Super 8: Favorite Films of 2011

A year that started off with such promise for Hollywood ultimately fizzled before the first fireworks of Fourth of July were lit. Hollywood continued to stumble through sequels, remakes and adaptations that earned their fair share of bank but an equal amount of tepid critical response and word of mouth. The year was mostly devoid of crossover successes that we’ve seen in recent years (like Inception and True Grit) and even the Oscar outlook at the end of the year wasn’t entirely promising.

However, all was not lost as a pair of superheroes and some old furry friends re-entered the mainstream to much critical acclaim, and at the end of the day, a boy wizard (and Alan Rickman) once again ruled over all.

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2

The last installment of the Harry Potter franchise validated the decision to split the 7th book into two movies with a whizbang torrent of death-defying action and dramatic climaxes, and a majestic depiction of The Prince’s Tale (wherein we finally see the thread of Severus Snape’s complex history unraveled before our eager eyes). The film also validated the first part’s long journeys towards this climax, underlining the desperation and angst of Harry, Ron and Hermoine’s quest, bringing them and their friends and allies to this epic climax inside a war-zone-turned Hogwarts. By far, one of the most satisfying conclusions in modern fiction was given an equally effective and exciting adaptation to screen.

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