These are my top ten films of 2011. The list is hardly academic, just a simple list of favourites, and my reasons for them.
An enchanting and poignant reminder of why and how we fall in love with cinema.
2. Super 8
A wonderfully realised piece of cinema nostalgia that manages to establish and express its own identity.
Cool, thrilling, compelling and shocking. The best Michael Mann film that Michael Mann didn’t make.
The funniest film of the year – two hours was not enough!
5. Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy
An intense, intelligent spy thriller, with a calm, measured yet never less than gripping pace.
6. True Grit
Atmospheric, gripping and soulful, with a nice line in gallows humour.
7. X-Men: First Class
True to the spirit and narrative of the previous instalments, yet still with an identity of its own.
8. The Ides of March
National politics collide with personal ethics in a thriller that shows what’s wrong with electoral practice.
9. Fair Game
An interesting post Iraq War film, that may make you very, very angry.
10. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
An atmospheric and brooding film that slips easily into shocks and thrills.
Almost in but not quite:
Hanna – a new twist on the spy thriller, merged neatly with a fairy tale.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes – an old franchise rises again!
Source Code – intelligent science fiction and a gripping story.
Captain America: The First Avenger
Crazy, Stupid, Love.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Turkey of the year: Your Highness. Not awful, but not that good either.