Arts + Culture » Critics' Picks of the Year

Matt Semansky's Top 11 DVDs of 2011

Coast writer since 2010


Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest (Mongrel) Directed by Michael Rapaport

Carlos (Mongrel) Directed by Olivier Assayas

Daydream Nation (eOne) Directed by Michael Goldbach

Everything Must Go (Maple) Directed by Dan Rush

Will Ferrell straps on his serious face and succeeds as an alcoholic left jobless, wifeless and alone on his lawn with his furniture and his demons. Ferrell underplays deftly and Rush resists corny redemption cliches.

A Film Unfinished (Kinosmith) Directed by Yael Hersonski

An incomplete entry in the Third Reich's film library is dissected in this documentary about the illusions and lies behind Hitler's motion-picture propaganda. Hersonski shines a light on the sinister side of film's seductive power.

Good Neighbours (Alliance) Directed by Jacob Tierney

Jay Baruchel, Scott Speedman and Emily Hampshire circle awkwardly around each other while a serial killer prowls outside their apartment building. Montreal in winter is an appropriately icy setting for this chilling black comedy.

Jack Goes Boating (Alliance) Directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman

Last Night (eOne) Directed by Massy Tadjedin

This mournful, beautifully photographed meditation on jealousy and infidelity examines a strained marriage between Keira Knightley and Sam Worthington. Both face temptation, and there's delicious tension in waiting to see who gives in.

MEEK'S CUTOFF (Kinosmith) Directed by Kelly Reichardt

Waiting for Superman (Paramount) Directed by David Guggenheim

Agree or disagree with its conclusions, this investigation of an American education system that strands kids based on race, money and geography is a gripping, infuriating piece of intelligent provocation.

Vanishing on 7th Street (eOne) Directed by Brad Anderson

Favourite movie as a child: Halloween. Favourite movie now: 2001: A Space Odyssey.

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