2011 Screens Top 10s

Kimberley Jones' Top 10 list


1) Beginners Intimate and ambitious, consumed with death and dizzy with the possibilities of rebirth, Mike Mills' gorgeous second film is like a tonic for the hurting heart.

2) Melancholia And now, let us crash back to Earth – or, rather, into Earth – for an annihilating assay of acute depression. Not gonna lie: This movie really fucked me up.


3) Weekend Andrew Haigh's microindie about two London men rounding and resisting new love is the most romantic movie of the year. Suck on that, Hollywood.

4) Shame Shame, sure, but degradation, humiliation, longing, and despair get a pretty good workout, too, in this shuddering descent into addiction.

5) Bridesmaids Six months before The Atlantic published Kate Bolick's tipping-point piece on The Way Women Live Now, this hard-R, seriously funny comedy got the conversation started. Keep talking to us.

<i>The Trip</i>
The Trip

6) Drive Ryan Gosling's swoon-inducer. An A-grade ensemble shredding scenery like panthers on a fresh kill. L.A. neon noir. That mash-note aesthetic. File under: Things That Make You Go Vroom.

7) The Trip Gaw, comedians are messed up in the head. Fun place to visit, but you wouldn't wanna buy real estate.

8) Bellflower Ad speak jargonese aside – "an explosive debut!" – Evan Glodell's low-budget, pyrotechnics-happy heartbreak saga of the surreal had some defiantly un-PC ideas about what happens when a boy-feminist gets burned by love.

<i>Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy</i>
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

9) Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Hard not to warm to a Cold War spy thriller this stylish and expertly acted.

10) Meek's Cutoff Kelly Reichardt just doesn't give an inch in this ruthlessly unsentimental, Oregon Trail-set stress fracture of a film. This is the stunner from Michelle Williams this year, not that oopsy-daisy Marilyn schtick.


Margin Call, Take Shelter, 50/50, Heartbeats, Turkey Bowl


<i>Life, Above All</i>
Life, Above All

Project Nim, Submarine, Win Win


The Debt, Shame, Contagion


Michael Shannon (Take Shelter), Christopher Plummer (Beginners), Michael Fassbender (Shame), Christoph Waltz (Carnage), Brad Pitt (The Tree of Life)



Rooney Mara (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo), Michelle Williams (Meek's Cutoff), Khomotso Manyaka (Life, Above All), Carey Mulligan (Shame, Drive), Tilda Swinton (We Need To Talk About Kevin)


Lars von Trier (Melancholia), Mike Mills (Beginners), Andrew Haigh (Weekend)


Bridesmaids (Kristen Wiig & Annie Mumolo), Margin Call (J.C. Chandor), Beginners (Mike Mills)


<i>Breaking Dawn</i>
Breaking Dawn

Moneyball (Steve Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin), Drive (Hossein Amini), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Bridget O'Connor & Peter Straughan)


Look, I'd like to think I have a sense of humor about ham-fisted abstinence propaganda, but this really is the limit: The whole Twilight franchise is the devil's work.


Let's Get Metaphysical!: Take Shelter, Melancholia, and The Tree of Life are a few of the films this year that gave the brain cage a good rattle.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Top 10s
Top Books to Read in 2020 As Everything Falls Apart
Top Books to Read in 2020 As Everything Falls Apart
In a COVID-strained year, tales of families repairing their lives and the caste system's effect of Black Americans made an impact

Joe O'Connell, Dec. 18, 2020

Top Books of 2020 That Struck a Literary or Musical Chord
Top Books of 2020 That Struck a Literary or Musical Chord
A writer's fictional joyride, a rock & roll memoir, and jazz fairy tales are books that sang this year

Jay Trachtenberg, Dec. 18, 2020

More Screens
Austin Artist Brings Gamera to Vibrant Life in a New Box Set
Austin Artist Brings Gamera to Vibrant Life in a New Box Set
Matt Frank builds the perfect monster

Richard Whittaker, Aug. 28, 2020

SXSW Film Reviews: 'Hey Bartender'
Daily Reviews and Interviews

Andy Campbell, March 15, 2013

More by Kimberley Jones
We Have an Issue: Check It Out
We Have an Issue: Check It Out
In this week’s issue, Music Editor Raoul Hernandez reflects on Checking In, his Q&A series chronicle musicians’ lives under COVID-19 lockdown

Jan. 22, 2021

We Have an Issue: Under Construction
We Have an Issue: Under Construction
Time to roll up the sleeves and start rebuilding our democracy

Jan. 15, 2021


Top 10s

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle