In my opinion, last year was a very enjoyable year in film. Aside from the down-sides of too many unnecessary remakes there was a nice variety of genres, lots of superhero movies and it was a very good year to be Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. Here are my five favourite movies from 2011.
First up is Bridesmaids. Anyone will tell you I don't like to watch comedies on the big screen, I always find them one joke wonders and usually overhyped. Fortunately Bridesmaids was able to live up to the hype and had me in stitches and laughing uncontrollably for the majority of the film.
Aside from great performances, there was a real story about friendship there to tie it all together and you could really tell it had been written by women, as well as starring a mostly female cast.
Melissa McCarthy really was the breakout star of this comedy and totally deserved her recent Emmy, even if it was for her sitcom Mike & Molly.
The movie was so notorious it even spawned this My Little Pony parody billboard which is hilarious spoof of the film's advertising.
No matter the criticisms of The Help, I loved it. Black maids may not all have been cooking themselves happy, but the message of the film was still clear and it was an entertaining movie without being too worthy.
It really did have wonderful acting by Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Emma Stone and not having read the book, an amusing, thoughtful and surprising tale. Just like Bridesmaids, it also proved that an almost all female cast can achieve big box office success. Hopefully there'll be some Oscars in The Help's future.
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
I'm really not the biggest Tom Cruise fan due to all his weirdness in his personal life, which sadly does overlap into actors movies, but I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the fourth installment in the Mission: Impossible movie franchise.
There was great action, lots of spectacle and some real levity too. Let's face it Simon Pegg stole the show most of the time, and the great thing was Tom Cruise really didn't seem to mind, in fact they had great chemistry together.
Even though the ending was a bit of a damp squid, this was the most entertaining action movie in 2011 which literally kept me on the edge of my seat for the majority of the film.
Crazy Stupid Love
Crazy Stupid Love was the best romantic comedy last year which was largely overlooked by audiences. It had a stellar cast, with a break out performance by Ryan Gosling who looked so sharp in and out of his fashionable wardrobe.
Emma Stone and Julianne Moore are too of my favourite red-heads in any film and even Steve Carell played a really sympathetic character, different from his usual comedy roles.
It really was a sweet, charming movie. Maybe a tad bittersweet and corny at times, but all the better for it too.
I also loved the billboard advertising for the movie which really captured the spirit of the film.
Captain America: The First Avenger
Not that anyone really called it by its full title, but Captain America was the surprise hit of the Summer. I know I'm slightly prejudiced by the fact that I got to go to the Captain America premiere, but it was a fun, action-packed romp, with a great performance by Chris Evans as the humble star-spangled WWII hero.
It really could have been cheesy, especially having to charge into battle in such a colourful costume, but they made it all work and managed to continue to build the rich tapestry of the Marvel Universe and get me even more excited for the forthcoming Avengers movie.
Other notable favourite films from 2011 included Marvel Comics Thor, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the charming Hugo and the final installment of Harry Potter, which was a worthy way to bring the wizarding phenomenon to its cinematic conclusion.
Be sure to also check out my five least favourite movies from 2011 too.
Let's hope 2012 is filled with excitement, wonder and spectacle on the big screen...