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Roger Ebert Reveals His List for the Top 20 Best Feature Films of 2011

by
December 20, 2011
Source: Chicago Sun-Times

Hugo / Roger Ebert

It's getting closer to the end of 2011, so in addition to the several videos looking back at this year in film, there will also be several year-end lists coming our way looking at the best and the worst of 2011. My lists will be coming closer to the end of the year, but critic Roger Ebert has already decided to chime in with a list of what he calls The Best Films of 2011. His top choice isn't a clear frontrunner and kind of comes from left field, but Ebert still includes buzzworthy awards contenders like Shame, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, The Artist and even love for Drive and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II.

Roger Ebert's Top 20 of 2011:

1. A Separation "This film combines a plot worthy of a great novel with the emotional impact of a great melodrama. It involves a struggle for child custody, the challenge of a parent with Alzheimer's, the intricacies of the law, and the enigma of discovering the truth. In its reconstruction of several versions of a significant event, it is as baffling as Rashomon."
2. Shame
3. The Tree of Life
4. Hugo "In the guise of a delightful 3D family film, Martin Scorsese makes a love letter to the cinema."
5. Take Shelter
6. Kinyarwanda
7. Drive "Drive looks like one kind of thriller in the ads, and it is that kind of thriller, but also another and a rebuke to most of the movies it looks like.
8. Midnight in Paris
9. Le Havre
10. The Artist
"It's an audience pleaser, and many in the audience won't be expecting that. It also seems to be leading the year-end lists of award nominees, and could even become the first silent film to win an Oscar as Best Picture since Wings (1927)."
11. Melancholia
12. Terri
13. The Descendants
14. Margaret
15. Martha Marcy May Marlene
16. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II "The second installment in the last chapter of the legendary saga comes to a solid and satisfying conclusion, conjuring up enough awe and solemnity to serve as an appropriate finale and a dramatic contrast to the lighthearted (relative) innocence of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" all those magical years ago."
17. Trust
18. Life, Above All
19. The Mill and the Cross
20. Another Earth

"Those are my top 20, leaving out documentaries, which I will list later. To include them on the same list would be ranking oranges and apples. There were many other excellent films in 2011, some fully the equal of some of these." Ebert has listed, in no particular order, even more films that almost made the cut in addition to much more extensive words on each of his top 20 films listed above. To read all about Ebert's favorite films of the year, head on over to his Chicago Sun-Times blog right here. What do you think?

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  • Xerxexx
    Damn fine list. Alex where is the Hobbit trailer?
  • Glad to see Another Earth getting a place in this list...
    • Anonymous
      Why? It was nothing special.
  • Big Boss
    No "Bucky Larson: Born To Be A Star"? I keed, I keed. lol
  • Anonymous
    no love for Warrior or Rise Of The Apes? meh
    • norm
      I guess Roger and I are in the minority in thinking that those two films weren't half as good as the hype that surrounds them.
  • Smendoza
    What about we need to talk about kevin, and everything must go, ?
  • RockySullivan1938
    I think its too early for a top ten list of the year without seeing Fincher Dragon Tattoo and Speilbergs Warhorse, but other than that very good list, however, the manditory titles that needs to be on everybodys at least Hugo, Drive, The Artist, and The Tree of Life.
    • Emma
      I believe he's already seen these...at least, I know he's already released his review for Dragon Tattoo, and generally they see the films a week before release dates so the review can be properly published on the same day as theater release (so I'd guess he's seen War Horse as well).
  • Rschaller15
    How is Trust on this list? I realize it's his personal list but, I thought that movie was absolute garbage. Another Earth definitely needs more publicity though. Im certain it will make next years "best movies in 2011 you never heard of".
  • Clocker910
    Any list in which Warrior is not present is a terrible list
    • Anon
      couldnt agree with you more. if nick nolte doesnt even get a nomination at the oscars id be really really disappoined.
  • Anonymous
    #1 movie is misspelled.
  • "Another Earth" was absolutely the worst film I saw in 2011. Anyone who thinks that laughable excuse for a film deserves recognition should be dragged into the street and shot.
    • Xerxexx
      Its called "Difference of opinion." Weird concept I know.
  • Horseflesh
    prob great movies but i'm not loosin sleep over it
  • Respectable. If I was Roger, I would have added Nick Cage's "Season of the Witch" to fuck with people. 
    • Craig
      Haha. I didn't think Season of the Witch was that terrible, actually. Not a great movie, by no stretch of the imagination, but a halfway decent B  movie. Certainly not the worst movie I've seen all year.
  • happy camper
    Solid list.
  • because he has spent more time watching films in his lifetime than most of our generation has spent being awake. (at least anyone born 81 onwards) the man has such a passion for the artform that even through a crippling disability he continues his trade. His opinion is a valid one, even if you may not agree with it.
    • Josh Taylor
      The man is schlock who only thinks movies are Art. I will NEVER ever have respect for the man after he said video games can't be art. He is your quintessential art snob. If you look at his list there are very few movies that aren't "artsy, indie" style films. He has gotten more snobby and irritating with age. His opinion only resonates with old people now (I am 30 by the way). Just because you respect it doesn't mean that everyone has to respect the man. Just because you have seen tons of movies, that doesn't make you valid. Being a critic is not enough for respect from me, maybe if he was a movie historian. I have a friend who majored in film-making and spends his time editing movies for a University. He has seen easily as many or more films than Ebert and his opinion is much more respectable and intelligent than Ebert. Ebert may impress most people, but his intellectual level does not make an impact on me at all.
  • Buzzfunk
    So glad this list is just someone else's opinion.  Drive? Tree of life? HAAHHAAH
  • Anonymous
    50/50, Crazy Stupid Love, Warrior... no? OK... but this isn't my list, it's mr. Ebert's and it's a good one; of course I'm taking into account only the movies that I've seen. Never heard of Kinyarwanda or Le Havre. Oh, and I'm glad Harry Potter 7 Part 2 made the list.
  • David Banner
    When will QT post his top 10 list? Slightly offtopic, but it is also a Top10 list :)
    • David Banner
      Ah, I just remembered, after new years :)
  • Josh
    melancholia was so depressing. another earth was only good in the last 10 minutes, drive had it's moments but i think it's a little overated, attack the block should be on there, it was just a fun movie.
  • Anonymous
    A Separation and The Artist are the two films I most look forward to seeing. I am somewhat surprised, Alex, you consider A Separation coming from left field.
  • Bum Love
    Your face.  What happened to your face?
  • Good list. I personally think that Rise of the Planet of the Apes was good enough to be on the list as well, but then again, I haven't watches as many films this year as Ebert has.
  • This pretentious list is just another prime example of why I no longer value Roger Ebert's opinions on film.
  • but other than that very good list, however, the manditory titles that needs to be on everybodys at least Hugo
  • Humanzarif
    a separation.that is first?
    • kev
      well deserved..go see it..
  • Kelly
    I hated Tree of Life. I have never even heard of anyone liking it until now!

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