Year-End Lists

Notable, browsable lists of the year's best music, movies, books, and TV shows. End-of-year lists are fingerprints; aggregate statistics are smudges. Therefore, no tallies. Follow the link for each list to see essential commentary from its authors, at the source.

Category: 2011 Movies

Skandies: 20 Best Films of 2011

The Tree of Life

Skandies: 20 Best Films of 2011 [a poll of about 40 cinephiles]

  1. The Tree of Life – Terrence Malick
  2. A Separation – Asghar Farhadi
  3. Margaret – Kenneth Lonergan
  4. Certified Copy – Abbas Kiarostami
  5. House of Pleasures – Bertrand Bonello
  6. Drive – Nicolas Winding Refn
  7. Melancolia – Lars von Trier
  8. Meek’s Cutoff – Kelly Reichardt
  9. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives – Apichatpong Weerasethakul
  10. Martha Marcy May Marlene – Sean Durkin
  11. Tuesday, After Christmas – Radu Muntean
  12. Of Gods and Men – Xavier Beauvois
  13. The Arbor – Clio Barnard
  14. Putty Hill – Matthew Porterfield
  15. Beginners – Mike Mills
  16. Moneyball – Bennett Miller
  17. Take Shelter – Jeff Nichols
  18. Shame – Steve McQueen
  19. Hugo – Martin Scorsese
  20. We Need to Talk About Kevin – Lynne Ramsay

Cinema Scope: Top Ten Films of 2011

Cinema Scope: Top Ten Films of 2011

  1. This is Not a Film – Jafar Panahi & Mojtaba Mirtahmasb
  2. The Turin Horse – Béla Tarr
  3. House of Pleasures [L’Apollonide: Souvenirs de la maison close] [House of Tolerance] – Bertrand Bonello
  4. Dreileben – Christian Petzold, Dominik Graf, Christoph Hochhäuser
  5. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia – Nuri Bilge Ceylan
  6. The Tree of Life – Terrence Malick
  7. Kill List – Ben Wheatley
  8. It’s the Earth Not the Moon – Gonçalo Tocha
  9. Sleeping Sickness – Ulrich Köhler
  10. The Kid with a Bike [Le gamin au vélo] – Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne

Special Mentions

  • 4:44 Last Day on Earth – Abel Ferrara
  • The Color Wheel – Alex Ross Perry
  • Drive – Nicolas Winding Refn
  • Outside Satan [Hors Satan] – Bruno Dumont
  • Take Shelter – Jeff Nichols
  • Margaret – Kenneth Lonergan
  • Policeman – Nadav Lapid
  • Target – Alexander Zeldovich
  • Two Years at Sea – Ben Rivers

Dennis Harvey: Favorite Films of 2011

Dennis Harvey: Favorite Films of 2011 [as published by San Francisco Bay Guardian], alphabetically

Documentaries

  • American Teacher – Vanessa Roth & Brian McGinn
  • The Arbor – Clio Barnard
  • Buck – Ciny Meehl
  • The Last Lions – Dereck Joubert
  • My Perestroika – Robin Hessman [pictured]
  • Nostalgia for the Light – Patricio Guzmán
  • Pianomania – Robert Cibis & Lilian Franck
  • Pina – Wim Wenders
  • Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure – Matthew Bate
  • Vigilante Vigilante: The Battle for Expression – Max Good
  • We Were Here – David Weissman & Bill Weber)

Narrative Features

  • The Artist – Michel Hazanavicius
  • Ceremony – Max Winkler
  • Certified Copy – Abbas Kiarostami
  • The Descendants – Alexander Payne
  • Drive – Nicolas Winding Refn
  • Happy, Happy – Anne Sewitsky
  • Hugo – Martin Scorsese
  • I’m Glad My Mother Is Alive – Claude Miller & Nathan Miller
  • Incendies – Denis Villeneuve
  • Machotaildrop – Corey Adams & Alex Craig
  • The Mill and the Cross – Lech Majewski
  • The Names of Love – Michel Leclerc
  • Oka! – Lavinia Currier
  • Rango – Gore Verbinski
  • A Separation – Asghar Farhadi
  • The Strange Case of Angelica – Manoel de Oliveira
  • Tucker and Dale vs. Evil – Eli Craig
  • Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives – Apichatpong Weerasethakul
  • Weekend – Andrew Haigh
  • Young Adult – Jason Reitman

Sean Burns: Top 10 Films of 2011

Sean Burns: Top 10 Films of 2011 [as published by Philadelphia Weekly]

  1. Drive – Nicolas Winding Refn
  2. Hugo – Martin Scorsese
  3. Carnage – Roman Polanski
  4. Melancholia – Lars von Trier
  5. Meek’s Cutoff – Kelly Reichardt
  6. Shame – Steve McQueen
  7. Certified Copy – Abbas Kiarostami
  8. Martha Marcy May Marlene – Sean Durkin
  9. We Need to Talk About Kevin – Lynne Ramsay
  10. Midnight in Paris – Woody Allen

Matt Prigge: Top Ten Films of 2011

Matt Prigge: Top Ten Films of 2011 [as published by Philadelphia Weekly] [more commentary]

  1. House of Pleasures (aka House of Tolerance) – Bertrand Bonello
  2. Margaret – Kenneth Lonergan
  3. A Separation – Asghar Farhadi
  4. Drive – Nicolas Winding Refn
  5. The Tree of Life – Terrence Malick
  6. Certified Copy – Abbas Kiarostami
  7. Rubber – Quentin Dupieux
  8. Martha Marcy May Marlene – Sean Durkin
  9. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives – Apichatpong Weerasethakul
  10. Tuesday, After Christmas – Radu Muntean

Almost!

  • Meek’s Cutoff – Kelly Reichardt
  • Putty Hill – Matthew Porterfield
  • The Arbor – Clio Barnard
  • Hugo – Martin Scorsese
  • Contagion – Steven Soderbergh
  • The Future – Miranda July
  • Cold Weather – Aaron Katz
  • Bellflower – Evan Glodell
  • Shit Year – Cam Archer
  • maybe Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol – Brad Bird

Empire: Top 20 Films of 2011

Empire: Top 20 Films of 2011 [by UK release date]

  1. Drive – Nicolas Winding Refn
  2. Senna – Asif Kapadia
  3. The King’s Speech – Tom Hooper
  4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 – David Yates
  5. The Artist – Michel Hazanavicius
  6. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – Tomas Alfredson
  7. True Grit – Joel & Ethan Coen
  8. Bridesmaids – Paul Feig
  9. Rise of the Planet of the Apes – Rupert Wyatt
  10. Black Swan – Darren Aronofsky
  11. Blue Valentine – Derek Cianfrance
  12. The Fighter – David O. Russell
  13. Hanna – Joe Wright
  14. We Need to Talk About Kevin – Lynne Ramsay
  15. The Inbetweeners Movie – Ben Palmer
  16. Super 8 – J.J. Abrams
  17. Incendies – Denis Villeneuve
  18. The Tree of Life – Terrence Malick
  19. The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn – Steven Spielberg
  20. Fast Five – Paul Lim

Reverse Shot: 10 Best Films of 2011

Reverse Shot: 10 Best Films of 2011

  1. The Tree of Life – Terrence Malick
  2. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives – Apichatpong Weerasethakul
  3. Certified Copy – Abbas Kiarostami
  4. Nostalgia for the Light – Patricio Guzmán
  5. Meek’s Cutoff – Kelly Reichardt
  6. Mysteries of Lisbon – Raoul Ruiz
  7. The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceauşescu – Andrei Ujica
  8. Take Shelter – Jeff Nichols
  9. The Arbor – Clio Barnard
  10. Historias extraordinarias – Mariano Llinás

Les Inrocks: 20 Best Films of 2011

Les Inrockuptibles: 20 Best Films of 2011 [also: albums and songs]

  1. House of Pleasures [L’Apollonide: Souvenirs de la maison close] [House of Tolerance] – Bertrand Bonello
  2. The Strange Case of Angelica [L’Etrange Affaire Angélica] – Manoel de Oliveira
  3. How Do You Know [Comment savoir] – James Brooks
  4. The Skin I Live In [La pile que habito] – Pedro Almodóvar
  5. Declaration of War [La guerre es déclarée] – Valérie Donzelli
  6. Last Screening [Dernière séance] – Laurent Achard
  7. Pater – Alain Cavalier
  8. Super 8 – J.J. Abrams
  9. Essential Killing – Jerzy Skolimowski
  10. Midnight in Paris [Minuit à Paris] – Woody Allen
  11. Melancholia – Lars von Trier
  12. Attenberg – Athina Rachel Tsangari
  13. Bridesmaids [Mes meilleures amies] – Paul Feig
  14. The Tree of Life – Terrence Malick
  15. Hahaha – Hong Sang-soo
  16. The Beloved [Les bien-aimés] – Christophe Honoré
  17. Black Swan – Darren Aronofsky
  18. Sweetgrass – Lucien Castaing-Taylor & Ilisa Barbash
  19. Le Havre – Aki Kaurismäki
  20. We Have a Pope [Habemus papam] – Nanni Moretti
  21. [tie] Outside Satan [Hors Satan] – Bruno Dumont

Ryland Walker Knight & Brian Darr: A Curated Look-Back at 2011

As we gather these year-end lists, we sometimes come across pieces that don’t fit neatly into our linear structure of “Best Whatnots of 2011.” Usually our scouring, list-seeking rover just moves on to listier terrain.

But sometimes we flag such entries for ourselves, and maybe we ought to share them from time to time. Here’s a gem. Please see Bang Bang, a compilation of short posts that look back at the movies and other enthusiasms of twenty-bang-bang, curated by noted cinephiles Ryland Walker Knight and Brian Darr.

J.R. Jones: 10 Best Films of 2011

J.R. Jones: 10 Best Films of 2011 [as published by The Chicago Reader]

  1. Of Gods and Men – Xavier Beauvois
  2. Bridesmaids – Paul Feig
  3. The Tree of Life – Terrence Malick
  4. Terri – Azazel Jacobs
  5. Tabloid – Errol Morris
  6. Client-9: The Rise and Fall of Elliot Spitzer – Alex Gibney
  7. The Elephant in the Room – Michael Webber
  8. The Wise Kids – Stephen Cone
  9. Beautiful Boy – Shawn Ku
  10. Margin Call – J.C. Chandor