No, seriously. On our list of the best movies of 2011, chosen by Richard Corliss — our film critic of 31 years — the fourth sequel to 2001′s The Fast & The Furious comes in at number 10.
He explains why thusly:
This list is short on sensitive indie dramas, heavy on mainstream mayhem, but it was that kind of year. The big boys — Hollywood technicians, from FX gurus to stunt choreographers — used their tools with more craft and cojones than the Sundance auteurs. Fast Five, fifth in the Fast & Furious series starring Vin Diesel and Paul Walker, is a live-action movie with so much whirling tumult, so many moments of low genius, that it plays like an animated car-toon. The dialogue, characterizations and acting are irrelevant to the success of this first great film of the post-human era. As if recalling the epochal heist in Edwin S. Porter’s 1903 The Great Train Robbery and, a decade later, the auto carnage of Mack Sennett’s Keystone Kops, speeding down the streets of a new metropolis known as Los Angeles, director Justin Lin goes back to basics — with another train robbery, and vehicular violence in police vehicles on the streets of Rio — just souped up and stripped down like a stock car in a death race. A carnival of roguish heroes and pretty girls, car chases and cliffhangers, Fast Five is as much a tribute as The Artist or Hugo to the cinema’s primal thrills.
Read the other nine selections on TIME’s Top 10 Movies of 2011 here.
Is this more outrageous than the inclusion of Speed Racer on his Top 10 Films of 2008 list? Only you can say. Please tell us in the comments below.