The 40 best movies of 2011

by hmarinhosilva | created - 22 Jan 2012 | updated - 23 Dec 2012 | Public
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1. Drive (I) (2011)

R | 100 min | Crime, Drama

78 Metascore

A mysterious Hollywood stuntman and mechanic moonlights as a getaway driver and finds himself in trouble when he helps out his neighbor.

Director: Nicolas Winding Refn | Stars: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks

Votes: 491,608 | Gross: $35.06M

2. The Artist (I) (2011)

PG-13 | 100 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

89 Metascore

A silent movie star meets a young dancer, but the arrival of talking pictures sends their careers in opposite directions.

Director: Michel Hazanavicius | Stars: Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman, James Cromwell

Votes: 208,695 | Gross: $44.67M

3. A Separation (2011)

PG-13 | 123 min | Drama, Mystery

95 Metascore

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.

Director: Asghar Farhadi | Stars: Payman Maadi, Leila Hatami, Sareh Bayat, Shahab Hosseini

Votes: 180,889 | Gross: $7.10M

4. The Intouchables (2011)

R | 112 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

57 Metascore

After he becomes a quadriplegic from a paragliding accident, an aristocrat hires a young man from the projects to be his caregiver.

Directors: Olivier Nakache, Éric Toledano | Stars: François Cluzet, Omar Sy, Anne Le Ny, Audrey Fleurot

Votes: 614,837 | Gross: $13.18M

5. Melancholia (2011)

R | 135 min | Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi

80 Metascore

Two sisters find their already strained relationship challenged as a mysterious new planet threatens to collide with Earth.

Director: Lars von Trier | Stars: Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kiefer Sutherland, Alexander Skarsgård

Votes: 144,567 | Gross: $3.03M

6. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

R | 158 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

71 Metascore

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.

Director: David Fincher | Stars: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgård

Votes: 367,347 | Gross: $102.52M

7. Shame (2011)

NC-17 | 101 min | Drama

72 Metascore

A man's carefully cultivated private life is disrupted when his sister arrives for an indefinite stay.

Director: Steve McQueen | Stars: Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, James Badge Dale, Lucy Walters

Votes: 163,601 | Gross: $4.00M

8. Midnight in Paris (2011)

PG-13 | 94 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

81 Metascore

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.

Director: Woody Allen | Stars: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Kathy Bates, Kurt Fuller

Votes: 338,558 | Gross: $56.82M

9. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

R | 122 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

85 Metascore

In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley is forced from semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet Agent within MI6.

Director: Tomas Alfredson | Stars: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Mark Strong

Votes: 166,414 | Gross: $24.15M

10. Killer Joe (2011)

R | 102 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

62 Metascore

When a debt puts a young man's life in danger, he turns to putting a hit out on his evil mother in order to collect the insurance.

Director: William Friedkin | Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple, Thomas Haden Church

Votes: 64,920 | Gross: $1.99M

11. Oslo, 31. august (2011)

Not Rated | 95 min | Drama

84 Metascore

One day in the life of Anders, a young recovering drug addict, who takes a brief leave from his treatment center to interview for a job and catch up with old friends in Oslo.

Director: Joachim Trier | Stars: Anders Danielsen Lie, Hans Olav Brenner, Ingrid Olava, Malin Crépin

Votes: 15,998 | Gross: $0.10M

12. 50/50 (2011)

R | 100 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

72 Metascore

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.

Director: Jonathan Levine | Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard

Votes: 291,531 | Gross: $35.01M

13. The Descendants (2011)

R | 115 min | Comedy, Drama

84 Metascore

A land baron tries to reconnect with his two daughters after his wife is seriously injured in a boating accident.

Director: Alexander Payne | Stars: George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Amara Miller, Nick Krause

Votes: 217,319 | Gross: $82.58M

14. La piel que habito (2011)

R | 120 min | Drama, Thriller

70 Metascore

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.

Director: Pedro Almodóvar | Stars: Antonio Banderas, Elena Anaya, Jan Cornet, Marisa Paredes

Votes: 116,397 | Gross: $3.19M

15. Hugo (2011)

PG | 126 min | Adventure, Drama, Family

83 Metascore

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.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz, Christopher Lee, Ben Kingsley

Votes: 271,932 | Gross: $73.86M

16. The Kid with a Bike (2011)

PG-13 | 87 min | Drama

87 Metascore

Abandoned by his father, a young boy is left in a state-run youth farm. In a random act of kindness, the town hair-dresser agrees to foster him on week-ends.

Directors: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne | Stars: Thomas Doret, Cécile de France, Jérémie Renier, Fabrizio Rongione

Votes: 23,514 | Gross: $1.38M

17. Medianeras (2011)

Not Rated | 95 min | Comedy, Drama

60 Metascore

Martín and Mariana are slightly damaged people who live in buildings just opposite one another. While they often don't notice each other, separation might be the very thing that brings them together.

Director: Gustavo Taretto | Stars: Javier Drolas, Miguel Dedovich, Pilar López de Ayala, Miguel Alvarez

Votes: 12,021 | Gross: $0.00M

18. Like Crazy (2011)

PG-13 | 86 min | Drama, Romance

68 Metascore

A British college student falls for an American student, only to be separated from him when she's banned from the U.S. after overstaying her visa.

Director: Drake Doremus | Stars: Felicity Jones, Anton Yelchin, Jennifer Lawrence, Charlie Bewley

Votes: 53,247 | Gross: $3.41M

19. We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)

R | 112 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

68 Metascore

Kevin's mother struggles to love her strange child, despite the increasingly dangerous things he says and does as he grows up. But Kevin is just getting started, and his final act will be beyond anything anyone imagined.

Director: Lynne Ramsay | Stars: Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, Ezra Miller, Jasper Newell

Votes: 114,015 | Gross: $1.74M

20. Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)

R | 102 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

75 Metascore

Haunted by painful memories and increasing paranoia, a damaged woman struggles to re-assimilate with her family after fleeing an abusive cult.

Director: Sean Durkin | Stars: Elizabeth Olsen, Sarah Paulson, John Hawkes, Christopher Abbott

Votes: 43,973 | Gross: $2.98M

21. My Week with Marilyn (2011)

R | 99 min | Biography, Drama

65 Metascore

Colin Clark, an employee of Sir Laurence Olivier's, documents the tense interaction between Olivier and Marilyn Monroe during the production of The Prince and the Showgirl (1957).

Director: Simon Curtis | Stars: Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Kenneth Branagh, Julia Ormond

Votes: 76,961 | Gross: $14.60M

22. Moneyball (2011)

PG-13 | 133 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

87 Metascore

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.

Director: Bennett Miller | Stars: Brad Pitt, Robin Wright, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman

Votes: 310,375 | Gross: $75.61M

23. The Tree of Life (2011)

PG-13 | 139 min | Drama, Fantasy

85 Metascore

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.

Director: Terrence Malick | Stars: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain, Hunter McCracken

Votes: 149,994 | Gross: $13.30M

24. Tyrannosaur (2011)

Not Rated | 92 min | Drama

65 Metascore

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.

Director: Paddy Considine | Stars: Peter Mullan, Archie Lal, Jag Sanghera, Mike Fearnley

Votes: 26,947 | Gross: $0.02M

25. La guerre est déclarée (2011)

Not Rated | 100 min | Drama

73 Metascore

When their young son is diagnosed with a brain tumor, young parents Roméo and Juliette unite in the fight for his survival.

Director: Valérie Donzelli | Stars: Valérie Donzelli, Jérémie Elkaïm, César Desseix, Gabriel Elkaïm

Votes: 4,567 | Gross: $0.05M

26. The Ides of March (2011)

R | 101 min | Drama, Thriller

67 Metascore

An idealistic staffer for a new presidential candidate gets a crash course on dirty politics during his stint on the campaign trail.

Director: George Clooney | Stars: Paul Giamatti, George Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ryan Gosling

Votes: 201,994 | Gross: $40.96M

27. Restless (I) (2011)

PG-13 | 91 min | Drama, Romance

47 Metascore

The story of a terminally ill teenage girl who falls for a boy who likes to attend funerals and their encounters with the ghost of a Japanese kamikaze pilot from WWII.

Director: Gus Van Sant | Stars: Mia Wasikowska, Henry Hopper, Ryo Kase, Schuyler Fisk

Votes: 16,205 | Gross: $0.16M

28. Carnage (2011)

R | 80 min | Comedy, Drama

61 Metascore

Two pairs of parents hold a cordial meeting after their sons are involved in a fight, though as their time together progresses, increasingly childish behavior throws the discussion into chaos.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, John C. Reilly

Votes: 106,422 | Gross: $2.55M

29. War Horse (2011)

PG-13 | 146 min | Drama, War

72 Metascore

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.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, David Thewlis, Benedict Cumberbatch

Votes: 129,449 | Gross: $79.88M

30. The Adventures of Tintin (2011)

PG | 107 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

68 Metascore

Intrepid reporter Tintin and Captain Haddock set off on a treasure hunt for a sunken ship commanded by Haddock's ancestor.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg

Votes: 193,488 | Gross: $77.59M

31. Contagion (2011)

PG-13 | 106 min | Drama, Thriller

70 Metascore

Healthcare professionals, government officials and everyday people find themselves in the midst of a worldwide epidemic as the CDC works to find a cure.

Director: Steven Soderbergh | Stars: Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow

Votes: 193,836 | Gross: $75.66M

32. Win Win (2011)

R | 106 min | Comedy, Drama, Sport

75 Metascore

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.

Director: Tom McCarthy | Stars: Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan, Jeffrey Tambor, Bobby Cannavale

Votes: 50,702 | Gross: $10.18M

33. Take Shelter (2011)

R | 120 min | Drama, Thriller

85 Metascore

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.

Director: Jeff Nichols | Stars: Michael Shannon, Jessica Chastain, Shea Whigham, Tova Stewart

Votes: 78,830 | Gross: $1.73M

34. A torinói ló (2011)

Not Rated | 155 min | Drama

80 Metascore

A rural farmer is forced to confront the mortality of his faithful horse.

Directors: Béla Tarr, Ágnes Hranitzky | Stars: János Derzsi, Erika Bók, Mihály Kormos, Ricsi

Votes: 12,279 | Gross: $0.05M

35. Albert Nobbs (2011)

R | 113 min | Drama, Romance

57 Metascore

Albert Nobbs struggles to survive in late 19th-century Ireland, where women aren't encouraged to be independent. Posing as a man so she can work as a butler in Dublin's most elegant hotel, Albert meets a handsome painter and looks to escape the lie she has been living.

Director: Rodrigo García | Stars: Glenn Close, Mia Wasikowska, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Antonia Campbell-Hughes

Votes: 21,389 | Gross: $3.01M

36. The Help (2011)

PG-13 | 146 min | Drama

62 Metascore

An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.

Director: Tate Taylor | Stars: Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Bryce Dallas Howard

Votes: 368,686 | Gross: $169.71M

38. Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011)

PG-13 | 118 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

68 Metascore

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.

Directors: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa | Stars: Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone

Votes: 416,288 | Gross: $84.35M

39. Another Earth (2011)

PG-13 | 92 min | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi

66 Metascore

On the night of the discovery of a duplicate Earth in the Solar system, an ambitious young student and an accomplished composer cross paths in a tragic accident.

Director: Mike Cahill | Stars: Brit Marling, William Mapother, Matthew-Lee Erlbach, DJ Flava

Votes: 81,639 | Gross: $1.32M

40. Attack the Block (2011)

R | 88 min | Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi

75 Metascore

A teen gang in South London defend their block from an alien invasion.

Director: Joe Cornish | Stars: John Boyega, Jodie Whittaker, Alex Esmail, Leeon Jones

Votes: 89,907 | Gross: $1.02M