COVO & AYOTTE'S
2011 TOP ELEVEN FILMS
After more than a year reviewing films at La Prensa SA and online, the critical team of Covo & Ayotte brings you their choice of the top 11 films of 2011 – films they think are definitely “Don’t miss!” Starting in 2012, the duo plans to change the rating system to FIVE STARS so they can really pinpoint the worst and best films for their readers. Here now, enjoy Covo & Ayotte’s top picks for 2011 and
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Covo & Ayotte’s TOP MOVIE OF 2011:
The 146 minute film is a comedy-drama which was released in August.
An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960′s decides to write a book detailing the African-American maid’s point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.
Tate Taylor wrote the screenplay adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s novel and also directed the film. Emma Stone, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer star in this film with an amazing cast. Stellar performances abound in “The Help.”
Covo & Ayotte’s Number 2:
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
The 158-minute American film is a crime-drama released nationwide on December 20.
Journalist Mikael Blomkvist is aided in his search for a woman who has been missing for forty years by Lisbeth Salander, a young computer hacker. Director David Fincher does a fantastic job with the Americanized version of this film which is all that.
Steve Zaillan wrote the screenplay based on the novel Stieg Larsson, starring Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara and Christopher Plummer.
Covo & Ayotte’s Number 3 :
“War Horse” The 2-hour-and-18-minute war drama released on Dec. 25 just flies by — but was still a source of disagreement between Covo (who wanted to list it FIRST) and Ayotte (who wasn’t sure it even deserved to be in the top 5).Young Albert enlists to serve in WWI after his beloved horse, Joey, is sold to the cavalry. Albert’s hopeful journey takes him out of England and across Europe as the war rages on.
Director Steven Spielberg outdoes himself as the consummate storyteller in this tale written by Lee Hall and Richard Curtis, based on the novel by Michael Morpugo. The film stars Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson and David Thewliss.
Covo & Ayotte’s Number 4:
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
For just over 2 hours, prepare to travel far away in this action-adventure thriller which was released December 21.
The IMF is shut down when it’s implicated in the bombing of the Kremlin, causing Ethan Hunt and his new team to go rogue to clear their organization’s name.
Brad Birds directs this fabulous film that provides blockbuster-style fun with a terrific screenplay full of wit, vim and vigor by Josh Appelbaum, André Nemec and based on Bruce Geller’s now classic television series. The film stars Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg and a great cast of performers.
Covo & Ayotte’s Number 5:
This 2-hour film does everything a movied should do. It will make you laugh and cry – and empathize with all the characters. in this original plot
An original plot helps the movie along: A land baron tries to re-connect with his two daughters after his wife suffers a boating accident.
Alexander Payne directed this must-see film, for which he also wrote the screenplay with Nat Faxon and Jim Nash based on the novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings.
Covo & Ayotte’s Number 6:
“A Better Life”
In 98 minutes, a tale that sets out tell the story about a father and son lands you smack in the middle of the complexities of immigration reform and humanity – and it does so perfectly by letting us view the world through the eyes of a gardener in East L.A., who struggles to keep his son away from gangs and immigration agents while trying to give his son a better life than the one he knew.
Chris Weitz directs this well-crafted film, written by Eric Eason and Jim Rash based on a story by Roger L. Simon.
Covo & Ayotte’s Number 7:
Just under 2 hours, this comedy drama is fresh, original and captivating. The movie was released in May.
A struggling lawyer and volunteer wrestling coach’s chicanery comes back to haunt him when the teenage grandson of the client he’s double-crossed comes into his life.
Director Thomas McCarthy gets the most out of this cast, starring Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan and Jeffrey Tambor.
McCarthy also wrote the screenplay and the story.
Covo & Ayotte’s Number 8:
“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”
Far better than we had any right to expect, the action-drama/sci-fi runs about 105 minutes and was released in August.
The studio synopsis is straight-forward – and gives away none of the nuance that makes the film great: During experiments to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, a genetically-enhanced chimpanzee uses its greater intelligence to lead other apes to freedom.
Rupert Wyatt directed this film, written by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver based on an idea suggested by the novel “La planète des singes” written by Pierre Boulle.
James Franco, Andy Serkis and Freida Pinto are sharp and credible and make the movie worth seeing.
Covo & Ayotte’s Number 9:
“X-Men: First Class”
Another snappy two-hour movie that zips by with a great origins storyline that explains who’s who and reveals a lot of mysteries in the X-Men series.
Apparently, it al begins in 1962, when the United States government enlists the help of Mutants with superhuman abilities to stop a malicious dictator who is determined to start world war III.
Matthew Vaughn does a wonderful job directling this cast in a film he co-wrote with Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz and Jane Goldman.
James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence round out a great cast with great chemistry. This is fun at the movies.
Covo & Ayotte’s Number 10:
This docu-drama runs a little over two hours, but tells the tale of how the underdog turned the tables in baseball by telling the story of Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane’s successful attempt to put together a baseball club on a budget by employing computer-generated analysis to draft his players.
Bennett Miller directs another brilliant screenplay by Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin and Stan Chervin based on the book by Michael Lewis.
The movie stars Brad Pitt, Robin Wright and Jonah Hill.
Covo & Ayotte’s Number 11:
“Captain America: The First Avenger”
Another summer blockbuster makes our list for the sheer fun and entertainment it brings all audiences for its entire length of just over two hours.
After being deemed unfit for military service, Steve Rogers volunteers for a top secret research project that turns him into Captain America, a superhero dedicated to defending the USA’s ideals.
Director Joe Johnston really anchors the franchise with this film – a must see for all Marvel Comics fan and anyone who is following the series – although it stands well on its own too. Starring Chris Evans, Hugo Weaving and Samuel L. Jackson.
Honorable mentions to “Colombiana”, “Anonymous” and “The Adjustment Bureau,” all strong films worth your time and money.