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My Filmyear: 2011

Top 10 movies 2011

So another year is almost behind us and a new one is on the brink of starting. It’s the inevitable moment to look back at the past year. With the birth of my daughter in July it’s one of the most memorable years in my life. It’s been a good movie year as well as it has produced some amazing ones. Time to look back.

The statistics
I keep track of all my movie watching and the amount I’ve seen this year is even bigger than last year. An amazing 340 (almost all of them are in the picture above, click to enlarge), an average of one movie every 1.07 day. I’ve watched a total of 34334 minutes or 572,23 hours or 23,84 days of movies this year.

The My Filmviews tens
Among those movies there were 6 that I gave a 10/10 (it doesn’t happen too often). New to the “My Filmviews tens” (previously My IMDB tens) are the following films:

Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)

Nuovo Cinema Paradiso (1988)
Schindler’s List (1993)
La vita è bella (1997)
Witness for the Prosecution (1957)
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) (which I have not written a review for)

The worst movies
This year also had some movies that really disappointed me. I was looking forward to seeing Sucker Punch and The Hangover 2, but during both I felt like leaving the cinema. Other movies I did not like at all were Your Highness and Mars Needs Moms. In case you were wondering which was the worst movie I saw this year, it’s the 2010 movie The Bill Collector, which had a cameo of Danny Trejo and a story which was so weird and unfunny that I still wonder why I watched the whole thing. If I had only watched the trailer (something I never do), the bad acting would probably have warned me enough:

IMDB top 250
Also tried to reach my goal of having seen 200 out of the 250 IMDB movies by the end of the year. I managed to reach it shortly, but the list changes a lot, which means I’m currently on 199 and won’t have the time to watch that last one.

My Filmviews
It’s been a good year for the site and I would like to thank everyone for reading and commenting as that’s the reason I keep doing this. My regular segments, “The Monday Question” and “The Many Faces of…” have become very popular and I will continue with them next year.

As I’ve met a lot of other great bloggers (resulting in a mailbox which is constantly being filled with great articles and I have trouble keeping up with) I will also start a new feature on Wednesdays, The Moviesite Spotlight. This is a chance for readers to find out more about some of my favorite blogs and the great people who write them.

2011: Top 10

Of course a lot of you will read these type of posts to see which movies have made the top 10 list. Now before you start reading it, let me make clear that this is a list of my favorite movies at the moment. These are not necessarily the best movies this year, but the ones I enjoyed most and still remember fondly looking back. There are a lot of movies that came out which I have not seen yet, but will take my time to discover those in the future. Some movies did not make it, but deserve to be mentioned like The Guard, The Ides of March, Incendies and Let’s Talk About Kevin.

This year’s Top 10:

This film shows that it’s possible to create an amazing documentary about human life during one day comprised out of footage shot by YouTube users. It has beautiful imagery, people you will remember and stories about so many aspects of life. It might not have had its deserved attention because YouTube asked to have it made, but it’s one you should watch. No reason not to as you can watch it right now, for free, on YouTube:

When it comes to animated features there weren’t that many out which stuck with me. Cars 2 was disappointing and even Arrietty didn’t wow me as much as Rango did. Visually it’s one of the most beautiful (even if a lot of the characters are ugly) animated movies I’ve seen and ILM proves that the M in their name really does stand for magic.

I hadn’t heard anything about this movie before I saw it and my expectations weren’t really high. It’s a movie about MMA (mixed martial arts) and I thought it would be raw and not very interesting. If it would have starred any other actors I probably wouldn’t have checked it out, but this one surprised me. It might have a lot of sports movie cliches, but when it’s this thrilling to watch it doesn’t really matter. The only movie this year in which I really had to restrain myself from jumping out of the seat to cheer. It was the most exciting movie to watch.

This is the movie that transported me back to my youth. As I put it in my review: “Super 8 is an entertaining thrill ride which gave me that feeling of living in the eighties again, growing up and for that I can’t praise it enough”. It also has that Spielberg feeling even though Abrams has given it it’s own spin.

Probably the movie which surprised most people. Everyone made jokes about its name, but it turned out to be one of the best blockbusters this year all thanks to the amazing work done by Andy Serkis and WETA. It tells a compelling and very moving story of how the Apes managed to rise. If the sequel manages to reach the same quality I’m sure it will end up in one of my future top 10s.

Looking at the rest of the top 10 this movie probably is the one which feels the simplest. Woody Allen makes it feel effortless and manages to tell an almost magical story about a guy wandering the streets of Paris and meeting people that inspire him.

A refreshing take on the alien invasion movie, with a young cast, lots of jokes and a lot of thrills, all set in one of London’s suburbs.

I’m a big action movie fan and this modern fairytale about a young girl discovering the “big bad” world delivers lots of action. Saoirse Ronan plays Hanna and does so perfectly, convincingly displaying wonder about the things we take for granted but also being to kick ass when she needs to. Looking forward to seeing her in other movies.

I don’t really care much for what actor or directors do when they are not making movies, so the whole controversy surrounding Lars von Triers remarks in Cannes during a press conference almost completely passed me by. The movie he delivered though is worth talking about. It’s a very depressing movie, but even though the first shots already tell you what will happen it doesn’t spoil anything, it just adds to the feeling that what’s about to happen is inevitable. The visuals are memorable (especially the slow motion opening shots) and it’s music is a perfect fit. It makes you think of how you would respond if something like this would happen.

This movie tells a very shocking story, which you slowly discover. It’s a horror movie which isn’t scary, but it will shock you. Months after I’ve seen it, it’s the movie I remember most strongly and therefore deserves the number one spot.

I wish you all a great 2012, of course with lots of movies!

There are a lot of movies that were released this year which I have not seen. Are there any that I’ve missed but should see? Don’t agree with some of my choices for the top 10? What are your personal top 10 choices for 2011? Love to see links to your lists!

Category: Movies
  • Emil says:

    I’m still woefully behind on my 2011 watching, so I can’t say anything about a lot of your picks at the moment. The ones I have seen however (Rango, Super 8 and Attack the Block) would all have a very good shot at making my current top 10 if I were to make one. All really good films. I’ll probably make my own “proper” list later in the coming year. I do like the inclusion of Life in a Day, though. I don’t think I’ve seen that on any other top 10 lists.

    A cool post to close out the blogging year. Thank you for the great content in 2011, Nostra. Looking forward what you have in store for us in 2012!

    December 31, 2011 at 12:03 am
    • Nostra says:

      I still have tons of 2011 movies I still want to watch, but haven’t had a chance to see some of them. Interested to see your list. I assume it will be a while before you put yours up just like you did for the ones in previous years?

      Thanks a lot Emil!

      December 31, 2011 at 1:28 pm
      • Emil says:

        Yeah, I don’t expect to be making my list until halfway through 2012 or so. Not much point in me making one at the moment.

        December 31, 2011 at 2:07 pm
        • Nostra says:

          Looking forward to it even if it’s a while away…

          December 31, 2011 at 6:23 pm
  • Eric says:

    Man, I really need to see The Skin I Live In. That’s been popping up on quite a few lists. It’s nice to see Attack the Block listed, that was such a fun movie.

    December 31, 2011 at 12:36 am
    • Nostra says:

      Yeah, it’s really a movie that’s worth checking out. I knew nothing going into it and it’s the best way to experience this movie. Attack the Block was a lot of fun indeed. Really one I’d love to rewatch (as with the other movies on the list)

      December 31, 2011 at 1:30 pm
  • Jaina says:

    I really regret not being able to catch The Skin I Live In during it’s short release over here.

    Really love your top list of the year, great seeing the likes of Hanna, Rango and Attack the Block up there. I ADORE Rango. Big time. Just brings a smile to my face and the animation is just gorgeous.

    December 31, 2011 at 1:19 am
    • Nostra says:

      Yeah, I heard more complaints about its short run. I saw it during a festival, so have no idea how long it was in the cinemas over in the Netherlands. I think by now it’s available on DVD/Blu Ray.
      :) Thanks a lot Jaina. I would be shocked if Rango doesn’t win an Oscar for best animated movie.

      December 31, 2011 at 1:32 pm
  • rtm says:

    First let me say, I’ve enjoyed reading your blog this past year Nostra, keep up the amazing work! Nice stat you’ve got there, I have yet to do calculate how many movies total I saw this year, both old and new. As for your 10/10 list, I’d agree w/ you on Cinema Paradiso and Last Crusade, I have both of them on Blu-ray, Cinema Paradiso I just bought on Amazon for only 8 bucks!

    I’ll have my top ten list sometime tomorrow or new year’s day and I’d probably have some agreement as you. I have yet to see Life in a Day but it certainly looks intriguing.

    December 31, 2011 at 2:03 am
    • Nostra says:

      Thanks Ruth, it’s been fun doing it and seeing the visitors (and comments) increasing every month. Takes a lot of effort, but the enjoyment I get out of it is worth it :)

      That’s a great deal on Cinema Paradiso! A movie which every movielover should own.

      Hope you’ll have time to watch Life in a Day soon!

      December 31, 2011 at 1:34 pm
  • Andina says:

    Solid list! I still haven’t watch Life in A Day, though. Some of your top 10 pick is in my top movies too. But yes, it’s been a great year for blogging. And thanks for visiting my blog too.

    December 31, 2011 at 4:26 am
    • Nostra says:

      Nice to see the similarities! Always enjoy stopping by at your blog!

      December 31, 2011 at 1:37 pm
  • Scott Lawlor says:

    I have been waiting for your SPOTLIGHT series to start for AGES!! I can’t wait for that one

    Thanks for being awesome this year Nostra!! And get that Dedicated Cinema built!!

    Great list too, some really brilliant films in there, some you rate higher than I, but all good in their own right

    December 31, 2011 at 12:21 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Sorry Scott for testing your patience, but you’ll be happy to hear FRC will be the first one for the spotlight feature. Only a couple of days left ;)

      Thanks, you have been pretty awesome yourself! The plan is to get it built, but still have to see when….

      December 31, 2011 at 1:40 pm
  • Aziza says:

    Great list, I still have to see The Skin I live In, Rise of the planet of the apes and Hanna, but I am so happy to see Midnight in Paris and Warrior there, they were on my list, too!

    I love your idea of Moviesite spotlight, I can’t wait to read it!

    Have a great! 2012

    December 31, 2011 at 1:33 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Thanks Aziza, have a great 2012 yourself!

      December 31, 2011 at 1:40 pm
  • Chris says:

    Cinema Paradiso (1988) sure is a classic, the original version is my favourite, not the longer directors cut.
    I liked Midnight in Paris, didn’t love it. The visuals of Paris were impressive.

    I want to see The Skin I Live In soon !

    December 31, 2011 at 1:37 pm
    • Nostra says:

      When I bought it I got the director’s cut. Is the original very different?

      This time of year you hear about so many amazing movies you have not seen yet. I’ve added a whole lot of them to my to see list reading other people’s lists.

      December 31, 2011 at 1:42 pm
  • Colin says:

    Always nice to see someone else discover the ‘joys’ of Dear Zachary. Nice list, my friend. Post it on the Lamb forum!

    December 31, 2011 at 1:44 pm
    • Nostra says:

      It’s probably one of the most shocking docs I’ve seen.

      I posted it on the LAMB forum as well!

      December 31, 2011 at 6:25 pm
  • Chris says:

    @Nostra: My sister and I just thought the directors cut was a bit too long, and the added scenes didn’t really need to be there. Its still a great film ( :

    December 31, 2011 at 1:52 pm
    • Nostra says:

      I probably would miss them if I would see the original version now :)

      December 31, 2011 at 6:26 pm
  • filmbantha says:

    Great list! Enjoying the love for Rango, I am a huge fan of Westerns so really enjoyed all the references in that one. Hope you get to complete the IMDB Top 250, completing that list consumed my life for some time but it does help you to discover so many great films that you might not have even thought of watching. The tricky part is then keeping up with it as the list evolves!

    December 31, 2011 at 3:28 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Thanks. I think it will be a while before I will have managed to have seen the whole top 250!

      What is the address of your site? The link you added didn’t work.

      December 31, 2011 at 6:28 pm
      • filmbantha says:

        Ah it’s down as wordpress but should be blogspot! It doesn’t matter anyway, I pretty much dedicate all my time to working on FRC with Scott now.

        December 31, 2011 at 6:45 pm
  • Raghav says:

    Great roundup my friend. I really liked your top 10 because it had a great mix of commercial and not so commercial films. All the best for the new year. Also congratulations on becoming a father (I didn’t know till now). Having a daughter is one of the best experiences ever.

    December 31, 2011 at 6:26 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Thanks a lot! Best wishes to you as well.

      I didn’t put it on my site, only on twitter, so that’s probably why you missed it. Thanks, it is an amazing feeling.

      December 31, 2011 at 6:30 pm
  • Craig says:

    Some interesting choices, man. A fair few I haven’t seen yet, but can see me seeing them in 2012. Nice blog.

    December 31, 2011 at 10:31 pm
    • Nostra says:

      I think I had an easier time picking them than I did last year, although there weren’t any movies that immediately entered my all time favorites like the number one and two of 2010.

      January 2, 2012 at 8:58 pm
  • scarletsp1der says:

    Congrats on a great 2011. Especially with your daughter’s birth. How awesome! Looking forward to more greatness from your site this new year! Oh yeah…Happy New Year! Ha.

    I like your list and how mixed it is. I think I’ve seen 6 of your 10. Glad to see Midnight in Paris and Warrior!

    January 1, 2012 at 9:59 am
    • Nostra says:

      Thank you! I will try to deliver that greatness you expect! ;) Friday Faces should already be enough for you to keep you happy ;)

      I really don’t feel like it is a mixed list, but I guess that’s all down to which movies you’ve seen :)

      January 2, 2012 at 9:29 pm
  • Richard says:

    We had three in common but I could have added Rango and Hanna easily.

    January 2, 2012 at 8:53 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Just looked at your list and you had some interesting choices (although a couple I have not seen). Wasn’t able to comment on your list because I had to create an account in order to do so and didn’t want to do that. Is it possible to change that setting in Blogger?

      January 2, 2012 at 9:54 pm
  • Claire Packer says:

    A very happy new year to you Nostra :D

    First of all, I love how you’ve laid out this post – the yellow looks fantastic against the pictures. Those stats are very impressive too. I can put a number to the amount of films I saw at the cinema but I’m not sure how many I saw on DVD and TV. I had a film journal for Christmas so I’m going to keep track!

    I missed seeing all of your top 4 but hopefully I’ll catch them on DVD soon. I wholeheartedly agree with your number 5, though – I adored that film.

    January 3, 2012 at 8:42 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Thanks Claire!

      I keep track of them online using whatiwatch.net (also possible in English), which makes it really easy.

      Hope you manage to catch the numbers 1 to 4, let me know what you think of them!

      January 4, 2012 at 12:34 am
  • Darwin Franks says:

    Hi Nostra. I’ve only seen No. 10 on your list, but all of the rest are on my high priority watch list. Now I really can’t wait to see The Skin I Live In. After the disappointment of Volver (which I thought was poorly scripted, with lots of bad character exposition), I sort went off Almadavor for a while. But everything I heard about this film, it’s many surprises and the terrific performance of Antonio Banderas (who brilliant when he’s on form), has really pushed this one to the top, and I’ll definitely see it next. All in all – a really impressive list. But not nearly as impressive as the fact that you managed to watch an average of just over one film a day even with the birth of a little girl. You must have a very understanding partner. At any rate, congratulations. I hope things continue to go well for you and look forward to reading your reviews in the new year. Sincerely, Darwin.

    January 6, 2012 at 11:11 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Still have not seen Volver and I’m not sure if I have seen any other Almadavor movies I do want to check out some more of them to find out if they are as interesting.

      My girlfriend is amazing, but the main reason I manage to watch that many movies is because travel to and from work by train, which allows me to watch almost a complete movie each day. This allows me enough time for other things when I’m home :)

      January 8, 2012 at 1:20 am
  • Darwin Franks says:

    PS: Nice art work.

    January 6, 2012 at 11:11 pm
  • tajgreenemoviesinreview says:

    Very Very interesting list if I do say so myself. Your list is also alot different from any other movie bloggers as well, withe the exception of Midnight in Paris…lol. I was going to see the movie Melancholia, until I read all of the negative reviews of it, and this movie happened to make it on ur top ten…lol. Wasn’t a fan of Hanna at all. I anticipated that movie for wks, only to be left disappointed upon leaving the theatre. There was nothing fulfilling about that film. Super 8 was cool, the young actors were the best part about this film, because the grande story with the Aliens failed tremendously…smh. Rango I thought ran a bit dry at times. And this animation would actually scare alot of kids. Loved The Skin I Live In, although surprised to see it at #1. Very interesting choices!

    January 11, 2012 at 4:39 pm
    • Nostra says:

      Well, I try to see a varied diet of movies and I guess that is reflected in my list :)

      I agree that the Alien wasn’t that stunning in Super 8, but I loved the story which was mainly about the kids.

      Thanks for reading!

      January 13, 2012 at 11:24 am

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