1. The Hunt - Absolutely stunning movie. It's going to be so tough to make a Top 10 list this year because I've stated "this movie is definitely going to be in my Top 10 list" at least 20 times this year! I'm going to say it for The Hunt as well, and heck, if need be, I might just make a Top 20 list instead! The Hunt is like the movie Doubt (which is a terrific movie), just minus the doubt. A teacher is accused of sexually inappropriate behavior based on a child's malicious lie - a lie she tells because she is upset and confused. The teacher that she "confesses" this lie to obviously has to take this accusation seriously. This person is villainous from an audiences point of view, simply because we know the truth. From her point of view, though, it's a tough spot to be in. It's hard to believe that children would make up a story like that, but they do (especially children who are neglected and seek adult attention). To watch a mans entire life fall apart from this "innocent" lie, is horrifying. Mads Mikkelsen is perfection in the role, as his life is unraveling before his eyes. The whole movie can be summed up with the look that he gives the father at church (this is the look on the poster). Then, the end is so amazing that it gave me chills. This mans life will forever be altered. He will always be looking over his shoulder.
2. Violet & Daisy - Not nearly as fun as it should be. I read the description about two teenage female assassins and I assumed a fun, action flick with two bad-ass females. I was also expecting Vamp like campiness. It's campy, for sure, but it's just not fun at all. It's rather boring. The leads are strong young actresses (Saoirse Ronan and Alexis Bledel), but they do not sell this film at all. Plus, this is one of James Gandolfini's last movie roles, and it was disappointing (still the best part of the movie, obviously), but I feel like he played the same role as he did in Welcome to the Riley's. The movie is absolutely forgettable and that is the worst thing I can say about any movie.
3. Red 2 - The first one was ok for an action movie, but I felt like it should have been a much stronger movie with the cast involved. I was expecting more of the same, so I wasn't left as disappointed with this sequel. I really like the characters and the actors, so it makes it fun to watch. The plot struggled a bit, mostly with too many obvious twists. I think we were supposed to be surprised at each "reveal" but I just stared blankly at the screen, shrugging my shoulders. I assume that the first one had the graphic novel image interludes too, but honestly I don't remember the movie at all. I really liked the artwork in this one, maybe it was more prominent or maybe I was paying more attention (no idea). I also love Helen Mirren and John Malkovich in their roles. I wish the movie was just them because they are hilarious. I've been disappointed with Mary-Louise Parker's movie roles. She's one of my favorite actresses (her performance in Fried Green Tomatoes is still one of my favorite female performances ever). Maybe she will find another great television role soon (like Weeds). Catherine Zeta-Jones ruins every movie she is in. I'm not even exaggerating; I honestly think she is one of the worst working actresses working today. The only exception that I *might* consider is Chicago. Adding such a terrible actress to such a strong cast just accentuates her awfulness.
4. Fun Size - I was in the mood for something cute and harmless and this movie is exactly that. It's Josh Schwartz's first time behind the camera (he's the writer behind The O.C., Chuck, Gossip Girl etc.), so I expected some serious sarcastic wit, but it was lacking in that department (it's obvious that he had no part in the writing). I've never seen Victoria Justice in anything before. She's super cute, but forgettable. Chelsea Handler as her mom, though?? Really? Mind-blown. She actually did a very good job. I LOVE Jane Levy (can't wait for Suburgatory to come back!) and I LOVE that she played the "sex kitten" role. The whole story takes place on Halloween, which is apparently a very popular holiday in whatever town they are supposed to be in. Seriously, the town is PACKED with trick-or-treaters. I've never seen a suburban street that busy. I liked the family stuff in the movie, I think it's a cute movie for the "tween" age group - not too crude but still has a little edge.
5. Red Dawn - I've never seen the original. It's been on my list for ages, but I think it's coming soon to Netflix Instant, so now I may FINALLY watch it. The remake was interesting. I really like the plot, but I felt like they left out any and all character development. There are some decent actors in this movie; but none are used to full potential. Josh Hutcherson is my favorite among the cast - I wish he was featured more. Instead, the story focused on the two brothers (played by Chris Hemsworth and Josh Peck), who were pretty dull. The other actors who I don't recognize (everyone who is not featured on the poster), I assumed they would die quickly so I didn't really pay much attention to them. I got severely bored after an hour. Again, I really like the plot, so I'm interested to see if it was explored better in the original.