Best of 2011

Reel Review Roundup’s Top Ten Films Of 2011

Aren’t ‘best of’ lists a hoot?! We agonise over making them, put them out there into the world and other people either love them, hate them or argue over them. Or they remain unread. But that’s the fun of them. It has been a particularly great year for films for this lifelong film lover. I found my masterpiece (you may or may not agree, but that’s the beauty of films, right?), created this blog, and spent countless hours discussing movies with many fellow film lovers around the world on Twitter (you know who you are). Here are my top picks for 2011 and I look forward to reading yours!


10) Snowtown – The story of how a sadistic killer seduced an abused teenager into being an accomplice hit too close to home for some people. It was tough to endure at times but it was chilling and haunting. Not necessarily a film one enjoys, but one you can certainly admire.

9) Tree of Life – Terrence Malick, who rarely makes films, must have had a lot of pent up artistry that he unleashed this year. Not only does he explore the dynamics of one family, but also their role in the universe. For many this would be biting off much more than they could chew, but Malick delivered a beautiful and thoughtful piece.

8 ) Midnight in Paris – Woody Allen at his sweet and charming best – from the postcards shots of Paris in the beginning to the cute as a button performance from Owen Wilson. But there is more here than just eye candy as Allen explores what it means to yearn for something we once had or can never have.

7) Sleeping Beauty – Another Australian film that tested and divided audiences. Far too slow and distant for some, intriguing and fascinating for others; including me. This film played over and over in my mind for weeks after I saw it, as I connected the dots and attempted to decipher cryptic moments. A film that allows its audience to exercise its intellect.

6) Drive – The epitome of cool. On the surface, this is a slick action thriller (and for some, nausea inducing violence) with a sweet soundtrack. But the layers are peeled back to reveal one man’s struggle to hide his violent instincts for the love of his life.

5) Hanna – Take a worn out assassin plot and mix it up a bit with a dash of teenage coming of age and you have Hanna. Not only was the mash-up of genres imaginative and impressively handled, but it was alternately thrilling and funny. Another standout soundtrack.

4) Rabbit Hole – Nicole Kidman makes a comeback of sorts after a string of Hollywood duds with her devastating performance of a grieving parent in a film that does not shy away from the emotional horrors of losing a child. Not exactly the kind of film you settle in with chomping on a box of popcorn, but a moving and rewarding experience, nonetheless.

3) 127 Hours – Danny Boyle takes what is essentially a one man show and delivers it in such an innovative way that the arm chopping scene is not overshadowed. The end result is inspirational (not in the way that we want to hack our own arm off) and James Franco turns in an astounding performance.

2) Another Year – A film that I did not see until it was released on DVD and it had me glued to my couch. While it isn’t a thriller, it had my stomach in knots because of that simmering awkwardness every time Lesley Manville’s Mary (a real handful of a friend) popped up. This is one of the most natural pieces of film making with believable characters and interactions. A rare occasion that you get such a sense of every character that you feel you are right there with them.

1) Black Swan – Nothing that was released after this dark, disturbing and absolutely fascinating film came out in January managed to topple it from my top spot. There was tough competition, no doubt, but for me this was a masterpiece. Natalie Portman was a revelation and Darren Aronofsky skillfully handled the multi-layered material.

Seeing so many films in one year it is hard to make a definitive list – there are several that are really good films that didn’t fit into the top 10 but deserve a mention. Here are 10 more recommended films from 2011:


I Love You, Phillip Morris



Super 8


Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Attack the Block

Scream 4

Red Dog

One Response to “Best of 2011”

  1. bravo I AGREE this list is extremely close to my own personal view on 2011 movies 🙂 keep up the good work champ.

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