Top Ten Favorite Movies of 2011

The time has come for me to finally make this list. I haven’t seen Tree of Life or Drive yet, so I feel like this list could possibly be adjusted after a viewing of either, but despite those exceptions, I still had a difficult time compiling this list. Without further ado, here are my top 10 favorite movies of 2011:

10) Something Borrowed

Of course I’m the only person out there who will be putting Something Borrowed on my list. It rated 14% on Rotten Tomatoes and received poor reviews all around. HOWEVER, this is my “dud” on the list. There’s a reason Something Borrowed makes my favorites list (as I not so subtly bolded the word favorite earlier), and not the list I consider to be the BEST movies of the year. I know it’s not going to be other people’s favorite, but that’s the point, right? This film resonated with me. I enjoyed the story (and the book it was based off), and maybe part of my problem is that I have this thing for John Krasinski. I don’t know.

9) The Muppets

And now to hit the movies that are on other people’s lists. I ended up seeing The Muppets twice. This is one of the most fun films to come out this year. Jason Segel did an excellent job reincarnating this group of lovable puppets that stole many hearts of earlier generations. From the screenplay to the original music, The Muppets won me over almost without trying.

8) Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

I found this newest edition to the franchise to be the most adrenaline-pumping of them all. Nonstop action, and some of the craziest stunts I’ve seen take place in a movie. There was great chemistry between Simon Pegg, Tom Cruise, Paula Patton, and Jeremy Renner for the latest IMF team. I really enjoyed the craziness of this movie and am happy to see Tom Cruise phoning in another good performance.

7) X-Men: First Class

This is one of the most exciting movies that came out this summer as well as the best one of the franchise by miles. Originally, I had never seen any of the X-Men movies, but on just a single viewing of  First Class, I was interested in the series. When a prequel can draw a non-fan in without annoying fanboys/girls with excessive detail or repetition (or really, just treating them like they’re stupid), then it can really be a great thing. I really enjoyed being introduced to the awesome Michael Fassbender as well as seeing James McAvoy play a young Professor X. And to top it off, a great soundtrack by Henry Jackman served as background.

6) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. II

I was one of the people who waited in line to see Deathly Hallows Pt. II and left feeling exceptionally underwhelmed, most likely due to steep expectations. After a second viewing of it, I came around and started thinking more about it. Deathly Hallows Pt. II was a great end to such a successful movie franchise. Although many fans of the books were left wanting with having many scenes changed or completely left out of this movie, it’s hard to argue that this movie didn’t move you in some way if you’re a Harry Potter fan. I was especially fond of the epilogue and the tone it left viewers with. There were so many great performances, that it’s hard to pick just one or two standouts. For me, it was exceptionally nice to see Daniel Radcliffe give all that he could to his Harry Potter role throughout the series, and then watch it all come together as he gave his life in Deathly Hallows Pt. II.

5) Midnight in Paris

I’m so happy to see all the critical chatter Midnight in Paris is drawing. I had heard almost nothing about it before I saw it, but I read a nice review by Roger Ebert. In the middle of a summer filled with lots of action, superheroes, and monsters comes this beautiful and creative stand-alone movie from Woody Allen. All the locations filmed in Paris alone serve as a great backdrop and historical picture of past and present Paris. I really enjoyed seeing Owen Wilson shine in a newer type of role for him alongside the gorgeous Marion Cotillard. From the music to the costumes to the humble, but smart screenplay, Midnight in Paris was easily one of my favorite movies of the year.

4) The Descendants

Since I first saw a trailer for The Descendants in theaters, I knew I would want to see the movie. I really enjoyed George Clooney’s previous Up in the Air, and I was excited to see him in an indie-styled film. Coming across as very grassroots, The Descendants takes a family that is seriously messed up and lets us journey with them through an especially harrowing time for George Clooney’s character, Matt King. What I enjoyed most about this movie was the realistic touch. Shailene Woodley gives her all in a dramatic role of playing a rebellious, but hurting teenager. It’s a story about family, making decisions, grieving, and dealing with unpleasant situations, and at the same time, it gives the audience a sense of realism. That pain and frustration and arguing and death is a real thing that happens every day, and shapes you as person as you deal with those times by your reactions to certain situations and interactions with the people close to you in life.

3) The Help

Based off the novel by Kathryn Stockett, the story of The Help is both moving and inspirational. This movie was able to accomplish both of those tasks–move and inspire viewers–without the unnecessary pizzazz or cheesiness that tends to accompany many films of the same genre today. Stripped of all the colors from the costumes, The Help makes you think beyond the movie theater and the book. Some of the best performances of the year took place in this movie, from Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer to Emma Stone. Jessica Chastain was hilarious in her supporting role as well. Although there’s still controversy over this movie, The Help is no doubt one of the best movies to come out in 2011.

2) 50/50

Barely missing the top spot for my favorite film of the year, 50/50 made me cry and laugh and walk away very thankful for life by the movie’s end. Perhaps because the story was written by the guy (Will Reiser) who was actually diagnosed with cancer–and has now survived it and is in remission–50/50 offers the most realistic look at a young person dealing with a rare form of cancer. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is both brilliant and endearing in this role, seeming to act the part from the inside out. A great supporting cast of Anna Kendrick, Anjelica Huston, and even Seth Rogen ties this dubbed “bromance comedy” together. Both moving and hilarious to watch, 50/50 was one of my favorite movies of the year.

1) The Artist

Until this past Sunday, 50/50 held the number one spot in my list of favorite movies for 2011. And then I saw The Artist and couldn’t shake the feeling that I had seen one of the greatest films to come out in a long while. I walked in with low expectations, assuming I would be bored or disinterested, but found myself unbelievably surprised and thankful for the opportunity to see this movie gem. Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo are flawless in this Michel Hazanavicius film filled with great performances, a great score, great writing, and great cinematography. It’s difficult to restrain from overpraising The Artist, not only because was it that good, but also because nothing else remotely similar has come out in ages, much less would be comparable to it. The Artist will probably hit it big at every awards ceremony this year, and rightfully so. If you haven’t seen this movie yet, please do so. It’s definitely my favorite of 2011.

What was your favorite movie of 2011? Did you like any of the ones on my list? What was missing from my list, and what do you think I should see still? I missed out on just about all documentaries in 2011, so I’m definitely looking for suggestions!

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13 thoughts on “Top Ten Favorite Movies of 2011

    • Tree of Life is on my list to see! I’m glad to see you enjoyed Midnight in Paris and Harry Potter too. I really enjoyed Moneyball as well–it probably was number 11 or 12 on my list! If it were a list of the best films I’ve seen this year, it would easily be in the top 10. I haven’t seen Hugo yet either. I’m kind of on the fence about seeing it, but I’ve heard great things about it. Most definitely see The Artist and The Descendants–I think you’ll enjoy both of them! Thanks for reading 🙂

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  1. The Artist is out this week over here, so hoping to catch it soon 😀 Looking forward to it.

    50/50’s definitely up there for me, as well as Thor, which doesn’t seem to be making a lot of best of 2011 lists, which kinda shocks me. I thought it was great.

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    • I think you will definitely enjoy seeing The Artist, Jaina! Glad to hear there’s another big 50/50 fan out there 🙂 I really enjoyed Thor as well, but it happened to not make my top 10 favorites of the year. Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston were great in it! Thanks for the comment.

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  2. Goddamit what am I doing with my life? I’ve only seen 50/50 on this list! Desperate to see The Artist and though not a Woody fan, Midnight In Paris is getting pretty hard to ignore now! Holding off till I see a few more till I’ll make my own list. Always interesting to see a list that doesn’t have Drive at the top!

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    • Thanks for commenting, Pete. Haha – at least you’ve seen 50/50. It BARELY missed being my #1 favorite movie of the year. I would definitely recommend seeing The Artist as well as Midnight in Paris. That’s a good idea – I almost regret making my list too early. I think Beginners might have gotten a place on the list had I not seen it AFTER I made this list. As for Drive, well, I just haven’t seen it yet. But I’m super excited to see what is getting everyone so excited about it! Wish it would come out on Blu-ray already!!

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  3. Something Borrowed is a bold pick Kristin. But then I had Morning Glory on my 2010 one (although MG got much better reviews overall ah!). I like that you put it in there though, it’s refreshing to see more personal picks than the usual 10-15 movies that make everyone’s top 10.

    As for Harry Potter, I actually like Part 1 more than Part 2 and I thought the epilogue was pretty darn cheesy. I definitely think they should have skipped that part ahah 😉

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    • Haha, yes, it is! Then again, it’s a favorites list. I know this list would closely mirror my “best” list as well, but I just really enjoyed Something Borrowed and had to put it on the list. I saw it twice in theaters, and I just really appreciated the reality of the friendship between Kate Hudson and Ginnifer Goodwin’s character. Very relatable.

      Ha, yes, Morning Glory was a far better movie, and it’s difficult to not like Rachel McAdams 🙂 Yeah, I figure in the end I have to be true to what I enjoyed most.

      Really? I was a big fan of part 2, although I actually enjoyed part 1 too. Seriously?! LOVED the epilogue. Totally tied it together for me. I can see what you’re saying about the cheesiness, but on occasion, I really do like cheesy. I just limit my intake of it carefully 🙂

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  4. Crazy Stupid Love, Fast Five, and Sherlock Holmes were some of the ones I enjoyed the most. Of course, I’m not speaking from a technical point of view. Only from the view of movies that entertained me and that I’d watch again.. to be entertained again.

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    • I really enjoyed Crazy Stupid Love and Sherlock Holmes as well! Both majorly entertaining movies. I really loved Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, and Steve Carell especially in CSL. SH2 was quite a bit more entertaining than the first one. Definitely style OVER content, but extremely entertaining nonetheless. Most of the movies I end up buying are the ones I would watch over and over again to be entertained too.

      I heard great things about Fast Five and wish I would have made the trip to see it! Then again, I haven’t seen any of the Fast and Furious yet, so I wasn’t sure if I’d appreciate it as much.

      I would definitely recommend my top two favorites to just about anyone–50/50 and The Artist were spectacular. You should check one or both of them out if you have time!

      Thanks for reading, Christy!

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  5. My top ten would probably be:
    1. Iron Lady (anticipated–not released by me yet, just a huge fan of British movies, Margaret Thatcher, and Meryl Streep)
    2. The Help
    3. The Artist
    4. Mission Impossible-Ghost Protocol
    5. The Descendants
    6. Midnight in Paris
    7. Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (huge fan of the novel and the Swedish version, so just assuming here)
    8. Thor and X-Men First Class basically tied
    9. The Muppets
    10. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows II (could have been better, but I love the books!)

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    • Nice list, Jenn. A little bold to be putting the Iron Lady in your number one spot when you haven’t seen it yet ;). It’s getting high reviews, but not outstanding. I’m still very much looking forward to seeing it!

      I’m surprised to see The Descendants so high up on your list, but I think it’s great!

      Very cool list, Jenn. Thanks for sharing it!

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