(IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER)
1. Shutter Island. I was fortunate enough to see this movie before it came out in theaters (thanks to d.w.), which means I was able to form my own opinion of it before I read any reviews. I think people who had the ending spoiled for them liked it less than I did. I headed into the movie not really knowing what the movie was about, but I was completely enthralled in the story and totally did not predict the ending. Some of Leo’s finest acting comes along in a scene towards the end of the movie. I won’t say which scene, in case some of you haven’t seen it, but it’s brilliant. When you see it, you’ll know.
2. Alice In Wonderland. I suppose I’m sort of predisposed to love this movie, with Johnny Depp being one of my favorite actors, Tim Burton being one of my favorite directors, and the original cartoon Alice In Wonderland being my favorite movie. Aside from all that, I just thought it was a really great take on a story that’s so well known and that has been done so many times before. There were some silly parts, yes, but overall I thought it was original and fun and great acting. Rumors are that Tim Burton is set to direct a live-action “Sleeping Beauty” that will be centered around Maleficent (and who is rumored to play Maleficent? Angelina Jolie. I die.). If that ever happens, I will be in heaven.
3. How to Train Your Dragon. For nothing else other than that adorable dragon named “Toothless”. His face just kills me.
4. Date Night. I can’t believe that Liz Lemon is in a movie with Michael Scott. It’s like Hollywood is getting all of my letters and taking all of my advice. There were just so many funny scenes in this movie, plus… shirtless Mark Wahlberg, can’t argue with that. I am pretty sure I peed a little when I saw this in the theater. Sorry, Cinemark.
5. Toy Story 3. Duh. I always get worried with sequel movies, even when Disney is involved. I mean, Toy Story 2 was great as was The Rescuers Down Under, but does anyone remember the many Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Aladdin, and Air Buddies sequels? Yikes. Having said that, this movie was perfect. Disney has a brilliant way of making cartoon movies with characters and story lines that are relevant in our own lives. I cried (out loud) on three separate occasions, and if you didn’t, you’re probably strawberry scented and stuffed with fluff.
6. Despicable Me. Either I am regressing in age and getting younger, or cartoons are now better made than “grown up” movies (I think it’s the latter). This movie was amazing. I think it was my favorite of the cartoons this year. And kudos to the writers for avoiding the “annoying sidekick” curse with the minions. They could have gone either way, but I loved them.
7. Inception. While I didn’t love this like everyone else did, it was still an incredibly directed, well-written action movie. With Leo in it. So really, win-win.
8. Ramona and Beezus. Loved loved loved this one. This was another tear fest for me. While potentially disastrous, the script was way good, the acting was great, and the little girl who played Ramona didn’t annoy me at all. Success!
9. The Other Guys. Please put Mark Wahlberg in more comedies. That is all.
10. Scott Pilgrim vs The World. This was a really clever love story disguised as an action movie. Plus, I love Michael Cera.
11. Easy A. I’m pretty sure this is the closest we’re going to ever get to a John Hughes comedy.
12. The Social Network. This is my movie of the year, and Jesse Eisenberg wins my performance of the year. I loved this movie. This has all of the elements that make up a great movie: great writing, perfect direction, beautiful soundtrack, and brilliant performances from everyone involved.
13. It’s Kind of A Funny Story. The book was better (when is it not?), but this movie is worth seeing for Zach Galifinakis’ performance. It was subtly brilliant.
14. Due Date. Thank you, Robert Downey, Jr for making movies. He has recently become one of my favorites thanks to performances like this.
15. Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part I. These movies are as close to being as good as the books as we’re ever going to get, I’m afraid. They’re just so well executed. Great acting, great soundtrack, aesthetically pleasing, etc. I am not ready for this franchise to be finished.
16. The Tourist. Don’t hate me, but I thought this movie was good. I really enjoyed the writing, my only complaint is that there wasn’t enough of it. I think Angie and Johnny are really great together. I went in with low expectations and came out pleased, so maybe that’s the way to go about it. I figured worse case scenario I end up watching two pretty people be pretty in Venice for two hours. They both have the acting talent to back up their looks, so there’s another plus.
17. The Fighter. Christian Bale is incredible. I am hoping that he will finally get nominated and win the academy award this year. He is unrecognizable in this film. I wasn’t expecting to like this movie much, I really only saw it for Bale’s performance (I have a low tolerance for amy adams so that was a bit of a turn-off), but I ended up loving it so much. If you are not standing up and cheering at the end of this movie, you are probably strawberry scented and stuffed with fluff.
18. True Grit. Well played, Coens. You made me love a western.
One more thing...
Best Performance by an Actor and Actress in a Lead Role (according to me):
Jesse Eisenberg in The Social Network and Natalie Portman in Black Swan.
Best Performance by an Actor and Actress in a Supporting Role (according to me):
Christian Bale in The Fighter and Hailee Steinfeld in True Grit.
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