This list consists of the ten best movies that I saw all year. I did not see everything that came out so there are several movie that may be left off of the list that you think are deserving and for that I am sorry.
10. Super 8- This movie slipped some in my opinion after rewatching it. There was a certain mystique associated with seeing this in the theater because it has a Spielberg feel to the movie and it really needed to be seen in a packed summer movie crowd. Don't get me wrong, the movie is still very special and held its own against any sci-fi movie that came out this year. J.J Abrams knows how to craft nostalgic movies with believable characters and I can't wait to see what he does with the second Star Trek movie.
9. Melancholia- It might sound strange but even as I am writing this the overall list is in flux. 2011 was a great year in movies if you were willing to see some of the smaller offerings. I usually don't like really bleak movies but this one was truly special. Generally a movie of this quality would be higher on my list but my pure disdain for the lead character led me to place it towards the bottom of the list. I just couldn't connect with the main character but I really felt for the rest of the characters in the movie. Charlotte Gainsbourg will more than likely get overlooked during awards season and that is a real shame, because she puts on an acting clinic in this movie. You feel every little bit of the dread she feels about the impending disaster and your right there with her until the last moments. Definitely one of the best supporting performances of the year, without a doubt.
8. Warrior- This was a movie that I was anticipating from the first time that I saw the trailer. It delivered on the hype and exceeded it in many cases. The three lead performances were spectacular especially Nick Nolte. He has a very up and down career but this is probably the highest point of his career that I can think of. Easily the second best sports movie of the year behind Moneyball and it stands tall along the other dramas that cam out this year. It will undoubtedly be unfairly labeled as "That MMA movie".
7. Fright Night- This is my guilty pleasure pick of the bunch. While a lot of people might not get why this is on the list, I enjoyed every moment of this movie. The characters were well developed, story was mostly unchanged from the original(a plus), and I love hokey special effects. The humor was great in the movie and the main vampire in this movie provides a great example of what vampires should be as opposed to the Twilight shit.
6. Another Earth- The second of the planet movies on list, the other being Melancholia. I was a trailer for this earlier in the year and it really intrigued me. It asked a very basic question, what would you do if another Earth appeared as a mirror to our own? The only events that are different are the ones that happen after the two planets discovered each other. Brit Marling, the star of the film, shows how truly talented she is by taking the weight of the movie one her shoulders as both the star and the writer.
5. Moneyball- not quite strong enough to knock Tucker & Dale from the top four. Brad Pitt gives a masterful performance and even Jonah Hill gives a great performance. The humor in this movie is hard to explain to people who are not baseball fans but at points I was laughing out loud. Great to see a movie about true life that doesn't try and sway you to one side or another, it simply tells the story of an incredibly driven person.
4. Tucker & Dale vs Evil- My top true "horror" movie of the year and top comedy of the year as well. Tyler Labine and Alan Tudyk form one of the best on-screen duos of the last decade and you can tell they enjoyed every minute that they were on set. Great gore, hilarious jokes, and great performances made this movie one of the best of the year.
3. Attack the Block- My 2nd and 3rd picks could easily be flip flopped but I am going to put Attack the Block at number 3 because I did not get to see it in a theater. That does make a difference to me because I like to see how a crowd reacts to a movie while they are watching it. This was the best sci-fi movie that I saw all year and beat out Super 8 in that department because it had a slightly better story, more engaging characters and some pretty badass aliens in it. You really need to see this movie. Get it on Blu Ray, DVD, or download it, jut watch it.
2. Drive- This was a movie that I saw opening day by myself in the theater because no one wanted to see it. My friends really missed out on this one, which turned out to be one of the best movies of the year. Ryan Gosling gives a pitch perfect performance in the movie and also has some of the most brutal kills I have ever seen in a movie. Albert Brooks is the real revelation in this movie and he gives the best supporting performance of the year. He plays a magnificent villain and you can see that is having fun and enjoying playing the bad guy for once which only enhanced his performance. If you do not see this movie then you are just dumb.
1. Hanna- This is right up there with The Thing as my favorite movies of all time. It is quite rare for me to instantly rewatch a movie after I have seen it or even within a few days of seeing it. I watched this movie 5 times in one week, once at home and 4 times split between the office and the gym. Everything is great int he movie, even the soundtrack is amazing. I really forgot that the Chemical Brothers were still around until I saw this movie and listened to their near perfect score of the movie. I've already written two reviews for this movie, so I'm not going to write another but just let me tell you that this is the best movie of the year and one of my personal favorites of all time. Watch it, you will thank me later.