With awards season just around the corner, WJON movie maven Ileana Williams takes a moment to look back on the past year of cinema. You can hear her movie reviews each week on The Jay Caldwell Show.

In terms of movies, 2011 was definitely a mixed bag. For this reason I would like to take a moment to go through what I believe were the ten best movies of 2011. You may not necessarily agree with my choices and that’s ok, but here we go regardless.

(Click the expanding arrows icon on the  video players to watch the trailers fullscreen)

  • 10

    Paranormal Activity 3

    This supernatural thriller is actually a prequel to the first two. The final chapter of this saga had me jumping, screaming, and spilling my popcorn the entire time.

  • 9

    Captain America

    What can I say about Chris Evans portraying a really buff soldier with a heart of gold, except that he did a phenomenal job? As far as comic book movies go, this is the most loyal to the comics, or so I’ve been told by certain nerds.

  • 8

    Winnie the Pooh

    Growing up I was always a fan of that lovable bear. I love that this film was done in the classic 2-D animation and that Zooey Deschanel sang all the songs. Plus it’s fun to talk about Pooh at any age.

  • 7

    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

    Having read the books and watched the Swedish films, I had been eagerly awaiting David Fincher’s version. While Noomi Rapace did a great job with the character of Lisbeth, Rooney Mara is simply outstanding.

  • 6

    Rise of the Planet of the Apes

    There are good and bad ways to reboot a franchise and this film is a great example of the good way to do it. The story was great as was the acting. In fact Andy Serkis deserves an Oscar for his portrayal of Caesar.

  • 5


    The main reason why this ranks higher than Captain America is the cinematography. The work that was done on the mythical realm of Asgard was breathtaking. Who knew Kenneth Branagh could pull off superheroes just as easily as Shakespeare?

  • 4

    The Help

    I laughed, I cried, I cheered. I absolutely love the story as well as the entire cast. Simply put, this movie is great and everyone needs to see it.

  • 3


    I’m so glad that the world now knows that women can be just as raunchy as men. Kristen Wiig is great but the real star is Melissa McCarthy. Just thinking about the scene in the dress shop makes me giggle.

  • 2


    The reason I rarely go to “horror” movies is that they have become nothing but bloody soft-core porn. This movie however is the embodiment of scary. There is something so unsettling about the ghosts in this movie that I still get freaked out if I think about it too much.

  • 1

    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

    After reading all the books and seeing all the movies over the past decade, Harry Potter has kind of become an extended member of my family. While I’m happy that he conquered evil once and for all, I’m sad to see him go. This movie was beautifully shot and was a faithful adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s final book.