MY TOP 20 FILMS OF 2011

Hello one and all. I know this is the time of year you look forward to. When I post my Top Ten of the year and you get to tell me how wrong I am immediately, or wait a couple months to catch a film or two on DVD and then tell me I’m wrong.

This year I managed a grand total of 259 new films into my personal catalogue of “Movies I’ve Watched” and 122 of those were released theatrically in 2011 within the United States (which I generally use as my benchmark for when a movie is released oddly).

In 2011 I’ve had a lot of things happen to me. I quit my first job post graduation, and started my first job that actually has me working within my field of software and web development. I had to say goodbye to my family and friends (no their not dead) and I’ve moved to Trinidad & Tobago from Jamaica for this new job, and while I enjoy it all I do know deep down that it’s still an adjustment and I’m still getting used to being alone for most of my day.

So to say that managing this blog has become exponentially more difficult in recent months would be an understatement. However, I still do it because I love it, you and the films that I end up discussing.

That’s enough of that wishy-washy madness; let’s get on with the show.

As always, while I do use the USA as my benchmark for when a film is released, and since I do not actually reside within America I must list the list of films that you may be wondering why they aren’t mentioned in my list that I sadly haven’t had the chance to as of yet: Take Shelter, Margaret, The Skin I Live In, Martha Marcy May Marlene, The Rum Diary (I still hold out hope), Hugo, The Artist, A Dangerous Method, My Week With Marilyn, A Separation, Shame, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Young Adult, Carnage, War Horse, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and We Need to Talk About Kevin. It’s a slightly long list but I blame the studios for releasing so many films that would be up for consideration so late in the year.

20. Hanna (dir. Joe Wright)

Joe Wright is a filmmaker who I adore because no matter how boring the plot of his films may get from time to time (I say that even though he’s only done a handful of films so far) they’re always gorgeous to look at. He’s able to make the most boring of scenery look spectacular with a certain use of lighting that not many filmmakers today know.

This film however remains a favourite of mine with how it melded storytelling and action together so well and the soundtrack helped a lot in the end for winning me over.

19. Warrior (dir. Gavin O’Connor)

I dubbed this film as an average underdog sports story, which had brutally amazing fight scenes and top of the line acting quality. That hasn’t changed, just like having all those things hasn’t changed the movie from being pretty great. While there’re a lot of other films (as is easily understood from how low the film is on this list) better than this it is a film worth remembering from this year going forward.

18. The Ides of March (dir. George Clooney)

I love the noir political thriller that this movie is. Maybe “noir” is a stretch, but dammit it’s my list and I’ll say what I want.

Gosling has had one hell of a year and to top it all off with this great tale of how a newcomer to the world of politics quickly becomes disillusioned and eventually starts to play by their rules is kind of great. Add points for having sexy Evan Rachel Wood in the movie, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman is a standard addition to any movie.

17. Super (dir. James Gunn)

Parody and satire are two forms of comedy which when used together simultaneously almost never play well with each other. James Gunn’s Super, a crazy look at the world of a broken man who takes on being a real life superhero after losing his wife to a drug dealer is the example that disproves the rule of satire and parody.

16. Midnight in Paris (dir. Woody Allen)

We are always nostalgic. We always look to our past as a better time and find reason to criticize the present and be pessimistic of the future that lays ahead and this a movie that takes all of those thoughts and wraps it up into the world of a frustrated writer in Paris trying to figure out his life and his novel that he just can’t seem to believe in just yet.

Owen Wilson is never my first choice for any character in a film, but somehow he proves that since Allen stopped starring in his own roles in films he’s the best Woody Allen substitute neurotic and excited character and that’s what makes this movie so magically wonderful.

                                #15 – #11 >>

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Author: Andrew Robinson

This is my blog. There are many others like it, but this one is mine. My blog is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me, my blog is useless. Without my blog, I am useless. I must fire my blog true. I will. Before God I swear this creed: my blog and myself are defenders of my mind, we are the masters of our enemy, we are the saviors of my life. So be it, until there is no enemy, but peace. Amen.

  • Only seen 5 of the 20.
    Surprised that you have Contagion in it.

    • Which 5?

      I love Contagion… it's calculated look at what would actually happen is mind blowingly crazy and just made me walk out of the theatre trying best not to make human contact…

      Soderbergh is awesome :)

      • Hanna, Super, Midnight in Paris, The Guard & Contagion.

        Drive is my next to see, been hearing great things from everyone.

      • "Contagion" is severely underrated.  I'm glad to see it getting some love – it just missed my 10.

        Strangely, I've seen most of the movies you list that you haven't … but haven't seen many of the ones that charted with you.  I guess I must not have a soul because I found "Senna" to be very dull after the first 45 minutes.

        • glad to see someone else have some love for Soderbergh's viral film…

          I'm also happy that you're willing to admit you have no soul, saves me the time of doing it for you. :P

          Senna is awesome.

          Which of my list have you yet to see?

  • Very interesting list Andrew! I haven't had a chance to see The Guard or Senna yet sadly. I liked 13 Assassins but felt it didn't spend enough effort/time to make us care more for most of the 13 assassins.

    • you totally need to see Senna… sad to hear you not that into 13 Assassins… I know it didn't develop 100% all of the assassins, but wow to action!

  • Thanks for mentioning The Ides of March.  The film has been so overlooked recently even though it is easily one of the better films released this year.  It does have a "noir-ish" feel at some points.

    I really like the top of your list.  Drive is a film that just missed my top 10 list and The Muppets is in my top 10.  I definitely have to check out Senna now.  I have heard nothing but raves.

    • Ides of March deserved being mentioned… struggled to get it higher on my list.

      and yes see Senna now.

  • Opens List
    Does Not See Transformers 3, Breaking Dawn Part 1, Evangelion 2.22, MI: Ghost Protocol
    Silently Cries

    But honestly, how shocking my number 1 pick isnt even one of the 20, let alone most that I saw this year (beyond Contagion) is listed. 

    Our movie tastes are not parallel.

  • threeguys onemovie

    Damn Andrew thats a big list of films.  I picked a top 3 ;-)    My favorite film hands down was the film you selected as #1 Drive.  Head and shoulders above the rest of the films we reviewed this year. 

    • as I kept working to widdle down the list for the end of year, I kept finding more and more movies I felt needed to be championed… and yes Drive is up there, but Senna came close to beating it… someday I'm sure I'm just going to call it a tie.

  • Your top 20 is making me sort of wish I'd just gone the extra mile and rounded up my usual 15. A quarter of the way through watching Senna, so far so good…!

  • Nathan Collman