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Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Best (and Worst) Movies of 2012


Major Films I missed in 2012:

Argo, Zero Dark Thirty, The Impossible, Beasts of the Southern Wild & Amour.

All films are in no particular order, so without any further adieu;

Best films of 2012

The Hobbit

Not being a diehard LOTR fans left me kind of iffy about this but Jackson’s slightly uneven film kept me entertained throughout, unlike Fellowship of the Ring.


It’s a flawed film with its issues magnified with repeated viewings, still it worked for me on so many levels. So much so that I saw it various times in theaters and multiple times on blu-ray.

The Dark Knight Rises

It’s was one of my most anticipated films of the summer and it didn’t disappoint. That being said, much like Prometheus, its flaws are more and more apparent with repeated viewings but it still leaves me satisfied with each viewing.

Moonrise Kingdom

My favorite Wes Anderson film has been The Royal Tenenbaums for ages. While his films have been consistently solid, Moonrise Kingdom was the first one since The Royal Tenenbaums that connected with me in such a strong manner.

The Master

It’s a movie who’s plot could be written on a post it but it’s has some of the best performances I’ve seen all year. While the plot is frustratingly opaque and ultimately unresolved, Hoffman Phoenix and Adams keep your eyes glued to the screen.

Silver Lining Playbook

I hate romantic comedies because they are so formulaic. At its base this film is a Rom-Com but it does it with such interesting characters and strong performances that you won’t really notice until the film’s over.


Spielberg and Daniel Day Lewis are in top form supported by an equally game supporting cast. Sure it’s ready made Oscar bait, so much so I kept imaging fake trailers for it like on Tropic Thunder, but it’s thoroughly engaging and fascinating.

Life of Pi 3D

Ang Lee’s visually stunning and moving adaptation of the beloved book is the type of film that needs to be seen on a big screen and in 3D.

Django UnChained

Quentin Tarantino’s latest film is another stellar turn. It’s his most romantic and unflinching film, which is saying a lot on both fronts, it’s nearly perfect and easily re-watchable.

The Avengers

It should have worked at all but it did. After a few more viewings I still can’t help thinking its Joss Whedon playing with toys on a massive scale. The interplay between the characters is fun delivering as much fan service as possible.

My Biggest cinematic surprises of 2012

Cloud Atlas

It’s not a perfect film but I couldn’t keep but respect its audaciousness. It’s as massive as it is bold. In a sea of films I really enjoyed, this one left me the most emotionally invested by the time the credits rolled.

Pitch Perfect

Trailers looked funny enough to be respectable but I was surprised at how well written it was. A good collection of talent and the fact that it never took itself too serious made it a big success.

Wreck-it Ralph

One of the best non Pixar animated film out there. Some inspired voice acting choices along with a more textured than expected story left me grinning and caring about the characters.


I love found footage films but even I can tell it’s overexposed. Chronicle was entirely off my radar so I was taken by surprise at how well acted and inventive this superhero origin story was.

The worst movies I suffered through in 2012

Silent House

Stupid endings with bad plot twist can kill a solid film, a real shame because Elizabeth Olson put in a great performance.

Wrath of the Titans

For some reason I thought this sequel might be better than the horrid remake. It was worse and even stupider.

Chernobyl Diaries

The first third of the film does a solid job of establishing the setting and tone. Then they introduce the mutants from The Hills Have Eyes….

Snow White and the Huntsman

Kristen Stewart as Snow White. I tried as hard as I could to give it a fair shot but Stewart’s endlessly mopey face and Charlize Theron unchecked Mommy Dearest overacting make this an unpleasant experience.

Total Recall

Glossy, slick and just about as soulless and pointless as they come, it’s a perfect example of what not to do with remakes.

Resident Evil Retribution

Why do I keep watching these expecting to be surprised? Somehow even worse than the last one and even more incoherent and idiotic.

Paranormal Activity 4

A cash in sequel which could and should be ignored when the next chapter hits screens. Lazy in everyway possible after some rather well thought out sequels to the original hit.


  1. Great lists, Daniel!

    Adored (and still adore) the mighty TDKR, Hobbit & Chronicle were both amazing.
    For whatever reason, I highly enjoyed Chernobyl, TR Reboot & Silent House were quite ok.

    RE5 was meh, Snow White terrible and PA4 was inhuman crap :)

    1. Thanks man, TDKR is really critic proof with me. If it were another movie I'd probably be more annoyed with the issues. Hobbit & Chronicle both surprised me for good reasoons.

      Chernobyl felt like it could have been a better movie before they went for a standard mutant slant.

      Silent House was good until the twist, TR remake I just hated.

      RE5 and PA4 were both just horrible!

  2. Great list!

    I didn't know that you had no real affection for LOTR! You think you know a guy and then he announces that bombshell ;-)

    I am quite lucky as I still have quite a lot of your best of section to look forward to (and Zero Dark Thirty!. I remember you loving Moonrise Kingdom at the time and I meant to keep an eye out for it - must see if the dvd is available on Amazon

    Chernobyl Diaries almost made it into my list but it got bumped for something else

    1. I like LOTR but don't love it, plus my friend dragged me to a midnight screening of Fellowship and it was mildly painful.

      Seeing Zero Dark Thirty this weekend. Check out Moonrise Kingdom, I'd be very curious what you think!

  3. I LOVED Res Evil and thought this one was completely brilliant. It's one of my best, actually. I think the series is just incredible and gets better with every film. Call me crazy, but it one of the best roles a woman could ever ask for. Alice is not a stereotypical female character. She's tough, smart, funny... a very far cry from all bland female roles out there. All women should be warriors. ;)

    1. I've tried hard to like the last 2 RE but they've just been serious misfires after part 2 and 3 which I felt were the series highpoints.

  4. Pretty good list for the best of, granted I still haven't seen half of them! :( I know Prometheus has split people, and I lie on the side where it wouldn't be anywhere near my favorites. That's the great thing about other people's lists -- different films and the reasons why. Good, or bad as one might look at it, we agree very much so on your worst films. Looking at your list, I was reminded by how many bad films there actually were lol. Look forward to more of your reviews!

    1. I know Prometheus is an imperfect film but it just worked well for me regardless. I know what you mean about seeing other people list, nice to see the variety in peoples taste and takes on similar films. Thanks for reading Rob!

  5. Good list. While I have yet to see many of the films that were released this past winter, my top three were The Avengers, The Hobbit, and The Dark Knight Rises. I agree that The Dark Knight Rises' flaws are much more noticeable upon repeated viewings, The Avengers on the other hand gets even better upon multiple viewings, at least in my opinion. But I am a fan of the comics.


    1. The Avengers is a lot of fun all around, it's an easy watch. TDKR I really like but the story issues are just more obvious the more I watch it.


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