Written by: James Green
Ever wonder what awesome films could be out there that you haven’t seen?
Well here are some from the last ten years. Enjoy.
10: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
This charming little “murder mystery comedy” starring Val Kilmer, Robert Downey Jr. and Michelle Monaghan brings a private eye, an actress and a thief masquerading as an actor together for a clever romp through a murder investigation. Watch it. It will make you giggle.
9. Attack The Block
In a crime riddled area of South London a group of young gangsters protects their town from an alien invasion. That is really all I need to say about it. It’s funny. It has some gore. And, it has some of the most adorable aliens you will ever see. Some say it is Shaun of the Dead with aliens. Don’t say that.
8. Hard Candy
If you want to see Ellen Paige take on a pedophile with her own brand of vigilante justice (and who doesn’t?) look no further than Hard Candy. This film is so intense it blows my mind that the director went on to direct The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. Just terrible.
7. Funny Games
Now, this will not be for everyone. It probably won’t even be for any of you. Director Michael Haneke made this film in 1997 and then again ten years later. Why? I am not sure. But I for one am glad that he did. Two young men take a small wealthy family hostage in one if the most insane “torture” films I have seen. It will make you fear golf.
6. A History of Violence
Director David Cronenberg is known for being, well, David Cronenberg. Often referred to as the “King of Venereal Horror”, Cronenberg went in a slightly different direction with this story of a man with a mistaken identity that turns out to be not so mistaken. A great story and intense violence fill this small town drama. Enjoy this visceral piece of work. Then, go watch Videodrome.
5. Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil
Gory hilarity ensues when two somewhat simple minded rednecks decide to purchase a dilapidated old house in the woods. All they wanted to do was build on their already close friendship and renovate their new vacation home. But their plan is changed when a group of annoying college students starts trying to kill them. Or are they? I won’t give away the premise here, but, it is highly entertaining. Some pretty memorable deaths that will probably make you chuckle to yourself. Plus, Alan Tudyk is always a joy to watch.
4. Valhalla Rising
One of my new favorite directors, Nicolas Winding Refn, put together this beautiful piece of artwork. And, when I say art, I mean it. Minimal dialog and a dreary setting make for a slightly different film experience. One Eye, the main character played perfectly by Mads Mikkelsen, doesn’t speak a word through the entirety of the film, which only adds to the dismal feel of this film. It’s brutal, muddy, beautiful and abstract. You will finish this film feeling confused. Confused as to why you feel so satisfied.
3. Let the Right One In (2008)
Oscar, an overlooked and bullied boy, finds love through Eli, a beautiful but peculiar girl who turns out to be a vampire. The love story between these two pre-teens is done very well. The addition of her being a vampire only makes it better. The re-make, as much as I enjoyed it, did not leave me with the same emotions that the Thomas Alfredson film did. If you watch either of them, I suggest it be this one.
Nicolas Winding Refn wins two spots on this list. His most recent submission to the world, Drive, is a stylish spectacle of cold calculation and cool aplomb. I will have to force myself to keep this brief or it will turn into a full review. Ryan Gosling plays a reserved stunt driver for a film studio by day, and a getaway driver by night. He then finds himself involved in the “issues” of his neighbor, who he falls in love with. If you only watch one from this list, please, make it this one. It was easily my favorite of 2011.
1. Ong Bak (Muay Tai Warrior)
The part of me that that loved the TMNT and Three Ninja films when I was a child showed itself while watching Ong Bak. No wires, no CG, just Tony Jaa jumping higher and kicking harder than anyone I have seen before. Jaa plays Ting, a young man sent to Bangkok recover a very important head of a Buddha statue that was stolen from his village. Tony Jaa is Ong Bak. Without him this film would have been, well, just another bland martial arts piece. Let this film put a flying knee in your chest and make you smile.