Movies/Entertainment,  Quick 5/Top 10

G-S-T Year in Review – Marc's 2011 Wrap Up

Last year at G-S-T, we started our own unique year end Top 10. This year we have another batch of films we’d like to hi-light as being equally good, bad or something in between. Smiles, laughs and cries were had and just like our list last year, I didn’t see everything we wanted to but came pretty close. From what we saw here’s what I thought of what 2011 had to offer…

Cool, minimalist and dripping with a retro 80’s feel that would make Michael Mann jealous. Nicholas Winding Refn knocked this out of the park with a little help from a reserved Gosling and Cliff Martinez’ superb ethereal score.


Who would have thought Rocky with Robots would be as heartwarming as it was? Well I for one was K.O.ed by how much I loved this enjoyable family film.


Christmas has been done hundreds, if not thousands of times but Sony and Aardman managed to bring something new, exciting and fun…that’s a triple threat!


We all knew it would be a blatant redo of the first…but how could following the winning formula to ‘T’ could be such a let down? Not even a well placed cameo could help this bummer of a trip…


On paper Zack Snyder looked to deliver a trifecta of awesome; stunning action, dazzling visuals and femme fatales. What could go wrong?? Answer: Everything. It’s this years’ The Expandables


This was either the most stunning but overlong commercial for the National Geographic channel ever or one of the most pretentious, albeit most beautiful, films of the past decade. I’ll leave it to you to figure out because I simply gave up trying. But while it was nice to look at, it sure took its sweet time telling a boring story…so boring in fact I couldn’t bring myself to write a review.


This is a win in every category that is powered by the chemistry between Fassbender and McAvoy, the rapid fire pace of Matthew Vaughn and his stylish visuals and topped off with the intense score by Henry Jackman. Aside from Batman Begins, this is how you do an origin story. Well done!


Don’t let the NC-17 rating dissuade you from seeing this. Fassbender, doing very little actually, proves why he’s one of the finest actors on the planet. Russell Crowe better watch his back.


Johnny Depp’s quirky antics somehow translate even better in an animated character. And FYI, this title has become Go,See,Talk’s reference quality Blu-Ray title.


From funny to heart-warming with a positive message to boot. In the quest to be a great film, The Help needs none.


Honorable Mention: 13 AssassinsPariah, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Descendants, Thor, Bridesmaids.


Now that’s what I thought of 2011, what do you think? Anyone in agreement? Or am I waaay off??

While you ponder that and compare notes feel please check out the 2011 Wrap Up lists from our new writers Grady, Andrew and Bill to see what they thought as well.


  • Andrew

    Couldn’t agree more on Sucker Punch— that one went way, way off-base and never felt fully realized as a movie. It’s just a collection of ideas spawned from a Saturday morning cartoon sugar rush.

    I wanted to give Drive the “Favorite” award in addition to the “Best”. I really did. I like it that much. But I also like diversity, so I had to stick with one over the other. I don’t feel bad about the choice at all– and I really can’t wait to see Refn’s and Gosling’s next collaboration together.

    • MarcC

      Ha it took me looking back to remember that it was in fact a 2011 release. I thought it was 2010…guess i had no problem putting it out of my head after writing my review:P
      There are few who think Sucker Punch was worth anything (that’s right my buddy Markus Welby likes it quite a bit)…but I think we all knew it was going to be all glitz and no substance so I wasn’t totally heartbroken when it became just a disjointed estrogen laced music video montage.

      For me 2011 was going to either Drive or 13 Assassins. But I went Drive since technically 13 was a 2010 release and I didn’t catch it til it hit the DIFF this year. Still so close in my eyes. Hate to have Miike lose on a technicality.

  • Luke

    The Tree of Life isn’t a movie, haha. Avant garde in mainstream feature length is hard to measure, so I don’t blame you for not being able to tackle a review. Good picks. Can’t wait for Shame!

    • MarcC

      Hey Luke, great to hear from you…though I blame my negligence for the lack of communication and being remiss in stopping by CC.

      Tree is probably as polarizing as it comes and this year people either really love it or hate it. Could have tolerated it if they lopped off 30 mins but that was just excessively boring. Pretty but boring none the less. Though it makes a good case for the relevance of planetariums I guess:P

  • Castor

    Love the presentation Marc! Interesting that you thought The Help was the best film of 2011. I haven’t seen it yet but look forward to it.

    • MarcC

      Thanks Castor, not as much thought went into this as yours (mine was just down and dirty) but I appreciate the comment. I see The Help as a pleasing and enjoyable film that’s likened to a grapefruit come Oscar time; it should snag a slew of nods at the very least. Just seems like a good movie to get behind so consider my vote placed;)

  • Eric

    Cool list, Marc! Drive was my favorite film of 2011 as well. It’s good to see 13 Assassins get a mention. That one seemed to slip under the radar for a lot of people.

    • MarcC

      Yes, 13 was at a disadvantage since it only got around to people by way of Film Festivals. VOD helped but it could have used a better marketing push for sure.

  • ruth

    Yay on the Replay Award and Best Film! First Class definitely will get a lot of play in my house, I just love the origin story of Xavier + Magneto, acted so well by McAvoy & Fassbender.

  • Novroz

    It’s a great way to make a list Marc 🙂

    Aha!! another person who didn’t enjoy Tree of Life, that movie totally divide people’s opinion

  • MarcC

    @Ruth…I think we could go on for days about First Class couldn’t we? And I wouldn’t get tired at all:P

    @Now…Thanks! While not fond of the narrative of Tree of Life I do like all the rest of it, just not enough to like the film a whole or stand up and cheer for it.

  • Kristin

    Wow, I agree with a lot of your choices here, Marc. I’m totally with you on The Tree of Life (utterly boring in my opinion), and I couldn’t help but laugh at your description of it. I read another description of the film as “scenes out of Enya music video” and couldn’t stop laughing.

    I’m also with you on First Class – definitely a movie to be played time and again that I’ve seen probably 3 times already. I really enjoyed it and especially appreciated Henry Jackman’s fantastic score.

    I also loved Drive and The Help, although I didn’t think of either as best, and neither were my favorite. But The Help was #3 on my list, and I was very much impressed by Drive after seeing it on DVD.

    Oh, and I would DEFINITELY agree that The Hangover II was the most disappointing movie of the year. Cheers!