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Criticker’s Twenty Best Films of 2015: #10 – #1

Here they are, your top ten films of 2015. As always seems to the case, this list includes a wide range of genres, from drama to documentary, action to animation. Some are out of Hollywood, others definitely aren’t, some are non-stop thrill rides, others are more introspective. But taken all together, what this list signifies to us is: damn, the Criticker Community has good taste!

If you haven’t already, check out the first half of this list. And don’t forget to look at the worst ten films of the year, either… just so you know what to avoid.

And from us at Criticker… best of wishes for 2016!

10. Carol – 7.5476 Average Tier

“I need to mull it over more, but this is likely Todd Haynes’ opus, and that’s saying something. It feels like Haynes has spent his entire career building to the subtle grace that fills every frame of Carol. Where Far From Heaven was a self-conscious homage to the Sirkian melodrama and all that that entails on a textual level, Carol simply is. It brings its era to life, rather than using it as a weapon. The difference is astounding.” – wetwillies

9. Mad Max: Fury Road – 7.6165 Average Tier

” Here comes Mad Max: Fury Road to revive this arid wasteland we call Hollywood filmmaking and to prove that blockbusters need not be one homogeneous mass of bland and boring sameness. It’s a visually glorious and furiously raging beast of a film but it also boasts a feminist subtext and a surprising amount of narrative depth. It puts other blockbuster films to shame. What a lovely day!” – RaymundLi

8. 45 Years – 7.6429 Average Tier

“Slow and thoughtful with strong, understated performances, that leave the viewer to interpret the way the story ends.” – mandy

7. Victoria – 7.6582 Average Tier

“Of course we could talk about technique, about acting, about details, about the guts and shortcomings of this project. But, in the end nothing matters but this: I cried. I laughed. I have clawed me in the seat. I heard my heart beating. If that ain’t cinema, I don’t know what is.” – Hofschneider

6. The Hateful Eight – 7.7097 Average Tier

“Combine the paranoia of “The Thing” with the mystery of “Clue”, set it in 1800’s Wyoming and you get “The Hateful Eight”. Once again Tarantino proves that his films are, if nothing else, damn entertaining. At close to 3 hours long and 85% of it taking place in one room, I was never bored for a second. That’s good film making!” – Jerky

5. Inside Out – 7.8125 Average Tier

“A bit schematic in its manipulations, but, Christ, this is a deeply sad ode to the fragility of identity. A pit of memories, once cherished, relegated to ash. The protagonists, helpless to do anything, witnessing everything they love about a young girl crumbling to dust under the weight of new experience. In the end, Riley’s personality isn’t restored; instead, the foundation of a novel personality is built from the rubble of half-forgotten memories & new knowledge of the world, disenchanted.” – theficionado

4. Son of Saul – 7.8901 Average Tier

“Apart from being an almost perfect model for “hell” in the literal sense with the help of long shots and a concentration on the protagonist to follow his psychological demise step-by-step, I think the film is about the brittleness and naivety of human soul (because Saul creates his own hope and belief instead of resisting with the others) which makes this piece a very humanist account despite the formal indifference which avoids sentimental bullshit. Can easliy named “Come and See” Vol. 2″ – loc42

3. Spotlight – 8.0057 Average Tier

“Absolutely fantastic. In execution, it is definitely the best produced film I have seen this year. A cast worthy of every award, but most importantly Ruffalo’s performance, acting in a great script. The only issue I had with the film was the lack of great direction, but McCarthy did a good job, and it is never bad. Honestly, it’s hard-hitting, it’s scary, and it’s damning. An amazing film; one we may be hearing about in award season.” – Groovy_Souls

2. The Revenant – 8.1394 Average Tier

“Iñárritu is eternally contemplating the beauty and brutality of nature, including us, and here he finds the purest expression of his career. Pure in the sense that the effect of the revenge plot is almost subdued – what resonates is the wonder and hallucinatory ecstasy the wild brings. I have never seen it done on such a level, with crystalline images that hold together heaven and earth.” – schnofel

1. The Look of Silence – 8.3636 Average Tier

“Superior to Act of Killing in most ways, The Look of Silence confronts instead of stages. And manages to provide a both more complex and heart-rending take on the consequences of the Indonesian genocide.” – Langelund



Criticker’s Twenty Best Films of 2015: #20 – #11

It’s the end of 2015, and so we’re looking at the best films of the year. For this list, we considered all the films which are eligible for the 88th Academy Awards, and which have at least 50 rankings at Criticker.

You’ll find some blockbusters in the first half of our year-end list, a few sleepers, and probably a couple surprises. We’ve already listed the Worst Ten of 2015, which demonstrates how bad Hollywood can be; but apparently they can do some things right, too. Anything you’re especially happy to see make the countdown?

20. Heaven Knows What – 6.9467 Average Tier

“This is a difficult, intense, and very powerful vérité work about a heroin addict living in New York City. The film features some crazy beautiful electronic music, brutally intimate cinematography, and a third act so overwhelmingly, disturbingly romantic that you can’t help but be drawn into the madness. It has nothing to do with morality or exposing a crisis of public health; it’s just life as is, with a little surrealism dropped in at the right moments. I can’t wait to see it again.” – Actionberg

19. The Martian – 6.9813 Average Tier

“It’s about triumph. It’s two-plus hours of smart people keeping it together and being good at their jobs and SOLVING PROBLEMS. Once one problem’s solved, another one gets thrown at them, and they work hard and think hard and make plans and solve that one, too. I loved it. An extraordinarily well-made, well-performed, beautifully shot film about triumph and efficiency and getting the job done. And space, naturally. The space stuff is cool, too.” – Superargo

18. Brooklyn – 7.0504 Average Tier

“A big-hearted and emotionally resonant tale of romance and the immigrant experience with terrific performances from both Ronan and Cohen.” – RaymundLi

17. Beasts of No Nation – 7.2218 Average Tier

“It’s like Terrence Malick’s Hunger Games! Director Fukunaga goes to great lengths to build a timeless & ambiguous world that makes you focus on the horror without writing it off via too much context. The lead is great & Idris Elba makes a menacing villain. The M83 inspired music creates a childlike mood with an undercurrent of horror. As our world becomes engulfed in volatile conflicts–often with children on the front lines–this story becomes more prescient. And a great discussion starter.” – juntakinte68

16. Creed – 7.2409 Average Tier

“It could hardly be written any better. Sly gives his performance of a lifetime back in the role that defined him and wins the Oscar 40 years after being nominated for the same role.” – Ross

15. Ex Machina – 7.2711 Average Tier

“EM asks some searching questions about ‘AI’ in a brilliantly tense, enjoyable, mesmerising and unpredictable film. Isaacs & Vikander are superb. The lighting, set design, special effects and script simply perfect. “Would you know if an AI was manipulating you, lying to you?”, “Would mankind be able to keep AIs like slaves?”. We are asked to perform a “reverse” Turing test on Eva. “Can we interact with a gorgeous, flirtatious “woman” but STILL remember she is a moral free “robot”?” Terrific film” – thegreyfox

14. Sicario – 7.3570 Average Tier

“This damning portrait of the American “War on Drugs” is an early frontrunner for my favorite movie of 2015. I absolutely loved this. It’s breathlessly engaging and incredibly intense throughout, with amazing performances from leads Emily Blunt and (particularly) Benicio del Toro, who should both be nominated come Oscar season if there is any justice. Add on to that some pretty amazing visuals, and I won’t be forgetting this one anytime soon.” – VengefulKBM

13. Amy – 7.3575 Average Tier

“Such a different musical biography to the also fantastic – “Cobain: Montage of Heck” yet dishes equal impact. Your eyes are never off Amy and nor should they be, sometimes it does prove to be a quite daunting experience. Have to say both her dad and boyfriend are pretty vile individuals. Extra props goes out to the man, Mark Ronson.” – OMGFridge

12. Room – 7.5280 Average Tier

“This is an absolutely overwhelming film to see in theatres. I was on the verge of crying for the entire run time. I was a bit leery of Brie Larson playing a dramatic role but after seeing Room I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m an idiot who is always wrong about everything. She’s amazing, knowing exactly how to balance humour, fear, and depression. Trembley is amazing, largely because he knows exactly how to play a child. McCamus is amazing. Allen is amazing. Room is amazing.” – JacoIII

“Abrams delivers! (of course) His fast-moving and always exhilarating seventh part is, thankfully, just about fanboy perfection. Which made me very happy and relieved. With skillful, charismatic turns from Ridley, Boyega and Ford in a recognizable story across worlds that feel part of the saga’s universe, The Force Awakens basically gives us (A) New Hope… and I’m confident that Johnson will bless us with a sequel every bit as fun and delicious.” – KasperL



Criticker’s Twenty Best Films of 2012: #1-10

And here they are: the ten best films of 2012, as decided by the users of Criticker. As always, it’s a varied group, with a few major surprises — on seeing the previews earlier this summer, I’d have never guessed that #10 would be among the year’s best! Foreign films almost always do well at Criticker, and 2012 was no exception — four spots in the Top Ten are occupied by movies from Europe.

You might notice one major exception: a film which was released rather recently and hasn’t racked up enough ratings to be included in this list. We’ll revisit the top twenty just before the Academy Awards, and see how things have changed.

10. Wreck-It Ralph – 7.4902 Average Tier

“Mixes well-drawn character arcs and settings wonderfully fresh and creative yet somehow simultaneously nostalgic and comforting for a cinematic potion that feels like it was brewed just for me. Certainly one of the best of 2012, and arguably the best non-Pixar Disney animation since 1994’s The Lion King. Would make a great miniature film festival paired with Scott Pilgrim and Community’s 8-bit episode.” – Ytadel

9. Silver Linings Playbook – 7.5145 Average Tier

“This whimsical fantasy is strongest in its portrayal of broken people reaching out beyond themselves for a chance at healing. What’s on display here may be relatively mild forms of mental illness, but that doesn’t make the story any less true or impacting. Rather, the more comic tone sets this story apart from others that treat mental illness more directly, and, as a result, more seriously. I appreciated the film for what it was–snappy writing, strong performances, and an affecting conclusion.” – Icarus

8. The Imposter – 7.6344 Average Tier

“This is probably the closest a film has to come to “scaring” me since I realised that films aren’t scary. The story itself is terrifying enough but it increases tenfold upon the realisation that this is an actual documentary (I went into this completely blind). Incredibly well made and a fascinating, nail-biting experience. One of this years best.” – RapeyVessey

7. Holy Motors – 7.7216 Average Tier

“One could enjoy this just based on the “wtf” that it makes you feel, but there are a lot of weird movies. Holy Motors has some incredible scenes, such as the rendition of Let My Baby Ride, or the ending (it made me laugh). That’s the thing, for as odd as it is, and for how great the premise is, there is a point here (I don’t entirely know what it is, I just know it’s there, maaan). It uses music well, and the vignettes range from weird, to heart wrenching to violent… and it does it easily.” – Obdurate

6. Oslo, August 31st – 7.7450 Average Tier

“With a beautiful visual style, sensitively molded to the equally sensitive central character story, and some heartfelt acting, especially from the talented Anders Danielsen Lie, Joachim Triers existential drama creeps slowly but surely under your skin.” – Henrik

5. The Master – 7.7800 Average Tier

“Phoenix’s face is the star of the film, impeccably lit to accentuate all the brilliant contours of his thin, expressive mug. The cinematography, music, and performances all blend together to form Anderson’s most bizarre film yet, one that fabricates a mirror between the two main characters in their sexual passion, their vices, and their spirituality (which may all be the same thing). That’s a simplistic explanation for a theme far richer than I can briefly describe here. A beautiful work.” – Actionberg

4. Moonrise Kingdom – 7.8007 Average Tier

“Pierrot le fou for children. Wes Anderson for lovers. Bill Murray as an American treasure. Bruce Willis as someone who’s uncool. Edward Norton as a funny scoutmaster. A gorgeous film.” – wetwillies

3. Intouchables – 7.8318 Average Tier

“Touching from the very first frame, with a ton of great laughs convincingly delivered by a charming Omar Sy. The chemistry between Driss and Phillipe cannot be bought for money – A highly recommendable film wich I sat through with one big smile on my face…” – Bunken

2. Amour – 8.1968 Average Tier

“A heart-wrenching look at an elderly couple dealing with the trials of old age. As typical with Michael Haneke films, it has a mechanical feel due to slow pacing and an emphasis on quiet long-takes, but it is directed with the sure hand of a master filmmaker. The performances by Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant are stunning achievements of acting. Amour is one of the toughest films I have ever sat through, but it is a triumph of film-making that deserves all accolades it has received.” – DougieD

1. Django Unchained – 8.3413 Average Tier

“Tarantino’s Western pastiche may be more thoughtful and have more tenderness than much of his work, but when the blood flows, it gushes. The violence here comes from the brutality of slavery and bounty-hunting, both of which Django (Jamie Foxx) experiences, the latter as he seeks his beloved Broomhilda (Kerry Washington). Directed with great panache, well-written, and well-acted across the board–Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel L. Jackson are superb–it is a long but worthy tale.” – xacviant


Criticker’s Twenty Best Films of 2012: #11-20

2012 has come to a close, which means it’s Year-End-List Time: always our favorite season! As usual, we’ve sorted out best films of 2012, as decided by the users of Criticker. Here’s the first part of our annual list, which represents a broad swath of genres, from fantasy to action to … non-narrative documentary?

Agree with the list? Disagree? Regardless, you might want to conserve your outrage for a little while. Because the Top Ten of 2012 is coming up next!

20. Beasts of the Southern Wild – 7.0728 Average Tier

“It’s like George Washington crossed with When the Levees Broke, which is a pretty great combination. Other than its imaginative portrayal of the South – really brought to life with a fantastical setting, and some incredibly gorgeous and intimate cinematography – what stands out above all are the performances by amateurs Quvenzhané Wallis and Dwight Henry. They feel as real as any characters I’ve seen in a while. Props to the lovely musical score as well.” – Alex Watkins

19. Life of Pi – 7.1330 Average Tier

“Ang Lee’s adaptation is impeccably crafted; ought to be a lock for cinematography and special effects award categories. Beautiful to look at, solid all the way through, and with a memorable ending that I didn’t expect (haven’t read the novel). I don’t usually go for inspirational tales but, although it’s without question an Oscar-type movie, it’s pleasantly relaxed about its message. I found it thoroughly likeable. And I didn’t even get bored spending half the film at sea with a boy and a tiger.” – KasperL

18. Looper – 7.1601 Average Tier

“An exercise in style that mostly goes above its pulpy roots to create a thought provoking and entertaining tale of personal identity and the cause and effect of choices. It’s dark, dreary and occasionally violent but with a strong emotional core that prevents it from being too cynical or doom-saying. Questions do arise about possible changes in timelines that are never adequately addressed creating some sense of confusion that is hand-waved by telling us not to worry about it. But it’s all in fun” – ratedargh

17. Samsara – 7.2000 Average Tier

“The photography is astounding, and the colors pop off screen. Like Koyaaniqatsi, it has a message behind it, although a bit more heavy handed. But no matter what, this is life. This is the world we live in. And then some guy shoves clay on his face and goes crazy.” – TrixRabbi

16. Side By Side – 7.2143 Average Tier

“Nicely tracked history of digital filmmaking from an artistic perspective. It does a good job of getting a lot of voices in without losing their individual perspectives. The subject matter is really interesting , as is the way the film ties the technical and the creative ends together and shows how they can both complement each other and hinder each other.” – PeaceAnarchy

15. The Perks of Being a Wallflower – 7.2902 Average Tier

“Lerman kills it, hitting all the right notes as the (try not to vomit) misunderstood outsider searching for acceptance. The character could have been a terrible cliche; it’s to Lerman’s credit that he is not. Miller nearly steals the show and again defies stereotypes. Some eye-rolling earnestness, yes, but overall quite funny and always sympathetic to those who live and mean well. Saw it with an audience packed with teens and was delighted that they responded to it. Maybe there’s hope after all?” – hellsditch

14. The Dark Knight Rises – 7.2924 Average Tier

“Nolan’s Batman films have often been wrongly described as ‘gritty realism’. But this isn’t realistic. It is operatic. It is Shakespearian. This is human drama and morality writ large on the screen. It is epic in every sense of the word; in its heroic narrative, its ambition, its stunning IMAX visuals, its massive set pieces, and its stellar ensemble cast. This has its flaws (see: forced moments, plot holes, pacing), but it is still deeply emotional, perfectly twisted, and supremely satisfying.” – mwgerb

13. Argo – 7.3123 Average Tier

” Affleck has crafted a first-rate thriller, smartly keeping the tension high by often cutting back to the situation in Iran to remind us how much is at stake. The story speaks for itself, as it is fascinating and mostly true – but Affleck’s talent behind (and in front of) the camera really hones this potential. There is also some fun movie-in-a-movie commentary by the characters of Arkin and Goodman, and the film hits every note that it aims for.” – caprimode

12. Lincoln – 7.3851 Average Tier

” Spielberg’s best work since Catch Me If You Can. Unlike most of his films Lincoln shows restraint and a surprising lack of sentimentality. Its greatest strength lies in a brilliant screenplay that feels stagey at times, but is moving, informative and doesn’t have an ounce of fat. As a bonus you have great acting from nearly every cast member, from leads Daniel Day-Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones and Sally Field, to supporting roles by James Spader, Hal Holbrook, John Hawkes, JGL, and David Strathairn.” – DougieD

11. Seven Psychopaths – 7.4000 Average Tier

“Confounding, insane, adorable, ridiculous, nonsensical, thought-provoking. Seven Psychopaths is a lot of things and it does most all of them well.” – wokhedinn


The Ten Worst Films of 2012

Time for our annual year-end list which compiles the very worst films of 2012, as decided by the users of Criticker. As usual, the rules are simple — eligible films are those on the 2012 Reminder List for the 85th Oscars, which have at least fifty rankings at Criticker.

And without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, we humbly present the worst trash of the year, starting with #10:

10. Resident Evil: Retribution – 2.7579 Average Tier

“Pencil thin Milla supposedly reverts to being a normal human in the beginning yet she’s wielding a chain with a lock like a fucking ninja spinning upside down kicking zombies in the teeth. Anderson is such a mindless hack he can’t even keep up with all the storyline changes to the characters in his movie. The actors must have been standing in the same green screen room reading off teleprompter because that’s what the acting is like at times. Pretty cgi but shitastic everything else.” – CinemaAsia

9. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance – 2.7412 Average Tier

“A film in which a child jumps on Nicolas Cage and vomits fire into his face so he can turn into Ghost Rider should be awesome. But it just ins’t. Better than the first, but that isn’t saying much…” – WalkenRoll

8. A Thousand Words – 2.6486 Average Tier

“Wasting Eddie Murphy’s talent like this and what’s mostly gone before is probably the greatest waste of talent of his generation. This is mostly sit-com ad nauseum.” – http://www.criticker.com/profile/Stewball

7. Wrath of the Titans – 2.6234 Average Tier

“Despite a couple moments of visual inventiveness and splendor, this feels a lot more like watching a friend play a boss rush mode in a hack and slash video game than a movie. Outside of a few likable bits with Toby Kebbell’s character Agenor, there’s basically nothing resembling a genuine, human moment in its two hours (ironic for a film exploring the value of humanity). Worse than any of the three Transformers films, honestly.” – Ytadel

6. Chernobyl Diaries – 2.6119 Average Tier

“Six unlikable people do unlikable things until some radiation people kill them in the dark where we can’t see anything.” – SirStuckey

5. Paranormal Activity 4 – 2.5125 Average Tier

“If you dislike the first 3, you’ll hate this one. If you like the first 3, you’ll hate this one” – ezpkns34

4. The Cold Light of Day – 2.3898 Average Tier

“Henry Cavill’s performance and character is terrible and Weaver looks more tired than ever. Pure Euro-trash.” – Ofterdingen

3. One for the Money – 2.1277 Average Tier

“A long, long way from KNOCKED UP, Katherine Heigl attempts to start a franchise of her own: an adaptation of the Stephanie Plum novels. However good the novels may be, for the sake of the cinema, I hope no more films are made. Heigl’s Plum is annoyingly incompetent, whiny, and unfunny, not helped by a wretched script: a boring, convoluted mystery packed with unlikable, sometimes offensive characters, like Jason O’Mara’s obnoxious love interest. A really painful experience from start to finish.” – xacviant

2. Piranha 3DD – 1.8855 Average Tier

“Where the original was a hilarious sendup to grindhouse-style b-movie gore, this sequel is an unfunny, vulgar, stupid, uninspired piece of worthless shit that should have gone directly to dvd, if that.” – mark83

1. The Devil Inside – 1.8547 Average Tier

“‘We know we fucked up so we’re just going to end this now, whatever, fuck ya’llololo’ Still laughing over that ending, oh my goodness. It’s amazing that the worst movie of the year came out the first week of January, well done William Brent Bell!” – BillyShears

2011’s Ten Worst Movies

Here we are, the absolutely worst films of 2011, as rated by you. The Smurfs and Justin Bieber don’t make the list… but Gary Oldman and Nicolas Cage do. Our condolences go out to anyone who’s had the misfortune of seeing one of these 10 stinkers.

10. Apollo 18 – 2.75 Average Tier

“Totally Boring. You’re just sittin’ there, waitin for some suspense or shocking moments, but nothing comes around. And then, behind all those boring scenes, they are full of fails. Can someone tell how did they get the footage to earth, when they never went back to the moon?” – Fincky

9. Dream House – 2.67 Average Tier

“An absolute atrocity of M. Night Shyamalan-esque plot devices and empty, meaningless narrative methods. The stacked cast of Daniel Craig, Naomi Watts, and Rachel Weisz are completely wasted and led to give one-sided, static emotional performances reminiscent of what you might see in a cheesy, soap-opera mystery. The movie twists and twists until all of its potential complexities and themes are unwoven into a showing of simple, antiquated, and predictable suspense-less fluff.” – HiResDes

8. Something Borrowed – 2.62 Average Tier

“Holy shit, please kill me now. Not only are almost all the characters unlikable, but they are just terrible people. Even the one likable character who I will call Jim Halpert because that is the role he plays in everything (type cast much) was a terrible person. On second thought, don’t kill me, I’m already on it.” – CMonster

7. Zookeeper – 2.54 Average Tier

“Two hot women falling for a fat guy just because he is nice. That’s more unbelievable then animals talking.” – dst7175

6. Beastly – 2.53 Average Tier

“Ugh, this movie is so painfully shitty that you’d have spent your time better if you scraped the muscles off your legs. And why is it that every time I see Alex Pettyfer in a movie my dislike for him grows just a little more?” – Baby Fish

5. Conan the Barbarian – 2.51 Average Tier

“at some point, enough people with more than enough money thought THIS was a good idea. and that bothers me about this world…” – guy piranha

4. Red Riding Hood – 2.4 Average Tier

“A Gothic fairytale created by a team of middle managers, this is nothing more that a checklist of features needed to sell tickets to the Twilight demographic. A nameless medieval European village full of beautiful all-American teens with flawless makeup (including the boys), the worst dance party since The Matrix Reloaded, buckets of teen angst, terrible acting, woeful CGI and an ending so bad it makes the previous 80 minutes of mediocrity seem like high art. Utterly soulless.” – misterlizard

3. Season of the Witch – 2.36 Average Tier

“So… how many movies does Nicholas Cage have to make before the IRS leaves him alone and he can finally go back to making decent movies instead of this crap…” – DaeSanye

2. The Roommate – 2.21 Average Tier

“Another film for philistines, The Roommate is an asinine rendition of Single White Female-level cliches of psycho friend “horror” whose banality and dopiness constitutes an assault on film culture that’s formed out of filmmakers like Christian E. Christiansen pandering to the lowest common denominator. Cinematic portrayals of psychopathy have rarely been so inane but never has stupidity and superficiality been so broadly held up as virtuous — not even by Cameron Crowe!” – tomelce

1. Abduction – 1.95 Average Tier

‘I walk around like everybody else but inside I just feel like I’m a stranger in my own life.’ Man, am I glad this dialog was improvised and no-one actually wrote this script. Am I right guys? … Guys?” – calharding

 


Criticker’s Best Films of 2011, #1 – #10

Without a doubt, there are some surprises in the list of the top ten movies of 2011. Documentaries, foreign dramas, cancer, sex addicts all make the cut… but what was the number one film of the year?

Our criteria in compiling the list was that the film has to be on the list of Oscar-eligible films for 2011, and also have received at least 50 rankings at Criticker.

Check out the first part of our list!

10. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – 7.38 Average Tier

“In an era when so-called “British comedy(?)” and CGI schlockfests are popular, it is remarkably refreshing to see such an intelligent espionage film do so well. The phenomenal performances (Oldman turns in what could possibly be his best straight acting role to date) and the gripping, suspenseful story are undoubtedly the films strong points, as well as how beautiful it looks, but there is quite a lot to take in at a fast rate and it can be difficult to keep up at times. One of this years best.” – RapeyVessey

9. 50/50 – 7.49 Average Tier

“I was legitimately surprised at how good this was. It wasn’t a black comedy or a dramedy, but something that felt altogether different. Like a comedy and a drama woven together but the strands don’t really touch, leaving the other to do its thing, which each does really well. I can’t picture a cancer movie being able to do it better. JGL is great. Kendrick was pretty good. The real surprise was Seth Rogen. To be honest, if I have cancer, I want Rogen’s character to be my friend.” – CMonster

8. Shame – 7.5 Average Tier

“A strong and assured work. It’s tempting to call it an instant classic, Fassbender’s character likely to etch itself into your memory for a long time.” – KasperL

7. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – 7.59 Average Tier

“Fincher hasn’t made something this unsettling since Seven. It’s awesome. Also, say what you will about the rest of the movie, but that opening credits sequence is a fucking trip.” – nateb

6. Hugo – 7.65 Average Tier

“It may be a detour for Scorsese, but it’s also, surprisingly, the most autobiographical film he’s ever made, and one of his most heartfelt as a result. Its moderate flaws (primarily structural) are easy to forgive because it’s never less than charming or entertaining, and for any film geek out there, very touching as well. And the film’s evocation of 1930s Paris is absolutely fantastic.” – Criminal5

5. The Artist – 8.01 Average Tier

“Forget the fact that this is a silent film done in black and white. As risky as that is, balancing the tone of a film that’s a throwback to the 1920’s era of silent film while still feeling fresh and modern is what’s really impressive. As most modern film and television, ‘The Artist’ is self-aware, but it never crosses into a cliche or pretentious territory. It always feels natural within the story. Watching it with a crowd is a must to complete the feeling of a by-gone era. Extremely well done.” – canadianor

4. Drive – 8.02 Average Tier

“Akin to Soderberg’s The Limey, Drive is more of a visceral reflection, than the heist-movie the trailer and plot suggest, but that said, it offers both suspenseful chases and some of the most graphic violence this side of Irréversible. All-in-all: a pulp-story, that with few modifications could have been a random Jason Statham actioner, is given a gritty art-house overhaul by the constantly evolving talent of Nicolas Winding Refn and the brilliant cast.” – FrederikA

3. Take Shelter – 8.12 Average Tier

“Great and engaging from start to finish. It left me thinking about the film for a few days after as it has a particular mood and atmosphere that’s not quite horror, but disturbing never the less.” – MrGreedy

2. Senna – 8.31 Average Tier

“It really is astounding how like a film Senna’s life was – so of course, this is a gripping documentary. However, it’s also incredibly moving – I cried at the ending – and brilliantly edited.” – MinuteMaker

1. A Separation – 8.82 Average Tier

“One might teeter on the feeling that there’s just too much going on in Farhadi’s coming-of-age/class warfare/kitchen sink drama, but the director handles it all so deftly and with such respect for his characters that the film ends up enriched by its various dramas instead of bogged down in them.” – graveyardtan

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