As I've done a few times before
, here are the lists of my favourite and least favourite films that I saw in 2011. As always, please chime in with your best / worst movies of the year in the comments. THE BEST
10) The Innkeepers - After the superlative House of the Devil, Ti West proves that he's one of the most interesting filmmakers working in the horror genre right now.
9) Cafe de Flore - Featuring an intriguingly fractured narrative that spans decades and weaves together two seemingly unrelated stories, and some of the best use of music I've seen in quite a while, this is definitely a movie that sticks with you.
8 ) The Artist - Though it sounds gimmicky on paper, this is a surprisingly delightful film, thanks in large part to the two charismatic leads (and the most adorable movie dog ever, pretty much).
7) The Tree of Life - This is definitely a love it or hate it type of film, with no narrative to speak of, and an extremely deliberate pace. It's also the most beautiful film to come out this year, and enchantingly hypnotic.
6) Hanna - With Joe Wright's stylish direction and The Chemical Brothers' propulsive score, this is definitely a film that takes a seemingly routine premise and turns it into something special.
5) Super 8 - Though film pays extensive homage to '80s cinema like E.T., it's definitely its own thing -- an exciting, fun, well made big summer popcorn movie (an increasing rarity, these days).
4) A Separation - A fascinating, downright riveting film about the aftermath of an altercation gone seriously wrong.
3) Drive - An awesomely stylish, badass movie that recalls the crime movies of the '70s, and that features one of the most memorable performances of the year from Albert Brooks.
2) The Descendants - Another low-key masterpiece from Alexander Payne.
1) Attack the Block - Seriously, if you haven't seen this, watch it now. So much fun. THE WORST
10) Cowboys and Aliens - There are probably movies more technically deserving of this spot, but I had to include this movie for taking such an awesome premise and turning it into something so disappointingly dull and lifeless.
9) In Time - Though I'm a big fan of Andrew Niccol, and I like Justin Timberlake as an actor, this movie took an intriguing premise and turned it into a complete mess of groan-inducing time puns and heavy-handed social commentary.
8 ) Sleeping Beauty - This almost plays like a parody of a pretentious art-house film.
7) The Change-Up - An unfunny, overlong bore. And I actually LIKE body-switching comedies!
6) Battle: Los Angeles - Features a surfeit of uninspired shaky-cam action and a group of generic soldiers who couldn't be more boring.
5) Bad Teacher - Meh. The biggest problem here is that Cameron Diaz's character is a boringly one-note jerk who is a completely misguided main character for a movie.
4) Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - A completely lifeless film that's just a chore to sit through.
3) Transformers: Dark of the Moon - Features some impressive action and special effects, but it's hard to care when the movie itself is so horrible.
2) Larry Crowne - Why, Tom Hanks, why? I'm a big fan of Hanks, but here he's surrounded by an overstuffed cast of unreasonably quirky characters, and has absolutely zero chemistry with Julia Roberts in what is ostensibly a romantic comedy.
1) Ong Bak 3 - I'm not even sure if this counts as a real movie, but it came out this year so I'm including it. A haphazard, incomprehensible mess of a film. Even the action, which should have been the saving grace of this movie, was completely mediocre. I would say that this is the last nail in the coffin for Tony Jaa's once-promising career, but apparently he's making a movie with Sammo Hung, so there's hope for him yet.