Darkmatters Top 10 Films of The Year

It’s been said that….

“Opinions are like assholes. Everybody’s got one and everyone thinks everyone else’s stinks.” - Home for the Holidays (1995)

or perhaps a more polite (albeit less movie quote) way of saying it would be

“opinions are like wrist watches, everyone’s watch shows a different time from others but everyone believes that their time is correct.” Deadroses

And with that in mind, I can safely say that the various writers of Culture Slap rarely agree on what constitutes a good film or not – but that’s why films and the discussions after them are so great!

We’ve already given you Tom Wade’s (me) films of the year, and now it gives us great pleasure to bring you Matt Adcock’s top ten films of the year. Matt writes over at his own superb blog Darkmatters and so this list can originally be found there. Matt is more blockbuster inclined that Tom so after reading his list why not compare it with Tom’s original one?

All review links are to Matt’s blog – it’s also worth noting that we’ve now seen ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ so Matt has duly put it onto his list – for those interested, I’d have put it in my top ten as well – review coming soon.

2011 – The Darkmatters Films of the Year 

by Matt Adcock
It’s that time of year – to reflect on the movies that have been the highlights…

So without further ado – here are the ones that delivered over and above the rest – for sheer entertainment, thrills, spills and cinematic excellence!?

10. Attack The Block 

Hard edged sci-fi action mixed with street level laughs delivers a quality British feel good time. Credible, scary and fun…

9. NEDS 
Meet young John McGill a really smart, lovely, ambitious kid. Journey with him as he falls into the underworld of becoming a NED (Non-Educated Deliquente) it’s tragic and heartbreaking but also shot through with great humour and grim violence.

8. Limitless 
The average movie goer only uses 20% of their brain when experiencing a film.
‘Limitless’ however brings experimental drug NZT to the table – a drug that allows people to use the full 100 percent of their mind for films or absolutely anything. Recorded side effects however include scorching of the pleasure receptors as a result of witnessing such a delirious action thriller head-trip.

7. HUGO 
Chloë Grace Moretz dazzles in this homage to every early film and the whole art of film making. The year’s best 3D too (well up there with Drive Angry?!).

6. Warrior 
Warrior is a crunching plot punch to the forehead, followed up with a emotional knee to the abs and finally a satisfying slam take-down. Tom Hardy FTW!

5. Black Swan 
A phantasmagorical case study of someone breaking down but it is utterly watchable thanks to having a director with such artistic verve, empowered by an incredible cast.

4. Super 8 
Think Goonies mixed with Close Encounters of the Third Kind and, throw in some great references to films from across the genres and you’ve got the winning recipe for a new breed of classic.

3. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo 
Evil shall with evil be expelled. Fincher’s remake is a turbo charged black hearted beast powered by Mara’s transformative performance.

2. The Tree of Life 

“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? …while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?” (Job 38)

Challenge yourself – see The TREE of LIFE and reflect on life, the universe and everything!

1. Drive 
I’d like you to meet ‘Driver’ (Ryan ‘Half Nelson’ Gosling) a man with no name but an uncanny way with cars. Drive is a uber powerful, heartbreaking romance shot through with heavy-duty violence and awesome crime-drama-action.


Honourable Mentions:

Highy recommended [by Matt - Tom thinks that the majority of these sucked - especially Sucker Punch. ED] and in need of mention for various merit: 

Sucker Punch - visually exquisite babetastic kick ass action (Review)

Drive Angry - devilish overload of OTT sexually charged violence (Review)

True Grit - updated western classic that rocks on many levels (Review)

Never Let Me Go - heartbreaking cloning / life drama (Review)

The Fighter - crunching gurning masterclass of hope (Review)

Take Shelter - mind twisting gut punch of apocalyptic doom (Review)

(quad poster not available – Katrina Bowden who stars pictured instead)

Tucker and Dale vs Evil - wonderful woods based red neck horror comedy (Review)

The Kings Speech - lovely royal-em-up life affirming tale (Review)

Source Code - excellent time jumping thrill ride (Review)

Kill List - brutal heart of darkness writ large on the screen in style (Review)

Super - The ‘wrongest’ super hero film ever, but so right if you can dig it!? (Review)

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - Classy spy slow burn steeped in quality (Review)


  1. Thanks for the love master Editor Tom… curious other than Sucker Punch and Drive Angry – which other sub list entries did you think sucked??
    This must be the first time ever that we agreed on the best film of the year though yeah?

  2. Well – I’ll be honest – once I saw those two atrocities on the list I blacked out due to brain pain. I didn’t notice the other ones…

    Actually my comment was only directed at those two – the others were great.

  3. Matt

    Not even an honourable mention for SENNA!?

    It won 5 awards! Including the Sundance Festival! This website doesn’t know what it’s talking about.

  4. Matt – may I point you in the direction of http://www.cultureslap.com/2011/12/22/top-ten-films-of-2011/ where I include Senna in MY list??

  5. Look Mat – I should have disclosed that I haven’t seen Senna yet!? Got it for Christmas so very much looking forward to seeing it!! Unfortunately can only rate films that have seen :/

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