Top Ten Best Films of 2011

Well, 2011 is over. And it’s definitely been a good year for great films. Here is my list of the top ten best films of 2011 (of the ones I’ve managed to see anyway)…


10: Black Swan

A film that seems like it’s been out for years… A scary, weird thriller from Darren Aronofsky with an excellent central performance from Natalie Portman as the ballerina trying to prove herself as the new star of the show. Absolutely enchanting dance sequences too. And who cares how much of the ballet Portman did or actually didn’t do?


9: X-Men: First Class

One of the most grown-up and surprising comic book franchise reboots in recent years from director Matthew Vaughan and writer Jane Goldman. Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy have great chemistry as Magneto and Professor X and the sixties setting was cleverly done. An origins story with original and interesting ideas for a change.


8: Hanna

Director Joe Wright left the costume dramas behind and made this film about a child assassin on the run. Saoirse Ronan is great as the feisty Hanna, as is Eric Bana as the father who trained her. Excellent fight scenes throughout as well and it has a brilliant soundtrack by The Chemical Brothers.


7: True Grit

Again, another film that seems like forever ago since it came out…a great Western from The Coen Brothers full of their usual charm and wit. Jeff Bridges gives another brilliant performance, as does first time actress Hailee Steinfeld and also Matt Damon (and his moustache). For once a film that seemed to benefit greatly from being remade.


6: Kill List

Ben Wheatley’s bizarre film starts off as a domestic drama, then changes into gangster flick, then goes in a completely unexpected direction entirely. Fresh and exciting as well as gory and very, very funny – mostly because of the central performances from Neil Maskell and Michael Smiley as the two gangsters on a job. Oh, and it’s also very bloody scary at times.


5: Submarine

Beautifully shot and directed by first time Brit director Richard Ayoade. Features an excellent dead pan performance from Craig Roberts as the disillusioned teen Oliver Tate, trying to keep his parents together and make the girl of his dreams go out with him. It’s also very funny at times, but it can 0ften be a little bit too quirky for its own good (although not if you like that sort of thing).


4: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

A brilliant Brit film packed with a great Brit cast – and the film that will hopefully finally earn Gary Oldman a Best Actor Oscar. Tomas Alfredson’s film is expertly designed and shot and has a real atmosphere of dread and paranoia. Definitely needs to be seen a good few times for you to entirely grasp the plot, but this is in no way a bad thing. Tom Hardy’s wig, however, was a bad thing.


3: Attack The Block

I watched this again recently and was reminded of it’s sheer genius. Joe Cornish’s debut film is a genre mash-up of sci-fis, westerns, horrors and British urban dramas. It’s hilarious throughout with very clever dialogue, often very scary and gory and it has an excellent first time cast of kids who you feel like you actually know and care about. And again, amazing soundtrack.


2: Drive

Every shot in Nicolas Winding Refn’s film oozes style and Ryan Gosling gives the performance of his career (so far) as the quiet, efficient and nameless driver. Full of heart pumping scenes filled with tension as well as very real looking violent and graphic fight scenes. And that’s before even mentioning the incredible synth style soundtrack.


1: We Need To Talk About Kevin

Lynne Ramsay’s film was not only visually stunning but also beautifully and chillingly told. An amazing film from start to finish about the issue of nature vs. nurture and completely terrifying, mostly due to Ezra Miller’s convincingly scary performance as Kevin. And Tilda Swinton deserves plaudits a plenty in the new year for her brilliant performance as his harassed mother. It’ll burrow under your skin and leave you thinking about it for days after.


And that’s it for 2011. It’s good to see a list full of so many Brit directors and British casts for once, but I suppose I could be accused of being biased. Do you think I’m right though? Or have I completely missed something out? Send me your comments…

Anyway, roll on 2012 when we’ll get films like The Artist, The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, The Hobbit, Django Unchained, The Hunger Games…to name but a few of the films I know will almost definitely be in my top ten for next year (and possibly at number one in the case of The Artist).


~ by square-eyed-geek on January 2, 2012.

One Response to “Top Ten Best Films of 2011”

  1. tribute von panem Kinostart…

    […]Top Ten Best Films of 2011 « square-eyed-geek[…]…

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