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Added by MaxL on 31 Dec 2011 12:12

My Top 10 Favourite Movies of 2011

Sort by: Showing 11 items
Decade: Rating: List Type:
People who added this item 1496 Average listal rating (994 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 6.9
Rio (2011)
This isn't an official entry on the list; I'm just throwing it in as an honourable mention, because this, honestly, was the surprise of the year for me. I was all ready to hate this one in advance, and it turned out to be one of the finest family films I've seen in quite a while. The characters are interesting, the colourful nature of the rainforest is used to good effect, and there aren't even as many songs as you might expect, which proves that kids can handle straightforward drama. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, and am most disappointed that it ultimately got bumped off the list โ€“ which begins in the next slot.
MaxL's rating:
People who added this item 1954 Average listal rating (1371 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.6
Just like the worst-of list, choosing my number ten spot was very difficult; it was a toss-up between this and Submarine. I decided to go with this because, as a summer blockbuster, I was really surprised how well it succeeded in pulling me into the story. The build-up and character development in the first two acts are nothing short of perfect. Not to mention, the effects are just incredible. The final climax does kind of let it down a bit because it feels so rushed, but on the whole it's a wonderfully exciting ride.
MaxL's rating:
People who added this item 2600 Average listal rating (1843 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.8
Drive (2011)
Unfortunately, I didn't get to see the end of this one, because there was a gas leak in the cinema. But what I saw up to that point definitely got me interested in a repeat viewing. Now, anyone expecting a Fast and the Furious-style action fest might be pretty disappointed. This is not a straight-up action movie. It's a drama first and foremost, which really takes its time to set up its characters and let them develop relationships in plenty of quiet moments, so that every act of violence later on feels like a genuine punch in the gut.
MaxL's rating:
People who added this item 1026 Average listal rating (627 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.1
I couldn't have been more surprised at how much I enjoyed this one! I usually can't get into political stories at all, because I'm not the least bit politically inclined. But I think the reason this one does well is because of how human and identifiable it makes its characters. The story is about Ryan Gosling's part in George Clooney's run for presidency, but the focus is more on the characters and their relationships. It's not a story of political stunts, but rather of trust and betrayal โ€“ assisted by a steady directing hand from Clooney himself and top-notch acting all around.
MaxL's rating:
People who added this item 1412 Average listal rating (907 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 6.6
Puss in Boots (2011)
A surprise addition to the list, this one. Maybe it's because I had no real expectations going in, but I was completely taken aback by this movie. I'm not sure how well this statement will be received, but I actually think it's better than any of the Shrek movies! Maybe because Puss is a more likable character, or maybe his escapades are more interesting, but in any case, this is a thoroughly enjoyable comedy adventure. When it's not being funny, it does a great job at taking fairytale traditions and weaving them into a witty swashbuckling ride. Definitely recommend it.
MaxL's rating:
I feel kind of guilty that many of the films on my list are blockbusters, but at least they're not brainless blockbusters. And nowhere is that more prominent than this one. Thanks to the careful build-up in the first two acts, you really get behind the character, and his progression to superhero status actually seems very logical. Plus, the action scenes are just fantastic. It all perfectly balances the line between legit drama and tongue-in-cheek fun. I think it's by far the best of the recent Marvel movies, and I'm definitely looking forward to The Avengers.
MaxL's rating:
People who added this item 3195 Average listal rating (2238 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.7
This is actually my first X-Men experience โ€“ I've seen neither the classic animated show nor the first three movies โ€“ and what a place to begin on! It does a terrific job at juggling its many characters so that they all get their moment in the spotlight, and everyone's motivations are crystal clear (even if I do think James McAvoy is slightly miscast). The action scenes are some of the best I've ever seen in a comic book movie, particularly the flying scenes. I was looking forward to seeing other X-Men material anyway, and I'm most definitely hyped now!
MaxL's rating:
People who added this item 1200 Average listal rating (752 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7
I said before that I usually can't get into political/spy stories if they're just being told casually straightforward, which may be why I couldn't quite follow this one. Even though I got nearly all the events, I just didn't know why they were happening or what their significance was to the characters. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere and tone of the movie, and I'm definitely interested in seeing it again to get a better understanding of it. It's a pitch-perfect piece of cinema, but my guess is it'll only confuse people not familiar with the original novel.
MaxL's rating:
People who added this item 671 Average listal rating (475 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 6.6
I know it's strange putting a relatively unsubstantive film over a cinematic masterpiece like Tinker Tailor, but damn, it's just so much fun! Most people might opt for a big-budget Hollywood blockbuster, but this is my idea of simple entertainment: a relatively low-budget indie flick that's a tonne of fun to watch because you get the feeling that everyone was having a blast while making it. The fact that it's a relatively simple premise certainly helps: not too many distractions. So, watching these lovable hoodlums fend off those really creative aliens, I'm along for the ride one hundred percent.
MaxL's rating:
I'm a Harry Potter fan through-and-through, and this movie was everything I wanted it to be โ€“ and the perfect way to end the franchise. This is the first Harry Potter movie that I'd call genuinely great! It's easy to call it simply an action-filled offset to all the build-up in part one, but what really sets it apart from all the rest is how it manages to perfectly balance really intense battle scenes with genuine heartfelt drama. It all amounts to a relentlessly captivating thrill ride. I honestly think it's the second-best movie of the year.
MaxL's rating:
People who added this item 1923 Average listal rating (1271 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.5
Source Code (2011)
And Source Code is my favourite movie of the year, straight in there from the moment I saw it. Why? Because not since Groundhog Day have I seen such genius in the concept of reliving the same circumstances repeatedly! Director Duncan Jones really is establishing himself as a force to be reckoned with. I love thrillers, and this is one of the smartest, most exciting and most intriguing I've seen in a long time. Last year Inception became one of my new favourite movies, and part of me thinks that Source Code may, for me, become this year's Inception.
MaxL's rating:

Welcome to my second 2011 year-end list.
Anyone who follows my Listal reviews regularly knows that I hand out praise about as often as I just randomly hand out $100 bills! So some of you might be wondering, "What the hell did you like this year?" Well, now I'm finally going to answer.
Now, again, I admit this list may be as yet incomplete, because there were several reputedly good movies this year that I didn't see, like Warrior, The Muppets, The Descendants and many others. But, as of the end of the year itself, here are my top ten favourites of the ones I did see. Here goes.

Runners-up: The Adventures of Tintin, Arthur Christmas, Hugo, Paul, and a couple that I mention in the list itself: Rio and Submarine

UPDATE: Since I compiled this list, I've seen Drive again and The Artist. Drive, as you can probably guess from its rating, is now much higher on the list, and The Artist shot straight to number one; it completely blew me away.

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