Here is my list of the best films I saw in 2011. There are many more films that may be worthy of a place on my list, but I still have so many films to see from last year. In no particular order:
1. Rise of the Planet of the Apes – Superb origin story that adds so much more to the ‘Apes’ saga and cleverly begins to bridge the gap between this rebooted franchise and the 1968 original. Superb action and a new standard set in CG with awesome ‘virtual’ apes. Expect further entries in the saga to continue to tell the story of the rise of the apes. 8.5/10
Best moment: When Caesar finds his true ‘voice’ – all hail Caesar!
2. Drive – Stunning 80’s styled crime drama; ultra-violent, ultra-cool and totally unforgettable; Ryan Gosling stars as the ‘Driver’. My film of the year. 9/10 My review here
Best moment: The opening, super stylish prologue and title sequence where Gosling’s driver night crawls through LA’s gleaming streets.
3. Black Swan – Oscar winning performance from Natalie Portman as an ambitious ballet dancer, whose obsession turns into nightmare as she slowly descends into madness. 8.5/10
Best moment: Portman’s transformation from White to Black swan, showing a complete range of acting ability and a virtuoso performance.
4. Blue Valentine – Ryan Gosling (again) and Michelle Williams in the bittersweet tale of falling in and out of love, and how the trappings of commitment and duty tarnish everything, cleverly told through shifting back and to over time. 8.5/10
Best moment: Gosling’s clunky doorway serenade of Williams is as equally funny as it is beautifully romantic.
5. The Descendants – George Clooney stars as Matt King, the dad coming to terms with being forced into becoming a hands on father again to two problematic daughters after his wife is gravely injured. 9/10
Best moment: When Matt is given the bleak prognosis of his wife’s condition, Clooney performing at his peak and has never been better.
What are your thoughts? What were the best films you saw last year?
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