I saw a little over 80 films from 2011, and watched yet another just moments before putting this post together. But I think this Top 10 has been pretty steady for a while. Again, as we tend to say around these parts, this is my favorites list, not the best list. If I were to make a list of what I feel are the best films of 2011, then this would be a totally different list, most likely. As it is… this is my favorites, so… here we go.
It doesn’t have the greatest story in the world, but it’s probably one of my most gorgeous movies of the year and has some of the best action, hands down. Even with the slow non-action scenes, this one has stuck with me since I saw it.
9. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
Um… pretty much ditto to what I just said. Minus the gorgeous part. I mean, it looks good and all, but… it’s no Immortals in that department.
8. Fast Five
Forget everyone who says this isn’t realistic and whatnot. Seriously? You saw a trailer for the fifth movie in the Fast and Furious series wherein two little race cars pull a megaton safe through a street and think “huh, I can’t wait to see the realistic stunts pulled off in this movie!”? It has fantastic action and fun characters and nothing that annoyed me (except the whole “fall a couple hundred feet into the water and come out without a scratch” bit. But that’s it).
7. I Saw the Devil
Brutal. Intense. Visceral. Outstanding. The performances were phenomenal. The story is solid (though, yes, it does drag a couple times). It’s a total recommendation for any fan of South Korean cinema, violent films, or revenge flicks.
6. Midnight in Paris
Maybe it’s the English nerd in me, but I found this movie to be fun, fascinating, charming, smart, clever, etc. The performances were solid. The story and moral, though obvious, is good. Everything just comes together so well.
5. Crazy Stupid Love
One of the shockers of the year for me. I was super surprised with this film. It has strong characters, a strong narrative, and a lot of heart. Not to mention the backyard scene is probably one of THE best scenes of the year.
4. Attack the Block
I think I watched this film two or three times in a row after I first bought it on an impulse (after the praise I heard). I wasn’t sure what I thought the first time, but after each successive viewing, I began liking it more and more. Any movie that can take you from hating your main characters in the first 5 minutes too rooting for them by the end is some pretty excellent writing and directing and acting.
One of the most underrated and under-seen films of the year. I fell in love with this movie the first time I saw it, and I loved it the second time just as much. It works on so many levels.
2. Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil
One of the best horror/comedies in recent years. Very clever and fun. I just had a blast with this.
1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
If you know me, no more needs to be said. If you don’t know me… I’m not gonna explain anyway. Mostly because I’m lazy… but also because it could be kinda inferred from my first sentence.
[Remember, we here at Man, I Love Films don’t do definitive lists. We do our favorites and we want to hear yours. So, make sure and tell us about them in the comments section below.]