2011 in cinema proved to be a year of the highest highs and lowest lows. As the superhero movie quickly took over the multiplexes delivering top notch entertainment (X-Men: First Class, Thor) and stylish drivel (Green Lantern), the world of indie cinema submerged itself into the exploration of religious belief ranging from the thoughtful (Higher Ground) to the mad-cap (Red State).
The biggest surprises of the year came from master filmmakers who stretched themselves to critical acclaim. Martin Scorsese delivered his first family 3D film with Hugo; Steven Spielberg delved into the world of animation with The Adventures of Tintin; Pedro Almadovar repulsed and moved us with his body horror drama The Skin I Live In; and the elusive Terrence Malick polarised audiences with his most epic feature yet with The Tree of Life.
Of course there is a flipside. Adam Sandler continued to degrade himself with Jack & Jill; big budget action movies Sucker Punch and Abduction stunk up the screen while making a bad case for the future careers of young actors Emily Browning and Taylor Lautner; and Pixar lost its footing with the sub-par Cars 2.
Yet never fear, for 2011 proved the future looks bright with prolific turns by Michael Fassbender, Jessica Chastain, Ryan Gosling and Tom Hardy proving the future is in good hands.
From silent movies (The Artist), to cold war thrillers (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), to magical journeys into the past (Midnight in Paris), 2011 proved to be a very good year indeed.
Here is the 2012 Matt’s Movie Reviews Awards, celebrating the best and worst of cinema in 2011.