Mike has written 9 reviews for films rated ★★★★★ during 2011.

  • Die Hard

    Die Hard

    ★★★★★

    Hans down, a classic.

  • Fargo

    Fargo

    ★★★★★

    Tragicomedy at its finest; a treatise on how real life goes down:

    Incompetent person, e.g. Jerry Lundegaard, has a flight of fancy. Said fancy gets corrupted by the real world. Said incompetent thinks they are competent enough to breach the reality gap. Said breach attempt degenerates into pointless acts of brutality, harming (usually innocent) others. Big mess. Someone competent, e.g. Marge Gunderson, must clean it up.

    Dark hilarity ensues.

  • Fight Club

    Fight Club

    ★★★★★

    I've been punching random people, mainly in their faces, ever since watching this and have never felt more alive, despite, or maybe because of, a really sore fist.

  • The Right Stuff

    The Right Stuff

    ★★★★★

    I'm a sucker for anything on the American space programme of the 1960s, but it helps when the movie is good. Which this is. Beyond good, in fact. It's a breathtaking tale of derring-do, putting you face-to-face with the demon in the sky. And it's made more impressive by the fact that it all more or less happened.

  • Ghostbusters

    Ghostbusters

    ★★★★★

    Well, the effects look a little dated in this day and age. But do you know why that doesn't matter a damn? Story and characters, people, story and characters. That is why this movie is one of the greats. Well, story and characters…and Bill Murray.

    Trivia fact of the day: did you know Dan Ackroyd's father wrote a book about ghost hunting? Yep.

  • GoodFellas

    GoodFellas

    ★★★★★

    I would never tell Joe Pesci he was funny. Not even in "My Cousin Vinny", where he was quite funny. I don't want to end up in his trunk soaked in my blood as he repeatedly stabs me while Ray Liotta and Robert De Niro look on and make jokes about Jimmy Two Times who says everything twice, everything twice, and wanting to be gangsters as far back as they could remember. But I digress: this is Scorcese's masterpiece.

  • Raiders of the Lost Ark

    Raiders of the Lost Ark

    ★★★★★

    "Truck? What truck?"

    So begins one of the greatest chase sequences of all time. In the midst of one of the greatest adventure films of all time. That follows one of the greatest characters of all time. That began with one of the greatest opening sequences of all time. Leading to one of the greatest dénouements of all time, closing with one of the greatest closing shots of all time. Do I like this film? Yeah, a little bit.

  • The Empire Strikes Back

    The Empire Strikes Back

    ★★★★★

    Dark and thrilling, it doesn't get any better than this. From steaming tauntaun guts to a giant snake monster thing living in an asteroid (it lives in an asteroid!) to a creepy monster-infested swamp and a decapitated faux-Vader to the sinister pathos of the showdown between father and son, this is how you make a Star Wars movie.

  • Star Wars

    Star Wars

    ★★★★★

    Yeah, it's full of hokey religions and ancient weapons, but not even George Lucas' continued demented tinkering can overly diminish his earlier genius. If ever there's an advocate for art out of adversity, Lucas would be it. Give him seemingly insurmountable obstacles, like here, and you get a jewel. Give him all the resources in the world, and he'll try, and fail, to polish you a turd.