The Best and Worst Films of 2011 – By Matthew Saliba

I should preface this by saying I don’t go to the movies as much anymore. In the beginning it was because I was too busy making my own films to be able to watch 2-3 pictures a weekend as I used to do back in the day. But even when I’ve had time to go to my local cinema, I’ve found the moviegoing experience to be less enchanting than I remembered it being when I was first allowed to go to the movies alone as a kid. Between inflated ticket prices, the advent and subsequent proliferation of 3D, the alarming rise of morons talking, texting and tweeting as the film’s unspooling on the screen and perhaps more importantly the conversion from 35mm to digital, I find myself spending less and less time in movie theaters. After all, if cinemas are ultimately just projecting "glorified Blu-Rays" on the big screen, why spend $15 on a movie ticket, when I can get the same experience at home where I can not only save money, but also control the environment as far as threatening to throw my cat, Munchkin at anyone who dares to talk during the movie.

I mention this because there were quite a number of key films I missed this year. Films like, "The Tree of Life," "Hugo," "The Artist," "The Ides of March," "J. Edgar," "Midnight in Paris," among others may have found spots in my top 10 or at the very least, my honorable mentions had I had a chance to check them out. That being said, I did manage to catch 26 films at the Fantasia Film Festival here in Montreal, so not surprisingly, a lot of the films on my list are from the highlights of North America’s largest genre film festival.

There’s also quite a number of films I wanted to include on my list, but unfortunately because they were technically first released in 2010, I couldn’t really include them. That being said, I would like to mention them as I thought they were all sensational. First and foremost, Kent Lamm’s indie feature, "Bad is Bad," which I reviewed here a couple months back is one of the finest and most polished DIY productions I’ve ever seen. Aharon Keshales directed what some are calling the first Israeli horror film entitled, "Rabies" and what a way to pop your Jewsploitation cherry! "Ip Man: The Legend is Born" proved that even Hong Kong isn’t above rebooting successful franchises, though unlike Hollywood remakes, this was one that took elements of the first two films that worked and managed to improve upon them, even without the incomparable presence of Donnie Yen. Finally, James Wan’s "Insidious" was a genuinely terrifying film, even if the villain was a Darth Maul knockoff.

But now onto the "Best and Worst of 2011."

Top 10 Movies of 2011:

1. Shame
2. The Muppets
3. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
4. Another Earth
5. Martha Marcy May Marlene
6. Drive
7. In Time
8. X-Men: First Class
9. The Whisperer in Darkness
10. The Woman

Next Best 10 Movies of 2011 / Honorable Mentions:

11. The Skin I Live In
12. Being Elmo
13. Red State
14. The Devil’s Double
15. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart
16. Midnight Son
17. Monster Brawl
18. Super 8
19. Rio
20. Rise of the Planet of the Apes

The Worst of the Worst. The Most Hated and Cursed:

1. Attack the Block
2. Hobo With A Shotgun
3. The Wicker Tree
4. Shark Night 3D
5. Stake Land