Neil Fox’s desirable dozen from 2011

This was tough to get down to 12 this year. Lots of worthy films for the list, so I went with films I loved, not necessarily the actual best, but the ones that moved me the most – although the top three films I also believe are the best.

Friday, 30th December 2011, 10:03 am


Nicolas Windig Refn’s sleek slice of LA pulp is cool, brutal, intense and thanks to Ryan Gosling’s performance, carved out one of the most memorable screen characters for an age. Absolutely phenomenal.

13 Assassins

This samurai movie by Takashi Miike is a stylish and gripping tale of old values and bygone moralities. A fantastic story beautifully told, a breath of fresh air.

A Separation

Devastating family and social drama from Iran. Haunting and morally complex. Incredibly written and performed.

Super 8

How all summer blockbusters should be. JJ Abrams channels Spielberg but comes away with a slice of brilliance all his own.


The directorial debut of Paddy Considine is a visceral and gut-wrenching tale featuring two incredible performances from Olivia Colman and Peter Mullan and the phenomenal use of the cinematic power of the close-up.

Essential Killing

Vincent Gallo is an escaped terrorist prisoner on the run in the wilderness doing whatever he can to survive in near silent, primal film that subverts and challenges to the core.


Scorsese’s love letter to cinematic is a technical marvel and deeply heartfelt tale of childhood, movies, stories, the past and family. It’s a truly wondrous experience and the best use of 3D to date.

Treacle Jr

Low budget, simple story. The return of Jamie Thraves is masterful, refreshing British cinema and features exquisite performances from Aidan Gillen and Tom Fisher in the lead roles.

True Grit

Life at the top of the Hollywood food chain seems to suit the Brothers Coen as this remake far exceeds the original. Gripping, classy, classic Western. First rate studio filmmaking.

Sound It Out

So much heart, so much great music and a valuable social document. This crowd-funded film is a wonderful story of a dying breed and a celebration of the joy and compulsion of collecting.

The Fighter

The return of David O. Russell also saw the return to decent acting of Christian Bale. Everything about this well-written, well-shot and superbly acted boxing movie hit the right spots.

The Adventures Of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn

This was the last addition to the dozen, and it staved off competition from a lot of other films on account of just how entertaining and cinematic it was. A joy from start to finish.

They Also Served: George Harrison: Living In The Material World, Contagion, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Attack The Block, The Skin I Live In, Project Nim, Submarine, Hobo With A Shotgun, The Adjustment Bureau, Cold Weather, Scream 4, Blue Valentine, The Way Back, Meek’s Cutoff, My Brothers, Senna, Kill List, The Artist, Tree Of Life, Le Quattro Volte, Snowtown. The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975, Neds.

Christmas Turkey: The Hangover Part Two.