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Analyzing Hollywoodʼs top movies from 2011

March 9, 2012

The top ten films from the 170 I watched from 2011:

“Hugo.” From director Martin Scorsese comes the enchanting story of a boy, living in a train station that comes across a mystery involving his father and a robot. In 3D this movie takes your breath away with the amazing visuals and the silent film storyline. No movie from this year stuck with me more than “Hugo.”

“The Tree of Life.” Brad Pitt stars in one of the most intriguing and bizarre films I have ever seen. It centers on a family in the 1950s following its eldest son in his years of adolescence. Not only do we see his childhood but also the creation of mankind and how families interact. This film will not be for everyone, but its originality is second to none.

“The Help.” A writer collects stories from struggling black women during the 1960s that sparks a boom in the popular culture world. I felt for everyone in this movie with a broadening range of emotions from laughter to sadness to anger. There are movies that you just do not think you will like, I was that way with “The Help”, but I ended up practically falling in love with this film.

“The Beaver.” Mel Gibson has is comeback performance as a struggling alcoholic who can only get through his mental state by talking through a beaver hand puppet. As odd as this film is, I really related to Gibson’s character as I felt it was his way of getting out his true state of mind through a different film. He captures the screen even with such ridiculous material to where you truly feel for him and his family. Another movie that may not be for everyone but Gibson should capture anyones heart with this role.

“The Artist.” Who would have thought that a silent film that looks straight out of the 1920s (as it was shot in black and white, silent with only music with words put on the screen for dialogue) would tell one of the best stories and be one of the most entertaining movies of 2011? Everything about this film is just great and I found myself smiling practically the whole time. It is what it is and if you think this even remotely sounds interesting to watch you will love “The Artist.”

“Tyrannosaur.” Easily the most underrated film of 2011, “Tyrannosaur” follows an older man struggling with anger issues who has a second chance at life with a Christian store worker helping him along his path. Little do we know that she may be the one in need of saving. These two characters create such a strong bond that carries this movie. Watching their relationship grow stronger is where the heart really lies in this film.

“Senna.” The one documentary to really capture my attention from the year follows Formula 1 driver Aryton Senna who would win three championships before his death in a fatal crash at only the age of 34. With terrific footage you get to see Senna’s life as a driver with teammates, rivalries, car accidents and eventually his death. Everything moves quickly, keeping the attention of the viewer.

“13 Assassins.” A foreign film following a group of assassins in Japan who are on a suicide mission to stop their ruthless emperor and his army. This film is strictly on my list for its spectacular hour long action sequence that is absolutely breathtaking.

“Source Code.” Even for a film that has tons of plot holes and a ridiculous ending, “Source Code,” I felt, may have been the best love story of the year. Jake Gyllenhaal and Michelle Monaghan create a natural chemistry even when on a train that will blow up every eight minutes. This may not be an ideal storyline for a love story to work but it does, which makes this thriller above average.

“Young Adult.” Charlize Theron is terrific as a divorced author who returns home to Minnesota from the big city to try and rekindle the fi re with her high school love. Too bad he is now married with children. But her alcohol induced state will not let her cope with these events. Patton Oswalt is great as the loser from high school who soon realizes the pretty girl is now just like him. “Young Adult” is funny, sad and uncomfortable all at the same time which makes it a great movie.

Dustyn Dubuque is a history major and geography minor that has a love and passion for film. He watches over 100 films each year and loves Academy Awards season.

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