Favorite flicks of 2011

I see more movies than the average person (21 in 2011) but not as many as some of my friends. Other than some of the superhero movies, my tastes run to the indie side, and even a lot of those pass me by.

I haven’t seen most of the awards-bait films, from “Moneyball” earlier in the year to “The Artist” or “Melancholia” or “Iron Lady” or even “The Descendants,” which unlike the others is actually playing in the 909. Also, you would have to pay me to see “War Horse.”

Take this list, my fifth annual, as one man’s moviegoing rather than some sort of comprehensive list. And what is that list?

My top 10, in roughly descending order:

The Adjustment Bureau, My Afternoons With Margueritte, Midnight in Paris, The Women on the Sixth Floor, The Hedgehog, Bill Cunningham New York, Win Win, 50/50, The King’s Speech and Beginners.

(Yes, I know “The King’s Speech” is technically a 2010 movie, but like most people I saw it in 2011. Also, my absolute favorite of the year wasn’t a new movie but a re-release of 1984’s The Green Ray ((Le Rayon Vert)), a French film by Eric Rohmer. I decided not to count that since it wasn’t a new movie.)

Rounding out my year’s 21 movies, my next 11 would run something like this: Captain America, Project Nim, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Jane Eyre, Point Blank, Contagion, Drive, Young Adult, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Page One: Inside the New York Times and Thor.

I liked “Apes” but it didn’t have the zest of the older ones. The last Potter movie was fine and I know a lot of people loved it, but I’m tired of the whole thing.

What were your own favorites, or stinkers, of 2011?

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  • Ms. Lois

    Hi David,

    I really liked “The Help.” The book was way better but I enjoyed the movie as well.

    [That’s one of the big ones I didn’t see. But maybe I should. — DA]

  • Will Plunkett

    I don’t make it into movie theaters. In looking back, I saw exactly ten movies in theaters in 2011, therefore, the last one automatically makes “top 10” status. But the other nine were pretty good.
    10. Horrible Bosses
    9. Cowboys & Aliens
    8. The Muppets
    7. The King’s Speech
    6. Airplane! (30th anniversary re-release, one night only)
    5. Super 8
    4. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
    3. Pirates of the Carribean: On Stranger Tides
    2. Harry Potter & the Deathy Hallows, Part 2
    1. Hugo


    I liked Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, J. Edgar, Midnight in Paris, Hugo, Harry Potter. The Muppets was cute. I was less impressed with We Bought a Zoo and Moneyball, and Young Adult was plain disappointing.

    [I kept meaning to see “J. Edgar” out of respect for Clint Eastwood but anything else I could think of to do seemed more appealing. — DA]

  • shirley wofford

    Hi David,

    I could not remember most, of the movies, I saw in 2011, so I brought up the list, on the computer. I counted 36 movies, that I had seen. There was no top ten group, for me, because they were all pretty regular. I am still waiting for, the so-called, Best Picture of the Year.

    Based on trailers, and PR, I have seen, I believe, “The Artist”, “Tinker, Tailer, Soldier, Spy” and “Extremely Loud and Incredibily Close”, will all finish, in that, illustrious, group. And, “Iron Lady”, will absolutely put forth, a Best-Actress nominee — Meryl Streep is never left out, if she has made a movie, any particular year. I cry, watching the trailer of, “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”, so I will take, at least five hankies.

    I saw most, of the films, that you saw, and enjoyed most, of them. Films I saw, that you didn’t mention, and might have enjoyed, were, “Bridesmaids”, “Sarah’s Key”, “Crazy Stupid Love”, “The Help”, “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” (worth seeing, even with the violence–you don’t mess with that girl!), “The Company Men”, “Cedar Rapids,” “Lincoln Lawyer,” “Potiche”, “Water for Elephants” and “Take Shelter.”

    I am a politcal junkie and thought, “Ides of March”, was terrific. Also terrific is, “Margin Call”, a perfect fictional, movie, to match up as a double-feature, with last year’s documentary, “Inside Job.”

    Some movies I saw, that I thought were really clunkers, or very frustrating, for various reasons, were, “Martha, Marcy, May Marlene”, “Larry Crowne”, “The Guard”, and “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.”

    “J. Edgar” is very long and laborious, but I went in honor of Leonardo DiCaprio. I have followed his career, since I saw him in, “This Boy’s Life”, when he was only 14. What an actor, he has become. I believe he will be nominated, for Best Actor.

    I don’t think that, “The Descendants”, should be nominated, for Best Picture. It’s just a, so-so, movie. George Clooney is always luscious, and does a great acting job, but, this year, he doesn’t compare with Leo. I am also predicting best actor nods for Gary Oldman, (sight unseen), and Brad Pitt.

    “War Horse”, was vintage Disney, and things happened, in the movie, that would never have happened, in real life. Even so, who could ignore a horse, like that, and the story’s wonderful characters. The young boy, that was chosen, out of thousands, is a carbon copy, of Ethan Hawke. And, the scenery, in England, was beautiful.

    Now, the worst-of-the-worst: I go to movies that I like and don’t like, and get frustrated by, but nothing has disturbed me, as much as, “The Skin I Live In.” It is a Spanish film, starring Antonio Banderas. I describe it as macabre, horrifying, and sadistic. I am utterly shocked to see it, on the ten-best lists, of three movie critics.

    The perfect antidote for that film was, “The Muppets”–absolutely adorable!

    I regret missing out on “Hugo” and “The Women on the Sixth Floor.”

    I always check the, “Rotten Tomatoes”, critics’ website, before I attend, any movie. I want it to have, at least a rating, of 70% fresh tomatoes. I do get fooled sometimes — one of those was, “The Guard”, which had about 95%.