Film Junk’s Top 10 Movies of 2011

Alright so the title of this post is a little bit misleading… Film Junk does not have a single Top 10 list for 2011 that we all stand behind. We have long since learned that combined lists just end up watering down opinions and result in a list that no one is completely satisfied with. Instead we are presenting each individual list from our various contributors for you to pore over and evaluate on their own terms.

Ironically, there actually seems to be more overlap this year between our lists than there have been in the past. Maybe a combined list would have actually worked this year. Either way, I’m sure you have your own opinions as well so feel free to sound off in the comments with your own highlights and lowlights of 2011 in film. Now check out our top 10 lists after the jump.


Colin’s Top 10 Movies of 2011

1. Shame
2. Drive
3. The Descendants
4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
5. Attack the Block
6. Melancholia
7. The Trip
8. Rango
9. The Tree of Life
10. Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Shannon’s Top 10 Movies of 2011

1. We Need to Talk About Kevin
2. The Skin I Live In
3. The Descendants
4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
5. Take Shelter
6. Drive
7. Martha Marcy May Marlene
8. Melancholia
9. The Help
10. The Debt

Honorable Mentions: Bridesmaids, Source Code, Young Adult, 50/50, Elite Squad: The Killer Within, Win Win, Like Crazy, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Another Earth, Cedar Rapids, War Horse

Frank’s Top 10 Movies of 2011

1. Hugo
2. Moneyball
3. The Tree of Life
4. The Descendants
5. Drive
6. A Separation
7. War Horse
8. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
9. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
10. Hanna

Honourable Mentions: Midnight in Paris, Rango, Contagion

Greg’s Top 10 Movies of 2011

1. Moneyball
2. Drive
3. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
4. The Descendants
5. The Adventures of Tintin
6. The Raid
7. Midnight in Paris
8. Contagion
9. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
10. Hanna

Honourable Mentions: Crazy, Stupid, Love, Young Adult, Ides of March, 50/50, Bridesmaids, X-Men: First Class, ROTPOTA, The Trip, 13 Assassins, Hugo

Greg’s Top 10 Worst Movies of 2011

1. Sucker Punch
2. The Moth Diaries
3. Conan the Barbarian
4. The Change-Up
5. Horrible Bosses
6. Battle: Los Angeles
7. Red State
8. Bellflower
9. Transformers: Dark of the Moon
10. Bad Teacher / The Hangover Part II / Hall Pass

Greg’s Top 10 Documentaries of 2011

1. Cave of Forgotten Dreams
2. Senna
3. Project Nim
4. The Real Rocky
5. Into the Abyss
6. Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop
7. Undefeated
8. Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
9. Pearl Jam Twenty
10. Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest

Honourable Mentions: Urbanized, Beauty Day

Jay’s Top 10 Movies of 2011

1. Moneyball
2. The Tree of Life
3. Attack the Block
4. Meek’s Cutoff
5. Melancholia
6. Drive
7. Hanna
8. Contagion
9. We Need to Talk About Kevin
10. Snowtown

Honourable Mentions: Fright Night, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Future, Take Shelter, Rango, Killer Joe, The Descendants, 50/50, Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Carnage, Hugo, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Super 8, Crazy Stupid Love

Jay’s Top 10 Worst Movies of 2011

1. Horrible Bosses
2. Sucker Punch
3. Conan the Barbarian
4. The Hangover Part II
5. Cars 2
6. Paul
7. Bellflower
8. Dark Horse
9. Priest
10. Zookeeper

Jay’s Top 20 Documentaries of 2011

1. Project Nim
2. Senna
3. The Arbor
4. Buck
5. Abendland
6. The Interrupters
7. Convento
8. Life in a Day
9. Undefeated
10. Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
11. Bombay Beach
12. Bill Cunningham New York
13. Into the Abyss
14. Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop
15. Position Among the Stars
16. The Real Rocky
17. Shut Up Little Man!
18. Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest
19. The Harvest
20. Fake It So Real

Honourable Mentions: Fightville, Corman’s World, Page One: Inside the New York Times, Urbanized, Rebirth, Liberia ’77, POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, Ressurect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Files, Dragonslayer, Hell and Back

Jay’s Top 10 Albums of 2011

1. Destroyer – Kaputt
2. Wu Lyf – Go Tell Fire to the Mountain
3. M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
4. tUnE-yArDs – w h o k i l l
5. The Weeknd – House of Balloons
6. Green Ova Underground – Chandelier
7. Zola Jesus – Conatus
8. Julianna Barwick – The Magic Place
9. TV On the Radio – Nine Types of Light
10. Youth Lagoon – The Year of Hibernation

Sean’s Top 10 Movies of 2011

1. The Tree of Life
2. Shame
3. Attack the Block
4. Moneyball
5. 50/50
6. Drive
7. The Descendants
8. Martha Marcy May Marlene
9. Hobo with a Shotgun
10. The Trip

Honourable Mentions: Rango, Hanna, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Captain America: The First Avenger, Melancholia, I Saw the Devil, The Innkeepers

Sean’s Top 10 Documentaries of 2011

1. Project Nim
2. Buck
3. Beauty Day
4. Knuckle
5. Life in a Day
6. Into the Abyss
7. Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop
8. Beats, Rhymes and Life
9. Page One: Inside the New York Times
10. Urbanized

Aaron’s Top 10 Movies of 2011

1. Drive
2. Hugo
3. 50/50
4. Rango
5. Contagion
6. Buck
7. Melancholia
8. The Tree of Life
9. The Descendants
10. Moneyball

Honorable Mentions: Hanna, Life in a Day, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Take Shelter, Attack the Block, Crazy, Stupid, Love, Young Adult, The Adventures of Tintin

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  • Jesus

    Worst shadow. I mean, I’m an amature, and that’s ridiculious…

  • La Menhte

    Hooray, Sean’s top 10 is the best, as usual! There is really not much to say here; you guys have basically the same films on the list. I do miss non-English films, however (not to say i was expecting it).

  • Mike H

    Sean, The Tree Of Life, I have said it before, do you need to be hammered or doped up to watch that, I thought it would be good with Pitt and Penn, but it was utter garbage!!!

  • Wintle

    1. The Raid
    2. Drive
    3. Beauty Day
    4. Manborg
    5. Rango
    6. Attack The Block
    7. The Woman
    8. Shaolin
    9. Captain America
    10. Drive Angry

  • Bryan

    1. Young Adult
    2. Moneyball
    3. 50/50
    4. X-Men: First Class
    5. The Descendants
    6. War Horse
    7. Super 8
    8. Crazy, Stupid, Love
    9. The Help
    10. Insidious

  • http://www.seandwyer.net Sean

    You don’t have to be high to appreciate The Tree of Life… the movie itself gets you high! Obviously it’s a different kind of movie, and it doesn’t really have a straightforward story. Not the kind of thing I’d recommend to just anyone.

  • csidle

    For what it’s worth, I find these lists pretty uninteresting (to the point of not reading them at all) unless each entry has some descriptive/explaining text. Don’t mean to come off as ungrateful, I just mean to give some feedback.

  • http://www.seandwyer.net Sean

    That’s cool… you can listen to the podcast for more explanation.

  • Kasper

    Greg’s list is near perfect. Personally I would have rated The Raid and Contagion a bit higher and Tintin and Dragon Tattoo a bit lower, but other than spot on. NICE!

  • dirrrtyfrank

    Hey what’s going on? Jay’s list has Hugo now!

  • http://www.thedocumentaryblog.com Jay C.

    Accidentally sent Sean an early version of my list. It’s updated now.

  • dirrrtyfrank

    Good to see you went with your second “gut” feeling rather than your first.

  • http://www.thedocumentaryblog.com Jay C.

    While your lifeless approach to list making is rooted in numbers and an obsessive need for consistency and order (much like your lifeless approach to DVD/blu ray organizing), mine is based on a complex, volatile range of emotions that are ever-changing and forever to be reconsidered and rearranged.

    In short, sit on it turtle dick.

  • dirrrtyfrank

    I just got a sweet Fright Night fridge magnet that came with our Blu-ray purchases, it WAS all yours, now my volatile range of emotions is pulling me in a different direction.

  • Snorfle

    1. Submarine
    2. Moneyball
    3. The Trip
    4. Contagion
    5. Senna
    6. The Descendants
    7. 13 Assassins (Jûsan-nin No Shikaku)
    8. 50/50
    9. The Tree of Life
    10. Rango

    Honorable Mentions: Win Win, The Ides of March, Drive, Attack the Block, Source Code, Margin Call, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Super 8, Bridesmaids, Melancholia, Everything Must Go, Barney’s Version, X-Men: First Class

    Still haven’t seen Tinker Tailor, Martha Marcy, and other movies with long titles.

  • Kasper

    Fridge magnet? Is it in case or did you get it from the store or something, Frank? Show a pic please!

  • http://twitter.com/rjdelight rjdelight

    Where’s Aaron’s top 10?

  • http://www.seandwyer.net Sean

    Aaron didn’t think he had seen enough movies this year to make a comprehensive list. We may add his picks at a later date.

  • Falsk

    Man. Everyone wants to honor Rango but no one has THE BALLS to put it in their Top 10. Come on, people!

  • csidle

    Sean I have been meaning to ask you ever since I started reading this site. Why is your avatar blurry?

  • http://www.seandwyer.net Sean

    I don’t know, because I’m making an artistic statement?

  • Scuvs

    1. Drive
    2. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
    3. 50/50
    4. Moneyball (Boneymall)
    5. The Guard
    6. Attack The Block
    7. Contagion
    8. Rango
    9. Midnight In Paris
    10. Hanna

    Honourable mentions, 13 Assassins, Bridesmaids, ROTPOTA, Crazy Stupid Love, Melancholia and X-Men: First Class.
    Have yet to see The Descendants, Senna, Project Nim, The Raid and Young Adult. Oh and some flick called ‘Beauty Day’?

  • Anthony

    Top 10 Movies:

    1. 50/50
    2. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
    3. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
    4. The Lincoln Lawyer
    5. Moneyball
    6. Limitless
    7. Source Code
    8. Super 8
    9. X-Men First Class
    10. The Ides of March

    Didn’t get a chance to see Descendants, Young Adult, or Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy unfortunately

    Top 10 Albums (which i’m sure everyone except Greg has zero interest in):

    1. Revocation – Chaos of Forms
    2. Skeletonwitch – Forever Abomination
    3. Children of Bodom – Relentless Reckless Forever
    4. Rise Against – Endgame
    5. Children of Bodom – The Age of Hell
    6. Unearth – Darkness in the Light
    7. DevilDriver – Beast
    8. Tech N9ne – Welcome to Strangeland
    9. Machine Head – Unto the Locust
    10. Within Temptation – The Unforgiving

  • Zac

    1. Tree of Life
    2. The Artist
    3. Moneyball
    4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
    5. The Descendants
    6. 50/50
    7. Midnight in Paris
    8. Drive
    9. Beginners
    10. Contagion

    Honorable Mentions: The Trip, Hanna, Mission Impossible, A Separation, Win Win, Attack the Block, The Ides of March, Captain America

    Have Yet to see: Hugo, Tinker Tailor, Take Shelter, Young Adult, Carnage, Coriolanus, The Guard, Melancholia

  • Joghurt

    1. The Artist
    2. The Artist
    3. The Artist

    and so on…

    fell in love with that movie

  • Juan Costrada

    I enjoyed Kill List (which I know Sean dislikes) and Norwegian Wood as favourites for the year. The Raid also looks fantastic.

    Maybe the fun of these lists, apart from discovering films you should see, is seeing who the real Film Junk Messiah is. Based on a Top 5, its the dirrty.

  • http://www.seandwyer.net Sean

    I liked Kill List quite a bit!

  • Curtis Williams

    1. Tree of Life
    2. Moneyball
    3. Rise of the Planet Of The Apes
    4. Drive
    5. The Artist
    6. Tinker Taylor Solider Spy
    7. The Descendants
    8. Hugo
    9. Rango
    10. Attack The Block

  • Aaron

    @rjdelight: Yes, like Sean said, I’m not currently prepared for a comprehensive Top 10 list unfortunately. There’s at least 20 more big films for me to watch before I can call it good for 2011. Rest assured, it will happen, though. Thanks for asking!

  • Zac

    Did anyone manage to catch Beginners?

  • http://www.seandwyer.net Sean

    I totally forgot to mention on the podcast that I did watch Beginners. Thought it might have potential to crack my top 10 but in the end I just thought it was good, not great.

  • http://canadianation.tumblr.com/ RC

    Frank and Jay are gonna throw down! Stay tuned for the all new Punch Junk.

  • Henrik

    “Good to see you went with your second “gut” feeling rather than your first.”

    Sick burn :D

  • Henrik

    By the way great call on the non-combined lists. I think you’ve been doing this for awhile now, but I never really thought about it, but the times you have done a combined list, it always turned out kinda boring, and invited alot of awful discussion as to what kind of pointsystem got a movie where etc.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/hauntedsnowfort/ Glen

    Where is “Your Highness” as Worst Movie?

    I just watched it last week and it was god awful.

  • KeithTalent

    Mine kind of keeps changing, but what the hell:

    1. Tyrannosaur
    2. Tree of Life
    3. Drive
    4. Senna
    5. Martha Marcy May Marlene
    6. Melancholia
    7. The Artist
    8. Without
    9. Beauty Day
    10. 50/50

    The Interrupters was very close, so was I Saw The Devil, TTSS, Hanna, Happy People: A Year in the Taiga, Kill List, Four Lions, Conan O’Brien, ROTPOTA.

    So many good movies this year!

    I sure hope The Raid, Submarine and Norwegian Wood make it here at some point!

  • patrik

    1. Senna
    2. Drive
    3. Hanna
    4. Warrior
    5. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
    6. Kung Fu Panda 2
    7. Moneyball
    8. X-Men: First Class
    9. Tucker & Dale vs Evil
    10. Hobo with a Shotgun

    Honorable Mentions: I Saw the Devil, Rango, TT3D: Closer to the Edge, The Trip, Bridesmaids.

    I´m sure I´ve forgotten some and some I haven´t had the chance to see like Hugo, MI4, Young Adult, The Descendants and Shame..

    Top Albums that I can think of:

    1. M83 – Hurry Up, We´re Dreaming
    2. Delicate Steve – Vondervisions
    3. Kuedo – Severant
    4. Nicolas Jaar – Space is only noise
    5. A Winged Victory For The Sullen – A Winged Victory For The Sullen

  • Aaron

    Man, I really need to start watching newer films. I’m so caught up in the classics that I never really care about seeing anything new. Definately need to break this habit. Seriously, out of all the films mentioned on any film junk best of lists this year, I’ve only watched Drive, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Beauty Day. Thanks to Greg from reminding me about The Raid. That will be my first watch. Then it’s Red Bull time for the rest. Jay, you should post your top ten horror of the year.

    Later guys, thanks for all the great work.

  • cufford

    What this all seems to illustrate all too well, once again, is how pointless these lists are, as are so-called “movie critics” and “reviews” in general.

    It’s all subjective and no two people see anything in exactly the same way, if even remotely similar ways. There is no “good” or “bad” label to be put on any film, piece of music or other work of art.

    To each his own.

    As for me, I thought that both “Drive” and “Tree of Life” pretty much sucked and I couldn’t even finish the latter. Didn’t get half way through before I couldn’t take any more of that.

    But I loved Huge and Super 8, probably because I like movies about kids experiences. I remember being one once myself. I don’t think that a lot of people do, nor want to be reminded of it, apparently.

  • http://www.seandwyer.net Sean

    That’s kind of an ironic observation to make given that a large part of The Tree of Life is about exactly that.

  • Juan Costrada

    Mega zing!

  • Steini

    I have to say that I was kind of disappointed in Tree of Life, I had pretty high expectations though. I don’t want to say that I didn’t like it though because I liked it quite a bit. What I didn’t like was the universe and dinosaur part, to me it just seemed all too long and I didn’t get the point, it even went so far that it kind of seemed self-indulgent to me. Despite that I think that Tree of Life probably would make my Top 10 in the higher numbers although I can’t put together a good list because I wasn’t able to see most of the movies because they haven’t been released in Germany nor in Uruguay where I live at the moment as of yet.

  • http://twitter.com/rjdelight rjdelight

    1. Drive
    2. Hanna
    3. The Adventures of Tintin
    4. 50/50
    5. The Descendants
    6. The Muppets
    7. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
    8. Attack the Block
    9. The Green Hornet
    10. Rise of the Planet of the Apes

    Honorable Mentions: Moneyball, Hugo, X-Men: First Class, The Trip, In Time, A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, Everything Must Go, Midnight in Paris, Contagion, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Captain America: The First Avenger

  • RaphNL

    Glad Greg mentioned 13 Assassins!

  • adam

    wtf! tree of life was garbage. each to his own

    of what i’ve seen from 2011.
    1. source code
    2. scream 4
    3. the adjustment bureau
    4. hostel : part III
    5. the tunnel

  • http://www.pmfb.com Tspoon

    Drive
    The Artist
    50/50
    Shame
    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
    Moneyball
    Warrior
    The Ides of March
    MI: Ghost Protocol
    The Descendants

  • mrhorse

    1. drive
    2. headhunters
    3. the raid: redemption
    4. cave of forgotten dreams

    moneyball is ..good, but overrated.

    highly enjoyed beauty day btw, i thought it was great! no top 10 yet, need to watch a fiew more, but it’s in there.

  • Maria Witwiky

    50/50
    Hugo
    Hangover Part II
    The Artist

    these are my favorite list of moviez cz i watched these movies on hbo and no other source i prefer to watch cz they provide awesome movies and for more I checked schedule on hbosouthasia.com

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