Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Movies in 2011

I didn't get to watch as many movies in 2011 as I might have liked but many of those I did see were very good and/or quite enjoyable. Here's the list. Four stars indicates excellent, three is good, two is not really worth watching, and one is avoid at all costs. Thankfully, there are no ones:

The Tree of Life *** A film about the meaning of life, I think.

Sophie Scholl: The Final Days **** The gripping story of a young woman whose faith and courage in resisting the evil of Nazi Germany made her a national heroine.

The Rite *** Interesting depiction of possession and exorcism in the Catholic Church and how a faltering young priest has his faith restored by his experience with it.

Mugabe and the White African *** A documentary of one family's brave fight to save their farm from Mugabe's expropriation of land from white landowners in Zimbabwe.

True Grit *** A good remake of the classic John Wayne story of a young girl's courage and determination to gain justice for her father's murder. Much better acting than in the original.

Harry Brown ** A Death Wish-style movie of a retiree's attempt to avenge his friend's murder by street thugs.

About Schmidt *** A retired insurance salesman seeks to find meaning in a life filled with absurdity. Darkly funny but tragically sad.

The King's Speech **** Excellent telling of the battle waged by King George VI to overcome a speech impediment.

Waiting for Superman **** A documentary about the difficulty young urban kids have trying to escape deteriorating public schools and get a safe, quality education in private and charter schools. A must-see for every parent and educator.

Secretariat *** The moving story of the legendary racehorse.

Inception *** Mind-bending sci-fi tale that raises fascinating questions about the distinction between subjective and objective reality.

Unthinkable *** A must-see film for anyone trying to decide, or has decided, his or her position on the use of torture.

Avatar *** The story is diminished for me by its obeisance to the tired trope of evil Americans killing off peaceful, bucolic indigenous peoples and despoiling the natural beauty of the world.