It was a hard one. I didn't love a lot of movies in 2011. And I watched a LOT (but I always do - it's my job). So I don't think I have 10 that I feel deserve to be there. If I only make it to 7 or 8, don't hold it against me.
And, in no particular order.....
Love Story - this was a charming, quirky and personal film and I loved it. I came out grinning and every time I think about it, even now, six months or so later, I still crack a smile.
Black Swan - intense, creepy and unexpected. This film twisted the idea of reality and unreality to great effect, giving an eerie insight into the character's fracturing mind.
Blue Valentine - I don't know how anyone can fail to love Ryan Gosling. Even here, as an emotionally retarded guy whose wife has grown up without him, you have to feel for the guy. This film was small, intimate and so heartbreakingly real.
Pina - Now I see a point to 3-D. This is a dance film that is unlike any other dance film. Wim Wenders places you onstage with the dancers, and in 3-D. Awesome.
The Fighter - I'm not usually a fan of boxing movies, but wow! And Christian Bale is incredible.
Red State - If Kevin Smith really has given up film making, it's a tragedy. This is an incredibly smart film that turns the genre on its head and makes some extraordinarily bold choices (that long sermon scene? Genius)
Project Nim - Now, I didn't like this film. I started crying in the first 5 minutes and didn't stop for the full 95 minute running time. But any movie that elicits this extreme a reaction from someone as hardened and cynical as me, has to have done something right.
And seriously, that's all I have. I've seen some other outstanding films, but they're not releasing until next year, so I'll have to save them for my 2012 list.
What were some of the good films you saw in 2011?