Best Movies of 2011

It’s that time of year again. The time of year where we all tend to look back and pick “The Best” of anything and everything. I’m not kidding. I swear to something really important to you, that just today I came across a list of the Top Cupcakes of 2011. Okay, I didn’t actually see that, I just made it up to make a point. But now that I think about it isn’t  a half bad idea. But I digress. This particular list of best stuff isn’t about tasty treats or pancakes or video games. This is Alicia’s Blog therefore the list is about… you got it, movies. 

I picked 11 for 2011 (clever, I know). Now, I haven’t seen Hugo yet, or The Descendents, and I am sure they are both list worthy but I can’t include them since I haven’t seen them with my own eyes. 

  1.  Tree of Life– I have been a Malick fan since I saw “Badlands” back when I was an impressionable teenager. I was blown away. And I was blown away by Tree of Life as well. I give the man credit for making such beautiful movies that are still able to tell a story. I know a lot of people “didn’t get it” and even left before the first thirty minutes were up. To those people I say “Ppppppbbbttttt!” (That is the sound one makes when sticking out ones tongue and making a raspberry.) If you couldn’t sit through a film that asks you to think for yourself then go home and just watch Dancing with the Stars. You do not like art. Oh, and you probably missed the part where a dinosaur steps on this other dinosaurs face. Yeah, it was so good that it had dinosaurs in it.
  2. The Beaver – I know I will be crucified for this one, but Mel (call me Crazy) Gibson or not, it was a remarkable film. It is directed by Jodie Foster, and she costars as Mel’s long-suffering but loving wife. Mel Gibson gives a remarkable performance. Check it out then tell me I was wrong. 
  3. The Trip – It stars comedian Steve Coogan and his friend Rob Byrdon as themselves. They take a trip and review restaurants along the way. The movie is funny and a little unsettling. If you like really awesome impressions of Micheal Caine and watching people eat incredible food, then this one is for you. A little gem not many have heard of. 
  4. Midnight in ParisYet another great romantic comedy from Woody Allen. Owen Wilson plays the “Woody Allen” character in this fun little movie. He is engaged to a superficial and horrid woman (played by Rachel McAdams) and discovers a door to the past while vacationing with her and her family in Paris. I don’t know if it’s because I always fancied being an expat in the 1920’s and getting to hang out with Picasso and Zelda – but this movie was absolutely pitch perfect. 
  5. Moneyball – Yep, I’m on team Moneyball. I loved this movie, and not just because it is about the underdog. And not just because it takes place in Oakland, Ca. And not just because Brad Pitt is awesome in it. I liked it because it was a simple story of faith and redemption. Everybody likes sports movies and this one does not disappoint. It is certainly Brad Pitts year. Again. 
  6. Hanna – There is only one word to describe this movie: BADASS. A teenage girl who was raised as assassin by her loving dad is unleashed on the word at large. Eric Bana is in it doing that broody thing he does in movies, and usually that would be rad. But this movie is all about the little girl. You like watching teenaged girls kick ass? Then forget that piece of poo movie “Suckerpunch” and watch this instead. It’s awesome, and Cate Blanchet is in it. Can’t miss. 
  7. The Skin I Live In – I have two words for you: Pedro Almodovar. That should be more than reason enough to watch this film. I won’t try to explain it, because it just doesn’t work that way. It’s beautiful, harsh and horrific. I loved it. 
  8. Rise of the Planet of the Apes – This mainstream movie was good enough to make me forget that they actually cast James Franco as a super smart science guy. I am a HUGE fan of the original movie and I was very critical of the prequel going in. Well, I  loved it. The apes were awesome, and Andy Serkis was pretty incredible as Caesar the ape.
  9. Melencholia – I put off watching this movie until last night because I dislike Kirsten Dunst THAT much. But, I also knew the film was directed by the always weird and always startling Lars Von Trier. His film “Breaking the Waves” changed the way I look at cinema and the way I look at love. This movie was his meditation on depression and the end of the world and it rocked. Maybe it’s because I understand what its like to be a depressed bride, or maybe it’s because the film also star the ultra awesome Charlotte Gainsbourg but the movie is great. It might be a good one for those of you who hate Von Trier, or haven’t seen any of his films yet. It has all the female suffering, social failures (i.e. marriage, jail, community) and crazy of his other films but it isn’t as hard to handle. 
  10. The MuppetsOkay, I am cheating a little here. I haven’t actually seen this movie yet. But, I am the biggest fan of the Muppets and I already know I will love it. And I want people to see it, so I am cheating and putting it on my list. If you got a problem with that, please take it up with the management. 
  11. Cave of Forgotten Dreams – I know, watching an old German film maker go exploring an old French cave sounds about as exciting as watching paint dry, but rust me. When the film maker is the quirky, smart, talented Werner Herzog then you know you will get something original. The cave is about 30,000 years old and no access has been granted to film makers prior to this. It is astonishing, and you should see it.

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