December 31, 2011

My Top Ten Films of 2011

Okay, first of all, I did my top 11 films because it's 2011, and also because I suck at choosing. Second of all, I didn't see a lot of the films that many people are putting on their top ten lists, so really this should be called "My Most Entertaining Films of 2011." Third of all, this list was tough to put together. I just didn't feel as strongly about any of these films as I have about films from previous years. Maybe it's that those ones I missed this year were knock-outs, but I felt it was a pretty weak year for films. Finally, I'll probably change my mind about the list tomorrow, anyway. But here it is:

11. Kill List: This is one of those films I enjoyed, but know better than to recommend it to anyone else. It’s a little like Pulp Fiction meets The Wicker Man. And there are more than a couple of WTF? moments. Be warned: some of you will hate this.

10. A Separation: I wasn’t sure I’d like it at first, but quickly found myself caught up in the lives of the characters, right up until the ambiguous ending, which I actually could have done without.

9. I Saw the Devil: Watching this, I felt like I was abused…but in a good way, I guess, because here it is on my list. Disturbing film.

8. Hanna: I thought this was a well-done action thriller, with a strong performance by Saoirse Ronan.

7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, pt. 2: A really, really great ending to a great series. I was never a huuuge fan, so I was really surprised at how moved I was by the film.

6. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol: This might be on here just because I saw it so recently, but I doubt it. I love these kinds of films more than anything, and Mission Impossible does it really well.

5. We Need to Talk About Kevin: Of all the films on my list, this one got under my skin the most. I found it very difficult to watch, and very difficult to let go of afterwards.

4. X-Men First Class: With the talent involved, I would have thought Thor would have been the superhero movie of the year, but this one blew it away.

3. Martha Marcy May Marlene: Unlike A Separation, I felt this film’s ambiguous ending was justified. Great performances, especially by Elizabeth Olsen. John Hawkes, who I thought had one of the best performances of last year, as Teardrop, in Winter’s Bone, does it again here, as the deliciously creepy Patrick.

2. Drive: Unlike everyone else who liked this film, I didn’t care for the soundtrack. But man, did I like everything else.

1. Attack the block: I’m still not sure this should be at number one. But this film felt like the beginning of something, kind of like Carpenter’s Halloween. The feeling of a loving hand behind the camera, which should have been there in Super 8 (which didn’t make my list, despite some decent performances), but wasn’t. Also, love love LOVE Jodie Whittaker, ever since Venus (2006).

Honorable Mentions: The Help, Killer Elite, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Eagle, Paul, Straw Dogs

Not Seen, but probably should have: The Skin I Live In, 50/50, The Descendants, The Artist, The Tree of Life, Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Most disappointing movies of the year: The Dilemma, The Green Hornet, Sucker Punch, Thor, Fright Night, and the worst film I saw all year: Abduction.

Final Note: Tucker and Dale vs Evil would be on my list, but I think that technically it's a 2010 release, even though it didn't get any release to speak of until this year.