Rating the Oscar Films

Not counting documentaries and the foreign film category, 37 feature films were nominated at the 84th Academy Awards. I saw 28 of them. Here they are, divided into four categories, and placed in the correct order. Best to worst. Simple as that.



I wish I had seen Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy last year. It would have made it to the top of my 2011 list. Such a cool, dense, incredibly classy film. And so quiet. You might say its silence is deafening. Speaking of silence, how could you not absolutely adore The Artist? Such a sweet, gentle and perfect film. Sequels get a bad rep, but there was a good story left to tell in Kung Fu Panda 2, and I found the film absolutely charming.

Margin Call was a big surprise. A taut, yet simple drama, with a killer cast, made by a first time director. Even more surprising was that fact that Roland Emmerich had a serious film in him, but Anonymous was a fascinating story, it made for a stunning film, and sent me home actually thinking about stuff. Never mind that softy Hawaii film, The Ides of March was the real George Clooney film of the year. A fabulous thriller that avoided all the pitfalls of similar political dramas.

I had no expectations for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, but I found the film surprisingly touching and effective. Don't know why I doubted it, because director Stephen Daldry hasn't put a foot wrong yet. And finally, there's The Muppets. An absolutely delightful and charming love letter to a lovable bunch of characters we never really forgot.

1) Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
2) The Artist
3) Kung Fu Panda 2
4) Margin Call
5) Anonymous
6) The Ides of March
7) Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
8) The Muppets



Real Steel is a fairly silly film, but it does what it does very well. Could have gone either way, but it got me, and the effects were spectacular. My only problem with Jane Eyre is lead actress Mia Wasikowska, but everything else in the film actually worked. It was moody, gorgeous, and heartbreaking.

Rise of Planet of the Apes was the sequel/prequel nobody wanted, and we were all stunned when it turned out to be quite good. We still didn't need it, but it turned out alright. We didn't need Transformers 3 either, but getting past that, it turned out to be fair bit better than the silly second film, but I actually missed Megan Fox. Go figure! We end this category with yet another sequel. Harry Potter 7.2 did have its moments, but didn't quite deliver the emotional payoff required after EIGHT FREAKING FILMS.

9) Real Steel
10) Jane Eyre
11) Rise of Planet of the Apes
12) Transformers: Dark of the Moon
13) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2



I love the mood of Drive, but the story was overly familiar and nowhere near as deep as director Nicolas Winding Refn evidently thought. Hugo is a far superior film. Well, half of it is. Unfortunately the first hour is dull and superfluous, which kind of ruined the perfect film magic of the second part.

I don't care about sports. Luckily Moneyball was more about how the math genius can beat the jock at his own game with simple numbers. That part I loved. Too bad it was about baseball. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo looks the part, but it's inferior to the original Swedish version in every way. I expected more from David Fincher.

I wish I loved Midnight in Paris more, but it was just too simple and obvious for my taste, and Owen Wilson certainly didn't help. My Week with Marilyn was strange. A very light film, close to comedy in some scenes, with a central performance from Michelle Williams who appears to act in a different film. And what the hell is wrong with Kenneth Branagh's face?

A Separation provided an interesting glimpse of a very closed world. Too bad it came across as a trite reality show crime drama, without any real emotional impact. Oh, and there's barely any mention of any separation. And finally Rango. Another film I really wanted to like. I just didn't care, and I hated the visuals.

14) Drive
15) Hugo
16) Moneyball
17) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
18) Midnight in Paris
19) My Week with Marilyn
20) A Separation
21) Rango



A Cat in Paris was sweet, but it was barely a movie, much less an Academy Award worthy one. The Help is so politically correct it'll make you vomit. On top of that it's just a bad film. Equally unbearable is The Adventures of Tintin, and those mo-cap dead faces are just beyond bad. What the hell were they thinking? The Descendants is just a big, dull dud.

War Horse was predictable Oscar-begging material of the kind Spielberg is too good for. Dipped in sugar with sugar on top, and you can basically write the entire story just by looking at the poster. Worst Spielberg film ever? I understand and respect why people like The Tree of Life. To me, it's not a film. I found it to be an utter bore.

But the worst, the absolute worst film, without any competition, was the stupefyingly politically incorrect, insincere and inappropriate whitewashing nightmare that is The Iron Lady. Makes Mamma Mia look like a quality film.

22) A Cat in Paris
23) The Help
24) The Adventures of Tintin
25) The Descendants
26) War Horse
27) The Tree of Life
28) The Iron Lady



I missed nine films this year, some of them because I just couldn't care any less. They were: Albert Nobbs, Beginners, A Better Life, Bridesmaids, Chico & Rita, Puss in Boots, Rio, W.E. and Warrior . The only one I plan to catch up on is Beginners.

As always, some of the most popular films turned out to be worthless, while a few of the really criticized ones were actually pretty damn good. That's just the way it goes. It wouldn't be Oscar if they were all good and the best ones won, right?


  1. I don't even know where to start...different tastes and all that crap.

    You really should watch Warrior, it's great and why won't you see Puss in Boots? You clearly love colorful fluffy nonsense (i.e. Panda2)

    The way you have talked about Drive in the past, would mean that everything below 16th is a 3-4 out of 10, do you really think that?

    Ps. Rango is amazing, just saying...

  2. @GaGa The Movies
    Obviously you are completely mistaken on Panda 2. Having said that I have no interest in anything that came from the Shrek universe. The visuals seem alright, though. As for Warrior, unless it's NOT about two brother and boxing (or whatever they do) I don't know why I should watch it. I couldn't care less.
    My critique of Drive in probably enhanced by the fact that everyone seems to think it's a 10. I would probably rate it 6.
    PS: I know you love Rango. I respect that, it just wasn't for me. Besides, it did get that Oscar, so you're happy!

  3. I can't stand the Shrek universe either, but i liked Puss in Boots ok anyway.

    Warrior: yes, they're brothers. yes, they're MMA fighters. But it's about more than that, it's a character driven drama with great performances from Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton and Nick Nolte.

    You're right, that might have made your critique seem worse. I accept a 6/10 from you, then you saw some qualities in it and for the record, I only gave it a 9/10.

  4. But you dislike Panda 2 so much! How can I trust your Puss in Boots endorsement? Hehe. I'm just teasing you. If someone sends me the Warrior bluray I'll watch it. That's the best I can do.

  5. hey, I gave Panda 2 6/10... also, when I get rich I'll send you lots of blu-rays, until then you are on your own.