The Tree of Life: Was fortunate to catch this movie in a theatre. Might not have persisted had it been on a laptop. Persistence pays people, don’t give up. Notice the camera angles, do whatever, just sit through it and you’ll be rewarded.
Moneyball: Another Brad Pitt film. Jonah Hill’s in the mix as well. Best sports movie of the year. That 20th game? Mindblasting (to borrow a quote from TV commercials)
Warrior: Think of it as an intro to Bane. Tom Hardy is mighty outstanding. Wish he pummelled the kid’s bot from Real Steel in one of the scenes.
Source Code: Simplistic happy ending. Time travel always provides that option. Nothing to take away from the man who made Moon and Jake Gyllenhaal though.
Bridesmaids: 2011’s Hangover equivalent isn’t Hangover-2 but this. Potty mouthed females are so funny. The reconciliation is a bit over the top but you can overlook that one bit.
Horrible Bosses: Am partial to anything with Jason Bateman in it. Helps that it is a good movie too. And Jennifer Aniston, Oh my!
Rango: If I had to pick one animated movie, I’d probably go with this. Tintin and Panda-2 weren’t bad either.
Contagion: The movie deserves praise for the constant tempo it maintains. It doesn’t slow down even when a main protagonist dies. Is it like a runaway train? Well, it’s a runaway train which’s moving serenely at a leisurely 50kmph. And Matt Damon!
Attack the Block: Those funky British accents and the soundtrack alone make this movie a must-see. I didn’t even mention the apes from outer space.
Midnight in Paris: Great city, great literary figures (special shoutout to Ernest Hemingway), lovely film.
The Guard: Another low budget funny export form the UK, Ireland this time. We have villains at home with philosophy and a small rural setting reminiscent of In Bruges.
Ides of March: Every man looks for himself and is ever ready to throw the other person under the train if it stands to benefit them. A cynical, albeit realist, look at the political landscape. George Clooney, Ryan Gosling, Evan Rachel Wood. How can you not watch?
Other Mentions: 50/50, The Help, Limitless, Lincoln Lawyer, 30 minutes or less, X-Men: First Class, A Separation.
Most tiring critically acclaimed movie of the year: Meek’s Cutoff.
Best start to a movie: Drive. The soundtrack, the toothpick, the Ryan Gosling. Enough said.
Best end to a movie: Melancholia. The whole 2nd half is marvelous actually, beautiful visuals. So beautiful that Kirsten Dunst can’t even keep her pants on.
Haven’t Seen: You should aim to watch all of these in 2012 at least. Do one thing, go to IMDB and add all these movies into your watchlist.
Young Adult (Jason Reitman, Up in the Air)
Martha Marcy May Marlene
Take Shelter (the previous collaboration of the actor-director duo, “Shotgun Stories” will blow you away)
The Descendants (George Clooney taking care of children, won’t happen in real life)
Hugo (Martin Scorcese, Hit-Girl)
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (shut up about the Swedish version, it’s mediocre at best, Noomi Rapace the only saving grace)
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Released this weekend, go check it out, instead of say Sherlock Holmes)
Margaret (Old movie which finally got a release this year, looks shoddy but has been making a few year end lists. And Matt Damon!)
Shame (Michael Fassbender has been cornering all praise here. NC-17 rating too)
Breakout stars of the year: Ryan Gosling and Jessica Chastain.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy may be good cinema and it may be fun to say out loud, but having seen it in a theatre, I’d recommend you do not. Watch it on your laptop. It’s basically like a 5 minute scene that extends for 2 hours.