Our Best and Worst Films of 2011

Written by Eric, Patrick, Scott

First Posted: January 1st, 2012

The box office was down this past year. It seemed Hollywood put out more fascinating real stories than actual films. One of the best melodramas was Arnold Schwarzenegger's affair, divorce and bastard son. The avant-garde plot of the year was Charlie Sheen's mental breakdown. The chick flick of 2011 happened in the tabloids and on "semi" reality television, starring Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries. The best scare in the air came courtesy of Alec Baldwin refusing to turn off his handheld when his plane was to take off.

Since so many films get made and released each year there were still some good ones to actually remind us that actors do more than act like spoiled children. Threemoviebuffs reviewed more than one hundred different films to come out this past year. We loved some and we hated some. If Hollywood wants a more profitable year in 2012, they simply have to make a better product.

Eric's favorite films of 2011

  • The Debt was one of the most unique films of the year. It contained honest characters in tense situations. I was enthralled the entire time.
  • X-Men: First Class was the best superhero film of the year. It rebooted the series by intertwining it with historical events.
  • Stake Land was a little seen film that too often resembled other movies. Although that does not sound likely a resounding compliment Stake Land took a well worn path and made it all it's own.
  • Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol is the fourth film in the series and easily it's best. Thanks to Tom's Cruise's conviction and Brad Bird's direction the series was brought back to life.
  • Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2 was what everyone expected. It was action packed and heart breaking as we said goodbye to friends.

Patrick's favorite films of 2011

  • The Artist: A cinematic gem that captures all the magic of the Golden Age of Hollywood. It proves once again the immense power of the moving image. Shimmering silent silver images flicker across the screen telling a moving and very amusing story.
  • Drive: The coolest movie of the year with Ryan Gosling aping Steve McQueen. A flashy retro 80s style enhances the violent storyline. Albert Brooks gives the performance for which he will be remembered.
  • Midnight in Paris: The Woodman’s best comedy in decades. With a well cast Owen Wilson as Allen’s stand-in. This delightfully funny and romantic fantasy recreates 1920s Parisian nightlife as only Woody Allen could do it.
  • Weekend: This movie gets my vote as the most romantic film of the year. It’s a joy and a heartbreak watching Russell and Glen fall in love over the course of one fateful weekend in this bittersweet love story.
  • Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2: The conclusion to J.K. Rowlings epic masterpiece didn’t disappoint. It is filled with faithful details from the novel and brilliantly realized cinematically. The final scene is perfect.

Scott's favorite films of 2011

  • Young Adult is a black comedy with one of the most unlikable lead characters in Hollywood history providing Charlize Theron with the best role of her career.
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo did the impossible and matched the original Swedish film, even exceeding it in some ways, providing a rare fully grown-up thriller that doesn't pander to the teen crowd.
  • Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2 was the grand finale to a beloved series that just got better with every film. It's the end of a 10 year phenomenon unlike any other.
  • X-Men: First Class is exactly what Eric said, the best superhero movie in a year glutted with superhero movies. It was action packed, but it also felt as though as much time had been spent on the script as had been spent on the special effects. It also featured a brilliant cast and will be remembered as the movie that launched Michael Fassbender's career into overdrive.
  • The Trip, with its simple story of two British comics driving across the North of England to review restaurants may sound like an odd plot for a movie, but when the comics are Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan playing exagaratted versions of themselves, this is one trip you'll be glad you made.

Eric's least favorite films of 2011

  • The Dilemma is proof that the success of Paul Blart: Mall Cop was just a fluke. Even though both films were released in January, people were not as desperate this past year.
  • Zookeeper showed that Kevin James is not leading man material. Short of playing Santa Claus I cannot imagine him in another starring role. The only good news for James this year was that he did not star in Priest.
  • Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1 was a film in which absolutely nothing happened that could not have been explained in one sentence. Bella and Edward get married while Jacob acts pissy jealous.
  • The Eagle proved that Channing Tatum should never appear in any historical film. He is even less convincing as a Roman officer than Kristen Stewart is at playing a girl worth fighting over.
  • Take Me Home Tonight was delayed for a couple of years before being released in 2011. They should have kept delaying it indefinitely as this laugh less comedy never found it's footing.

Patrick's least favorite films of 2011

  • Priest: Scott, in your review you wrote, "And the first nominee for worst movie of the year is....Priest!!!" I couldn’t agree more. In fact it remains unsurpassed in that category. In a nutshell, Priest is spectacularly awful!
  • Abduction: A few tidbits from my review worth repeating. "This movie is poorly edited and the script sucks." "The direction is lackluster and the acting is stiff when it’s not embarrassingly earnest." "The best thing I can say about Taylor Lautner's acting is that he looks good with his shirt off." "A brainless dud."
  • Cowboys & Aliens: Again I will let my review speak for me. "This Western/Science Fiction mash-up is a hot scrambled mess. It lacks character development, any sense of tension, has forgettable dialogue, completely ridiculous action sequences and a dumb plot. Jon Favreau’s direction has all the sophistication of a kindergarten recess." "Cowboys & Aliens gets my vote as the worst big-budget popcorn movie of 2011."
  • I Am Number Four: Here’s what I wrote about this flick. "I Am Number Four is an unoriginal teenage-alien-high-school-action movie populated with clichéd cardboard characters. The script is inane, the dialogue insipid and the acting wooden." "If you are smart you will stay far away from I Am Number Four as well as Numbers Five through Nine if they ever get made."
  • Apollo 18: This cheesy faux documentary features the single stupidest alien creature ever. It also paints an unpatriotic view of the U.S. Space Program.

Scott's least favorite films of 2011

  • Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star isn't just the worst movie of 2011, it's one of the worst movies ever made. A bad Saturday Night Live sketch stretched to feature length, this unfunny comedy should be wiped out of existence.
  • Shark Night 3D is a movie so bad that you have to see it just to appreciate how bad it truly is. What should have been an over-the-top gorefest in glorious 3-D, is just a poorly acted, poorly written, dull waste of time.
  • Zookeeper is a steaming pile of excrement without any redeeming features.
  • Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer is a movie for the undiscerning kindegartener only. Whatever charm the books might have are sucked dry in this adaptation.
  • The Eagle, Eric claims, proved that Channing Tatum should never appear in any historical film. I say he doesn't go far enough with that claim. Channing Tatum should never appear in any film.

So there you have it Three Movie Buffs picks for the best and worst movies of 2011. There were classic moments to cherish as well as stinkers best forgotten. Here’s to 2012 and another year of movies to discover! Happy New Year!