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Sunday, January 01, 2012

Films of 2011

As I annually note, I watch a lot of movies, though most are viewed on DVD (or from DVR recordings) on my television. Because I do not see that many new films in the theater, I cannot at year's end write a credible post on the best movies of 2011. After all, I have not yet seen many of the highly touted films released in late December. But I will. Eventually.

In fact, many of the best films I saw this past year were older films on DVD/DVR that I originally missed in the theaters -- or were 2010 films I saw in the theaters during early 2011.

To make this abbreviated 2011 list, I scanned the top grossing movies of the year, as well as IMDB's most popular titles for 2011 and Movie Review Intelligence. In rank order of my preference, these were the best 2011 films I saw this year, so far as I can tell:

Moneyball **
Margin Call **
Midnight in Paris **
Bridesmaids **
The Trip
The Company Men

I think almost any film lover would enjoy these 8 films. The list is topped by two films with the same theme -- employing somewhat obscure information to gain a market advantage over rivals in business. In Moneyball, a small-market baseball team excels despite the odds. In Margin Call, greedy Wall Street traders take down the global economy. The Company Men shows the implications for everyone, as does Win-Win. Midnight in Paris, Bridesmaids and The Trip are comedies, but they are very well done. And quite different from one another. Beginners sounds like a sappy movie-of-the-week, but it is well-executed.

The rest of the 2011 films I saw aren't ranked with much care, though the films near the top of this list are better than the ones near the bottom:

Super 8 **
Crazy Stupid Love **
Lincoln Lawyer
Friends with Benefits
Horrible Bosses **
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol **
Captain America **
Everything Must Go
Adjustment Bureau
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows (part 2) **
Take Me Home Tonight
Cedar Rapids
Source Code
The Beaver
Our Idiot Brother
30 Minutes or Less
X-Men: First Class
No Strings Attached

** I saw these films in the theater.

Obviously, I saw more current-year movies in 2011 than I have in recent years. This is because of a Redbox located in a grocery store just over 2 blocks from my house.

Here's the annual list of movies I intend to see in the future (hopefully in 2012): 50/50, The Adventures of Tintin, Another Earth, The Artist, Attack the Block, Barney's Version, Bellflower, A Better Life, Certified Copy, Contagion, Cowboys & Aliens, A Dangerous Method, The Dept, The Descendants, Drive, Fast Five, The Future, Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Go Go Tales, The Guard, Higher Ground, Hugo, The Ides of March, In Time, The Interrupters, The Iron Lady, J. Edgar, Jane Eyre, Le Havre, Like Crazy, Lovers of Hate, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Meek's Cutoff, Melancholia, Mysteries of Lisbon, Myth of the American Sleepover, My Week with Marilyn, Of Gods and Men, Page One: A Year Inside the New York Times, Point Blank, Rango, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Robber, A Separation, Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows, The Skin I Live In, Small Town Murder Songs, Submarine, Tabloid, Take Shelter, Terri, Thor, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Tower Heist, Tree of Life, War Horse, The Way Back, We Bought a Zoo, We Need to Talk About Kevin, Weekend, and Young Adult.

Metacritic helped me form that list.

Keep in mind that I didn't get around to seeing many 2010 movies from last year's wishlist:Another Year, Blue Valentine, The Book of Eli, Buried, Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer, Get Him to the Greek, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, Green Zone, Greenberg, It's Kind of a Funny Story, Kick-Ass, Let Me In, Machete, Megamind, A Prophet, Rabbit Hole, Restrepo, Shutter Island, Unstoppable, and Unthinkable.

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