17 Must-See Movies at SXSW 2011

South By Southwest has already begun heating up, but there are still plenty of movies and buckets of Schlitz to go. If you’re in Austin right now, you’re probably puzzling day to day over what you’re going to see.

If you’re not in Austin, you’re probably still wondering what might escape the confines of the festival to see theaters near you. Although there’s no guarantee (except for a few big names we already know will see theaters), here are the hot tickets that might just earn themselves distribution deals.

Our intrepid SXSW patrol (comprised of Adam Charles, Jack Giroux, Rob Hunter, Neil Miller, Luke Mullen and Brian Salisbury) have put together a list of what they’re most looking forward to for your reading and viewing pleasure.

Keep in mind, there are over 250 movies playing this year, so this represents only a small amount of the quality programming. These are the movies that stand out even amongst the best of the best at the fest.

Check it out for yourself:

The Innkeepers

Ti West completely knocked us on our asses with House of the Devil. Not only that, House of the Devil was a film that in many ways was custom-built for geeks like me. I have been chomping at the bit to see a new Ti West movie ever since. I truly believe he is one of the most promising talents in horror today. -BS


Not even sure why I need to explain my anticipation for Paul. The one-two comedy punch of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost has never failed me. From Hot Fuzz to Shaun of the Dead and all the way back to their television series Spaced, these two have proven to be the dynamic duo of tickling my funny bone. Granted, this is the first of their collaborations I’ve seen that has not been directed by Edgar Wright, but that does little to quell my tingles. -BS


Bellflower was one of the biggest and most welcomed surprises out of Sundance this year. The concept alone brings a smile to my face: a love story following a man prepping for the apocalypse… by building
an invincible car inspired by Mad Max. Sounds cool, right? Our own head honcho Neil Miller caught the film last night, and even he had good things to say about it. -JG

Night Fishing

Most gimmicks aren’t worth the price of popcorn, but most gimmicks don’t have Park Chan-wook’s name near them. The master filmmaker co-directed this short film with brother Park Chan-kyong, and they did it all on their iPhone. So, yeah. A gimmick. But, who cares? It promises to be more insanity from one of the best directorial minds of our generation. If he wants to risk getting a phone call while shooting, that’s his business. -CA

Win Win

The third feature from writer/filmmaker Tom McCarthy (The Station Agent and The Visitor) seems a little more comically focused, based on the trailer, than his prior two films while still leaving a little leg room for an undercurrent of emotional human connection that dominated those first films. In this tale, Paul Giamatti is a full-time attorney/part-time high school wrestling coach of a team of very untalented wrestlers when he comes across a prodigy in the shape of one of his clients’ previously unknown grandson. I anticipate a few sports metaphors for life and some excellent acting from the seasoned cast as that tends to be McCarthy’s strong suit thus far. -AC

What other highly anticipated SXSW flicks are there? Find out…

The FSR Staff is an author similar to Hydra. Its articles have many authors. It has many heads. Please don't cut off any of its heads, we're trying to work here.

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