‘The Descendants,’ ‘Hugo,’ ‘Dragon Tattoo’ Make AFI Top 10 List

“War Horse” and “Bridesmaids” also make the cut; “The Artist” wins special award

Last Updated: December 11, 2011 @ 1:07 PM

"The Descendants," "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," "Hugo," "Moneyball" and "The Tree of Life" were named as being among the best pictures of 2011 by the American Film Institute, which announced its annual top 10 list on Sunday.

Also on the list: "Bridesmaids," "The Help," "J. Edgar," "Midnight in Paris" and War Horse."

AFI officials say the annual list is designed to honor "works which best advance the art of the moving image; enhance the rich cultural heritage of America's art form; inspire audiences and artists alike; and/or make a mark on American society."

The top 10 contains most of the films considered Oscar contenders — along with at least one, the raucous comedy "Bridesmaids," that is not.

Most notably missing from the list was Stephen Daldry's "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close," which first screened in the past week, along with George Clooney's "The Ides of March" and smaller indie films like "Take Shelter" and "Martha Marcy May Marlene."

Last year's AFI Top 10 included nine of the eventual Oscar Best Picture nominees. The only nominee that didn't make the list was the winner, "The King's Speech," which wasn't eligible for the AFI list because it was made by a British director. That film was, however, given a special award.

Like "The King's Speech," this year's Oscar frontrunner "The Artist" was not eligible for the AFI list. Also like that earlier film, it did, however, receive a special award from the AFI, as did the "Harry Potter" series, which concluded this year.

In television awards, the AFI honored shows ranging from "Breaking Bad," "Boardwalk Empire" and "Game of Thrones" to "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Modern Family" and "Parks and Recreation."

Films were selected by a jury chaired by former Universal chairman Tom Pollock. The television jury was chaired by Richard Frank, former chairman of Walt Disney Television.

Here are the lists of winners:

AFI MOVIES OF THE YEAR
BRIDESMAIDS
THE DESCENDANTS
THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO
THE HELP
HUGO
J. EDGAR
MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
MONEYBALL
THE TREE OF LIFE
WAR HORSE

AFI TV PROGRAMS OF THE YEAR
BREAKING BAD
BOARDWALK EMPIRE
CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM
GAME OF THRONES
THE GOOD WIFE
HOMELAND
JUSTIFIED
LOUIE
MODERN FAMILY
PARKS AND RECREATION

AFI SPECIAL AWARDS
THE ARTIST
THE HARRY POTTER SERIES