We are halfway through the year so here’s my Top 5 Best of 2011 List so far. I will compare this list with my top 30 or so at year’s end. Also normally my list would be 5 to 1 but I decided to start with the best.
Top 5 Best
1. The Tree of Life (Malick)
2. Burning Palms (Landon)
3. X (Hewitt)
4. Getting High (Kessler)
5. Septien (Tully)
Bottom 5 Worst
1. Blubberella (Boll)
2. Megan is Missing (Goi)
3. The Countess (Delpy)
4. AutoErotic (Swanberg/Wingard)
5.The Wave (Gansel)
post your best/worst 5 of the first half of the year so we can compare at the end. :)
The Tree of Life and Midnight in Paris are the two best I’ve seen. I really want to see the silent film that was making such a big noise at Cannes.
As for the worst … who cares?
Atlas Shrugged Part 1
Hobo With a Shotgun
Midnight in Paris
Under the Boardwalk the Monopoly Story
Best (By US release date, because that is what affects when I get to see them):
1. The Tree Of Life
2. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
3. Midnight In Paris
4. Certified Copy
5. La Quattro Volte
Worst: I haven’t seen enough ‘bad’ movies this year, so I’ll just list all the ones I came out of with an overall negative impression.
The Adjustment Bureau
That’s pretty much it. Next up the list would be Super 8 and 13 Assassins, and I can’t really say I disliked either of those.
1. Tree of Life
2. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
3. Meek’s Cutoff
4. Certified Copy
5. 13 Assassins
I haven’t seen enough films to list 5 worst, but I’ll just say that Scenes from the Suburbs has been the biggest disappointment of the year (and at a slim 30 mins!) I wasn’t crazy about Win Win, I Saw the Devil, or Midnight In Paris, but I wouldn’t call any of the three a “bad” film.
Dennis Brian, you liked Atlas Shrugged? I have not seen it, but I have read nothing good about it. Care to offer a defense of the film?
Top 5 Best
Sound of Noise
Your Highness (It was not awful but it was boring, forced, and wasted a treasure trove of material and actors)
I’ve seen a lot of meh to all right films but those two listed stick out like sore thumbs. I felt pretty disappointed with some movies (Super 8 and Paul immediately jump to mind) but I would not say those movies were just all around poor.
This is by UK release date…
1. Cold Weather (Katz)
2. Submarine (Ayoade)
3. A Separation (Farhadi)
4. Meek’s Cutoff (Reichardt)
5. Incendies (Villeneuve)
5. The Hangover Part II
3. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
2. Sucker Punch
1. Bad Teacher
1. Post Mortem
3. The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu
4. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
5. 13 Assassins
A Serbian Film
The train scene in Atlas is one of the most thrilling I have seen in years. It wouldnt be half as thrilling if you did not have the chemisty of the leads and the true to the exceptional book, scripting.
1.) Tree of Life
2.) The Interrupters
3.) Putty Hill
5.) Meek’s Cutoff
Armadillo and Senna are also worth mentioning.
1.) Another Happy Day
2.) Red State
These are the only bad films I’ve seen this year, I try to avoid what I know will be a waste of time.
I’ve only seen five but I’d rank them as follows…
2. Midnight in Paris
3. The Tree of Life
4. Super 8
5. Cars 2
I can almost guarantee the first three will be somewhere in my end of the year top five. I liked Super 8 quite a bit. And I disliked Cars 2 quite a bit.
1. The Tree of Life
3. Midnight in Paris
4. Meek’s Cutoff
5. Everything Must Go
Great admiration, as well, for Submarine, Rango, Win Win, Source Code and Cave of Forgotten Dreams.
Worst? Green Lantern, certainly.
tree of life
midnight in paris
no strings attached
i am #4
I forgot about Bridesmaids (blocked it out) really hated that film would put it at number 2
By British cinema and straight-to-DVD release dates:
1. Le quattro volte aka. The Four Times (Dir. Michelangelo Frammartino) – 10/10
2. I Come With The Rain (Dir. Tran Anh Hung) – 9/10
3. Amer (Dirs. Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani, 2009) – 9/10
4. Rubber (Dir. Quentin Dupieux) – 8/10
5. Attack the Block (Dir. Joe Cornish) – 8/10
1. The Last Rites of Ransom Pride (Dir. Tiller Russell) – 2/10
2. Black Swan (Dir. Darren Aronofsky) – 4/10
By Dutch film release or film festival:
3. Journals of Musan
5. Tree of Life
Other great films: Bleak Night, Haru’s Journey, Winter Vacation, Post Mortem, Silent Souls, End of Animal, Attenberg, Autobiography of Nicolae Ceaucescu, Genpin
1. Cold Fish
5. King’s Speech
South Korea is definitely in a lead of having provided the most interesting films of 2011 (Poetry, Journals of Musan, Bleak Night and End of Animal)
Midnight in Paris
Even the Rain (También la lluvia)
Cannot come up with anything.
2. Tree of Life
3. Certified Copy
5. In a Better World
6. Midnight in Paris
8. Super 8
Attack the Block
In the Land of Milk and Honey
Haven’t seen many, but Tree of Life is easily the best of 2011 (and the among the best of the 21st Century) and I Saw the Devil is one of the worst movies I have ever sat through.
Neither list is necessarily ranked, just an offhand best/worst.
1. Le Quattro Volte
2. Certified Copy
3. Nostalgia for the Light
4. White Material (finally made here to Nebraska in January)
5. Meek’s Cutoff
And then there’s Putty Hill, Tree of Life, The Trip, etc. Plus surprises like Crazy, Stupid, Love and Bridesmaids. And I still haven’t seen Boonmee yet.
1. Hall Pass
2. Just Go With It
3. The Green Hornet
4. Win Win
5. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
I think you have to have bad taste in movies to actually go see a bad film, I could count on my hands how many bad films I saw in the theatre. More times than not, you know they are bad before you go, so don’t go, but then if you don’t go, you can’t then complain about it.
Worst Of lists are BS, just focus on what’s good
These are all Australian cinema release dates.
“More times than not, you know they are bad before you go, so don’t go, "
Not to mention test screenings, where you go into a film really not knowing anything about the film (this happened to me this year with Jim Sheriden’s new film, Dream House, and Jolie’s new film, which she directed.)
I partially agree. As a critic, I saw “Just Go With It”, “Hall Pass”, etc because I had too. And of course I had an idea of what I was getting into. But really there are a lot of reasons to see a film besides whether you end up liking it. For example, I might’ve seen “Just Go With It” just to see what they did to “Cactus Flower”, and I likely would’ve seen “Hall Pass” just as an Owen Wilson fan.
“just focus on what’s good”
You may be right about lists of bad movies, but bad movies are very important. What’s the Truffaut quote, “taste is formed by a thousand distates”? “Win Win” for example was actually kind of challenging in its harmless, eager-to-please kind of badness.
So Truffaut thinks the positive is formed by the negative, so maybe one doesn’t know what’s good at all, they just know what they think isn’t good. What a great optimistic philosophy.
If I’m gonna pay a great deal for a film, I’m not gonna see crap, the worst films I’ve seen at the theatre are Even Cowgirls Get the Blues and Death to Smoochy (also saw Kiss of Death, but it was free, and I just wanted to kill some time). Oh and Sliver.
Obviously critics need to see all the crap that’s out there, so bad movies are part of the gig.
As for indies (I watched 13 Moons with Steve Buscemi, directed by Rockwell on NetFlix the other night and was very, very disappointed, but I didn’t pay $12 for it) and foreign language films, granted, but you still have an idea about your own taste, plus you know if there is a track record involved more times than not.
I watched Bridesmaid cause I heard good things and it was easily the worst of the year. I have never gone into a movie thinking it is gonna be horrid, you hope for the best
“If I’m gonna pay a great deal for a film, I’m not gonna see crap”
If I went by that motto, I’d see a lot less films and I would’ve missed out on discovering some real gems. The best thing is going into a movie with no expectations and being blown away by what you see. Sure, the risk is that you go to some crappy films too (Canvas and The Cake Eaters are two films I took a chance on and ended up walking out because they were so bad) but big deal? It’s worth it when you discover some exceptional pieces of work (City of Life and Death is probably the best example for me, which I saw at AFI Fest two years ago).
The other thing is film festivals. For people like me who go to film festivals, you go to films that haven’t been seen by anyone yet so there’s no reviews or Rotten Tomatoes to refer to. If it’s a first time director, you’re taking a risk – you’re going off of the trailer (if there even is one), you’re going off of the synopsis, you’re going off of word of mouth. It just seems weird to me to judge a film before you’ve even seen it because too often I’ve judged incorrectly (and sometimes the opposite happens – I skip a film at a festival thinking it doesn’t look good then it get released and it blows up).
“So Truffaut thinks the positive is formed by the negative, so maybe one doesn’t know what’s good at all, they just know what they think isn’t good. What a great optimistic philosophy.”
The point is that personal taste is a never-ending work in progress, and restricting yourself to movies that you’ve already delivered a verdict on stunts your growth.
You haven’t already delivered a verdict, you have reasonably deducted that the experiences may be worth the funds based upon knowledge of those involved, or doing homework on those you have not heard of.
There is nothing wrong with taking chances on seeing films, it’s a good thing. A few weeks ago I watched A Snake of June and liked it a great deal, all I knew of it was the trailer, but based upon the visuals I saw, i knew it was not a risk. (Of course film fests have good and bad, but I’m not talking about fests, but paying hitting the cinema on normal night for a film, fests are a different animal).
And just because taste in a never-ending process, that does not mean one has to go into it with a negative view, as Truffaut’s quote is quite negative.
“The point is that personal taste is a never-ending work in progress, and restricting yourself to movies that you’ve already delivered a verdict on stunts your growth.”
I don’t care about Truffaut but I will say I agree with the above statement from Justin. I definitely sympathize with what you are saying Uli regarding wasting money on movies you know are crap. I’m not advocating visiting your local AMC theater on a Friday night to go see Conan the Barbarian (although I will say even those films can surprise you – I very much enjoyed Rise of the Planet of the Apes, even though in the months leading up to its release I thought it would be crap). I guess I’m speaking of smaller films that might pop up at your local art house theater that you might not have heard about. Every week I check what is playing at the Landmark, Nuart, and Laemmle theaters around Los Angeles and occasionally I’ll discover a film I have not heard of and check it out. Sometimes I regret it, sometimes not.