Top 10 Favorite Films Of 2011


As far back as I can remember; television and movies have been a huge part of my life. From circling all the movies I wanted to see in the TV guide at Christmas time through the early days of VHS, the explosion of DVD, the war of HD-DVD and Blu-ray and a lifetime of going to the movie theatre; I have seen many, many films over the years.

Every year that goes by I wish I could sit down and share my favourite experiences of watching movies; but since I am not going to the theatre every week and am not a paid film critic I realise that I can’t to a favourites list of films for that particular year because I haven’t seen everything. I need a year to catch up. So that’s what this first entry is – my favourite films of last, last, LAST year. 2011.

Please note – favourite does not mean best. I don’t really agree with tagging something like movies, directors or actors with “best” so if I use it I will be using it sparingly. “Favourite” is an opinion and subjective. Admittedly it is  perhaps a cop out – but it serves to keep the decisions and conversations more… what is the word… fluid.

So without further ado… Butler’s Top 10 Favorite Films of 2011

10. The Help

09. The Art Of Getting By

I doubt this indie film would make any critics top ten list – in fact it didn’t make any of the fifty or so lists here on metacritic. Emma Roberts has a great career ahead of her – I hope she can find good roles.
08. Drive

07. Thor

06. We Bought A Zoo

05. Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes

Look. The truth is; that despite their cult status all the other Planet Of The Apes movies are… well… shit. You might be able to argue a case for the original staring Charlton Heston; but the rest of the sequels up to and including the Tim Burton abomination are some weak sci-fi nonsense. But against all odds and fairly well under the radar; English director Rupert Wyatt managed to come from obscurity to helm one of the most critically acclaimed and commerically sucessful science fiction movies in recent times. Using the most up-to-date motion capture technics, lead animal (and Gollem) impersonator Andy Serkis and a strong cast of able humans – the prequel grounds the story in a more believeable way than has ever been presented before. There are some poignant moments dealing with slavery, friendship and loss between Caesar and James Franco’s character. The film ends perfectly with a sense of dread that harks back to the original in 1968. However I have little hope that the resulting follow on sequel will be any good at all – the best part of the monkey apocalypse got covered in this movie. (Actually that’s a pretty good title…! Planet Of The Apes 2: The Monkey Apocalypse). Anyway we will see in 2014 when “Dawn” arrives.
04. Fast Five

The top three movies are some of my favourite movies ever made… so without further ado:

03. Goon

Seann Willam Scott is the MVP of this exceptional sports comedy.

02. Moneyball

01. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

I haven’t read the book. I haven’t seen the Swedish movies. I missed this in the theatre. In fact I bought this as a cheap dvd on the same day I bought Prometheus and I’ll admit I was more interested in watching Scott’s prequel. The truth is I was completely blown away by this movie – from the opening frame I was shocked, horrified, amazed and transfixed. As the credits rolled I remember thinking “Why are there so few films of this quality?”. Not that I needed any more evidence; but David Fincher is the best filmmaker making films today and might be the best ever. His mastery of every detail of making movies from pre production through to post can be seen so absolutely on every frame; but it is his work with the actors that lifts him above everyone. Both Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig are great in this (Craig is much better here than in any of the Bond movies) with great supporting work from Stellan Skarsgård and Yorick van Wageningen. I really hope they will make the sequel.

Also watched: Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, The Help, Source Code, X-Men First Class, Captain America: The First Avenger, Bridesmaids, The Descendants, Sherlock Holmes – A Game Of Shadows, Limitless, Transformers – Dark Of The Moon, Cabin In The Woods, The Grey, Sucker Punch, Friends With Benefits, Horrible Bosses, Tower Heist, Haywire, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Contagion, Super 8, Real Steel, Just Go With It, Green Lantern, The Hangover Part II, The Ides Of March, The Adjustment Bureau, Cowboys & Aliens, No Strings Attached, The Change Up, Conan The Barbarian, Unknown, Bad Teacher, Footloose, The Inbetweeners Movie, The Lincoln Lawyer, Colombiana, Take Me Home Tonight, Your Highness, The Thing, The Mechanic, Battle Los Angeles, The Awakening, The Green Hornet, Scream 4, The Dilemma, The Guard, The Beaver, Flypaper, I am Number Four, Side By Side, The Innkeepers, Drive Angry, “Crazy, Stupid, Love.”, Hanna, Hugo

Special Feature – Worst Movie of the Year: Hall Pass

Special Feature – Best Trailer: Your Highness (Red Band Trailer)

Special Feature – Best Documentary: Pearl Jam Twenty, Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Special Feature – Best soundtracks: Hanna (The Chemical Brothers), The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, We Bought A Zoo, Drive, Pearl Jam Twenty

Special Feature – Premise War: “Fuck Buddies” Friends With Benefits vs. No Strings Attached

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