The Best of Cinema 2011

Here are my favorite films of year. This is strictly from what I saw in theaters this year.

10. Midnight in Paris – Woody Allen at his most playful and nostalgic, bolstered by a lovely, committed ensemble.

9. War Horse – Unabashedly sentimental and expertly crafted, Steven Spielberg’s ode to classical Hollywood filmmaking is at times just as good as the films it emulates.

8. The Ides of March – A well written, terrifically directed and cast political drama from George Clooney, whose cinematic skills grow increasingly impressive.

7. The Adventures of Tintin – Spielberg’s nonstop action adventure demonstrates the true cinematic potential for motion capture animation, while also managing to be his most fun film in nearly a decade.

6. Melancholia – Never before has the end of the world, both literally and figuratively, looked so simultaneously bleak and beautiful.

5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 – Not only a fitting emotional capstone to a decade long saga, but also a mature look at the acceptance of mortality.

4. The Descendants – Featuring George Clooney’s most completely human portrayal to date, Alexander Payne’s film transcends all potential cliches and delivers a humorous, moving, and nuanced portrait of a family in crisis.

3. Hugo – Martin Scorsese’s masterful ode to the history of cinema through the eyes of a child is the most purely joyful film of the year, and contains the best use of 3D the format has ever known.

2. Drive – The rare, yet perfect concoction of art and entertainment, the core of Nicolas Winding Refn’s neo noir is Ryan Gosling’s Driver, who is destined to become one of the iconically cool celluloid characters.

1. The Tree of Life – A work of art and poetry on every level, utilizing every cinematic tool to its highest purpose and resulting in a film that defies all categorization save for one adjective: masterpiece.

Scene of the year: The elevator scene in Drive, which visually encapsulates all of male desire and aggression within the space of three unforgettable minutes.

Underrated: Warrior

Overrated: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo


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~ by romancinema on December 31, 2011.

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