As I have yet to see more than 10 movies that have been released this year, this list may not be the most well informed.  However, since I have excellent taste in movies – much better than my fellow Grouches – you can be sure that the movies I have chosen are excellent and you should immediately go see them.  So, without further ado, my current top 5:

1. The Hangover

I agree with Jared about the film trailing off towards the end and Heather Grahms’ character’s lack of development, but overall this was easily the funniest movie I’ve seen all year (and possibly last year).  Zach Galifianakis was absolutely hilarious as the awkward brother-in-law to be and really made the movie for me – though Ed Helms and Bradley Cooper were great as well.  (Ed. Note: I have yet to see I Love You, Man so “funniest movie I’ve seen all year” does not include this apparent gem – at least, according to Jared.)

2.  Sunshine Cleaning

Once in awhile a movie comes along that warms even my cold heart (i.e. Juno) and this was another one.  It doesn’t hurt your chances if you cast Amy Adams, though.  I actually really liked the plot of this movie.  A struggling, single mother with man issues is trying to make ends meet so that she can afford to provide for her son.  Sound familiar?  Basically this movie took the scenario from Frozen River and made a MUCH better movie.  Instead of turning to crime, Adams starts her own business in the crime scene cleaning industry with her “loser” sister (Emily Blunt).  Hilarity ensues.

3.  Star Trek

Surprisingly enough, Jared and I agree that John is wrong.  I really wanted to dislike this movie.  J.J. Abrams is highly over-rated and, at best, I’ve only decently liked some of his stuff.  However, Star Trek turned out to be a very enjoyable summer action/adventure film.  There were a number of things wrong with the plot and handling of some things, but overall the movie worked.   I was also really impressed with the casting.  Karl Urban as “Bones” McCoy was fantastic – I can’t think of anyone who could have pulled it off better.  Zoe Saldana….excellent choice….she should be in more movies…  I’m a huge Simon Pegg fan, so his appearance as Scotty was welcome, as was Anton Yelchin as Chekov.  All-in-all, a surprisingly fun and fairly well done summer blockbuster a la Iron Man last year.

4. Taken

Liam Neeson is great.  I was recently discussing this movie with a friend and neither of us were able to come up with a movie in which Liam Neeson was not great.  This movie was no exception and had him in a different type of role than I am used to seeing him in.  I really like the plot, the scene flow, the tempo, and most of the action sequences.  A great movie that was suprising released in the doldrums of new movies.  Oh well, that just means it’s already out on DVD for your viewing pleasure.

5. Up

I am sure to be the only Grouch with this at the bottom of my top 5, but I stand by my decision.  I did like this movie (especially the talking dogs, which were easily the best thing about the film), but I think Pixar screwed themselves.  Finding Nemo and The Incredibles set the bar way too high.  Both Wall-E and Up, while very good movies, have been unable to live up to their predecessors’ greatness.  While very enjoyable, and recommended, I find it unlikely that this movie will be able to hold on in my top 5 movies of the year.  “SQUIRREL!!”