Tagged with 2011 films

Review: Hugo, 2011, dir. Martin Scorsese

Review: Hugo, 2011, dir. Martin Scorsese


Another year, another film about films and the spirit of filmmaking itself. Leave it to the legendary Martin Scorsese, though, to take the opportunity to fuse together a picture of that persuasion on a grand, macro scale which spans more than a century instead of honing in on a more intimate examination of the craft. … Continue reading

Review: The Ward, 2011, dir. John Carpenter

Review: The Ward, 2011, dir. John Carpenter


More than fear, the great takeaway of The Ward is disbelief. How could the man responsible for 1982’s masterwork The Thing have it in him to churn out something so horrid as this? It’s hard to see anything of the John Carpenter of twenty-nine years ago in his latest offering, the first cinematic effort he’s made in a … Continue reading

Review: The Tree of Life, 2011, dir. Terrence Malick

Review: The Tree of Life, 2011, dir. Terrence Malick


“It’s not what a movie is about, it’s how it is about it.”— Roger Ebert I can’t think of a single contemporary film* I’ve seen that’s quite like The Tree of Life, Terrence Malick’s sprawling, time-spanning, grand opus of spirituality, creation, and human existence. Mercurially free form, the film rejects many traditional notions of narrative … Continue reading

Review: The Muppets, 2011, dir. James Bobin

Review: The Muppets, 2011, dir. James Bobin


When Jason Segel capitalized on the critical and financial success of his breakout hit Forgetting Sarah Marshall three years ago by securing the green-light to write his own Muppets film, my world stopped turning for a day. Muppets? In the 2010s? And envisioned by a man who not only represents a perfect human foil to everyone’s … Continue reading

Review: Limitless 2011, dir. Neil Burger

Review: Limitless 2011, dir. Neil Burger


Limitless might have added up to something excellent instead of well-made fluff entertainment if Neil Burger cared to consider the ramifications of his film’s basic conceit and chose to punish his hero more, rather than reward him. Maybe that’s not being fair to Burger, because Limitless isn’t a bad film at all. It’s just not … Continue reading

Review: The Descendants, 2011, dir. Alexander Payne

Review: The Descendants, 2011, dir. Alexander Payne


Alexander Payne strikes me as the sort of person who’s incapable of making a bad film. Limited body of work aside, critical success is critical success (which is to say nothing of Payne’s commercial victories in Sideways and About Schmidt), and with his darkly satirical examinations of contemporary American culture Payne has established for himself … Continue reading

Review: Attack the Block, 2011, dir. Joe Cornish

Review: Attack the Block, 2011, dir. Joe Cornish


You’ve seen movies like Attack the Block before– movies where an enemy-of-all emerges and threatens to destroy, devour, or dominate all life until being defeated by a thoroughly ordinary hero or group of heroes– yet Joe Cornish’ directorial debut stands out as one of the year’s most thoroughly original and memorable releases regardless. Largely, this … Continue reading

Review: Red State, 2011, dir. Kevin Smith

Review: Red State, 2011, dir. Kevin Smith


Red State may be best summed up as the type of movie made by the type of person who watches lots of movies. I’m willing to argue the point; Kevin Smith clearly has something specific on his mind that in point of fact does not refer back to movies at all, but rather the sobering realities … Continue reading

Review: Scream 4, 2011, dir. Wes Craven

Review: Scream 4, 2011, dir. Wes Craven


Ready for another trip to Woodsboro? I can’t quite pin down why anyone thought that the world needed a fourth entry in Wes Craven’s Scream franchise, but here we are with Scream 4 repeating the same conceit as the first three films. Certainly slasher series are known to possess impressive life spans that carry them … Continue reading

Review: In Time, 2011, dir. Andrew Niccol

Review: In Time, 2011, dir. Andrew Niccol


I’d like to make it clear that I very desperately wanted to love Andrew Niccol’s In Time, a science fiction yarn which occurs in a future where time is currency and stars Justin Timberlake, but during a preview screening I recently attended I could not for the life of me get past the notion that … Continue reading

Review: The Trip, 2011, dir. Michael Winterbottom

Review: The Trip, 2011, dir. Michael Winterbottom


The Trip‘s primary, or perhaps ideal, audience may be comprised of frequent adherents of the Top Chef and aficionados of wry British wit. Michael Winterbottom’s film spends most of its time with its two stars, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, but the acclaimed director is playing loose enough here that he feels safe sneaking off … Continue reading

Review: Last Night, 2011, dir. Massy Tadjedin

Review: Last Night, 2011, dir. Massy Tadjedin


Married couple Michael and Joanna attend a party with the former’s coworkers one evening; the latter grows jealous and suspicious of her husband after meeting Laura (Eva Mendes), one of his business partners of whom he’s never spoken despite having flown to LA with her for a prior business trip. Reconciling later that night the … Continue reading

Review: Insidious, 2011, dir. James Wan

Review: Insidious, 2011, dir. James Wan


Insidious can be described as “two-thirds of a great film”, which damns it far more than a purely negative critique ever could. Coming from the co-creator of the Saw franchise James Wan’s fourth film is scary in a way that most contemporary horror pictures are not, either by consequence or by design; it’s cinema that … Continue reading

Review: Footloose, 2011, dir. Craig Brewer

Review: Footloose, 2011, dir. Craig Brewer


It’s known that certain varieties of genre movies tend to be bestowed enormous levels of leeway in the departments of story and structure so long as their central drawing elements are done well. Take modern inventively gruesome and envelope-pushing horror films, which gorehounds may rate based on the creativity of their wanton visceral displays and … Continue reading

Review: Meek’s Cutoff, 2011, dir. Kelly Reichardt

Review: Meek’s Cutoff, 2011, dir. Kelly Reichardt


Meek’s Cutoff feels something like an oddity in the western genre, and I mean that in the best way possible. There’s no denying the western influences clearly embedded in its cinematic DNA; Kelly Reichardt’s fourth feature very much draws from that celluloid tradition, but she’s not telling a story about cowboys and Indians or marshals … Continue reading