Summer 2011 Movies: The Best, The Worst, & Some Surprises

Looking back at the movies of Summer 2011

Forget about checking your calendar - when you read that Shark Night 3D is one of the big releases of the weekend, you know the Summer Movie Season is officially coming to an end.

Overall, 2011 was a decent year as far as summer releases go. There were a handful of surprises (and more than a couple of disappointments) but most movies were good enough to ensure that people walked away entertained and with their expectations met - as opposed to, say, protesting in the streets and demanding a ticket refund.

Quibbles about whether Fast Five or Thor truly marked the start of Summer 2011 aside, the season started off with a bang at the box office - and eventually fizzled out in the end. So, here are the big questions: What were the standouts of the summer? And what movies left us unimpressed (to put it mildly)?

Bear in mind: the following is strictly OPINION and based on the collective views of us here at Screen Rant. Which is why, for example, Rise of the Planet of the Apes isn't our choice for Best Surprise Summer Hit - while a lot of people were skeptical about how that franchise reboot would turn out, we were behind that flick long before it was released. So, the final product being as good as it was came as less a surprise to us.

Feel free to voice your agreement (or disagreement) with any choices in the comments section - and as always, keep it civil. ;-)

If you're interested in a particular category, here's the breakdown

We'll start out with our favorite movie genre here at Screen Rant...


Best Comic Book Movie - Captain America: The First Avenger

Captain America movie clips

This summer, it turned out the best superhero comic book movie was being saved for last.

Thor and X-Men: First Class were both solid, but it was the second Marvel in-house production, Captain America: The First Avenger, that was arguably the overall best pure superhero movie of the season. It was appropriately old-fashioned in design, didn't have to devote too much effort to setting up The Avengers - heck, it even came up with a clever explanation for why its main character runs around with a bullseye on his shield!

Captain America didn't boast the enthralling action set pieces that some of its comic book movie peers have offered, but it was a fun blockbuster that featured some great characters, pleased comic book enthusiasts with its similarities to the source material - and, most importantly, made people all the more excited to see Steve Rogers return in both The Avengers and future Captain America solo ventures.

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Most Disappointing Comic Book Movie - Green Lantern

Some two and a half months have passed since this superhero title hit theaters, and fans are still a bit tetchy, to say the least. While the majority of professional critics agree the movie was a mediocre attempt to realize the Green Lantern universe in live-action form, there remains a vocal minority of the fan community who feel that director Martin Campbell's comic book flick is undeserving of all the flak it's had to endure.

One thing we can (hopefully) all agree on is that Green Lantern certainly could've been better. Case in point: how many people who had never read a Lantern comic book prior to seeing the film honestly walked away afterwards with a solid understanding of how the Green Lantern Corps works? Or didn't think there were there, at times, some gaping holes in the plot? Or didn't feel that Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan kind of came off as DC's answer to Marvel's Iron Man - but not in a good way?

Perhaps this "I'm a Marvel... and I'm a DC" skit put it best: We all love the Hal Jordan character - now we just want to see him appear in a good movie.

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