Top 20 Films To See In 2011

Here are the top 20 films to see in 2011, unless you fancy taking it even further and looking just at superhero films to see in 2011:

20. Fast Five (10th June 2011)

Yes. I realize Vin Diesel and Paul Walker have had their ups and downs when it comes to the success of the Fast and the Furious series. The movies aren’t for everyone, showcasing lots of terrible acting, but the series has always had a special place in my heart – not Tokyo Drift though, that deserves a special place in Hell. Car wheelies, NO2 and Jordana Brewster? Fast Five can’t be that bad.

Read our Fast Five review

19. The Green Hornet (14th January 2011)

Picture a superhero in your head right now. Got it? I bet you it wasn’t Seth Rogen. Be that as it may, the comedy star is set as the lead in the latest comic book made into a movie, The Green Hornet. Joining him is fearless martial arts sidekick Kato (Jay Chou), with Christoph “Godlike” Waltz playing the villain and Cameron Diaz rounding off the stellar cast. From what’s on display so far the film looks great, promising both action and comedy.

Read our The Green Hornet review

18. Battle: Los Angeles (11th March 2011)

Skyline and Battle: Los Angeles share a lot of similarities. Alien invasion, exploding cities, small groups of people combating ET menace etc. However, Skyline was terrible – whereas Battle: Los Angeles has at least the opportunity to prove itself more than just a rehash of every single invasion film before it. Maybe using Skyline as an example of what not to do. Hopefully the addition of real actors in this alien sci-fi epic will assist the attempt. Harvey Dent has already got me sold.

Read our Battle: Los Angeles review

17. The Rite (28th January 2011)

Creepy, creepy stuff all those exorcism shenanigans. Holy water this, Our Father that – makes for pretty compelling stuff. Then enter the master of creeping-the-hell-out-of-an-audience-just-with-a-glance Anthony Hopkins and you’ve got something to turn a whole bunch of heads. All the way round. Get it? *Wipe tear* The Rite follows Hopkins’ character as he goes to Italy…wait for it…to Exorcism School. I’m not kidding. It will so be worth it if this once and for all shows the world that Paranormal Activity is a kids film in comparison.

Read our The Rite review

16. Source Code (11th March 2011)

Jake Gyllenhaal is the lead in this detective sci-fi thriller. When a train explodes, presumably due to a bomb rather than savage raccoons, Gyllenhaal is inserted into the “code” (consciousness) of one of the passengers to relive the event and discover what really happened. Having only 8 minutes to do so each time, the limit to the insertions, and with time slowly running out, Source Code could prove to be one of the most exciting films of 2011.

Read our Source Code review

15. Contagion (21st October 2011)

Meet your team of CDC (Centre for Disease Control) doctors – Marion Cotillard, Larry Fishburne and Kate Winslet, with Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow thrown in for good measure. The only one missing is Dustin Hoffman and a monkey – yes you catch on quickly, this may very well be exactly like Outbreak. Except without a monkey. The basic outline is that a crack team of doctors has to deal with some form of very nasty swine/chicken/Twilight flu and the hazards that go along with the job. My tone is mocking but I’m actually looking forward to this, the cast alone is enough to get the interest buds piqued. Plus it’s been a long time since there was a intense thriller with the kind of story Contagion is trying to get at. Just sad, really, that there won’t be a monkey…*sniff*

Read our Contagion review

14. Super 8 (10th June 2011)

Hearken to me! Hearken to me! I know the secrets of Super 8! It’s about something big trying to break out of a train. I’m pretty sure there is more to that but in typical J.J. Abrams style, the story concerning this film is is being kept close to the chest. However, Super 8 has got people interested for that exact reason – it is after all done by the guy who kept people guessing for nearly six years about what was happening on Lost. Mind you, people still are.

Read our Super 8 review

13. X-Men: First Class (2nd June 2011)

The first X-Men will always have a special place in film history. It was the first comic book adaptation to show audiences – and studios – that films depicting spandex wearing heroes could be quite a spectacle to behold. Thus began the “Marvel/DC Effect” with every possible comic being put forward as a potential film franchise. What is refreshing about X-Men: First Class is that it really appears to be going back to the beginning of the X-men story; looking into the origins of the quintessential battle between good and evil. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, young Xavier and Magneto respectively, form the leads with support from the beautiful Rose Byrne.

Read our X-men: First Class review

12. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (16th December 2011)

Guy Ritchie is usually known for his more low-key British gangster films like Snatch or Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, which is why when it came to him directing Sherlock Holmes there were a lot of people, myself included, who were surprised he took the job. Fortunately he did and he added his own explosion-loving touch to the film. Robert Downey Jr. stole the show as per usual and even Jude Law was bearable. The second instalment, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, unites the pair yet again in what is likely to be one of the better action/comedies of the year.

11. I Am Number Four (18th February 2011)

Now this looks epic! Alex Pettyfer, whom you may remember from Alex Rider: Stormbreaker, takes up the lead as Number Four in this sci-fi film about people with groovy powers who are being hunted by…something – the trailer isn’t too specific. But what the I Am Number Four trailer does show off looks really good, with badass people in black coats being badass and people with glowing hands throwing stuff around. With luck this might very well turn into the next big sci/fi franchise.

10. The Adventures of TinTin: The Secret of the Unicorn (26th October 2011)

Everybody’s favourite Belgian reporter, cow-licked hair and all, is making his way to the big screen in The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn. Thankfully veering well clear of live action, this Steven Spielberg-directed film could very well be the animation of the year. Voices are provided by Jamie Bell, Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis. Phew. Not bad.

9. Thor (29th April 2011)

Definitely one of the most anticipated comic book films of 2011. Thor (with the titular hero being played by Star Trek’s Chris Hemworth) will follow the rise of the legendary warrior/demigod of Norse mythology. Sneakily referred to at the end of Iron Man 2, past the credits that is, Thor will form part of Joss Whedon‘s super-tastic-hero entourage of The Avengers for 2012 and promises to be one of the biggest releases yet. Oh and Natalie Portman is in it as well. As if a blond giant wielding a massive hammer (plus BAFTA Rising Star nominee Tom Hiddleston with a spear and a horny helmet) wasn’t enough.

8. Cowboys & Aliens (12th August 2011)

Cowboys. Check. Aliens. Check. Epic looking bracelet that’s actually the BFG in disguise. Double check. There isn’t too much more that needs to be said about Cowboys & Aliens other than Bond front man Daniel Craig and Professor Jones/Harrison Ford are in it. This is yet another ‘comic books turned into movies’ film that will no doubt be jam-packed full of action and given the featured picture – an intriguing story to the origin of aliens in the wild west.

Read our Cowboys & Aliens review

7. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (18th May 2011)

Johnny Depp returns as the lovable scallywag Captain Jack Sparrow, this time in search of the fountain of youth rather than just rum in the latest film in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Although it seems likely that there will be an abundance of that too. Joining him this time are newcomers to the series: Ian Mcshane as Blackbear, and Penelope Cruz, as…well presumably as a substitute for Keira Knightley’s disappearance from the franchise. Thankfully she did take Orlando Bloom with her.

Read our Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides review

6. Captain America: The First Avenger (22nd July 2011)

Falling well short of subtlety, Captain America: The First Avenger, is nonetheless is probably the biggest comic book adaptation to look out for in 2011. BAFTA Rising Star nominee Chris Evans takes up another superhero mantle, previously playing the Human Torch, as the lead and is joined by Hugo Weaving, Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel “I’m-always-yelling-in-movies” Jackson. While there are an abundance of comic book adaptations due in 2011, just have another look at this list, Captain America: The First Avenger seems to be trying to set itself apart as far as story and characters are concerned – and it’s the reason it actually looks pretty darn good. That and the fact that for the next two years Joss Whedon will have a definite influence in whatever has an Avengers tag.

Read our Captain America: The First Avenger review

5. 127 Hours (7th January 2011)

Director Danny Boyle has created some of the most intense and memorable films in history. Trainspotting, The Beach, Sunshine and Slumdog Millionaire – not too many directors can lay down a list as impressive as that. And 127 hours definitely seems to be heading in the same direction as the previous successes. Detailing the incredible story of a hiker’s survival, courtesy of James Franco in the lead, 127 Hours looks incredible and while the story is eerily intense due to the real life conclusion, Boyle might be up for further Oscar recognition with this gem.

Read our 127 Hours review

4. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey(31st December 2011)

It’s been a long road for The Hobbit. *Smirk*. Yes terrible puns aside, the ‘prequel’ to Peter Jackson’s epic Lord of the Rings has finally gotten itself a release date. For quite some time it was feared the project would never get off the ground but it seems New Zealand hasn’t had enough yet of Middle-Earthness and I’m incredibly grateful for that. LOTR was possible the greatest trilogy of all time – other than the Godfather series of course or Jurassic Park. Minus the second two that is. But if The Hobbit: Part I (since renamed The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey) is done on the same scale as Jackson’s previous venture with Tolkien’s story he could once again raise the bar for fantasy – something that hasn’t been done since his first foray into Middle Earth.

3. Sucker Punch (25th of March 2011)

Sweet baby Jesus. Emily Browning…erm…I don’t know how to say this – but will you marry me? Zack “Slow-Mo” Snyder, director of such epics as 300 and Watchmen, has officially won me over yet again with Sucker Punch. A film so ludicrous in content it’s almost too good to be true. Guns, explosions, giant samurai facing off against girls with swords and a giant dragon flying around WWI-esque trenches! Plus Emily Browning! Is there no end to the awesome? Maintaining his recognizable visual style, putting up a story that while completely unlikely is still fairly intriguing – damn, we salute you!

Read our Sucker Punch review

2. The Hangover Part II (27th May 2011)

A lot of people had never heard of Zach Galifianakis before The Hangover. Those fortunate of us had however gotten a taste in Out Cold, and were wondering when the funny man would pop his bearded head out again. He did so gloriously with 2009 hit The Hangover, and there’s no doubt that he contributed a massive amount to the film’s success. He returns now with his “Wolf Pack” in the second instalment and number 2 on this list for Top 20 Films To See In 2011 in The Hangover Part 2. While exact details are sketchy in terms of story – it’s safe to say the key is in the title. With cameos from former US President Bill Clinton and the surprisingly funny Mike Tyson, this will definitely be one of the funniest films of 2011.

Read our The Hangover Part II review

And coming in at Number 1…

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (15th July 2011)

The Harry Potter series took the world by storm and audiences watched gleefully as both the story and characters evolved over the ten years the films have spanned. The latest film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, has broken box office records, proving that we all have a soft spot for ‘the boy who lived’. And possibly that Emma Watson needs to disregard what I said about Emily Browning and consider herself proposed to as well. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 screens July 15th and is 2011’s number one film to see. Be sure you watch it – it’s the end of an era.

And that’s that! From comic book heroes, pirates and aliens – to girls with katanas, drunken bearded men and boy wizards, these are The Top 20 Films To See in 2011 laid out so beautifully in front of you! See anything you like?

Read our Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 review

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More top movie guides on Best For Film:

Best Comedy Films in 2011
Top 10 Superhero films to see in 2011
Top 13 Animated Films out in 2011

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