Labor Day marks the end of summer, and like every other year the online bitching and moaning about how bad of a summer it was at the movies has already begun. Twenty-one rejects got together for our bi-weekly bake sale/FSR office cleaning day, and we got to thinking.
That’s just bullshit.
Because there were actually some surprisingly solid and entertaining movies that hit theaters over the past four months. From comic book heroes that soared above the competition, to legendary directors who returned with their best work in decades, to R-rated comedies that made us wet ourselves, to prequels that proved going backwards can sometimes be a genius move, this summer offered up plenty of bang for the buck. So we each jotted down our five favorite films of the summer, assigned a point value to each rank (5 pts for 1st, 4 pts for 2nd, etc), and fed the raw data into our Commodore Vic-20 office computer. It finished processing eighteen hours later, and we ended up with the results below.
So screw the haters… let’s embrace the movies that made us laugh, gasp, applaud, and sit up and take notice this past summer. Here are FSR’s Favorite Movies of Summer 2011!
11. The Guard
John Michael McDonagh’s The Guard, script-wise, is about as perfect as a film can get. Tightly paced, ingeniously structured, and full of countless lines that you’ll keep quoting, the playwright’s dark comedy is a fantastic twist on the cop genre. To make matters even better, Brendan Gleeson delivers a performance destined for classic status. – Jack Giroux
10. Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Oh, what can be said about Transformers: Dark of The Moon that hasn’t already been said? Put simply, it’s a fun fucking movie, and is probably the only flick I’ve actively sought out to see in 3D over and over again. Michael Bay put Bayhem into full effect in the last hour of the film and gave us one of the best theatrical experiences of the summer. - Merrill Barr
9. Super 8
Super 8 is a summer blockbuster that puts character before spectacle, but doesn’t forget to deliver on the spectacle as well. It’s a throwback to films from the past, but it isn’t content to just live off nostalgia; it creates it’s own iconic moments that will live on forever. But most importantly to me, and I’m sure to many of you reading this, it’s a big, beautifully wrapped present for kids that grew up fascinated by the movies. - Nathan Adams
8. Midnight in Paris
Woody Allen adds an enjoyably surreal twist to his latest film. Instead of New York, we’re in Paris, but a Paris that comes alive at night with famous faces from the past. A collection of artists including Gertrude Stein and Salvador Dali advise the hero, a writer struggling with his first novel. It’s one of Allen’s best films in a long time, humorous and romantic. - Robin Ruinsky
The quick and dirty plotline of Bridesmaids sounded cookie-cutter, The Hangover for chicks, more mimosas, probably more tears. But Paul Feig and his cast of ruthlessly talented ‘maids turned in an expected delight, an unfrosted slice of honesty about friendship and making do (with the added pressure of “I dos”) in the modern world. Just as funny as it is oddly introspective, Bridesmaids was summer counter-programming for smart ladies (and dudes) at its best. - Kate Erbland
6. Captain America: The First Avenger
With their last solo hero movie before The Avengers, Marvel Studios took great risk in handing the reigns over to the man who delivered The Wolf Man. But in great underdog fashion, much like the rise of the hero within the film, director Joe Johnston reminded us that he’s the guy who gave us The Rocketeer. With a pulpy style and a blistering pace, Johnston delivered Marvel’s righteous hero with class, muscly action and plenty of fun. All aided by the deliciously sinister villainy of Hugo Weaving, Captain America was made to be a hero we could root for — and more importantly, a movie we’ll want to watch again and again. - Neil Miller