Best Films of 2011

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1.
The Descendants (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A land baron tries to reconnect with his two daughters after his wife is seriously injured in a boating accident. (115 mins.)
Director: Alexander Payne
“ Very moving and absorbing film. Acting is superb. One of the best of the year. ” - TROYELAWSON
 
2.
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A nine-year-old amateur inventor, Francophile, and pacifist searches New York City for the lock that matches a mysterious key left behind by his father, who died in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. (129 mins.)
Director: Stephen Daldry
 
3.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Journalist Mikael Blomkvist is aided in his search for a woman who has been missing for forty years by Lisbeth Salander, a young computer hacker. (158 mins.)
Director: David Fincher
“ Very complicated mystery with lots of threads. Probably my second vote for best of the year. ” - TROYELAWSON
 
4.
Moneyball (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane's successful attempt to assemble a baseball team on a lean budget by employing computer-generated analysis to acquire new players. (133 mins.)
Director: Bennett Miller
“ Best movie of the year. Solid all around! ” - TROYELAWSON
 
5.
The Adjustment Bureau (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
The affair between a politician and a contemporary dancer is affected by mysterious forces keeping the lovers apart. (106 mins.)
Director: George Nolfi
“ Unique, modern twist on the Manchurian candidate concept with free will as the center piece. ” - TROYELAWSON
 
6.
Blackthorn (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
In Bolivia, Butch Cassidy (now calling himself James Blackthorn) pines for one last sight of home, an adventure that aligns him with a young robber and makes the duo a target for gangs and lawmen alike. (102 mins.)
Director: Mateo Gil
“ Best western I've watched in some time. Great "what if" story and intriguing suspense. Sam Shepard is a true artist! ” - TROYELAWSON
 
7.
Drive (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A mysterious Hollywood stuntman and mechanic moonlights as a getaway driver and finds himself in trouble when he helps out his neighbor. (100 mins.)
“ Surprisingly well done suspense/thriller. Goslings's character is eerily captivating. The 80's-like music is the only distracting feature. Solid movie-making. ” - TROYELAWSON
 
8.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Harry, Ron and Hermione search for Voldemort's remaining Horcruxes in their effort to destroy the Dark Lord as the final battle rages on at Hogwarts. (130 mins.)
Director: David Yates
“ Probably the best of them all. Lots of action! ” - TROYELAWSON
 
9.
The Ides of March (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
An idealistic staffer for a new presidential candidate gets a crash course on dirty politics during his stint on the campaign trail. (101 mins.)
Director: George Clooney
“ Not politically novel, but the acting makes this one shine. ” - TROYELAWSON
 
10.
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
The IMF is shut down when it's implicated in the bombing of the Kremlin, causing Ethan Hunt and his new team to go rogue to clear their organization's name. (133 mins.)
Director: Brad Bird
“ Wow! What a ride! They just keep getting better. Sit down, suspend your belief, and have some fun! ” - TROYELAWSON
 
11.
The Music Never Stopped (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Tale of a father who struggles to bond with his estranged son Gabriel, after Gabriel suffers from a... (105 mins.)
Director: Jim Kohlberg
“ Moving film on many levels. A must see for anyone with a love for music, friends, and family. ” - TROYELAWSON
 
12.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick Dr. Watson join forces to outwit and bring down their fiercest adversary, Professor Moriarty. (129 mins.)
Director: Guy Ritchie
“ If you liked the first you'll love this one! ” - TROYELAWSON
 
13.
Source Code (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A soldier wakes up in someone else's body and discovers he's part of an experimental government program to find the bomber of a commuter train. A mission he has only 8 minutes to complete. (93 mins.)
Director: Duncan Jones
“ Questions reality, physics, and identity. A bit contradictory at the end, but will still evoke philosophic debate. ” - TROYELAWSON
 
14.
Texas Killing Fields (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
In the Texas bayous, a local homicide detective teams up with a cop from New York City to investigate a series of unsolved murders. (105 mins.)
Director: Ami Canaan Mann
“ Solid all around. Based on real story. Sam Worthington shines. ” - TROYELAWSON
 
15.
War Horse (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Young Albert enlists to serve in World War I after his beloved horse is sold to the cavalry. Albert's hopeful journey takes him out of England and to the front lines as the war rages on. (146 mins.)
“ Emotionally stirring, beautifully filmed, and epic in storytelling, I understand why it's to be considered for best picture. However, the implausibility of the ending with the unanswered abbreviated timeline, takes away the potential for greatness. Spielberg should know better! ” - TROYELAWSON
 
16.
Water for Elephants (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Set in the 1930s, a former veterinary student takes a job in a traveling circus and falls in love with the ringmaster's wife. (120 mins.)
“ Story of one man's search for purpose and love upon a chance encounter with the circus. ” - TROYELAWSON
 
17.
Barney's Version (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
The picaresque and touching story of the politically incorrect, fully lived life of the impulsive, irascible and fearlessly blunt Barney Panofsky. (134 mins.)
“ US Release in 2011 - Barney is a guy you hate to love. Surprisingly solid film with great performances. ” - TROYELAWSON
 
18.
Bridesmaids (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Competition between the maid of honor and a bridesmaid, over who is the bride's best friend, threatens to upend the life of an out-of-work pastry chef. (125 mins.)
Director: Paul Feig
“ Smart, creative comedies are rare, and this one will definitely make you laugh! ” - TROYELAWSON
 
19.
The Conspirator (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Mary Surratt is the lone female charged as a co-conspirator in the assassination trial of Abraham Lincoln. As the whole nation turns against her, she is forced to rely on her reluctant lawyer to uncover the truth and save her life. (122 mins.)
Director: Robert Redford
“ US release in 2011 - A well-acted piece of history that reveals how imperfect our Union can be. ” - TROYELAWSON
 
20.
Contagion (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Healthcare professionals, government officials and everyday people find themselves in the midst of a worldwide epidemic as the CDC works to find a cure. (106 mins.)
“ A look at just how fragile we are, and aggressive we can be, in the face of a societal meltdown. ” - TROYELAWSON
 
21.
The Debt (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
In 1965, three Mossad agents cross into East Berlin to apprehend a notorious Nazi war criminal. Thirty years later, the secrets the agents share come back to haunt them. (113 mins.)
Director: John Madden
“ 2011 US Release - Solid story and superb acting. ” - TROYELAWSON
 
22.
Immortals (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
Theseus is a mortal man chosen by Zeus to lead the fight against the ruthless King Hyperion, who is on a rampage across Greece to obtain a weapon that can destroy humanity. (110 mins.)
“ If you liked "300", you'll love this one. Besides the "beautiful" CGI action and gore, the film produces some great acting and intrigue, keeping fairly accurate to the mythology. ” - TROYELAWSON
 
23.
Jane Eyre (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A mousy governess who softens the heart of her employer soon discovers that he's hiding a terrible secret. (120 mins.)
“ Moving rendition of a classic tale of torment and love. ” - TROYELAWSON
 
24.
Limitless (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
With the help of a mysterious pill that enables the user to access 100 percent of his brain abilities, a struggling writer becomes a financial wizard, but it also puts him in a new world with lots of dangers. (105 mins.)
Director: Neil Burger
“ Yeh, I'd take the pill! Trippy soundtrack too. ” - TROYELAWSON
 
25.
Margin Call (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Follows the key people at an investment bank, over a 24-hour period, during the early stages of the 2008 financial crisis. (107 mins.)
Director: J.C. Chandor
“ Fictional, but sobering account of one firm's decision to start a financial domino effect. ” - TROYELAWSON
 
26.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Jack Sparrow and Barbossa embark on a quest to find the elusive fountain of youth, only to discover that Blackbeard and his daughter are after it too. (136 mins.)
Director: Rob Marshall
“ The best since the first. High seas fun with a good plot. Don't expect more than what it is. ” - TROYELAWSON
 
27.
Small Town Murder Songs (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
A modern, gothic tale of crime and redemption about an aging police officer from a small Ontario Mennonite town who hides a violent past until a local murder upsets the calm of his newly reformed life. (75 mins.)
“ US release in 2011 - Very "Coen-esk". Beautifully eerie story, although a bit anti-climatic. ” - TROYELAWSON
 
28.
Bernie (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
In small-town Texas, an affable mortician strikes up a friendship with a wealthy widow, though when she starts to become controlling, he goes to great lengths to separate himself from her grasp. (99 mins.)
 
29.
Detachment (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A substitute teacher who drifts from classroom to classroom finds a connection to the students and teachers during his latest assignment. (98 mins.)
Director: Tony Kaye
 
30.
Tyrannosaur (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Joseph, a man plagued by violence and a rage that is driving him to self-destruction, earns a chance of redemption that appears in the form of Hannah, a Christian charity shop worker. (92 mins.)
Director: Paddy Considine
 
31.
J. Edgar (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
J. Edgar Hoover, powerful head of the F.B.I. for nearly 50 years, looks back on his professional and personal life. (137 mins.)
Director: Clint Eastwood
 
32.
Sarah's Key (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
In modern-day Paris, a journalist finds her life becoming entwined with a young girl whose family was torn apart during the notorious Vel' d'Hiv Roundup in 1942. (111 mins.)