Philadelphia Film Critics’ Top Films of 2011

Let’s take a look around to see what the Philadelphia-area’s film critics chose as their favorite movies of 2011, Cinedelphia’s can be viewed here


The Philadelphia Inquirer:  Steven Rea [alphabetical order]
1. The Artist
2. Beginners
3. The Descendants
4. Jane Eyre
5. Melancholia
6. Moneyball
7. Of Gods and Men
8. Take Shelter
9. The Tree of Life
10. The Trip

The Philadelphia Inquirer:  Carrie Rickey [alphabetical order]
1. Beginners
2. Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey
3. A Better Life
4. Cave of Forgotten Dreams
5. The Descendants
6. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
7. The Hedgehog
8. The Help
9. Higher Ground
10. Of Gods and Men

Philadelphia Weekly:  Sean Burns [order of preference]
1. Drive
2. Hugo
3. Carnage
4. Melancholia
5. Meek’s Cutoff
6. Shame
7. Certified Copy
8. Martha Marcy May Marlene
9. We Need To Talk About Kevin
10. Midnight In Paris

Philadelphia Weekly:  Matt Prigge [order of preference]
1. House of Pleasures
2. Margaret
3. A Separation
4. Drive
5. The Tree of Life
6. Certified Copy

7. Rubber
8. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
9. Martha Marcy May Marlene
10. Tuesday, After Christmas

The five City Paper critics (Drew Lazor, Gary M. Kramer, Sam Adams, Shaun Brady, and Cindy Fuchs…where’s the girl who gave Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows an A-?  I’d love to hear her picks) contributed to a compilation list [alphabetical order]:
1. Attack the Block
2. Bombay Beach
3. Bridesmaids
4. Certified Copy
5. Drive
6. The Future
7. Hanna
8. Higher Ground
9. Hugo
10. The Interrupters
11. Meek’s Cutoff
12. Mysteries of Lisbon
13. Project Nim
14. Resurrect Dead
15. The Skin I Live In
16. Tabloid
17. Take Shelter
18. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
19. The Tree of Life
20. The Trip

KYW Newsradio’s Bill Wine [order of preference]
1. The Artist
2. The Descendants
3. Hugo
4. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
5. Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol
6. A Better Life
7. Horrible Bosses
8. The Ides of March
9. Super 8
10. Warrior

The Metro provided a Top 5 followed by a separate Top 5 from the film editor [order of preference]:
1. Bridesmaids
2. Midnight in Paris
3. Shame
4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
5. Beginners + The Help
1. Shame
2. Melancholia
3. The Skin I Live In
4. Bridesmaids
5. Drive

Also, the Philadelphia Daily News’ Gary Thompson listed his many picks in an essay format that includes a strange statement on the value of subtitles…

ONLINE’s Dan Tabor [order of preference]
1. Melancholia
2. Attack the Block
3. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
4. Drive
5. Super
6. Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance
7. Space Battleship Yamato
8. The Greatest Movie Ever Sold
9. Super 8
10. Captain America + Thor

Flieder on’s Brian Flieder [order of preference]
1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II
2. Beginners
3. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
4. The Descendants
5. The Way
6. The Help
7. Meek’s Cutoff
8. Crazy, Stupid, Love
9. Moneyball
10. The Artist’s Don Malvasi [order of preference]
1. The Artist
2. Incendies
3. Melancholia
4. Double Hour
5. Midnight in Paris
6. Drive
7. A Dangerous Method
8. Source Code
9. The Descendants
10. Poetry

You can also read the staff of the Philadelphia Film Society’s top 10 lists here.


I think that pretty much wraps it up.  If you tally all of the above on an equal scale then you get the following:

Philadelphia’s Top 10 Films of 2011
1. Drive
2. The Descendants
3. Melancholia
4. The Artist / Shame / The Tree of Life [tie]
5. Beginners / Bridesmaids / Certified Copy / Meek’s Cutoff / Midnight in Paris / The Trip [tie]

Not bad, Philly.  Feel free to chime in with your 2011 faves in the comments.

Author: Eric Bresler

Eric is the Founder/Site Editor of whose additional activities are numerous: Director/Curator of the Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art (PhilaMOCA), founder of Tokyo No Records, the brain behind Video Pirates, and active local film programmer including the Unknown Japan screening series. He’s served as a TLA Video Manager, Philadelphia Film Society Managing Director, and Adjunct Professor in Cinema Studies at Drexel University. He is shy and modest. Email Eric.

One comment

  1. To Whom It May Concern:

    I teach dual credit college ENGL 101 to seniors at the Brownsburg High School Senior Academy. This course is the equivalent of a freshman college composition class. As often as possible, I try to create realistic experiences for my students to assist in their transitioning to the real world.

    My students will soon be watching the movies Emma and Clueless and writing a comparison of the two movies. In an effort to provide a connection to the real world for this assignment, I am hoping that some of the staff and members of the Philadelphia Film Critics/Cindelphia might be willing to read my students’ essays and give them some feedback. Would you be interested in assisting me and my students with this assignment?

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