Top 10 Best and Worst Movies of 2011… So Far

With half the movie year gone, we decided to take a look back at some of the best and worst films that have hit the big screen so far. Granted, the list below may certainly change between now and the eve of 2012, with studios rolling out Oscar-bait movie and sleeper hits still waiting to be discovered. Let’s take a look at some Razzie-worthy worst movies that have hit the cinemas so far.

The Worst Ten:

The Green Hornet – The Seth Rogen-led adaptation of the 1930s radio program sputtered to a $98 million domestic haul and suffered the wrath of both critics and audiences alike. But look on the bright side. Nicholas Cage was once rumored to play Benjamin Chudnofsky, which eventually went to Christoph Waltz.
 
No Strings Attached – The pairing of Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman was aimed to entice Generation Y into theater seats. Too bad those who went were greeted with a bland, generic rom-com where neither actor looks like their having much fun. Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis will star in a similarly themed movie about friends who use each other for superficial, physical purposes but then ultimately fall for each other in this month’s Friends with Benefits.
 
Sucker Punch – One of the most hyped movies of the first half of the year landed with a dud. Trailers and clips promised a CGI-gasm of hot chicks kicking butt but instead all we got was a bloated, pretentious two hour plus music video.
 
Drive Angry – No one really expected this Nicolas Cage 3D flick to be great, which frankly worked toward its benefit. That been said, Drive Angry is nothing to write home about, despite the even-keel performance by William Fichtner. Cage dominated the month of January with two crappy movies, Season of the Witch being the other cinematic catastrophe.
 
Red Riding Hood – Audiences dubbed it a Twilight-esque adaptation of the classic Red Riding Hood tale. It seems Catherine Hardwick, who directed the first Twilight movie, stuck to the same formula, only this time without the Stephanie Meyer storyline or K-Stew anguishing between R-Patz and T-Laut, audience stayed far, far away.
 
Hangover 2 – While it made a ton of money, mainly from the previews which featured a bald Zach Galfianakis, hung-over Bradley Cooper and face-tattooed Ed Helms meeting a monkey, among other things, the sequel received mixed reviews. Critics hated it and audiences found the storyline uninspired and failing to meet its potential.
 
Just Go With ItAdam Sandler movies are a bit of a mystery. Critics consistently pan them, yet audiences still flock to check them out only to walk away disappointed. Granted one of the main draws are the hot female leads that co-star in these films, Brooklyn Decker in this case. Zookeeper hits theaters this weekend and as usual, critics are tearing this movie apart. Will audiences still flock to check this thing out? Or perhaps the more pressing question is, are Leslie Bibb and Rosario Dawson hot enough for ya?
 
I Am Number Four – Studios are constantly searching for the next Harry Potter-esque mega franchise. Certainly Twilight has met that level of fervor and Hunger Games is showing promise. While I Am Number Four was not based on a series of books, it still unabashedly targeted Generation Y’s wallets. Dreamworks and Michael Bay were insistent on turning English model Alex Pettyfer, who co-starred in the equally terrible Beastly, into the next heart throb superstar. Pettyfer will next play a young Channing Tatum in next year’s male stripper movie Magic Mike. *crickets*
 
Green Lantern – Leading up to the days before the release of  DC Comics’ adaptation starring Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan, Green Lantern made more news regarding its bloated budget and heavy CGI than it did for its awesome storyline. Hardcore Lantern fans liked it, but the rest of the mass audiences were left in the dark and critics lampooned the film as special effects overkill.
 
Priest – Vampires are all the rage nowadays. So it stands to reason a movie starring Paul Bettany and Maggie Q as vampire killing clergy folk would be somewhat interesting. And it was in 3D! What’s not to love? How about the poorly conceived story and the inane dialogue, for starters. The vampire-horror-action flick made a quick exit from theaters and jumped into the $5 discount bin at your local Wal-Mart.
 
(Dis)Honorable Mention: Hop, Something Borrowed, Hall Pass, Mars Needs Moms, The Mechanic, Cars 2, The Dilemma
 
Based on that list above, you’d think that times were pretty dire when it came to finding good, watchable movies. Fortunately, the 10 movies below (along with some honorable mentions) rose through the muck to become some of our favorite movies of the year.
 
The Best Ten:
 
Midnight in Paris – Easily Woody Allen’s best movie in ten fifteen years, Paris in the 1920s dazzles, enchants and takes audiences on a magical, sentimental ride, all while meeting some of history’s most memorable figures. Corey Stoll’s Ernest Hemingway steals the movie.
 
Source Code – Watching the same eight minutes unfold on a train over and over and over again may sound predictably boring, but Duncan Jones manages to find a human story amid the action sequences and draws a strong performance out of Jake Gyllenhaal.
 
Paul – Granted it’s not Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s best work, but Paul is still thoroughly enjoyable. Frankly, it’s the road trip comedy Due Date wishes it could have been, only with an alien instead of Galifianakis’ masturbating dog.
 
Hanna – A well-acted, crisply choreographed action thriller that finds Saoirse Ronan as the world’s perfect little assassin. Hanna brought us a fresh take on the often mindless and clichéd revenge movie subgenre and Ronan continued her ascent to becoming on the more promising young acting talents working today.
 
X-Men: First Class – Despite its departure from classic X-Men storylines, critics and audiences in general loved First Class. A strong script was transformed into a stylish action flick that didn’t go too crazy with the CGI and brought the X-Men franchise some redemption from The Last Stand.
 
RangoJohnny Depp takes a break from wigging out as Capt. Jack Sparrow to star as a chameleon in this smart, creative and beautifully animated feature. Rango has lasso-ed in nearly a quarter billion so far worldwide. Add in his Pirates haul and Mr. Depp’s movies could be sailing toward the $2 billion horizon before all is said and done.
 
Tree of Life – An emotional and visual treat that requires multiple viewings to grasp what is going on, Tree of Life is the latest offering from acclaimed director Terrance Malick. The movie has gradually expanded across the country as word of mouth spreads on this Brad Pitt-Jessica Chastain-Sean Penn drama.
 
Super 8 – When J.J. Abrams joins forces with Steven Spielberg, you know we’re in for a treat. Super 8 brought back memories of classic summer blockbusters with thrills, visual dazzle and emotional depth.
 
Bridesmaids – Easily the breakout sleeper hit of the first half of the year, Bridesmaids stars Kristen Wiig as the maid of honor whose life unravels as she leads her best friend (Maya Rudolph) and a cast of colorful bridesmaids down the aisle.
 
Fast Five – For pure popcorn entertainment, look no further. This testosterone-fueled action flick went strong with its showdown between Vin Diesel and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Add in classic Fast characters, a final chase sequence that would make Michael Bay proud and a juicy teaser for Fast Six (or is it Six Speed? V6? Puns a plenty.) and you’ve got yourself a $600 million (and counting) worldwide blockbuster smash.
 
Honorable Mentions – The Lincoln Lawyer, 13 Assassins, Rio, The Eagle, Cedar Rapids, Beginners, The Adjustment Bureau, Gnomeo and Juliet, Kung Fu Panda 2, Limitless and Thor
 
Now it's your turn! Give us your Top 10 Best and Worst movies in the comment section below!

 

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