2011 was such an epic year for movie goers. NEVER ENDING RADICAL DUDE dished out two perfect 10 scores for the amazingly enjoyable films DRIVE and HANNA. Comic book fans had nothing to complain about with the fantastic X-MEN: FIRST CLASS, CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER, and THOR. Action movie buffs got all the eye candy they could handle with blockbusters such as SUCKER PUNCH, IMMORTALS, FAST FIVE, and MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL. And on top of all that, we got some equally impressive sci-fi in the form of SUPER 8 and RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES. Wow that’s a crap ton of great films for nerds, but what about the ones that you may have missed during all the excitement? 2011 was host to a number of kick ass films that received a limited release or just got lost in the shuffle. Below is a list of the top 5 films you may have missed last year and they all deserve your inner nerds attention.
5. THE EAGLE (Wide US Release February 11th 2011)
While THE EAGLE did get a wide release here in the US, it did not stay in theaters long enough to get the buzz it deserves. This one was beautifully directed by Kevin Macdonald (THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND) and stars Channing Tatum (G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA), Jamie Bell (KING KONG), and Mark Strong (SHERLOCK HOLMES) in what turns out to be some pretty strong performances. The plot involves a young Roman soldier who must team up with an enemy in order to restore honor to his families name by retrieving his legion’s lost golden emblem. What ensues is an adventure full of beautiful landscapes, interesting characters, some unseen plot twists, and a truly intense last act that had me on the edge of my seat. This one grabbed me from the beginning and never let go until the credits rolled. Cool stuff.
4. I SAW THE DEVIL (Limited US Release March 4th 2011)
Director Jee-woon Kim brought us the amazing action western THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE WEIRD back in 2008 which also made the NEVER ENDING RADICAL DUDE Top 5 Korean Movies You Must See list. I SAW THE DEVIL stars the talented Min-sik Choi (OLDBOY) and Byung-hun Lee (G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA) in what is one of the most brutally violent movies I have ever seen. A serial killer’s latest victim is the pregnant wife of a secret agent who will stop at nothing for revenge. This film is extremely intense and features some gory action sequences that I will not soon forget. The production values here are stunning and help create an atmosphere that is equally disturbing as it is engaging. I highly recommend this film and rate it as my third favorite Korean film right below OLDBOY and THE HOST. A must see.
3. HESHER (Limited US Release May 13th 2011)
HESHER is directed by newcomer Spencer Susser and tells the tale of a boy who has lost his mother and is losing his grip on the world around him. He then meets a young and reckless pyromaniac who adds a whole new element of chaos to his life. The film has an all-star cast that features some of my favorite actors including Joseph Gordon-Levitt (INCEPTION), Rainn Wilson (SUPER), and Natalie Portman (GARDEN STATE) all in awesomely eccentric roles. This is a wonderful coming-of-age story that adds some unexpected chaos to the formula. Highly recommended.
2. TUCKER AND DALE VS EVIL (Limited US Release September 30th 2011)
This film boasts one of the funniest premises for a movie I have ever heard and had me laughing the whole way through. Two kindly hillbillies named Tucker and Dale are trying to relax at their rundown cabin in the woods when a group of college kids mistake them for savage redneck murderers. Directed by Eli Craig (SPACE COWBOYS) and starring the very likable Alan Tudyk (SERENITY) and Tyler Labine (RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES). I really don’t want to say much about this one to avoid any spoilers, but I will say that this hidden gem is well worth your time. It’s smartly written, consistently hilarious, and gory. Do yourself a favor and rent this one.
1. SUPER (Limited US Release April 1st 2011)
This one is often mistaken as a KICK-ASS rip-off, but resorting to that kind of labeling will caus you to miss out on one of the coolest and most under appreciated films of 2011. Directed by the twisted mind of James Gunn (SLITHER) and starring Rainn Wilson (THE OFFICE), Ellen Page (INCEPTION), Liv Tyler (ARMAGEDDON), and Kevin Bacon (X-MEN: FIRST CLASS). An everyday man (Wilson) transforms himself into the superhero Crimson Bolt after his wife gets taken under the influence of a drug dealer. SUPER is fun, hilarious, and violently gory at times. It would be a shame if you were to miss out on one of the funniest action comedies in recent memory. Check it out and say “shut up” to crime!
Also, click HERE to see the NEVER ENDING RADICAL DUDE “Top 10 Movies of 2011”!