Best of 2011

Best movies of 2011, in my personal opinion.
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1.
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 trouble when he helps out his neighbor. (100 mins.)
“ ...Whoa. ” - beckmen
 
2.
Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Haunted by painful memories and increasing paranoia, a damaged woman struggles to re-assimilate with her family after fleeing an abusive cult. (102 mins.)
Director: Sean Durkin
“ Haunting and intense, with a break-out performance from Elizabeth Olsen and steady-handed direction by newcomer Sean Durkin. ” - beckmen
 
3.
The Sunset Limited (2011 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Two men in an apartment with their opposing beliefs. (91 mins.)
Director: Tommy Lee Jones
“ Cormac McCarthy, I think I love you. Also, Samuel L. Jackson: Do more of this kind of stuff! I was starting to loose faith in the man as a legitimate actor. This film proved he's still got it; when he puts forth the effort. Tommy Lee Jones is great as well, with a particularly brilliant turn at the end. ” - beckmen
 
4.
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
“ It's intense and ominous in all the right places, for all the right reasons. Michael Shannon gives an excellent performance, perhaps the best of the year. ” - beckmen
 
5.
Haywire (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
A black ops super soldier seeks payback after she is betrayed and set up during a mission. (93 mins.)
“ Not nearly enough ass-kicking and action, but what little is offered is jaw-dropping. The more exposition elements of the film unravel in a very cool, very Soderbergh-ian way. ” - beckmen
 
6.
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
“ Finally, a female-centric comedy that I find to be legitimately funny. Prior to its release, my friends and I could not think of one such movie. ” - beckmen
 
7.
Hobo with a Shotgun (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
A homeless vigilante blows away crooked cops, pedophile Santas, and other scumbags with his trusty pump-action shotgun. (86 mins.)
Director: Jason Eisener
“ How could I forget this little gem? A hilarious love letter to the exploitation genre. ” - beckmen
 
8.
The Guard (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
An unorthodox Irish policeman with a confrontational personality is partnered with an up-tight F.B.I. agent to investigate an international drug-smuggling ring. (96 mins.)
“ Brendan Gleeson is great, and the supporting cast is quite good in this genuinely funny and decidedly Irish buddy cop comedy. Cheadle is good as well, but is over-shadowed by the main star. ” - beckmen
 
9.
Super 8 (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
During the summer of 1979, a group of friends witness a train crash and investigate subsequent unexplained events in their small town. (112 mins.)
Director: J.J. Abrams
“ Nice 1980s throwback flick. If you're not a child of the 80s, you probably won't experience the nostalgia. But this is probably definitely a film for a certain generation, and while it's in no way groundbreaking; it does the trick for the target audience. ” - beckmen
 
10.
Hanna (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A sixteen-year-old girl who was raised by her father to be the perfect assassin is dispatched on a mission across Europe, tracked by a ruthless intelligence agent and her operatives. (111 mins.)
Director: Joe Wright
“ Stylish, artistic, kinetic and sporting excellent music, sound design, acting and cinematography. A pleasant surprise after recent disappointments such as 'Salt'. ” - beckmen
 
11.
Higher Ground (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
A chronicle of one woman's lifelong struggle with her faith. (109 mins.)
Director: Vera Farmiga
“ An examination of one woman's life-long struggle with faith. Note-worthy because it's neither anti nor pro-religion. It stays away from both left-wing film conventions and Hallmark goody-two-shoes Christian family-friendly saccharine. It's earnest, it's challenging, it's worth checking out. ” - beckmen
 
12.
X-Men: First Class (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
In 1962, the United States government enlists the help of Mutants with superhuman abilities to stop a malicious dictator who is determined to start World War III. (132 mins.)
Director: Matthew Vaughn
“ Would be so, so much better had they not shat all over the previous film's continuity. They don't bother to call it a reboot, either. A pity. Still, better than Last Stand and Wolverine. ” - beckmen
 
13.
Thor (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
The powerful but arrogant god Thor is cast out of Asgard to live amongst humans in Midgard (Earth), where he soon becomes one of their finest defenders. (115 mins.)
Director: Kenneth Branagh
“ All the fun of a typical Marvel adventure, with a tad more heart. It's not The Dark Knight, Watchmen or even Kick-Ass, but it's a solid flick. ” - beckmen
 
14.
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
“ More consistently funny than a lot of the full-on comedies I've seen thus far in 2011 (September). Rudd is charming as always, and how can you not love that supporting cast? ” - beckmen
 
15.
Conan O'Brien Can't Stop (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A documentary on Conan O'Brien's comedy tour of the U.S. and Canada after leaving his post at "The Tonight Show" and severing his relationship with NBC. (89 mins.)
Director: Rodman Flender
“ For a longtime fan of Conan, this documentary is just a great treat. It's raw, unfiltered Conan...complete with his admitted passive-aggressive use of humor, and human side showing. ” - beckmen
 
16.
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
“ Tom McCarthy directs his third film; and the third 'win' in terms of his directing career. He's treading familiar ground with the surrogate family motif, but perhaps this is the third in a deliberate concept trilogy. ” - beckmen
 
17.
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
“ Another good performance from Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Seth Rogen is kind of oversold here, he probably has equal screentime with Anna Kendrick, who's rapport with Levitt is awkward and great. The movie is also consistently amusing without getting maudlin. ” - beckmen
 
18.
Shame (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
In New York City, Brandon's carefully cultivated private life - which allows him to indulge his sexual addiction - is disrupted when his sister arrives unannounced for an indefinite stay. (101 mins.)
Director: Steve McQueen
“ A beautiful film, in which subtext often replaces character and plot development. This is a double-edged sword, but the film is still worth seeing. ” - beckmen
 
19.
Insidious (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A family looks to prevent evil spirits from trapping their comatose child in a realm called The Further. (103 mins.)
Director: James Wan
“ Although it gets silly towards the end, the build-up is filled with genuinely scary moments. Something few horror movies manage to do. ” - beckmen
 
20.
Drive Angry (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
A vengeful father escapes from hell and chases after the men who killed his daughter and kidnapped his granddaughter. (104 mins.)
Director: Patrick Lussier
“ A fun exercise in neo-trash cinema. Finally, a role where Nic Cage can act like a maniac and actually feel right at home within the film. ” - beckmen
 
21.
Paul (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Two British comic-book geeks traveling across the U.S. encounter an alien outside Area 51. (104 mins.)
Director: Greg Mottola
 
22.
Elektra Luxx (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  
Life for porn actress Elektra Luxx gets turned upside down when she finds out she's pregnant. (100 mins.)
 
23.
Rubber (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
A homicidal car tire, discovering it has destructive psionic power, sets its sights on a desert town once a mysterious woman becomes its obsession. (82 mins.)
Director: Quentin Dupieux
 
24.
The Raid: Redemption (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A S.W.A.T. team becomes trapped in a tenement run by a ruthless mobster and his army of killers and thugs. (101 mins.)
 
25.
Rid of Me (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A scathing black comedy of embarrassment, RID OF ME charts the emotional breakdown and rebirth of a woman ripe for self-discovery. (90 mins.)
Director: James Westby
“ From the director of Film Geek comes another excellent character piece. It's at times funny, as well. But beware, it's *beep* weird as *beep* ” - beckmen