Sunday, December 18, 2011

Films of the year

This year, I decided to keep track of the films I have watched for the first time.
Here is my list, from the worst to the best, with a few comments for each film:

32: Black Hawk Down
This was just rubbish.  Almost entirely a big shootout scene.  The plot is boring (barely even present) and the action uninspired and repetitive.

31: No Country for Old Men
Nothing actually happens.  One guy looks for another guy.  That's it.  Nothing interesting about this.

30: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Unconvincing, overlong (an unusual comment from me), overcomplicated, difficult to follow.  Completely failed to hold my interest.  If it had, I might have enjoyed it.  But the first thing a film must do is hold my interest, and this failed at that first hurdle.

29: Tropic Thunder
One of those Ben Stiller films that some people find hilarious but are actually just a waste of time.  It's meant to make me laugh.  It didn't.

28: Blade Runner
The first on this list that I don't think is complete rubbish.
A classic, really?  It's just weird.  A couple of good action scenes, but little else on offer here.

27: Atonement
Had potential, but ultimately just completely failed to convince me.  For more detail, see this link.

26: The Hurt Locker
A series of tense and dramatic set pieces, with no plot to hold them together.  Occasionally spectacular but unfortunately there just isn't a plot.

25: Despicable Me
A mindless laugh.  Except it wasn't funny.  Except in a couple of places.

24: Invictus
On paper, brilliant - Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon as Nelson Mandela and Francois Pienaar during the 1995 Rugby World Cup.  On film, disappointing.  Very forgettable.  Which is why I can't say much more - I can't remember much about it, except that it wasn't very good.

23: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Nothing particularly wrong with this, except that it was ludicrous.  No explanation was given for the central idea of the baby being born old and getting younger, and everything else hangs on this.  Not impressed.

22: Spy Game
Seemed like a good film, but I didn't follow it.  I don't mind complicated films, but they have to explain themselves.  This one didn't.  Things that seemed significant were not, and things that seemed insignificant were not.

21: Legends of the Fall
Just very overdramatic really.  A family drama/romance, but neither the drama nor the romance convinced me.

20: Hereafter
Some brilliant ideas, and some great scenes.  But an awful ending.  Right up there with Vanilla Sky as one of the most disappointing endings ever.

19: In Bruges
Funny in places.  Merely silly in others.  An ok film.  Glad I watched it, but wouldn't watch it again.

18: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
Classic story, reasonably well done.

17: Disturbia
The first on this list that I would watch again.
Fun, lively and exciting.  A reasonable film.

16: Taken
Liam Neeson eat your heart out.  Fairly mindless, but very watchable.  Gripping.  One particularly superb scene.

15: Shrek 4
I was wary, after the disaster of Shrek the Third.  But this was much better.  An adequate end to the series, though not as good as Shrek 2 and nowhere near Shrek 1.  Even managed to explain time travel.

14: The Departed
A good film.  Nothing amazing, but a good film.

13: Mission Impossible 4
Great action film.  A right laugh.

12: 127 Hours
Very watchable indeed.  James Franco is excellent, as is the soundtrack.  A bit short for my liking though.

11: The King's Speech
Not as good as everyone says, but still a good film.  Brilliant acting throughout.  Plot is a bit weak though.

10: X-Men First Class
Another good x-men film.  A good film in its own right, but also linked to the original series really well.  A difficult film to make, but it was very well done.

9. Unknown
Really cool action film, kept me guessing until the end.  Very nicely done.

8: The Blind Side
Quality film.  Nothing spectacular, but a good story well told.

7: Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Andy Serkis, I take my hat off to you.  Yet again.  Really good film all round.

6: 12 Angry Men
Really cool.  Great concept, wonderfully done.  A genuinely excellent film.

5: Face/Off
Ditto (though in a very different way).

4: The Social Network
Brilliant screenplay and acting.  Other than that, I'm not quite sure what makes this film so good.  But it is so good.

3: The Fighter
It was always going to be great.  Mark Wahlberg is great, but Christian Bale and Amy Adams (robbed of an Oscar) are superb.

2: Black Swan
Properly intense.  Squirmtastic.  Gripping.  Amazing final scene (literally one of the coolest scenes I've ever seen).  More on 127 Hours, The King's Speech and Black Swan here.

1: Never Let Me Go
The most emotionally intense film I've seen since Bridge to Terabithia ripped my heart out and smashed it apart with a sledgehammer.  Parts of this film are jawdroppingly beautiful.  Carey Mulligan, I salute you.  I think I have a new favourite actress (sorry, Nicole Kidman).  More on Hereafter, Never Let Me Go and The Fighter here.

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