The Most Anticipated Movies of 2011: Surprises and guarantees.

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As I continue to count down (getting near the top 25!), I've noticed that among the movies I'm getting excited about, there are always a few movies that I just will avoid at all costs. Take, for example, Zookeeper. It's a Kevin James vehicle geared towards the family. They might as well call it Night at the Zoo, because I'm sure they're rehashing the same idea. Prom is another one - maybe I'm getting old, but I don't remember prom being such a big deal. It was a big fancy dance, but the culmination of my four years in high school? Not really. It looks like High School Musical 4 without all that music to get in the way of teen melodrama. And then there's the never-asked-for sequels coming out: Big Mommas: Like Father Like Son, Spy Kids 4 and Final Destination 5. Why can't they stop? It's not like those movies are going to rake in big money. It's just lazy filler for the studios. Uggh, I'm getting depressed thinking about this, so let's move on to the next five!

30. Your Highness
Starring: Danny McBride, James Franco, Natalie Portman, Zooey Deschanel
Director: David Gordon Green
Release Date: April 8
When I first heard about this movie, I immediately thought of Year One and how awful that movie was. So of course I wrote this one off. But! The red band trailer showed up a few weeks ago and now this comedy has rocketed close to the top 30. I think the cast is great - Danny McBride is one funny dude and Franco, renaissance man himself, could be taking a crap on the toilet and make it artistic. He could murder my mom and I think I'd still like him. Yes, I certainly have a man-crush on Franco. Is it that obvious? Of course, every time I think of Natalie Portman being funny, I think of her SNL digital short. Funn-ee. And Zooey Deschanel, well, she's fantastic too. So you can't go wrong with the cast and David Gordon Green directed Pineapple Express, another high-brow comedy, so this should be fun!

29.A. Friends With Benefits
Starring: Justin Timberlake, Mila Kunis
Director: Will Gluck
Release Date: July 22
Who knew Justin Timberlake would have such a great movie career post-N*SYNC? After The Social Network, I believe he can act, for reals. And he's teamed up in this R-rated romantic comedy with one of the most underrated actresses (both comedic and dramatic) working, Mila Kunis. The rest of the cast is unbelievable - Emma Stone, Richard Jenkins, Woody Harrelson, Rashida Jones, Patricia Clarkson. This should be great! AND Will Gluck is directing and writing, who also did the funniest movie this year, Easy A! He also did Fired Up!, another underrated comedy that certainly deserves more attention. So I can easily get behind this movie - it's almost guaranteed to be funny, crass and probably a little bit poignant. This year is undoubtedly looking way better for comedies. Because not only do we get one movie about FWB, but we get two!

29.B. No Strings Attached
Starring: Ashton Kutcher, Natalie Portman
Director: Ivan Reitman
Release Date: January 21
Yes! It's pretty much the same movie, but with a different cast and a different director. It's probably a good thing that these are separated by six months, otherwise moviegoers might have a little bit of deja vu. I give FWB the slighter edge only because it has a way better R-rated trailer. But I really love Portman and I can get behind Ashton Kutcher - he's not my favorite actor, but he's solid. The only thing that worries me is Ivan Reitman, whose last film, My Super Ex-Girlfriend, was a complete mess. And I can say that I don't really like any of his movies, save for Ghostbusters I & II. But I kind of had to put these two movies together, mainly because I couldn't resist such synergy. Yes, I'm a corporate whore.

28. The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
Starring: Daniel Craig, Jamie Bell, Simon Pegg
Director: Steven Spielberg
Release Date: December 28
Okay, so apparently Spielberg is competing with himself at the holiday box office next year. Is he just going to do some sort of double feature about two well-known European literary legends? I don't know, but count me excited. I've actually never heard of Tintin until word got out that this was Spielberg's next project. This sounds more like Indiana Jones than E.T. and that's something I can get behind. The movie is filmed with motion capture (much like Beowulf) and it looks pretty damn impressive. And you can tell lots of love has been pored into this movie - Spielberg has been wanting to make this movie for decades and Peter Jackson has also climbed aboard the production. So it's like an all-star production team and no doubt this is going to be a slam dunk.

27. Kung Fu Panda 2
Starring: Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Gary Oldman
Director: Jennifer Yuh
Release Date: May 27
Kung Fu Panda took me by surprise. It was just a fun movie and had lots of great action in it - which is crazy for a kids animated film! This is by far one of Jack Black's best contributions to Hollywood. He is Po the Panda and I can't wait for some more Ska-dooshin'. There's really not much more to say - I think this is one genre that isn't getting any love next year. Seriously, Cars 2 is coming out next year and I am not amused. Out of all the sequels Pixar could have picked, they decided on Cars? Lame! I really love these animated movies, but I just don't think next year is going to be any good - movies like Rango, Gnomeo and Juliet, Mars Needs Moms, Hop and Rio all look rather dull. I'm sure several of those movies will be hits despite their mediocrity because they'll be the only family-oriented fare in theaters at the time. It's times like these when I'm glad I'm not a parent - at least I don't have to suffer through those kinds of movies!

26. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson
Director: Bill Condon
Release Date: November 18
I might get lots of hate for keeping this movie out of the top 25, but this is really my personal list, so suck it! But seriously, I have enjoyed the series so far (except for the ho-hum averageness of New Moon) and from what I've gathered on the interwebs and talking to Maggie, there's some serious shit going down in these last two installments. I really am interested as to what will happen with Bella and Edward and Jacob. Not who she chooses (duh, that's pretty obvious), but what happens afterward. I can honestly say I am excited to see these next two movies. It's amazing to me how this whole series has divided moviegoers. I've read and seen people just boil with anger about how awful this series is and I've seen and read people who obsess over it constantly. Say what you will about Twilight, it is a phenomenon and it's not going away anytime soon.

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