Film Rewind: The Best Movies of 2011

With cinemas shut (at least here in the UK)  and few new movies around right now, there’s plenty of time to catch up with past movies and rewatch old favourites. We decided to turn the clock back 10 years, see what was happening in movies in 2011 and choose some of our favourites of the year.

2011 Movies: Award Winners

At the Oscars, The Artist was the surprising big winner, scooping up five Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director. Martin Scorcese’s Hugo also grabbed five prizes. Baseball analytics movie Moneyball and Steven Spielberg’s War Horse each earned 6 nominations but neither picked up an award on the night. We’ve highlighted two award-winning movies from 2011 that are perhaps not so well remembered.

Bad Teacher 

We all know that one teacher, who let’s face it wasn’t very nice or helpful in any way. Bad Teacher is the ultimate film of a teacher who wants to marry a rich man and does the bare minimum as a teacher. When a substitute teacher who has old money joins the school she does everything to try and win him over. A film about finding out what you actually want out of life and reflecting on past choices and mistakes. 

Particularly popular with teens it seems, winning Choice Movie, Actor (Timberlake) and Actress (Diaz) at the Teen Choice Awards.

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Stars: Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake, Jason Segel

Rating: 15

Director: Jake Kasdan

Bridesmaids 

Bridesmaids picked up a whole bunch of wins and nominations during awards season, many of them for Melissa McCarthy. Among others she won Best Comedic Performance at the MTV Movie Awards.

The perfect movie for a bunch of girlfriends getting together.  Bridesmaids follows two best friends, one who is getting married and another who is down on her luck. As one experiences the up and downs of planning a wedding, the other is not having the best of times. She gets fired from her job, her roommate throws her out, she moves back in with her mom and on top of that her best friend starts to drift away and forbids her from attending her wedding. Now by herself, as she has pushed everyone away, her best friend and a policeman who fancies her she must come to terms with her life and decide what she wants. 

Genre: Comedy, Romance 

Stars: Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Maya Rudolph, Matt Lucas, Rebel Wilson

Rating: 15

Director: Paul Feig

2011 Movies: Box Office Hits

Much like now, the 2011 box office was dominated by blockbuster franchises and sequels. The Smurfs (!) was the only movie in the top 10 that was not part of a series. Along with our featured movies there were entries from Transformers, Pirates Of The Caribbean, Mission Impossible, Kung Fu Panda, Fast and Furious, The Hangover and Cars. Interestingly, neither of the years Marvel movies made the top 10.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 

The highest-grossing movie of 2011 with over $1.3billion was the last Harry Potter movie. Can you believe it’s been 10 years since the end of Harry’s story? Harry Potter is one of the best-loved film series ever created in British film history. After many years it finally comes down to the final battle. It’s a battle to the death. Hogwarts against death eaters and creatures of the dark. The final fight between the boy who lived and the dark lord. In this final instalment of the Harry Potter saga, we see the epic battle of a school kid against a dark wizard. 

Genre: Fantasy, Action, Drama

Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Ralph Fiennes

Rating: 12A

Director: David Yates

Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 1

The most anticipated film of the year. We all wanted to know what was next for these star crossed lovers. We’ve seen the highs and lows of their relationship, the good and the bad.  Twilight Breaking Dawn: Part 1 finds Bella marrying her love Edward after overcoming many hurdles and obstacles. This movie is great if you love romance, action and family dramas. What more could you want, there’s a wedding, werewolves, vampires and tons of drama and hostility. With just over $700m, this was the 4th highest-grossing movie of the year.

Genre: Romance, Fantasy

Stars: Robert Patterson, Nikki Reed, Kristen Stewart

Rating: 12

Director: Bill Condon

Thor

I wasn’t sure what to make of Thor as I first saw him in Avengers Assemble, but I must admit he has become a favourite hero of mine. In the first film of the series Thor, a god of Asgard is exiled to earth without his powers of strength for his recklessness by his father. The only way he can regain his powers and return back to his home is if he joins S.H.I.E.L.D and helps in saving earth from a dark entity. In a sign of how far the MCU has come, Thor was only the 15th highest-grossing movie of 2011.

Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy 

Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba

Rating: 12A

Director: Kenneth Branagh

2011 Movies: Personal Favourites

Chalet Girl

A former skateboard champion now looking after her dad takes a job as a Chalet Girl. A great film about a young girl working in a dead-end job, giving up her dreams to look after her dad. When Kim, a middle-class girl takes a job that is mainly reserved for higher class rich blondes, she is sent off to Austria where she has to deal with a new life, new weather, learn to ski and make new friends. A great film of finding a new passion and dealing with a loss. 

Genre: Comedy, Romance, sport

Stars: Ed Westwick, Bil Nighy, Felicity Jones 

Rating: 12

Director: Phil Traill

Beastly

Taking on a similar storyline Beastly is a modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast, exploring the life of a spoilt vain playboy in modern-day New York. In this retelling of the fairy tale the prince, aka Kyle, humiliates Kendra (a witch) who places a curse on him, transforming him into a beast. To break the curse, (much like in the original story), Kyle must find true love within a year. An amazing take on Beauty and the Beast where a vain schoolboy has to learn that looks are not everything.

Genre: Romance, Drama, Fantasy

Stars: Vanessa Hudgens, Mary Kate Olsen, Alex Pettyfer 

Rating: 12

Director: Daniel Barnz

I Am Number 4

I Am Number 4 follows John Smith, an alien on the run from ruthless enemies sent to destroy him and his kind. Under the protection of his guardian Henri, John is always changing his identity, and moving from town to town. With having no ties to his past John has always stayed undetected.  That is, until his recent move to Ohio, where he comes across his first love, new abilities and a connection to others who share his destiny. Although the film had received a negative response overall, I loved this film, there just something about aliens who have superpowers that I find intriguing. 

Genre: Sci-Fi, Action, Adventure

Stars: Alex Pettyfer, Dianna Argon, Timothy Olyphant

Rating: 12A

Director: D. J. Caruso

The Three Musketeers 

Loved this film. There’s just something about men fighting for justice that keeps me coming back for more. The film focuses on a young D’Artagnon and the legendary three Musketeers, Athos, Aramis and Pothos. D’Artagnon, Pothos, Aramis and Athos must come together to defeat a double agent and save France. 

Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Stars: Luke Evans, Orlando Bloom, Logan Lerman

Rating: 12A

Director: Paul W.S Anderson

Just Go with It

In Just Go With It, a plastic surgeon overhears his bride making fun of his sister on his wedding day and decides to give up on love and relationships. Instead, this plastic surgeon goes from women to women, a true playboy who doesn’t want to settle down again. What happens when he realises that he has already met the girl of his dreams?  It takes almost getting married in a tropical climate for him to come to terms with the fact he has fallen for his closet friend. 

Genre: Comedy, Romance 

Stars: Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Nicole Kidman

Rating: 12A

Director: Dennis Dugan

This article was written by guest contributor Zahra Arshad.

What is your favourite movie of 2011? Let us know and check out more of our movie content!

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