I was very surprised when I went through a list of movies I tagged as excellent, which I watched first time in 2011, and found several. One problem though is that I can't rank them because I don't fully remember the experiences of all. Luckily, I know which of the movies are at the top:
The ranking of those taking second spot may very well be careless because I only watched them once, but the impact they had on me is still vivid, so they stay, at least for now.
Here's the rest (ranked alphabetically):
- The Cat In The Hat (a case where I drastically differ with general critical approval)
- Kung Fu Panda 2 (also happens to be the year's greatest spectacle)
- Rabbit Hole
- Sex, Lies, and Videotape
A ranking of the year's best cinematography:
The year's best visual effects (overall):
- The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
- Sucker Punch
- a tie between Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief and Tron: Legacy
- it would be sinful not to include [Transformers: Dark of the Moon], even though it's pretty much the same offering as the 2 previous offerings in the franchise.
The year's best visual effects (specific moments):
- train crash ([Super 8])
- river-god ([The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian])
- sea monster (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader)
- wall of water (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader)
- Paris chase by the 2 [exoskeletons] ([G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra])
- the storm ([Gulliver's Travels])
- trash in the recycling plant ([Toy Story 3]) +++ maybe a cheat since this is animation, but I needed to mention it
The year's best animation is a tie between [Rango] and [Legend of the Guardians]. Both offer lengthy moments of hyper-realistic imagery. The runner-up is  with it's wonderful action sequences.
Although the best action is offered by , the best action sequence is the [exoskeleton][exoskeletons] chase in [G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra]. However, there most innovative sequence is the split-screen bounty hunter scene found in [The Green Hornet].
My favorite performance is that of [Andie MacDowell] when playing the sweet love interest in Sex, Lies, and Videotape. First runner-up is a tie between Vera Farmica as sad mother (Orphan) and [Jon de Lancie] as lead of pathology ([Pathology]). 2nd runner-up is Sandra Oh (Rabbit Hole).
The best male performance is by Geoffrey Rush when playing a therapist in The Kings's Speech. Here's the runner-ups:
- [Miles Teller] (Rabbit Hole)
- Laurence Fishburne ([Contagion])
- [Lennie James] ([The Next Three Days])
- [Russell Brand] ([Get Him to the Greek])
The best female performance is by Nicole Kidman in Rabbit Hole, and the best cast is from the same movie. Maybe it's a distant second, but the runner-up on that category is [Pathology]. The best voice talent is that of [Rango].
As regards the best character development, James Spader's free-spirited character in Sex, Lies, and Videotape ties with Nicole Kidman's grieving asshole in Rabbit Hole. Runner-up is the evil peacock in Kung Fu Panda 2, the same peacock that happens to be the year's best villain. Despite his cruelty, his oft-humorous demeanor made me care about him, which is the sort of quality I find exceptional in terms of character development of villains.
The best character design is that of the main villain in , followed by the ninjas in [The Warrior's Way].
The year's most desirable gal is [Sandra Oh] in Rabbit Hole, playing a small role as the love interest. Watching this has changed my view of her... I want her, now! Here's the runner-ups:
- [Andie MacDowell] (Sex, Lies, and Videotape)
- [Teri Hatcher] ([Tango & Cash])
- [Jill Schoelen] ([The Stepfather])
[According to Greta] boasts both the most perfect gentleman (the lead's boyfriend) and the most perfect father (the lead's grandpa).
I was impressed by Lennie James in [The Next Three Days], making him the year's favorite detective.
The best comic character is the fat guy in [She's Out of My League], followed by a tie between Jack Black's partner in [Nacho Libre] and the fat oversexed woman in [Nanny McPhee And The Big Bang].
The category of most important movie exists in order to recognize movies that deliver certain ideas/messages I find extremely important; The harmful effects of making abortion illegal are portrayed in a very powerful way in 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, and that easily makes the movie the winner. There's a tie between the 2 runner-ups:
- [Fair Game] (harmful suppression of truth by powerful government officials)
- [Contagion] (a reminder of how fragile our existence is, and the social chaos that can result from desperation and fear)
Each repeat of a movie is a different experience, hence this category of best first-time viewing experience. It's won by Megamind (it blew my mind away due to its seeming perfection) and the runner-up is [Shrek Forever After], which sadly couldn't survive a revisit.
The worst revisit was [Shrek Forever After]. I deemed it a masterpiece on first viewing, but it seemed a different (and worse) movie on a revisit. Not that it was trash. It was just not very good. The runner-up is [The Warrior's Way].
As for the year's best script/dialog, there is a tie between Sex, Lies, and Videotape and [Contagion].
The year's funniest movie is [Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey]. The first runner-up is [Being There], while its three 2nd runner-ups are a tie: [Brewster's Millions] (surprising entrant), The Cat In The Hat, and [Semi-Pro].
The year's most original story is that of The Idiots (the subject matter of conmen is fairly popular yes, but in here is the added twist of the perpetrators not having any material gain out of it). The runner-up is [Dark Matter], followed by [Pathology]. The best story concept can be seen in [Groundhog Day], where the lead character experiences the same day over and over again.
I don't really pay much attention to this one, but I'll give the best make-up honor to [Pathology] for making corpses look so convincing.
The most overrated movie is [Sunset Boulevard] followed by [All About Eve]. The former is substandard while the second is quite decent.
This section is meant to give a chance to movies I have watched before this year to appear in this review, for one reason or another.
Of those, the best experience was offered by the masterpiece, [Requiem for A Dream]. It was almost a surprise that the intensity of the experience was as great as was on first viewing, a very rare quality.
Here's the runner-ups:
- [Mandingo] -- the best movie on US slavery I've seen yet
- [The Bourne Supremacy] -- among the best action thrillers I've seen yet
- [Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure], whose continued excellence and humor surprised me, it being a childhood favorite, and also being made in the 80's, a bad movie decade.
For a complete list of the movies I reviewed for the year, visit the [2011-movies tag].
[Transformers: Dark of the Moon]: [Super 8]: http://tshepang.net/super-8-2011 [The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian]: http://tshepang.net/the-chronicles-of-narnia-prince-caspian-2008 [exoskeletons]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powered_exoskeleton [G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra]: http://tshepang.net/gi-joe-the-rise-of-cobra-2009 [Gulliver's Travels]: http://tshepang.net/gullivers-travels-2010 [Toy Story 3]: http://tshepang.net/toy-story-3-2010 [Rango]: http://tshepang.net/rango-2011 [Legend of the Guardians]: http://tshepang.net/legend-of-the-guardians-the-owls-of-gahoole-2010 : http://tshepang.net/9-2009 [The Green Hornet]: http://tshepang.net/the-green-hornet-2011 [Andie MacDowell]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andie_MacDowell [Jon de Lancie]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_de_Lancie [Pathology]: http://tshepang.net/pathology-2008 [Miles Teller]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miles_Teller [Contagion]: http://tshepang.net/contagion-2011 [Lennie James]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lennie_James [The Next Three Days]: http://tshepang.net/the-next-three-days-2010 [Russell Brand]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell_Brand [Get Him to the Greek]: http://tshepang.net/get-him-to-the-greek-2010 [The Warrior's Way]: http://tshepang.net/the-warriors-way-2010 [Sandra Oh]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandra_Oh [Teri Hatcher]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teri_Hatcher [Tango & Cash]: http://tshepang.net/tango-cash-1989 [Jill Schoelen]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jill_Schoelen [The Stepfather]: http://tshepang.net/the-stepfather-1987 [According to Greta]: http://tshepang.net/according-to-greta-2009 [She's Out of My League]: http://tshepang.net/shes-out-of-my-league-2010 [Nacho Libre]: http://tshepang.net/nacho-libre-2006 [Nanny McPhee And The Big Bang]: http://tshepang.net/nanny-mcphee-and-the-big-bang-2010 [Fair Game]: http://tshepang.net/fair-game [Shrek Forever After]: http://tshepang.net/shrek-forever-after-2010 [Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey]: http://tshepang.net/bill-teds-bogus-journey-1991 [Being There]: http://tshepang.net/being-there-1979 [Brewster's Millions]: http://tshepang.net/brewsters-millions-1985 [Semi-Pro]: http://tshepang.net/semi-pro-2008 [Dark Matter]: http://tshepang.net/dark-matter-2007 [Groundhog Day]: http://tshepang.net/groundhog-day-1993 [Sunset Boulevard]: http://tshepang.net/sunset-boulevard-1950 [All About Eve]: http://tshepang.net/all-about-eve-1950 [Requiem for A Dream]: http://tshepang.net/requiem-for-a-dream-2000 [Mandingo]: http://tshepang.net/mandingo-1975 [The Bourne Supremacy]: http://tshepang.net/the-bourne-supremacy-2004 [Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure]: http://tshepang.net/bill-teds-excellent-adventure-1989 [2011-movies tag]: http://tshepang.net/tags/2011-movie