The 2011 Listgasm by Adam Heath Avitable

2011 Listgasm: Top Movies of 2011

The 2011 Listgasm by Adam Heath Avitable

A week rarely goes by that I don’t go to the movies. I love the theater experience, and no HD theater at home can ever rival it. At home, my DVR is full of shows that I record and watch faithfully. On the Internet, this makes me an expert in the best movies and television shows of the year.

Here’s my list of the top ten movies of 2011:

  1. Fast Five – I think it was the addition of Dwayne Johnson, but this installment of the Fast & Furious series was funny, tightly scripted, and a lot of fun without being overly stupid.
  2. Water for Elephants – It’s rare that a drama like this will interest me in reading the book, but that’s exactly what this film did.  The movie may have simplified things significantly, but it improved on the book in many arenas, and I didn’t want to stab Robert Pattinson at all, which says something.
  3. Hanna – Dark thrillers about young sociopaths who learn about life always tug at my heartstrings. See also: The Professional.
  4. Rise of the Planet of the Apes – With minimal dialogue, and a “No!” that sent chills up my spine, this is the only POTA movie where the characters felt human.
  5. Rango – This is one of those animated films that will be better for adults than humans.  The storyline is one you’ve seen before, but the creativity behind it is fantastic.  Also, watching a Johnny-Depp voiced character run into his character from Fear & Loathing is a nice Easter egg.
  6. Bridesmaids – It’s a comedy that makes you feel something for the protagonist, which gives it a classic feeling that very few comedies have today.  Kristen Wiig is amazing.
  7. X-Men: First Class – Even with a few missteps, this was the best X-Men movie yet.  I wish they could all have the gravitas of this one.
  8. Paranormal Activity 3 – How often is the final movie in a trilogy an improvement over the original?  Using the same techniques to build a sense of dread and anticipation, but upping the ante, this was a worthy sequel.
  9. Crazy, Stupid Love – I finally stopped hating Ryan Gosling with this movie.  Steve Carell’s character starts off like every character of his, but transforms in this film that is an excellent look at relationships between people of all ages.  Also, Emma Stone makes me feel funny in my pants, and so does Julianne Moore.
  10. The Muppets – The best movie of 2011.  More than just a nostalgic look at the past, it builds on that wave by creating something fresh and new.  Jason Segel and his team really, truly *get* what makes the Muppets so awesome, and I hope that there are more movies or another show in the future.  “Man or Muppet” should win an Oscar for Best Song, too.

Honorable mentions:

  • Super 8 – It smells like Spielberg, tastes like Spielberg, looks like Spielberg, but it’s just missing that one secret ingredient that would have made this a successor to Spielberg’s classic films.
  • Source Code – Taking cool future technology and using it to make a love story is the only tone that rang false in this otherwise excellent movie.
  • Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows – I really enjoyed this, although the first 10 minutes almost ruined it for me (You’ll know if you see it).  The final battle of wits was fantastic, too.  This should probably be in my top 10, but it got edged out.
  • Captain America: The First Avenger – It’s a great mixture of levity and gravity, and Chris Evans does an excellent job.  It’s a movie worthy of having “The First Avenger” as part of its title.

What would you say is your favorite movie of the year?

22 thoughts on “2011 Listgasm: Top Movies of 2011”

  1. ” The Muppets – The best movie of 2011. More than just a nostalgic look at the past, it builds on that wave by creating something fresh and new. Jason Segel and his team really, truly *get* what makes the Muppets so awesome, and I hope that there are more movies or another show in the future. ”Man or Muppet” should win an Oscar for Best Song, too.”
    … I knew you liked Dave Grohl!
    Fucker.

  2. With a gaggle of kids at my side 24/7, I have only seen one of the movies that you listed and that was POTA. It almost gave the feeling of the originals from 40 years ago. I usually see all movies a year later when they appear on ‘On Demand’ and the kids are in bed. I’m glad to hear that P3 was good. I heard that it got bad reviews but I’m gonna go with what you say.
    m.

  3. I loved Water for Elephants so much! The book and the movie. I want to see Hanna so bad! And The Muppets. Super 8 was okay. And Crazy Stupid Love – I must see. I think that (the new) The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo will be amazing.

  4. Thanks for the list. I’ve seen about half of the movies on your list and loved the ones I saw. I agree that “Man or Muppet” needs to be nominated for Best Song. Genius writing! Now I’ve got a few more movies for my queue.

    I love lists!

  5. Drive–singularly awesome.

    Bridesmaids –about killed me I laughed so hard

    Crazy, Stupid Love–was wonderfully done and probably helped me appreciate all the more just how great Ryan Gosling was in Drive

    Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows –was just the fun I expected. The scene where they are running through the forest was amazing.

    Cowboys and Aliens–I just loved this fun ‘popcorn’ movie. And who doesn’t like getting to eyeball Daniel Craig on a horse!

    The Descendants–just go see it and you will know

    We haven’t seen The Muppets yet–but now I really want to

  6. Of all those, I’ve only seen X-Men:First Class, which I did enjoy a lot. Probably more than any of the others in the X-Men series.
    Glad to find that most of the movies I have wanted to watch are on your lists. Crazy Stupid Love, The Muppets, Bridesmaids, Sherlock Holmes, Captain America.

  7. Ryan Gosling is the gift you never knew you wanted until he bought you another gift you never knew you wanted like a single cup coffee maker. He is awesome. Unless he Tebows. In that case, I hate that guy.

    The Muppets were awesome.

      1. @Avitable, try Gosling in Half Nelson. I didn’t see Blue Valentine and I refuse to watch The Notebook, but I can tell you those were two of his lesser performances. In Half Nelson, he’s a heroin-addicted inner school teacher, and does a fine job with the role.

  8. #9 was horrible. I can’t believe you’re even writing it down in a post.

    #1 was only good during the parts where The Muppet Show was actually playing and when Human Walter was on the screen.

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