Saw this on the plane and it was boring. It needed more wrestling scenes and less Giamatti. I guess there’s some human drama and a funny line or two, but there’s no need to see the film.
A movie for the plane. It entertained me more than Win-Win so it wins a better ranking.
Decent special effects, weak story telling, sub-par character development. The development of the rift between Professor Xavier and Magneto is one of the compelling stories in the X-Men franchise. They could have spared a couple explosions to develop this relationship and its breakup more thoroughly. Because they had great material but failed to develop it,
The animation is decent. Not as compelling as other films in the genre (Finding Nemo, The Incredibles) and not as inventive as other animated films such as the Triplets of Bellville or The Secret of Kells. Still it is entertaining, but the film is at once a little too silly and a little too risqué. There’s no compelling reason to see this movie except that I like the animated genre.
10. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
The Swedish version was better. The casting of Rooney Mara as Lizbeth Salander is in no way convincing. From a cultural perspective of contrasting this version with the Swedish version, this movie was worth seeing. I wouldn't believe it to be worth the price of admission otherwise. Unless you are seeing it out of some intellectual curiosity. It has come to me attention that the movie and book is somehow supposed to be feminist. I would argue that only in the most shallow, juvenile way is it feminist. It's also interesting to note that all Swedes apparently speak English with each other. If you have a free afternoon or don’t have to pay to see it, it may kill a few hours of boredom.
9. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Not bad, but not great. Moves a little too fast, characters motivations are not always clearly understood, the theme park ride events stand out clearly, some of the special effects are down right hokey (everything always turning to ash, a python/boa constrictor type snake being used to play a venomous viper that would strike a man to death). This movie would be more tolerable if it didn't try to take itself seriously. I felt this one was phoned in but I’ll give it a passing grade. C+
8. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Overall not bad. As always there are some plot holes, and the chemistry between James Franco and whoever the female lead is (it really doesn't matter because the point is she's forgettable). I was a little surprised that Franco wasn't terrible, and the special effects are solid. I only saw 14 movies this year, and so while this would never be a top ten, it manages to slip in because of a small bracket.
7. Pirates of the Caribbean 4
What can I say, I like the franchise. I simplistic movie with a simplistic plot and Johnny Depp rehashing the same character for the 4th time. The movie gives you what you want, Pirates.
It's been a long time since I've seen this movie so it's difficult to correctly place it. I remember liking older versions better. One staggering disappointment is how unscathed Mr. Rochester is after being burned in a fire, the guy has his face burned off in the 1800s and somehow has access to a better plastic surgeon than anyone living today, or so I would believe from seeing the results. This version was a little too fluffed and watered down in order to appeal to a larger audience, but in doing so loses some of the gothic bite of the story that needs to exist to make the film a good film.
5. Midnight in Paris
I have a complicated relationship with this movie because I want to like it more than I do. There are exceedingly exact characters, such as the pedantic pseudo-intellectual Paul and then there are caricatures, such as Hemingway, which some people found delightful but I found slightly annoying. I understand the point was the one dimensional simplistic Woody Allen image of these people, but it still annoyed me enough to knock the movie down a couple spots.
4. Captain America
Best superhero/action movie I saw this year, if only because the protagonist had some character development. But what do you want from a comic book movie? Good movie for the genre.
I'm a fan of Lars von Trier since Anti-Christ gave me nightmares. Charlotte Gainsburg is always a rewarding actress too watch. I enjoyed the hollowed out, self-involved loneliness of this movie which combines with panoramic views teaming with life but desolate of joy.
2. Tree of Life
I struggle with the position of this one in relation to Melancholia. I give it the better ranking because it leaves one more to think about than just the calm that comes with depression.
1. In A Better World
By far and away the best movie I saw all year and among the top 10 best movies I have seen. The movie manages to deal with human failure in a very honest way, without being melodramatic or plot driven. There were only three movies I saw this year that occupied my mind after the film ended. This was one of them.