Best 5 Movies I watched in 2011

Click this button to see my other top-5 list

Last year I made top-5 movie of 2010 that I watched in cinema, but I can’t do that anymore this year because of the misfortune event of Indonesian cinema. I am glad I can’t do that anymore because it’s time to have a better version of top-5 movies, it is no longer movies that were released in 2011 but ALL movies I watched in 2011 regardless which year it was first released. I copied this idea from Anomalous Material (unfortunately I couldn’t find the post anymore.)

I watched a lot of movies in 2011, including some re-watched movies, here are the ones I remember: 

  • Watashi Wa Kai Ni Naritai – 私は貝になりたい
  • 28 Weeks later
  • Kaze o Mita Shounen – 風を見た少年
  • Buried
  • Black Swan
  • The Golden Compass
  • The Invasion
  • The Storm Riders
  • Scott Pilgrim vs The World
  • Beowulf
  • The King’s Speech
  • Okuribito – おくりびと
  • The Incredible Hulk
  • Priest
  • Unknown
  • Paul
  • Beck
  • 71 Into The Fire (Pohwa sokeuro)
  • Creation
  • Into The Wild
  • Rise of the planet of the apes
  • Persepolis
  • REC
  • The Tempest
  • Kungfu Panda
  • Super 8
  • Hawking
  • Tintin
  • Buranku
  • Margin Call
  • Hanna
  • Retreat
  • In Time
  • El Orfanato
  • The Island
  • Pursuit of Happiness
  • Seven Pound
  • Ocean Thirteen.


Almost all Cillian Murphy’s Movies, Mononoke Hime – もののけ姫, Ringu, The Matrix, Dark Water, Waterboys,  etc.

You know, I never thought that my taste in movies would change. I used to like movies with lots of explosion and crazy stunt…but since I discover Cillian Murphy (yes, thanks to that blue eyes Irishman), my taste of movie had gradually changed. I no longer feel excited with action movies. Now, I like movies with great acting performances that followed by great story and unpredictable ending (of course).

It’s so hard to put order on these 5 amazing movies (I exclude re-watched movies, otherwise Breakfast on Pluto would be in the list) because all 5 of them have their own special thing.

#5 Okuribito – おくりびと (2008)

I spent a lot of tissue papers while watching this movie. The ceremony, although beautiful as it may seems, it is still a heart breaking moment. In every ceremony this movie showed, I couldn’t stop my tears from falling down. Death is truly the saddest thing in this world, especially when the deceased is the one we love the most. Japanese are really good in making sad scene that feels so natural…they don’t need overflowing tears to make the scene as heartbreaking as possible.

Okuribito touches my heart so deep because it delivers death in a beautiful way. The scoring is also perfect, it gives power to every moment in this movie. It gives more reasons to admire Joe Hisashi, one of the most brilliant music composers in this world. Watching this movie was an amazing 2 hours journey. It impressed me so much.

Read the whole review here.

#4 The King’s Speech (2011-Indonesia)

First of all, I  have to give The King’s Speech a big applause and a bucket of flower to shower over it as it is the first drama I have ever seen in Cinema.

The King’s Speech was a strong movie that emphasizes more in a power of friendship … and sometime, the one that turns into our best friend is the most unthinkable person in the world. What is the chance of a prince meeting an eccentric speech therapist who soon turns into more into a friend than a therapist? I should say the chance is very slim.

Read the whole review here.

#3 Black Swan (2012)

It was captivating! It kept me glued for 108 minutes. I didn’t even want to turn my head to my right or left side. I wanted to see the whole movie from the beginning to the end without even missing anything. Now, I can totally understand why some people mentioned this movie as the best movie in 2010. It made wonder all the time, was she really doing it or was it just a hallucination?

How about the ending? I tend to judge all movies based on how great the ending was…well, the ending was BRILLIANT!! I stayed staring on my TV set minutes after it was over…what an ending!! So ambiguous and yet so powerful.

Simply said, Black Swan is a captivating movie with incredible acting performance.

Read the whole review here.

#2 Rise Of The Planet of The Apes (2011)

What is amazing about the movie is how animals can show more humanity than human. People, humans, during the revolution of the apes wanted to kill the apes, and yet the apes had no desire to kill them unless they were in threatened position, they only wanted to reach their destination.

I have a strong bond toward the movie because of the relationship between Caesar, Will and his father, Charles.

There are so many things to like about this movie. The story was not cheesy, the cause of human extinction was unpredictable, and the scoring was perfect.  The last scene, right before the credit, was really creepy, fits perfectly well with the scene and our imagination. And the actors were great!! Andy Serkis should received more attention and for once I found James Franco interesting…well his character is.

Read the whole review here.

#1 El Orfanato (2007)

The movie was not as scary as I expected it to be, there were some scary moments but didn’t frighten me at all. However, El Orfanato is a horror movie I’d like to call as beautiful horror (the other beautiful horror is Ringu). It had a story that’s not entirely depending on how the ghost tried to scare people off. It was more into how the main character deals with the situation. This kind of movie always made me feel sympathy toward the main character. Somehow, I evolved just like her and in the end it left a sense of sadness when it’s over. The scary moments were well built and not as cheesy as most horror movies out there.

The reason why I call it as beautiful horror is because the way it plays with emotion. We will not see the sup front ghost with CGI (as if ghost needs CGI to make them look real!!), and there is no bloody scene like most slasher movies that claimed to be horror movies (not in my list)…it is a pure psychological horror. The atmosphere makes it scary for some people, not for me but I like this atmospheric horror a lot. Just like Ringu, the ghost never appears except at the end…El Orfanato is also like that.

Read the whole review here.

If I to make top 10 movies (which I rarely done because 5 is enough for my list), the other 5 would be (in No Particular Order):

What do you think of my list?
…and do share your top 5 movies you watched in 2011!


  1. 1. Before Sunrise (1995)
    2. Suckseed (2011)
    3. Before Sunset (2004)
    4. Irreversible (2002)
    5. The Tree of Life (2011)

    kalo boleh nambah

    6. Citizen Kane (1941)
    7. Baraka (documentary)

    1. Wow…I haven’t seen any of your movie Reva.
      I am going to see if I can find those movies…but I am going to pass Tree of Life.

      Thank you for sharing Rev 🙂

  2. Amazing list and I have seen many of these films, but you have also left me with some terrific suggestions for watching. Cillian Murphy really is handsome. I did catch on to his attraction right away, but he drew me in with his intensity.

    1. Thank you Melissa.
      Aha…don’t get me started with Cillian 😉
      He is the most handsome man in the world for me, but what draws me in to be a huge fan of his is his amazing talent. tho not many people notice his talent.

  3. Great post! I barely saw anything in the last year…. I do have Retreat at home, and just need to find a few moments to watch. Hope you had a very happy new year!

    1. Hi Rob, long time no see 🙂 you need to update your blog…or have you posted new post?

      I hope you will Retreat. I really like it, so simple but so intense and great ending.

    1. Haha…don’t force it Bik. For a movie lover, my list is still shorter compare to other movie lovers 😉
      How do you like The Rise of The Planet of The Apes?

  4. Buried was so original wasn’t it? It was so refreshing to see a new idea handled so confidently. It not often you get to see a film shot exclusively inside a wooden box! A bold move by the studios which paid off. It got three stars from me 🙂

    1. Yup Buried is really original…something I hope to see more from Hollywood. I think I gave more star than you, it was either 4 or 5. The movie relies so much on the actor’s acting ability and Reynold really pulls it off.

    1. I have watched it before In Time, maybe you missed my post when I wrote Retreat vs In Time, how I give Retreat 4stars and In Time 1star.

      I love Retreat, I like how the movie gives 2twists at the end. As for Cillian’s character, I like him as Raymond Leon more because he was extremely cool there. As Martin, he was too intimidated by his wife and somehow has no power at all.

  5. Fine list, Novroz. I’m glad to see ‘Rise of the…’ on so many end of year lists. This was one I had hoped would jumpstart the venerable sci-fi series, but feared it’d be another failed remake. Woohoo! ‘Buried’ and ‘Margin Call’ are in my queue. Thanks.

    1. Thank you Mike…have you made your list too?

      yup, it’s so nice to see Rise keeps showing up in people’s list. I want to see it again, Serkis was amazing.
      You haven’t watched Buried? I’d love to know what you think after you see it. Watching that movie made me respect Reynold more than b4.

  6. This is great, Novroz! I love this idea and seeing what other people like. I know my taste in movies has definitely changed. And depending how I’m feeling in life — like when it’s hard, you know, I like happy ending movies. 🙂 Great post! 🙂

    1. Thank you Katie 🙂
      It seems that we have different taste in movie ending. I like unpredictable ending, be it happy or sad…the most important thing is it’s not a cliche ending.

  7. Interesting list of movies Novia. I haven’t seen The Orfanato but the other four movies certainly are very good. I loved Okuribito although I thought the overt slapstick comedy (mainly making faces) by the lead actor was a bit too much.

    1. aha…you should see it before the remake is released Cas 😉
      Trust me! it’s not scary at all, it was a beautiful movie.

      Well the slapstick expression is common to Japanese…I even see it in real Japanese (not celebrity), they are like that.

      You know, I have seen top list of some AM crew but I haven’t seen yours. Will you write one, Cas?

  8. Wah, saya penasaran deh pengen nonton “Okuribito”. Kalo sampe bikin nangis, saya sebenernya gak mau. Saya gak kuat, gak tahan. Tapi tetep aja penasaran. 😦

    Tapi saya kaget juga, kenapa ada “Rise of the planet of the Apes”? 😦
    Itu film menurut saya terlalu overestimated. Terlalu digadang-gadang terlalu baik.
    Pas film selesai, saya langsung nyeletuk “Hah? Udahan? Cuma gini aja?”

    Saya berharap film ada hubungannya dengan “PLanet of The Apes” yang dulu itu.

    1. Ayo nntn Okuribito, sy pnasaran apa co jg nangis nntn film itu.

      wah kl soal Rise of planet of the apes sih trgantung selera kali ya. Buat sy itu film ga overated, sy pas kluar bioskop lgsg trkagum2, buat sy itu film 2011 terbaik yg prnh sy tntn. Akting keren Serkis dan cerita yg menyentuh hati.
      Hehehe sptnya Asop kurang memerhatikan filmnya, Rise mmg brhubungan ma planet of the apes. Rise itu prequelnya.

    1. Hear hear!! It was such a great movie…the emotion was really well delivered.

      I know 2012 will be a great movie year, at least I have already had 4 most anticipated movies.
      Thank you Scott

      1. Out of the two, The King’s Speech is my favorite. I really liked Black Swan, but I watched it again recently and I didn’t like it as much. I probably saw it too close to the original viewing.

    1. You should find time to watch it Kel. I like the classic but I like Rise more because it has more emotion compared to the classic. I know for sure that my love for Rise is mostly because I love animals.

  9. I have only seen Orfanato and the Kings’ Speech. I can’t do a best of this year as I didn’t write down what I watched which is silly.
    I never do a best of of movies that came out in 2011 but a general one. Idid one for the war movies though. One, Innocent Voices would also make it on the “general” list.
    I really need to watch Black Swan and Planet of the Apes.

    1. I read your best war movie list, but since I don’t know any of the movies you have mentioned, I left without saying anything.

      I think I will also do a general list next year. I tried writing review of movies I watch, that’s why I have a list…tho it’s far from complete. I tend to forget the movies that left nothing to remember.

      I look forward to your thought on Black Swan and Rise of the planet of the apes once you’ve seen it.

    1. Thank you Andina. I agree that beautiful movie is perfect to describe both Black Swan and King’s Speech. I think powerful is perfect to describe Rise of the planet of the apes.

      I will check your list as soon as I landed on Jakarta 🙂

  10. I’d agree w/ King’s Speech, but I put that on 2010 best list. Rise of the Planet of the Apes is in my top 10 of 2011, that was quite a surprise how much I enjoyed that film.

  11. Wow, what a list. Hehe, I want to challenge myself to watch at least five of movies that you’ve mentioned here, if it’s okay with you. Especially the ones with Cillian (Breakfast in Pluto, am I right?) 😉 And El Orfanato!
    My, what a surprise that although you really love Cillian, there’s no Cillian’s movie on the list. That’s great. You’re really an objective person. 🙂

    1. It’s 100% okay with me 🙂 Those 5 are amazing movies!! Ah Breakfast on Pluto is one of my all time favorite movies,I have lost count of how many times I have watched the movie, this year only,at least i have watched it 4 times.

      Hehehe sad but true…Cillian’s best movies are often independent or Irish movies. I put his movie in top-10 list,called RETREAT….and that is another independent movie. His blockbuster movie, IN TIME, sucks terribly. When it comes to best movies, I don’t put my favorite actors as the reason 😉 always the story.

  12. I have only seen the King’s speech off your list. I own Black Swan and The Orphanage and still have yet to see them. With regards to Swan, I wanted to put some distance between myself and all the buzz of last year.

    1. Hi Iba, I hope you will enjoy The Orphanage and Black Swan as much as I am. I understand how the hype over a movie can somehow made us lost interest, I also watched the movie way after all the hype has calm down. I like her performance and the story.

  13. Nice list! Black Swan and The King’s Speech are both great films. I still haven’t seen The Orphanage, unfortunately, though your high ranking has me eager to check it out.

Say something so I know you have read my post, THANK YOU for reading :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s