Top 5 Movies of 2011 - So Far

Chris Evans' Glorious Torso in "Captain America"

First off, this is by no means my definitive "Best Movies of 2011" list. There are still many films on my 'to see'  list, including but limited to: The Artist; Warhorse; The Adventures of Tintin; Midnight in Paris; Melancholia; The Perfect Host; Another Earth; Attack the Block; Drive; The Way; The Skin I Live In; Martha Marcy May Marlene; The Descendents; We Need to Talk About Kevin and a good dozen or more. For such a self-professed cinephile, I saw shamefully few movies this year. Sadly, my "Worst" list is longer than the "Best" list, this year. I'm hoping to get to see at least one more movie before my vacation is over. Maybe Friday and/or Monday afternoon. And of course, none of my friends or family gave me AMC gift cards, no matter how much I hinted... So it's going to have be matinees, anyway. Okay - I know. You're just dying to know what movies I've liked the most this year. Just be warned, this list is subject to change and or/growth:

5. Rise of the Planet of the Apes. I finally got to see this movie the other night at Q and Dale's, OnDemand and must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed it. I certainly never expected my sympathies to go towards the apes in this re-boot of the 70's franchise. Mostly well-plotted (with a few inevitable holes); well-acted (Lithgow!); well-cast (Sirkus!) and with nearly seamless SFX, Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a welcome surprise.

4. Captain America: The First Avenger. The best superhero movie of the summer is a delightfully patriotic WWII action-adventure featuring the hotness that is Chris Evans as one of DC's Marvel's earliest heroes. Exciting, fun and smart, this origin movie is the perfect tie-in for next summer's The Avengers.

3.Insidious. The creators of Saw and Dead Silence are back with their best collaboration yet. Insidious is certainly the creepiest ghost movie in years, made all the better by a top-notch cast and yet another of the duo's signature surprise endings which was truly surprising.

2. Super 8. J.J. Abrams' Spielbergian tribute was not only fun, but gave young Elle Fanning her best role tand most impressive performance to date. Who cares if the monster was a little hokey? This homage to childhood in the 70's kept me smiling all the way through to  the end. Oh - and Kyle Chandler.

1. Hugo. Put simply, Martin Scorcese's love-letter to the movies is a genuine wonder. Based on Brian Selznick's YA novel "The Invention of Hugo Cabret," this delicious Steam Punk adventure uses 3D in the way it should be used, to remarkable effect.  We may have never met, but I'd like to think that Scorcese made this film just for me.

My final Top Ten will probably show up sometime next month.

More, anon.
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