This time of year, everyone looks back on the last 12 months and takes stock, of what went right and what went wrong, what we're going to do better next year. When you write about movies for a living or even see a lot of them, that list usually is just a bunch of film titles-- what you loved goes into a top 10 list, what you hated gets passionately derided, and everything in the middle can sometimes slip away entirely.
But everyone knows that movies aren't just "great" or "awful," and every year there are movies that are perfectly good, maybe even great, that get overlooked entirely. Whether it's because they were box office flops, unfairly critically maligned or somehow otherwise ignored, there are always movies that seem in danger of getting forgotten entirely in the rush to move on to the next year. Which is why we've put together this list, the 10 Most Unfairly Overlooked Movies of 2011, highlighting the films we want to make sure you don't forget. Take a look, give all these a chance, and don't let the good stuff get ignored once 2012 rolls around.
30 Minutes or Less
Released just a few months after Jesse Eisenberg’s Oscar attention for The Social Network
and marketed with enthusiasm by Columbia Pictures, 30 Minutes or Less
should have been one of the year’s most successful action comedies. But with Apes
still in charge at the box office and The Help
receiving most of the critical praise, somehow 30 Minutes
just couldn’t compete. That’s a shame because director Ruben Fleischer delivers, and in under 85 minutes. The movie’s brisk pace is one of its biggest strengths, in telling the story of a pizza delivery boy who has a bomb strapped to his chest and only a few hours to rob a bank before the guys who put it there blow him up. He enlists the help of his former best friend, played to maximum hilarity by Aziz Ansari. They procure plastic guns, plan their heist, and try to find a way out of their doomed situation. The action kicks ass, particularly in the movie’s plentiful driving scenes, and the comedy completely delivers. 30 Minutes or Less
has the good sense to keep it simple; constantly pushing forward, always moving, but never confusing. Few other 2011 movies managed to be as consistently clever and fun. 30 Minutes or Less
is a blast.