Juan’s Top 25 of 2011

15. War Horse (dir. Steven Spielberg)

An enormous cast of characters and some stunning direction and technical work from Spielberg make War Horse one of my must-watch films of the year. Sure, it’s sentimental, but who cares? Sometimes movies should be sentimental and this is one where it works just fine. There aren’t really any stand-out performances in it, but everyone contributes just the right amount of energy to this wonderful war film.

14. Young Adult (dir. Jason Reitman)

I never expected to ever say that I wholeheartedly loved one of Diablo Cody’s screenplays (let’s face it — Juno is just okay and Jennifer’s Body is the worst), but this one swept me off my feet. Theron’s performance as Mavis is outstanding and Patton Oswalt does just as terrifically. It really makes me wonder why they both haven’t been more hailed this year. Young Adult is one of the two best character studies of the year and probably my favorite Jason Reitman film of all time.

13. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (dir. David Fincher)

Everyone bitches and bitches about how this is a “remake” and blah blah fucking blah, but it’s a badass movie and Rooney Mara is awesome in it. David Fincher does a great job at working this adaptation into his own style — much like Zodiac — making it fit well within his filmography. Plus, Daniel Craig yelling “CAT” at the top of his lungs is the funniest one-word quote of the century.

12. The Adventures of Tintin (dir. Steven Spielberg)

Wowza! Who knew Spielberg had it in him to make what I consider the best animated film of the year?* Few people can really take the risk on adapting a series that’s mostly popular in Europe and attempt to bring it to the US, but it was a risk well-worth taking. The animation is truly riveting, the music is upbeat and entertaining, and the voice acting brings you into this wonderful world that Spielberg has created. Plus, the 3D is fucking awesome and you should all experience it in 3D at least once.

*I did because he can do anything, duh

11. Super 8 (dir. J.J. Abrams)

Forgive me for this line, but Super 8 was super great. Aside from some gratuitous lens flare (lol silly j.j.), almost everything about this movie was pure Spielberg and I loved it. As you can tell — from the fact that both of Spielberg’s films this year are in my top fifteen — I really love the man and it’s so interesting to see the way Abrams mixes his own work with the work of a man he appreciates so much. An alien, some kids running around, and good old-fashioned filmmaking always makes for a movie worth watching.

Juan Barquin

Just yer average twenty-something college student with no time on his hands who ends up watching (and writing) too many movies and shows for his own good.

18 Responses

  1. Juan I applaud your list. but did you not see Take Shelter? or did it just not make in your top?

    • Juan Barquin says:

      @Cinema Fanatic, I never got to watch it. The only place it released here in Miami was this tiny arthouse theater with a screen the size of my face that’s really cramped and far away. It was also only a two day release, so I got royally fucked over with that one.

    • Juan Barquin says:

      @Cinema Fanatic, Getting that movie online for me to watch is one of the few reasons I wholeheartedly support piracy lol

  2. Julyssa says:

    You are my hero! I am still struggling with my top 25 in Korean music.

  3. amy says:

    This is a dedicated list. xD I disagree a bit with your intro statement, I didn’t think it was such a great year for film. I mean, it was a good year, but not in the amount where you have to ask yourself in sudden hysterics “OMGGG, which one do I love the mostttttt??? I CANNNNOTTT CHOOOOOSE~~~” I think that happened to me in 2006 or 2008 xD

    • Juan Barquin says:

      @amy, what are you talking about omg do you understand how hard it was for me to organize my top ten? It was BRUTAL. They’re all such wonderful films in their own way and it was so hard to properly organize them. The only ones I knew for sure were #1 and then 2-4 (which were also hard to organize fairly because they’re all flawless).

      • amy says:

        @Juan Barquin, yeah. that feeling. Hasn’t happened to me since 2008. If you check my MUBI list, it’s fairly slim compared to previous years.

        And I’m completely disconnected from award season this year. It’s the first time in… many years since I miss all the award shows. I really don’t know what it is… I used to be the one reserving the day, and showering early pretending to prep for the award show and watch it all… not this year.

        Anyway – I want to shock you with this. Did you know The Muppets only stayed 2 weeks at the theater down here? I tried to watch it two weeks ago, and it was already gone despite it opening on Xmas week.

  4. Camiele says:

    Damn, I’m sooooo behind! I need to see ALL of these films. I’m most interested in My Week With Marilyn, Winnie the Pooh, The Muppets, Bridesmaids, and Shame, though apparently I need to see Drive. So, I’ve got LOADS to catch up on. I haven’t been able to actually see anything really for two or three years…yeah, it’s been that long.

    Thanks for the list. Now I know where I need to start :)

  5. Rodrigo says:

    I haven’t seen all the films yet. :(

    While I agree that TOL should be seen in Blu-Ray because it’s graphically stunning and has really great music, I wouldn’t rank it above Drive and Midnight in Paris.

  6. Eric says:

    Great list. Similar to mine. You should do a Top 25 worst.

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