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The best films of 2011: Robwrite's choices

Updated on January 6, 2012

The Best films of 2011

2011 has passed, and so it's time to look back on the year in films and take stock of the best that the movie industry had to offer us last year. This is my list of the best 15 films of 2011.

(**Note: I admit I haven't seen every film from 2011, so this is an incomplete list. I have yet to see The Artist and War Horse, both of which are getting Oscar buzz. Apologies to any worthy film I haven't seen which did not make the list.)


The Adventures of Tintin: A fun return to form for Spielberg, who reminds us why we loved him in the first place. This is a great adventure romp, with excellent use of motion-capture FX. Even if you’re not familiar with the comic book character of Tintin, this is still an entertaining ride. It’s one of the best action films of the year and likely the beginning of a new franchise for Spielberg.



Captain America: the First Avenger: Another of the year’s many comic-book based films and one of the most entertaining comic book adaptations of all. Chris Evans is perfect as the Red-White-Blue WW2 hero with the shield, battling the evil Red Skull. He’ll be appearing as the Captain again in the upcoming Avengers film.




The Descendants: George Clooney gives a wonderful performance in this dark comedy about a man who doesn’t appreciate what he’s got until his life starts falling apart. The Hawaiian setting makes it visually interesting and the performances are solid. This is a predicted Oscar favorite.



Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows-Part 2: The phenomenally popular Harry Potter franchise goes out with a bang, in this epic conclusion to the series. The strands of the 8-film long story (based on the incredibly popular books) are all tied together and Harry confronts his nemesis Lord Voltermort for the final time. A very exciting wrap-up to the series.




The Help: This little gem got a lot of Oscar buzz when it first came out but it seems to have been forgotten in the wake of newer films. However, it’s an excellent drama about race, following the relationship of a white woman and her black maids during the civil rights era.




Hugo: This has been the best-reviewed film of the year and is another likely Oscar nominee. Martin Scorsese steps out of his comfort zone to give us this excellent drama about a French orphan, which also serves as a homage to the early history of film and the value of the preservation of our American cinema.




The Ides of March: It’s a good year for George Clooney, who has two films with Oscar buzz this year. He doesn’t star in this one (although he does play a supporting role) but he does direct and he does a fine job with this tale of the corrupting affect that politics has on the soul of even the best intentioned people.




Martha, Marcie May, Marlene: A quiet little film that has gone mostly under-the-radar and received little (if any) buzz. But it’s a very unusual and well-made film, with an excellent performance by the previously unknown third Olsen sister, Elisabeth, who puts her older sister to shame.




Midnight in Paris: Woody Allen made a comeback with his best film in years, which became the biggest financial success he ever had. The plot of the movie was kept quiet and most people didn’t know going in what they were in store for, but few were disappointed because the film delivers not only the traditional witty Woody dialogue, it also has a poignant message about feeling satisfied where you are rather than waxing rhapsodic about the past.





The Muppets: The biggest comeback of the year was not by Steven Spielberg or Woody Allen, but rather by those irresistible creations of the late, great Jim Henson. The Muppets are back in rare form, in one of their best films ever. It’s the best family film of the year.




My Week with Marilyn: Anchored by a great performance from Michele Williams, this (supposedly) true anecdote about a young man who spends a week in the company of screen sex-Goddess Marilyn Monroe is a touching, entertaining treat.




Rango: Possibly (arguably) the best film of 2011 and one of the most visually unique movies to come along in years. This CGI animated tale of a lizard becoming the sheriff of a desert town pays homage to the classic westerns of yesteryear. The film is full of clever references to classic movies. In a year when Johnny Depp made several films, his best work was the voice-over for this imaginative masterpiece.




Rise of the Planet of the Apes: A worthy reinvention of the classic Planet of the Apes franchise, with the best motion-capture acting performance ever by Andy Serkis, who shines as the simian savior Caesar. The effects are amazing and the story is very interesting and engrossing. Let’s hope the sequel is as good.



Tree of Life: A bizarre yet highly intellectual film which tries to discuss the meaning of life (from the beginning of time through modern times) by examining the life of a single person as a microcosm of everything! This is a very experimental film and it will seem very odd to many people who don’t appreciate unusual, out-of-the-box cinema like this one.




X-Men: 1st class: Another excellent comic book adaptation in a year replete with them. This one is a prequel to the popular X-men franchise and cleverly uses real historic events as part of the plot. Good performances and strong FX highlight the action.


(*BONUS-edit: I'm adding THE ARTIST to the list. I didn't see it in time to make this list but now that I have, it definitely belongs here.)




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    • Robwrite profile image
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      Rob 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

      Hi; "Tree of Life" was very odd but interesting. Intellectual and abstract. It was very original.

      Thanks for the comments,

      Rob

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal

      I have seen most of the films on your list. Tree of Life is my favorite one. I also loved Harry Potter.

    • Robwrite profile image
      Author

      Rob 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

      Hi Colin; Thank you for the very generous compliment. Those are some excellent writers. I'm honored to be among such esteemed company.

      Thank you for another link and another kind comment,

      Rob

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 5 years ago

      ...where you know where this is going Sir Rob - on my Facebook page with a direct link back here with pride and prejudice - lol - and you write better films than REX REED, EBERT AND SISKEL, PAULINE KAEL and COGERSON put together - lol lol lol lol

      lake erie time ontario canada 6:39am

    • Robwrite profile image
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      Rob 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

      Hi H.H.; I'd like to add "The artist" to the list, since I just saw it and it's an amazing film.

      Thanks for reading.

      Rob

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

      You definitely made a good choice. I have seen many of them myself.

    • Robwrite profile image
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      Rob 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

      Rednickle; Well, then, we disagree. I don't expect everyone to agree with my choices. Just like I wouldn't agree with "MI" and "Sherlock Holmes" as two of the best of the year. Its a subjective list.

      Rob

    • rednickle profile image

      rednickle 5 years ago from New Brunswick Canada

      I have to admit that i don't totally agree with this list especially with the inclusion of the Muppet and the adventure of Tintin. Moreover M.I 4 and Sherlock Holmes : A Game of Shadows are not part of this list.

      Peace!!

    • Robwrite profile image
      Author

      Rob 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

      Hi Bruce; Well, this year wasn't exactly 1939, but some of the films were pretty good, like "Hugo". I know you're not a Clooney fan, so I guess you won't be seeing "Descendants" but give the "Muppets" a chance.

      Always god to hear from you,

      Rob

    • Cogerson profile image

      Cogerson 5 years ago from Virginia

      I have only seen two of the movies(Captain America and Rango) on your list, but I want to see all of them with the exception of The Muppets and The Descendants. I was surprised when the Golden Globe nominations came out....and it seemed like the list of Best Picture nominees was pretty weak....but you do have many of those nominees on your list. Voted up and interesting.

    • Robwrite profile image
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      Rob 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

      Hi Caroline; Glad you agree. Good to hear from you.

      Thanks for commenting,

      Rob

    • Robwrite profile image
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      Rob 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

      Hi indigital; Thanks for stopping by my hub,

      Rob

    • carolinemd21 profile image

      Caroline Marie 5 years ago from Close to Heaven

      Great hub Rob. Love the movies you picked.

    • profile image

      Indigital 5 years ago

      I loved 'A week with Marilyn' and obviously the ending to Harry Potter, I found Planet of the Apes dull though.

    • Robwrite profile image
      Author

      Rob 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

      Hi; I know everyone won't agree with my choices but thanks for reading, anyway.

      Rob.

    • tschaunerb profile image

      tschaunerb 5 years ago from Medicine Hat

      I have seen all of these, although i don't fully agree with your list- thx for posting.

    • Robwrite profile image
      Author

      Rob 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

      Yeah, I'm going to give my predictions as soon as the nominees are announced. Its a great idea to link them.

      Rob

    • Stevennix2001 profile image

      Steven Escareno 5 years ago

      that's cool. were you planning on doing an oscar prediction hub this year by any chance? I only ask because i was going to start working on mine once the nominees are out, and i would love to link your oscar hub to mine if that's okay.

    • Robwrite profile image
      Author

      Rob 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

      I Steve; These were listed Alphabetically. My favorite (and I think the best) was "Rango". I hope to see all the films which get an oscar nomination before the award ceremonies take place.

      Thanks for reading,

      Rob

    • Stevennix2001 profile image

      Steven Escareno 5 years ago

      Quite an impressive list you have here, but are these listed in ascending order of condescending order? Or were these movies listed in no particular order, as you were just listing your favorite moves that you've seen this year thus far. I only ask out of curiosity purposes. Other than that, I like your list. Like you, I haven't seen all the films of last year either, as i can name a few films on your list that I haven't seen yet. Anyway, great work as always.

    • Robwrite profile image
      Author

      Rob 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

      Hi Flora; You'd like "Hugo" because it's a nice homage to the history of film. Also, "Rango" has a lot of references to classic films that a film buff like you would porbably get.

      Thanks for reading,

      Rob

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 5 years ago

      Thanks for this list. The films about classic Hollywood era interest me the most.

    • Robwrite profile image
      Author

      Rob 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

      Hi Carl; I still want to see 'War Horse' but these 15 will have to do for now.

      Good to hear from you. Thanks for reading,

      Rob

    • CarltheCritic1291 profile image

      Carl 5 years ago

      Many great movies on this list (I too haven't seen them all but those that I have seen are on the list and that's good enough for me.) Keep up the Great work, Voted Up, Awesome, and Interesting