Tag Archives: Best films of 2011

Big Screen Berkeley: Best movies of 2011

The Smurfs: A movie John Seal managed to avoid in 2011
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This time last year I was moaning about what an Annus Horribilis it had been at the movies. This December the news is a bit better: whereas in 2010 I had a hard time scraping together a top 10, in 2011 I had a hard time whittling things down to a top 15.

Of course, any ‘best of’ list is subjective, anecdotal, and entirely based on personal opinion and whim. It could be that I missed a ton of great stuff in 2010, or perhaps this year’s sample is badly skewed: I did, after all, manage to avoid Jack and Jill, The Undefeated, The Smurfs, The Three Musketeers 3D, and Human Centipede 2 over the course of the last twelve months.

Or perhaps I totally nailed it, confirming that I am, indeed, the most astute film critic of this or any other age! Alternatively, I could be slipping into early dementia and have lost what few critical faculties I previously possessed. That’s a worrisome thought.

Whatever the case may be, here are the fifteen films I enjoyed most in 2011.

1. City of Life and Death—This powerful war film, set during Japan’s invasion of China during the late 1930s, gets the coveted number 1 spot thanks to its astonishingly realistic action sequences (eat your heart out, Steven Spielberg), skillful storytelling, and superb acting. Oh, and I’m a sucker for black and white cinematography, too.

2. Rubber—The strangest and most surreal film I’ve seen in ages. I’d be surprised if this shows up on too many other top 10 lists — it’s just as likely to get nominated for a Razzie — but I loved it. … Continue reading »

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