Best & Worst So Far

Everyone loves lists, and what better time than now to figure out what I think is the best movies (and worst) so far this year. Granted, this only extends to movies I have seen, so it's not really a thorough list. But I can gather from what I hear through customers, friends and co-workers what was good and what wasn't. I also believe that you can really tell a person's taste by what they think is the worst rather than the what they think is the best, so that's why I'm including them in here.

So the best (they're listed in chronological order - they're all good movies and sometimes I believe it's too hard to rank a great comedy about a great drama). Check it out after the break!


Youth In Revolt
My review is linked above and I'll repeat: this movie was spectacular. I really had no expectations for this movie and Mags and I decided to check it out on a whim. Well, this was a good way to kick off the year. The movie may be too quirky for some and possibly too obscene for others. But if you're up for awkward R-rated comedy, you cannot go wrong. As a side-note, when the movie finally came out on DVD, there was this big quote plastered in front of the cover with the word BAD-ASS in the biggest font. Most every customer for the first week wanted to rent BAD-ASS. I was thoroughly confused because of the movie Kick-Ass and I would tell them that it wasn't out yet. Of course, this lead to more awkward exchanges at the counter. Thanks, marketing guys!

Book of Eli
I'm a sucker for post-apocalyptic movies and Book of Eli is no different. It's completely engrossing and I don't care if it borrowed heavily from other movies of its ilk, it still didn't detract from my enjoyment. A lot of people hated the ending, but I thought it was fairly clever and was satisfying and fit in nicely with the somewhat heavy-handed theme of religion and faith. And it's good to see Mila Kunis in anything - I think she's underrated as an actress - and I can see her becoming a big star.

Shutter Island
I read the book in what seemed like two days when I first saw the trailer about a year ago and I was bummed out when they moved the movie into 2010. But it was worth the wait - the movie was really good. Of course it's not as good as the book (duh), but it certainly had its moments and Scorcese was great at setting the mood and tone for the film. I loved the cinematography and the spookiness of it all. DiCaprio is quickly becoming one of my favorite actors (who the hell knew?) and I can't wait to see what he'll show up in next!

She's Out of My League
I like seeing people I know from older movies or TV shows that I treasure and Jay Baruchel is one of those guys. He was perfect as the awkward college freshman in the vastly underrated Undeclared TV series. It's nice to see he's been blowing up this year (although besides How to Train Your Dragon, his two other movies - this one and The Sorcerer's Apprentice didn't hold up so well at the box office). This movie is from the same writers of Hot Tub Time Machine and Sex Drive, so I instantly knew I was gonna at least like the movie. But it was far funnier than I expected and T.J. Miller, channeling a young Jason Lee, stole every scene. A lot of people thought it was too derivative and pointless, but I thought there was a sincere and genuine heart to this movie, plus there's a lot of great toilet humor. Don't worry , it goes together well.

Hot Tub Time Machine
This movie is more than just a funny title and some silly shenanigans based on 80s nostalgia. It's just a great, R-rated comedy, much like The Hangover. It's just as good, and I don't think I need to say more than that. There's so much good stuff, from Crispin Glover's one-armed bellboy to the most grotesque tapioca prank ever. 'Nuff said.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
I'm a huge fan of the book this movie is based on. The characters, plot and setting are so rich and well-thought out that it really does lend itself to an exciting thriller of a movie. Although I did have some complaints about this movie, I still think it was pretty phenomenal and a good adaptation of the book. I cannot wait to see what Fincher does for the American remake and to find out who they cast as Lisbeth Salander, one of the most complicated and mysterious protagonists I've read in quite a while.


Okay, I will admit this is probably my favorite movie so far this year. It's just such a great flick - there's a great story and characters, excellent, well-choreographed and filmed action sequences and the comedy is truly laugh out loud. The movie kind of blew me away, especially the fight sequence with the strobe light. That is one of the best action scenes I've seen in a while - the music, camera-work and choreography all blend so well together that my heart did skip a beat or two. It's pretty obvious I'm in love with this movie and I cannot wait to see a (hopefully) sequel!

I really don't get why people were disappointed with this one. Too much hype and expectations were going into this movie for it to deliver a Dark Knight-esque leap into fanboy orgasm. But it's a good, if not great sequel bolstered by spectacular performances. I don't think the first movie was earth-shattering, and neither was this one, but it's a fun, doesn't take itself too seriously superhero movie. What's not to love?
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
I'm sure I'm going to get lots of flak for this choice, but I really think this was a great summer flick. I don't think it's anything more than that, but I was totally digging the vibe from this movie. I liked the whole world they had created and JG does a serviceable job at playing the prince. The plot is somewhat pedestrian, but the action was great and meaningful and the humor was not grating or annoying. But I think I'm in the minority here, but I'm still gonna stick with this one.


Knight and Day
This was another movie that totally bombed, but one that I loved. I thought Cruise and Diaz were pretty good for each other and the over-the-top action was great. Plus, the humor was good and I chuckled throughout. I think if this movie came out six or seven years ago, it would be a huge money maker. But tastes have changed and apparently, according to critics, movie goers are smarter and this movie was just dumb. Well, count me as an idiotic, dim-witted movie-goer because I thought this was another great summer flick that was just fun to watch.

Oh man, this was just fun. I think this will go down as a cult classic. It's too bad it didn't get much love at the box office, because this was a damn good action/horror flick. Who knew that Adrien Brody could play a bad ass and Topher Grace actually not a make an ass out of himself during this movie? I was totally expecting a mediocre film, but this one delivered and I thought it was a great addition to the series (Disclaimer: I have not watched either AvP movies. I really would like to think they don't exist).


Of course this had to be on this list. This movie will probably be nominated for an Oscar and as of right now, is the front-runner to win it (although we haven't even hit Oscar season yet). Despite the heavy subject matter and complex plot, the movie really wasn't that hard to follow. You're with it every moment of the film and Nolan does a good job at keeping the movie focused on one element at a time throughout this complicated story. As for claims this movie has no emotional resonance or core, I was engaged emotionally - DiCaprio's character is at times despicable and other times totally sympathetic. But of course, it does take backstage to the dream set pieces and the action. It's a good movie that's worth repeat viewings, most def.

That's it so far! There are a lot of movies I haven't seen that I'm sure will be added to this list (like Toy Story 3, Get Him to the Greek, etc.). I'll be posting the worst tomorrow - but here's some movies that didn't make the cut, but are worth checking out:

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse - The best so far out of the series, and yes, I do really like these movies.
Clash of the Titans - Greek mythology has never worn out its welcome and this is a good action flick.
Date Night - A good comedy, but I felt like it didn't quite hit the mark. That just goes to show you how high of expectations I have for Carell and Fey.
The Wolfman - A good horror movie that had a really great atmosphere.
Cop Out - Tracy Morgan is goofy as hell, but he and Sean William Scott elevate this mediocre comedy to a rental status.
The Sorcerer's Apprentice - Don't let the box office fool you, this was fun and light-hearted. But not as special as I was hoping it would be.
Green Zone - A decent war-time action flick with a man on a mission vibe. It's worth a rental, for sure.

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