The Best Movies of 2011
By Mitchell Burns
I will start by saying that this list is purely my opinion, you can call it whatever you would like. Lets say in some rare occasion you are talking about my list to a friend, you could call it “Mitchell’s Top Ten List“. For me, in my humble opinion these movies are the best of 2011. A lot of sequels, superhero movies, remakes and other crap poured out of Hollywood this year, one of the worst year for movies in a long time (in my opinion).  The top ten grossing films of 2011 were all sequels, except for the ninth highest grossing film of 2011, The Smurfs (A remake). 2011 saw the most sequels of any year ever, with 28 sequels. Many of the movies I looked forward to in 2011 turned out to be huge upsets and then many of the movies that I never planned on seeing turned out to be my favorites.  
In preparation of making this list I did as much research as possible, I watched at least 66 movies that came out in 2011. 66 movies from 2011, and I still haven’t seen all of them. For the sake of an argument, lets say each movie is an hour and a half, that’s almost 100 hours of movie watching (66 x 1.5 hours= 99 hours)! That’s not including all the movies I watched during 2011 that weren’t from 2011. Some would say I have a problem, I say I have a hobby. I tried as quick as I could to get this list ready and out into the world, but mid-February was the quickest I could handle. 
You might say “Well then how can you make a best of list if you haven’t seen all the movies from that year?” and it’s a valid question, but I know the movies that I would never include on this list. The movies I didn’t see were movies like The Smurfs, Kung Fu Panda 2, Paranormal Activity 3, The Human Centipede 2, Diary Of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Monte Carlo, Zookeeper, Spy Kids 4D: All The Time In The World, and even Shark Night 3D (I love Shark Movies). Even though I didn’t see those movies, and others, I know that none of them would make it onto my Top Ten list. Yes, even though I did not see Breaking Dawn – Part 1, I Can assure you with 100% certainty that it would not make it on this list. I don’t mean to offend anyone who’s favorite movie may have been listed above, I’m not saying those are bad movies, I’m just saying they are not my cup of tea. To be honest, this is the first Twilight movie I haven’t seen, My Fiancee was kind enough to not include me in her Breaking Dawn viewing plans. 
Alright, I will stop talking now and get on with it, I am just very, very excited to share this list. This is the first time I feel 100% satisfied with the time and effort put into the list, and with the list itself. I will thank you in advance for reading, you don’t know how much it means to me that you clicked on the little link and came to this page. Thank you so very much. Starting with number 10…

10. Contagion/The Descendants

Surprise! #10 is a tie, and it isn’t the only tie on my list, I’m sure as my years as a movie critic go on I will be able to make the hard decisions but for now I’ll live with a tie or two on my list. Contagion is smart, scary, tense and extremely well acted, take a disaster movie and add Oscar caliber writing, directing and acting to it. Contagion has more style than any movie ever made by Roland Emmerich (2012 director). 
The Descendants is beautiful and doesn’t shy away from the truth, it’s emotional but very often funny. George Clooney and Shailene Woodley give amazing performances, the movie is very heartwarming. 

9. Warrior

One of the best moments that comes with critiquing movies is when a movie blows you away, Warrior blew me away, I was never expecting it to make it on this list, I wasn’t even planning on seeing it until Nick Nolte was nominated for a supporting actor Oscar. Warrior is incredibly full of heart, more heart then you could ever imagine in a fighting movie. Tom Hardy and Nick Nolte are incredible in Warrior, their acting astounded me. Warrior goes from one emotionally gripping scene to a wonderfully captured fighting scene with such ease and grace. Warrior is a winner. 

8. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

It’s like James Bond but a little darker, but Bond lets the girl do a few more stunts this time. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is brutal, disturbing, intense and Tense, it’s essentially a violent mystery movie. David Fincher, probably my favorite director did such a superb job. Rooney Mara literally transformed herself for the title role, I have seen her in other movies but didn’t know until afterwards who she was. 

7. 50/50/Bridesmaids

Another tie! So what I put the comedies together, I couldn’t decide which was better!
Bridesmaids exceeded all of my expectations, when you look at the poster/trailer/title you think “Chick Flick”, but it’s not really a chick flick. Bridesmaids is downright hilarious, I was laughing out loud. Bridesmaids may have it’s occasional over the top hilarious moments, but what shocked me was how real it felt. Kristen Wiig’s character felt real and authentic, and you could relate to her problems, every line out of these women’s mouths were just pure comic genius. I’m glad the academy recognized Wiig for her writing and Melissa McCarthy who obviously stole the show on many occasions. 
50/50 takes the award for most heartfelt comedy of the year, director Jonathan Levine from comedy to bittersweet moments with such easy. Rising star Joseph Gordon-Levitt does a wonderful job, the story feels authentic and real, and even though it might make you tear up you’ll leave the theatre feeling a little bit better about life.

6. The Artist

When I first heard about The Artist I was confused and a little angry that some stupid person would even make another silent film, I couldn’t help but think “Why?”. Even though I was confused, I still saw The Artist and I couldn’t believe how in love I was with it. The Artist IS a silent film, but it defies all logic and seeps its way into your heart. The Artist is full of life and happiness, I attribute a lot of that to Jean Dujardin who absolutely breathes life into this movie with his charm, and his co-star Berenice Bejo does a wonderful job as well. 

5. Martha Marcy May Marlene/Take Shelter

This is the last tie I promise! Two indie films that absolutely blew me away
Take Shelter is driven by two great performances by Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain. The story is tense and scary, it sneaks up on you slowly, each minute that passes you become more and more involved drawn in, your tied to the ending good or bad. 
Martha Marcy May Marlene is a story about a girl who escapes a cult and lives with her sister. Elizabeth Olsen stars as Martha Marcy May Marlene in her debut role that is Oscar worthy, The story is haunting and terrifying as Martha tries to settle into her life but is haunted by her old one. 

4. Drive

Ah Drive! The movie the Oscars forgot, I still shake my head. Drive stars possibly the biggest name of 2011, and was one of the most unforgettable movies 2011 had to offer. It’s different, it’s violent but it’s exciting and captivating and intriguing. Drive is the best action film of 2011, driven by a great cast. 

3. The Help

While it may boast a few cliches and stereotypes The Help rises to the #3 spot on my list due to the fine story and top notch acting. The Help boasts one of the best ensemble casts this year, every actress involved deserves a round of applause and a trophy of some sort. Viola Davis is the front runner of the movie, and her acting is absolutely amazing, but she gives her wonderful co-stars room to shine also like Octavia Spencer, Emma Stone, Jessica Chastain, Bryce Dallas Howard and Allison Janney. 

2. The Muppets

Did I lose you? I hope not. The Muppets is, in my opinion, the second best movie of 2011. Eleven years since The Muppets have graced the big screen and thanks to the help of Jason Segel, The Muppets are back and a huge success. The Muppet’s is funny, heartfelt and over joyous with happiness that doesn’t feel forced, if you leave unhappy than there is something incredibly wrong with you. 

So Have you guessed the #1 movie?

Are you Ready?

And Now…

The Number 1 Movie of 2011 is….

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Yes, in 2011 it all ended in a spectacular, amazing and magical finish. I knew what to expect, ten years of seeing every Harry Potter in theatres, and at 21 years old I think I was more excited this time than the first time. This Harry Potter was extremely well paced, and wonderfully acted especially from Alan Rickman. The finale was fitting and amazing, and I am extremely satisfied with a movie that is being called “The end of an era”. 

The Movies That almost made it on this list:
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (was just beat out by Contagion)
X-Men: First Class, Super 8, The Tree Of Life, Mission Impossible 4, Attack The Block, Hugo, Hanna, We Bought a Zoo, and Our Idiot Brother. 

Thanks for reading 🙂 

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