Among the honorees were expected Oscar favorites like Alexander Payne's "The Descendants," Steven Spielberg's "War Horse" and Martin Scorsese's "Hugo."
David Fincher's "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" - which just started screening - also managed to sneak in, as did Terrance Malick's divisive "The Tree of Life."
Perhaps most surprising were the inclusions of popular comedy "Bridesmaids" and Clint Eastwood's "J.Edgar," which received somewhat poor reviews.
Not included were "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" (though one suspects it didn't screen in time), "Young Adult," "The Ides of March," "Martha Marcy May Marlene," "Beginners," "The Adventures of Tintin," "Drive" or "Contagion." Note that like "The King's Speech" last year, Oscar frontrunner "The Artist" was not eligible because it's not an American production (it will receive a special award at the ceremony, however, as will the "Harry Potter" series). That also kept out "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy," "Shame" and "We Need To Talk About Kevin."
Full list below.
AFI MOVIES OF THE YEAR:
THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO
MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
THE TREE OF LIFE