Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol - A very well done action movie though not quite as good as others have suggested. The attempts at emotionality slow the movie down and various plot twists feel very mechanical. Everything in Dubai is ****ing spectacular, among the best action set pieces ever. The switcheroo mission there also worked quite well. In terms of elevating the script material into a fantastic movie, no one did a better job than Bird this past year. Pretty strongly recommended.
The Artist - I'm slightly conflicted. On the one hand, there is a clear love of and attention to detail for the Hollywood of yore. The performances by the leads are great, and the film is quite touching and sweet. That said, it is odd that this is considered one of the best movies of the year. Put this up against some of the classic silent movies and it doesn't compare. My main issue with this movie is that it can only work with modern viewers. If this had been made in the 30's like The Great Dictator or even in the 50's like Sunset Boulevard, it would be considered standard material with some third act inconsistency. It's a cute little experiment, but it has little to say about the past or future of moviemaking. What an incredibly poor year for movies 2011 was. I do intend to check out the director's other two movies (spy spoofs) that I have had on Queue for a while now. Pretty strongly recommended.