Behold the top 25 of 2011! (12–1)
12.) Hugo Cabret
Martin Scorsese is literally bringing the bestselling book The Invention of Hugo Cabret to life—it’s in 3D! Staring Hit Girl from Kick-Ass (Chloë Moretz) as well as Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jude Law, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Christopher Lee, Hugo Cabret is about a 12-year-old orphan who lives in the walls of a Paris train station in 1930 and happens to go on a wonderfully fantastical adventure. This film will be significantly more family friendly than Scorsese’s last film Shutter Island. I’m hoping it is far better than that film as well.
11.) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
In December, I discussed the remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I personally don’t think it’s necessary. The nearly new Swedish version is great, and I’m not sure Rooney Mara can fill Lisbeth Salander’s shoes. Either way, I can’t ignore the fact that this flick made Screen Rant, The Daily Beast, and Coed Magazine’s lists, so I suppose I’ll get excited about it. I mean, it does have James Bond (Daniel Craig) in it, and it’s directed by David Fincher, who did The Social Network, my favorite flick of 2010.
10.) Super 8
Dear J.J. Abrams,
Please make Super 8 better than Cloverfield. Let’s have it live up to its hype. I know Steven Spielberg is the producer, but please don’t let this just be a modern day E.T.
Also, I know you didn’t direct it, but please don’t let little Elle Fanning scream nonstop like her sister annoyingly did in the horridness that was War of the Worlds.
Do not—I repeat, do not—make this anything like the finale of Lost.
9.) Sucker Punch
“The producers describe this effort from Watchmen and 300 director Zack Snyder as ‘Alice in Wonderland with machine guns’ that blends dragons, B-52 bombers, and brothels.” In Sucker Punch, reality and imagination combine as a young girl attempts to escape a mental institution and her impending lobotomy. The visuals and action are sure to be spectacular, but I sincerely hope this flick has more heart than 300.
8.) X-Men: First Class
OK, I loved the X-Men film series once, but the last two films (Last Stand and Wolverine) floundered. The franchise did pretty much kick off the superhero boom that has occurred this century thus far, though, so I won’t entirely lose my patience with this next attempt.
“X-Men: First Class is a prequel based in the 1960s and tells the story of young Erik Lehnsherr and Charles Xavier as they meet and recruit other mutants to form the first X-Men and explore their different views on humanity.”² It will be directed by Matt Vaughn of Kick-Ass fame and will star Aaron Johnson (Kick-Ass) and James McAvoy (Atonement). Here’s hoping this film returns to the glory of the franchise’s first.
Natalie Portman turns things into gold, I swear, because this movie doesn’t look any more spectacular than the rest of today’s superhero flicks. And yet, Thor is in the top five of almost every 2011 movie list. I think most of the buzz is due to the impending Avengers movie, starring numerous superheroes, including Thor and Iron Man. Still, I suppose we can get little excited about a superhero flick with mythology worked into it.
6.) Cowboys vs. Aliens
This movie is about cowboys and aliens in Arizona.
5.) The Muppets
Jason Segel of Forgetting Sarah Marshall penned the script and James Bobin of Da Ali G Show will make his directorial debut for this reboot. They’re hoping to make this newbie like the glorious Muppet movies of the late ‘70s/early ‘80s. If that alone doesn’t make you excited, then the plethora of cameos should do the trick:
“While the main cast includes Segel as a human named Gary whose best pal is Walter, a new, geeky puppet, Amy Adams as his girlfriend, and Chris Cooper as evil oilman Tex Richman, the film is peppered with appearances from what seems like every actor in Hollywood. Jack Black will play himself as a kidnap victim, Zach Galifianakis plays a hobo, Alan Arkin plays a tour guide, Emily Blunt, Ricky Gervais, Billy Crystal, Jean-Claude van Damme, and Sean Penn will also appear. And last but not least, Lady Gaga herself is rumored to be making a cameo, with Modern Family’s Eric Stonestreet and The Office’s John Krasinski and Ed Helms as members of her entourage.”⁴
4.) The Hangover 2
The Hangover made me laugh out loud in the theater. Few movies do that. It is smart and hilarious; it also managed to make a bunch of unknowns well known. This was The Daily Beast’s and Coed Magazine’s number one pick, and I too am ranking it quite high.
In the sequel, Stu is getting hitched and the gang is heading to Bangkok for the wedding. Liam Neeson has joined the cast, and there are cameos expected from Paul Giamatti, Zac Efron, and Bill Clinton—reason enough right there to see this comedy.
3.) The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part 1
Vampire-human marriage + vampire-human wedding night = vampire-human baby, an enraged Volturi, and a divided clan of werewolves where one imprints on the fastest developing baby ever.
There’s a lot to tackle in this last installment, which is why they’ve divided Breaking Dawn into two movies. I’m curious how they’ll handle the more adult scenes—particularly Nessie’s birth—while maintaining a PG-13 rating. I’m also curious how Kristen Stewart will become graceful and confident when she turns into vampire Bella. Impossible, I say.
2.) Green Lantern
Sexiest Man Alive Ryan Reynolds slaps on a green ring and becomes a green-masked super hero. Let’s go on a cosmic adventure.
1.) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
It’s the end of an era, and it’s time to destroy the final horcruxes and battle it out at Hogwarts. All in 3D.
And there you have it: the Top 25 Films of 2011. Did I miss any? What would you have picked as number one? What’s your library most excited about?
¹ Sequels among most anticipated films of 2011
² Screen Rant’s 20 Most Anticipated Movies of 2011
³ USA Today’s 11 Films to Lift 2011
⁴ 2011's 11 Most Anticipated Movies (The Daily Beast)
⁵ Movie Moron’s 2011 Movies Guide
Coed Magazine’s Top 20 Most Anticipated Movies of 2011
11 Movies People Will Be Talking About in 2011: 'The Green Lantern,' 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo' and More (MovieFone)