If you weren’t a sequel and you didn’t arrive with plastic-wrapped 3D glasses, was your cinematic success in jeopardy in 2011?

Maybe so, as the first seven films in the Top 10 films which ranked highest in domestic gross last year were sequels and/or released in 3D format: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part I, The Hangover – Part II, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Fast Five and Cars 2.

Rounding out the last three slots on the list of the biggest cinematic earners stateside were two superhero films and one reboot: Thor, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Captain America: The First Avenger. These and hundreds of other releases helped to make 2011 the third highest-grossing year ever for film at the domestic box office.

So what can we learn from this? People must love their sequels, superheroes, reboots and 3D glasses. And, generally speaking, so do the editorial staff and contributing film critics at Crosswalk.com. But, as you’ll see in our list of what we thought were the top movies of 2011, we also loved stand-alone dramas, independent, art house and foreign films, as well as family-friendly fare.

Our choosing was not easy and not done without careful deliberation. In the end, we feel that what we agreed upon as our list of the top movies of 2011 offers something for everyone. Additionally, we asked each contributing staff member and critic to offer a defense of one honorable mention that did not make our final "Top Movies of 2011" list.

PLEASE NOTE: We understand not every film is for everyone. We have different comfort levels with the portrayal of sin and potentially offensive content as shown in film. Please click on the links provided with each film for a more detailed evaluation of potentially objectionable material.