I saw 76 films that were released in 2011. I think that’s more than usual. The last two years it was in the 50’s. Anyway, as I like to do, I’ve ranked them in order of awesomeness. If any of the grades are different than the original score I gave them, that’s because I’ve probably watched them again since and given them an updated value. Or I’ve just had time to think about them more, and changed my mind a little bit. Yes, I can do that if I want. Maniacal laugh. Maniacal laugh. Maniacal laugh.
We watched this while drinking last weekend. It is way worse than I ever could have imagined. It’s not even funny-bad; it’s frustrating-bad. Kevin James’ character may be legally retarded. Every action of this character is something that a 3 year old would do. Aside from that, the filmmaking and storytelling itself are super lazy, as if nobody honestly gave a crap about what they were doing. Animals just wander the zoo sidewalks when conveniently necessary and shots seemingly go from day to night at the drop of a hat. It’s like the editor just cut the dialogue together without even looking at the shots he was using. Zookeeper is an abomination. It’s not fun or funny, it insults the intelligence of the entire audience, whether they are 4 or 40. We were laughing at the sheer audacity of its existence. If you’ve ever wanted to make a movie or write a screenplay and have been rejected the opportunity to do so, the fact that Zookeeper exists should be offensive to you. …That being said, when the gorilla says “Shuuuuut. Uuuuuuup.” when they pull up to TGI Fridays, it gets me every time.
75. Sucker Punch
When I walked out of the theater after seeing Sucker Punch, I thought to myself “Oh man, that’s definitely gonna be the worst film I see this year, no question.” And I was all prepared to give this the top honors up until last week, then Kevin James gifted us with his masterpiece. Don’t be so happy at not being the worst, Sucker Punch, you’re still a terrible movie.
74. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Let this franchise die, already.
73. The Tree of Life
Beautiful. Striking. Deep. Pretentious. Nonsensical. Boring.
72. Green Lantern
For all the criticisms I gave it, Blake Lively is still the most realistic fighter pilot ever captured on film.
71. The Devil’s Double
Good performance by Dominic Cooper playing two characters interacting with each other (LIKE THE KLUMPS!) overshadowed by overall crappy film.
70. Drive Angry 3D
Should have been an awesome, gritty, over-the-top exploitation film. But it just ended up being slightly wacky garbage. Wait, but Nicolas Cage is in this, how did it become so wacky…?
69. Battle: Los Angeles
“Sarge, tell my lady back home that I actually died doing something heroic; not while watching Battle: Los Angeles…” “Murdock, you’re going to be fine, everything will be OK…!” (HELICOPTER EXPLODES)
68. The Adventures of Tintin
I wish I had a dog that would find all the clues in my detective cases… YOU’RE A PHONY, TINTIN, A BIG OLD PHONY.
67. The Thing
A near non-failure; it made sure to do just enough to guarantee it collapses on almost every level. Note to filmmakers: if you’re making a gross-out horror film, don’t use CGI. PRACTICAL FX 4 LYFE.
66. The Sitter
Arrivederci, Fat Jonah.
Starts off great, goes off track big time in the second half. Not enough Darth Maul.
64. The Dilemma
I get why people like Kevin James. I do. He was on a stupid, yet enjoyable sitcom. He had a decent early stand-up career. He’s a very likable guy. The kind of guy I wouldn’t mind hanging out with at a bar or something. But I’m looking over his IMDb page right now, and the guy has NEVER made a good movie. Not one. Kevin James sucks as a movie actor. That’s almost not even a matter of opinion. But, to be fair, I saw The Dilemma last month on HBO, and I put the fault more on Vince Vaughn than Kevin James for this thing. Oh, and also the script was horrendous.
63. Scream 4
The first Scream was a highly original semi-parody of the entire horror genre. Funny how when you then do the same original concept four times in a row, it doesn’t seem that original anymore…
62. Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1
My first experience with Twilight in the theaters wasn’t as dumb as I thought it would be. Oh, well, it certainly was dumb. Just not as dumb as I thought it would be.
61. 30 Minutes or Less
Such a squandered waste of some of my favorite comedic talent. Gonna go watch Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening again.
60. Cowboys & Aliens
Trust me, I really wanted to like this movie. Life just doesn’t always work out the way you want it to. I’m sure I’ll have other great titled movies like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter to be disappointed by next year.
It’s purdy. Reaaaaaaal purdy. But it’s a purdy shell of a movie that’s actually rather empty inside.
58. The Lincoln Lawyer
A movie I forgot I even saw this year until I started making this list…
I didn’t think it was a total failure like most people did, but I also have a stronger tolerance for Russell Brand than most people do, as well. But I’d recommend just watching the original Arthur instead of this one, if you haven’t seen either. It’s 1000000x better.
56. Transformers: Dark of the Moon
One awesome 30 minute action sequence at the end of the film doesn’t erase the two boring, crappy hours before it filled with whiny, irritating human characters.
55. Our Idiot Brother
It just didn’t click for me. And I love Paul Rudd. This movie gave me a great feeling of indifference.
54. Fast Five
I can see why people would love this movie. Because a lot of people are really stupid.
53. The Debt
Neat concept of three people kidnapping a former nazi experimental scientist in the 60s, then living with the guilt of what transpired while he was in their custody for the next 30 years. But it’s predictable. And relatively uninspired filmmaking. But the dude who played the nazi was pretty good. Though, I get the feeling like the guy who played him was just naturally creepy.
52. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Big step down from the original, in my opinion. Boring first half. Some cool action sequences near the end, but it’s not enough to save this from being kinda bad.
51. The Greatest Movie Ever Sold
Good concept, poor execution, one too many gingers.
50. Young Adult
I think the problems of this movie stem from the protagonist being less of an anti-hero than a totally repugnant bitch. Patton Oswalt saves this from being too bad, but this is just a movie that’s hard to root for.
I was pretty wowed by the visuals and more importantly the tension when I saw this in IMAX 3D. But I have no plans to ever watch it on my TV, though.
48. The Way Back
It was about a group a prisoners (most of them political prisoners) escaping a Siberian prison in the early 1940s. It was just alright. I’d say I was relatively entertained throughout most of it, but at 2 hours and 15 minutes, it just went on too long. Also, I question the threat level of most of the film as well. The whole film the characters give the impression they are being chased, or they are in danger of getting caught, but the “bad guys” never end up appearing. This is basically a 2 hour 15 minute battle against nature, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. But when the pacing is as slow as it is in this film, it starts to lose my attention. Not a bad movie, though, but I definitely forgot I even saw it.
47. Martha Marcy May Marlene
Maybe my front runner for the “Movie I Wanted to Like Way More Than I Actually Did” award of 2011?
46. The Guard
Slightly better than average buddy cop film. Pretty overrated. Brendan Gleeson’s badassness only took me so far.
Crappy orphan story redeemed by awesome film history lesson in the second half. Felt like two movies though; one crappy, one awesome.
Kind of stupid, wishes it was Crank, but entertaining enough that I would recommend it to most people.
43. Your Highness
At least it was ambitious for a stoner film? Look, I know it was stupid. But at least it wasn’t stupid in a Zookeeper kind of way. I think “triangle face” may have been my favorite little joke of the year.
42. The Rum Diary
I really enjoyed the spirit of the film. NO PUN INTENDED.
41. Red State
Basically a huge gunfight of a movie, nothing more. That’s somewhat of a compliment.
40. Paranormal Activity 3
I’m a fan of this series of films. This was the worst of the three, but still good for some decent spooky chills or some stuff. Whatever. This is the problem with coming up with comments for the C grade films, they are all just mehhhh. At least I can criticize Zookeeper verbosely.
39. Cars 2
It’s not that bad. You probably didn’t even see it.
38. A Good Old Fashioned Orgy
I was going in expecting compete garbage, and came away genuinely surprised at how much I liked it. It’s no future classic, but a decent straight-up comedy. That Tyler Labine guy is kind of annoying, though.
I just watched this again a week ago, I’ll stand behind it as an above-average comedy. It has good intentions and a chipper attitude. It made it kind of hard for me to not enjoy it.
36. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
I think I’m part-British now for watching this.
34. The Help
I watched this a few days ago, I was entertained. It’s nothing special. But I won’t deny that some parts really got my attention in a big way. Mainly I liked watching all those rich honkies get their comeuppance! Between this and 50/50, is Bryce Dallas Howard trying to win some sort of World’s Biggest Bitch award?
The second half is great.
I wanted to like this more, but it just doesn’t go anywhere. Still, I’d like more movies like Shame to be released in theaters, and less movies like Pirates of the Caribbean. Also… prepare yourself for the Fasspenis! It’s a raper of minds!
31. Win Win
Uplifting and entertaining, with some great performances (especially by Bobby Cannivale), but it gets held back slightly by cliche stuff. It stays real enough that I would consider it good, though. It’s like a less manufactured version of The Blind Side.
Washing my hands washing my hands washing my hands washing my hands washing my hands washing my hands washing my hands washing my hands washing my hands washing my hands washing my hands
Starts off as a really intriguing off-beat comedy about John C Reilly mentoring a fat kid, but then sort of devolves into an awkward teen sex thing. Almost really good, but sort of loses its footing.
28. Fright Night
Proves that vampire movies don’t always have to suck. OK, pun kind of intended.
Ya know, a lot of people thought Thor was an incredible movie. To be honest with you (especially after watching it a second time), It’s just decent. Definitely entertaining. Nothing all that special really. Worth watching for sure. But I wouldn’t put it on a pedestal.
See: My comment on Thor.
25. The Green Hornet
A lot of people hated this movie. I dug it, though. I think it suffered from the fact that people are just generally sick of Seth Rogen’s schtick. Or did I just like it because I still enjoy his schtick? THE MYSTERY REMAINS. (note: there are better things to do with your time than look into this mystery)
24. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Chemical Brothers soundtrack and a few awesome set pieces. Those aren’t the only reasons I liked Hanna, but I just felt like pointing them out.
22. The Descendants
STRAIGHT UP FAMILY DRAMA IN THE HOUSE!!!! CAN I GET AN ‘AWWWW YEAH’! (awwww yeah)
21. Midnight in Paris
Better on second viewing. Hemingway for the win.
I don’t think I ever need to see this movie again, but I was damned entertained the one time I did see it. (CHAIR THROW)
19. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
I’ll never look at an anal rape scene the same ever again…
18. Horrible Bosses
“Gut-Bustingly Hilarious!” Hey, why can’t I get a quote on the back of a DVD?
17. Source Code
I originally liked this movie a decent amount when I first saw it in theaters. But I watched it again on Monday, and I’ll bump it up a few points. It has good energy and a good story. Also, add it to the small pile of good Jake Gyllenhaal performances. Which currently stands at Source Code & Zodiac.
16. The Hangover Part II
Quit being so generalizing with the “It’s the exact same as the first one” BS. Sure, the plot points are similar, but the jokes are different. It’s not the same movie. I found this one way funnier than the first one. By a lot. In fact, the way that they basically retreaded the plot of the first film is the kind of deliberate silliness that contributed to why I thought this one was so funny.
15. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
Tom Cruise is 50 years old…
14. Super 8
Anther movie I watched a second time and liked it a lot more. It’s heart is in the right place, even if it wasn’t executed to perfection. Just ease up on the dead mom / locket stuff, laying it on a little too thick there, JJ.
13. Captain America: The First Avenger
I totally got into this one. I like alternate history stuff, ALRIGHT?
12. Cedar Rapids
I think my favorite thing about Cedar Rapids is the fact that it’s basically a coming-of-age movie about a 35-year-old man. I didn’t realize that’s what it was going to be going into it, but that’s very much what it was. If you make all the characters teenagers and have them go to an academic competition instead of an insurance convention, you could keep most of the basic plot points in tact.
Documentary following 12 years of Irish bareknuckle boxing. There’s a lot of out of shape grown men solving needless family disputes by beating the crap out of each other. “THE QUINN’S ARE WAY TOUGHER THAN THE JOYCE’S, YA MOTHA IS A SHEEP”. Yelling that into a camera is reason enough for 3 years of feuding between clans. The film doesn’t really have an overlaying point, and it’s slow in a few places, but it’s incredibly entertaining for the most part. I was sold right before the first fight, when seemingly out of nowhere, one of the fat Irish boxers calmly says “Your brother Paddy is the reason for the lot of this.” Then starts fighting… They’re like living caricatures! It’s all so silly, yet all so disturbing because it’s actually happening. Also worth noting: the entire documentary is in subtitles because everyone is speaking mumbled gypsy language like in Snatch. Kind of awesome.
10. I Saw the Devil
It’s nice to see a revenge film where the revenge is constant throughout the entire thing.
The perfect example of a by-the-books plot being played out in the best possible way. Also, if you want to hear Nick Nolte yelling an audio-book version of Moby Dick into the camera, this is your go-to movie, just saying.
8. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Lose the Planet of the Apes references, and this becomes and even better movie!
7. Hobo with a Shotgun
Reminded me of my days back in college watching awful Troma movies in my run down apartment. Wait, my apartment is still run down… And I still watch movies like these. NOTHING HAS CHANGED.
6. X-Men: First Class
SO MUCH FASSBENDER THIS YEAR.
5. Attack the Block
Super fun stuff, bruv.
I loved the animation, and the action sequences, and the character designs, and the story. I just dug Rango, what do you want from me?
Probably would have been #1 on my list if it was a little more like The Fast & the Furious…
2. The Muppets
If you didn’t have fun watching The Muppets, I assume you’re dead inside? Or you’re just a cynical asshole. Could go either way.
If a movie can get my cold, dark heart to feel emotions; especially as many emotions as this one did; AND do it in a non-manipulative way… then I’ve got something I consider special right here. From the performances to the screenplay to the running time, this is a near perfect movie for its genre. And it does everything in such a genuine way, that it’s difficult to not root for it. It makes me wish I had cancer. Wait, I take that back. I TAKE THAT BACK! NOOOOOOOOOO!
Happy new year from Dinosaur Boner!