performance, and the film, will be remembered for a long time by anyone who
has had cancer, or anyone who has loved someone who had cancer, which is far
too many people. This is a special movie, fatalistic and yet comically
crowd-pleasing, that succeeds because it respects its audience as much as the
gravity of the situation.
10. The Artist
Jean Dujardin was nominated for a Golden Globe award for best actor in a comedy or musical film for his portrayal of George Valentin in "The Artist."
It's silent, it's in black-and-white, and it's a total charmer that just might win an Academy Award or two. The story of a silent-movie star whose luster begins to dim as another young woman's star is on the rise as talkies take over Hollywood makes beautiful use of old-old-school stylings that are from such a faded age they seem new again. The two lead performances jump off the screen with no need for words when you're this inventive. No Tulsa opening date has been set for "The Artist."
10 more to see
Michael Smith lists 10 more movies you should check out if you haven't seen them.
11. Martha Marcy May Marlene: Elizabeth Olsen's star turn reminds of Jennifer Lawrence in "Winter's Bone" and creates her own career outside of being the twins' little sister.
12. The Descendants: George Clooney and Alexander Payne create a Hawaiian family drama that is honest and funny amid gorgeous scenery.
13. The Skin I Live In:"Vertigo" meets "Frankenstein" in Pedro Almodovar's stunning and disturbing drama, with a chilly Antonio Banderas as the doctor.
14. Fast Five: The fifth movie is the best of the "Fast and Furious" series, remade as a heist film with hot cars.
15. Crazy, Stupid, Love: This cool, funny comedy should ring true with every baby boomer, and it will skew even younger thanks to Ryan Gosling's abs.
16. The Help: There are some issues with the film's perspective, but there's no denying the devastatingly good performances of Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer as black maids in 1960s Mississippi.
17. Rise of the Planet of the Apes: The movie was a summer blast, and the apes were fabulous thanks to this year's most valuable effects designers, Peter Jackson's Weta Digital.
18. Hanna: A violent teen-girl assassin flick that's actually a funky tale of female empowerment. That's kind of cool.
19. Super 8: The best blast from the past in the spirit of 1980s adventure films built around young people that you could imagine, courtesy of J.J. Abrams and his producer and inspiration, Steven Spielberg.
20. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo: Purists can talk about the book, or the Swedish film original, but director David Fincher's picture is a thrill machine, too. /p>
1. Your Highness
A brainless, laughless abomination. The script for this raunchy medieval comedy/stoner comedy disaster must have puffed out of pot-smoke-filled rooms, with the thought that something hilarious would come from a big bong theory. This juvenile, potty-mouthed garbage is courtesy of comedic actor Danny McBride, who should never again be allowed to write outside of the current time period. To Natalie Portman and James Franco: Never work with this man again.
2. Jack and Jill
Why, Adam Sandler, do you hate us so much? Why punish us by playing twins and dressing as a woman? The man makes the same dumb movie over and over again for people who are willing to pay to see the same dumb movie over and over again. This is Sandler's gift.
3. Mars Needs Moms
This loud, ugly movie is a lousy excuse for 3-D children's entertainment. It should only be seen by kiddies who haven't reached speaking age and gain their joy by watching things bounce up and down. Anyone else watching the movie will be dumber for having seen it.
4. The Hangover Part II
The most offensive movie of 2011, and the worst sequel to a really good movie. It completely disrespects its audience by pathetically plagiarizing entire plot points from the first film. The difference? What was naughty in the first film is now vulgar, what was embarrassing is now stupid and what was original is now a bad joke.
5. The Art of Getting By
Freddie Highmore plays unfocused loafer "George" in "The Art of Getting By." You might think of him as a teen Woody Allen, but without the humor.
I fell asleep just typing in the title. There's just not much to this picture as far as content, style or originality. We've seen plenty of films before about high school slackers -- just none this dreadfully dull.
6. The Smurfs
As the 86 minutes of "The Smurfs" dragged by, I could feel myself losing brain cells. Torture and anguish were experienced as I watched these goody-blue-shoes cartoon characters from the 1980s in the first film of a planned trilogy. Noooooooooooo! In print, no one can hear you scream.
Kevin James stars as Griffin in the comedy "Zookeeper." Sony Pictures Publicity
The day cannot arrive soon enough that talking-animal movies become extinct. The plot from beginning to end is so painfully obvious that it reminds more of a parody of this overdone genre, almost begging us to mock it.
8. Green Lantern
There's a serious question as to whether Ryan Reynolds, as the Green Lantern, was right to play the superhero. Courtesy
In the summer-movie sweepstakes of comic-book films, "Green Lantern" was the goofiest. The story was dumb, the special effects were anything but, and no matter how amiable Ryan Reynolds is, he can't make "Green Lantern" shine. Pair this stinker with "The Change-Up" and it begs the question: Did anyone have a worse 2011 at the movies than Reynolds?
9. Tower Heist
Unfunny and confusing is the result of mashing together Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy with hackneyed crime/heist flick plot points. What's never confusing is the picture's potty-mouthed obsession with the scrotum area. When a movie's comedy doesn't seem to be working, going below the belt for laughs seems to be the last resort of an untalented hack like director Brett Ratner.
So dumb it makes my head hurt. It doesn't take long, sitting amongst an army of children in a theater, to realize that if they're not laughing, it isn't very funny, either -- even for the Easter Bunny's target audience.
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