Scott Pilgirm vs. The World
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World stars Michael Cera as a 22-year-old Torontonian who must defeat his girlfriend’s Seven Evil Exes if he wants to be with her. It’s a wild ride that nails the pop culture zeitgeist but also tells a universal human story.
Cyrus is an odd movie. It’s about a lonely guy, the woman of his dreams … and her quirky son played by Jonah Hill. Not quite a comedy, not quite a drama, it falls somewhere in between. Just like real life.
In Splice, a creature goes from newborn to troubled teen in just a matter of weeks. Starring Sarah Polley and Adrien Brody, it’s giddy good fun; the rare sci-fi flick that revels in its B-movie roots while also offering up something to think about.
Michael Caine has rarely been better than he is in Harry Brown, a gritty Teabag Western about an old man in the Elephant and Castle section of London who strikes back after a gang kills his best mate.
Rob Reiner’s Flipped is coming-of-age Rashômon filtered through Leave it to Beaver with a dash of The Wonder Years thrown in for good measure. In other words, it’s a touching, but idiosyncratic film about growing up.
Get Low, the unlikely story of a man arranging his own funeral, took on three hankie status as Robert Duvall played an old man looking back on his wasted life.
The Disappearance of Alice Creed
This kidnapping drama features three characters, three, maybe four sets and one hundred minutes of unrelenting tension. It’s a nasty little piece of work, remorselessly bleak but carefully crafted enough to be intriguing.
Winter’s Bone should be seen not only for its uncompromising story of an Ozark girl who will do anything to keep her family together, but also for the breakout performance of its star, Jennifer Lawrence.
In Defendor, Woody Harrelson plays a man whose rich inner life spills out into his real life. By day he’s dead-end-job-Arthur but at night he’s superhero Defendor. Gritty and funny, Harrelson breathes life into a role that could easily have fallen into cliché.
Marwencol, a documentary about a man with a severe brain injury who creates his own world as therapy is one of the funniest, most touching and inspirational films of the year.