I bet you didn’t think we could get any more meta than we did with last year’s Our List of the Best Lists of 2010, but boom, we have – by making that exact list feature a recurring Year In Review feature. It’s here to stay. It will never go away. Unless we think of something better.
We’ve been lucky enough to have some talented and truly inventive Cinematic Listologists on staff this year – from former writers Matt Patches and Ashe Cantrell (hi, dudes!), to our latest list-o-maker, David Bell. Along the way, some of us other Rejects have even piped in with our own works of list art (I won’t deny that it’s no coincidence that my one list for the year shows up on the list). Our lists for the year ran the gamut, from special peeks inside how movies get made, to more specific takes on genres and styles, to the traditional “here is a list of films that go together for some specific reason that we refer to in the title,” we’ve got them all. To end the year on a high note, to check off the last piece of list-making (well, relatively, let’s be honest here), to carefully enumerate just one of our favorite features, here are 11 of our best lists from 2011. Best for the creativity, their relatability, their personality, and their ability to spark debate and discussion among our readership. Enjoy.
By Neil Miller, Cole Abaius, and Rob Hunter
There’s nothing quite like looking back with that pesky little thing called hindsight. Some of the films we were most excited about for 2011? Stuff like Cabin in the Woods (still not out), The Way Back (which virtually no one saw), the horrific Sucker Punch, and disappointments such as The Hangover 2, Cowboys & Aliens, and One Day. But there were some quality picks in the midst of the cinematic refuse – stuff like Rango, The Muppets, Hugo, and Ghotocol. With our 2012 list currently in gestation, it’s always wise to remember how wrong we can be (and how right!).
By Matt Patches
Apparently, the only thing that I Am Number Four made Patches think of was inevitable failure. Inspired by star Alex Pettyfer‘s not-so-enviable position as a rising talent who could crash and burn at any moment, he rounded up eight “next big things” who didn’t make the leap.
By Matt Patches
Patches attacked the dangerous waters of the spoof movie with aplomb in this list of, um, spoof movies that attacked the dangerous waters of spoof movies with aplomb.
By Jack Giroux
These days, the word “hero” is tossed around as a synonym for “lead” or “headliner” or “guy making the most money for this stupid movie,” even if they don’t exhibit anything resembling actual heroics. Jack cracked open the trend with ten not-so-heroic heroes from recent films. Sorry, Twi-hards.
By Matt Patches and Kate Erbland
Patches’ list kicked off some of our most fun and involved comments of the year. When I published a follow-up list, most of the comments made fun of my past boyfriends. So, yeah, about right. No matter how the comments shook out, these were my favorite “personal lists” of the year, lists that made both myself and Patches dig deep into the often tangled web of romance and cinema, lists that (hopefully) made our readers do the same.
By Matt Patches
After-credit sequences have gone from rare treat to expected continuation of the narrative, but that doesn’t mean that they’re always worth sticking in your seat to see. Patches picked out twelve of the most notable and interesting sequences, complete with video for in-home watching (without any superstar cinema employees trying to sweep under your feet).
By David Bell
A fun idea taken to new heights by David’s in-depth take on the material, elevating it from quick trivia to some real story-telling.
By Ashe Cantrell
Perhaps the most controversial list on this list, Ashe’s take on the classic Bechdel Test didn’t bring in commentary on how he (or we, as it were) were wrong, but if the Bechdel Test even has value. Consider this list its own single-serving film class.
By Ashe Cantrell
Easily the most informative list of the year, and probably the most informative (and researched, can you imagine?) list we’ve ever featured here on FSR. Ashe went straight for the neck with his piece on the dirty secrets that run the industry, guaranteeing that you’ll never look at pull quotes the same way. Ever again.
By Cole Abaius
A glorious combination of the trivial, the controversial, and the informative. Want to see Arrested Development fans riot? Tell them that they’re long-promised movie might never be made and watch the fireworks. There may always be money in the banana stand, but there’s not always movies where there are promised.
For more of our best alongside Hollywood’s best, check out our entire 2011 Year in Review.