The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, 2011 Edition

It's that time again, when we look back on the ups, downs, and events of the past year and start making plans and dreaming dreams for the year to come. For me, that means it's time for yet another semi-random selection of some of the films that made 2011 good, bad, or ugly, in their own unique and sometimes slightly terrifying ways. (And also time to start hoping for a good crop of movies in 2012, of course.) May you and yours have a bright and shining new year.

The Good:

Good 2011

X-Men: First Class
It's a prequel rather than a sequel, but this movie managed to prove that films in a series don't always have to get steadily worse as they go along. Though it had its flaws, I think the cast and crew had fun making it, and it shows.

Super 8
Part slice of life, part sci-fi flick, this sleeper hit can make anyone feel like a kid with their first camera.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes
On the other end of the spectrum, sort of, this was a stand alone action flick that was not only a good lead-in to future films in the series, but also managed to be a little thought-provoking in between battles and crises.

The Bad:

Bad 2011

Drive Angry 3-D
Dead escapee from Hell wreaks vengeance on a group of redneck cultists led by a bad Elvis impersonator. If that was the pitch, I'm surprised this one got past the drawing board.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon
I had never seen any Transformers film or even TV show before I went to see this, and even I could tell that they were ruining the franchise. I'm just as befuddled by it all as she is.

Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows
I know, I know, practically everyone else loved it. But if there's another in the series -- and face it, there will be -- I just hope they don't listen to Robert Downey Jr. again when he says he wants to dress in drag.

The Ugly:

Ugly 2011

The Rite
A potentially great idea that went south, all I really remember about it now is Anthony Hopkins turning reptilian and the Herculean effort someone made to make a mule look terrifying.

The Thing
A prequel with a dash of remake, it was a good flick -- though thanks to recent technological leaps forward in making things look incredibly gross and disgusting, not for the weak of stomach.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
True, the zombies were unattractive, and all the beards were a little intimidating. But face it. Johnny Depp gets slightly scarier looking with nearly every film.

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