2011 Half Over? Best Movies of the Year So Far

Today is July 1st, and that means that the year is already half over. Typically at this point in the year, very few movies will have made a significant impact on the population. 2011 is no different. However since the most recent Academy Awards, I have noticed that smaller, more critically aclaimed films have been seeing the light of day. Also, a majority of this year’s summer blockbusters have been smarter and therefore far more enjoyable. Usually in cinema, the second half of the year, particularly the fall, brings in the best mvoies of the year. However 2011 has so far had a few gems that you may have missed. Here are my top 5 movies of the year so far.


5. Scream 4

Reviews on the sequel were mixed but I throroughly enjoyed the film. It brings back the three main players from the past Scream movies and is way better than the third while just shy of the first and second. Scream 4 continues to poke fun at the horror genre while avoiding cliches by stating them out loud then doing the complete opposite (or not for a good laugh). Most of all, the movie was successful in maintaining the tone of the series while having a whole new set of horror movie cliches to make fun of. Scream 4 is a must for fans of the franchise or horror movies in general.


4. The Tree of Life

My initial review of the film (found here) was mixed yet I still appreciated the craftmanship that went into the film. There is definitely a lot of positive aspects to the movie filmmaking wise. Tree of Life has grown on me more as I think about it and I do want to see it again. Having talked to many different people about the movie, audeinces are divided. There are those who love it and those who hate it. My suggestion is to see it yourself and form an opinion as when Oscar season comes around, the film will likely be one of the most debated of the ceremony. Tree of Life is now playing in select cities.


3. Cedar Rapids

Ed Helms proves here that he can be a leading man as he outshines comedic veteran John C. Reilly in this great comedy. Cedar Rapids has all the raunchiness of The Hangover and all the heart and delight of The Office mixed into one. I look forward to seeing Ed Helms taking more interesting and challenging roles in the future. He is clearly a very talented actor and has a great screen presence. Cedar Rapids can be found in stores now on DVD and Blu Ray.



2. Midnight in Paris

Woody Allen returns with a phenominal movie about a man named Gil (Owen Wilson) who travels to Paris and finds himself taken back through time to the era he has always longed to be in, the 1920s. The cast is fantastic as we get great actors doing cameos as classic artists and writers from that time (the first two we meet are F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway). The film is often funny and beautiful at the same time. You will be planning a visit to Paris upon leaving the theater. Midnight in Paris is now playing in theaters everywhere. My full review of the film can be found here.


1. X-men: First Class

In a summer full of superheroes, who expected that the struggling X-men franchise would make a comeback and deliver the best movie of the year so far? Certainly not me. First Class is full of great characters and action. Mixing history with science fiction is a tough thing to pull off, yet the film does it perfectly (unlike Transformers 3). The best part of the film is the relationship between Xavier and Magneto (played by James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender respectively). It is a superhero film that has an important message, equality. X-men: First Class is now playing in theaters everywhere. My review can be found here.


Well there you have it folks, my favorites of 2011 so far. Will all of these movies be forgotten by the end of the year when Oscar season hits? Do you care or just want to go back to anticiapting Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2? Yeah, me too. Stay tuned to this blog as I will be doing a special “Harry Potter Week” in honor the final film starting July 10th. As always, thanks for reading!


~ by mattsmoviethoughts on July 1, 2011.

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