Let's just be honest: 2011 hasn't been the best year for film. Sure, that's a perennial refrain heard loudest in December, and usually you can discount it as the rarified rant of critics and snobs. This year, though, moviegoers are backing up that feeling of malaise. According to the New York Times, overall box office receipts were down half a billion dollars; worse, actual attendance is off 5.3 percent. Even Warner Bros. marketing god, Dan Fellman has to admit it may just be the movies: "You have to go back and look at the content." After all, what does it say about the year when the biggest draw was a 6-minute IMAX preview for The Dark Knight Rises?
However, 2011 did have some bright spots to be found in the tiniest theater of the multiplex, like stray quarters in the couch cushions. The good movies just weren't being made by the studios, that's all. In fairness, 2012 actually looks to have some blockbuster titles worth prying yourself from Netflix for: Chris Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises; Tarantino's Django Unchained; Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity; and my pick to sweep the 2013 Oscars, Spielberg's Lincoln. However, before you start endlessly re-watching trailers on iTunes, let us remember that in 2011, oh yeah, there were some good movies!