The first six months of 2011 were, as far as movies go, incredibly successful. With the summer blockbuster season winding down, I thought this would be as good a time as any to share my picks for the ten best films of the first half of the year. I’ve included links to my full reviews when they’re available, so feel free to check out my full thoughts and opinions on each one.
There’s a good chance at least a few of these will end up on my year-end best of list. Considering how great these were, I can’t wait to see what others might be joining them. Check out my companion ‘Worst Of’ list right HERE!
1. The Tree of Life
Terrence Malick’s beautiful spiritual drama plays directly on the emotions like a finely orchestrated piece of music. Full review right HERE!
2. Johnny Mad Dog
The relentless authenticity of this children-of-war drama makes it more terrifying than just about any horror movie you can think of. Full review right HERE!
3. Certified Copy
A film that challenges the audience by encouraging debate over what is “original” and what is a “copy.” Full review right HERE!
4. Of Gods and Men
This true story of the Trappist monks slain in Algeria takes faith and commitment to a cause more seriously than any of recent memory. Full review right HERE!
A wonderfully cast and poignantly written film about the power of letting go, of overcoming fear and finally opening yourself up to love. Full review right HERE!
A heartbreaking but highly compelling drama about how the aftermath of a rape can actually be more traumatizing than the rape itself. Full review right HERE!
7. Win Win
An intelligent, warm, funny, authentic social portrait, enlivened by a wonderful performance by newcomer Alex Shaffer. Full review right HERE!
8. Bill Cunningham New York
The legendary New York Times fashion photographer becomes the subject of a fascinating, illuminating, and often funny documentary. Full review right HERE!
A funny, beautifully rendered, intelligent animated film that’s clearly having fun with the conventions of the American western. Full review right HERE!
10. X-Men: First Class
Director Matthew Vaughn has gone from making one of the worst superhero movies ever made to one of the best. Full review right HERE!