Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Top Ten Movies of 2012

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I wasn't able to get to the movie theater as often as I wanted in 2012. I thought about not doing a Top Ten list this year.  Then I reviewed my notes on the films I did see and decided to run with it.I'm not sure that the list would be much different if I had seen twice as many 2012 films.   However, I think I'll wait a while before attempting to list my favorite performances of 2012 so I can catch some more films on DVD.

As usual, to qualify for my Top Ten list, I had to see the film in a theater in 2012 during its original run. Due to movie release schedules, there are a few carryover films from the previous year that I saw early in 2012 that made my list.

The worst movie that I saw in 2012 was The Cabin in the Woods. Critical hype sucked me in on that one.  The runner up is The Iron Lady, a truly awful film that happens to have a great performance in it by Meryl Streep.

The best film that I saw in 2012 not in a theater happened to be the BEST film that I saw in 2012 period: 1924's Sherlock, Jr. It is amazing.  The runner-up in this category was 1957's Witness for the Prosecution. I watched both of these on Netflix streaming and would consider them essential viewing for the cinemaphile. Do yourself a favor and watch them.

There are also several films that I quite admired which didn't make the Top Ten list. In alphabetical order, these are The Artist, The Avengers, The Descendants, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hunger Games, and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.

Without further ado, here are the ten best films that I saw in a theater in 2012, in descending order:

10. Flight. Extraordinary performance by Denzel Washington.

9.  Looper.  Definitely an original time-travel movie.  Adding to the fun is Joseph Gordon-Levitt mimicking Bruce Willis.

8. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. This sentimental drama somehow grabbed my heart and wouldn't let go.

7.  The Adventures of Tintin. Reminded me of a good Indiana Jones movie, despite being animated.

6.  Les Miserables. Powerful story. Powerful music. Powerful cast.

5.  Argo. Perfectly constructed real-life thriller.

4.  The Dark Knight Rises. Great conclusion to the Batman trilogy.

3.  Skyfall. The best James Bond movie ever. Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, and Albert Finney are perfect.

2.  Django Unchained. Quentin Tarantino annihilates racism in his own inimitable way.

1.  Lincoln. Brilliant cast brilliantly directed in a brilliant script becomes a great timeless movie about ideas and ideals in politics.

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