johnlink’s 2011 movie review

This is my third complete year ranking movies. It’s been a blast thus far, and I hope to continue to do it for many years to come. Hit the 300 movie milestone this year. Doing 300 movie reviews is much more entertaining than watching the movie 300. But, well, that’s just a cheap shot. Anyway, here we go…

Same disclaimers as always: This list will be as organized as possible, but I am giving a warning in advance, that there will probably be a lot of information which seems mundane.

This is NOT a list of movies of 2011 (though I will pick the best of what I saw). It is a list which considers the movies which I saw in 2011. This goes back as far as 1924, with a pair of Buster Keaton silent films: SHERLOCK JR. and THE NAVIGATOR.

I had two goals for 2011. First was to watch more documentaries. Unfortunatley, I only watched two. The excellent LOOKING FOR RICHARD and CATFISH (and some people don’t consider CATFISH a documentary).

My second goal was to knock off some favorites which did not appear in my rankings because I hadn’t watched them since before 1/1/09. I did get to a few of these, like the TOY STORY films, the LAST SAMURAI, and more.

My goal for next year is to, again, add some more documentaries to my list, as well as to knock out some film series which do not appear here. Namely, the HARRY POTTERS, SPIDER MAN, maybe LORD OF THE RINGS, the Jack Ryan films, etc. We will see. I make no promises.

This list considers both films I have seen before, and those which are new to me. When it matters, I will differentiate these films. I think this is important to do because there is a difference between a movie you see fresh, and one which is previously known.

My rankings over the year work in a formula. I rank them on a scale from zero to ten as a ‘film’ (the thematic and filmmaking quality), ‘movie’ (pure entertainment factor), ‘acting’ (including casting issues and voice over work if it is an animate feature), and ‘writing’ (including adaptation issues). A film can also earn a bonus point or two for stand out areas such as its score or cinematography. Rarely, a movie will earn a negative bonus point for some egregious filmic problem.

My articles, all of which are available at, end in a formulaic equation to give a final score.  The raw data is available upon request.

So, without further ado, JOHNLINK’S 2011 YEAR IN REVIEW:


N: Movie NEW to me;      PV: Movie I had PREVIOUSLY VIEWED

The two previous years’ numbers follow this year’s numbers in paranthesis…

Number of films watched: 75 (2010: 119… 2009: 110)

Number and percentage N:  47; 63%  (2010:85; 71%… 2009: 71; 65%)

Number and percentage PV: 28; 37% (2010:34; 29%… 2009: 39; 35%)

Number and percentage seen in the theater: 2; 2.6% (2010:9; 8%…2009: 21; 19%)

Number and percentage of films from 1900s-1920s: 5; 6.7% (2010: 6; 5%… 2009:0; 0%)

Number and percentage of films from 1930s: 3; 4% (2010: 4; 3%… 2009: 1; 0.9%)

Number and percentage of films from 1940s: 1 ; 1.3% (2010: 4; 3%… 2009: 3; 2.7%)

Number and percentage of films from 1950s: 2; 2.7% (2010: 4; 3%… 2009: 4; 3.6%)

Number and percentage of films from 1960s: 2; 2.7% (2010: 3; 2.5%… 2009: 2; 1.8%)

Number and percentage of films from 1970s: 2: 2.7% (2010: 2; 1.7%… 2009: 4; 3.6%)

Number and percentage of films from 1980s: 4; 5.3% (2010: 6; 5%… 2009: 9; 8.2%)

Number and percentage of films from 1990s: 10; 13.3% (2010: 17; 14%… 2009: 16; 14.5%)

Number and percentage of films from 2000s: 25; 33.3% (2010:  72; 60%… 2009: 71; 64.5%)

Number and percentage of films from 2010s: 21; 28% (2010: 11; 9%… 2009: N/A)

Number and percentage of films from 2011: 4; 5.3%  (from 2010 last year : 11; 9%)    (from 2009 last year: 19; 17%)

Most represented year: 2010 with 17 films; 22.7% (in ’10 it was 2009: 26 films; 22%)  (in 09′ it was 2008: 23 films; 21%)

Notes… Down to 75 movies, very low sadly. I guess that is what happens when you have a child!… I see almost nothing in theaters anymore (same reason)…. I need to keep seeing the older films. The 30s through the 80s are way underrepresented year after year… I am happy to see more new-to-me silent films each year.

Number and percentage of movies which spawned, or were, sequels: 15; 20% (2010: 30; 25%… 2009: 29; 26%)

Number and percentage of movies which were later remade: 2; 2.7% (2010:11; 9% … 2009: 6; 5.4%)

Number and percentage of movies which were themselves remakes: 10; 13.3% (2010:  11; 9%… 2009: 9; 8.1%)

Number and percentage of movies viewed in 3D: 0; 0% (2010: 1; 0.8%… 2009: 3; 2.7%)

Number and percentage of non-English spoken (or title-carded) films : 4; 5.3% (2010: 2; 1.7%; 2009: 2; 1.8%)

Number and percentage of animated films: 4; 5.3% (2010: 5; 4% ; 2009: 7 ; 6.3%)

Number and percentage of documentaries: 2; 2.7% (2010: 4; 3.4%; 2009: 0; 0%)

Number and percentage of black and white films: 10: 13.3% (2010: 16; 13%… 2009: 7; 6.3%)

Number and percentage of films ranked a second time: 1; 1.3% (2010 and 2009: N/A)

Notes:I’m always embarrassed about the low number of foreign films I watch each year… In 2011 I opened up the possibility of ranking a previously ranked movie. I only did that once. Was it something which demands repeat viewing like INCEPTION? Nope. It was THE CRAZIES remake….

Film which I most feel is ranked too low: DUE DATE has sort of grown on me. It ended with an overall of 4.75, yet I think back on that as a movie I thought was pretty funny. My perception from when I finished it to now has certainly changed.

Film which I most feel is ranked too high: Even though I just watched it, BAG OF BONES should not be ahead of so many movies. Yes, the set up for the film was well executed, but the climactic scenes just did not cut it. It had received a 5 overall.

New Film which most surprised me positively: One of the first movies I saw this year, BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK, a 1955 Spencer Tracy film, was a movie that definitely goes on my classics list. It received a 9.0. honorable mention goes to Clooney’s THE AMERICAN.

New Film which most surprised me negatively: SCREAM 4. Maybe I had too much to drink before I saw it. Maybe my expectations were too high. Maybe it isn’t as dissapointing as I remember. I am sure i will talk myself into seeing it again at some point. 4.75 overall.

PV Film which most surprised me positively:  I remember liking SPY GAME a lot from my previous viewings, but this latest viewing cemented it for me. Some people think this film is a bit of a mess. I think that they are wrong. Overall was 7.75

PV Film which most surprised me negatively: On the other hand, I don’t remember FRACTURE being a train wreck. But in a year where I actually saw a movie about a potential train wreck (UNBREKABLE) the worst train wreck I saw on film this year was FRACTURE. Ugh. It limped to a 3.5 overall.

Average FILM score total: 5.29 (2010: 5.43… 2009: 5.76)

Average FILM score N: 5.19 (2010: 5.55… 2009: 5.72)

Average FILM score PV: 5.46 (2010: 5.12… 2009:  5.85)

Average MOVIE score total: 7.39 (2010: 7.02… 2009: 6.83)

Average MOVIE score N: 7.17 (2010: 6.76… 2009:6.28)

Average MOVIE score PV: 7.75 (2010: 7.65… 2009: 7.82)

Average ACTING score total: 6.23 (2010: 6.25… 2009:  6.20)

Average ACTING score N: 6.17 (2010: 6.36…  2009: 6.18)

Average ACTING score PV: 6.32 (2010: 5.97…  2009: 6.23)

Average WRITING score total: 5.44 (2010:5.56… 2009:  5.61)

Average WRITING score N: 5.28 (2010: 5.46… 2009: 5.35)

Average WRITING score PV: 5.71 (2010: 5.82… 2009: 6.08)

Total bonus points given (net): 16 (2010: 25… 2009: 21)

Number and percentage of films given bonus points, including negative: 26 34.6% (2010: 41; 34.5%… 2009: 29; 26%)

Average bonus point per movie: .21 (2010: .21… 2009: .19)

Most frequent reason for bonus: Music/Soundtrack (2010: Cinematography… 2009: Music/Soundtrack)

Negative bonus points: 6 (2010: 10… 2009: 5)

Notes: Only THE LAST SAMURAI and THE AMERICAN received 2 bonus points… The average FILM and WRITING scores went down. The average MOVIE score went up, WRITING stayed in the middle of the previous two years.

Best N FILM: 9: The AMerican & Cross of Iron

Best PV FILM: 10: Battleship Potemkin

Best N MOVIE: 9: Date Night, Red, Darkman, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Bad Day at Black Rock, The Adjustment Bureau

Best PV MOVIE: 10: Sherlock Jr. , Toy Story

Best N ACTING: 9: Bad Day at Black Rock, Pan’s Labrynth, I Was Born But…, The American, Cross of Iron

Best PV ACTING: 9: Toy Story, Last Samurai

 Best N WRITING: 9: Bad Day at Black Rock

Best PV WRITING: 10:  Last Samurai


Worst N FILM: 1: Alone in the Dark

Worst PV FILM: 3: Fracture, The Island, Old School

Worst N MOVIE: 3: Alone in the Dark

Worst PV MOVIE: 4; Fracture

Worst N ACTING: 2: A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010), Godzilla, King of the Monsters, Alone in the Dark, Invasion

Worst PV ACTING: 4: The Island

Worst N WRITING: 1: Alone in the Dark

Worst PV WRITING: 2: Fracture

Notes: Easy to see that the worst overall films were Alone in the Dark and Fracture…. I was extremely frugal with the 10s this year, giving out only 3 in any category!

Best N OVERALL: 9: Bad Day at Black Rock

Best PV OVERALL: 9.5: Last Samnurai

Worst N OVERALL: 1.5: Alone in the Dark

Worst PV OVERALL: 3.5: Fracture

In terms of an overall top 5 it went:

Last Samurai (9.5)

Bad Day at Black Rock  and  Toy Story (9.0)

The American (8.75)

Toy Story 2 (8.25)

Bottom 5 (expanded to 7 due to a tie) were:

Alone in the Dark (1.5)

Fracture (3.5)

Godzilla King of the Monsters  and  Devil (4)

Invasion, The Island, Critters (4.25)

So there we have it! I would give a best and worst of 2011, but I saw way to few 2011 films to make that judgment call. Too many excellent films I still need to see.

My goal for 2012? See at least 97 films so that I can get up to 400!

~ by johnlink00 on December 31, 2011.

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