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Year-End List 2011: 20 Best Movies

For my obligatory year end count. 97 movies in 12 months. Yes, I surpassed my personal record of 65 movies from last year. Yay!

Now, I wouldn't say that it was a lousy year for movies this year, but if I'm being honest - unlike the past year - making this list is particularly hard for lack of stand out films. Yes, there were a handful of good films this year, but only few were incredibly memorable.

Oh, and since I'm not particularly fond of independent films - just my personal preference. Sue me! - so better not bash me for not including most of them in this list. Also, it’s not physically and financially possible for me to go and watch ALL films that were released this year, so just chill. Haha. This is just for fun.

So, without further ado, DAM NATION presents the 20 Best Movies of 2011..

20. Won't Last A Day Without You
".. while the inherent cheesiness and predictability cannot be avoided, I genuinely enjoyed the film. It was a sweet, wonderful and enjoyable romantic flick. Absolutely better than the Philippine's highest grossing local film EVER. Haha."

19. X-Men: First Class
".. the movie was a surprising treat. At the very least, First Class managed to save a series that I had written off. This, to me, would either be the final nail in the coffin or a much needed revival of the franchise. I'm glad it turned out to be the latter."

18. Captain America: The First Avenger
".. exactly what it sets out to be - a solid blockbuster film that was guaranteed to entertain. It's flawed - no question about that - but it was immensely enjoyable. And yes, a good set-up for The Avengers next year."

17. The Adventures Of Tintin
".. a surprisingly good movie with a decent enough story of adventure, a couple of laughs and visual effects that were immeasurably impressive. If only the plot was as tight as the aesthetics, this would've been epic."

16. Limitless
"It did not delve deep into anything nor did it try to achieve something groundbreaking. What Limitless did though was to provide a sharp, polished entertainment complete with a fantastic script, decent direction, wonderful acting and some exceptional editing. Yes, there was a feeling of satisfaction after watching this film."

15. Paranormal Activity 3
".. ended up being possibly my favorite of the franchise. Yes, it didn't have the freshness of the original, but this was easily the creepiest of the three."

14. Zombadings: Patayin sa Shokot Si Remington
I didn't expect anything coming into this, but Zombadings was a shockingly hilarious film. From the amazing performances to the tight script and even to the deliciously over-the-top plot, this film - in Remington's tone - was a WINNER! Haha.

13. Kung Fu Panda 2
"With superb animation, interesting characters, not to mention great humor, Kung Fu Panda 2 ranks among the best films Dreamworks has ever done."

12. Hanna
A thoughtful, clever and good character driven action film in the midst of Hollywood's barrage of over the top action set pieces with little to no heart. Simple yet effective.

11. Fast Five
".. wasn't grand cinema - even as far as action movies went. No ground was broken, the schemes were too elaborate and the physics weren't very probable. But movies should be judged primarily on how well they can hold up to the promise of what they try to be. And yes, the movie succeeded on that. A great piece of entertainment."

10. Tangled
"I highly recommend this film. With an outstanding animation and an abundance of heart, Tangled is absolutely what I would wish for in a fairy tale: remarkable, glorious and, of course, magical. It's a movie that's very hard NOT to like."

09. Super 8
".. steadily reminded me of E.T, but still was a unique summer flick on its own. It wasn't perfect by any means, but it's a rather brilliant science fiction thriller. Wonderful cast. Solid storyline. Brilliant writing. Amazing sound effects. Stunning special effects."

08. Thor
"This could've been potentially campy and cheesy, but somehow the people behind it turned it into a powerful and strangely relatable story. Possibly the best film Marvel Studios has produced in recent years. Oh, and I'll even go there - the best superhero movie since The Dark Knight. Sue me."

07. Real Steel
".. it's awfully rare when there's so much smashing of metal against metal to actually find some humanity and a REAL story to go along with it. Guess what? Real Steel did just that to great effect."

06. Crazy Stupid Love
".. a hilarious and deftly thoughtful movie about love. Astonishing performances and sublime writing. It was indeed a thoroughly clever and impressive film that shouldn't be missed. And just like love, it was bittersweet."

05. Source Code
"It was clever, oddly engaging and surprisingly focused. Possibly the first movie this year where I felt so compelled to give my full attention to. I got shockingly hooked and was overly interested in every moment of it. And yes, it actually gave me a good adrenalin rush, which recent action/thriller films failed to do so. One of the craftiest and satisfying thrillers this year by leaps and bounds! Enough said."

04. Drive
A film that packs a bloody punch. I barely knew what I was watching until the film developed into something totally unexpected. Perfectly executed. Compelling characters. Strangely awesome soundtrack. Refreshing. Oh, and Ryan Gosling was so intense, his presence just bounced off the screen - and he hardly said anything the entire movie.

03. Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
"I've never been hugely passionate about the Mission: Impossible franchise, but this, I dare say, was one of the finest action films this year. It was immensely enjoyable because unlike many of the films out there, this one got some serious spunk!"

02. Bridesmaids
"I'll go out on a limb and say that Bridesmaids will probably be THE funniest movie of the year - and that's a huge statement. I laughed so hard that I cried. Heck, I even clapped in one of the film's most hysterical scenes. Haha. In an era saturated with unnecessary sequels, I actually left the movie hoping to see these girls again - and  that's a rare feeling these days."

01. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
".. monumental achievement for the Harry Potter franchise. A beautiful farewell for a HUGE series like this. Sweeping cinematography. Immersing score. Amazing acting performances. Compelling story. Yes, it's the best I could have hoped for and more. Goodbye, Harry Potter!"
Year-End List 2011: 20 Best Movies Reviewed by DAM on 11:04 PM Rating: 5

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