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Top Ten of 2011


These are my top ten films of 2011.  The list is hardly academic, just a simple list of favourites, and my reasons for them.

1. Hugo

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.

3. Drive

Cool, thrilling, compelling and shocking. The best Michael Mann film that Michael Mann didn’t make.

4. Bridesmaids

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.

Honourable mentions:


Captain America: The First Avenger

Crazy, Stupid, Love.

The Debt

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

Real Steel

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows


Turkey of the year: Your Highness. Not awful, but not that good either.

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