The Best Movies of 2011

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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.)
“ “Drive” is a tremendous modern crime-noir that not only showcases Nicolas Winding Refn’s skill as a brilliant filmmaker, but it also boosts fantastic performance from Ryan Gosling as stuntman/getaway driver-for-hire and Albert Brooks as a crime boss. The film also boosts an impressive soundtrack composed by Cliff Martinez and feature memorable songs that seems to come straight from the 80s like “A Real Hero” and possibly the best elevator scene in a movie since “The Departed”. ” - moviefilmdevotee
A Separation (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A married couple are faced with a difficult decision - to improve the life of their child by moving to another country or to stay in Iran and look after a deteriorating parent who has Alzheimer's disease. (123 mins.)
Director: Asghar Farhadi
“ It has been a while (aka 2007's "Pan's Labyrinth") since I have seen a perfect foreign langauge film and "A Separation" breaks that streak. The screenplay is brilliantly written with a mortality tale and flawed characters. It also sheds a light on Iranian culture for people who did not know about it. Asghar Farhadi's direction is outstanding and the performances from the ensemble are top-notch. ” - moviefilmdevotee
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
“ “Take Shelter”, which is the second collaboration between director Jeff Nichols and actor Michael Shannon, is a fascinating portrayal of mental illness and paranoia that features award-worthy performances from Shannon as man tortured by ominous visions and Jessica Chastain as his wife who is frightened by his behavior. Nichols does a great job to build the suspense throughout this movie as whether or not Shannon’s character has indeed inherent his mother’s schizophrenia. ” - moviefilmdevotee
I Saw the Devil (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A secret agent exacts revenge on a serial killer through a series of captures and releases. (141 mins.)
Director: Kim Jee-woon
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
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
“ Who would have thought that the end of the world could look so beautiful? Written and directed by Lars von Trier, “Melancholia” focuses on two sisters who deal with the impending apocalypse in their own different ways. This film is truly in the hands of a gifted filmmaker like von Trier as you can see with the opening sequence of “Melancholia” that foreshadows events in the movie and actually shows the end of the world. The performances from the ensemble (especially Kristen Dunst’s turn as a depressed bride) and von Trier’s keen eye for filmmaking make “Melancholia” a stark and haunting film that will stick with you for quite a while. ” - moviefilmdevotee
Hugo (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
In Paris in 1931, an orphan named Hugo Cabret who lives in the walls of a train station is wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automaton. (126 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
“ There were two movies that came out this year that embodied the spirit of the 1920s and the love of silent movies: “The Artist” and “Hugo”. However, I feel that “Hugo” was a more enjoyable and enthralling movie-watching experience compared to “The Artist”. Based on the award-winning children’s novel “The Invention of Hugo Cabaret”, “Hugo” is not director Martin Scorsese’s first venture into 3D territory, but it is also love letter to cinema that not only recreates scenes from silent movies like George Melies’ “A Trip to the Moon” and Harold Lloyd’s “Safety Last”, but also invokes the importance of film preservation. ” - moviefilmdevotee
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A further followup of the case of the West Memphis Three and the decades long fight to exonerate them that finally gained traction with new DNA evidence. (121 mins.)
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
“ “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” is David Fincher’s version of the first part of Stieg Larsson’s story that has a great cast that is anchored by an unbelievable performance from Rooney Mara and a haunting score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. Not to mention that the movie also has the best opening title sequence of the year featuring a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” done by Reznor and Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. ” - moviefilmdevotee
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
“ “Moneyball” is more then not just another baseball movie as director Bennett Miller breaks away from just telling formulaic tale of the underdog (in this case, the 2002 Oakland A’s) rising against expectation. Featuring the best performances of their career from Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill as a GM and his assistant who use sabermetrics to assemble a competitive team, the film also has a great script from the screenwriting team of Aaron Sorkin & Steven Zalian that is destined to win an Oscar this year. ” - moviefilmdevotee
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
“ The best was certainly for last as “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 2” is the epic and satisfying finale to the franchise that will satisfy Harry Potter fans and moviegoers with Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) going against Lord Voldermort (Ralph Fiennes) in the ultimate battle of good vs. evil. If anything, the film’s technical achievements certainly deserves attention at the upcoming Oscar ceremony. ” - moviefilmdevotee
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
The Interrupters (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A year in the life of a city grappling with urban violence. (125 mins.)
Director: Steve James
“ With "The Interrupters", writer Alex Kotlowitz and documentary filmmaker Steve James ("Hoop Dreams") captures the cycle of violence in such a complete way that you can finally start to see how it could in fact end. The documentary focuses on Chicago-based violence prevention group that largely consists of former convicts and people who have spent time in prison as they dedicate a large portion of their time to being present in the communities where violence strikes and stopping conflicts before they escalate into violence. "The Interrupters" explores the deepest depths and root causes of violence. This documentary is a wake-up call because unless the City of Chicago or the government does something about to end violence, no one individual could end this cycle of violence all by themselves. ” - moviefilmdevotee
Senna (2010 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
A documentary on Brazilian Formula One racing driver Ayrton Senna, who won the F1 world championship three times before his death at age 34. (106 mins.)
Director: Asif Kapadia
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
The Skin I Live In (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A brilliant plastic surgeon, haunted by past tragedies, creates a type of synthetic skin that withstands any kind of damage. His guinea pig: a mysterious and volatile woman who holds the key to his obsession. (120 mins.)
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley is forced from semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet agent within MI6. (122 mins.)
Director: Tomas Alfredson
The Adventures of Tintin (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Intrepid reporter Tintin and Captain Haddock set off on a treasure hunt for a sunken ship commanded by Haddock's ancestor. (107 mins.)
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
Warrior (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
The youngest son of an alcoholic former boxer returns home, where he's trained by his father for competition in a mixed martial arts tournament - a path that puts the fighter on a collision course with his estranged, older brother. (140 mins.)
Director: Gavin O'Connor
George Harrison: Living in the Material World (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Filmmaker Martin Scorsese examines the life of musician George Harrison, weaving together interviews, concert footage, home movies and photographs. (208 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
Margaret (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A young woman witnesses a bus accident, and is caught up in the aftermath, where the question of whether or not it was intentional affects many people's lives. (150 mins.)
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
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
The Wrestling Road Diaries (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Three independent wrestlers (Colt Cabana, Sal Rinauro and Bryan Danielson) document their trials and tribulations whilst travelling across America. (165 mins.)
Director: Eric Santamaria