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By Matt Rodriguez

The Best Films of 2011

2011 wasn't exactly a great year for Hollywood, with revenue down to $10.1 billion, compared to 2010's $10.6 billion. With the surge of movies jumping into the third dimension and blockbuster sequels still taking the helm, 2011 has provided us with some great films.

Over the course of the year, I reviewed a total a 94 theatrical films and saw likely more than 100. In total I gave 17 A's, B's, 21 C's, and 10 D's. Surprisingly there were no F's this year for me, although Patty and Ryan would disagree. Having seen the Blu-ray of Red Riding Hood, I'd have to agree wholeheartedly with Ryan's review.

2011 saw plenty of great movies, both in blockbusters and smaller, independent films. Here are my top 10 films of the year:

10. The Muppets
It's been nearly six years since Jim Henson's Muppets appeared on the big screen, but their return this year was bigger and better than ever. Featuring Kermit, Miss Piggy, and Fozzy Bear along with all the other Muppets along with dozens of human co-stars and cameos, The Muppets brings back a sense of nostalgia for those who grew up watching the TV show and introduces the cast to an entire new generation.

9. Horrible Bosses
2011 was a big year for comedies, and Horrible Bosses featured a hilarious cast of characters that you loved to hate. On the underappreciated workers side you have Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis, and for the horrible bosses themselves you have Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell, and Kevin Spacey. If you've ever had a boss you just couldn't stand, this is the film to watch as a great stress reliever.

8. Hanna
Saoirse Ronan is known for appearing in knockout roles such as Atonement and The Lovely Bones and once again she manages to impress audiences with her cold assassin demeanor. If you're looking for an action-packed adrenaline rush and a great story, Hanna is the film for you.

7. Attack the Block
An alien invasion has never felt this good. Despite a limited release, Attack the Block manages to deliver both action and comedy wrapped together in a sci-fi script from Joe Cornish. Of course, like all great British films there are rumors of an American remake.

6. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
What sets Rise of the Planet of the Apes apart from all other films is its superb use of motion capture and special effects. The apes in the film, particularly Caesar, look and function so realistically you'd think they were real. Andy Serkis does an Oscar-worthy performance at capturing the detailed movements and emotion of Caesar.

5. Rango
Animated films are usually dominated by the powerhouse Pixar, but with Cars 2 failing to live up to expectations that leaves plenty of room for the Western throwback Rango to step in. From the iconic movie references to the dynamic performance of Johnny Depp, this is one film built for kids and adults alike.

4. X-Men: First Class
Maybe it's the classic mutant cameos or the fact that anything after the atrocious X-Men: The Last Stand is acceptable, but X-Men: First Class delivered the best superhero film of 2011. For fans of the series, it brings a new and fresh look to its characters. The film explores the origins of the Mutant Academy and how the rift between them and the Brotherhood all began.

3. Warrior
Tom Hardy's career has taken off since last year's Inception, and Warrior shows just how dedicated an actor he is. The man is an absolute beast in this film and showcases the furious and animalistic nature of MMA fighting. If you have any doubts about Hardy taking on the role of Bane in the upcoming The Dark Knight Rises, simply watch Warrior and prepare to be amazed.

2. 50/50
Cancer can be a touchy subject, especially within a comedy but 50/50 manages to handle the subject brilliantly. Both Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen feel like real people within a real situation. The film blends the perfect amount of comedy with drama to give you just the amount of laughs in an otherwise serious scenario. 50/50 will pull on your emotions unlike any other film on this list.

1. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Remakes of foreign films are tricky. Most of the time, they fail to live up to their original counterparts. It gives me great pleasure then, to name The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo as my pick for the best film of 2011. The film excels in every aspect, with Rooney Mara putting on a stellar performance as the punk hacker Lisbeth Salander. Her dedication to the role is what sets the film apart from the rest. I can only hope David Fincher returns to remake the rest of the Millennium series.

So there you have it, the top 10 films of 2011. Do you agree or disagree? Let us know your top 10 films of 2011 in the comments below! Unfortunately, even this reviewer wasn't able to see every film out there and I know there are a few gems that I've missed seeing including Drive, The Artist, Hugo, and many others. Here's hoping that 2012 provides even more entertainment than its predecessor.

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