My Top Ten Films of 2011

The Tree of Life

The Tree of Life

This is mostly for my own amusement – but then again, what isn’t? – so let’s just get it out of the way. As of today, I’ve seen (more or less) exactly 100 films released in 2011. Out of those, here are my favorite ten:

  1. The Tree of Life” (Terrence Malick)
  2. Pina” (Wim Wenders)
  3. Medianeras” (Gustavo Taretto)
  4. Drive” (Nicolas Winding Refn)
  5. Weekend” (Andrew Haigh)
  6. Beginners” (Mike Mills)
  7. Melancholia” (Lars von Trier)
  8. Coriolanus” (Ralph Fiennes)
  9. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” (Tomas Alfredson)
  10. Polisse” (Maïwenn)

One caveat: It’s the 3D version of “Pina” that places so high on the list. I still think that 3D is mostly a gimmick and often actually distracts from more than it benefits the movie-going experience. But there are exceptions, of course, and “Pina” is the big one. I’ve seen it twice in 3D and twice in 2D, and while it’s still a beautiful film without the added depth, the technology really does add something valuable, something essential to the film.

If you are on Netflix, seven of these movies (maybe even some you haven’t seen, yet) are available for streaming: “Pina,” “Medianeras,” “Drive,” “Weekend,” “Melancholia,” “Coriolanus” and “Polisse.”

(And if you’re wondering why I would post my Top Ten 2011 in December of 2012 (or, indeed, my Top Ten Films of 2010 – which make for a much better read than this here puny list – in November of 2011), the answer is simple: I just don’t get to see most new movies until at least a few months, sometimes a year after they’ve come out. I refuse to see movies dubbed into German, so in most cases I have to wait for the home video release.)


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