My favourite films of 2011 (so far)

13) Wrecked

By far the most underrated and overlooked film of the year. The whole world went gaga over '127 Hours' and 'Buried', and no one bothered to look at this excellent single-location psychological thriller. Features a stunning performance from Adrien Brody.

12) 13 Assassins

Takashi Miike takes a break from the dementia of 'Audition' and 'Ichi the killer' and delivers a good ol' fashioned Samurai epic. The epic final hour of battle makes up for the feeble character development in the preceding hour.

11) Submarine

Comedian Richard Ayoyade makes an absolutely brilliant debut with this quirky, bittersweet British dramedy. Not enough can be said about the young Craig Roberts who comes across as a younger avatar of Dustin Hoffman.

10) We are what we are

This one came out of nowhere. 'We are what we are' is a gripping, devastating story of  an urban Mexican family with a dark, horrifying secret. Effortlessly mixes dread and drama.

9) Insidious

James Wan and Leigh Whannel, the geniuses behind the original 'Saw' dole up an exceptional homage to 'Poltergeist'. Creepy as hell. Does away with most of the horror film cliches. What impressed me the most was that it was made for just over $1 million, yet looked like a big budget thriller.

8) Source Code

The first (and frankly the only true) summer blockbuster of the year. Duncan Jones practically shouts at our faces that 'Moon' wasn't a fluke. Smart, taut thriller that exudes very high repeat value.

7) Cold Fish

Watching this film feels like sticking one's head out the window of a speeding bullet train. Shion Sono, the madman behind the classics 'Suicide Club', 'Strange Circus' and 'Love Exposure' doles up his most accomplished, most fucked up film to date. Stay away if you've a weak stomach. 

 6) Rango

What a magnificent piece of cinema. Spits in the face of 3D. For the first time in a decade, a Pixar product didn't turn out to be the finest animated feature of the year.

5) Confessions

Don't be fooled by the unassuming poster. 'Kokuhaku' (Confessions) is a goosebump-inducing, electrifying, visceral trip that sheds a light on the increasingly disturbed minds of Japanese kids. Some of the plot twists in the film are downright unsettling. 

4) Senna

A glorious ode to one of the greatest Formula 1 drivers. The best documentary I have personally seen since 'Man On Wire'. Director Asif Kapadia conjures some fascinating footage of the underbelly of F1. Whether or not you are familiar with F1, 'Senna' will shatter you with it's final scene.

3) Incendies

Vivid. Stunning. Haunting. Masterpiece. Features a plot that is as powerful as it's imagery. Blew me away.

2) Tree of Life

A visual, aural, narrative triumph. Terrence Malick's latest transcends magnum opus status.

1) I Saw the Devil

You need an oxygen mask to watch this mother of all serial killer movies. 'I saw the devil' is one of the bloodiest, most violent films ever made. Korean maestro Kim ji Woon directs the gore and savagery with artistry and style, never once stooping to the decadence that is generally found in extreme European films. Choi Min Sik, the protagonist of 'Oldboy' plays the hair-raising villain with primeval ferocity. As of now, 'I saw the Devil' stands as the best damn Asian thriller since the 'Vengeance trilogy'.

No comments: