The Best and Worst Films of 2011

Of course, no one has enough time to see every film made in 2011, and there were some big ones that I personally missed. So these lists should be more accurately titled “My Favorite and Least  Favorite Films from 2011 That I Have Seen (So far)”

The Worst Film of the Year

ChilleramaAdam Green, Joe Lynch, Tim Sullivan, Adam Rifkin, USA

A juvenile and offensive mess. This doesn’t send-up old drive-in horror films like a lot of people say. It just shows that the filmmakers have no idea what made those films fun to watch.

The Best!

11) The Future – Miranda July, USA

A strange surreal mixture about people trying to find their place in life. It also has a talking cat. The best thing was that the film made me think.

10) Contagion – Steven Soderbergh, USA

Soderbergh has a talent for making a solid, entertaining film in any genre. Here he excels at telling the story of a plague, and all the people affected by it, from start to finish.

9) Tree of Life – Terrence Malick, USA

Just sit back and let the film wash over you. You won’t understand all the imagery, but may be affected by some. But no matter what you think, you have to admire Malick for trying to make something different.

8) Hanna – Joe Wright, USA

The simple story is merely a shell to show off brutally perfect direction, killer music, and a really cool performance by Ronan. Joe Wright is a craftsman, and this film really showcases his talents.

7) Cold Weather – Aaron Katz, USA

A strange hybrid of mumble-core and mystery. A group of young people set out to find a missing person. But the film is about the people. The mystery is just entertaining window-dressing.

6) Melancholia – Lars von Trier, Denmark

I have a love-hate relationship with Von Trier himself, but there is no denying the power of his films. This one is no exception, showing characters dealing with nothing less than the end of existence.

5) 13 Samurai – Takashi Miike, Japan

Miike’s best film in a while. A group of samurai must kill a incredibly evil politician. They all have their reasons, and the joy is learning about them, and their plan, and then watching it all unfold.

4) Super 8 – J.J. Abrams, USA

Yes, the rumors are true. This film is a Spielberg tribute. And it’s a good one. I identified with this film just like I identified with The Goonies when I was ten years old. It has superb attention to detail in all aspects.

3) The Artist – Michel Hazanavicius, France

Disclaimer: I’ve always loved silent films. This one gets it right. It’s an homage to an era. But its not a copy. It knows enough about movies to do its own thing and to remain true to the spirit of the time-period. It’s an absolute delight.

2) Midnight in Paris– Woody Allen, USA

Woody Allen is still going strong. A film a year for, what is it, 40 years? This one showcases the man’s sense of humor and knowledge of art and history. It’s not deep, but it doesn’t need to be. It’s smart, and as beautiful as Paris in the rain. How can you not smile as this film unfolds?

1) Incendies – Denis Villeneuve, Canada

It has a powerful set-up, where a brother a sister are tasked with unlocking their mother’s mysterious past. And it does not let-up from there. It’s a brutal and emotional journey into a dark and disturbing mystery. I was very effected by the film at multiple times. Good use of a Radiohead song.

2011 was a pretty good year. Stay tuned for the Filmies! Where LCD and I give out individual awards to films that deserve (and don’t deserve) recognition in a certain category.

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