The year is over.  For me, anyway.

On Tuesday, I'm recording the voice-over for my Top Ten Films Of The Year video, which Alex Dorn is already working to coordinate, part of the massive year-end onslaught of stuff you're about to get from the rest of Team HitFix.  It's an exciting time of year for us because we're sort of mainlining films in one last crazy buffet of a self-programmed film festival for about ten or twelve straight days.

And so as I sit down to write the list this weekend, I'm looking at the list of qualifying films, also known as "All the new films I saw in hitfix.com/categories/2011" class="autolink">2011."  Which is, according to my final count, 211 films.  Not the most I've ever seen in a year, and not the least either.  It's a good solid average number.

I'm always amused by how seriously people take "the rules" when people are making lists at the end of the year.  All I can tell you is that my film year is not the same as Greg Ellwood's film year which is not the same as Kris Tapley's film year or Guy Lodge's or Dan Fienberg's or Alan Sepinwall's, just as my TV year is probably radically different than theirs, or my gaming year, or my year in books.  Media becomes more and more of a personalized diet for people each year, because there's so much of it, and because the ways we ingest it are so different.  Even if you attend the same film festival as someone else, there's no guarantee you'll end up seeing the same things. 

Because of that, I can't worry about what's "fair" and what's not when it comes to putting my list together.  The point is that these are the films that I saw this year, and it's my personal attempt to make sense of them.  If I saw a film at a public festival that anyone could buy a ticket to, then I'm going to consider it eligible.  That would disqualify an event like Butt-Numb-A-Thon because so much of what plays at that festival is unreleased in any traditional sense.  But something like Toronto or Cannes or Sundance?  Totally fair game in my book.

Another reason I've given up worry about it is because there have been years in the past where I've held out on putting something on my list, convinced it would come out the following year, and then it never happened.  When three years go by sometimes between a festival and a theatrical release, it leaves some films in a weird limbo, and I find myself unsure what to do with them.  At this point, i think the best thing I can do is just put the films I love on my list, and if that means you have to make a note of it because it's heading to theaters later, then so be it.  At least you know it's worth waiting for, right?

I'm going to publish a few different things this year.  As I mentioned, my Ten Best Films Of 2011 list will be handled as a video piece that I will publish with an article.  My runners-up list will be published as an article a few days before that.  And a few days after that, I'll put up my Ten Worst Films Of 2011 list.  Depending on what sort of time I have, I may also give out a Special Awards For 2011 in another article, focusing on performances and directors and moments and events that really stand out when I look back at the past 12 months worth of movies.

In the meantime, here's a list of all of the qualified films, in no particular order, so you can see what the pool is that I'm drawing from.  I've also included a list of the films I did not see this year, and to the best of my knowledge, this pretty much covers everything I had a shot at during all the festivals, press screenings, and everything else.  If you see something missing from the list that you feel is a huge oversight on my part, please let me know.

And I'm curious… how many films did you guys see this year?  I do this professionally, so I figure I'm on the high end of the spectrum, but I would not be shocked if there are film fans who saw more than I did, nor would I look down on anyone who saw markedly less.  I'm just curious because it's one of those things I wonder about, and it seems like the right time to ask.

QUALIFYING TITLES FOR 2011 (213)

"30 Minutes Or Less"
"50/50"
"The Adjustment Bureau"
"The Adventures Of Tintin"
"Albert Nobbs"
"American Animal"
"Another Earth"
"Apollo 18"
"The Arbor"
"Arirung"
"Arthur"
"Arthur Christmas"
"The Artist"
"Attack The Block"
"Bad Teacher"
"Battle: Los Angeles"
"Beastly"
"Beauty Day"
"The Beaver"
"Beginners"
"Bellflower"
"A Better Life"
"The Big Bang"
"The Black Power Mixtape 1967 - 1975"
"Blackthorn"
"Bonsai"
"A Boy And His Samurai"
"Bridesmaids"
"Buck"
"Bullhead"
"Burke & Hare"
"Butter"
"The Caller"
"Captain America: The First Avenger"
"Carnage"
"Cars 2"
"The Catechism Cataclysm"
"Cedar Rapids"
"The Change-Up"
"Chillerama"
"Colombiana"
"Conan The Barbarian"
"Contagion"
"Cowboy & Aliens"
"Crazy, Stupid, Love"
"A Dangerous Method"
"The Day"
"The Debt"
"The Descendants"
"Detective Dee And The Mystery Of The Phantom Flame"
"Detention"
"The Devil's Double"
"The Dilemma"
"Dolphin Tale"
"Drive"
"Drive Angry"
"Dylan Dog: Dead Of Night"
"The Eagle"
"Elite Squad 2: The Enemy Within"
"Fast Five"
"Final Destination 5"
"Flypaper"
"Footloose"
"Friends With Benefits"
"Fright Night"
"From The Sky Down"
"The Future"
"The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo"
"Gnomeo & Juliet"
"God Bless America"
"A Good Old Fashioned Orgy"
"The Green Hornet"
"Green Lantern"
"The Guard"
"Hall Pass"
"The Hangover Part II"
"Hanna"
"Happy Feet 2"
"Hara-Kiri: Death Of A Samurai"
"Hard Labor"
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2"
"Headhunters"
"The Help"
"Higher Ground"
"Hobo With A Shotgun"
"Hop"
"Horrible Bosses"
"Hugo"
"The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)"
"I Am Number Four"
"The Ides of March"
"The Incident"
"The Innkeepers"
"J. Edgar"
"Jack and Jill"
"Jane Eyre"
"Jeff Who Lives At Home"
"Juan Of The Dead"
"Just Go With It"
"Justin Bieber: Never Say Never"
"Kaboom"
"The Kid With A Bike"
"Kill List"
"Killer Elite"
"Knifepoint"
"Knuckle"
"Kung-Fu Panda 2"
"The Lady"
"Larry Crowne"
"The Last Circus"
"Like Crazy"
"Limelight"
"Limitless"
"The Lincoln Lawyer"
"Little Deaths"
"Livid"
"A Lonely Place To Die"
"Love"
"Lovely Molly"
"Machine Gun Preacher"
"Magic Trip"
"Margaret"
"Margin Call"
"Martha Marcy May Marlene"
"The Mechanic"
"Melancholia"
"Michael"
"Midnight In Paris"
"Miss Bala"
"Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol"
"Moneyball"
"The Muppets"
"My Sucky Teen Romance"
"My Week With Marilyn"
"No Strings Attached"
"One Day"
"The Oranges"
"Oslo, August 31st"
"The Other F Word"
"Our Idiot Brother"
"Paranormal Activity 3"
"Paul"
"Paul Williams Still Alive"
"Phillip The Fossil"
"Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides"
"Point Blank"
"Priest"
"Project Nim"
"Prom"
"Puss In Boots"
"The Raid"
"Rampart"
"Rango"
"Real Steel"
"Red Riding Hood"
"Red State"
"The Resident"
"Restless"
"Rio"
"Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes"
"The Rite"
"The Roommate"
"The Rum Diary"
"Sanctum"
"Scream 4"
"Season Of The Witch"
"A Separation"
"Septien"
"Shame"
"Shark Night 3D"
"Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows"
"Silent House"
"The Sitter"
"The Skin I Live In"
"Sleeping Beauty"
"Sleepless Night"
"The Smurfs"
"Snow Flower & The Secret Fan"
"Sound Of My Voice"
"Source Code"
"The Squad"
"Straw Dogs"
"Submarine"
"Sucker Punch"
"Super 8"
"Take Me Home Tonight"
"Take Shelter"
"Take This Waltz"
"The Thing"
"Thor"
"Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"
"Tower Heist"
"Transformers: Dark Of The Moon"
"The Tree Of Life"
"Troubadors"
"The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1"
"Twixt"
"Tyrannosaur"
"Unknown"
"A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas"
"Wake Wood"
"War Horse"
"Warrior"
"Water For Elephants"
"We Bought A Zoo"
"We Need To Talk About Kevin"
"Weekend"
"Winnie The Pooh"
"The Woman"
"Wuthering Heights"
"X-Men: First Class"
"Young Adult"
"Your Highness"
"You're Next"
"The Zookeeper"

FILMS I MISSED COMPLETELY

"New Year's Eve"
"W.E."
"The Double"
"The Three Musketeers"
"Johnny English Reborn"
"In The Land Of Blood and Honey"
"Pina"
"Pariah"
"Coriolanus"
"The Darkest Hour"
"Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close"
"The Iron Lady"
"Alvin And The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked"
"The Deep Blue Sea"
"This Must Be The Place"
"The Flowers Of War"
"Five Days Of War"
"House Of Tolerance"
"Anonymous"
"Immortals"
"11.11.11"
"Trespass"
"The Big Year"
"Texas Killing Fields"
"The Turin Horse"
"Mysteries Of Lisbon"
"Dream House"
"Abduction"
"What's Your Number?"
"Mars Needs Moms"

I'm sure my list would have been affected by some of those films, but I'm not sure if it's the Best Of or Worst Of that I'd have to alter.  Whatever the case, timing and other factors (like fear) kept me from seeing those, and so it goes.  We'll have our lists for you just before Christmas, and I'm excited to kick off 2012 at Sundance, and then we can start this whole crazy process over again.