Movie Reviews

Published on January 13th, 2012 | by Emmanuel Stratford


Bonzothebuzz’s Top 12 Movies of 2011

2011 was a bit of a lacklustre year at the cinema for me, I didn’t get to see as much as I’d have liked but out of what i did see, here is my top 12 movies of year, enjoy!!!

12 – Troll Hunter

When a low budget Norwegian film puts most of the Hollywood summer blockbusters to shame then you’ve got the stand up and see for yourself.  This is a true gem with gripping action, tense scenes of unease and a massive pay off at the end, kudos too goes to the filmmakers who make real political policies tie in with the movie.

11 – Never Let Me Go

This was critically lauded at the start of 2011 but many people didn’t see it.  It’s a strikingly beautiful movie with three stunning performances from Mulligan, Knightley and Garfield.  Director Mark Romanek delivers vistas of a world like our own but a little skewed with Sci-Fi undertones it delivers on multiple levels.

10 – The Fighter

This is a stunning fight movie, very much in the vein of ‘Rocky’, with amazing performance from everyone with some getting Oscar glory.  Wahlberg has also said that a sequel is on the cards which would be great to see if done right.

9 – Thor

Marvel’s superhero films went from strength to strength last year and although ‘Captain America’ was great, Thor was even better.  Kenneth Branagh had a tricky tightrope to walk but with a nice blend of Shakespearean style dialogue, witty humour and ass kicking action he certainly delivered, with newcomer Chris Hemsworth nailing the masculine swagger of Thor to boot.

8 – Another Earth

This is a small quiet film with big issues to raise; this questions who we are and where do we come from in such a subtle grown up way that it grips you throughout.  Unlike ‘The Tree of Life’ which battered you over the head with its endless debates, this is just an easy short poem to everything that is human and to be loved.

7 – Cedar Rapids

Laugh out loud funny! is the only way i can explain this, Ed Helms plays the same character he does in everything else but with added childlike abandon, John C. Reilly is knockout good here with a no holds barred role which will annoythe hell out of you but also make you belly laugh in equal measure.

6 – Super 8

J.J. Abrams pays homage to the Spielbergian flicks of the 80’s with this stunningly realised Sci-Fi coming of age story which brought me back to my childhood.  All the child actors are amazing with Elle Fanning being the standout.  Some unnecessary CGI wasn’t enough of a detractor to keep audiences away and even though it wasn’t a massive hit, it still made a hefty profit.

5 – Black Swan

Best Actress Oscar Winner Natalie Portman, as she’ll now be forever known, truly immersed herself into the role of a ballerina going ever so slightly mad.  It’s a tough film to watch but it really makes you feel like you’re going mad with her.  Director Darren Aronofsky proved that he’s a deft hand at the surreal and a true auteur in filmmaking.

4 – X-Men: First Class

Few people had high hopes for this film, even the trailers didn’t do much for me, but alas Matthew Vaughn pulled off the impossible and made the second best X-Men film ever.  Bringing us the origins of these characters was an inspired choice given the backlash that the third film and the Wolverine spin off created.  Aside from Michael Fassbender’s ever changing accent, I’ll be routing for the second class with much anticipation.

3 – Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Having missed this in the cinema, i was wary of watching it at home as so many people had raved about it and it couldn’t possibly have lived up to the hype, right? Wrong, this is an astonishing blockbuster film with a great story which dovetails perfectly into the original film while still bringing us a gripping story where the apes are more human than the humans are, i can’t recommend this any higher.

2 – Crazy Stupid Love

This film has a stellar cast which are just firing on all cylinders; Steve Carell can do drama as well as comedy with ease while Ryan Gosling again proves that he can do no wrong.  With Julianne Moore and Emma Stone bringing up the rear, this is a feel good dramedy which deserves to be watched and savoured.


This film just oozes cool, from every frame of its being.  Harking back to the 80’s vibe of Miami Vice and other such Michael Mann films, this is a film of subtle none verbal moments, each of which are stunning but as a whole make a breath-taking piece of cinema.  Punctuated with sudden bouts of violence and tender sections of brooding love, this film as it all and it could possibly bag Ryan Gosling the Oscar.

2011 Worst Movie of the Year

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

This had so much potential after being lifted of the restraints of the original trilogy but not even a new director can inject enough life into this lame beast.  It seems even more redundant than the overblown ‘At World’s End’, with Jack Sparrow still a supporting character in his own film while everyone else seems to be just going through the motions other than Geoffrey Rush who seems to be having some amount of fun, even more than the audience.

2011 Biggest Disappointment of the year

Cowboys & Aliens

This had so much potential and for me disappointed on every single level.  It also narrowly missed out being the worst film of the year for me too.  Everyone involved is pretty decent but what lets the film down is the tone, it should be fun but everyone is so peeved off and sad that it sucks the life out of the movie.  Don’t even get me started on the aliens either which are stupid and look like they came out of ‘Independence Day; 15 years ago.

2011 Guilty Pleasure of the year

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Say what you will about Michael Bay but he sure knows how to entertain, this was a no holds barred thrill ride for me after the dismal ‘Revenge of the Fallen’ and although it isn’t as good as the first in the trilogy it still packs a punch.  Let’s hope they bring in some fresh blood in front of and behind the camera for futures films though as i think Bay as done enough robot bashing for one lifetime and i don’t think the audience can take anymore either.

I hope you enjoyed my top 12 movies of the last year and stay tuned for more film and Blu-Ray reviews coming this year.

About the Author

Emmanuel has been working in TV for over 15 years and has done many things in the field, now he’s mostly editing, producing and directing. He loves movies and has a wide interest in all genres; video games and TV are a massive interest/influence as well. He's been writing for TechTV101 for a few years and will continue that with GimmeDigital. He's a geek and proud of it.

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