Monday, January 2, 2012

My Favorite Movie Moments from 2011

2011 was a crazy mixed bag for movies, offering a lot of different viewers a lot of different things. While not every movie may have worked completely -- especially a lot of those being lauded as the year's "best" -- it was easy to find moments of greatness in a lot of them. Whether from my favorites of the year or not, these are my favorite moments in the movies last year.
  • Ryan Gosling kisses Carey Mulligan in the elevator in Drive
  • Two soldiers have a conversation over some barbed wire in War Horse
  • Rainn Wilson looks at all of his drawings in Super
  • Kristen Wiig makes herself a cupcake in Bridesmaids
  • George Clooney runs in his flip-flops in The Descendants
  • The "Search and Destroy" sequence in Sucker Punch
  • Michael Fassbender goes on a Nazi hunt in X-Men: First Class
  • Ron and Hermione kiss in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt goes under for surgery in 50/50
  • Paula Patton kicks off her shoes in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
  • Matt Damon tells his kids about meeting their mom in We Bought a Zoo
  • Stanley Tucci talks about building a bridge in Margin Call
  • A boy tells Steve Rogers he can swim in Captain America: The First Avenger
  • Elle Fanning rehearses a scene in Super 8
  • The long, unbroken chase scene in The Adventures of Tintin
  • The long, unbroken fight scene in Hanna
  • Pretty much all of Winnie the Pooh (it's short!)
  • Tom Cruise scales the world's tallest building in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
  • Seth Rogen finally pieces together the mystery at a bar in Green Hornet
  • Jamie Foxx explains the name Motherfucker Jones in Horrible Bosses
  • Byung-hun Lee jumps through a window in I Saw the Devil
  • The opening montage in Melancholia
  • Pollyanna Macintosh gets loose in The Woman
  • Jason Segel and Walter sing "Life's a Happy Song" in The Muppets
  • Joe Lamb teaches Alice Dainard how to be a zombie in Super 8
  • Moses and his friends try and get down a hallway in Attack the Block
  • Mavis Gary listens to Teenage Fanclub on repeat in Young Adult
  • George Melies takes the stage in Hugo
  • Brad Pitt listens to his daughter sing in Moneyball
  • Vin Diesel and Paul Walker surf a car in Fast Five
  • The USO montage in Captain America: The First Avenger
  • "Why Cookie Rocket?" in Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  • Alan Tudyk runs from some bees in Tucker and Dale vs. Evil
  • The second hour of 13 Assassins
  • The first shot of Super 8
  • The last shot of Super 8
I'm sure there are some I forgot. What were your favorite 2011 movie moments? Sound off in the comments below.


    1. Agreed with pretty much everything above, but I'll add:

      Ironclad - Marshal breaks out that five foot long sword for the first time...

    2. This is such a perfect list! I need to still see a few of the films mentioned, though. New Year's resolution?

    3. Great list Patrick, you pretty much mentioned half of the one's I was going to use (from "Drive," "Melancholia," "X-Men: First Class," "Moneyball," etc.) except the one's i haven't seen (like "Super 8"). A few extra one's:

      -the ending of "Margaret" (it's perfect, which only makes me ache for the director's cut to one day surface so I can get the full impact);

      -Fassbender and Knightley's last conversation in "A Dangerous Method";

      -Tommy Lee Jones' one-liners in "Captain America";

      -the ending of "Super" (ties the whole thing with great pathos);

      -Owen Wilson hangs out with Hemingway (Corey Stoll) in "Midnight in Paris";

      -the opening scene of "A Separation";

      -the flashbacks to the silent studio's heyday of Georges Méliès in "Hugo 3D";

      -the outdoor monorail (whether inside it or when it's shown in the background) dancing segments in "Pina 3D";

      -WWI trech battle scene in "War Horse";

      -Mavis driving around/shopping in "Young Adult" (which looks like the America I look at when I travel: commercialized and indistinguishable from one location to another);

      -the final moments of "Melancholia" (Kirsten Dunst does something for her nephew that, given the circumstances and her character, redeems her and makes her heroic);

      -the entirety of "Another Earth" becoming a different and better movie by virtue of how it ends (final shot) forcing one to view everything that came before it in an entirely new light...

      ...etc., etc., etc.

    4. I'd like to add the frozen pull-back shot from "Source Code". Perfect touch of emotion especially with the score in that moment.

    5. Yes! It would have been a perfect ending for the movie. I wish it actually had ended there. CAPTAIN AMERICA made the same mistake this year. Thanks, Carl!

    6. Ahh..but then they couldn't have paid off the Cloud Gate bit that I'm sure was a surprise if you don't live in Chicago :-\

      I totally agree with you about ending the movie on that shot. Since they didn't, I'm glad they kept the final beat and didn't end on the Cloud Gate scene, which would have been the cliche way to go.