Best Films of 2011

It's hard to list the best films of 2011 when I haven't yet seen all of them (including a few that have been getting Golden Globe and SAG nominations) so this is just a list of films I've seen this year that I loved.

1) Incendies – One of the most disturbingly powerful films I’ve ever seen. Tragic, confronting and devastating. Not for the faint hearted.

2) Snowtown – Another grossly confronting film and a great piece of Australian cinema. You will feel utter disgust watching this film. It's based on a true story of one of Australia's worst serial killers. I had to look away several times.

3) X-Men: First Class – It may be an unusual choice for the top 10, but with so many terrible comic book adaptations lately, this film was a real winner. It's what a superhero action film is supposed to be.

4) Black Swan – Amazing film and amazing performances by Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis. Great psychological thriller.

5) Midnight In Paris – Beautiful film about following your heart and your dreams. Woody Allen is a genius.

6) Moneyball – Insightful film about the sporting world. Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill are brilliant. You don't have to like sport to enjoy this film.

7) 127 Hours – Danny Boyle is such a great film-maker that he can make a film where 90 per cent of it involves one man stuck in a rock. James Franco gave, arguably, the performance of his career to date (his performance in James Dean was also outstanding).

8) The Rise of the Planet of the Apes – Motion capture technology at its finest, proving that audiences can have an emotional connection with a character created with this technology.

9) Melancholia – It seems you either really love or really hate Lars Von Trier. I thought this film was intense, amazing and thought-provoking. If only it were a little shorter.

10) The Tree of Life – Gorgeous cinematography and a gripping performance from Brad Pitt. This film works on so many levels.

Notable mentions:
The Lincoln Lawyer – Matthew McConaughey showed us he can actually act when he's not concerned about prancing around shirtless. A great example of a suspense drama.

Rabbit Hole – Dark and moving. Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart give great performances in this sad story of how a couple cope with the loss of a child. Heartbreaking to watch.

Bridesmaids – Showed us that women are just as capable as men of being totally gross and hilarious.

The Beaver – Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster work perfectly together. Say what you want about Mel the man, but Mel the actor is sublime.

Horrible Bosses – Hilarious and entertaining. An all-star cast that delivers the goods.

Drive – Well paced, great directing and lots of creative ways to kill people.

Top 10 disappointments of the year:

1) Your Highness – Not even James Franco could save this film.
2) Larry Crowne – Nothing could save Tom Hanks' career after this flop.
2) The Three Musketeers – I have never looked down at my watch more during a film.
4) Tangled – I couldn't even finish this children's film.
5) Zookeeper – Could have been so much better, but the laughs fall flat.
5) Jack and Jill – Oh Adam Sandler, what were you thinking?
7) Green Lantern – If Ryan Reynolds had not been in this film, I would have walked out.
8) Captain America: The First Avenger – Should have been so much better.
8) Shark Night 3D – So bad, it was good. Unless you're a shark fan or a fan of watching teenagers being eaten by sharks, this film offers very little.
9) Insidious – Not scary, not entertaining. Just bad.

What are your hit and miss films of the year?


  1. Of the movies I've seen this year my top 10 are (in no particular order):

    1. The Fighter
    2. Country Strong
    3. The Lincoln Lawyer
    4. Horrible Bosses
    5. Crazy Stupid Love
    6. The Rise of the Planet of the Apes
    7. We Bought A Zoo
    8. A Dolphin Tale
    9. 127 Hours
    10. Black Swan

    There were heaps of other fun movies, I could probably list 20 more that deserve to be in this list.

    Literally my favourite documentary of all time is POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold.

    The best animated film of the year is Rango.

    The worst movie of the year is Your Highness – I didn't laugh once!!!

  2. Oh I haven't seen Incendies yet. I must get onto that one. I thought The Beaver was some brave film making, but didn't quite click for me. Oh dear, I got a few giggles from Your Highness lol I was going to put Shark Night 3D on my worst of list but I did actually get a lot of unintentional laughs from it lol.

  3. 50/50 is the movie of 2011, just a shame Aussie audiences won't get to see it until 2012. Otherwise a pretty good list, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and X-Men First Class showed it was possible to make a blockbuster that was also clever. And 127 Hours was even better than I thought it was going to be.

    I couldn't bring myself to watch films like Jack and Jill or the Zookeeper.

  4. Save yourself the hassle, Dave. Those so-called comedies are not worth it.

    Julian, Incendies is so powerful but so disturbing. Probably the most confronting film I've ever seen.

    Jackie, I absolutely loved Country Strong too, but it went straight to DVD in Australia so I couldn't put it on my list. Two thumbs up for Garrett Hedlund's performance though ;)


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