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Ranking the 31 Films Reviewed at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival

By Dustin Rowles | Film | January 30, 2011 |

By Dustin Rowles | Film | January 30, 2011 |

If you ever consider becoming a movie critic, probably the boot camp of movie criticism is Sundance. During our stay there, Seth and I reviewed 29 films (and there are 2 reviews yet to come), and we each saw around 25 - 27 movies a piece during a 5-day period (the reason there aren’t 50 reviews is that we saw many of the same movies).

I’ve taken the liberty of linking each of the 29 reviews we wrote (Take Shelter and Page One are yet to come, and both were very well received). I’ve also ranked all 31 in an approximate order of best to worst, with a plus or minus two margin of error to account for my attempt to rank Seth’s on his behalf. There were a few great movies (probably the first five or six on the list), a lot of good movies, and only six or so movies that I’d say weren’t worth our time. It’s an amazing festival, and for those of you in other cities — Austin, Boston, Orlando, etc. — many of these movies will probably end up at your local festivals, too.

It’s also been a huge year for the movies at Sundance, as almost all of the really good movies have already been picked up for distribution, and even some of the terrible ones (like, The Ledge). You should be able to see most of the features in theaters this year, as well as many of the documentaries (others, no doubt, will go straight to Netflix). There were also several films that received positive notices that we didn’t get to see, like My Idiot Brother, with Paul Rudd, Cedar Rapids with Ed Helms, Project Nim, The World’s Greatest Movie and Pariah. All five have already been picked up for distribution.

Anyway, here are the 31 movies we reviewed at Sundance, ranked from best to worst.

  • Martha Marcy May Marlene

  • The Guard

  • Win Win

  • Perfect Sense

  • Take Shelter

  • Like Crazy

  • Higher Ground

  • Red State

  • Submarine

  • Page One

  • The Lie

  • Another Earth

  • BEING ELMO: A Puppeteer’s Journey

  • The Future

  • Terri

  • I Melt with You

  • The Music Never Stopped

  • Hot Coffee

  • The Cinema Hold Up

  • Bobby Fischer Against the World

  • Crime After Crime

  • Benavides Born

  • The Art of Getting By (formerly Homework)

  • Miss Representation

  • Knuckle

  • Salvation Boulevard

  • Vampire

  • The Woman

  • HERE

  • Kaboom

  • The Ledge

    Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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