The Fighter-I saw The Fighter in theatres in February. Right from the opening scene, I knew it was going to be great. The Fighter is about the early career of boxer Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) and his relationship with his older brother and trainer, Dicky Eklund (Christian Bale), a former boxer who had become addicted to drugs. This movie has a very interesting true story and great acting by Mark Wahlberg, Amy Adams, and especially by Melissa Leo, who played Micky and Dicky's mother and manager, and by Christian Bale, who was completely unrecognizable as Dicky. Melissa Leo and Christian Bale really deserved their Oscars for Best Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress this year.
Kick-Ass-I wasn't sure if I would like Kick-Ass, but it turned out to be one of my favorite superhero movies, as well as one of my favorite movies of the year. Kick-Ass is about an unpopular teenager named Dave (Aaron Johnson) who reads a lot of comic books and dreams about being a superhero. One day, he buys a costume and actually tries to fight crime. Not surprisingly, he almost gets killed. Later, Dave meets a father and daughter superhero team calling themselves Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage) and Hit Girl (Chloe Moretz), who are very skilled, and are trying to fight the Mob in the city. One of the best things about the movie is how Big Daddy and Hit Girl are not clearly written as heroes. There are a lot of grey areas in the story that make it feel closer to the real world, even though the action in the movie can be over the top. This movie has a unique story and great acting by Nicolas Cage and especially by Chloe Moretz, who steals a lot of scenes as Hit Girl. I think her performance could have been nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar.
Animal Kingdom-Animal Kingdom is a great crime movie. It is about an Australian teenager named Josh (James Frecheville) who goes to live with his grandmother and uncles after his mother dies. Josh's grandmother, nicknamed Smurf (Jacki Weaver), and his uncles Craig (Sullivan Stapleton) and Darren (Luke Ford) are all criminals. After another of Josh's uncles, nicknamed Pope (Ben Mendelsohn), returns home after hiding from police, Josh finds himself being pulled into his family's business. This movie has a very interesting and suspenseful story, as well as wonderful acting by Jacki Weaver (who was deservedly nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her performance) and by Ben Mendelsohn. Animal Kingdom is one of the best crime movies I've seen.
Never Let Me Go-Never Let Me Go is an amazing movie. It is about three friends named Kathy (Carey Mulligan), Ruth (Keira Knightly), and Tommy (Andrew Garfield) who have all grown up together at a British boarding school. Kathy has always been in love with Tommy, who is dating Ruth. The movie follows their changing relationship through several years. I don't want to give anything else away about the story. The movie has a very interesting and affecting story, and great acting, especially by Carey Mulligan and by Andrew Garfield, who I think should have been nominated for Best Supporting Actor for either his performance in this movie or in The Social Network.
Winter's Bone-Winter's Bone is about a teenage girl named Ree (Jennifer Lawrence) who is living in the Ozarks in Missouri, and raising her younger brother and sister on her own. Ree's father is a drug manufactuer who has been hiding from police. When Ree discovers that unless her father shows up for his court appearance, she will lose her family's house, Ree tries to find him. Unfortunately, her neighbors, including her criminal uncle Teardrop (John Hawkes), seem to have information but aren't willing to help. This movie has fantastic performances by Jennifer Lawrence and John Hawkes, who were nominated for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor this year.
127 Hours-127 Hours is one of the best movies I've seen from last year. It tells the true story of Aron Ralston (James Franco), a mountain climber who became trapped in a canyon by a boulder in Utah in 2003. The movie is about what happened to Aron while he was trapped and his struggle to survive. James Franco gave a phenomenal performance, and I liked how the story always kept my interest. When the movie ended, it made me think about and appreciate my life a bit more.
Part 3 coming soon.