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Kenneth Branagh Photos: 2011 Hollywood International Star of the Year

31 December 2011 11:00 AM, PST | Hollywoodnews.com | See recent Hollywoodnews.com news »

Hollywoodnews.com: A lot is being made this awards season of George Clooney’s versatility in front of and behind the camera, as the “Ides of March” director finds himself in the Oscar race for his performance as a bewildered father in Alexander Payne’s “The Descendants.”

And it’s true that Clooney is enjoying a productive 2011. But Kenneth Branagh has performed a similar feat this year. Click here to read interview with Kenneth

Consider this. Earlier this year, Branagh kicked off the Summer 2011 season with his Shakespeare-by-way-of-Marvel-comics blockbuster, “Thor.” The smash hit earned a whopping $449 million at the worldwide box office, establishing Chris Hemsworth as a bankable star while also setting the stage for “Captain America” and, later, Joss Whedon’s “The Avengers.” It was a coup for Branagh, but he wasn’t finished yet.

It’s Branagh’s masterful turn as Sir Laurence Olivier in Simon Curtis’ charming »

- HollywoodNews.com

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George Clooney and Stacy Keibler Continue Their Cabo Time With Pals

31 December 2011 10:36 AM, PST | Popsugar.com | See recent Popsugar news »

George Clooney and Stacy Keibler kept their Cabo vacation going yesterday as they relaxed with their friends Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber. George is taking a well-deserved vacation before award season kicks into high gear in January. He's already been nominated for Golden Globe, Critics' Choice, and SAG awards for both his acting and directing work in The Ides of March and The Descendants this year. Stacy began joining him at his red-carpet events a few months ago, so it's likely she'll be on his arm at many of the ceremonies to come! For now, though, George is focusing on fun. He and Stacy have been in Mexico for more than a week, soaking up the south of the border sun with famous buddies like Cindy, Rande, and even ARod. Stacy also tweeted that her family was on hand in Mexico to celebrate the holidays alongside her and her man. »

- Lindsay Miller

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Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes Head to NYC For New Year's Eve

31 December 2011 10:05 AM, PST | Popsugar.com | See recent Popsugar news »

Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes departed out of Lax yesterday and arrived at JFK a few hours later. Coming off the success of their funny Christmas video, it seems Ryan and Eva plan on toasting the new year from NYC. Eva and Ryan got together just a few months ago while filming The Place Beyond the Pines and have been spotted all over the globe on romantic dates. Their jet-setting love helped Ryan and Eva lock down a spot on our list of the hottest new celebrity couples of 2011. It was another successful year professionally for Ryan, who starred in three films, and most recently received two Golden Globe nominations. He was recognized for his comedic role in Crazy, Stupid, Love and his dramatic part in George Clooney's The Ides of March - you can vote for Ryan, George, and more by casting your Golden Globe predictions ballot and »

- Katie Henry

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Scott’s Top Ten Films of 2011

31 December 2011 9:12 AM, PST | Blogomatic3000 | See recent Blogomatic3000 news »

As 2011 comes to a close it’s hard to say whether it was a good or bad year for movies. It started out a bit slow but the latter half of the year produced some of my favorite movies in recent years. The following, is the list of what I think are the 10 best films of the year, in order. I will preface this, by saying I did not yet see a few(Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, Martha Marcy May Marlene, etc) which based on most reviews might bump their way into my list once I’ve seen them.

10.  Captain America: The First Avenger

At a point where comic book movies are churned out every few months, 2011 brought us the best one since The Dark Knight three years ago. One of the films I was legitimately worried about, turned out to be what was one of the best summer blockbusters »

- Scott Smith

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Review Of The Year

31 December 2011 5:56 AM, PST | WENN | See recent WENN news »

It's been an incredible year in the world of showbiz, with the usual headline-grabbing antics, scandal, sleaze, celebrity births, star weddings, and bitter break-ups. Here, WENN takes a look back at the first six months of 2011...

January

The new year began with wedding bells for many couples including singer Shania Twain, who married her fiance Frederic Thiebaud in Puerto Rico on New Year's Day, while country star Kellie Pickler and actress Valerie Bertinelli also walked down the aisle on 1 January.

The new year brought baby news for a number of celebrity couples - Orlando Bloom and his wife Miranda Kerr became first-time parents with the birth of their son Flynn. Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem also welcomed a son, and Owen Wilson became a father just days after he announced his girlfriend's pregnancy. Nicole Kidman also hit headlines when she and her husband Keith Urban revealed they welcomed a daughter called Faith via a surrogate mother over the holidays.

There was also pregnancy news for actress Kate Hudson, who announced she was expecting a baby with Muse rocker Matt Bellamy, as well as Marion Cotillard, Jewel, Selma Blair and Victoria Beckham, who confirmed she was pregnant with her fourth child.

However, the first few weeks of 2011 also brought a slew of celebrity splits - Keira Knightley ended her longtime romance with actor Rupert Friend, Shakira parted ways with Antonio de la Rua, her boyfriend of more than 10 years, and Mila Kunis and Macaulay Culkin separated after eight years together.

Many stars saw in the new year by addressing their personal problems, and a number of famous faces went in and out of rehab in the first few weeks of 2011. Lindsay Lohan and Demi Lovato both ended long treatment stints in January, while David Arquette, Backstreet Boys star A.J. McLean and his bandmate Nick Carter's younger brother Aaron all enrolled in programs. Troubled actor Charlie Sheen also admitted himself to a clinic just weeks after he was hospitalised to treat a hernia, and he later admitted he turned to booze to blot out the pain of the medical condition. Sheen’s rehab stint forced TV bosses to shut down production on his show Two and a Half Men.

Another colourful character to hit the headlines in January was British funnyman Ricky Gervais, who managed to cause controversy during his stint as Golden Globes host. The comedian was condemned by organisers for poking fun at celebrity guests including Robert Downey, Jr., Johnny Depp and Tom Hanks during the glitzy prizegiving.

The month held good news for veteran actor Michael Douglas as he was given the all-clear after a gruelling battle with throat cancer. His wife Catherine Zeta-Jones subsequently admitted she cried tears of joy when doctors told the couple the actor had beaten the disease. Poison rocker Bret Michaels also overcame a health crisis after undergoing successful surgery to close a hole in his heart.

January also saw the loss of a number of great stars including Oscar-winning James Bond theme composer John Barry, and Scottish musician Gerry Rafferty, who passed away after suffering liver failure. The world of Hollywood was again plunged into mourning following the death of British actor Pete Postlethwaite, who died at the age of 64.

February

As awards season got into full swing, The King's Speech was the toast of Hollywood after scooping four Oscars including Best Picture, Best Actor for the movie's star, Colin Firth, and Best Director for Tom Hooper, while Natalie Portman fought back tears as she walked away with the Best Actress honour for her role as a tormented ballet dancer in Black Swan. It was a different story at the Independent Spirit Awards, where Black Swan trounced its rivals, picking up four honours including Best Director for Darren Aronofsky.

In the world of music, Lady Gaga's incredible rise continued as she picked up three Grammy Awards, including Best Pop Vocal Album, but her achievements were overshadowed by country trio Lady Antebellum, who scored five accolades, and the shock win for Canadian rockers Arcade Fire in the prestigious Album of the Year category for their disc The Suburbs. Across the pond at the Brit Awards in London, Arcade Fire were again bathed in glory when they were handed the International Group and International Album honours, while newcomer Tinie Tempah crowned a triumphant 12 months by taking home the British Breakthrough Act and British Single titles. Rihanna was named Best International Female solo star, and Justin Bieber was named the International Breakthrough Act of the year.

Away from the red carpet, it was a bleak month for My Name Is Earl actress Jaime Pressly, who was charged with driving under the influence after failing a field sobriety test, Dirty Dancing star Jennifer Grey, who was underwent an operation to remove a growth from her foot, Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who was hospitalised with a flesh-eating bug, and Dame Judi Dench, who broke two of her toes on the set of her new movie J. Edgar.

There were also woes for Rihanna, whose raunchy promo film for single S&M provoked outrage around the world and was banned in 11 countries, actress Eliza Dushku, who broke a finger on holiday, and fashion king John Galliano, who was suspended and later sacked by Christian Dior after he was filmed launching an anti-Semitic rant at stunned drinkers in a bar in Paris, France.

Rock duo the White Stripes stunned the music world when they announced they were splitting up after 14 years, and Lady Gaga's much-hyped new single Born This Way was unveiled to a barrage of accusations she had ripped off Madonna's classic Express Yourself. But there was good news for older music fans, as '60s icons The Monkees announced they were reuniting for a U.K. tour.

Loved up celebrity couples Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez, and Anna Friel and Rhys Ifans, both confirmed their engagements, and there were wedding bells for Kelsey Grammer - who married for the fourth time - and Mark Ronson and Katherine Jenkins, who both announced their respective engagements.

Among the stars hearing the pitter-patter of tiny feet this month were Christina Applegate, who gave birth to a daughter, magician David Blaine, who became a first-time father to a baby girl, reggae star Zac Marley, rocker Rod Stewart, Sex and the City's Cynthia Nixon, and No Doubt star Tom Dumont.

Jude Law continued his unlucky-in-love streak when he split - yet again - from Sienna Miller, Iron Man star Terrence Howard was hit with divorce papers, Olivia Wilde split from her husband after eight years, and celebrity couple Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz announced their marriage was over.

The world of showbiz bid farewell to guitar legend Gary Moore, who died aged 58, blues legend Eddie Kirkland died in a car crash at the age of 88, Seinfeld star Len Lesser succumbed to pneumonia aged 88, and The Dukes of Hazzard actress Peggy Rea, who passed away at the age of 89.

March

Tinseltown lost one of its brightest lights in March after movie icon Dame Elizabeth Taylor died of congestive heart failure at the age of 79. Tributes from the world of showbiz poured in for the Cleopatra legend, with Sir Elton John, Jane Fonda, Barbra Streisand and Liza Minnelli leading the heartfelt remembrances. The acting great was interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California, where her dear friend Michael Jackson was also laid to rest in 2009.

March was also marked by controversy as a host of famous faces found themselves in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Pop star Christina Aguilera was arrested for drunkenness in West Hollywood, while Boardwalk Empire beauty Pas de la Huerta was also apprehended after a bar fight in New York City. Jackass daredevil Steve-o was taken into custody in Canada on an outstanding warrant, and rapper Rick Ross got caught smoking marijuana in a Louisiana hotel room.

But it was Charlie Sheen who really gave fans something to talk about after he was fired from Two and a Half Men following months of public feuding with writer/creator Chuck Lorre. Days later, cops raided Sheen's Los Angeles home to investigate a tip that the troubled star was in violation of a court order by keeping a gun in the house.

March also brought one of the year's most devastating tragedies as Japan was hit by a massive earthquake, which then created an enormous tidal wave. More than 15,000 people perished in the disaster and Slash, Lady Gaga, the Black Eyed Peas and the Foo Fighters were among the big-name acts who staged gigs to raise money for victims, while actresses Sandra Bullock and Demi Lovato also donated $1 million (£625,000) each to boost relief efforts.

Back in Hollywood, there was plenty of heartache as Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel ended their romance, Renee Zellweger called it quits with Bradley Cooper and Twilight beauty Ashley Greene split from Joe Jonas.

But love was most definitely in the air for Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon, who married showbiz agent Jim Toth in a romantic ceremony at her California home. Canadian crooner Michael Buble also wed stunning supermodel Luisana Lopilato in a civil ceremony in her native Argentina.

Celebrations were in order for former Spice Girl Melanie Brown, who announced she and husband Stephen Belafonte were expecting their first child together. Actors Robert De Niro and Mel Gibson became proud grandfathers in March, while Elizabeth Banks also became a first-time mother to a baby boy, born via surrogate.

Emily Deschanel confirmed she was expecting her first child with actor husband David Hornsby, while Cruel Intentions star Ryan Phillippe also had baby news after the tabloids reported that his ex-girlfriend, actress Alexis Knapp, was pregnant.

There was a health scare on the cards for tennis ace Serena Williams after she was hospitalised with a blood clot in her lungs, while fears for Zsa Zsa Gabor's wellbeing mounted when she began coughing up blood and suffered circulation problems in her left leg.

There was a close call for actor David Arquette after he was in a head-on car crash in Los Angeles, and Glee star Lea Michele was also involved in a smash when her car was struck by a drunk driver.

Hip-hop star Wyclef Jean had a lucky escape after he was shot in the hand during a visit to his native Haiti, while James Taylor suffered a broken leg in a skiing accident in Utah.

Courtroom battles loomed for Britney Spears, who was hit with a $10 million (£6.25 million) lawsuit over a perfume deal, and Jay-z was accused of trademark infringement over the logo for Roc Nation.

Even clean-cut teen pop sensation Justin Bieber found himself named in court papers after a songwriting duo sued over claims they hadn't received royalties for his hit song One Less Lonely Girl.

April

There were births, marriages and bust-ups galore as Spring sprung in April, but only one subject was on everyone's lips - the royal wedding. Celebs and commoners alike got carried away in the buzz of the big day on 29 April, when brunette beauty Kate Middleton walked down the aisle with her very own Prince Charming, William. Who would design the dress? Who would be invited? Would best man Harry fall for bridesmaid Pippa? But all questions fell by the wayside on the morning of the magical day, as Britain and two billion viewers across the world came to a standstill to watch the future Queen of England step out of her Rolls-Royce wearing a stunning Alexander McQueen lace gown to huge cheers from the crowd. The pair wed in front of 1,900 quests, including Queen Elizabeth II, the entire royal family, and even showbiz royalty Victoria and David Beckham, and left London's Westminster Abbey to great fanfare as the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. But Kate didn't hog all the limelight - who can forget the backing support of her sister Pippa, hailed Her Royal Hotness thanks to that figure-hugging dress and her much-discussed derriere?

The wedding was of fairytale proportions, one even our favourite celebs couldn't compete with - but that didn’t stop them from trying! Canadian crooner Michael Buble was one of the biggest stars to walk down the aisle in April - his second set of nuptials to stunning fiancee Luisana Lopilato following their original wedding day in March. Controversial couple LeAnn Rimes and Eddie Cibrian also wed in a private ceremony in Malibu, which was a surprise for guests - they thought they were there for the pair's engagement party! Funnyman Rob Schneider also joined the marriage club, exchanging vows with fiancee Patricia Azarcoya Arce over the Easter Weekend. The marriage mood of the month gave many stars ideas; the likes of Kate Hudson and Matt Bellamy, and Tom Fletcher and his longtime girlfriend became engaged.

Despite love being in the air, some unions were destined to end - Elizabeth Hurley started divorce proceedings against her millionaire husband Arun Nayar, while Christina Aguilera's five-year marriage to Jordan Bratman was declared officially over. After marriage must come babies, and April was awash with stars welcoming newborns. Superstar Mariah Carey welcomed twins Moroccan and Monroe, and in true diva style, gave birth to them on her fourth wedding anniversary to Nick Cannon. The Killers frontman Brandon Flowers and Black Eyed Peas rapper Taboo both welcomed their third sons, while Jane Krakowski, Kevin James, Toni Collette and Drea De Matteo all also became parents to baby boys. Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal was an exception to the rule - he became the proud father of a baby girl.

But with ups, there must be downs - and nobody does scandal like the stars. Teen sensation Demi Lovato stunned her legions of loyal fans by opening up about the emotional issues which landed her in rehab earlier in the year, revealing she was battling an eating disorder and cut herself at her lowest moments. Charlie Sheen continued his madcap ways by embarking on a comedy tour following his sacking from Two and a Half Men - only to get booed offstage on his first night, with critics calling his stand-up debut an "epic failure". Bond fans mourned April as the month Sir Sean Connery announced he was retiring from public appearances after he failed to show up to a charity event in New York. Lindsay Lohan was back in trouble - and in court - when a judge decided she'd had enough of the actress' antics and sentenced her to 120 days behind bars for violating her probation. Nicolas Cage hit the headlines when he was arrested on domestic violence charges following a street bust-up with his wife in New Orleans, and Vince Neil was also in hot water for domestic violence - his ex-girlfriend accused him of jabbing a finger at her during an argument. However, the biggest shock came when Welsh beauty Catherine Zeta-Jones checked into a mental health facility to overcome her bipolar disorder. The stint in the clinic came after a tough year for the Oscar-winner following husband Michael Douglas' cancer battle.

April was a sad month for actor Tim Robbins, who tragically lost his father, Gil, and his mother, Mary, within days of each other. The punk world was left in mourning when X-Ray Spex legend Poly Styrene lost her battle with cancer at the age of 53, while British actress Elisabeth Sladen, Dr Who's longest running sidekick, also passed away after a fight with the disease.

May

May was a shocking month as Hollywood tough guy Arnold Schwarzenegger split from his wife of 25 years Maria Shriver, only to reveal later on in the month he had fathered a lovechild with their housekeeper 13 years earlier. Although the scandal rocked Hollywood, he wasn't the only one heading for splitsville - Charlie Sheen and Brooke Mueller became officially divorced, as did actress Neve Campbell and James Bond star George Lazenby. Lady Gaga also split from boyfriend Luc Carl, while Hayden Panettiere ended her romance with her boxer boyfriend Wladimir Klitschko. Girls Aloud beauty Nadine Coyle also became single after calling off her engagement to American footballer Jason Bell.

But it wasn't all doom and gloom - Beatles legend Sir Paul Mccartney announced he was engaged to marry for the third time, to American Nancy Shevell, while director Sophia Coppolla and reality star Kim Kardashian also announced plans to walk down the aisle.

As for marriages, Marie Osmond remarried her first husband Stephen Craig, 29 years after they first exchanged vows and in the same wedding dress. Wedding bells also rang for Kings Of Leon frontman Caleb Followill and Victoria's Secret supermodel Lily Aldridge, while country king and queen Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert also became man and wife in Texas.

New romances between Sienna Miller and Tom Sturridge, as well as Nick Jonas and Australian pop star Delta Goodrem also came to light.

It was a baby boom month, with many stars becoming parents for the first time. Rockers Bryan Adams and Matthew Followill, actors David Schwimmer and Mike Myers, and actresses Alicia Silverstone, Marion Cotillard and Lost's Evangeline Lilly all became first-time parents. Former Spice Girl Emma Bunton welcomed her second son. French first lady Carla Bruni and actress Bryce Dallas Howard were also celebrating pregnancies. But it was a sad month for British actress Kelly Brook, who suffered a miscarriage.

Other sad news in May came when Grease actor Jeff Conaway passed away at the age of 60, sending Hollywood into mourning. Boxing legend Sir Henry Cooper died two days before his 77th birthday and Superman star Jackie Cooper also died, aged 88. The month started with the shock news that al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden had been shot dead in Pakistan. Other stars facing struggles included Sean Kingston, who was involved in a horrific jet-ski crash, while veteran actress Zsa Zsa Gabor was also hospitalised with pneumonia-type symptoms and fell into a coma.

It was also a controversial month for Lindsay Lohan, who started a 120-day jail term in the comfort of her own home for parole violation. British rocker Pete Doherty was also jailed for six months for cocaine possession. Other stars facing woes included Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston, Friends star Matthew Perry and boxer/singer Oscar De La Hoya, who were all submitted in to rehab programs. It was an embarrassing month for British singer Cheryl Cole, who was hired, then fired to sit on the judging panel of America's The X Factor. In music news for the month, Silverchair announced they were to split, Rod Stewart announced a Las Vegas residency, while it was a big movie month as the Cannes Film Festival in France also kicked off. While Brad Pitt was hailed at the glitzy event, with his film Tree Of Life winning the coveted Palme d'Or prize for Best Film, it was a bad experience for director Lars Von Trier, who was banned from the festival for controversial statements he made about Nazi leader Adolf Hitler during the festivities.

June

As summer blossomed, June marked a baby boom in Hollywood. Pop star Pink became a first-time mum at the beginning of the month when she welcomed little Willow, while drummer Adrian Young added to the No Doubt family with daughter Magnolia. Natalie Portman became a yummy mummy to son Aleph, actress Tia Mowry also welcomed a little boy, and model/actress Devon Aoki was another addition to the first-time mum club with the arrival of Hunter. Denise Richards made headlines when she announced she'd adopted a baby, Eloise, into her brood, while Meat Loaf became a grandfather when his daughter Pearl Aday gave birth to a baby boy. Lindsay Price and Nia Long also announced their pregnancies in June, as did Lily Allen - whose baby news went public on the same day she married partner Sam Cooper.

Lily's wedding wasn't the only one at the start of summer - Rachel Weisz married actor Daniel Craig following a whirlwind romance and Noel Gallagher put his wild ways behind him after exchanging vows with longterm partner Sara MacDonald.

However, the month was marred by a string of high-profile splits - David Duchovny and Tea Leoni separated just two years after reconciling following the actor's sex addiction admission, Jack White parted ways with model/singer wife Karen Elson after six years of marriage, and Hugh Hefner was dumped by fiancee Crystal Harris - just days before their planned wedding. Elizabeth Hurley's divorce from Arun Nayar was granted, and George Clooney split from Elisabetta Canalis.

There were health dramas aplenty - pop princesses Selena Gomez and Jennifer Hudson were hospitalised within days of each other. Both stars were forced to pull performances, and getwellselena even became a top trending topic on Twitter.com as fans rallied to support the Disney idol. Gomez later revealed she was malnourished and feeling exhausted, while Hudson was diagnosed with a severe bout of food poisoning.

The music world was left reeling when legendary saxophonist Clarence Clemons, who had worked with Bruce Springsteen and Lady Gaga, died from complications stemming from a major stroke. The rocker led the tributes to his pal, declaring, "His loss is immeasurable and we are honoured and thankful to have known him and had the opportunity to stand beside him for nearly forty years." TV fans were also left in mourning following the passing of Columbo star Peter Falk at the age of 83, while legendary TV cowboy James Arness also died.

In other June news, the vampires from Twilight overpowered the magical Harry Potter kids at the MTV Movie Awards, taking home five golden popcorn prizes to their film franchise rival cast's one. The Cmt Awards took place in Nashville, Tennessee just days later and newlyweds Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert dominated the ceremony - picking up three of the nine top honours between them. But it was a bad month for their country music rival Trace Adkins when his Tennessee home was destroyed by fire.

The month was special for U2 when they headlined Britain's iconic Glastonbury festival after a year-long wait - they were forced to pull out of the event in 2010 after frontman Bono underwent surgery on his back. In a spooky echo of U2's concert drama, pop star Jessie J was forced to axe several summer shows after undergoing emergency surgery on her broken foot – but still fulfilled her duties at Glastonbury, performing while perched on a red and gold throne. »

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Brad Pitt is Top Money-Making Star of 2011

31 December 2011 1:17 AM, PST | WorstPreviews.com | See recent Worst Previews news »

Every year, for the last eighty years, exhibitors have been asked to vote for actors and actresses responsible for bringing the most people to their movie theaters. For the first time, Brad Pitt was chosen as the winner, for his work on "Moneyball," "The Tree of Life" and "Happy feet Two." George Clooney took second place for "The Ides of March" and "The Descendants." And Johnny Depp, who was last year's winner, dropped to third for "Pirates of the Caribbean," "Rango" and "The Rum Diary." There were two first-times on the list, including Bradley Cooper (The Hangover Part II) and Ben Stiller (Tower Heist). Tom Cruise, meanwhile, has had trouble landing in the Top 10 since 2006, but has been in the Top 20 since 1983. He has also been voted No. 1 seven times, more than any other actor. Exhibitors were also asked to chooses the Stars of Tomorrow. This year, that honor went »

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Julian Roman's Top 10 Best Movies of 2011

30 December 2011 5:27 PM, PST | MovieWeb | See recent MovieWeb news »

Cinema had a pretty good year in 2011. The summer saw an onslaught of costumed hero flicks, which to my great surprise were all pretty good. Hollywood has turned off the cheese factor on comic adaptations, lining up great directors and better actors. The biggest surprise of 2011 was the remarkable success of The Artist, a charming silent film by French director Michael Hazanavicius. Since its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, it has been a critical and awards favorite. The Artist should be a lock to win the Best Film Oscar.

My favorite film of 2011 is Gavin O'Connor's Warrior. I had no idea what to expect when I saw this movie in September and was completely blown away. A brutal fighting film, the fisticuffs pale in comparison to the gripping family drama. Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton play two brothers, long separated by the childhood abuse of their father - Nick Nolte, »

- MovieWeb

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The Best of the Best Movies of the Year!

30 December 2011 12:09 PM, PST | Hollywoodnews.com | See recent Hollywoodnews.com news »

By Scott Mendelson

HollywoodNews.com: This time, it’s the best of the best. Of course ‘best’ is a subjective term, so you might want to consider these my ‘favorites’. Despite what everyone likes to whine about at the end of every year, 2011 was in fact one of the better years in a good long time. Maybe it was the effects of the 2007 WGA strike wearing off, maybe it was just dumb luck, but on the whole, movies, especially mainstream movies, were pretty on-spot more often than they weren’t. But just as important, most of the year-end Oscar bait was actually quite good, so this is a year where I don’t have to half-heartedly apologize for having a list filled with movies nobody saw and mainstream pictures that no one admits to liking. Even if it took 1/3 of the year to really get cooking, 2011 was an uncommonly solid »

- Scott Mendelson

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Germain’s Top 10 Movies of 2011

30 December 2011 12:00 PM, PST | Slash Film | See recent Slash Film news »

In 2011, I saw more new movies than I ever have in the past. Previous years I'd flirted with roughly two per week but, this year, thanks to a full Sundance Film Festival, Fantastic Fest, Butt-Numb-a-Thon and other events like AFI Fest and the Los Angeles Film Festival, that number jumped up to 167. Several of those won't be released until 2012 and others won't get released at all, but it's still a more than sufficient cross section of 2011 releases to adequately speak on the state of film in 2011 and give my top ten movies of the year. (Note: Any film that didn't get an Oscar qualifying 2011 theatrical run did not qualify for this list. That's just my personal rule.) For me, 2011 was the year of "good, but not great." You know the type. A film that does everything right, is entertaining, emotional, but doesn't stick with you once you've left the theater. »

- Germain Lussier

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Is Alex Rodriguez Dating Wrestler Torrie Wilson?

30 December 2011 11:15 AM, PST | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Leave it to wrestlers to pin down the world's most eligible bachelors. After former WWE beauty Stacy Keibler got a grasp on George Clooney, her pal Torrie Wilson, a former wrestling diva and a 2004 Playboy cover model, has been spending time with New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez. Before Christmas, all four joined other friends on a getaway to Cabo San Lucas, and Rodriguez and Wilson, both 36, on another occasion reportedly were seen riding bicycles in Miami. Then on Monday, Rodriquez and Wilson were working out in the same gym in her hometown of Boise, Idaho, says local TV anchor Mike Murad, »

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Stars Pose In Special Hat For Winslet's Autism Charity

30 December 2011 10:56 AM, PST | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Stars including George Clooney, Ben Stiller and Meryl Streep have all posed for photos wearing a "magical" hat for a special book to raise funds for Kate Winslet's autism charity.

The Titanic actress is releasing the tome, named The Golden Hat, to boost money for the Golden Hat Foundation, which she set up to help her friend's son Keli, who suffers from the condition.

Celebrities including Ben Stiller, Anna Wintour, Jude Law, Christina Aguilera, Demi Moore and Elijah Wood have all posed for photos in the hat, and the images will be included in the book.

Each star has also written a special note about how they would attempt to communicate if they suffered from autism.

The book is to be released in April. »

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Pitt Is Top Money-making Star Of 2011

30 December 2011 10:56 AM, PST | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Brad Pitt has been named the Top Money-Making Star of 2011, according to an annual survey of movie theatre owners.

Bosses at Quigley Publishing Company have asked theatre owners and film buyers to vote for their top 10 box office generators and this year exhibitors credited Pitt with bringing in more traffic than any other celebrity due to his acting and/or vocal appearances in Moneyball, The Tree of Life, and Happy Feet Two.

Coming in at number two was Pitt's pal George Clooney for both The Ides of March and The Descendants, and last year's winner, Johnny Depp, fell to third with The Rum Diary, Rango and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

Rounding out the group were Leonardo DiCaprio at four with J. Edgar and Matt Damon at five.

Also making the list, in ranking order, were Sandra Bullock, Bradley Cooper, Robert Downey, Jr., Meryl Streep and Ben Stiller. »

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George Clooney Pranks Alex Rodriguez with a Pup

30 December 2011 10:40 AM, PST | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

George Clooney's pranks have gone to the dogs. The Descendants star and notorious jokester has been spending the Christmas holiday in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, with lady love Stacy Keibler and pals including Cindy Crawford and Alex Rodriguez. But it was A-Rod who found himself the target of Clooney's mischief Wednesday. While the Yankees third baseman help up a pair of binoculars to take in the view, a grinning Clooney moved in from the side, holding a Chihuahua in the air, and apparently over the ledge. Rodriguez seemed startled by the maneuver, but by all appearances, the dog looked »

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Jessica Alba Spends Bikini Pool Time in Cabo With Family

30 December 2011 8:35 AM, PST | Popsugar.com | See recent Popsugar news »

Jessica Alba took a dip in the pool during her Cabo vacation this week. Jessica wore a bikini, showing off her fit post-baby body, for the swim and shaded her face with a hat. She had daughters Honor and Haven as well as husband Cash Warren by her side for the sunny afternoon of fun, which continued yesterday. Jessica covered up in a maxi dress and hung out under an umbrella with her youngest child. The whole Alba-Warren foursome made the trip to Mexico on Tuesday after celebrating Christmas at home with family and friends. They're just one of many famous faces spending the extended holiday south of the border, including George Clooney and his girlfriend Stacy Keibler, and Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber. View Slideshow › »

- Lauren Turner

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George Clooney Shows Support For Clinton Foundation

30 December 2011 6:45 AM, PST | Look to the Stars | See recent Look to the Stars news »

George Clooney has put his name to a special message from the Clinton Foundation.

“I’ve seen how just one person can change a community,” he writes. "A farmer who sells his crops at a fair price can earn enough income to send his daughter to school. That means she can fulfill her dream of becoming a nurse, and later return home with the skills to save lives in her community.

“That’s precisely what the Clinton Foundation is accomplishing in places like Rwanda, where one program improved harvests 240% – providing 30,000 people with food and thousands of farmers with additional income.

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Which Celebrity Prediction Do You Think Is Most Likely to Come True in 2012?

30 December 2011 3:30 AM, PST | Popsugar.com | See recent Popsugar news »

The New Year is almost here, which means Hollywood is about to start another exciting 12 months. We managed to make a few predictions that ended up coming true last year, and now we're thinking about what we'd like to see happen in 2012. We have high hopes for some of our favorite celebrities, including baby news, award-season wins, and possible wedding vows. Check out our list below and tell us - what do you think is most likely to happen in 2012? Which Celebrity Prediction Do You Think Is Most Likely to Come True in 2012? Robert Pattinson gets critical acclaim for Cosmopolis Brad Pitt and George Clooney split award season wins Tom Cruise performs on Broadway Wedding bells for Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel The Hunger Games is a huge hit Britney Spears has a baby girl New love for Sandra Bullock Prince William and Kate Middleton announce their royal pregnancy A »

- Molly Goodson

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Lars von Trier, Kirsten Dunst, A Separation, John Hawkes: Online Film Critics Surprise Nominees

29 December 2011 8:32 PM, PST | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Like just about every Us-based critics group — year in, year out — the Online Film Critics Society has placed its focus on English-language productions this awards season. True, critics' fave The Artist, a French-made production, is in the running in several categories, including Best Film, but Michel Hazanavicius' comedy-drama is a) silent (which makes it seem less "foreign") b) set in Hollywood c) features several American/British actors in supporting roles. In any case, Terrence Malick's family drama The Tree of Life, starring Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, and Jessica Chastain, topped the Online Critics list of nominees, with a total of seven nods. Those include Best Film, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay (Malick), and supporting nominations for Pitt and Chastain (photo, with Laramie Eppler and Tye Sheridan). [Full list of Online Film Critics Awards nominations.] Nicolas Winding Refn's thriller Drive, starring Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, and Albert Brooks, was next with six nods. The film itself, »

- Andre Soares

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I Saw The Devil: Austin Film Critics Biggest Surprise Winner

29 December 2011 7:44 PM, PST | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Lee Byung-hun, I Saw the Devil This year, the Austin Film Critics went for some unusual — though not exactly "surprising" — choices. Well, with one exception: Jee-woon Kim's revenge thriller I Saw the Devil, their Best Foreign Language Film. To date, Us-based critics have gone instead for Pedro Almodóvar's The Skin I Live In, Asghar Farhadi's A Separation, or Takashi Miike's 13 Assassins. Earlier this year, I Saw the Devil, about a young man (Lee Byung-hun) out to avenge the murder of his pregnant wife, won an Asian Film Award for Best Editing. [Full list of Austin Film Critics winners.] Martin Scorsese's 3D ode to the magic of movies, Hugo, was selected as the Best Film of 2011. Elsewhere, Us critics have been leaning more heavily toward another ode to the magic movies, Michel Hazanavicius' black-and-white silent comedy-drama The Artist, which, curiously, failed to top any of the Austin Critics' categories. Take Shelter's »

- Steve Montgomery

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[Best & Worst '11] The 5 Best Performances of the Year!

29 December 2011 4:08 PM, PST | bloody-disgusting.com | See recent Bloody-Disgusting.com news »

Oh hey, I didn't see you there! When it came time for me to write this list I was utterly surprised by the choices I was making. I saw a lot of great films this year, horror and non-horror alike, but there was a certain freedom in limiting myself to films that (more or less) fit in the horror genre. For instance, I loved George Clooney in The Descendants and I thought Charlize Theron was pitch perfect in Young Adult. But those are great performances that are already going to make almost every list out there. So by shaking off the burdens of consensus (whether or not I largely agree with it), I was able to focus almost solely on roles that surprised me. There's a couple of performers included that I would have never in a million years considered putting on any list - good or bad - »

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The arts in 2012: film

29 December 2011 4:05 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Peter Bradshaw picks his highlights of the year ahead

Shame (dir. Steve McQueen)

Artist and film-maker Steve McQueen follows up his award-winning Hunger with this study of Brandon, a compulsive sex addict in Manhattan, played by Michael Fassbender. Brandon is forced to consider his life choices, and their origins, when his equally troubled sister (Carey Mulligan) comes to stay with him in his bachelor pad. Released on 13 January.

Coriolanus (dir. Ralph Fiennes)

This has reportedly been a "passion project" for Ralph Fiennes for years: an adaptation of Shakespeare's Coriolanus, a play about a Roman military hero and autocratic leader who despises the people and the political arts of appeasing them. Rejected by Rome, he makes common cause with the city's enemy in order to wage a bitter war of revenge. Released on 20 January.

The Descendants (dir. Alexander Payne)

Payne, the director of Election, About Schmidt and Sideways, is known as »

- Peter Bradshaw

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