Picture copyright Universal.

So which were my best and worst films of 2011….

Sometimes I pretend I’m Claudia Winkleman and BBC Radio Leeds entertain me by inviting me in to talk films, filmmaking and erm the movies on the wireless. I recently gave my review of films in 2011 so I thought I’d enlighten those who missed it, on this here blog.

2011 was a mixed bag at the multiplex and if like me, you  can’t sit through Harry Potter/Twilight fare without sleeping then you’ll appreciate my picks. Thank goodness for the indie cinema Cottage Road in Leeds otherwise I might well have moved back to London.

Here is my selection of the best and worst of 2011.



My stand out, favourite film of 2011. Hats off to Kristin Wiig, actress/comedienne who wrote and starred in this hit movie. Annoyingly billed as the female version of the Hangover, insinuating women need a replacement for an already funny film (we don’t). Luckily, it was anything but repetitive/unoriginal. A maid of honour goes up against a bridesmaid in a bid for her best friend’s affections with hilarious, wee in your pants consequences. Women genuinely talk as we do in real life and the plot’s sole intention was not targeted at bagging a man (yawn), oh and there’s no Jennifer Aniston in sight. What’s not to love? WHAT I ASK YOU?!

Attack The Block

Joe Cornish’s diretorial debut was praised by audienes and critics alike. A group of hoodies (who ultimately challenge your preconceptions) must fight aliens to reclaim their South London block back. Lead actor John Boyega is a star to watch, he brought wonderfully tender moments to this British Sci-Fi flick and the low fi special effects make this film a real contender against the bigger budget films. Well done to the British Film Industry.

Water for Elephants

Watch this film for the elephants alone. OK, don’t. Watch Attenborough for that, but do watch this film. It reminded me of a modern day Swiss Family Robinson. I was honoured to meet Ken Annakin, the director of the latter film in LA when my short film screened before his classic a few years ago and it was thrilling to hear how incredibly chaotic it is working with animals. Water For Elephants makes it look easy.

Robert Pattison is compelling as a vetinary student who flees to join the circus when his parents are killed and Reece Witherspoon, mesmorising as his unlikely love interest. I particularly loved the fact the novel which the film is based, was written as part of Nanowrimo, a National Novel Writing Month author Sara Gruen partook in, to complete it.


Kenneth Branagh in the directing chair made for a fantastical and moving comic strip adaptation. Warrior Thor is cast out of the realm of Asgard and must live on earth with humans where he becomes one of their finest defenders. A fast paced, thrilling movie for all. Geek chic.

Black Swan

Natalie Portman’s Oscar winning role was as beautiful as it was disturbing. When a ballet dancer achieves her dream of playing the lead in Swan Lake-Princess Odette, she slowly starts unravelling becoming more like Odile, the Black Swan.

Darren Aronofsky has directed 4 actors in Oscar Nominated performances (Ellen Burstyn, Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei and Natalie Portman) and is one of my all time favourite (I aspire to be like you one day) directors. The Wrestler is ingenius and as they say, an actor can only be as good as the director.  I like this saying as it reveals what a shared responsibility acting truly is.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Did a finer Sherlock ever exist than in the hands of Shamanistic Robert Downey Junior? I think not. In the second unmissable installment from director Guy Ritchie, the boys are back to fight their fiercest adversary, Professor Moriarty. Revolver is a distant memory. Guy must be relieved.

Rise of The Planet Apes

Andy Serkis’ motion capture work as lead Chimp Caesar is astounding (and should be after he’s the man to call if you want a monkey-Gollum, King Kong) and this film became an instant summer hit without all the hoohah, reinvigorating the action genre for all. A genetically enhanced Chimpanzee uses his greater intelligence to free the other apes.  How clever.




I watched and utterly loved the TV series but if you were a fan of the show, please don’t rent this movie out on DVD. Yes I know it was a hit at the Box Office but this sloppy, repetitive, unfunny screenplay was clearly rushed out to capitalise on the success of the TV Show and failed critically in my opinion.

The ensemble cast of boys work-of course they do, they have chemistry that’s built up over the years but they are forced into an overly long script with love interests who look old enough to be their mothers (or older, much older sisters at the very least). I wanted to walk out of the cinema after 10 minutes. I stayed, but only because I’d paid a babysitter. Bums.

Bad Teacher

Should be renamed Bad Film. Cameron, I know roles are tougher to come by these days but please, at what point did this seem a good idea?

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

A fourth Pirates Of The Caribbean movie? Really? I like a bit of Johnny Depp as much as the next person but this is getting ridiculous. Even Johnny’s sick of seeing himself as Jack Sparrow- he looked thoroughly bored going through the motions in the movie. It now feels over familiar, tired and far too noisy film for my liking. If I want that, I’ll stay at home. Please Hollywood, we can’t take anymore.

There are many, many more whoppers but I’m getting depressed writing about them.

Bring on The Iron Lady, Men in Black 3, The Bourne Legacy (sans Matt Damon-I know) and other promised beauties to fill the big screen for 2012.

Over and out.

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17 Responses

  1. HonestMum

    I hear you on the film narcolespy thing, I’ve literally slept through ever Potter film but I will give the last one a final go, for you. Maybe you can do me a guest post on your snore rating! Funny!

  2. Alexander Residence

    Great round up. Pirates of the Caribbean I am with you, I slept through, but Harry Potter won me over, for the first time I loved the film more than the book. I have this kind of film induced narcolepsy (crap for a film studies teacher) but it’s normally a good test of film quality. I shall start writing down what I watch in my notebook and giving snooze ratings!

  3. Brian

    Vicki!! i know it’s your opinion..but…No no no… Thor?.Dull and Lame. Sherlock Holmes?…terrible, it was a Guy Ritchie ‘Geezer Farce’..completely lost the essance of SH…BUT…Attack the Block, Apes and Black Swan..Yes, totally agree.
    For me…liked a film called ‘The Guard’ with top actor Brendan Gleeson….’Source Code’ was a little different. ‘Super 8’ died on it’s ass but has some great child performances in. The last ‘Harry Potter’ finally delivered the goods….and ‘Senna’ probably the best documentary i’ve ever seen. ..Ok! you can tell ME i’m talkin crap 😉

    2011 was pretty bad.
    Do me a favour..go and make something good will ya…

    Oh!…on a totally unrelated matter. When did Oliver start teething??….think Joseph has started already. Five months seems to early.
    anyways. Happy New Year to you and the family…..take it easy.

    • honestmum

      @Brian that’s what’s so wonderful about the movies, so subjective. I blame my husband-he loved those films you hated! Need to see The Guard. 2011 was certainly a mixed bag for the movies! Roll on 2012 which already looks awesome. Re teething O started late, 11 months although pain started from 9. Rare, but babies can be born with teeth so 5 months is entirely possible and common. Good luck. Ashton and Parsons powder helped a little and those bonjela baby gels are still in business thanks to Oliver alone. Happy New Year!

  4. HonestMum

    @mELAINA25 Hehe, a lot of those movies are just paychecks for the bigger actors. It’s a shame. Look at Meryl Streep, not one corker in all those movies. There’s only one Meryl though. I digress. Bridesmaids kicked ass. Here’s to more brilliant movies written by women, for women.

  5. Melaina25

    LOVED Bridesmaids. I can’t wait to watch the deleted scenes on the DVD I got for Christmas.

    Bad Teacher was DIRE. I watched it on a plane and I’m shocked I made it through the whole thing it was so bad. I didn’t know it was possible to be a worse actor than Cameron Diaz but Justin Timberlake did it.

    Poor Jason Segel how did he end up in that mess?

  6. ebabee likes

    I have yet to watch bridesmaids… dying too. Maybe tomorrow. I’m here to say a very happy and fabulous new year to you… it’s been fun getting to know you lovely lady! And yes we will meet in 2012… x

  7. julesey10

    Yes yes, asbolutely doesn’t it just depend what you need at the time. Sex and the city 2 is one of my faves maily because aidens in it lol but love love love the first one. I went to see it when pregnant with C. Cried like never before. 🙂 you can’t beat a chick flick. X

  8. honestmum

    @Julesey10 I totally loved both Hangover movies too-said so in my radio interview last week. Haven’t seen New Year’s Eve but I think how much you appreiciate a movie depends on your mood/time in your life etc too. Sex and the City 2 is not the greatest film ever made but it sure made me laugh when I felt lonely after O was born x

  9. julesey10

    I loved Rise of the planet of the apes although not good to watch baby apes when pregnant, blah blah blah lot of tears. My faves are slightly different as I’m a bit of a weird movie liker. Lol I loved the hangover2 and incideous is the best thriller ever in my opinion. We also watched New Years Eve last week and although very cheesy it had a real feel good factor and made me laugh a lot (and had zac effron in?!?!?! )
    Totally agree with bad teacher, its toally pants and the advert promised good things too and the inbetweeners I just don’t get at all.
    Here’s to what comes in 2012 xxx

  10. HonestMum

    @Emma to be fair, it pretty much got turned off after the opening credits so might give it another whirl in 2012. I’m nice like that!

  11. EmmaK

    I haven’t seen any of the others but I loved Bad Teacher…it was just so hilarious! Especially when she dry humped Justin Born Again Timberlake and he whimpered like a kitten….that scene was priceless. I didnt really like the way the bad teacher had to reform and get it on with a homeley guy by the end tho!

  12. HonestMum

    Thanks for your comment, love the Picture House too. Yes there are so many incredible films and I will be catching some I missed for sure. Simply cannot wait to see The Artist. I wimped out of We Need to Talk About Kevin but Drive is on my top to see list! Cheers!

  13. TQS

    Hello! Just happened upon yout blog through twitter, being a fellow Leeds based film but I couldn’t not say hello (although I’m more a Hyde Park Picture House kinda guy :P)

    I agree with your top films, especially Bridesmaid’s, Black Swan, Attack The Block and Thor but can’t help but feel you missed a couple! Did you manage to catch Shame, Drive, Melancholia, Another Earth, We Need to Talk about Kevin & Weekend? All absolutely amazing films which deserve a place in anyone’s top films of the year list.


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