In no particular order (just numbered so I don't lose count, heh):
1. Les Miserables 2. Lincoln 3. Skyfall 4. The Amazing Spider-Man 5. Joyful Noise 6. Man on a Ledge 7. In Time 8. A Thousand Words 9. Men in Black III 10. Safety Not Guaranteed 11. Ice Age: Continental Drift 12. Brave 13. The Bourne Legacy 14. Looper 15. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
Note: I have not seen Argo, Zero Dark Thirty, Django Unchained or most of the Oscar candidate movies yet. This is just a top-15 list, no particular order, of 2012 films that I've seen.
(edited by ekedolphin on 13.1.13 0501) "Y'know, it has been a year since the last [Royal Rumble], I'm very sketchy on this, so bear with me here. If I Brogue Kick that small little head of yours over the top rope, and your body stays in the ring, tell me, fella, does that count as an elimination?" --Sheamus, to Randy Orton, SmackDown 1/4/13
Certified RFMC Member-- Ask To See My Credentials!
Co-Winner of Time's Person of the Year Award, 2006
singled out for credit: the scene in Wanderlust where Paul Rudd gives himself a pep talk in front of a mirror.
10. 21 JUMP STREET - totally exceeds expectations that it might be kind of okay. a very clever script. I was confused as to why Channing and Jonah never got naked though.
9. HIT AND RUN - a delightful "thrill ride" (in cars). charmingly low-budj (industry term), seems like it was written and filmed over a 3-day weekend during a Dax Shepard/Kristen Bell barbecue with pals.
8. ARGO - good stuff, though I'm slightly skeptical that this whole incident ended with the most annoying airport check-in ever and a Dukes of Hazzard-style chase to the county line. it bears repeating that the post-credits scene where Ahmadinejad finds the Tesseract was sweet.
7. SKYFALL - I've never cared .007 careunits about James Bond in my entire life unless I was playing GoldenEye. never until this film when I was like hmm, this one's a pickle, James Bond.
6. LINCOLN - IDK if this was historically accurate (did they really make a "law" outlawing slavery?), but it was of significance due to Daniel-Day-Lewis spinning yarns and the wonders that were the old-ass insults of old-ass men.
5. SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK - starts off as a Rachel Getting Married/Young Adult/Big Fan-style light-dark character study of a flawed person, then veers curiously but happily into a surprisingly very satisfying romedy-comedy? I was completely terrified of J-Law in this movie, she was like
4. THE AVENGERS - bigger set pieces than some kind of a giant chess board and geez my metaphors suck. better than all their collective movies combined minus Iron Man 1. also, the funniest of all the superhero movies -- for such a wall-crawling jokester, the Spider-Man spider-movies were surprisingly low on hilarious zings.
3. MOONRISE KINGDOM - the best Wes since Royal T-baums by a comfortable margin, and the funniest of them all. good job as always on the meticulous framing, you maniac. that girl was pretty hot.
2. THE DARK KNIGHT RISES - yeah I don't know how he got out of the plane either, but this was great because it stands on the shoulders of the preceding films, of the use of Pittsburgh and the tragic but incredible murder of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and of the fact that Bane is the most joyfully idiosyncratic character to talk like and about since Gollum.
1. DJANGO UNCHAINED - holy crap! certainly of a piece, historically, with 'Lincoln.' a real big tent movie that will be a big hit forever with the Black Community as well as with white racists who enjoy the n-word and slave abuse. and also with "cinephiles." Christopher Mintz-Plasse is the best. the greatest scene of the year and maybe of the entire 19th century is in this movie, the one involving a certain letter-based organization.
I only saw about 80 movies this year that had theatrical releases in 2012, or indie movies that got DVD releases.
I could probably watch about 100 more.
I still have to see Silver Linings Playlist.
Also, because I'm having a hard time absorbing the Argo, Django, Hobbit, Zero Dark Thirty, Lincoln, Skyfall of the last two weeks or so, and putting them in order in my list, I'm just gonna do this alphabetically. (Lincon and Skyfall won't be making it.
Absentia: While one director whose work I've shown at my film festival has been nominated for 4 Academy Awards, THIS is the alumni whose film I REALLY liked. I hate horror films, but I LOVED this.
Cabin in the Woods
Chico and Rita: I know some people have kids and they wind up watching and listing tons of kids flicks. While this is animated, it's really not good for kids. There's sex, nudity, violence, drug dealing and someone even gets gunned down. My 1 year old can't get enough of it. He loves the vibrant animation and afro-cuban music. I've seen this tons of times and it's really a great flick. That said, I'm getting to the point where I'm going to have to edit it for him.
Cinema Verite: HBO movie with James Gandolfini and Tim Robbins. Biopic about the first "reality" TV Show.
Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone - It's easy to like a doc about your favorite band, but it's also REALLY hard to make an engaging doc about people that you know personally, and have followed for over two decades. *Note: I supplied footage for this film*
God Bless America: I wish this film went further, but I still really liked it. Maybe I can wish for a sequel.
Jeff, Who Lives at Home: I love this quiet, quirky movie. I'm so glad the Duplass Brothers have been doing so well (See also: Safety Not Guaranteed).
Life of Pi: Went in with a callused heart and it got won over.
Prometheus: I feel like I left this movie understanding more than most, and the things I didn't understand only made me think about it more.
QWERTY: While not OFFICIALLY out on DVD, we are selling it on our website for now, after playing a bunch of festivals this year. *Note: I produced this movie...For eight years* www.qwertythemovie.com Getting a positive review from Roger Ebert was probably a top 10 highlight of my life.
Samsara: My #1 film of the year. So thoughtful and stunning and amazing. It says so much, without saying a word.
I watched 133 movies in 2012 (8 of which I'd seen before). I haven't gotten to most of this years Oscar noms yet.
My favorites of the newer films, in alphabetical order:
The Avengers Headhunters Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol Monsieur Lazhar Moonrise Kingdom Pariah Puss in Boots The Raid: Redemption Sound of Noise Take Shelter
The eight movies I re-watched this year are: Harold and Maude, Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, Miller's Crossing, Groundhog Day, Shallow Grave, Out of Sight, and Gangs of New York.
My favorites of the earlier-than-a-few-years-old movies include: The Gold Rush, Ace in the Hole, Cape Fear (1962), The Trouble With Harry, The Court Jester, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and Heroes of the East. The earliest film I watched was a 1908 version of Alice in Wonderland.
The movies I liked the least were Le Havre, A Lonely Place to Die, Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows, Tower Heist, Friends with Kids, and (the worst movie I saw this year) Lockout.
I only saw like thirty films this year, so I'll go with a top five.
1. The Perks of Being A Wallflower
(Only movie I gave four stars to this year. Most of you didn't see it at all. Rent it when it comes out next month.)
2. The Cabin in the Woods
(Wasn't even on my radar until Joss Whedon's name popped up. Bastard.)
3. Marvel's The Avengers
(I thought it was on par, but not better, than "Thor" or "Captain America: The First Avenger". But those two hold pretty high esteem with me.)
(Great ending. It's almost like they came up with an ending and built a movie around it...even though the opposite is what actually happened.)
5. Seven Psychopaths
(There's plenty of reasons to see this, none bigger than Christopher Walken. He gets multiple monologues, a couple of his best ever. His scene in the waiting room with Woody Harrelson is just phenomenal.)
Pretty terrific year for movies overall, but I'd have to say that "Life Of Pi" was my favourite for 2012.
Honourable mention: Argo, The Avengers, Brave, The Cabin In The Woods, Cloud Atlas, The Dark Knight Rises, Django Unchained, End Of Watch, Les Miserables, Moonrise Kingdom, Much Ado About Nothing, Skyfall, Wreck-It-Ralph
"It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone." --- Bart Giamatti, on baseball
Now that I'm almost caught up on Best Picture nominees (still need to see Zero Dark Thirty and Amour), I feel ready to do this.
14. The Dictator - did anyone see this? I almost blew it off because Sacha Baron Cohen's "in character" promotion was so awful, but this wound up probably the outright funniest movie of the year. Shocked.
13. Silver Linings Playbook
10. The Dark Knight Rises
9. Life of Pi
8. Wreck-It Ralph
7. Cabin In The Woods
6. The Avengers
4. Django Unchained
2. Moonrise Kingdom
1. The Perks of Being A Wallflower - Seconding what Mr. Heel II said. For some crazy reason, a movie about being an awkward teenager in Pittsburgh in the 1990s spoke to me. (Plus, a friend of mine plays Riff-Raff and coordinated the Rocky Horror scenes, which were shot in a theater that I've seen Rocky Horror in about a dozen times, including my first date with my soon-to-be-fiancee)
The main thing I personally take away from this one is that 2012 was a crazy good year for movies when something I loved as much as Wreck-It Ralph is only #8.