Movie Rankings: 2011, 2010, 2009

2011.

10. PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN 4.  A massive disappointment after the original trilogy, but not a bad movie by any stretch of the imagination.

9. X-MEN FIRST CLASS.  A pretty good reboot of the franchise set in the 60s.  I definitely prefer the originals but it is cool to see the origin of Xavier and Magneto’s relationship.

8. TIN TIN.  Peter Jackson and Stephen Spielberg team up to create an immensely fun globe trotting family adventure with astounding visuals and set pieces.

7. KUNG FU PANDA 2.  A great sequel to a great movie with a great villain.

6. TRANSFORMERS 3.  Probably the best Bay-formers movie.  Some truly epic action scenes at the end as the villains stage a full out invasion.

5. MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 4.  Brad Bird creates the best MI movie by far full of instantly iconic big set pieces.

4. FAST FIVE.  This is when the Fast franchise became amazing.  It went from a street racing franchise to a globe trotting Avengers style James Bond franchise and it’s delightful.

3. CAPTAIN AMERICA.  A great introduction to the character and a great WWII story.  Such an earnest and moral character could have been a big misstep in this day and age but the MCU handles him with perfection.

2. THOR.  Another great character introduction that shows the MCU can go big and crazy and cosmic and still work.  Also the introduction to the MCU’s greatest villain in Loki.

1. HARRY POTTER DEATHLY HALLOWS 2.  The best Harry Potter movie and a non-stop action thriller to bring the franchise to a satisfying and thrilling conclusion.

2010.

10. OWLS OF GAHOOLE- Astonishingly gorgeous CGI for a great family adventure story that is willing to go to dark places.

9. A-TEAM.  Not familiar with the source material, but this is a really fun action adventure with great humor and set pieces.

8. TANGLED.  A modern day Disney classic.

7. TOY STORY 3.  I am not a big fan of the first two movies but this had a great story with very mature themes and some great adventure.

6. HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON.  A delightful family adventure story.

5. IRON MAN 2.  Definitely one of the weaker MCU movies with very forgettable villains.

4. INCEPTION.  My favorite non-Bat Nolan movie.  A masterclass in action and suspicious and plotting.

3. SCOTT PILGRIM.  Another Edgar Wright classic that truly feels like a comic book come to life.

2. HARRY POTTER DEATHLY HALLOWS 1.  While the trio hiding in the forest and turning on each other is tedious, the rest of it is a wonderfully dark adventure that completely jettisons the series format for a full out war.

1. TRON LEGACY.  I dearly love this movie.  The villain’s plot is ridiculous, but everything else is perfection.  The visual design and score is second to none.  I still listen to this soundtrack on the reg.  The action is incredible.  This is a perfect blend between honoring the original and delivering something new.  Jeff Bridges is not a glorified cameo but just as important to the movie as the new lead character.

2009.

10. LAND OF THE LOST.  I actually think this is a reall funny movie!  I have no knowledge of the source material.

9. SHERLOCK HOLMES.  Ritchie and Downey are a great combination to reinvent Sherlock.

8. UP.  Great Pixar movie with a fun adventure quest.

7. DISTRICT 9.  A stellar combination of amazingly realistic CGI with a morality tale.

6. HARRY POTTER HALF-BLOOD PRINCE.  My least favorite of the later books and movies because it’s just a throwback school story for the most part.

5. TRANSFORMERS 2.  There’s definitely ridiculous excess at work, but it remains a visual masterpiece of Bay-hem that expands the scope with more characters and more global locales.

4. WATCHMEN.  As perfect an adaptation as any movie could hope to be of the greatest comic book of all time.

3. TERMINATOR SALVATION.  I think this movie is greatly underappreciated.  Rather than being another mindless remake of T2, they actually did something different and showed the future war for the first time.  The action and spectacle is absolutely amazing and it’s an interesting story that takes the franchise in a new direction.

2. STAR TREK.  A delightful reinvention of the franchise into a Star Wars-y epic action piece with a ton of great character and humor.  Way more cinematic than any Trek movie before it.

1. AVATAR.  James Cameron once again creates an iconic (if unoriginal) sci-fi movie that became the highest grossing movie in history for a reason.  The world of Pandora is a revelation to behold.  And while the story doesn’t really do anything groundbreaking, it still works.

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