"A Prophet" -- Nominated for best foreign-language film last year. A story of life in a French prison and how a teen goes from a noob to one of the prison's gang leaders. A pretty interesting tale which was a little hard to follow in terms of who was double-crossing who and who was allied to who. Not bad.
"The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" -- A pretty interesting crime drama from Denmark which suffered from a pretty stupid title. The plot got a little convoluted towards the end as the whole thing was explained, but it was a good whodunit. I can see why some people were miffed that it was overlooked for a "best foreign-language film" nomination this year.
"The Milk of Sorrow" -- Here is a classic case of a movie being nominated for "best foreign-language film" where you end up going "WTF?!?" I guess because so few movies come out of Peru that someone thought it would great to give a film from there a nomination. A woman deals with the death of her mother who was raped as a young girl. The woman keeps a potato up her vagina so that she won't be raped like her mother. okaaaaay.
"The Sicilian Girl" -- A movie recommended by a co-worker about a teenage girl whose father was in the Sicilian mafia who gets bumped off. She turns in her meticulous notes about the mob to the police which brings down much of the mafia. Supposedly based on a true story. Not bad.
"Winter's Bone" -- Up for 4 Oscars this year including Best Picture. One of those movies where most people probably said "Which movie?!?" (myself included) The tale of a teenager looking for her missing meth-dealing father in the back woods of the Ozarks. A very dark tale with an amazing performance by Oscar-nominated Jennifer Lawrence. A great flick if you like personal dramas.
"The Town" -- A good crime drama staring Ben Affleck and nominated Jeremy Renner as thieves in Boston. It was a good performance, but not nomination worthy. Pretty standard Hollywood thriller with a stupid romance, but good action sequences during robberies. It's also good to see Jon Hamm in something other than "Mad Men."
"The Kids Are All Right" -- Another flick nominated for Best Picture. An interesting story about 2 teen looking for their biological father who was a sperm donor to their lesbian mothers. It was a good story with good acting although Julianna Moore deserved the nomination more than Annette Benning for Best Actress. Mark Ruffalo was good, but not nomination good. Once again, if you like interesting personal dramas, it's a good watch.
"Animal Kingdon" -- An Australian film about a teen who becomes orphaned and goes to live with his aunt and uncle who are part of a local crime family. Gritty look at a sleazy side of a family and the equally sleazy cops who are trying to shut them down with an innocent kid caught in the middle. The aunt was nominated for Best Supporting Actress. She was very good, but I don't think she stands a chance of winning.
"The Last Station" -- A story about the last days of Leo Tolstoy and the love between he and his wife. It was nominated for Best Actor and Best Actress last year and very rightfully so. There was a stupid sub-plot about a young writer falling in love, but after thinking about it I think the director was trying to show the difference between young lovers and their passionate infatuation and mature love that has endured for decades through thick and thin. Great performances by Christopher Plummer and Helen Mirren.
"Alpha and Omega" -- I give the movie 1 star and a token star for being furry. It's kinda sad to think that this will be Dennis Hopper's last movie.
"Legends of the Guardians" -- The same rating as Alpha and Omega; one star for the movie and one token star for having anthropomorphic owls. If they did one more "bullet time" sequence, I was going to scream! Having a happy pop song playing while the owls are supposedly preparing for war was pretty lame. The movie was very dark as well. Not dark as in evil, just plain physically dark. Maybe if I was 10 years old I would have found it awesome.
"Dinner for Schmucks" -- Cute comedy with Steve Carell. Kinda in the same category as "The Hangover."
"Scott Pilgrim vs The World" -- Interesting, but I'm just getting too damn old.