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Listing the Year Away: 10 Favorite Movies of 2011

This list of my favorite flicks of 2011 will be a little more mainstream than in past years, and you know, I’m OK with that. As one of the lists to come will attest, I found the best storytelling to be long-form on television again this year. But still, a few movies moved me, or gave me escape enough, to honor in blogged form.
10. Paul
 
Riddled with lots of Sci-Fi references and potty humor, Paul made me chuckle through and through, and doesn’t ever year end movie list need a goof-ball comedy?
9. Captain America

This flick was not just a comic book movie, but a WWII action film as well. The Marvel Studio movies don’t insult comic book fans, and Cap was a fun ride as well.
8. Rise of the Planet of the Apes

The Planet of the Apes reboot was well done, moving, and had Lithgow in it. It was a fun roller-coaster with great effects and I liked it.
7. 50/50

Full disclosure: I went into this movie with my own back-story of being told a tumor was going to kill me, only to beat it, and watching this flick brought a lot of emotions I’d buried out from within me. I laughed, cried, and it was quite therapeutic for me. I’m not sure this film will do that for everyone, but it sure did for me.
6. Super

I sort of wish that Superbad hadn’t had been made now, because it made people give Super less of a chance. Being a comic book nerd who deeply enjoys dark comedy, this movie enthralled me. I love any movie who makes sympathetic characters out of damaged and disturbed people. Super does that with a superhero backdrop. What’s not to love?
5. Hanna

Easily the best action film of 2011, Hanna is a spy-thriller, sci-fi adventure, and coming-of-age story all in one. It was a great ride, and I’ve not spoken with anyone who saw it who didn’t immediately comment on how good of a movie it was. That’s rare.
4. Crazy, Stupid, Love

I’ll be honest: I was prepared to dislike this movie. Another Steve Carell lost-in-love story?  Why am I having to see Ryan Goslin in everything these days?  It’s got Emma Stone? OK, I’ll watch it.  But, it was endearing. And a good commentary on modern relationships and the stupid games we play. I liked it. And I’m man enough to admit that.
3. Red State

I like Kevin Smith flicks, but this is not your typical Kevin Smith movie. Yet, it’s his best movie. Part dark comedy, part horror movie, part drama and part political commentary, Red State has great performances entwined in a dark, delicious story. I’m sad that this tale didn’t get a lot more attention.
2. Cedar Rapids

Cedar Rapids cracked me up all the way through, and had a sweet story of a man coming into manhood late in life that touched me through my giggles. A great cast and a fun story, I’ve been suggesting this one all year.
1. The Muppets

Dude. The Muppets are back. Not over-Disney-afied Muppet Treasure Island era Muppets. The Muppets my generation grew up on.  It took a superfan like Jason Segel to do it.  This love letter to our favorite puppet people had me chuckling and tearing up. And asking if I’m Muppet or man.  Don’t answer that for me.