Rupert Wyatt. Wyatt is relatively young but he seems to have an ease when it comes to handling compelling drama and action. Also what makes Rise of the Planet of the Apes so intriguing is how it questions the true nature of science without over playing its hand. The final climax scene in Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a thrilling achievement. Fans of the original will appreciate Rise of the Planet of the Apes and new watchers will smile ear to ear.
9) We Need to talk about Kevin:
Not only was We Need to talk about Kevin the hardest movie of the year to watch it is also made me think the most. I saw We Need to talk about Kevin in early September and I am still thinking about it. The subject matter deals with the trouble relationship between a mother and a son and it is a gutsy take on the family dynamic. If you seek this movie out I am warning you that it is hard to watch but once it is over it will stimulate many useful thoughts and opinions.
8) Like Crazy:
Every year I sit and wait to see if a romantic film comes out that I will love. This year my wait ended for Like Crazy is that film. Like Crazy picked up some serious momentum when it won the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones pull the audience into the world of young love and they have a chemistry that is undeniable and a joy to watch. Like Crazy is significant proof that a grounded romantic story can be shown on film without being over the top sentimental.
Drive although slow works based on the performance of young and ultra talented Ryan Gosling. Drive manages to blend violence and drama without being bogged down in either genre. Director Nicolas Winding Refn delivers a fast paced action film that slows down just enough to develop its characters than it picks up again. Although it might be more on art house film Drive delivers on all the goods.
6) The Ides of March:
I can sometimes be overly critical of political thrillers for they can sometimes go too far. However, The Ides of March is intriguing, intense, and suspenseful. Ryan Gosling is involved in two films on my list which is interesting in a lot of ways. I will now refer to Gosling as “The Canadian Kid” for he is now a major player on the Hollywood stage and he is 100% Canadian and he has locked up an Oscar nomination with his role in The Ides of March. Gosling also easily holds his own in The Ides of March with the likes of George Clooney, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and Paul Giamatti.
5) My Week with Marilyn:
I do not see myself as a fortune teller but I am booking that in one month’s time Michelle Williams will be walking across the stage to receive an Oscar for her brilliant work in My Week with Marilyn. Williams transforms herself into Marilyn Monroe to the point that the audience begins to think that they are watching a documentary and not an adaptation of the work of Colin Clark who spent one with Monroe on the set of The Prince and the Showgirl.
4) The Tree of Life:
Even though some audiences might complain of director Terrance Malik’s non-linear narrative. The utter brilliance of The Tree of Life’s cinematography makes Malik’s new film worth every penny. Malik’s The Tree of Life proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is still a force to be reckoned with as a brilliant artist and visionary movie director.
3)X-Men: First Class:
The X-men film series that was believed to be going stale was brought back to life by director Matthew Vaughn in what is not just the best comic book film of the year but one of the better movies of the year as well. X-Men First Class is creative, thrilling, and a roller coaster ride from start to finish. Carried by the brilliant work of James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, and Nicholas Hoult X-Men First Class soared past all expectations and succeeded on all fronts.
2) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 2:
Despite a razor close race Harry Potter and Deathly Hollows Part 2 does come up slightly short in the end. However, that does not take away from what truly is a thrilling finish to a saga of films that is comparable to a modern day Star Wars. Seeing these young performers grow up over the past decade has been a treat to watch and they have proven themselves as outstanding performers. Alan Rickman shined in the final movie of this beloved franchise and his performance deserves an Oscar nomination which he will more than likely not get but he has gotten some much deserved other nominations. Although it has now come to an end I will never forget the final installment which brought me to tears.
1) Attack the Block:
I know what everyone is thinking how this film could possibly be better than my number two movie, which I praised to the fullest. Well Attack the Block is just that good. A fun fantastically made original alien invasion film that succeeded on all levels, fast paced, well acted, and shockingly scary scenes that are also heartbreaking. Attack the Block is a small British film that has been overlooked and this is tragic considering how great the film actually is. Attack the Block is boosted by great performances from a young cast that carried the film from start to finish. The lead role of Moses is portrayed by a young actor by the name of John Boyega (who looks exactly like a young Denzel Washington and he is that talented as well). Attack the Block also has the best movie score that I have heard in recent years that was composed by Basement Jaxx (you will want to download it in its entirety by the time the film is over). Please seek out this film trust me you will not regret it. The final scene of the film is also a triumph for it will bring audiences to their feet and they will join in with the cheer of MOSES! MOSES! MOSES!