REWIND & RANK: TOP 10 Movies 2011

RANKING THE YEAR’S BEST: FROM OSCAR MOVIES TO BLOCKBUSTERS

Walk down memory lane… And let the movie nerd debate begin.

rewind2011

Let’s REWIND to the year 2011.

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These are personal TOP 10s ranking Oscar-nominated movies right alongside popcorn-munching blockbusters, indie films, b-movies, and cult classics. You never know, you might even uncover a hidden gem or two.

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2011 was the year that blockbuster sequels split their movies into two parts, like HARRY POTTER and TWILIGHT. The #1 movie at the box office in 2011 was HARRY POTTER & THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 2 with $1.3 billion worldwide. While there were more than a handful of notable blockbusters; for me, it was the year of some huge indie / artsie surprises.

My TOP 10 is followed by HONORABLE MENTIONS and the Best of ART vs POPCORN.

Let’s dig in…


THE TOP 10

10. THE DESCENDANTS

Emotional character study about mortality and the legacy we leave behind. Well-written with impressive performances.

9. BRIDESMAIDS

Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy blew up with this crossover smash hit comedy.

8. WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN

A surprise hidden gem about a single mother looking back on how she raised her son (who is now involved in some sort of tragedy at high school). Stunning performances (from Tilda Swinton and Ezra Miller) and brilliant direction.

7. MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE

Another indie darling that came out of nowhere, making a star out of Elizabeth Olsen. Incredible storytelling about brainwashing and deprogramming.

6. ANOTHER EARTH

This underrated hidden gem landed Brit Marling (THE O.A.) on the big screen with a big splash. Her understated sci-fi story is more focused on character than spectacle. Outstanding. Marling also wrote another intriguing head-scratcher this year, THE SOUND OF MY VOICE (listed in the Best of Art vs Popcorn below).

5. THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO

David Fincher adapts the Swedish film with Rooney Mara taking the lead and grabbing a lot of critical attention. Dark and unsettling, this complex mystery is incredibly dense yet satisfying. Layers of atmosphere coat every surface of this grimy revenge-based thriller.

4. RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

A CGI creation will grab your heart. There is action and adventure and spectacle, but the real surprise is how emotionally invested the story is.

3. THE RAID: REDEMPTION

The best action movie in years. Who cares about the subtitles… they don’t talk much. This is one the best martial arts films ever made. Cops clear a building one floor at a time, taking out bad guys. When the bullets run out, our hero relies on knives and pulse-pounding hand-to-hand combat. Mind-blowing martial arts choreography!

2. DRIVE

A somber, quiet, cinematic beauty meshes hard-boiled crime with artsie introspective character. Style and substance combine for the anti-FAST&FURIOUS.

1. THE TREE OF LIFE

One of Terrence Mallick’s best stars Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain, and Sean Penn. There’s a reason all of Hollywood’s top talent begs to work with the legendary filmmaker: he creates living poems. Visual storytelling explores rich metaphors and complex themes. Reflective and hopeful, this tale examines the beginning of the universe, all the way up to what happens after life. From the cosmos, to us, to the micro-(and macro)-cosmos, and within; this film examines life. The emphasis on interpretive elements and internal monologues from characters may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but those that like to dig into cinema (as an art form) will absolutely relish Mallick’s elaborate masterpiece.


HONORABLE MENTIONS

listed alphabetically

50/50 / MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL / MIDNIGHT IN PARIS / MONEYBALL / SOURCE CODE / SUPER 8 / TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY / WARRIOR / X-MEN: FIRST CLASS / YOU’RE NEXT


THE BEST OF ART VS POPCORN

listed alphabetically

30 MINUTES OR LESS / THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN / CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER / COLOMBIANA / CONTAGION / CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE / FAST FIVE / FRIGHT NIGHT / GOON / THE GREY / HANNA / HAYWIRE / HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN / THE IDES OF MARCH / IMMORTALS / KILLER JOE / LIMITLESS / MELANCHOLIA / MY WEEK WITH MARILYN / PAUL / REAL STEEL / SCREAM 4 / SHAME / SHARK NIGHT / SILENT HOUSE / THE SITTER / SOUL SURFER  / THE SOUND OF MY VOICE / SUCKER PUNCH / TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT / TAKE SHELTER /  THE THING / THOR / YOUR HIGHNESS / YOUNG ADULT


MY MUST-WATCH LIST

notable films i need to watch

THE ARTIST / THE BEAVER / THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL / EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE / HARRY POTTER & THE DEATHLY HOLLOWS: PART 2 / THE HELP / L’INTOUCHABLES / IN THE LAND OF BLOOD & HONEY / THE IRON LADY / JANE EYRE / THE LINCOLN LAWYER / RAMPART / RANGO / A SEPARATION / THE SKIN I LIVE IN / WAR HORSE / THE WAY


What do you think?

Stay tuned for Rewind & Rank: 1993.


 

12 thoughts on “REWIND & RANK: TOP 10 Movies 2011

    1. I love those Apes movies. I can’t wait for the new one this year. Do you think they will work there way up to the Charlton Heston timeline? If so, how many movies away is it? I’m loving the spectacle, but also how surprisingly emotionally invested I get with a CGI creation 🙂

      As for Tree of Life, tread with caution. People left the theater when I saw it (as with all Mallick films). But if you’re in the mood to watch some amazing visuals, participate in a poem, and reflect on your mortality and the universe, you’ll love it… Maybe I’m the only one that gets in THAT kind of mood though 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Supposedly this Apes timeline is different to the Heston one, so I doubt it will ever coincide at any point. Kind of sucks, but as long as we keep getting new Apes films, I am fine with it. As for Tree of Life, I will eventually get to it, but I suppose I will have to be in the mood for it.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Yes, yes and Yes! I thought only me and Ebert got how great Tree of Life was. Loved it. More than The Thin Red Line, maybe even more than Badlands.My favourites would also have to include Drive, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Warrior. Lots of good films here. Who won the Oscar? Oh yeah The Artist. Classic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. WTF! You like Tree of Life?! I know why you’re so enthused there then. I felt like I was the only one too 🙂 And I love Badlands, and TRL too. For me, Thin Red Line is the best. That said, I was mildly disappointed with To the Wonder and Knight of Cups.

      Love the rest of your mentions too. (But I need to see The Artist. I was worried it may be too melodramatic.)

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Great year eh. Even the honourable mentions and best of the rest are worth-watching. Paris was special. I really enjoyed it too. “Daaaa-leeee” hahaha (sorry Adrien Brody as Dali got me). Hanna was underrated too, and divided the critics, I liked this strange take on fairy tales. Plus, Ronan looked so bad-ass 😉 Thanks for chiming in, Cindy.

      Liked by 1 person

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