Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Movies – My Top 10 of 2011

Here is my list of the ten best 2011 movies.  I believe I’ve seen all the big mainstream movies except Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.  I saw almost all of the Oscar nominated feature films.  I have not seen any of the Oscar-nominated foreign films or documentaries because they mostly have not been available.  From everything I have read, the foreign film Oscar winner A Separation might have had a good chance to make my Top 10, had I seen it.  Other than that, my list should be based on a pretty complete set of 2011 movies.

Last year I did my Top 10 right at Oscar time, but this year I had a couple more movies I wanted to see (i.e. Take Shelter) before I posted this list, so it slipped into March.  In case you think it’s a little strange to be doing a top 10 for a year that ended more than two months ago, I’d rather take the time to see as many movies as possible before compiling my list.  This means waiting for some of them to become available on DVD.

You’ll notice some movies in my Top 10 that did not receive any awards nominations.  I have never felt that getting an Oscar nomination was the be all and end all of how good a movie was.  In the list below, I felt the first three places were easily separated from the next seven in terms of how good they were.  In addition, the first two positions are almost 1 and 1A, rather than 1 and 2.

  1. The Artist                                                            (Read my review)
  2. Hugo                                                                   (Read my review)
  3. Midnight in Paris                                               (Read my review)
  4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2  (Read my review)
  5. The Ides of March                                              (Read my review)
  6. Bill Cunningham New York                              (See below)
  7. Margin Call                                                         (Read my review)
  8. Another Earth                                                     (See below)
  9. Warrior                                                               (Read my review)
  10. The Muppets                                                       (Read my review)
Bill Cunningham New York – I do not have a review for this posted on my site.  I will likely have one at a later point.  I watched the film based on the review by Aiden R. at Cut the Crap Movie Reviews.  You can read it here.  While I did not impact me quite as much as it did him, I still felt it was the best documentary I saw from 2011.  I would give it four stars out of five.  July 4, 2012 update - I now have a full review written for this film.  You can read it here.

Another Earth – I do not have a review for this posted on my site.  I will likely have one at a later point.  For right now, the biggest thing you should know about this film is that despite the premise of a mirror Earth appearing in the sky, it is not science fiction.  Don’t expect factually accurate representations of gravitational effects, space travel, communications, etc. to appear in this film.  The other Earth is really the biggest metaphor for second chances ever put on film.  Don’t expect your standard sci-fi movie; expect a character study of two lost people connected by a single, tragic event.  I would give it four stars out of five.  July 3, 2012 update - I now have a full review written for this film.  You can read it here.

Those are my top 10.  What was your favorite movie of 2011?  Did I leave out a 2011 movie that you thought was great?  Let me know.  Maybe I didn’t see it.

By the way, the best TV show of 2011 just became available on DVD and Blu-ray.  It is Game of Thrones.  You can read my review of it here.

What 2012 movie are you most looking forward to?  For me that is The Avengers, coming May 4th.  Here is the second trailer.  If you’ll allow me to channel the teen fanboy inside me for a second, then I’ll use that opportunity to say that this trailer is all kinds of awesome.


  1. I thought last year was a pretty poor year for films. I think TREE OF LIFE was probably the best film I saw, but even that was flawed. I did, however, enjoy THE ARTIST.

  2. Have you seen Von Trier's Melancholia and McQueen's Shame? Those two are the ones I want to see the most since they came out...
    It doesn't really bother me that you publish your Top later. I haven't seen all the films from 2011 that I wanted to see and my Top 10 of 2011 is still pending in my Blogger drafts... I think it will wait a while before coming out this year.
    I like that your top included lots of genres and even blockbusters. It is a nice selection of films that doesn't stop just with indies or blockbusters.

  3. @Movies on My Mind - Thanks for the suggestion. I have seen The Tree of Life. I thought it was beautifully shot, but lacking in other areas, so it didn't make my Top 10.

    @Michael Parent - Thanks for the complement on the mix of films. I do try to see most genres, although horror doesn't do much for me. Thanks also for the suggestions. I have not seen either of those movies. I thought about waiting for them, but I have disliked the two or three Von Trier movies I have seen and there was nothing about Melancholia that sounded like I would have any different reaction. As for Shame, I will see it at some point, but it also didn't sound like a movie that would make my Top 10, so I decided not to wait for it.

    The 2011 films I haven't seen that I am most curious about are A Separation and Young Adult.

  4. Good list..All the movies in your list were awesome and enjoyable...Watching Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol wouldn't have made any change in your list because it was good but not the best.
    As for The Avengers I am just counting on days and getting excited to watch it...But the most awaited movie for me would be The Dark Knight Rises.

  5. Nice list! The Artist, HP and Ides are on my top 10 list too, although I disliked Hugo. The most anticipated from 2012 for me is definetly Prometheus but Avengers looks promising and a lot of fun!

  6. @vinay - I know quite a few other people also waiting for the Batman sequel so you are in good company.

    @Sati. - Something about Prometheus makes me a little wary, although it's nothing I can put my finger on. It may just be that there have been so many movies in the franchise already (and yes, I know this is a prequel designed to reboot the franchise, but still...) I guess maybe I'd describe it as "prepare for the worst, but hope for the best" for me.

  7. Very good list Chip! I personally wouldn't put Ides of March or Another Earth there, but there rest are fantastic! Nice to see Warrior and Muppets on it!

  8. @Diana - Thanks. The fact that we only disagree on two is quite something. With there being so many movies, and with there being so many people who experience them differently, any top 10 list is bound to be highly personal.

  9. I really do not know very much about the new films coming out. But, because of your blog, I have put the films: The Artist, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, on my list of "must see films". Thank you.

  10. @Dawn - You're welcome. Since all three deal with the 1900s to 1930s in some way, as well as the early days of movies, I think they may be right up your alley. Thanks for reading.

  11. A good top 10, four of them (The Artist, Midnight in Paris, Hugo and Another Earth) also make an appearance in my top 10. I strongly advise you to watch two films in particular and they are Senna and A Separation which are 3rd and 2nd on my list.

    The film I'm most looking forward to in 2012 is The Hobbit, will go to the midnight screening (if there is one), but not in costume.

    To be honest, I'm not a fan of the final Potter movie, I felt it was a bit of a mess, didn't spend nearly enough time with some of the supporting characters thus making their deaths rather ineffective.

  12. @Myerla - Thanks for your recommendations. I will definitely see A Separation when it becomes available for the home. I've heard good things about Senna, but since I'm not into European road racing, I didn't know whether I would much care about the man when I saw the doc.

    The Hobbit is probably number 2 on my list of most anticipated after The Avengers.

    I agree on the final Potter movie not spending enough time on supporting characters deaths, but that is actually the way it is in the book, for the most part. I feel that a combined, 3 hour movie of the whole book would have been fantastic and that by splitting it in two they diluted the product.

  13. We weren't so much alike with our top 10 this time around. My list contains 10 completely different films. (

    However, I've yet to see 5 from your list, so we may align just yet.