1. The Descendants - Alexander Payne + Best Dramedy of the Year + Best Hawaii Movie of the Year
2. The Artist - Michel Hazanavicius + Best Los Angeles Movie of the Year
3. We Need to Talk About Kevin - Lynne Ramsay + Best Shooting Star Actor of the Year (Ezra Miller)
4. In Darkness/W Ciemnosci - Agnieszka Holland + Best War Movie of the Year + Best Polish Movie of the Year
5. Haywire - Steven Soderbergh + Best Breakthrough of the Year (Gina Carano) + Sexiest Movie of the Year
6. The Help - Tate Taylor + Best Mississippi Movie of the Year
7. Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel - Alex Stapleton
8. The Intouchables/Intouchables/Untouchable - Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache + Best French Movie of the Year
9. Bridesmaids - Paul Feig + Best Comedy of the Year
10. Warrior - Gavin O'Connor + Best Boxing Movie of the Year
Other great films of the year (in alphabetical order)
Albert Nobbs - Rodrigo García + Best Irish Movie of the Year
The Bengali Detective - Philip Cox
Bernie - Richard Linklater + Best True-Crime Movie of the Year
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - John Madden
Carnage - Roman Polanski + Best New York Movie of the Year
Contagion - Steven Soderbergh + Best Disaster Movie of the Year
Hugo - Martin Scorsese + Best Family Movie of the Year + Most Expensive Flop of the Year
J. Edgar - Clint Eastwood + Best Biopic of the Year
Jeff Who Lives at Home - Mark & Jay Duplass
Kill List - Ben Wheatley + Best English Movie of the Year
Killer Joe - William Friedkin
Machine Gun Preacher - Marc Forster
Martha Marcy May Marlene - Sean Durkin + Best Thriller of the Year + Best Debut Movie of the Year + Best Shooting Star Actress of the Year (Elizabeth Olsen)
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol - Brad Bird + Best Action Movie of the Year + Best Blockbuster of the Year
Moneyball - Bennett Miller + Best Sports Movie of the Year
Mr. Popper's Penguins - Mark Waters
My Week with Marilyn - Simon Curtis + Best Period Movie of the Year
Oslo, August 31st/Oslo, 31. August - Joachim Trier + Best Norwegian Movie of the Year
Red State - Kevin Smith + Wildest Movie of the Year
Scream 4 - Wes Craven + Best Horror of the Year
A Separation/جدایی نادر از سیمین - Asghar Farhadi + Best Iranian Movie of the Year
We Bought a Zoo - Cameron Crowe + Best Animal Movie of the Year + Best True-Story Movie fo the Year
Weekend - Andrew Haigh + Best LGBT Movie of the Year
Good films of the year (in alphabetical order)
50/50- Jonathan Levine
Attack the Block - Joe Cornish + Best Monster Movie of the Year
The Beaver - Jodie Foster
Boy/Dreng - Peter Gantzler
The Details - Jacob Aaron Estes
Drive - Nicolas Winding Refn + Best Car Movie of the Year + Best Gangster Movie of the Year
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close - Stephen Daldry
A Funny Man/Dirch - Martin Zandvliet
The Guard - John Michael McDonagh + Best Crime Comedy of the Year
Headhunters/Hodejegerne - Morten Tyldum
Hobo with a Shotgun - Jason Eisener + Best Canadian Movie of the Year + Best Gore Movie of the Year
The Ides of March - George Clooney + Best Political Movie of the Year
The Iron Lady - Phyllida Lloyd
Johnny English Reborn/Johnny English Returns - Oliver Parker
Kung Fu Panda 2 - Jennifer Yuh
Margin Call - J. C. Chandor
Melancholia - Lars Von Trier
Midnight in Paris - Woody Allen + Best Paris Movie of the Year
Mildred Pierce - Todd Haynes + Best Miniseries of the Year
The Muppets - James Bobin + Best Musical of the Year
Our Idiot Brother - Jesse Peretz
Rango - Gore Verbinski
The Rum Diary - Bruce Robinson + Best Comeback of the Year (Johnny Depp and Bruce Robinson)
Shame - Steve McQueen
Silent House - Chris Kentis & Laura Lau + Best Shooting Star Actress of the Year (Elizabeth Olsen)
The Sitter - David Gordon Green
Super 8 - J. J. Abrams
The Tree of Life - Terrence Malick
Twixt - Francis Ford Coppola
Wuthering Heights - Andrea Arnold + Best Romance of the Year
Your Highness - David Gordon Green + Best Fantasy Movie of the Year
The 10 Worst Films
1. Arthur - Jason Winer
2. The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence) - Tom Six
3. The Turin Horse/A Torinói Ló - Béla Tarr
4. Fright Night - Craig Gillespie
5. Hall Pass - Bobby & Peter Farrelly
6. Hostel: Part III - Scott Spiegel + Worst Poster of the Year
7. The Hangover Part II - Todd Phillips
8. The Mechanic - Simon West
9. Memories of My Melancholy Whores/Memoria de Mis Putas Tristes - Henning Carlsen
10. Dolphin Tale - Charles Martin Smith
Other mediocre or poor films (in alphabetical order)
30 Minutes or Less
Crazy, Stupid, Love
A Dangerous Method
Fast & Furious 5/Fast Five/Fast & Furious 5: Rio Heist
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Raid: Redemption/The Raid/Serbuan Maut
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
The Skin I Live In/La Piel Que Habito
The Son of No One
The Sunset Limited
This Must Be the Place
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
X-Men: First Class
[95 titles in total]
This second updated edition of the 2011 lists adds just 6 titles, moving it from 89 to 95 reviewed titles.
Topping the year's best of-list are 8 masterpieces: Alexander Payne's poignant The Descendants, Michel Hazanavicious' silent B/W Hollywood homage surprise hit The Artist, Lynne Ramsay's uncompromising 'mother-horror' We Need to Talk About Kevin, Agnieszka Holland's gut-wrenching WWII sewer survival drama In Darkness, Steven Soderbergh's (who also released the great Contagion this year) funky-cool martial arts actioner Haywire, Tate Taylor's race-discussing Southern drama The Help, Alex Stapleton's immersive, rollicking Roger Corman documentary, Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel and finally Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache's uplifting drama The Intouchables. These films are followed by Paul Feig's female-headed comedy smash Bridesmaids and Gavin O'Connor's terrific MMA-drama Warrior, which bumps Brad Bird's great Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol out of the top 10.
Moving on to individuals, George Clooney had a spectacular year with both The Descendants and his own fine Ides of March. Johnny Depp made a dramatic comeback in even more 'come-backing' Bruce Robinson's free-spirited, fun Rum Diary, though it flopped. And Elizabeth Olsen made herself known in a big way with excellent, nerve-wrecking performances in both Silent House and the great Martha Marcy May Marlene. Ezra Miller cemented his position as one of the most talented and far-ranging young actors with his lead performance in Kevin, and Gina Carano broke the mold as a tough as nails female action star in Haywire.
Jason Segel also had a great year on the silver screen with fine work in both the hilarious indie Jeff Who Lives at Home and The Muppets. Jim Carrey made a refreshing return to great family comedy with Mr. Popper's Penguins.
2011 also offered very exciting films from Iran (A Separation), Norway (Oslo, August 31st), Ireland (Albert Nobbs), England (Kill List), India (The Bengali Detective and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), Sudan (Machine Gun Preacher) and many other countries.
Scorsese released his critically acclaimed, great Hugo, which is the film reviewed thus far that lost most money by far, despite all the praise and awards heaped upon it.
We also got a fine, British monster movie (Attack the Block), an unusually dark Hollywood dramedy (The Details), a great baseball movie (Moneyball), an uplifting zoo family drama (We Bought a Zoo), a car movie that took the world by storm (Drive), a Canadian gore grindhouse homage (Hobo with a Shotgun), a really funny Irish movie (The Guard) and a really strange American one (Terrence Malick's Palme d'Or winner The Tree of Life).
David Gordon Green released two major comedies that both fared well with Film Excess, The Sitter and Your Highness, but which also both lost millions of dollars. Green is one of the few commercially highly unstable if not downright unviable directors, who still gets to direct big movies in a freewheeling, steady pace today.
Others are less fortunate, as Jason Winer with the year's undoubtedly worst film, the godawful Arthur. It gets followed on the worst-of list by Tom Six's next, preposterous Centipede movie and Bela Tarr's last movie ever, Turin Horse. The worst films of 2011 also include the perhaps worst Bobby & Peter Farrelly movie to date (Hall Pass), Scott Spiegel's straight-to-DVD Hostel 3, Tod Phillips' second Hangover movie, Henning Carlsen's also last film ever, Cuba-set Memories of My Melancholy Whores and Charles Martin Smith's sappy, flawed Dolphin Tale.
Some of the year's huge films were also not very memorable, as is often the case; namely Rise of the Planet of the Apes, X-Men: First Class and Fast Five were all fast forgotten.
Cinema masters David Cronenberg (A Dangerous Method), Steven Spielberg (War Horse) and Pedro Almodóvar (The Skin I Live In) also premiered films in 2011 that didn't meet their high standards of yore.
The 2012 Oscars:
Billy Crystal hosted the ceremony for his 9th time, (he's only surpassed by Bob Hope's 12 times as host), following James Franco and Anne Hathaway's disastrous co-hosting job at the 2011 ceremony.
The Artist was the night's biggest winner with 5 awards: Best Picture (ahead of Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, (which was a little controversial for its 2 nominations, which some felt were undeserved), Tree of Life, Descendants, The Help, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball and War Horse), Best Actor (Jean Dujardin), Best Costumes, Best Score (Ludovic Bource). - And Hazanavicious won Best Director ahead of Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, Terrence Malick and Alexander Payne.
Meryl Streep won Best Actress for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in Iron Lady, which also won for Best Makeup, and Christopher Plummer won Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Beginners (2010), becoming the oldest recipient to date, at age 82. Octavia Spencer won Best Supporting Actress for The Help.
Woody Allen won for his original screenplay for Midnight in Paris, and Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash won for their adapted screenplay for Descendants. Robert Richardson won for his extraordinary cinematography in Hugo, which also won the art direction, visual effects, sound editing and sound mixing Oscars.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo won its only Oscar, out of 5 nominations, for Best Editing. Bret McKenzie won Best Song for his Man or Muppet from The Muppets.
The shorts The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (animated), The Shore (live-action) and Saving Face (documentary) won awards. Undefeated, about a football team, won Best Documentary, and Asghar Farhadi's A Separation won Best Foreign Film, ahead of Bullhead, Footnote, In Darkness and Monsieur Lazhar. Rango won Best Animation.
Dignitary awards went to James Earl Jones, Dick Smith, Oprah Winfrey, Jonathan Erland and Douglas Trumbull.
IMDb's user-generated Top 10 Most Popular of 2011 features:
1. Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows - Part 2
2. The Help
3. X-Men: First Class
4. Captain America: The First Avenger
6. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
9. Sucker Punch
10. The Intouchables
The 2011 Cannes Film Featival:
Robert De Niro acted as jury president, and Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris opened the festival. Bernardo Bertolucci received the year's honorary award, and Lars Von Trier, whose Melancholia was in competition, caused furor with comments about himself and his understanding Hitler at his press conference, causing him much grief later, as he was declared persona non grata by the festival and later questioned by police about the matter.
Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life won the Palme d'Or as the first American since Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004).
A full list of films in the main competition:
The Skin I Live In, Tolerance, Pater, Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, Footnote, The Kid with a Bike, Le Havre, The Artist, Hanezu, Sleeping Beauty, Polisse, The Tree of Life, The Source, Hara-kiri: Death of a Samuari, We Have a Pope, We Need to Talk about Kevin, Michael, This Must Be the Place, Melancholia and Drive.
Other main competition prizes went to Nuri Bilge Ceylan for Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, Nikolas Winding Refn for Drive, Jean Dujardin for The Artist and Kirsten Dunst for Melancholia, - among many others.
Kim Ki-duk's Arirang and Andreas Dresen's Stopped on Track won the Un Certain Regard prize. Maryna Vroda's Cross won the short film award and Doroteya Droumeva's The Letter won the Cinefoundation film school short award. Bouli Lanners' The Giants won the Director's Fortnight section, and Jeff Nichols' Take Shelter and Stephen Kang's short Blue won at the International Critics' Week.
Still on Film Excess' 2011 watchlist:
Hell and Back Again, Lorimer, Pina, Harvest, Jane Eyre, Undefeated, Busted Walk, Footnote, A Better Life, I Am Eleven, Monsieur Lazhar, Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, Italy: Love It, or Leave It, American Horror Story, Puss in Boots, Margaret,Thor, Sucker Punch, Source Code, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1, The Adventures of Tintin, Zookeeper, You're Next, The Devil's Double, The Alps, Tom Boy, Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, Another Happy Day, Five Broken Cameras, Enlightened and The Last Time I Saw Michael Gregg.
Previous annual lists:
2015 in films and TV-series - according to Film Excess
2014 in films and TV-series - according to Film Excess [UPDATED I]
2014 in films - according to Film Excess
2013 in films - according to Film Excess [UPDATED II]
2013 in films - according to Film Excess [UPDATED I]
2013 in films - according to Film Excess
2012 in films and TV-series - according to Film Excess [UPDATED II]
2012 in films - according to Film Excess [UPDATED I]
2012 in films - according to Film Excess
2011 in films and TV-series - according to Film Excess [UPDATED I]
2011 in films - according to Film Excess
2010 in films and TV-series - according to Film Excess [UPDATED I]
2010 in films and TV-series - according to Film Excess
What do you think of Film Excess' 2011 lists?
What movies would comprise your best and worst of 2011 lists?
What missing 2011 movies and/or TV-series would you recommend?