Sean Stanley

Here is a list of my favourite movies of 2011. The title of this post is misleading, these aren’t the best movies of 2011. That honour probably goes to Bucky Larson or Jack and Jill, but this is a list of what I enjoyed the most at the movies this year. After I post the list, I’ll include all the flicks I haven’t seen but want to, and after I do, they might affect this list completely.

Honourable Mentions:
Our Idiot Brother,
Attack the Block,
Hobo With A Shotgun,
Pearl Jam Twenty
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

10. Hugo – Martin Scorsese delivers us film history with Georges Melies and a kid named Hugo Cabret who lives in a train station. It’s very enjoyable and one of the best kid’s movies I’ve seen. Though, probably because I love movies.
9. Conan O’ Brien Can’t Stop – I might be bias because I love Conan, but I loved every minute of this doc detailing Conan’s Prohibited-To-Appear-On-Television-Tour. Great look into the mad comic and his operations. Losing the Tonight Show could’ve been the best thing to happen to him.
8. Contagion – It was like Traffic but with diseases instead of drugs. Haha. I really enjoyed this flick and I’m glad I saw it by myself with no one coughing around me.
7. Moneyball – Bennett Miller did a great job with this… one of the best baseball movies of all time.
6. Midnight In Paris – Woody’s freshest in years… filled with classic literary giants and whimsy.
5. The Tree of Life – I’m a sucka for Malick these days. The eldest son, Hunter McCracken, and Brad Pitt were incredible in this movie. And Emmanuel Lubezki.
4. The Rum Diary – Great return for all involved, Depp, Robinson, and Hunter. Depp plays Hunter as much more serious, noble, and ambitious this time around, which is apt for the material; It’s not the riot that Fear and Loathing is… but neither is the novel. Puerto Rico looks great and there are fantastic alcohol-fire-breathing scenes to boot. I’m sure Hunter would approve of Amber Heard as well.
3. The Descendants – Alexander Payne has won me over. I enjoyed the use of Hawaii in this flick and the eldest daughter deserves many accolades. Very solid structure and storytelling.
2. The Artist – silent, black and white, simple, detailed, and joyful.
1. Drive – Finally a great crime flick… again… Refn has been creeping toward the top of my fav movie of the year list for years now (Bronson, Valhalla Rising) and has finally topped it. Great theater experience with this one – hearing kids whine that it wasn’t Fast and Furious enough for them and then having them shut the hell up when the motel scene arrives, and then hearing some kid scream ‘this is the craziest fucking movie ever’ during the elevator scene. The driving kicked ass, LA at night looked gorgeous, the pink titles were wonderful, and the soundtrack kicked fucking ass.

Favourite Performances of the year:
Ryan Gosling – Drive
Tom Hardy – Warrior
Brad Pitt – Tree of Life
Hunter McCracken – Tree of Life
Brad Pitt – Moneyball
Sasha Baron Cohen – Hugo
Shailene Woodley – The Descendants
Berenice Bejo – The Artist
Rooney Mara – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Need to see:
Melancholia, Shame, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Take Shelter, A Separation, The Muppets, Senna, The Interrupters, 13 Assassins, The Skin I Live In

11 Responses to “BEST MOVIES OF 2011”

  • duey Says:

    I totally agree with Drive at #1, Moneyball is the only other one of your top 10 that I’ve seen. So I guess I have some catching up to do. Except for Midnight in Paris, I tried watching it, and made it about 20 minutes before I turned it off, because I hate books, and it made me feel stupid.

  • Sean Stanley Says:

    haha… I can understand why people don’t like the lofty Woody Allen films like Purple Rose of Cairo or this.

    Didn’t you see Hugo?? A movie I know you saw, and I considered when putting together this list was Warrior, but ultimately, I think I just liked Tom Hardy’s performance better than the movie. The movie was decent though. Nick Nolte was really good, and I was with it most of the way. The “YouTube” fight was one of my fav moments this year. Overall though, a little disappointed by the ending. What were your top ten flicks??

    Horrible Bosses I mulled over as well. It was certainly one of the best comedies of the year – what other good comedies came out this year? Recently I was pleasantly surprised by Our Idiot Brother.

  • Belaclava_Bob Says:

    Here’s my list of Movies to watch with Lucy…

    8. The Lincoln Lawyer
    7. The Ides of March
    6. Hanna
    5. The Animation in Priest
    4. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
    3. Transformers 3
    2. Super 8
    1. Fast Five

    TV with Lucy

    8. Master Chef
    7. The Next Iron Chef
    6. Treme
    5. Breaking Bad
    4. Game of Thrones
    3. Boardwalk Empire
    2. Curb Your Enthusiasm
    1. Louie

  • KTCV1-5 Says:

    I LOVED Midnight in Paris- Owen Wilson had the characteristics of a Woody Allen character. All of the neuroses, but, the important part: None of the whining.
    It was charming, and FUNNY.
    It’s too bad Owen Wilson couldn’t have been playing Woody Allen’s characters from the beginning.

  • Sean Stanley Says:


    Your friend Lucy is a blast. We gotta hang out again sometime. Apparently 8 times. Will check out Lincoln Lawyer, Ides of March, Apes, Priest… Saw Hanna, wasn’t wowed, thought it was ok. A lot of people are really liking it though. Transformers 3?? Dammit, now I gotta watch that thing. Super 8 wasn’t bad. Was hoping for more monster.
    Ok now, Fast Five?? Really? Do I need to see the other 4 first?? haha… I can’t believe you’re going to make me watch Fast Five. What’s better Fast Five or Beta House??

    Master Chef, Iron Chef – seems like a big commitment. Gonna check out Treme and Game of Thrones asap. The others on your list are great.

  • Sean Stanley Says:


    Glad to hear you loved MIDNIGHT IN PARIS so much. I thought it was great. Ernest Hemingway was hilarious. And Owen Wilson was perfect in an Allen film. Agree completely.

  • Belaclava_Bob Says:

    I should mention that without Lucy these movies are most likely shit. But if you take Lucy to Transformers 3 there is no way in hell you won’t stand up screaming, pretending you’re playing the greatest video game ever made. It’s excruciating at times but it’s worth the ticket price. Fast Five and Beta House have one huge thing in common-you can’t help but laugh at how ridiculous they are. Vin Diesel takes a twenty foot roof top air and somehow (mid-air) he looks back to see The Rock jump out of a fucking window behind him… it’s hilarious. It’s my favourite movie moment of two thousand eleven. If you can’t laugh at a movie and still have fun there’s something wrong with you, right? I saw Fast Five in the theatre. I love that series. The cars are insane. The rest is just B-Grade Fun. Hanna has a great beginning and ending but could have been edited down by fifteen minutes or so. Lincoln Lawyer is all about the dirty dirty soundtrack. Apes will Surprise you. Clooney made a great flick out of Ides and Priest is horrible but theres an animation at the beginning of the film thats just beautiful. Game of Thrones is a monster. Heinz inspired me to start reading the novels. I’ve just started the Clash of Kings.

  • independent_heinz Says:

    I will not watch Fast Five. The same way I won’t watch War Horse.

    I guess I didn’t see that much looking at all the stuff I missed. Hmmmm. Let’s see. The last Harry Potter was awful, I was so terrified of Tree of Life that I missed the fact that there was no plot, and I was so incoherently drunk that I don’t remember Planet of the Apes. I guess I have got a lot of new releases to be screening soon.

    Game of Thrones, Treme and Boardwalk Empire really gave me something to look forward to. Entourage finale was such a piece of SHIT that I questioned myself. Constant review of The Wire brought me back to place. Mad Men can’t get here soon enough. And really looking forward to Season II of FlixxTV. Honestly more engaging then 95% of the bullshit out there. I can’t believe that Mark had a character arc.

  • independent_heinz Says:

    On to 2012. The year of FASSBENDER!

  • Sean Stanley Says:


    “I will not watch Fast Five” hahahaha. War Horse. Yeah, I’m not interested.

    Too bad about Hairy Potter. I only got to number 5. I figure one day in ten or twenty years i’ll finish them. Just watched Apes… after I got over the CGI, I really enjoyed Caesar becoming king of the ring.

    HBO – is really putting out the most interesting stuff – looking forward to Thrones and Treme still. Loved Boardwalk 2. Game of Thrones season 2 starts April 1.

    Thanks for the kind words on Flixx TV – Mark did have a character arc, happy to see someone noticed this… haha… season 2 we go to the docks and focus on this new character named ‘Sobotka’. Also hoping to have more sketches this season.

  • Sean Stanley Says:

    2011 was the year of Ryan Gosling, right?? Though Fassbender did damn well for himself too – Shame, Xmen, A Dangerous Method, and of course, Jane Eyre.

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