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2011 Top 10 Movies for Grownups

Descendants, War Horse, Moneyball among year's best

Kevin Spacey as Sam Rogers in 'Margin Call'

Margin Call - If you're wondering what happened to your 401(k), and you promise not to throw things at the screen, do watch this gritty, yet oddly human, drama set against the collapse of the investment banking industry. Kevin Spacey is maddening as the executive who fears the coming disaster, yet who hesitates to protect his investors; Jeremy Irons is absolutely riveting as the CEO who will save his company at any cost; and Stanley Tucci injects a dose of sentiment as a guy who gets fired from the firm just before the tsunami hits.

Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams in Midnight in Paris

Midnight in Paris - We always kind of sensed Woody Allen would have been happier rubbing shoulders with Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein in 1920s Paris. And sure enough, here he sends Owen Wilson as his proxy, and the result is Allen's most charming, funny, imaginative film in a decade or so.

Moneyball Movie Review starring Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill

Moneyball - Baseball fans may quibble with the film's version of just why the 2002 Oakland Athletics were so good, but there's no arguing the power of Brad Pitt's performance as the team's general manager, Billy Beane, who developed unorthodox methods for picking low-cost players while making his team competitive. Like The Artist, Moneyball thoughtfully explores that shadowy region where the rivers of progress and tradition converge, and the ways a lifetime of experience can enable a grownup to stay afloat.

Albert (Jeremy Irvine) and his horse Joey are featured in this scene from DreamWorks Pictures'

War Horse - Steven Spielberg unleashes his inner John Ford in his sumptuously rich, sometimes beautiful, often savage version of the hit stage play. The horse of the title — a farm animal that somehow finds itself at the ever-shifting front lines of World War I — is the purported star, but this is Spielberg's show from start to finish as he visually quotes some of the greatest films of all time, from All Quiet on the Western Front to How Green Was My Valley to Gone With the Wind to Paths of Glory.

Matt Damon gets up close and personal with one of his new four-legged neighbors in

We Bought a Zoo - It sounds like the plot of an Afterschool Special — a widowed dad leaves big-city life behind, buys a struggling rural zoo and moves his two precocious children to the sticks. But director Cameron Crowe (Jerry McGuire) takes the yeasty elements and bakes up a truly moving yarn that will delight kids (I mean, there's a monkey!) while it causes the adults present to contemplate whether it's worth upending your life to do something you truly love. (Spoiler alert: It is).

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