I see, basically, every single movie I can that is released in theaters.
Coincidentally, the last two movies I saw were some of my favorite thus far in 2011, and likely both big Oscar contenders.
The first was Drive, a brutal crime drama with Ryan Gosling as an elusive wheelman. I think, despite the entire movie being, literally, beat-by-beat in the trailer, it's one of the finest and most well-crafted films of the year. And currently number 2 in my Top Ten list for 2011. I feel like it's greatness had to waft over me a few days before it was fully cemented (I went to a press early screening of it initially), but upon a second viewing I really did feel like I was watching a masterpiece. Stoic, scant on words, and a tad bit directorially over-indulgent. But a stylish, fun, wrenching masterpiece nonetheless. I'd be hard-pressed not to give this a perfect score. 10/10
The second is the slightly over-promoted and blah-looking, but absolutely-surprising-enchanting-intelligent-witty-and-well-made movie Moneyball. This one I was more surprised by, and certainly had a 360 on once I realized it was (mostly) written by Aaron Sorkin. I'm generally a Brad Pitt fan, and a baseball fan, but you need be neither to enjoy Moneyball. It's a film engrossed in the process of accounting and making the most of dollars and cents- even when it comes to a multi-million-dollar team franchise. The acting was top-notch, and the story is fresh- but really this is a movie I thoroughly enjoyed because of pacing. Yes, pacing. With such a firey sense of whiz-bang Sorkinian dictionary, the film's presentation never feels rushed, or characters too chatty or pretentious. In fact, there's almost an eerie stillness and silence to much of Moneyball that meshes with the quickfire bits of ideosyncratic musings in a delightfully entertaining manner. Despite the 2.5 hour runtime, I was on the edge of my seat much of the screening. Not to find out the plot or outcome, which like many I already knew (as the film is based on the real-life Oakland As), but to experience the journey and trials in getting there. It's expertly paced, adequately directed, naturally acted, and wittily-written. And for these merits, it too made my Top Ten. 9/10
But again, those are only my most recent moviegoing ventures. I try for a few a week.