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Farihah Zaman

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Top Ten Movies of 2011

Posted: 01/11/12 02:38 PM ET

2011 was the rare and beautiful year that was so packed with surprising and innovative films, it was seriously difficult to boil it down to just ten. It was a particularly fruitful year on the domestic front; beside the American films both independent (The Future, Take Shelter) and big-budget mainstream (The Tree of Life) included on my list, there were also just-barely-weeded-out gems like the hysterical Bridesmaids, left out only because I wanted more, more, more of the ensemble cast; the haunting film that introduced us to Elizabeth Olsen, Martha Marcy May Marlene, and the low-key but stunning Cold Weather, both of which are highly deserving of honorable mentions.


Extraordinary Stories (Mariano Llinás)
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Easily the most thought-provoking, playful, and downright ballsy film of the year, the largely overlooked Argentinean film doesn't just create a compelling story, it questions the very nature of what a story is and how it can be told. The three narratives (which include elements as deep and wide as spies, architects, mysteries, criminals, shut-ins, wild animals, loneliness, urban planning, and so much more) that make up the film are never merged or tied up into some neat little package, just woven into a dazzling enigma you'll never quite solve.
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