The Slackers' Top 10 of 2011!



Since the Oscars have now passed, and we're finally done with this awards season, it feels like the perfect time to touch on each of our favorites from 2011 before fully diving into 2012. Each of us have a couple notable films that unfortunately we haven't gotten to yet, but we're happy to share our thoughts up to this point at least.

As any of you who have ever ranked movies before know, lists are always changing. We'll present our ranked favorites from the previous year, but know that opinions change over time, and even the effect a movie can have on a person can change over the years too. So while these can be used as great guidelines, don't, by any means, take these as set-in-stone lists. They're our favorites at the moment.

So without wasting any more of your time, here are the films that each of us found the best from 2011!


Alex Schopp
I'll be posting my personal Top 15 list at the end of the week (more titles and more elaborate descriptions!). There aren't many titles (that I'm aware of) that I haven't yet seen that I think would prominently factor into this list. It should be fairly complete. Enjoy!

1. Moneyball
A perfect mix of my two loves: baseball and movies. Great story, great acting, and a great musical score - probably my favorite of the year.

2. Midnight in Paris
My favorite Woody Allen movie to date. Loved the themes in this one. Great concept.

3. X-Men: First Class
I cared about these characters more than I thought I could. Fassbender made this movie.

4. Take Shelter
I was so impressed by how much I rooted for this guy.

5. Contagion
One of the three best musical scores of the year.It really drove the movie. Plus I enjoy the apocalyptic genre. This was Outbreak but with how the world would really respond.

6. Warrior
Again, just some really great characters. It was pretty emotional and felt very honest. I don't much care for fighting (in life or the sport), but this was engaging to watch.

7. Bridesmaids
It's rare that a pure comedy will make these kinds of lists for me, but this was a true laugh-out-loud entry. I think it will hold up alongside the likes of 2000's comedies like Anchorman and Wet Hot American Summer.

8. Crazy, Stupid, Love.
Family dramadies are a soft spot for me. I love seeing messy families get through the worst of times and find ways to make peace with life.

9. Drive
And now all three movies with my three favorite scores of the year have made this list. Just shows how important that is to a film. This movie was far more subtle than you might expect it to be, but it grows on you. I barely cared about this movie when I first saw it, but it continues to build.

10. The Ides of March
This was a great, albeit scary, look at the direction politics are going in our country. I'm not a major political follower, but this movie does two things for me: (1) makes me realize how much I'd love to be on the inside working that system; I think I could be great at it. And (2) show me how outraged I can be by politics when I know what's actually going on.


Ben Foutch
This is a very loose ranking. Having seen most of the 2011 releases only once, I couldn't accurately rank them in a favorite order. So the following ten films are more about the titles I care about the most. Also, it should be noted that I haven't seen as many as my fellow bloggers.

1. Midnight in Paris
Beautiful, funny, touching and insightful.

2. X-Men: First Class
I guess FOX doesn't completely hate X-Men fans.

3. The Ides of March
I felt stressed just watching this.

4. Shame
Powerful performances and an overall deep look into the life of an addict.

5. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Where's the cheese? I sure can't find any.

6. 50/50
A movie about cancer that wasn't completely depressing.

7. Limitless
Fun thriller that doesn't take itself too seriously.

8. Captain America: The First Avenger
Perfect popcorn flick.

9. Drive
I couldn't stop thinking about this for a few days.

10. Sucker Punch
Visually stunning with philosophical undertones.


Derek Clem
I didn't give any descriptions with these because it is my hope that you watch these films and come to your own conclusions as to why I ranked them as I did.

1. Rise of the Planet of the Apes

2. X-Men: First Class

3. Young Adult

4. Drive

5. Midnight in Paris

6. Hugo

7. Attack the Block

8. Melancholia

9. Take Shelter

10. Fast 5



Nathan Hinds
There weren't many films that I didn't get to this year that I wanted to. Maybe "Melancholia", but not much else comes to mind.

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
There was never any doubt that this was going to be at the top of my list. I almost didn’t want to put this on my list because it doesn’t feel right having something second to it - that might imply that some other film could’ve beaten it.

2. X-Men: First Class
This was by far the best superhero movie of the year, but not only that, it was just a great movie in general. Eric’s story was so tragic, yet fascinating. I really wish that role would’ve gotten some awards recognition, because it was such a deep role.

3. Warrior
For something that, for me, looked so cheesy on paper, these filmmakers really pulled off something quite amazing.

4. Fast Five
This is the best pure action movie to come out in years. It has everything you can ask for: nonstop, pulse-pounding action, a nice revenge story, a heavyweight showdown between two action superstars, and then that awesome team-up for the greater good.

5. Limitless
I thought this was a very smart movie. Thankfully, they avoided many bone-headed plot holes that I expected to come up with a subject matter like this. Also Bradley Cooper proved he can carry a film by himself. I can’t wait for some of his future projects.

6. Attack the Block
When I watched this, I found it to be a much more fast-paced, funny, and all-around more enjoyable version of Super 8. Plus it had a surprising amount of heart, and the ending gave me chills.

7. Win Win
My favorite dramedy of the year. Paul Giamatti is one of my favorite actors for these types of roles. He plays such a likeable character in this movie; I wanted everything to work out for him.

8. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
I went to see this in IMAX and it was so incredible! The skyscraper scene in IMAX was one of the best things I’ve ever seen. I’m not afraid of heights but that was one hell of a tense scene.

9. 50/50
This movie had me all over the place emotionally. It had me laughing hysterically at some points, but then the seriousness of this movie hits you like a ton of bricks at the end. If you didn’t tear-up right before he goes into his surgery, there's something wrong with you.

10. Drive
I feel like outside of movie critics and hardcore movie buffs, this film didn’t get a lot of love. It’s not nonstop action, but it doesn’t need to be. Its subtlety and reserve is what makes the limited action so much more intense. Plus this movie has the best soundtrack of the year.


Andy Schopp

1. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Too much heart and hope and humanity all coming from a single source. Caesar is the perfect hero.

2. X-Men: First Class
The scene on the beach makes me cry every second I think about it. The friendship...the blame. Too much!

3. Hugo
If I had to describe what movie magic means, I would simply show this movie and not say a word.

4. War Horse
When an animal shows more human characteristics than humans it breaks my heart in a good way. It's the same as the way Superman (though they're not the same "animals") breaks my heart as he lifts a kryptonite continent off earth, knowing it might kill him, and the people he's saving aren't even "his" people.

5. Super 8
Best child actors of all time? Uhhh yes.

6. Melancholia
......I had to make sure my soul was still intact after this. The execution of this movie was perfect.

7. Take Shelter
This was a documentary about a real family that simply didn't know they were being filmed, right? No? Well it sure felt that way.

8. Midnight in Paris
We all suffer from this. But to learn that we all belong where we are is a truth only a few will ever find.

9. Another Earth
It's so intense while being so subtle. If I have problems with this movie even I'm unaware of them.

10. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
I've read these books, and this movie did a great job casting all of its characters. The movie was intense and violent, while being a great great thriller that had you questioning things even if you knew the answer.


And there you have it. Each of our top 10 films of 2011! A lot of numbers to try and analyze here, but we'll try to break it down a little to give you a better idea of how things looked as a whole. The first thing that stands out is that Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a pretty divisive film for this group. It was the only film to appear in the #1 spot on multiple lists, but it also didn't make the list at all two others. The second thing that stands out was the across-the-board love for X-Men: First Class. It was the only title that appeared on all five list, and wasn't lower than #3 on any of them. This was the clear consensus favorite of the group.

Outside of the that, two films showed up on four of the five lists: Midnight in Paris and Drive. Midnight in Paris was generally ranked higher, with an average ranking of "5"; while Drive came in with an average ranking of "8".

Other films that made multiple appearances above were: Take Shelter with three occurrences; and Warrior, The Ides of March, Limitless, Hugo, Melancholia, Fast Five, 50/50, and Attack the Block all with two.

As always, happy watching! And please let us know below what you thought the best movies of 2011 were.

Comments

  1. I have a lot of movies to catch up with you... I did see Another Earth and I agree - good movie. Amazing scene with a guy playing a saw - how many movies have that?! This scene is on the composer's website http://www.scottmunsonmusic.com/news/music-in-film-another-earth-soundtrack if you want to see/hear it again.

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    1. Yea the saw scene was excellent! So unique and tense and compassionate all at once! The whole movie just keeps me on edge while at the same time making me fall for this relationship between the two. Thanks for the link!

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