Last week was my lineup of movie stinkers..
Now here are the movies that made my twisted life as a critic all worth it.
My 10 favorite films to play in Kansas City during 2011:
# 1—THE HELP—Great ensemble film. Lots of kudos all around but for some reason Emma Stone isn’t getting enough of them for her superb performance as Skeeter.
# 2—THE IDES OF MARCH—Here’s the great American political story with dream casting of Gosling, Clooney, Hoffman, Tomei & Giamatti—not to mention superb direction by Mr. Clooney himself.
# 3—MONEYBALL—Pitt, Hill & Hoffman. This past year’s triple threat. And what a breakthrough for slimmed down Jonah Hill.
# 4—THE DESCENDANTS—Proof that George Clooney is rapidly becoming one of the our best all around actors,
# 5—BRIDESMAIDS—Funniest movie this past year propelling Kristen Wiig to Hollywood’s A-List.
# 6—MIDNIGHT IN PARIS—It’s been a long time coming but this movie is proof that the real Woody Allen is back and here to stay.
# 7—DRIVE—Film noir at its best with cool Ryan Gosling proving that there are no clean getaways.
# 8—THE TREE OF LIFE—Director Terrance Malik, Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain make for spiritual grace on the big screen.
# 9—WAR HORSE—Did I feel manipulated by Steven Spielberg here? Sure I did—and I loved it.
# 10–MISSION:IMPOSSIBLE-GHOST PROTOCOL—Best of the franchise! Tom Cruise vs. the tallest building in the world alone worth the price of a ticket.
Other pleasant cinematic surprises enjoyed in dark theater auditoriums during the past year included the following set of 10 titles–and in no particular order:
THE ARTIST / SUPER 8 / THE DEBT / RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES / CRAZY STUPID LOVE / 50/50 / HORRIBLE BOSSES / PUSS IN BOOTS / MARGIN CALL & CEDAR RAPIDS.
Agree or disagree—Just keep repeating: "It’s only a movie. Only a movie. Only a movie. Take as much as you can."
Happy New Year everyone.