My favourite films of 2011

So here is my list of favorite films that I saw during the 2011 film year so far. I have obviously not seen every film that was released this year and I will probably see more films from 2011 in the future that I might want to add to this list, but of the 75 films that I did see in 2011, these were the ones that I enjoyed watching most and would watch again. Films that I saw that didn’t make this list may also have been good, but I would probably not consider watching them more than once.  

My criteria for this list are naturally subjective as everyone has their own taste but for me a film must have the following: visually it should be unique, bold and stimulating, in other words, the world that has been created must be immersive and authentic with a consistent visual style. The story concept should be interesting, suspenseful and character driven. Performances should be logical and realistic given the situation, character and style of the film, and it should be an emotionally engaging experience overall. (Not too much to ask, is it?)

It was a particularly good year for Sci-fi/fantasy and Feel Good/Comedy/Romances, and there were also some high points in Animation and Foreign films. Below is my list organized by Genres and then in chronological order of release date. (Click on the highlighted films to read my reviews)

Sci-fi/fantasy:                                                                   Director
The Adjustment Bureau                                                      George Nolfi    
Battle: Los Angeles                                                            Jonathan Liebesman
Source Code                                                                      Duncan Jones
X-Men: First Class                                                              Matthew Vaughn
Super 8                                                                              J.J. Abrams                 
Green Lantern                                                                    Martin Campbell
Attack the Block                                                                 Joe Cornish                 
Cowboys & Aliens                                                              Jon Favreau
Rise of the Planet of the Apes                                            Rupert Wyatt     

Action Adventure/Suspense thriller:
The Eagle                                                                            Kevin Mcdonald           
The Devil’s Double                                                              Lee Tamahori                           
Colombiana                                                                        Olivier Megaton
Drive                                                                                 Nicolas Winding Refn   
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows                                  Guy Ritchie

Essential Killing                                                                   Jerzy Skolimowski
Winter in Wartime                                                              Martin Koolhoven

Incendies (Scorched)                                                           Denis Villeneuve                       
Alamar                                                                               Pedro González-Rubio              
Contagion                                                                           Steven Soderbergh
Circumstance                                                                     Maryam Keshavarz                    

Comedy/Feel Good/Romance
Win Win                                                                             Thomas McCarthy
Super                                                                                 James Gunn
Midnight in Paris                                                                 Woody Allen
Submarine                                                                          Richard Ayoade
The Names of Love                                                              Michel Leclerc                          
The Women on the 6th Floor                                                Philippe Le Guay
Hugo                                                                                  Martin Scorsese
My Week with Marilyn                                                         Simon Curtis
The Artist                                                                            Michel Hazanavicius
Rango                                                                                 Gore Verbinski             
Rio                                                                                     Carlos Saldanha
Kung Fu Panda 2                                                                  Jennifer Yuh                 
Cars 2                                                                                John Lasseter, Brad Lewis
Puss in Boots                                                                       Chris Miller       
Happy Feet 2                                                                       George Miller
The Adventures of Tintin                                                     Steven Spielberg

Circo                                                                                   Aaron Schock  
Armadillo                                                                            Janus Metz      
Bill Cunningham New York                                                     Richard Press  
Exporting Raymond                                                              Philip Rosenthal
Life in a Day                                                                        Kevin Macdonald
SENNA                                                                                 Asif Kapadia     



Sandra McLeod Humphrey said...

Thanks for the great list! I just discovered the British "Midsomer Murders" series and I ordered all they had on Netflix (over 60 films), so they should keep me happy for quite a while. Thanks for all your film reviews--they really help a lot!

Shiran Vyasa said...

A good list of noteworthy movies that I have seen, yet to see or to to be seen again. Keep up the good work in 2012.

JP said...

Thanks Shiran. Looking forward to another great year in film.

Marcio Marcelino said...

My list of 2011
from Marcio Marcelino

We need to talk about Kevin
The Help
Midnight in Paris
My week with Marilyn
Glen Close in Albert Nobbs
Mery Streep in The Iron Lady
The Ides of March
The Artist
The Skin I live in
The girl with a Dragon Tattoo
The Descendants
O Palhaço (Brazilian Movie)
and Hugo.

Coretta said...

Thanks John. Great list. I don't watch a whole lot of movies. I've been thinking about taking in a few and this is a good start.

Anonymous said...

I saw every movie on your list except X-men and Green Lantern. Now that I'm not contractually obligated to see every movie that comes out, I only do the comic book sci-fi stuff when I'm really desperate. You have now inspired me to make a list of my own. There goes the weekend!!!

Vivian Pitschlitz said...

John what I enjoy about your blog is that you often talk about movies that are not on any of the other sites. I also seem to have the same taste in movies so if you say you enjoyed it I know I am going to keep up the good work.