Chris Pandolfi Avatar Posted on 1/2/2012 by Chris Pandolfi
Movies
Features

Chris Pandolfi makes his picks for the very best films of 2011. Did your favorite make his Top Ten list of the best the year had to offer?

Written by Chris Pandolfi (editor-at-large)

I can’t recall the last time I saw so many good films in one year, especially during the first six months – which, if you know where to look, is not as dead a period as you might think. I present to you now my list of the ten films I feel represent 2011 at its very best. I hope you enjoy it.

Just in case you need symmetry in your lives, be sure to also check out my "Top 10 Worst Films of 2011" list, which has films that will make you appreciate just how truly great these are.


THE TOP 10 BEST FILMS OF 2011

10. Midnight in Paris

Woody Allen’s latest is not only a delightful and funny time-travel fantasy, it’s also a smart and often touching examination of misdirected nostalgia. Read full review right HERE!

9. Bill Cunningham New York

The legendary New York Times fashion photographer becomes the subject of a fascinating, illuminating, and often funny documentary. Read full review right HERE!

8. Shame

Michael Fassbender gives a devastating performance in Steve McQueen’s unflinching portrait of a sex addict and his wayward sister. Read full review right HERE!

7. Trust

A heartbreaking but highly compelling drama about how the aftermath of a rape can actually be more traumatizing than the rape itself. Read full review right HERE!

6. Certified Copy

A surprisingly absorbing romantic drama that challenges the audience by encouraging debate over what is an “original” and what is a “copy.” Read full review right HERE!

5. Johnny Mad Dog

The relentless authenticity of this African children-of-war drama makes it more terrifying than just about any horror movie I can think of. Read full review right HERE!

4. Hugo

Martin Scorsese’s first foray into 3D family filmmaking is not only a beautiful story of friendship, but also a loving and engaging tribute to the history of cinema. Read full review right HERE!

3. The Tree of Life

Terrence Malick’s beautiful spiritual drama plays directly on the emotions like a finely orchestrated piece of music. Read full review right HERE!

2. The Artist

Although it may seem odd to make a black-and-white silent film in 2011, this gloriously old-fashioned melodrama is pure entertainment from start to finish. Read full review right HERE!

1. A Separation

This Iranian masterpiece from writer/director Asghar Farhadi is in part an intrigue story but more so an intelligent, uncompromising examination of culture. Read full review right HERE!








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More audacious than volume one, mostly because of von Trier’s willingness to delve into the darker, often unexplored recesses of the mind.
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In spite of Berry's incredible performance(s), the film cannot escape its controversial subject matter or its melodramatic plot.
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Disney returns its Peter Pan spin off series to the high seas in The Pirate Fairy.
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Sausage factory fiction writing personified; not a bad book, but not a very good one either. It just exists, and nothing more.
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Pure silliness, wrapped around a history lesson that’s largely apolitical; stars persons and places more recognizable than the first book.
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Stories written between 2003 and 2010 that are bagatelles; not bad, but not memorable; not the Waldrop collection to start with, but buy it anyway.
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An exemplary vision spanning 192 pages, with plenty of juicy information about Respawn’s wondrous new world to sate even the most jaded of gamers.
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Even if its source material wasn't to your liking, there’s plenty to enjoy about this accompanying tome, especially if you can appreciate great art when you see it.
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A great example of a 'clone' of popular genre games done right, especially those unavailable on platforms they make the most sense on.
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While commendable to see a darker take on familiar archetypes, fans may want to stick with a different strategy-RPG that doesn't try so hard to be edgy.
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A new act, class, loot system and more await fans in the first expansion to Blizzard’s Diablo 3.
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