2011 was the best year for film since I really started caring about the medium. I feel as though I should get that out of the way to start with, as I’ve been reading in some places people talking about the year in less than glowing terms. Perhaps my perspective is different from others – there have been very few mainstream hits of the likes of No Country for Old Men or The Hurt Locker which garner both critical admiration and box office success – but underneath the mainstream there’s been a groundswell of creativity.
Established directors like Terence Malick, Pedro Almodovar and Lars von Trier have created their best films in years, while newer voices like Kelly Reichardt and Asghar Farhadi have emerged with their strongest statements of intent thus far. Films that have been left off this list – Drive, Take Shelter, Kill List – would have been near the top any other year, and that’s before considering the great films I saw this year that haven’t yet been give a UK release date.
Anyway, here it is! In reverse order: