This was a very hard list for me to put together this year. I rearranged it over a dozen times, adding in and taking away films, but this is the list I felt good about. There were so many great movies that came out in 2011 that I really enjoyed, and to boil them down to 10 was not an easy task. But I pushed through it and ended up adding 10 more, so this is really a Top 20 list.
Just so you know this list is coming from the view of the hardcore fanboy that I am and it's a list of MY favorite movies of the year. We all have different tastes and these are the movies that spoke to me, these are the films that I connected with and that left an impression on me.
If you haven't seen any of these films yet please find the time to check them out because they are well worth it. Read through my list below and let us know what your favorite movies of 2011 are!
1. War Horse
Steven Spielberg directed yet another perfect movie. War Horse has won the top spot on my Top 10 list of best movies of the year. I have to admit I wasn't really all that excited about seeing this movie, but good Lord! It ended up being an incredible film! I loved this movie, it's one of those inspirational stories that needed to be told. War Horse is everything we love about movies, and it's Spielberg at his best. What he did with these horses in this film and its powerful story and themes simply blew me away in every way. I couldn't be more pleased with this movie.
I watch a hell of a lot of films. It's one of my favorite things to do, and this Martin Scorsese-directed film reinvigorated my love for movies and reminded me of why I love watching them much so damn much. I love everything about the art of film and filmmaking, I'm also a huge movie history buff so I had a real solid connection with this story. Hugo is Scorsese's love letter to movies, and it was made for us film geeks. If you love film, you will love Hugo. It was a magical experience that made me want to love movies even more. I just really loved how this movie made me feel while watching it.
3. Attack The Block
This movie simply blew me away. It took everything that I love about movies, including 1980's nostalgia, and wrapped it all up into a brilliantly badass sci-fi alien invasion film. This was truly the most entertaining movie I saw this year, and it will be one of those films that I can watch over and over again without getting tired of it. Attack the Block is an instant classic that any hardcore movie geek will love.
This movie was simply badass. Even though this movie had an 80's flare to it, the film style and simple intense story came right out of the 1970's, and I love movies from the 70's. It had a strong, hardcore simplicity to it that I loved. It was a slow burn that escalated into complete madness, and I love that. One top of that Ryan Gosling was so damn cool. All the girls wanted him and all the guys wanted to be him. He was such a great likable character that everyone was rooting for.
5. Super 8
J.J. Abrams did an incredible job capturing the the classic Steven Spielberg movie experience. It was a delight to watch this story brought to life on the big screen. I loved how this movie made me feel when I watched it. It took me back to the time when I was growing up and made me remember what it was like to be that age and the excitement I felt about making movies. This movie felt like a big chunk of my childhood, except for the big alien monster destroying everything. That would have made things a hell of a lot more interesting.
I enjoy watch Mixed Martial Arts, but it's not the reason I liked this movie. I liked this movie because it was full of incredible performances, and it was just an incredible story. There was so much intensity in the movie. Here you had these two brothers that have had hard lives fighting against each other and you were rooting for both of them. The film was extremely well made, and like I said it contains some of the best performances of the year.
7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
I wasn't a big Potter fan when the first movie came out, but with each movie I grew to love this world and it's characters more and more, to the point where I actually became a big Harry Potter fan. It has been incredible seeing how this franchise evolved and watching these amazing characters grow up on screen. Like many of you, I was emotionally invested in these characters. I cared about them and that played a big part in how I felt about this movie. And this was a perfect ending to the incredible series. I couldn't be happier with how this final Potter film turned out.
I'm not the biggest fan of sports, particularly baseball, but I love movies about sports. Some of the best movies I've seen revolve around sports, and Moneyball ended up being a hell of a great baseball movie, and one of my favorite movies of the year. The movie made me wish that I was actually into sports. On top of that Brad Pitt gave an incredible performance that will get him an Oscar nomination. This inspirational movie was all about the story, heart and soul.
9. Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
This was one of the most entertaining films of the year for me. I love how this movie turned out, and I thought Brad Bird did a fantastic job bringing this story to life. It was Bird's direction and unique vision of these characters that made this movie so good. One of the things I liked most about the movie other than the fun action sequences was the humor. The humor is what set this movie apart from all of the other Mission: Impossible films.
10. Captain America: The First Avenger
I have to say that out of all the Marvel movies that have been released so far by Marvel, Captain America is my favorite. As cool as Iron Man, Thor, and The Hulk were, Captain America really took everything that superheroes are about and put it into perspective. Captain America has alway been one of my favorite Marvel superheroes, and director Joe Johnston did one hell of a job bringing the character to life in the best possible way. His vision for the Captain America movie was my vision for the Captain America movie. That's the Captain America movie I wanted to see. It's rare to have a movie get made where all of your expectations and wants for it fall right into place.
The next 10 that didn't make the Top 10:
Here are a few other films that I really enjoyed this year, but ultimately didn't make it in the Top 10, but obviously they are in my Top 20.
I saw this movie at Sundance, and I believe Michael Shannon deserves to win an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in the film. I think he gave the best performance of the year.
Planet of the Apes
This was a complete surprise to me! I was completely against this movie when I first heard it was getting made. I bashed it on several occasions and just hated the fact that Planet of the Apes was going to be done again. Boy was I wrong, and it ended up being one of my favorite movies of the year. This was an awesome film; it had a solid story and script. On top of all that the special effects were phenomenal! The look in those apes eyes was scary as hell. It will be interesting to see if Andy Serkis gets an Oscar nomination for his role as Caesar.
X-Men: First Class
This was another big surprise for me. I honestly never thought we would end up seeing another good X-Men film again, but Matthew Vaughn took on the material and created something amazing! I love what he did with the X-Men characters, I love that the film was set in the 1960's, and I thought it was so cool that he implemented all of that cool 60's James Bond type technology. The movie ended up being better than I expected, and it is my favorite X-Men movie to date.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
This movie was so cool. It was way better than the first film. This one had a ot more action in it, but the reason I liked it so much was because of the mind games that Holmes and Moriarty were playing with each other. It was a great live action chess game. The last scene of this movie between the hero and the villain is one of my favorite movie scenes of the year.
This is one of the two comedies this year that had to go on this list. Bridesmaids had such a great ensemble cast and was freakin' hilarious.
This is the second comedy on my list. I actually went to see this movie grudgingly and ended up laughing my ass off through most of the movie.
This turned out to be a hell of a great adaptation of the God of Thunder. I loved what Kenneth Branagh did with it, and I loved the epicness of it. Thor isn't an easy character to bring to the big screen, but it turned out awesome.
Gore Verbinski's Rango ended up being my favorite animated movie of the, it was a fun exciting western genre film that I had a blast watching.
I wasn't sure what I would think of this movie going into it. A dramady about a guy who is trying to survive cancer sounds like it could go either way. I ended up really enjoying it, Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt pulled it off.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
I really had high expectations for this movie, and even though it met those expectations the film wasn't David Fincher's best movie. I thought this would be up in my Top 10 list, but it just didn't have what it took.