2011: The year in movies

I’m trying something new this year. I’ve traditionally ranked my end of year list top to bottom, and it’s been incredibly difficult, not to mention a false, unfair measure. This year, I’m grouping them by star-rating.

I’ve been using Flixster for the past 1.5 years, but this year, I’ve made a conscious effort—for every movie I’ve seen this year that’s in Flixster’s database—to add a star rating, and write a review; be it a sentence or a rare, wordy exposition. Note that this will also contain random, older movies I’ve seen at home, etc throughout the year.

One thing I’m noticing now is how extremely difficult it has been for me to award something 5 stars. It’s silly in retrospect, but shows I don’t completely believe in my ratings, or am afraid to say, “hey, I think this is worth 5 stars and found basically nothing I didn’t love about it”. Considering the extremely subjective nature of it all, I don’t know why, so I’ll have to normalise some of that now.

On the flipside to that, you’ll also notice how rather positive I am with my ratings in general, because, heck, I love my movies, dammit! At least in the context of everything else on here, it can be taken as relative.

Oh, and just to clarify, these are movies I’ve seen at the cinemas in the year of 2011, in Australia and Austin, during SXSW. While looking back, I was surprised that some of these weren’t 2010 releases, but then remembered Australia’s backward nature in receiving them.

I’ve written a relatively large amount about movies in 2011 across Twitter, posts on this blog, Flixster, and the /r/movies subreddit, so this is simply going to be a list.

Here they are, grouped by star-rating out of 5, and alphabetically within the groupings.

5 stars

A Separation

Black Swan

Le Quattro Volte

Midnight in Paris


Take Shelter

The Tree of Life


We Need to Talk About Kevin

4.5 stars

127 Hours


Barney’s Version



Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

Never Let Me Go

Project Nim

Rabbit Hole


Super 8

The Beaver

The Hunter

The Ides of March

The Skin I Live In

4 stars

13 Assassins


Attack the Block

Bill Cunningham New York


Burning Man


Fast Five


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

Hobo With a Shotgun

Jane Eyre



Life in a Day

Martha Marcy May Marlene

Meek’s Cutoff



My Afternoons with Marguerite

Natural Selection





The Adventures of Tintin

The Forgiveness of Blood

The Lincoln Lawyer


Transformers: Dark of the Moon

True Grit


Wasted on the Young

X-Men: First Class

3.5 stars



Black Venus (Venus Noire)

Captain America: The First Avenger

Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Crazy, Stupid, Love.


Horrible Bosses


Red State

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Sound of My Voice

Sleeping Beauty


The Adjustment Bureau

The Debt

The Eye of the Storm

The Fighter

The Green Hornet

The Guard


3 stars

A Year in Mooring

Cowboys and Aliens

Battle: Los Angeles

Happy, Happy


Real Steel

Source Code

Sucker Punch


The Hangover Part II


2.5 stars




The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

The Tourist


2 stars

In Time


1.5 stars

Green Lantern


8 thoughts on “2011: The year in movies

  1. Last year I made an effort to watch some of your top ranked movies…and failed. A resolution for next year is to watch all of your 5 star rated movies. So far I’ve seen 1!

  2. NJ says:

    I posted this on FB but I srsly dont understand the hype around "Drive". Seemed very slow and boring for me. But maybe it was a "dark and different" movie.

  3. c0uP says:

    @NJ: It was super dark, and the Driver’s character was one of the most interesting of the year. He’s essentially trying to be a superhero and everything to everyone; the way he dresses, acts, the mask / non-mask, etc, but he’s not the best at switching and compartmentalising the two!Heh, you say slow and boring, and I remember thinking, the pace is perfect.There’s the whole silence aspect to it, which I thought worked well, and the way he’s directed it, with basically every frame looking so hot!

  4. Tim says:

    Wow, you really do watch a lot of movies.Like the Bridester, I think i’ll start using your lists as a starting point when looking for movies to watch, and leave behind good ol’ Margaret and David.

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