My countdown of the best movies of 2011 continues with Nos. 6 and 5.
4. "The Descendants"
OK, I broke our own rules here. There is an Oscars film on my list.
But, it's on here because the hype is real. This is a freaking good movie. You know how I tell people how awesome this is? I tell them that Matthew Lillard is really good in this movie. Seriously.
Clooney should, but probably won't, win the Oscar for Best Actor for this. We talk sometimes about how actors put on a class onscreen. Clooney, with this film, teaches a masterfully powerful class on how to act.
And the rest of the cast is great too. Everyone from the young daughter to Judty Greer is perfectly cast and holds their own. The big surprise? Shailene Woodley.
Yes, the girl from the ABC Family show "The Secret Life of the American Teenager." Going in I wasn't expecting much from her. But she blew me away.
And it should be a crime that she wasn't nominated for an Oscar for this role. In an Academy Awards year where there is plently to complain about, her snub is at the top of the film.
The script is perhaps the best script of any film this year. It blended the heartbreak and comedy like walking on a tightrope without swaying too far on either side. And the best part? It was co-written by Jim Rash, who plays Dean Pelton on "Community."
Dean Pelton is going to win an Oscar. That is reason enough to watch the show.
If there were any justice in the world, it would win more than just that.
3. "Super 8"
One of the few films Dan and I agree on.
JJ Abrams has a free pass in my book thanks to "Alias" and "Star Trek," so I would have seen this regardless.
I loved, loved how they kept the secret of what the alien looked like. Even if there were spoilers, I avoided them. I wanted to remember what it was like before everything was spoiled by the Internet.
This entire movie was just that, a welcome, unspoiled surprise.
It also reminded me of a time where kids kicked ass. Like "The Goonies" or "Monster Squad." Kids didn't need parents to save them. They walked right up and kicked Wolfman in the nards. I'm old school.
And that train crash scene? Holy crap, possibly the best effects of the year (looking at you Visual Effects category). And you totally need to stay through the credits to see the Super 8 film the kids actually shot. I was laughing my ass off through the entire thing.