New Jack City: For All That Was Bad at the Movies In 2011, Here’s What Made it Worthwhile

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:
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.

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9 Responses to New Jack City: For All That Was Bad at the Movies In 2011, Here’s What Made it Worthwhile

  1. Brian says:

    What is it with Midnight in Paris?
    I know everyone has opinions, but I was tricked into seeing this pretentious bore of a movie by all the positive “critic” reviews. Maybe it’s because the movie slobbers all over artists and writers, but this was the WORST “good” movie I have seen in a long time. Almost unwatchable. In fact, we did not finish. Do not be tricked!

  2. Merle Tagladucci says:

    I’ve really started to appreciate Clooney’s choices of roles the past few years. He’s played a detached soon-to-be widower, a presidential candidate, a hitman, a traveling corporate terminator, a military remote viewer, a dildo-chair building philanderer, a 1920s football hero and a law firm fixer. It’s almost a guarantee now that any film he signs on with will turn out the better for it. You can’t even say that about Tom Hanks anymore.

  3. jack p says:

    Agree and Disagree
    Merle, I couldn’t agree with you more! But Brian, you and I are obviously not on the same page. But hey it’s different strokes for different folks. Everyone has an opinion—and that’s what counts.

  4. smartman says:


    I violently DISAGREE with your choices of Warhorse, Mission Impossible and BRIDESMAIDS. but what the hell do I know. If this were the 1800’s I’d ride my horse over to your cabin and shoot you, not to kill, just to prove a point.

    But to say that Kristen Wiig is now on Hollywood’s A LIST? You’re putting her in the same class with Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep? She’s not even in the same class with Eric Roberts. Hell she couldn’t even get on Celebrity Rehab. Good God man! You’re making Perez Hilton look like Geraldo Rivera.

    Super 8 was shit. ET’s tits are sore from Spielberg milking them for the past 30 years. Where in the hell is Peta when you need them? Tom Cruise hasn’t done anything good since. A Few Good Men, the movie, not the guys at the gay bath-house in Santa Monica.

  5. smartman says:

    Ditto on Clooney. I was never a big fan but the guy is rock solid.

  6. jack p. says:

    Evenin’ smartman,
    Of course Ms. Wiig’s not in the same class as Meryl Streep. No one in tinsel town currently is. But when it comes to Julia Roberts—well she’s starting on the long road downhill. “LARRY CROWNE” was a definite sign.
    A-Listers means that they ‘perform’ at the boxoffice where it counts. And Ms. Wiig is one of the very few SNL’ers that now successfully draw on both screens. (And to think that she wrote the “Bridesmaids” screenplay as well!) So to throw her in the Perez Hilton/Geraldo Rivera comparison isn’t fair.
    I wouldn’t be surprised to see her kiss SNL goodbye in the near future.

  7. randyraley says:

    Happy New Year Jack
    ….of your 10, I can always count on at least 8. The Descendents effed me up. Great movie. Clooney has taken over from Hanks as the guy for this generation. Happy New Year Jack, hope to see you more this year.

  8. chuck says:

    Merle nails it.
    smartman, I laughed my country ass off at “Bridesmaids”. With the emphasis on “country”. Kristin Wiig kills me.

    I know its stupid, but when she puts on those little hands and starts pawing at people on SNL, I get sick laughing. Ridiculous, I know.
    She kills me every time I see her, just kidding, no she is really the best, just kidding, I love her, just kidding…

    I went to see Mission Impossible yesterday. It ain’t 12 angry men (I am settin ya up here smartman), but I am easily entertained.

    Thought “Moneyball” was good. Havn’t seen “The Descendents” yet. “Ides of March” was excellent.

    Drive was my favorite. “Margin Call” a close second. Just my opinion. 🙂

  9. jack p says:

    thanks randy….
    …looking forward to it!

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