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It's our round-up of the best and worst films of 2011! Join Craig Eastman, Drew Tavendale and Scott Morris as they dispense filmic truth on an entire year. What on earth will happen? Spoiler: talking about films will happen.
With the disclaimer that none of us have seen quite the volume of cinema we typically expose ourselves to in a calendar year, we feel that there's been a slight drop in the number of tip-top movies released in 2011 compared to the previous few years. That said, it's certainly had highlights.
We'll start off by talking about Drive, the retro tinted, minimal crime drama cum character study. A great central performance from Ryan Gosling, featuring a touching relationship with his co-stars and some powerful moments make this one of the most unique and best films of the year, and well worth watching.
The other side of the coin toss for best film of the year is Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, another restrained, minimal drama with a simply fantastic ensemble cast. The cold war period sensibilities are sharply observed, giving the film a style that went unmatched in 2011. Superb drama, and why Gary Oldman is not already festooned with awards for this film already is beyond us.
There's also a number of other films that we'd recommend. I'll leave the detailed rationales for these selections as a discovery for the listeners, but we don't think you can go wrong with any of the following flicks.
If you're in the mood for a comedy, we're fond of quirky British comedy Submarine, broad blockbuster Bridesmaids, and borderline parody of Ireland The Guard.
In what I'll broadly call the action/thriller category, Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows is about as much fun as I've had in a cinema all year. X-Men: First Class marks a return to form for the franchise. The Adjustment Bureau not only features awesome hats, but a unique and interesting plot. Source Code provides ample sci-fi tinged thrills.
For more serious dramatic fare, Tyrannosaur packs a powerful punch, although given the subject matter it's not a laugh riot. Biutiful is another relatively bleak drama based on Javier Bardem's terrific central performance. 127 Hours is a remarkable one-hander (essentially), and credit to James Franco for sustaining interest over the piece. The King's Speech is perhaps old news by now, but it's a competent and engaging drama, again featuring a blinding central performance.
More excellent kid friendly flicks can be found in the unusual Rango, Martin Scorsese's Hugo, and The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec, perhaps the only good thing to have been brought forth from the mind of Luc Besson in a decade.
They can't all be winners, so we'll leave by advising you to give the widest of all possible berths to Lars Von Trier's obnoxiously tedious Melancholia.