As the world nears it's end, let's look back at some films that helped us forget, for at least a little while, how bad things really are.
10)Mission Impossible:Ghost Protocol- Tom Cruise is back in a big way with the best action movie of the year. Well paced, globe trotting fun as Cruise's Ethan Hunt gets diavowed after the Kremlin goes boom. Accompanied by the uber hot Paula Patton, red hot Jeremy Renner, and uber funny Simon Pegg, this film soars, literally during a sequence on the world tallest building. A must see on IMAX if possible.
9)Harry Potter 7- This book and film series keeps getting better and better, especially as all the actors have grown tremendously into fine thespians. A non stop action thrill ride, this movie delivers the final showdown between Harry and Voldemort to a T. While the first two in the series are the most uneven, and the fifth almost unwatchable, this is the Harry Potter movie for everyone.
8)Paul-Simon Pegg and Nick Frost return in this funny sendup of sci fi films. Literally funny from the minute the movie starts, the was the best comedy of the year for laughs. After the two arrive at the San Diego Comic Con, they decided to rent a RV and see sci fi sites across America. At Roswell, they find Paul (voiced by Seth Rogan and making us forget how bad Green Hornet was) an alien on the run from the government that has been holding him hostage for years. What happens next is a terrific road movie as they pick up a bible-thumping creationist (Kristen Wiig having a stellar year), her protective father in chase, as well as the feds. Uproarious fun.
7)Tucker And Dale Fight Evil- A terrific sendup of slasher films. Tyler Labine and Alan Tudyk play the accidentally frightful hillbillies who convince a group of college students they are homicidal maniacs, when in reality they are nothing of the sort. Labine has never been better and Tudyk is his usual solid self. A unique movie in a year of sequels.
6)The Perfect Host-One of my favorites of the year is the tour de force by David Hyde Pierce which is exactly the sort of movie Oscars are made for. Yet no one has recognized how brilliant this film is. A thief breaks into Pierce's house and takes him hostage. What he doesn't realize is that Pierce is a dangerous maniac who quickly turns the table on his unsuspecting prey. What follows is less Hostel than Gene Kelly, as the insane host plays up a party only he can see in his head. And when it's over, so is the thief. The movie has twists and turns you'll never see coming. Quite simply one of the best of the year.
5)The Descendants- Another brilliant film by the reliable Alexander Payne, sorely missed since Sideways. George Clooney may hit Oscar gold with this film playing a father of two, whose wife is in a coma. Once he finds she had been having an affair, he becomes determined to track down her lover and confront him. What follows is touching, funny and sad. Shailene Woodley will hopefully be nominated for her great performance as Clooney's daughter. She is a force to be reckoned with in coming years.
4)Crazy, Stupid, Love-I never expected to like this movie as much as I did. Steve Carell, an actor I had grown somewhat tired of lately, proves me wrong with the great performance as a man divorcing his wife of twenty years as everyone around him spirals out of control in love, unrequited or not. Ryan Goslin is having a great year with this and Drive (which I hear is excellent) as the Lothario teaching Carell how to pick up women. This is not a typical chick flick, so get it today guys. You'll love it.
3)Contagion- The film that will have you forever looking at a bar room bowl of peanuts in a whole new way, this was the best horror movie of the year. A flu pandemic sweeps the world, killing thirty percent of all infected. That may not seem like a high number until you remember there are seven billion people on the planet and thirty percent of even half that is a lot of dead people. Stand out performances and a taut script.
2)Bridesmaids- Kristan Wiig should get an Oscar nod for this fantastic comedy. Wiig plays a girl determined to stay unhappy as she chases everyone close away from her, in the funniest ways possible. John Hamm in awesome as her f$%kbuddy who treats her as such, as well as Mellisa McCarthy as the fearless bridesmaid, who is almost certainly Oscar bound.
And the best film is....................................................
1)Muppets- No film made me as happy this year as this did. Jason Segal knocks it out the park with this awesome film that brings back the muppets after decades gone, with the cast trying to save their old theater form destruction. Great cameos, great music, fun for the whole family.
Honorable mentions- Hugo, Harold and Kumar Christmas 3D, Super 8, Moneyball, Tree of Life, The Artist, The Help, Thor, Drive Angry, the Adjustment Bureau, Limitless, Lincoln Lawyer, Tower Heist, Sherlock Holmes, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Must misses- The Debt (horrific), Dream House