2011 was a difficult year for the adult film industry. With the Great Recession in full swing and porn piracy at an all time high, studios and directors found they had less funds and more adversity to do their productions. Still some real gems emerged, like diamonds made from coal under intense pressure and we've picked the top 10 of them to recognize as the best of 2011.
#1 Lost and Found (New Sensations, Directed by Eddie Powell)
Last year New Sensations launched their Romance Series which completely rebooted the "couples porn' genre and in the process planted the seeds for what we feel will be a major category expansion for the industry. Not only did these movies have great sex with wide appeal but they had solid stories that you'd actually want to watch. In 2011 Eddie Powell took the reigns for the series and the results have been nothing short of spectacular. Two films represented the best of this amazing series Dear Abby and Lost and Found (and both got our highest rating), but it was Lost and Found with Allie Haze, Zoe Voss, Lexi Belle and Kimberly Kane which we felt represented the best of these two and one of the best films of 2011. A great cast, a great story, great acting and fantastic sex well shot, Lost and Found is the definition of great porn and it showed that even with a modest budget in a deep recession you can make a movie that stands with the best of them. Sit someone down who either has never watched a porn or says they hate it with Lost and Found and they'll be blown away. Porn can be more than a series of scenes with people fucking, it's adult entertainment and no film this year provided the adult and the entertainment better.
Read our complete review for Lost and Found.
#2 Horizon (Wicked Pictures, Directed by Sam Hain)
Who the hell does a big budget sci-fi porn flick in a deep recession?! The answer is Wicked Pictures, and that wasn't the only chance they took on Horizon. Wicked brought in Sam Hain to shoot one of their biggest releases of the year, letting Brad Armstrong do some other fantastic projects like Young At Heart and Sexy (both of which got our top rating). Wicked also assembled a perfect crew for Horizon including Jessica Drake, Misty Stone, Bobbi Starr, Kaylani Lei, and Kimberly Kane. With Horizon, Sam Hain shows he can play with the big boys, balancing out sex and story and creating a film with lots of action. In addition to the film that felt like it came out of a pre-recession era. Combine that with the fact that Wicked delivered Horizon in a four disc pack with a ton of great extras and a bonus Blu-Ray version of the film and you've got one of the best films of 2011.
Read the complete review for Horizon
#3 Portrait of A Call Girl (Elegant Angel, Directed by Graham Travis)
Portrait of A Call Girl was the rarity that combined sex and story in a meaningful way; offering feature fans a lot to appreciate while fans of good sex will still delight in the strength of the sex scenes. The sex was not the polished up, glossed over sex either; it was the kind that delivered the goods on multiple levels. Jessie Andrews proved what so many of the XCritic staff have said about her sexual prowess too, enhancing that with an ability to actually act rather than imitate, In a time when the parody genre seems to get the most attention, Travis and Elegant show the rest of the industry that quality fuck flicks can be made without pandering and in our eyes it represents some of the best in adult entertainment in 2011.
Read the complete review for Portrait of A Call Girl
#4 Killer Bodies: The Awakening (Adam & Eve, Directed by David Lord)
We remember a time when the adult entertainment industry was THE innovators for home entertainment. VHS took off because of adult entertainment, DVD went ballistic and its features were fully explored by the adult industry and Blu-Ray got a small boost from smut. But the days of innovation feel like they are more behind us than infront of us. That is until we saw Killer Bodies: The Awakening, an interactive thriller from Adam & Eve. In an era of porn parodies and spoofs, director David Lord has gone to his roots with a stellar feature featuring some of the most notable performers in the biz (including Tori Black, Teagan Presley, Brooke Lee Adams, Alexis Ford and Bree Olson). Beyond that David Lord has gone interactive with a thriller that has no less than 32 different variation. Killer Bodies: The Awakening really had it all: heated sex, performers with chemistry, solid acting, and enough fuck for the buck to elevate it as a “must have”. It's refreshing to see SOMEONE innovate and we give a nod to David Lord and Adam & Eve for producing one of the top and most innovative films of 2011.
Read our complete review for Killer Bodies: The Awakening
#5 Kimberly Kane's Been Blackmaled (Vivid Entertainment, Directed by Kimberly Kane)
Vivd got a ton of attention for Axel Braun's SuperXXXhero series (and it's well represented in our Top Porn Parody List) and Allie Haze wow'd us with Allie Haze: True Sex. Capri Anderson was superb in My Little Black Book and Runaway, but it was Kimberly Kane's relatively under the radar title Kimberly Kane's Been Blackmaled which we flet represented some of the best non-parody work coming out of Vivid this year. Kimberly has alway drawn accolades for her work both infront of and behind the scenes and here she shows that she's not resting on her laurels as she elevates her game and everyone else around her. Kimberly Kane's Been Blackmaled is the kind of movie you pull out to show just how much heat, chemistry and energy is possible in a porn. There's not a single bad performance and it has one of the strongest replay values of the films we reviewed this year. Kimberly Kane has always been "one to watch" and she continues to prove it time and again.
Read our complete review for Kimberly Kane's Been Blackmaled
#6 Adventures in Babysitting (Tom Byron Pictures, Directed by Ivan)
Lets face it, many porn directors out there are just going through the motions. We won't point any fingers, but it's clear that some directors get bored shooting sex. It's mind-blowing to think that anyone could get bored when you have some of these amazing girls fucking in front of you, but it's also the reason only 2% of all films we review snag our top rating. Adventures in Babysitting was like a breath of fresh air. Ivan brought an enthusiasm and creativity to shooting this film that was simply exciting. Add to this a stellar cast including Allie Haze, Lily Cater, Jessie Andrews, Tegan Summers and Dani Daniels who all brought their absolute A-Game and you've got one of the year's best films.
Read the complete review for Adventures in Babysitting
#7 Bobbi's World (Evil Angel, Directed by Bobbi Starr)
2011 was a big year for girl/girl porn with a number of studios launching new efforts and lines. While we loved such films as Lesbian Truth Or Dare 6,Celeste,The Interns 2 and Cherry but nothing innovated or excited us quite like Bobbi's World. Bobbi Starr who has always impressed us as a performer shows that she has fantastic sensibilities as a director and she delivers girl/girl porn from an entirely different point of view. Bobbi takes hold of the camera and gives us Lesbian POV porn, while not something entirely new, is extremely rare and done here to perfection. Bobbi's scene with Kimberly Kane was one of the best girl/girl scenes of the year and perhaps one of the best of all time. Very original, very arousing, very cutting edge, Bobbi’s World may have just signaled a new era in POV/Lesbian/Gonzo porn. We wouldn’t be surprised if years from now, future directors view this fantastic piece of work as an influence on their work. Bobbi’s World is a brilliant piece of pornographic smut and absolutely one of the best adult films of 2011.
Read our complete review for Bobbi's World
#8 Top Guns (Digital Playground, Directed by Robbie D.)
Digital Playground had a lot of impressive releases in 2011 including Assassins, Babysitters 2 and Fighters but it was Top Guns where all the elements came together the best and showed off why the current line up of contract performers (including Jesse Jane, Kayden Kross, Riley Steele, Stoya and Selena Rose) may be their best. For us Top Guns was proof positive that Jesse and Kayden both can act as well as they can fuck (and they both are some of the best at fucking on screen) and it gave us one of the best all-star orgy scenes we've seen in a long long time (it was like the all star game of fucking). Add to all this some top notch production values and a bonus Blu-Ray disc and you've got the makings of a top 10 title. Although Top Guns could have been filed under the Parody category it felt as much a part of Digital Playground's vocational series and could easily have been called "Fighter Pilots".
Read our complete review for Top Guns
#9 Ass Worship 13 (Jules Jordan Video, Directed by Jules Jordan)
When it comes to delivering the best anal title of the year no one came close to Jules Jordan and Ass Worship 13. Featuring FOUR FULL HOURS of some of the best ass in the business. Jynx Maze was amazing, Krissy Lynn the kind of ass you’d kill for, Kelly Divine’s bubble butt beckoning for a boning, and Kristina Rose & Jada Stevens double teaming none other than Nacho Vidal himself to merit a tremendous amount of replay value. What more can you ASSk for!?
Read our complete review for Ass Worship 13
#10 Sinderella & Me (Sweet Sinner, Directed by Nica Noelle)
We're starting to see a theme develop on our top 10 list for 2011 and that's Allie Haze (who also happens to be our 2011 Female Performer of The Year). But truth be told it was Sweet Sinner who was one of the first studios to recognize the amazing talent in Allie and put her front and center in their films. Released in January of 2011, Sinderella & Me got overlooked in many of the other porn awards out there (porn tens to have a super short memory) but we feel that it deserves recognition. Sinderella & Me is another great film with something to offer both couples and fans of great sex and the scene between Allie Haze and Manuel Ferrera is a perfect example of how 'couple's porn' doesn't always have to be soft or overly glammed up. Nica Noelle and Sweet Sinner had a great run together with a number of strong productions (before their parting this year) and Sinderella & Me was one of the best.
Read our complete review of Sinderella & Me
XCritic's Best of 2011: