Alright, people. Here we go. The crème de la crème. The year’s best movies. The top ten movies of 2012.
2012 was an incredible year for movies, with an abundance of huge blockbusters that delivered on their promises, and your typical mix of Oscar worthy material in the mix as well. This list could have turned in to a top 20 with ease.
But I made the tough calls, and whittled it down to just ten.
Click through to see what made the final cut – the best movies of 2012!
Ben Affleck takes a thirty year old true story and turns it into one of the most suspenseful movies of the year. He also manages to work in a fair amount of humor, in spite of continually ratcheting up the tension. The hostile political environment he manages to create is practically smothering, and will keep you on the edge of your seat with worry for the escaped embassy staff. Thrilling and funny, “Argo” stands out as one of the year’s best, and keeps Affleck’s short directorial filmography pristine.
Superhero films have become a sub-genre unto themselves, and “The Avengers” typifies the reasons for their popularity. Fun, exciting, full of humor and camaraderie… this movie is popcorn entertainment at its absolute best. Pulling together a team of heroes from previously established films, “The Avengers” focuses every bit as much on getting along as it does getting together. Let’s hope they stay together and keep putting movies out for a long, long time!
“Beasts of the Southern Wild”
“Southern Wild” is an extremely evocative film. As you watch its six-year-old protagonist, Hushpuppy, battle the elements, her father and the world, it’s hard not to see her struggle as a metaphor for our struggle. Her victory comes across as a victory of the human will and spirit. A triumphant film, especially considering so many key people involved were new to the trade.
Quentin Tarantino does what he does best – putting colorful characters into dangerous situations, then making us watch the wick burn towards the charge via loaded conversations, before treating us to an explosive finale. Jamie Foxx is bad ass as Django, the ex-slave turned bounty hunter who delivers vengeance with the help of Christoph Waltz. Leonardo DiCaprio plays a slimy slave owner you’ll love to hate. Bloody, pulpy entertainment at its best.
“The Impossible” may just be the most realistic disaster film ever made. What that means for the audience is that they will experience the frightening horror of the tsunami as it strikes, and then the immense devastation and sorrow of the aftermath. McGregor and Watts give amazing performances as separated husband and wife. It’s an engrossing, gut wrenching film that will remind you of what’s really important in life.
Featuring one of the greatest biopic performances ever put on film, “Lincoln” portrays the congressional action revolving around the passage of the slavery abolishing 13th Amendment. What you would imagine would be an easy to agree on piece of legislation was apparently a contentious, hard-fought battle, and Steven Spielberg brings it to the screen with a surprising mix of humor and drama. Daniel Day-Lewis brings Abraham Lincoln to life.
“Life of Pi”
“Life of Pi” is the story of a young boy forced to share a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger after a shipwreck. His first order of business is survival, but he’s also forced to redefine his faith. Gorgeous to look at, exciting, and thought-provoking, “Life of Pi” challenges the viewer to assess the events and put them into a spiritual context. It doesn’t make things easy for the audience, opting instead to bring faith, belief, and personal interpretation into play. Astonishing.
Sharp and stylish, “Looper” is a time travel, sci-fi thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat with its complex plot and character driven action. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis play two different temporal incarnations of the same assassin character who come into contact via time travel. Of course, one time period isn’t big enough for the two of them. Conflicts arise as the present needs to assassinate the future, and the future wants to rewrite the past.
Bond’s 50th Anniversary gift to his fans was one of the best films in his illustrious history. It was also part of a rare breed – the thinking person’s action movie. “Skyfall” features great action set pieces, a great theme song, and a fantastic villain, but it also featured well-rounded characters, era appropriate themes, phenomenal direction and gorgeous cinematography. “Skyfall” isn’t just a great Bond film, it’s a great film, period.
“Zero Dark Thirty”
Taut, engrossing and intense, “Zero Dark Thirty” is the story of one of the most intensive, important manhunts in history: the search for Osama Bin Laden. Jessica Chastain stars as the obsessed CIA officer who will not give up on the lead that eventually brings about his execution. Featuring disturbing torture sequences, terrorist attacks, and extensive intelligence gathering efforts, “Zero Dark Thirty” will grab you and will not let you go.
“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”
Elderly awakening story with heart to spare.
“The Dark Knight Rises”
Honestly? Just cause I don’t want to hear it.Extxxxx.empor
Liam fights more than wolves, he fights mortality.
P. Jackson’s fun, flawed return to Middle Earth..Extxxxxempor
Highly entertaining start to next big franchise.
Just slightly too smart for its own good.
Charming and quirky.
Batshit crazy in the best of ways.
Love, love, love, love, crazy love.
“The Raid: Redemption”
Jaw dropping action.
There you have it folks, the best films of the year.
Alright, let’s have it. What did I miss? What shouldn’t be included here? TDKR fans, happy enough now not to turn this into a referendum on Nolan’s final chapter let down? Who’s surprised “Silver Linings” only got Honorable Mention? Or “Moonrise Kingdom” for that matter?
Let’s hear it!!
Since my #1 film wasn’t on the list (Les Miserables), I’m going to go with my #2 film-Skyfall. Can’t wait for the BD on that one.
Me either. I hope it’s like a six disk set with 40 hours of Special Features 😀
Meanwhile, yeah, sorry, Les Mis doesnt even rate honorable mention in my book. 😦
“Argo” all the way.
Ah, go all the way…. LOL
Sorry, bad movie pun.
Fogs, it’s great to see both Looper and Skyfall on there. There are few movies that I enjoyed seeing more than those films in the past year. I also enjoyed a lot of your other picks too, though I still need to see Django, Life of Pi, and Zero Dark Thirty.
There’s three great films ahead for you then. They’ll help you get through January when everything else at the theatre is dreck. LOL 😀
I had a great time with those two too. Very very high quality entertainment films this year. Wound up squeezing some serious think pieces (such as the Master) right out of the top ten! 😀
Great nominees, except I definitely would’ve switched out The Avengers for Moonrise Kingdom, or if you needed a superhero movie up there, then definitely The Dark Knight Rises.
My vote though goes for Life of Pi, however once I see Django Unchained (it hasn’t come out yet in Spain) I will probably give my vote for Mr. Tarantino.
Well, I’m not a huge fan of the Dark Knight Rises. I think the Avengers is a much more entertaining film, and that’s the path to victory for that type of movie. The Avengers was such a populist crowd pleaser that it needed to be recognized.
Life of Pi was pretty great, I wouldn’t assume Django will unseat it just because its Tarantino (although, Django was great too!)
Nice to see The Avengers here. Joss Whedon’s film deserved more awards attention than it has gotten. I was really surprised by its Oscar snub for Best Picture (especially since it was critically acclaimed and was the #1 box office hit in 2012).
I think that that open space should have gone to “Skyfall”, myself. It would have filled that populist picture void nicely. Not to dis the Avengers, it was great, I just think Skyfall hews a little more closely to what the standard envisionment of an Academy Award nominee should be. 😦
It’s so hard to pick just 10 movies. I had to do an honorable mentions part as well. With that said, I can find no fault with your top 10. It’s flawless actually. I wasn’t crazy about everything that made your honorable mentions (The Master for example) but I can understand why you picked each one. Awesome list my friend!
Thanks Mark! I definitely appreciate that. Would have epxected you to insist on Les Mis, I know you thought more highly of it than I did. LOL
It WAS a tough year to make a top ten, wasn’t it? I remember last year scratching my head over films that were “Worthy”. This year, I had like four or five movies that actually hurt to cut!
I would definitely add Les Miserables to the honorable mentions and for me as one I would consider for the top prize though judging by what I heard and read perhaps Argo stands alone here. I cannot comment on this film as I’ve not yet had the pleasure to see it. I understand this to be a strong human story in the middle of a brilliant cast. This time the Golden Globes may not be off the mark. Nice post.
We’ll see how “Argo” fares. Obviously, the Golden Globes arent the same as the Oscars, and neither of them plays into my consideration here!
I just left a thorough reply to your Les Mis comment, so I’ll let that stand as my reply here. LOL. To paraphrase, it went something like, “Nahhh”. 😀
Great list! 🙂
Thanks Ash, I appreciate that!! 😀 Glad you approve!!
Well, if I fell behind on seeing the worst pics of the year I’m doing pretty well here. I’ve already seen 14 of these, with another 3 on my must see list before MY year ends (Yes, I rewrite the entire calendar around a certain awards show).
I see that The Grey won most surprising as well. Looks like I better get on that one fast too!
Great list here and honestly you can’t go wrong with choosing a winner out of these. I absolutely adored Beasts and Pi, and haven’t seen Zero Dark Thirty yet, but right now I’d vote for Argo, simply because it mixes everything so well into a fun ride.
And my favorite line in all of this is “Honestly? Just cause I don’t want to hear it.”
Ha! Glad people are enjoying that line. It’s true, though.
Zero Dark Thirty delivers on its promises. I’m sure that you’ll enjoy it.
I’m sure you DO rewrite your calendar around the big day. I imagine things get awfully busy for you… The word “Madhouse” comes to mind. Lol
Very nice; SEARCHING FOR SUGARMAN and COSMOPOLIS made mine; wish I had seen AMOUR but perhaps later this week
Yeah, I second that. I hate when these big award season contenders are so hard to actually get to see. Really kind of irritates me to no end…
Haven’t seen those other two, but I’ve heard good things.
Avengers Assemble!! 😀
It stands a good chance, man. I’ll be letting everyone know in a ocuple of days!
I like the noms here. and I really like the layout of the honorable mentions here, Fogs. It works well.
Go AVENGERS! 🙂
Thanks buddy. And I certainly will be taking the fact that I know one of the stars of the film into consideration. LOL 😉
The layout did turn out pretty sharp, thanks for mentioning it! 😀
Best Exotic might have been my favorite this year. And as I’m a huge fan of action, it would sound odd. But I’m a huge fan of really good British films as well. Since it is a best mention, I’m going to pick Avengers. They managed to pull of a very good ensemble movie based on comics. This is easier said than done. They worked well together without one stealing the show. Things that went BOOM looked great and things that went BAM were well choreographed. And I loved the actor they hired to play Bruce Banner. He was the closest Dr. Banner to the one I grew up with on T.V. and in the comics of my high school years.
Yeah, Ruffalo was great, wasn’t he? They signed him to an enormous contract, too, so we’ll be getting lots more of him as Banner. I got to see him on the Avengers Panel at New York Comic Con two years ago, promoting this, he was very personable. 😀
Meanwhile Best Exotic was great too, it would have been totally worthy! It was just a tough year to crack the top ten! 2012 was loaded!
Solid list! Not bad…not bad. 😀 We agree with many! It was a hard year–there were so many that were close and/or awesome in different ways…very tough.
You’ve seen my (very late posted) list, so you know I am going to say–BOO! to Skyfall. :p Beautifully shot (Deakins deserves the Oscar!) and an interesting spy film, but not quite Bond for me. But, I know I am in the minority in that one. 😀
Looking forward to 2013! Later!
PS I like the layout–very nice.
Wow. Boo to Skyfall, huh? LOL. Hope you dont poke around the rest of the awards too much then. LOL
I appreciate the compliment on the look, I try to keep it snazzy, you know? 😀 And yeah, a lot of overlap between our two lists, without a doubt!