Top 10 Best Movies 2011 ( Movie Maron )

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10. Sucker Punch
Starring: Emily Browning, Jon Hamm, Vanessa Hudgens
Director: Zack Snyder
Release Date: 25th March 2011

The first original movie from slow-mo supremo Zack Snyder. The director of the Dawn of the Dead, 300, Watchmen and that owl movie is taking us inside the mind of Babydoll, a young woman committed to to a mental institution who dreams up some pretty crazy stuff whilst inside (see trailer). This is supposedly set in the 1950s, so quite how her fantasy world comes off as a yet-to-be-invented Heavy Metal/anime hybrid remains to be seen. What we can already see is that Snyder’s visual flair is intact, and his female ensemble cast looks pretty kick ass hot insane. This is Snyder’s last chance to prove he can do good character work before he directs the Superman reboot.

9. X-Men: First Class
Starring: James McAvoy, Kevin Bacon, Michael Fassbender, Rose Byrne, January Jones
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Release Date: 3rd June 2011

The X-Men franchise wasn’t on the boil for long. Bryan Singer’s semi-good X-Men was the movie that kicked off the superhero boom at the turn of the century, its sequel remains one of the best superhero movies ever made, but the third movie was weak and spinoff Wolverine fared no better. But wait, here comes Matthew Vaughn, the director of the excellent Kick-Ass, to tackle an X-Men prequel. And Kevin Bacon is the villain. Ok they started shooting without a finished script. And the 60s set images look a bit Austin Powers. It’s hard to know how this will turn out, but there are more positives than negatives and we have a lot of faith in Vaughn.

8. Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows
Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law, Noomi Rapace, Jared Harris
Director: Guy Ritchie
Release Date: 16th December 2011

Guy Ritchie surprised a lot of people with the first Sherlock Holmes, a movie that was outside his comfort zone but managed to retain his sensibilities and be a fast paced, humourous adventure. In contrast to the staid adaptations of Holmes that have gone before, Ritchie managed to inject some real excitement into the proceedings. Unfortunately, because the movie wasn’t based on anything Conan Doyle had written, it deviated considerably from the structure of Holmes mysteries, and the actual mystery itself didn’t seem so important. But the interplay between all of the characters was great, Robert Downey Jr got to be Robert Downey Jr (which doesn’t seem to bother people) only this time with an English accent, and Jude Law got to shine for once in his supporting role as Watson. Now in the sequel the less-impressive Rachel McAdams is sidelined in favour of Noomi Rapace from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Stephen Fry will play Holmes’ smarter-but-lazier older brother (great casting). Ritchie has already surprised everybody by casting Jared Harris (who impressed on TV’s Fringe and Mad Men) as Moriarty, despite persistent rumours that former Snatch collaborator Brad Pitt would be taking the role.

7. Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Ralph Fiennes, Bill Nighy, John Hurt
Director: David Yates
Release Date: 15th July 2011

Some will be upset that this hasn’t been put higher on this list, but amongst the writers here there’s a feeling the series has dragged on for slightly too long (8 movies now). Nonetheless expect this to be a rousing finale to one of the most spectacular film series ever made. Harry, Ron, and Hermione go back to Hogwarts to find and destroy Voldemort’s final horcruxes, but when ‘Ol Snake Nose finds out about their mission you can expect to see school totally trashed by Harry and foe firing enough bolts at each other to keep local glaziers in work for years. In fact their fight sequence will reportedly expand on what’s witnessed in the book. Even though Part 1 missed out on 3D, Part 2 will probably be converted in time.

6. Green Lantern
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Mark Strong
Director: Martin Campbell (Casino Royale, Edge Of Darkness)
Release Date: 17th June 2011

The highest ranking comic book movie on our list is Green Lantern, the first major DC hero to hit the big screen that isn’t a bat, cat, or Kryptonian refugee. Coming to us from Casino Royale director Martin Campbell, Green Lantern, much like Thor, promises to show us a different side to superheroics and take us on a cosmic adventure. The story follows a test pilot who is given a ring by a dying alien which turns him into the Green Lantern, part of a collective who protect the galaxy from similarly powered villains. There have been a few voices of dissent about the casting of Ryan Reynolds – ignore them, he’s perfect for the role of Hal Jordan. The treatment for the sequel has already been ordered.

5. Scream 4
Starring: Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Courteney Cox, Emma Roberts
Director: Wes Craven
Release Date: 15th April 2011

Scream transformed the horror landscape when it came out in ’96, kicking off the second slasher cycle (the first was after Halloween) and bringing a truly unique tone to the genre. Brilliantly directed as it was, it was Kevin Williamson’s script that really was a cut above. Scream 2 was largely a success too. Then the studio stupidly booted Williamson for the third instalment and the result was something like a Scooby Doo episode. We’re excited about Scream 4 because Williamson is back, and there are 10 years of horror movies (from Asian ghost movies to torture porn) to riff off, in that clever but still frightening way. It’s going to be interesting to see how the clearly-too-old-to-be-doing-this cast (Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Courteney Cox) is melded with the new generation (Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere etc). Will they kill off Sidney Prescott?

4. The Cabin In The Woods
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Jesse Williams, Amy Acker
Director: Drew Goddard
Release Date: TBC 2011

Whedonites are legion. So having Joss Whedon produce and co-write the script is a good thing in terms of drumming up hype. And Cabin in the Woods promises a new take on a played out horror movie trope – the cabin in the woods. It’s directed by Drew Goddard, who was heavily involved with Lost and wrote Cloverfield. It stars Chris Hemsworth, the man who will be Thor. Shooting was finished a while ago but, like Bond, it’s caught in limbo by of MGM’s financial problems. The script is doing the rounds on the internet if you want to get a head start.

3. Super 8
Starring: Kyle Chandler, Elle Fanning
Director: J.J. Abrams
Release Date: 10th June 2011

Godammit, Abrams. You’re doing it again. Remember how the hype for Cloverfield was fueled by furious speculation? How the starfleet uniforms from Star Trek were hidden from the world? Well, here’s J.J. Abrams’ Super 8. Another project shrouded in mystery. We know it’s heavily influenced by the films of producer Steven Spielberg, and that it involves Area 51. We know it involves a group of kids in 1979 playing around making movies with their Super 8 cameras who accidentally capture something sinister, possibly alien, on film. We know one of the stars is Elle Fanning, younger sister of Dakota.

The Movie Preview Critic has a few predictions about what the movie might have to offer, so it’ll be interesting to see how much he gets right:

2. Hugo Cabret
Starring: Asa Butterfield, Chloe Moretz, Jude Law, Sacha Baron Cohen, Ben Kingsley
Director: Martin Scorsese
Release Date: 9th December 2011

Hugo Cabret is a film of firsts. It is Martin Scorsese’s first children’s movie, it is Martin Scorsese’s first 3D movie, and it is Martin Scorsese’s first major release in ten years not to feature Leonardo DiCaprio. The official story of The Invention of Hugo Cabret is as follows: “Orphan, Clock Keeper, And Thief, 12 year old Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric girl and the owner of a small toy booth in the train station, Hugo’s undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message all come together…” You can see some of the illustrations from the book upon which the movie is based right here. The movie has the potential to be magical in every sense of the word (apart from the one that means real hocus pocus, of course), which is why it’s so high on our list.

1. The Thing
Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, Eric Christian Olsen
Director: Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.
Release Date: 29th April 2011

Why are we anticipating this so much? Because there’s still so much mileage in the concept (if they are smart filmmakers), the setting and idea haven’t really been revisited by other movies since, and seeing our favourite horror movie ‘prequelised’ decades later has a big curiosity appeal. The prequel has already dropped the ball on two unconventional, but key, elements that helped make the original so unique – the all male cast has gone (the lead is now a hot female who’s helicoptered in), and the large cast of 12 mostly older character-actors has been replaced by the conventional 7 younger characters. It’s asking a lot, but if The Thing prequel turns out to be the smart, well written whodunit mystery it should be, and it stays away from cgi for its creature fx, this will be the cinemagoing experience we at Movie-Moron.com enjoy the most this year. Fingers are firmly crossed.