The Best Films of 2011

DriveSquareEvery year we all make a ‘Top Films’ list
Though dozens of worthy titles get missed
But lists are so boring, so I thought it was time
To make a ‘Year’s Best’ list entirely in rhyme

The year started poorly with Crowe’s Next Three Days
Though five in a cave with James Franco won praise
The King’s Speech was like a TV film done well
But worthy of Oscar’s Best Picture? Like hell!

Blue Valentine’s portrait of marriage was painful
Seth Rogen in Gondry’s Green Hornet? Disdainful
While Gasland taught us why ‘fracking’ is wrong
Natalie Portman excelled in Black Swan

She won the Best Actress Academy Award
But where was director Aronofsky’s reward?
Christian Bale proved he had real acting muscle
Best Actor in The Fighter by David O Russell

A new Brighton Rock? In the sixties? Don’t panic!
It beats The Stath’s remake of Bronson’s Mechanic
You thought Rabbit Hole was depressing? Quite so
Until you compared it to Never Let Me Go

The Coens’ True Grit helped to lighten the mood
Mostly thanks to Jeff Bridges, the original Dude
Speaking of dudes, Paul pretty much sucked
While Inside Job explained why our pensions are fucked

Australia’s Animal Kingdom was tough
Waste Land showed diamonds are found in the rough
Rango, CG animation goes West
Julie Taymor’s take on The Tempest impressed
Submarine surfaced, a worthy debut
(I also liked Limitless and Winnie the Pooh)
Meek’s Cutoff, a hardscrabble tale from the past
Diesel and Rock were both furious and fast

Closer to the Edge showed the thrills of TT
Pina made stunning new use of 3D
The Arthur remake was predictably lame
Pirates and Scream 4 were more of the same

Hanna kicked ass, and Thor was okay
But where are the comedies? It’s already May
Hangover II was just painful, unfunny
(Didn’t stop it making a shitload of money)

Thank goodness for Thor and X-Men: First Class
And the new Kung Fu Panda, with Po kicking ass
Hall Pass and Bad Teacher, is funny that hard?
Two make it look easy: Bridesmaids and The Guard

July and three decent films all start with T
Trust, Tree of Life and – yes – Transformers 3
Harry Potter’s adventures were finally done
And Cars 2 was, well, not as good as Cars 1

Speaking of cars, Senna was a sensation
Arrietty was cute with its cel animation
Countdown to Zero, now that film was scary
Perhaps they could nuke Mr Popper (Jim Carrey)?

Captain America had Marvel-ous japes
But had its ass kicked by the rise of the apes
Glee gave Beliebers a run for their money
But Horrible Bosses? It just wasn’t funny
Super 8 was okay, Project Nim fascinated
Cowboys and Aliens was deservedly hated
The Skin I Live In, how’s Almodovar do it?
And Kill List: so creepy, I barely got through it

Troll Hunter wasn’t as good as its trailer
The cast was superb in the new Tinker Tailor
The Cold War was hard on the old MI5
But not as cool as Ryan Gosling in Drive

Melancholia, the end of the world was depressing
Perhaps von Trier was having us on (I’m just guessing)
Paranormal Activity 3 made us jump
Midnight in Paris broke Woody Allen’s slump

We Need to Talk About Kevin: essential
The Ides of March made Clooney look presidential
The Silence was better than TV’s The Killing
And Tintin’s adventures were certainly thrilling

After five years, Margaret finally appeared
Another Earth proved satisfyingly weird
There were second hand thrills in Sherlock Holmes 2
And Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Then Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
Was arguably the most explosive of all
So how do you trade a new year for an old ‘un?
By watching The Artist. ‘Cause silence is golden.
So my 2011 Top Ten? Impossible: it has to be Twenty.

1. The Skin I Live In
2. Melancholia
3. The Artist
4. Drive
5. The Tree of Life
6. We Need to Talk About Kevin
7. Kill List
8. Senna
9. Blue Valentine
10. The Fighter
11. The Guard
12. Margaret
13. Animal Kingdom
14. Never Let Me Go
15. Black Swan
16. 127 Hours
17. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
18. True Grit
19. Rabbit Hole
20. The King’s Speech


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