5) Rise of the Planet of the Apes
I didn’t really want to see this movie. When I first saw the trailer, I found no appeal in apes dominating the world, lashing out against cruel humanity, especially considering it was the prequel to a seemingly cheesy movie about more talking, plotting apes. But there seemed something more deeply sinister and compelling to the story. And there was. Through chimp Caesar, it begs to remind us that apes are people too (you know what I mean). Though it wouldn’t have been possible without Andy Serkis behind the CGI, making us feel for Caesar, making him one of us. And yes, by the end, you’ll be rooting for them as they wreck havok on our very own.
4) X-Men: First Class
Superhero movies are very formulaic. Act one: A superhero is born. Act two: Evil is born. Act three: Superhero fails against evil. Act four: Superhero strengthens and defeats evil. Right? But this one is different. It’s the X-Men flick that goes against the entire series, contradicting story lines and re-defining characters. And thankfully so. What makes this superhero movie stand out against all others is threefold: the story, the acting and the just plain awesomeness. The story is complex, it’s about how evil is rooted and the story of how friends with a common enemy became enemies themselves. The acting is amazing. It’s almost a toss-up between frenemies James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, but Fassbender takes it, convincing you that there is some righteousness behind his evil. And then it’s just awesome: Watching the mutants harness their powers, picking out familiar faces during the recruitment, then duking it out with the big guns. It puts the rest of the series to shame.
Yeah, I know judging from the photo above, this movie doesn’t look very scary. But that’s because I was too scared to search for a different one. Seriously. I can’t say much without spoiling it but after a couple moves into a new house, strange, chilling, supernatural things start happening. I saw this movie in theatres and came home running it over and over in my head, afraid to turn the lights off, afraid to go to bed, afraid of the dark and eerie shadows. It went on for days. And when the fear finally went away, it came out on DVD and I watched it again. And it began again. This is exactly why I watch horror movies, the fun in fear, which I rarely get. But I can guarantee you watching this one again will bring nightmares back.
2) Super 8
1) Midnight in Paris
This movie is sci-fi and fantasy disguised as drama. It’s a fairy tale for grown ups, really. Not to mention, it’s the funniest movie I’ve seen all year. Of course everyone is nostalgic about some period in history, some place in the world, some famous faces of the past. And a movie that explores one person’s daydream of that is more than charming. But to a girl who loves Paris and literature, this movie becomes nearly her own daydream. Plus, it’s hilarious in the most surprising places. “Have you ever shot a charging lion?” Ernest Hemingway (Corey Stoll) asks Gil (Owen Wilson). WHAT?! And Salvador Dalí (Adrien Brody) on about rhinoceroses, and Gertrude Stein’s (Kathy Bates) writing advice! So good.
Honourable mentions: Scream 4, Moneyball