Back to The Best Movies of 2011
21. 'X-Men: First Class'
20th Century Fox
After the disaster that was 'Wolverine,' we were praying 'X-Men: First Class' would turn out OK. Thankfully, it exceeded expectations. 'First Class' traces the origins of some of our favorite mutants, including Charles Xavier, Mystique, Magneto, Havok and Beast. As for the villain, you knew Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) was the perfect pick after seeing the awful things he did during the opening sequence. Sure, the story line isn't that close to the comic books, but that doesn't matter. While watching the mutants take on the Cuban Missile Crisis, it's clear that 'First Class' injects this franchise with exactly what it needed: new life, new stars and a fresh energy to build on. -- A.S.