While many moviegoers are at sea as they read about supposed Oscar contenders they still haven't seen, the LAT has the temerity to look back at the best of the what the year has had to offer so far. We will open up our Netflix queue for the ones we've missed:
Animal Kingdom: "manages to be both laconic and operatic. Faultlessly acted by top Australian talent, including Guy Pearce, Ben Mendelsohn and Jacki Weaver…marries heightened emotionality with cool contemporary style to illustrate one of the oldest of genre truths: "Crooks always come undone, always, one way or another."
Cyrus "A comedy of discomfort that walks a wonderful line between reality-based emotional honesty and engaging humor."
Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould "A thoughtful, confident, completely engrossing documentary about a cultural figure every bit as iconic as Jim Morrison or James Dean."
The Kids Are All Right "Witty, urbane and thoroughly entertaining…an ode to the virtues of family…lyrical direction by Lisa Cholodenko and an adventurous script, this is the sort of pleasingly grown-up fare all too rare in the mainstream daze of summer."
Mademoiselle Chambon: "Proving one more time that the French make the best screen love stories, this is the latest in a long line of deeply moving romances, an exquisite chamber piece made with the kind of sensitivity and nuance that's become almost a lost art." [pictured]
Prince of Broadway: "It's an undeniably small yet almost indefinable film, warm-hearted and bittersweet, set amid small-time clothing hustlers in Lower Manhattan and laced with both humor and tough emotions."
The Social Network: "Fincher has turned a business deal gone bad into an extraordinary cloak-and-dagger corporate espionage nail-biter with a nerd genius at its center. Aaron Sorkin’s script is razor sharp and 120-mph fast, Jesse Eisenberg’s vacant eyes and social shortcomings as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg are mesmerizing to watch…the real pulse-pounding (ours, not Mark’s) comes in watching a new zeitgeist literally emerge before our eyes."
The Tillman Story: "Director Amir Bar-Lev has used the truth to devastating effect to show, beyond doubt, how a horrific friendly-fire accident was blown into a heroic piece of propaganda."
Toy Story 3: "never a truer story has been told about growing up, leaving home and that painful process of leaving childhood things behind …it is the story and the way that director Lee Unkrich and the animation hordes who worked on the film have literally brought it to life that makes for an unforgettable movie."
Waiting for Superman "Much of the film is told compellingly and heartbreakingly through the wide-eyed innocence of five children…For the millions of children who flow through our public school systems, you hope the film will invigorate a debate that makes schools better. Meanwhile, give Guggenheim an A for effort."