Cinema 2011


Here's my annual list of things I've seen at the cinema (see also: 2009 and 2010 lists). I still haven't quite managed the one-film-per-week average, but Dr B and I have been giving our Lovefilm list a good battering, so we've seen plenty at home on our lovely new sofa.

My highlights of the year were Never Let Me Go (which could really do with a new poster), Submarine, Drive and Super 8. The three big superhero films of the summer were also pretty damn good  (and I'm now very excited about next year's Spidey/Avengers/Dark Knight line up).

I'm pretty certain Tinker/Tailor/Soldier/Spy was excellent, but I may have to revisit it to make sure as I … so ashamed … fell asleep a little bit.

The cinemas themselves brought their own particular charms. Birmingham's Electric Cinema, with its leather sofas and waiter service, was a nice way to spend Valentine's Day. The Contagion experience was somewhat heightened by watching it in a crowded Leicester Square cinema full of incessant coughing and sniffling, only to then go into a crowded tube. It was a soggy pleasure watching the triumvirate of monster movies (Gremlins, Troll Hunter and Tremors) in Somerset House – made slightly surreal by the twitter-induced mumblings in the crowd about "something kicking off in Tottenham". And of course, York's City Screen continues to be the best cinema in the country.

A couple of disappointments: The Adjustment Bureau was a huge let down, and Hobo with a Shotgun had a great title and one amazing actor, but was mostly terrible. Confessions was a good idea wasted. The Tree of Life had amazing cinematography and one incredible sequence (hat tip to Douglas Trumbull), but was mostly a big old bore. The King's Speech (was that really this year?) was great except for the year's standout abysmal performance by Timothy Spall as Churchill (more like Baron Greenback, according to Charlie Brooker).

Anyway, here's the list:

  • The King's Speech
  • Peeping Tom
  • Top Gun
  • Bringing Up Baby
  • The Fighter
  • Rope
  • Never Let Me Go (at Birmingham's lovely Electric Cinema)
  • True Grit (ditto)
  • The 400 Blows
  • The Adjustment Bureau
  • Blue Valentine
  • Frankenstein (live from the National theatre)
  • Submarine
  • Limitless (at York's awful, awful Reel Cinema)
  • Source Code
  • Thor
  • Confessions
  • Win Win
  • X-Men First Class
  • Bridesmaids
  • The Tree of Life
  • Hobo with a Shotgun
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part Two
  • Captain America: The First Avenger (twice)
  • Gremlins (at Somerset House, whilst rioting occurred elsewhere)
  • Troll Hunter (ditto)
  • Tremors (ditto)
  • Super 8
  • The Inbetweeners Movie
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
  • Drive (twice)
  • Crazy, Stupid, Love
  • The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
  • Contagion
  • Ghostbusters
  • Hugo
  • Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows
  • Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol