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DJ Movie Reviews: Winning Films of 2011

If you're like us, you spent a good portion of your holiday break inside a movie theater. And if you didn't, well, you're in luck. We've got the must-see movies, according to our resident critics, Danielle and Jared, which are most likely to go home with the gold in February. We'll start with Jared's picks and in a few days follow up with Danielle's. Let us know what films you think will take home the coveted prize. Jared's Picks:

Bridesmaids: I'm embarrassed to admit that, since Bridesmaids was released early in the year, I half-forgot to consider it for this list. It'd have been a shameful omission, though, because this was the best comedy I saw in 2011. Kristen Wiig, in her first starring role, proved more than capable of carrying a film, and the supporting cast - props to Melissa McCarthy(!) - provided plenty of laughs throughout.

Drive: Someday you can tell your children, and your children's children, what it was like to live through 'The Year of Ryan Gosling.' (There was a hurricane in New England, and there was tiger blood everywhere, and people really listened to Rebecca Black - strange times indeed!) With more action than The Ides of March and more Bryan Cranston than Crazy, Stupid, Love, this film taught us all that 80s synth-pop will never - and should never - go away.

The Muppets: Some critics have soured on The Muppets, perhaps expecting a level of perfection and an accuracy of tone no longer possible since the death of Jim Henson. Don't listen to the Statlers and Waldorfs of the world, though; The Muppets is a fun ride, with catchy songs and well-placed cameos. And if you fondly remember Muppet days of yore - or if, like me, you spent your early years as a Muppet Babies junkie - you'll find enough nostalgia here that your poor little heart just might burst with joy.

Super 8: When it came to movies, 2011 was a divider, not a uniter. Many critical darlings (The Tree of Life; Melancholia; The Artist) were interested more in testing cinema's boundaries than in accessibility, and most top earners (Transformers: Dark of the Moon; The Smurfs; The Hangover Part II) were reviewed quite unenthusiastically. But if any film this year could be called a crowd-pleaser, it was Super 8. I regret watching this one on my laptop, rather than in theaters, because it's a big movie: big explosions, big monsters, and big performances from little actors.

The Tree of Life: Half of this movie comprises what might be the best depiction of childhood I've ever seen on screen. The other half...well, the other half has dinosaurs and a final scene so bad that it easily would have ruined a lesser movie. But while not a perfect film, The Tree of Life is beautifully shot, thought provoking and deeply moving.

Do you agree with Jared's picks? Tell us your faves and be sure to look out for Danielle's picks this week.

Image courtesy of deviantART

[author] [author_image timthumb='on']#[/author_image] [author_info]Jared works in House Party's Business Intelligence department, where he prepares reports and has other PowerPoint-related fun. He's also the beauty behind the @HousePartyFun Twitter account (while Sarah is the brains!). Originally from Maine, he now lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn with far too many cats. In his spare time he enjoys books, movies, music and witty Twitter banter. His party advice? Get more ice. You know you're going to need it. [/author_info] [/author]

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