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Eleven from Eleven

Friday 6 January 2012, 16:28

Mark Kermode Mark Kermode

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At the end of 2011 I posted my ten worst movies of the year. Since then a lot of people have been asking me for my list of the best. I already revealed them on the 5 Live show but here they are again plus a difficult question - since I was forced to leave out Drive, one of my favourite movies of the year, which of my choices would you lose to make way for it?

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  • rate this

    Comment number 61.

    Without a doubt, Hugo should go. I don't care if Scorsese has done something 'interesting' with 3-D. The fact that this film's success is built around that one fact surely means it should not be considered as a great film of 2011.

    Drive, is by far... THEE best film I have seen in years. Not just the last year. And to not have it in as one of your top 11 does baffle me some what!

    I can not wait to get my hands on my pre ordered Blu-Ray copy complete with fan boy/geek Steelbook.

    thank you and goodnight

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    Comment number 62.

    Lose "Benda Bilil" or "Senna". Decent documentaries but nothing special.
    "Le Quattro Volte" - yes, it was something different and I loved the ten minute dog scene in it but one of the best movies of 2011? I don't think so.

    I am also shocked to hear you gave honourable mentions to "Red State" and "Sarah's Key". "Red State" was one of the worst films of the year - a mess of a movie if I ever saw one. And "Sarah's Key" was overly melodramatic and ill-conceived: It should have focused on Sarah's story rather than that of Kristen Scott Thomas' (who you adore, yes, we know) character.

    Where are "Meek's Cutoff", "Martha Marcy May Marlene", "The Skin I Live In"?

    Didn't particularly like "Kill List" either - "A Lonely Place To Die" was a much better British suspense flick in 2011.

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    Comment number 63.

    Cannot believe you think "Kill List" is a better film than "Drive". Sling it out, have a reshuffle and stick Gosling in at number one. It's also a shame that "The Tree of Life" didn't make the grade. Dinosaurs aside, it was an absolutely magnificent film. They're my two personal favourites of the year.

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    Comment number 64.

    The Skin I Live In, Number 1

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    Comment number 65.

    Drive is the best film of the year BY FAR. It is simply near cinema perfection and it burnes itself into your memory. I can't believe it's not at least in the top 3 of your list mr. Kermode. I bet that ten years from now no one will even remember half of these films in your list, by then I predict Drive will be a -Classic-.

    Also, I think it deserves exactly the same kind of praise you gave Inception last year: It shows Hollywood that good genre films used to have character dimension, depth and mystique. Something most Hollywood films lack these days.

    So to put Drive at the top where it belongs I will have to remove We Need to Talk about Kevin, wich I would have put second.

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    Comment number 66.

    I don't think Drive is a classic, one of my flaws would be the pointlessly over the top violence (in my opinion) and I'm a 19 year old male and violence never usually bothers me. But having said that it was a very good film, suprisingly so. So although I haven't seen a fair few of your top 11 I would get rid of either Kill List (Haven't seen) or Melancholia (Have seen), Melancholia really isn't that great, in fact anyone who called it great i'd call them pretentious. Id definately have Drive in over that or Kill List because horrors really? reallllllly?

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    Comment number 67.

    Drop Kill List, I was completely hooked until the ridiculous ending. It's a film that failed to realise it was much scarier as a realistic hitman film then when it suddenly embraced a series of cult cliches. Drive's omission is made even more shocking by the inclusion of such a so-so film.

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    Comment number 68.

    Blue Valentine and Meek's Cutoff are unfortunately missing from Kermode's list. I am glad to see an Italian movie up there. Le Quattro Volte is great but, maybe, not for everyone

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    Comment number 69.

    Please excuse the previous comment, my fingers ran away with themselves in all the excitement. Kill List was one of the strongest films of the year, which had a demonstrable effect on yourself as well as everyone I know who watched it. You were quite right to leave Drive out of your top eleven, Dr K. Kill List stayed with me long after Drive was forgotten.

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    Comment number 70.

    Right, I've had enough. Drive was, by a colossal margin, the most overrated film of 2011. I just don't get why so many people raved about it so much.

    It's not a clever, postmodern, ironic take on cliched b-movie trash - it IS cliched b-movie trash. It's a pulpy, unoriginal story with at least one groan-worthily painful plot-hole coincidence. The initial "you've got me for 5 minutes" concept sounds promising at the very start, but is actually a shameless, meaningless gimmick which goes absolutely nowhere.

    Refn certainly directs with a confident flair, but I can't think of many better examples of style over content. It's blatantly gratuitous, pointlessly using crass nudity (the strip-club dressing room) and ludicrously over-the-top violence (the elevator scene) not to serve the plot, but purely for effect.

    Gosling has charisma but he plays an empty, inscrutable, cypher-like non-character who makes no sense at all. And before I've even had the chance to say how woefully wasted Carey Mulligan is too, I bet most people reading this are saying, "But that's the point!" OK, so please explain to me HOW this point makes the film any good.

    And as for saying, "But it's just so COOL!" - argh. Is great cinema about being "cool"? Or is it about absorbing stories with engaging characters?

    Dr K, this is an excellent Top 11. The only thing that ruins it is your anxiousness and disappointment about not including Drive, when it should just be ditched like the trash it is.

    Phew. I'm done.

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    Comment number 71.

    Hi Mark,

    I'd be happy to help. It's Melancholia.

    I saw it in Cannes on the infamous night and had the actual world ended around me, I likely wouldn't have snapped out of my boredom. War of the Worlds with no aliens meets Hedda Gabler with no personality.

    Melancholia Mark. Melancholia.

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    Comment number 72.

    Hugo should go, Take Shelter should definitely be in.

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    Comment number 73.

    Hugo is brilliant, my film of the year. My list:

    1. Hugo
    2. Drive
    3. Submarine
    4. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
    5. The Skin I Live In
    6. The Guard
    7. Tyrannosaur
    8. We Need to Talk About Kevin
    9. George Harrison: Living in the Material World
    10. Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes

    Ignoring films that were up for Oscars last year, otherwise I would have True Grit and Black Swan in there.

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    Comment number 74.

    Good Dr, I reviewed 'Kill List' myself for a website and do not see in it the qualities you do, a few intense moments aside; I actually thought it was rather poor. It is clearly the one to be removed, for my money, and replaced with 'Drive'.

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    Comment number 75.

    Rise of the Planet of the Apes should definitely not be on your list of good films, Mark.

    While it has some redeeming features, the cardboard-cut-out characters in this movie really made me wince and spoiled it something rotten. Watch it again. There is some seriously bad dialogue and acting. The ridiculous conversion of the David Oyelowo character, for example, should be a case study in how not to make movies.

    Infinitely poorer than "Drive" IMHO.

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    Comment number 76.

    Dear Dr K,
    I completley agree with you. Congratulations for making the list perfect, because we had so many good films this year.
    I just think that you should have mentioned the "Tree of Life". Yes, it is a very floud (I hope I spelled it correctly) movie , but overall I think it was brilliant.

    Best wishes from Serbia!

  • rate this

    Comment number 77.

    I liked 'Drive' but it was like watching two thirds of a great film. The plot and the characters felt under developed, knowing that it may improve on a second viewing i'll see.For me there were only four film outstanding films this year.

    4 Tinker,taylor,soldier,spy. For a film which predominantly consists of people talking its very cinematic and doesn't feel talky.

    3 Dreams of a life. Surprised this didn't at least get a mention during the docs review show. For me this story is a modern day 'Marie Celeste' trying to peice together fragments of a persons life and the circumstances of her death.

    2 We need to talk about Kevin. I know when i see this film again i'll have a different interpretation and so on with each viewing.

    1 Snow town. This is a "horror" film in the truest sense of the word. I didn't "enjoy" watching this film nor was i supposed to. People talk about the bone crunching violence in 'Drive' this film with its slow pace and matter of fact presentation of violence made me reconsider my entire attitude to screen violence.

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    Comment number 78.

    I think it's very very easy... obviously the last film on the list "Tyrannosaur", I haven't seen it I'm sure it's good but it's the last film on the list.

    My Top 10... for the record

    1. Drive
    2. Hugo
    3. Blue Valentine
    4. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
    5. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
    6. True Grit
    7. Bobby Fischer Against the World
    8. Tree of Life
    9. Source Code
    10. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

    there was about a dozen films I missed but will see on dvd We need to talk about kevin, super 8, My Week with Marilyn, Senna, The Skin I Live In, Tyrannosaur etc...

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    Comment number 79.

    Kill List, I had to wait till the DVD came out, so maybe I lost something from the cinema viewing experience but despite it being filmed in Sheffield I felt let down. It took a while to get going, once it did it was very good. The film takes a left turn which was let down by the sloppy ending. The ending has been done in other films and the plot holes are massive.

    I went back and watched it again to check that it isn't me, it isn't. A real missed opportunity, I hope the director continues though and would look forward to further work from him.

    For me films of the year are the ones you can't wait to see again and will watch again and again in ten, twenty, thirty years. I won't watch Kill List again but Drive will be in there.

    I haven't seen all the films on your list, so I cannot say which is better but thought Take Shelter was a really great film this year.

    I also though Warrior was great and enjoyed the film Win Win which for a little film had the charm of Sideways.

  • rate this

    Comment number 80.

    Oh and Red State was good too.

    Probably the biggest surprise of 2011 - Not amazing but very good, well worth another viewing. John Goodman in that and the Artist. Not a bad year for him.


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