by / December 22nd, 2011 /

Top Story: State’s top 15 films of 2011

We have a small pool of film writers at State so compiling this list was a lot easier than collating the 40 people who submitted to the top albums of 2011 list. Our intention here is to represent a tasty selection of films you may have missed if you didn’t got the cinema as regularly as these film fantatics. Thanks to the film team and we’re looking to 2012’s cinematic gems…

1. Drive

There’s a lot of staring. Middle distance longing. There’s an anti-hero, the strong silent type – Ryan Gosling step forward and take that bow. There’s Albert Brooks being really mean. And I mean of the magnetically terrifying sort. Few films this year induced such a buzz upon lights up. For 100 minutes of knock-out blow adrenaline rush, that elevator sequence and a smashing soundtrack, Drive is the year’s most enjoyable cinematic experience. One women even filed a class action suit saying there wasn’t enough actual driving. She didn’t get it. The rest of us did. (Barry Bracken)

2. The Fighter

Probably most aptly named film of the year, The Fighter delivered as a sports movie, a family drama and even a blue-collar comedy. Mark Wahlberg was innocent and determined as Micky Ward, whose punch-ups within the ring were nearly as taxing as dealing with his overbearing mother, fiery sisters and deadbeat brother (a never-better Christian Bale). (Joe Griffin)

3. True Grit

The Ladykillers is a large blemish on The Coen Brothers otherwise fairly clean CV, possibly showing a chink in their armour when it comes to remaking a loved classic. The trepidation surrounding their remake of True Grit was understandable, but we had nothing to worry about. Jeff Bridges puts in another stalwart performance as drunken curmudgeon Rooster Cogburn with Matt Damon again showing what a wonderful knack for comedy he has. This is unmistakably Hailee Steinfeld’s movie as she delivers one of the greatest debuts in film history and was bafflingly overlooked for a Best Actress in a Leading role nod in the 2011 Oscars. (Dave Higgins)

4. Senna

You don’t need to be a petrolhead to enjoy and appreciate this beautiful profile of Brazilian racing legend Ayrton Senna. A composition of archival footage that is masterfully assembled, it is a fine tribute to this humble, gracious sportsman. His tragic death at the age of 34 obviously makes for an incredibly sad conclusion, but his life is more than adequately celebrated here by director Asif Kapadia. (Eimear Nic An Bhaird)

5. Submarine

Now here’s one. An utterly charming, beautifully cultivated, visually adroit, darkly comic exploration of one schoolboy’s imagined grandeur brought to you by… Moss from The IT Crowd. With his debut feature Richard Ayoade has revealed himself as an immensely talented writer / director. It also introduced us to two bright new talents in our protagonists Oliver and Jordana as played by Craig Roberts and Yasmin Paige. And watch for Paddy Considine’s hilarious turn as a new age guru! A gem. (Barry Bracken)

6. Kill List

The less said about Kill List, the better the effect it has. A shocking mutation that’s equal parts Ken Loach, Shane Meadows and Robin Hardy, it turned out to be 2011’s most visceral and shocking movie. Perfectly acted and intrusively shot, Kill List follows two hitmen undertaking mundane contracts before going on a hellish descent that will leave you stunned and with a sickening unease in your stomach. Just see it. (Dave Higgins)

7. We Need To Talk About Kevin

Lynne Ramsay’s screen adaptation of the bestselling book is a powerful piece of work that will leave quite an impression. The story of a mother trying to come to terms with a high school massacre committed by her son, it makes for uncomfortable, yet compelling, viewing. Superb acting from Tilda Swinton and the variously-aged Kevins, as well as the skillfully employed soundtrack are but two of the many notable aspects of this chilling film. (Eimear Nic An Bhaird)

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  • Abe

    Haha, I still dont get if Chris’ accent was meant to be American or Irish in Bridesmaids

    It all went very ‘Fassbender in X-men First Class’ 😛

  • I though Insidious was rubbish. Loved Benda Bilili & Incendies though