CoF Presents: Movies You Should Have Seen In 2011


The following is a wide range of great films that came out in 2011. I strongly urge every Citizen to check out these titles. With the exception of ‘The Best Movie of the Year’, the rest are in alphabetical order. There are many list around the web by this time, you will find a lot of people share the same favorites, take that as a sign that those are must see movies, or ignore everyone and watch what you want, I’m not your parent.



**I should make a note of saying which movies I didn’t or couldn’t see due to time constraints or lack of showings in my area. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Muppets, Shame, The Descendants, J Edgar, My Week with Marilyn, Rango, Tyrannosaur, The Whistleblower…and many more you might want to tell me including docs like Steve James’ The Interrupters and Werner Herzog’s Into the Abyss.**


Hugo, the best movie of the year.


The most beautiful film — both visually and emotionally – of the year. This movie is a gift to fans of film, and shares such a personal message from director Martin Scorsese on the preservation movement. Behind the lack luster marketing for the film, is an adventure that needs to be seen and revisited. Read my review.



Likely the riskiest movie of 2011, The Artist is a silent black and white film set in 1927 Hollywood. Try selling that to the kids. Put aside what you think you need in a movie to enjoy it (color and sound) and you will see one of the greatest movies of the year. If this was an experiment, I’m sure it worked as the film is still captivating audiences. It’s score and performances of unknowns is something to see, it’s the most original movie is years.



The theaters were full of alien invasion movies this year, and I have to say this was the only great one. The Brits pack in so much energy and wit, it begs for multiple viewings. If you’re a fan of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, you’ll enjoy yourself here. Horror, comedy and even social commentary are found within the block.



This is bound to be on most people’s list, if not ranked as the #1 movie of the year. It would be deserving of such praise, it’s one hell of a ride. With a little more than a page of dialogue from its star Ryan Gosling, he commands the screen with his presence, a surprise to a lot of people. The supporting cast is deserving of praise as well. The pacing of the movie is perfect, and the stylized images and violence make this movie one of a kind.



This is what happens when you have total commitment in front and behind the camera. David Fincher delivers once again with this brutal story that feels like his own now. Rooney Mara’s performance should garner a lot of attention with award season, but everyone is in top form here. The exceptional soundtrack by Trent Reznor once again and helps an already great movie reach its best. It couldn’t have been better.



Here is a great buddy cop movie that delivers the laughs as well as the violence. Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle have the chemistry and comedic timing of some of the greats here. It’s one of the best scripts of the year.



A decade long franchise came to an end this summer with a thrilling and visually satisfying conclusion. If it’s the best Harry Potter film is going to be up for debate, but the fact that there wasn’t a bad film in the lot is something to be proud of.



A glorious sequel that topped the original in terms of story and animation.  Some of the most beautiful animation I’ve ever seen on screen.  It may be aimed at the younger crowd but trust me when I say that it’s for everyone who loves a great movie.



Woody Allen’s annual movie seemed to work with everyone this year. Midnight in Paris is sweet and charming; the fantasy works on many levels but simply put shows that a small story can be told in a big way. Gil’s adventure will have you falling for the sights and sounds of Paris.



Michael Shannon’s descent into madness is a performance for the ages. The film is a slow boil for those that can handle the subtlety and feeling of oncoming drama. The dream sequences alone are some of the best filmmaking I’ve seen this year. Director Jeff Nichols is a name to remember.



Terrence Malick’s pretentious style worked for me with this film. I was in a patient mood with the second viewing and welcomed the emotional along with the visual side of this beautiful movie. It will likely be talked about and dissected for a long time; like Kubrick’s 2001, it’s a movie that will be loved and hated.



A surprising entry into the top films of 2011, Warrior is a great movie with heart and honesty. I’m not a fan of MMA, so I was glad the movie didn’t glorify it more than it needed. It’s the performances, namely that of Nick Nolte, that is the heart of the movie. Don’t be scared off by the backdrop; you may not like boxing but loved Rocky – the same goes for Warrior.

If It Was A Top 20 List (another 8):
Horrible Bosses, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Moneyball, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Super 8, Tintin, War Horse

Small But Great:
Submarine, Win Win, Trust, Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop, The Way, 50/50

Worst Movie I Saw in 2011:
The Change Up

Worst Movie I Didn’t See:
TIE: I Don’t Know How She Does It, Jack And Jill

Surprisingly Good:
Red State, Scream 4, Fright Night, Insidious, The Help

Dishonorable Mention:
Rise of the Planet of the Apes – There was hype behind this movie, I watched it and didn’t know why.  Rise of the plot holes is more like it.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – This didn’t have to be part 1, I’m sure of it.  End it already.

Should Have Been Better:
Sucker Punch – The best looking bad movie of the year.
Bridesmaids – The trip to Vegas was a tease of a better movie.
Paul – From the makers of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, it could have been more.

Should Have Been Bigger:
The Beaver – Mel Gibson in one of the year’s best performances, and of his career.