The 10 Best Films of 2011

George Clooney in ‘The Descendants.’ Photo credit: Fox Searchlight 

It’s such a definitive title, isn’t it? And in that way, I have mislead you. I am in no shape to proclaim the 10 best films of 2011, because I missed a ton of likely contenders. On the other hand, for a married guy with a child, I gave it a valiant effort and still saw lots of movies, plus naming this post “my favorite films of 2011″ felt a bit too much like an entry in a twelve-year-old’s diary, so let’s roll with it, shall we?

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The Best Movies of 2010

Ewan McGregor in The Ghost Writer

Part of the problem with a definitive headline like “the best movies of 2010″ is that it implies I have managed to see all of the contenders. That didn’t exactly happen, for reasons married people with children understand. But let’s say I got close. Having acknowledged that, here are my favorites from the past year:

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The Half-Yearly Report: 2010′s Best Movies and TV Shows (So Far)

Ewan McGregor in ‘The Ghost Writer’

by Guest Contributor Brian Robinson

My goodness, here we are again already! It’s June, and we already have 6 months’ worth of entertainment to talk about. And what a year it’s been! Or more accurately, what a CRAPPY year it’s been! Now, I am aware that if you look at the entertainment reports we have done over the life of this blog you will see that the “Crappy Year” theme has been rather prominent. But, man, do they ever make it easy to keep that theme current.

It’s interesting, but ever since moving back to Los Angeles in 2007, I have met and been around more people in the creative part of the entertainment industry. I have met writers, comedians, producers, technicians, actors and even a newscaster. And when we do talk about what the entertainment industry is doing and where it’s headed, they are no more enthusiastic than we consumers of their (collective) product. That should tell us all something: if the creators are not enthused about the creations, then why should we be?

But, let us focus on the positive! Not every release this year has been at the level of a ‘Marmaduke’ or ‘Letters to Juliet.’ There have actually been some things worth seeking out:

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The Best Films of the Decade

‘City of God.’ Photo credit: Miramax/Buena Vista International

Guest Contributions by Brian Robinson

Brian: Anyone who knows me well knows that I am really not a nostalgic person. Every year, I abhor the lazy (we-are-really-on-vacation) magazine editions that recount the year. “Remember back in March with this happened?! Wasn’t that something!?” Um, no, and I don’t need you to remind me of it by printing a picture that you used back in March and calling that an issue. Ugh.

Unless you are talking about movies. Now, THIS is a list worth having! Why? Because with movies, unlike ‘moments’ (“Best Celebrity Meltdown”? Really?) you can always go back to watch movies, get a reputable list of them and make your own subjective decisions about how right or wrong the list may be. I really can’t tell you who is at the top of the decade’s top ten list of ‘Corporate Gaffes’, nor do I want to.

So, what follows is my thoughtful guess as to what the top FIVE best movies are of the decade. I can do ten of them, but really, why invite a fight?

Ian: As I’m sure is the same with Brian, these are not what I think are the most Important or Revolutionary (in terms of groundbreaking) films, but rather my favorites, for whatever reason.  Another decade, another list. Let’s do this.

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The Best Films of 2009

‘Thirst.’ Photo Credit: Focus Features/Universal Pictures

by Guest Contributor Brian Robinson

Well everyone, here we are again at the end of another year of movies. And essentially, it’s deja vu all over again to me; another year of wasted opportunities and half-hearted efforts from our friends in the movie business. Although to be fair, this was the year for all the ‘Strike Baby’ movies to come out. Remember there was a protracted writer’s strike in 2007-2008 that made sure we would all get poorly/quickly written movies delivered to us in 2009… and in that sense they didn’t disappoint. Most movies this year from “Hollywood” felt premature, underdeveloped and better left dead. But, that sure as hell won’t stop me from picking my favorite ten movies for the year, will it? It’s just too much fun to try to identify who went above and beyond every year.

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Best Movies of 2009: The Halfway Report

Photo Credit: Disney Pixar

by Guest Contributor Brian Robinson

Well we are just about halfway through the year of movies for 2009. Anybody excited? Yeah, me neither. Its certainly been easy to find the past few years of movies lacking, but so far this year, its been particularly bleak. Although the best argument for a justification is that many of these movies may be “Strike Babies” in that they were rushed in the script phase (more than usual) to get in before the Writers’ Strike of 2007/2008. Movies in general seem half to three-quarters baked as it is, and with the rushed strategy many are barely one-quarter baked right now. But, as always there are some bright spots!

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Quiet Applause For A Mediocre Year: Movies of 2008

ledger joker clap

Photo Credit: Warner Brothers

by Guest Contributor Brian Robinson

If there is one thing I know about being a movie lover its that at the end of the year anyone that knows you live for movies will ask, “So what was the best movie you saw this year?” And, as usual, I will have to equivocate by trying to categorize the best KIND of movie I saw this year. What was the best comedy? The best drama? Or simply what was the best time I had in a theater? Yeah, I over-complicate it. I am all Golden Globes that way.

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