And The Best Movie of 2011 So Far Is…

July 1, 2011 by Simon Kinnear in Opinion with 10 Comments

Last month, I ran a poll to find the Best Films of 2011 so far, via this blog, My Twitter feed and my Facebook page.

With plenty of responses from hardcore movie geeks and casual punters alike, I reckon we have a decent cross-section of the UK’s cinemagoing public, and a definitive winner.

The brief was to pick up to 5 movies, nominally those released in the UK between January and June this year.  Some people only chose one movie; others couldn’t resist picking six.  A few people voted for films that have only made festival appearances to date, several picked 2010 releases, and in one case a TV series was chosen.  As a result, I’m not ranking choices in order of preference – one vote is one vote.

It’s all good, though.  My rationale for doing this was to see what people recommended, partly so I could see what I’d missed, and partly to provide the same service to others.  Bear in mind that somebody, somewhere, has publically stated their love for each and every movie here, so it’s probably worth two hours of your time to watch it.

But enough of that.  C’mon, Simon, get to the winner…


“Richard Ayoade’s Submarine beat Animal Kingdom and Attack The Block to win the Best Film of 2011 So Far survey…”

The winner was Richard Ayoade’s sublime New Wave throwback Submarine – if you haven’t seen it, check out my introduction to Submarine, and then grab the Blu-ray or DVD when it’s released in August.

It beat off competition from superb Aussie crime drama Animal Kingdom (aka G’Day Fellas) and another Britflick triumph, Joe Cornish’s Asbos vs aliens smackdown Attack The Block.  Here’s the full top 10, all of which were nominated at least three times:

1. Submarine (Richard Ayoade)
2. Animal Kingdom (David Michod)
3. Attack The Block (Joe Cornish)
4. Blue Valentine (Derek Cianfrance)
5. True Grit (Joel & Ethan Coen)
6. Hanna (Joe Wright)
7= Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky)
7= Bombay Beach (Alma Ha’rel)
7= The Fighter (David O. Russell)
7= Meek’s Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt)

Bubbling under were: 127 Hours; Confessions; How I Ended This Summer; The King’s Speech; Life in a Day; NEDS; Senna; Source Code; X-Men First Class.

And another 30 films and one TV series got 1 vote each. I can’t be arsed listing them all, but an honorary mention goes to Ballast, of which The Wooden Kimono said:  “it’s fucking brilliant. I appear to be the only person in the UK who has seen it.”  Nobody gave a better recommendation than that!

That’s it, except to give full disclosure on my own choices, which did affect the top 10…and indeed the winner.  I opted for (in alphabetical order): Attack The Block; The Fighter; How I Ended This Summer; Senna; Submarine.

The only films listed above I haven’t seen yet are: Blue Valentine; Bombay Beach; Hanna; Life in a Day; and NEDS.  (Oh, and Ballast, of course.)  You can pretend all of these films got an extra hypothetical vote if you like.

Go and check out any of these films that you haven’t seen yet.  I’m sure they’re all ace. Meanwhile – PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT – don’t forget that new films are released at the cinema every single week.  Life’s great, isn’t it?

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  1. michaelJul 1, 2011 at 2:20 pmReply

    Great work Simon. I will be sure to check out those that I am yet to see.
    Just one final addition, which I feel compelled to mention as I just saw it yesterday and therefore was still part of the first half of the year, is that I really loved The Messenger. Way more than I thought I was going to.
    I don't know how well it has been generally received, but had I seen it prior to sending you over my five, it would'a been in there.

  2. MarkJul 1, 2011 at 11:50 pmReply

    I really didn't find that True Grit held up on a second viewing. It's brilliant and all of that, the ending excepted, but it left me feeling "Is that it?" Weird. Never heard of Bombay Beach- gonna have to look into that.

  3. AnonymousJul 2, 2011 at 12:40 amReply

    BOMBAAAAAY BEACH! I want to see this film on every list this year. This film is a game changer for me and I want to support it

  4. AnonymousJul 2, 2011 at 5:06 pmReply

    Cenrtainly not a game changer, come on! Hated Bombay Beach, hardly any story at all and really wafer thin. Relied very heavily on a great pre-exhisting Dylan/ Beirut soundtack. Tech qualities were also pretty low. Saw in a festival theatre and looked like was shot on an iphone as was intemitantly very out of focus. 3/10

  5. Jack GrahamJul 7, 2011 at 10:11 amReply

    Confession time. I misunderstood the nature of the request. I thought we were nominating films we thought you should see and review rather than our favourites… hence my nomination of 'Coriolanus', which I haven't seen yet and which, it turns out, isn't released in the UK until next year. Sorry if I buggered things up.

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