2011

Everything I saw in 2011. In order of US release date.
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1.
Even the Rain (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
As a director and his crew shoot a controversial film about Christopher Columbus in Cochabamba, Bolivia, local people rise up against plans to privatize the water supply. (103 mins.)
Director: Icíar Bollaín
“ How this flew under the radar I'll never know. A subtle political film depicting an event that I, and am sure most Americans, never knew existed: the imperialistic seizing of Bolivia's water supply. Gael Garcia Bernal is great, as always, but Luis Tosar deserves a *beep* Oscar. Both entertaining and affecting, and the premise of shooting a film about Columbus is clever. January. 8/10. ” - lemondifficult
 
2.
No Strings Attached (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
A guy and girl try to keep their relationship strictly physical, but it's not long before they learn that they want something more. (108 mins.)
Director: Ivan Reitman
“ Yeah, I saw it. I don't need to explain myself to you, internet. It sucked, obviously, but Greta Gerwig was funny. I'm also a fan of writer Liz Meriwether, who has some pretty awesome small plays to her name. I think this got butchered in production and could've been much more funny. January. 4/10. ” - lemondifficult
 
3.
Sucker Punch (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
A young girl is institutionalized by her abusive stepfather, retreating to an alternative reality as a coping strategy, envisioning a plan to help her escape. (110 mins.)
Director: Zack Snyder
“ An insurmountable miscalculation of a movie that exploits the girls it pretends to empower. Saw it before all the terrible reviews came out, thinking that if nothing else it would look really cool. Basically it's an overlong videogame ad that lifts its best moments from "Brazil." Also, if there was no slo-mo the run time would be cut in half. Jena Malone and Jon Hamm deserve so much better. March. 2/10. ” - lemondifficult
 
4.
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
“ Fun, thoughtful and well paced until the ending goes on too long and totally kills the momentum. For some reason Jones feels the need to give his movies overly happy, neat, and tidy conclusions which is kind of disappointing. Still, it's original and fast paced up til that point. March. 6/10. ” - lemondifficult
 
5.
Win Win (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A struggling lawyer and volunteer wrestling coach's chicanery comes back to haunt him when the teenage grandson of the client he has double-crossed comes into his life. (106 mins.)
Director: Tom McCarthy
“ A big disappointment for Tom McCarthy after "The Visitor." Really fluffy, with contrived dialogue that's laughable for the wrong reasons. I like all the actors in this though, and the story is enjoyable when you're not cringing at the cliches and forced humor. March. 5/10. ” - lemondifficult
 
6.
Happythankyoumoreplease (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Captures a generational moment - young people on the cusp of truly growing up, tiring of their reflexive cynicism, each in their own ways struggling to connect and define what it means to love and be loved. (100 mins.)
Director: Josh Radnor
“ Ted Mosby from HIMYM's attempt to "Braff" himself into indie stardom. It's cute, I guess. All of the scenes with Radnor and the kid are great, but it gets bogged down with sideplots that go nowhere. March. 5/10. ” - lemondifficult
 
7.
Paul (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Two English comic book geeks traveling across the U.S. encounter an alien outside Area 51. (104 mins.)
Director: Greg Mottola
“ Trails off towards the end. It could've been great if Edgar Wright was involved, I think. I laughed a lot. Pegg, Frost, and Wiig were all excellent and I got all the references. Rogen doesn't completely ruin it. March. 6/10. ” - lemondifficult
 
8.
Your Highness (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
When Prince Fabious's bride is kidnapped, he goes on a quest to rescue her... accompanied by his lazy useless brother Thadeous. (102 mins.)
“ With every movie that he releases, I get angrier and angrier at David Gordon Green, whose first four films are some of my absolute favorites. This is the best made terrible movie ever, with a fantastic cast, beautiful scenery, and great action set pieces. But oh yeah, there's neither a plot or a script. You kind of need those. April. 2/10. ” - lemondifficult
 
9.
13 Assassins (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A group of assassins come together for a suicide mission to kill an evil lord. (141 mins.)
Director: Takashi Miike
“ A wild, bloody re imagining of Seven Samurai by Audition director Miike. Starts off and ends crazy, violent, and stylish, but the middle drags and it lacks the humor or character development of Seven Samurai. When it works, though, it's giddily awesome. April. 6/10. ” - lemondifficult
 
10.
Incendies (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Twins journey to the Middle East to discover their family history, and fulfill their mother's last wishes. (131 mins.)
“ Nominated for Best Foreign Film last year. Should've won. Engaging mystery with a sickening twist borrowed from Greek tragedy. Plus Radiohead songs are used throughout. From Quebec. Released in the US in April. 8/10. ” - lemondifficult
 
11.
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
“ Too long and not as funny as people say. I'll never understand why the Apatow set think improvising random combinations of dirty words is more funny than just writing original jokes. I love the cast and a few parts made me laugh, but there's nothing original here, despite the "groundbreaking" sentiment that women can do comedy. May. 6/10. ” - lemondifficult
 
12.
Hesher (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A young boy has lost his mother and is losing touch with his father and the world around him. Then he meets Hesher who manages to make his life even more chaotic. (106 mins.)
Director: Spencer Susser
“ I don't know how I feel about this movie. It's like a bizarre acting exercise gone terrible wrong. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Natalie Portman are cast so far out of type that they strain believability, and yet they are the only reasons this is worth seeking out. I like director Susser's short films, but this is slight, odd, and kinda pointless. May. 3/10. ” - lemondifficult
 
13.
Submarine (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
15-year-old Oliver Tate has two objectives: To lose his virginity before his next birthday, and to extinguish the flame between his mother and an ex-lover who has resurfaced in her life. (97 mins.)
Director: Richard Ayoade
“ Borrows liberally from Godard and Truffaut, but not in an obnoxious, Wes Anderson way. The over-stylization is actually part of the plot, as you're watching the movie the main character would make. Really funny in parts and also super depressing. Definitely worth the watch. I can't imagine anyone not being charmed by it. May. 7/10. ” - lemondifficult
 
14.
Midnight in Paris (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
While on a trip to Paris with his fiancée's family, a nostalgic screenwriter finds himself mysteriously going back to the 1920s everyday at midnight. (94 mins.)
Director: Woody Allen
“ Woody Allen's funniest movie in years, possible of all time. So much fun. May/June. 9/10 ” - lemondifficult
 
15.
The Trip (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Steve Coogan has been asked by The Observer to tour the country's finest restaurants, but after his girlfriend backs out on him he must take his best friend and source of eternal aggravation, Rob Brydon. (112 mins.)
“ I would suggest watching the BBC series this is edited from. Sporadic moments of hilarity. Certainly not as self-indulgent and meaningless as you would assume. Both Coogan and Brydon are fantastic. June. 7/10. ” - lemondifficult
 
16.
The Tree of Life (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
The story of a family in Waco, Texas in 1956. The eldest son witnesses the loss of innocence and struggles with his parents' conflicting teachings. (139 mins.)
Director: Terrence Malick
“ I'm not going to even pretend I understood all of it, but man is it gorgeous. June. 9/10. ” - lemondifficult
 
17.
Beginners (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A young man is rocked by two announcements from his elderly father: that he has terminal cancer, and that he has a young male lover. (105 mins.)
Director: Mike Mills
“ A beautiful, understated love story with great acting and beautiful visuals. Probs my favorite of the summer. July. 8/10. ” - lemondifficult
 
18.
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
“ Much better than I even hoped. Pretty perfect. Splitting the book up turned out to be the right decision as everything is given enough time to be dramatic and powerful. July 15th. 7/10. ” - lemondifficult
 
19.
Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A middle-aged husband's life changes dramatically when his wife asks him for a divorce. He seeks to rediscover his manhood with the help of a newfound friend, Jacob, learning to pick up girls at bars. (118 mins.)
“ Just like everyone loves an indie sleeper, it's also refreshing when a big budget comedy turns out not to be a piece of s-t. Hilarious, adorable, and every moment rang true. Biggest surprise of the year. July. 8/10. ” - lemondifficult
 
20.
Attack the Block (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A teen gang in South London defend their block from an alien invasion. (88 mins.)
Director: Joe Cornish
“ Possibly the most underrated movie if the year. Every second is hilarious and so much fun, with convincing performances from a young cast of unknowns. The type of movie that deserves to be a constantly quoted cult hit. So much love for this movie. July 29th. 8/10. ” - lemondifficult
 
21.
The Future (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
When a couple decides to adopt a stray cat their perspective on life changes radically, literally altering the course of time and space and testing their faith in each other and themselves. (91 mins.)
Director: Miranda July
“ I've seen this twice since it came out; the first time I really liked it and a few months later I was disappointed. It's more funny than "Me and You," and it's inventive and unique, but I just felt unfulfilled with the ending. It also drags in parts. July and Linklater are perfect and there are some great moments and lines, but I wish I loved it more. August. 6/10. ” - lemondifficult
 
22.
Our Idiot Brother (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
A comedy centered on an idealist who barges into the lives of his three sisters. (90 mins.)
Director: Jesse Peretz
“ A few funny moments and one great scene (charades), but overall kind of forgettable. Really good cast, but I was disappointed that Adam Scott was so underutilized. Everyone was kind of underutilized, actually. Bounced around too much and didn't have much of a conclusion. Rudd is great, though. August 26th. 6/10. ” - lemondifficult
 
23.
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.)
“ The most shamelessly cool, creatively casted, indulgently bloody movie of the year. You either loved it or you hated it. I loved. Sept. 16th. 9/10. ” - lemondifficult
 
24.
50/50 (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Inspired by a true story, a comedy centered on a 27-year-old guy who learns of his cancer diagnosis, and his subsequent struggle to beat the disease. (100 mins.)
Director: Jonathan Levine
“ An exercise in generic crowd pleasing screenplay conventions, with two dimensional characters and nary an original moment. Succeeds on the ridiculous likability of JGL and Anna Kendrick, and the chemistry between JGL and Rogen. Sept. 30th. 5/10. ” - lemondifficult
 
25.
Take Shelter (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Plagued by a series of apocalyptic visions, a young husband and father questions whether to shelter his family from a coming storm, or from himself. (121 mins.)
Director: Jeff Nichols
“ Possibly my favorite movie of the year. Michael Shannon gives a powerhouse performance. Love the realism and gorgeous cinematography. There's an absolutely gut wrenching scene towards the end for which Shannon should just get the Oscar right now. Check out Nichol's "Shotgun Stories" if you haven't. October 14th. 10/10. ” - lemondifficult
 
26.
Melancholia (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Two sisters find their already strained relationship challenged as a mysterious new planet threatens to collide with Earth. (135 mins.)
Director: Lars von Trier
“ My favorite Von Trier film. While not all of it worked on an emotional level, it was absolutely gorgeous and the performances were excellent. Requires some patience, but it's worth it. One of my favorites of the year. November 4th. 8/10. ” - lemondifficult
 
27.
A Dangerous Method (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A look at how the intense relationship between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud gives birth to psychoanalysis. (99 mins.)
“ Go with the public and not the critics on this one. I don't know where the critics are seeing all of this depth and emotion. I saw a dry, textbook of a movie that wasn't terrible to watch but didn't move me in any way. Keira Knightley tries, but tries too hard. It's well made and Viggo's good, but it's not memorable in any sense other than the mustache sense. Nov. 10th. 6/10. ” - lemondifficult
 
28.
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
“ A bit too much forced humor and false moments for my taste, but overall I really liked it once the narration heavy first act ended. George is George, but Shailene Woodley is absolutely fantastic. I really want her to win Best Supporting Actress. Nov. 7/10. ” - lemondifficult
 
29.
The Muppets (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A Muppet fanatic with some help from his two human compatriots must regroup the Muppet gang to stop an avaricious oil mogul from taking down one of their precious life-longing treasures. (103 mins.)
Director: James Bobin
“ Not laugh out loud funny, but this movie made me very, very happy. Nov 23rd. 8/10. ” - lemondifficult
 
30.
Shame (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A man's carefully cultivated private life is disrupted when his sister arrives for an indefinite stay. (101 mins.)
Director: Steve McQueen
“ Starts off almost unhumanly unrealistic, as if McQueen has no idea what actual people do and how they act. For example, whenever Fassbender is at work the movie is full of lines like "Great job on the deal!" and the way everyone dances/flirts is downright bizarre. Picks up in the second half due to the emotional performances by Fassbender and Mulligan, and the ending is devastating. There are a few scene that seem to have been made on a whim and I have serious issues with, especially one set in a gay nightclub and the random performance of "New York, New York." The acting makes this worth seeing, and the end will stick with you. Dec. 7/10. ” - lemondifficult
 
31.
Young Adult (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Soon after her divorce, a fiction writer returns to her home in small-town Minnesota, looking to rekindle a romance with her ex-boyfriend, who is now happily married and has a newborn daughter. (94 mins.)
Director: Jason Reitman
“ Absolutely diabolical and insanely funny. Charlize Theron give the performance of a lifetime. A fearless film that deserves a ton of recognition. Dec. 9. 9/10. ” - lemondifficult
 
32.
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
“ This was perfect. Corrected all of the flaws of the Swedish film. Fincher was, of course, the man for the job. And oh my god Rooney Mara. Dec. 21st. 9/10. ” - lemondifficult