NeoGAF 2011 Movies of the Year (and Mine)

2012 March 4

I’m just going to follow the same format as last year’s post. I’ve been doing this for a while now, so I don’t think I need to preface how this voting took place on some forum on which I’ve spent the past third of my pathetic existence. Here are the full results if you care that much.

1. Drive
2. The Tree of Life
3. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
4. Midnight in Paris
5. 50/50
6. Hugo
7. Moneyball
8. A Separation
9. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
10. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
11. Shame
12. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
13. Warrior
14. Take Shelter
15. Rango
16. Hanna
17. The Skin I Live In
18. Melancholia
19. The Adventures of Tintin
20. The Artist

My personal list:

1. A Separation
2. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
3. 50/50
4. Drive
5. Midnight in Paris
6. The Tree of Life
7. Senna
8. Attack the Block
9. Take Shelter
10. Warrior

Some quick thoughts:

- This year felt pretty weak for the most part. I have issues with pretty much every movie on my list but #1. Although, A Separation is subtitled, eww. Kidding. I did read an essay somewhere that painted it getting past Iran’s censors as a negative.

- I thought Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was disappointingly slow and dry the first time around, even though I still liked it. The second time, I caught countless more things, revealing just how immaculately edited and shot the film was. Some of the characterization is absurdly thin, but I guess that’s the drawback of attempting to adapt into a film a novel which was previously a five-hour television series.

- It might be surprising to see 50/50 up so high, but I thought its mix of comedy and drama was deftly balanced. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is great in the lead role, Anna Kendrick is suitably adorable as an inexperienced therapist, and I’m a Seth Rogen apologist.

- I really don’t have much to say about Drive anymore. Internet hype fatigue, not that I’m above that sort of thing.

- My experience with Woody Allen is pitiful, which apparently is the reason why I really enjoyed Midnight in Paris. I also loved the guy playing Hemingway.

- Maybe I needed to see The Tree of Life in a non-shitty theater to truly appreciate its beautiful cinematography, but the Sean Penn segments were so worthless and the film felt like a bit of a mess. The main growing-up part of the film is wonderful, though.

- Senna is one of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen, almost totally devoid of talking heads, and perfectly paced — which means fast-paced, since this is a documentary chronicling the life of a Formula One driver. I knew absolutely nothing about Formula One beforehand other than the name of Michael Schumacher and I was enthralled for the entire running time.

- It’s nice to see a pulpy action movie handle its lack of a budget extremely well. The monster designs in Attack the Block were ingenious, and having the bad kids from the poor part of the city become the heroes ties in well with the whole class warfare awareness going around.

- In retrospect maybe Take Shelter should be even higher, but I do remember coming out of the theater and feeling it was a tad too slow for me. Nonetheless, Michael Shannon being totally overlooked is insane. He put in easily the most impressive acting performance I watched last year. And I watched Shame, ok? At least Take Shelter is a good movie.

- I originally had Hugo in my 10th slot in the official voting, but fuck it, I want to give props to Warrior. I still can’t believe a movie with such shitty marketing came out so not-shitty. It might have been clichéd as hell, but I enjoyed it more than the critically-acclaimed The Fighter.

Related posts:

  1. NeoGAF 2010 Movies of the Year (and Mine)
  2. GAF Movies of the Year
  3. I Watch Movies Sometimes: 2010 Foreign Edition