While most film critics have been compiling their top 10 film lists for 2010, I thought I’d share my top 11 of 2011. Sure, they are not out yet, but one can daydream, no?
I have to admit that when I started look at what’s slated for 2011, I was overwhelmed with choices in any imaginable genre. In fact, according to IMDB there are a staggering 5,759 titles all scheduled for 2011. All feature films.
Narrowing down to just 11 seems like an impossible task, but someone had to do it, so here they are, in order of upcoming appearance:
1) THE GREEN HORNET (Jan 14)
Following the death of his father, Britt Reid, heir to his father’s large company, teams up with his late dad’s assistant Kato to become a masked crime fighting team. Unexpectedly, this film is directed by one of my favorite filmmakers, Michel Gondry (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”), so how can I miss it? It stars Seth Rogen and Mr. Christoph Waltz (“Inglourious Basterds”). I plan to see this in 3D. NOTE: This movie is currently out. Reviews: Not so loving.
2) THE RITE (Jan 28)
To be honest, I never thought I’d be including a movie of this genre. Then I saw the trailer, which hinted at this being more of a well-crafted thriller/suspense than a pure, mindless horror film (you can see, I have a bias). The film follows a skeptical seminary student (Colin O’Donoghue) who reluctantly attends exorcism school at the Vatican and meets an unorthodox priest, Father Lucas (Anthony Hopkins). They claim it’s all based on a true story.
3) THE LINCOLN LAWYER (March 18)
Lots of good word-of-mouth in the air for the movie base on the best-selling novel by former LA Times crime reporter, Michael Connelly. Matthew McConaughey gets a chance to play a lawyer who conducts business from the back of his Lincoln town car (license plate: “NTGUILTY”) while representing a high-profile client in Beverly Hills. Cast includes: Marisa Tomei, Ryan Phillippe, John Leguizamo, Josh Lucas, William H. Macy, etc.
4) YOUR HIGHNESS (April 8th)
When Prince Fabious’s bride is kidnapped, he goes on a quest to rescue her… accompanied by his lazy useless brother Thadeous. I don’t know much about it, but lets call it a gut instinct. Then again, this may really backfire. Stars Natalie Portman, Danny McBride, Zooey Deschanel, and James Franco. The “Princess Bride” of 2011?
5) PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES (May 20)
Jack Sparrow and Barbossa embark on a quest to find the elusive fountain of youth, only to discover that Blackbeard and his daughter are after it too. This may not turn out to be a critically-acclaimed sort of good, but I’m pretty darn sure that with a cast like Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, and Ian McShane, it will at least be be buckets of fun.
6) THOR (July 29)
Directed by Kenneth Branagh and stars Anthony Hopkins alongside Natalie Portman. It is a superhero movie of mythic proportions. Enough said. The powerful but arrogant warrior Thor is cast out of the fantastic realm of Asgard and sent to live amongst humans on Earth, where he soon becomes one of their finest defenders.
7) MIDNIGHT IN PARIS (Sept 9)
This one is on the list merely because it is a Woody Allen film and each 2011 list must have a Woody Allen film. And Woody makes one each year to satisfy that quota. Plot: A romantic comedy about a family traveling to the French capital for business. The party includes a young engaged couple forced to confront the illusion that a life different from their own is better. With: Michael Sheen, Marion Cotillard, Rachel McAdams
8th) HUGO CABRET (Dec 9)
A family film by Martin Scorsese focusing on a 12-year-old orphan who lives in the walls of a Paris train station in 1930 and a mystery involving the boy, his late father and a robot. Stars Jude Law, Chloe Moretz, Ben Kingsley, Emily Mortimer, Christopher Lee, and Sacha Baron Cohen. It’s an irresistible holiday treat…I’m guessing.
9) MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL (Dec 16)
I doubt I’d be including this film on my most anticipated list if it weren’t for one interesting fact: Brad Bird is the director. It’s an unusual fit. After all, he’s more known for directing animated films such as “The Iron Giant”, “The Incredibles”, and “Ratatouille’, not action flicks. So this is an intriguing prospect. I have a feeling we won’t be disappointed. (Famous last words…)
10) THE RUM DIARY (2011, TBA)
A film from Bruce Robinson – the director/writer of one of my all-time favorite films: WITHNAIL & I. More so, I can’t resist a Johnny Depp movie and a premise like: Paul Kemp is a freelance journalist who finds himself at a critical turning point in his life while writing for a run-down newspaper in the Caribbean…
…and one for next year…
11) THE WOLVERINE (aka Wolverine 2) (2012)
The Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is no doubt the most fascinating, haunted character in the X-Men series. It makes sense he’d get his own movie. Oddly though, it focuses on the Wolverine’s training with a samurai warrior in Japan – at least according to the official synopsis. Still, what really makes me curious about this particular film is the director: Darren Aronofsky. His “Black Swan” was my favorite film of 2010.
Others: “Limitless”, “The Smurfs”, “The Adjustment Bureau”, “The Help”, “Now”, “The Witches of Oz”, “My Week with Marilyn”, “Larry Crowne”, “Arthur Christmas”, “The Dilemma”, “Biutiful”, “No Strings Attached”, “The Company Men”, “Barney’s Version”, “The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn”, “Contagion,”etc.
I based my choices on a few highly scientific factors: personal bias, talent attached, general “buzz”, murmurs from critics and audiences, scale/visibility, and plot.
What are you excited to see (and why)? Share your own previews by leaving a comment. We’ll watch them immediately.