Sunday, March 3, 2013

Movies – My Top 10 of 2012

Here is my list of the ten best 2012 movies.  I believe I’ve seen all the big mainstream movies and critically acclaimed films of the year that I felt I might like, except for Cloud Atlas.  I saw almost all the feature films nominated across all of the Oscar categories.  Unlike last year I was able to see both the Oscar Best Documentary and Best Foreign Film winners, although the other nominees in those categories remain unwatched.  If you are curious, a complete list of the 101 2012 films that I saw can be found at the bottom of this post.

Two years ago I did my Top 10 right at Oscar time, but last year and this year I had a few more movies I wanted to see (i.e. Holy Motors) before I posted this list, so it slipped into March.  In case you think it’s a little strange to be doing a top 10 for a year that ended more than two months ago, I’d rather take the time to see as many movies as possible before compiling my list.  This means waiting for some of them to become available on DVD.

You’ll notice some movies in my Top 10 that did not receive any awards nominations.  I have never felt that getting an Oscar nomination was the be all and end all of how good a movie was.  In the list below, I felt the first three places were easily separated from the next seven in terms of how good they were. 

Click “Read more” for the list.

  1. The Avengers                                      (see review)
  2. Safety Not Guaranteed                      (see review)
  3. Django Unchained                             (see review)
  4. The Other Dream Team                    (see review)
  5. Moonrise Kingdom                            (see review)
  6. Argo                                                    (see review)
  7. Wreck-It Ralph                                  (see review)
  8. Life of Pi                                             (see review)
  9. The Perks of Being a Wallflower       (see review)
  10. Bernie                                                 (see review)
Those are my top 10.  What was your favorite movie of 2012?  Did I leave out a 2012 movie that you thought was great?  Let me know.  Maybe I didn’t see it.

What 2013 movie are you most looking forward to?  For me that is Iron Man 3, coming May 3rd, although I admit that is much more due to residual excitement from The Avengers than it is from Iron Man 2.  Here is the trailer for it. 

Here is the complete list of the 101 2012 movies that I have seen so far.  My remaining four star films that just missed the Top 10 are highlighted.

21 Jump Street, 30 for 30: Benji

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, The Amazing Spider-Man, American Reunion, Amour, Arbitrage, Argo, The Avengers

Battleship, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Bernie, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Bourne Legacy, Branded, Brave, Butter

The Cabin in the Woods, Christmas Matchmaker, Chronicle, Compliance, Cosmopolis

The Dark Knight Rises, Dark Shadows, Deadfall, Django Unchained, Dredd

Earrings, End of Watch, The Expendables 2

Farewell My Queen, The Five-Year Engagement, Flight, For a Good Time Call…, Frankenweenie

Help for the Holidays, Hit and Run, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Holy Motors, Hotel Transylvania

The Impossible, The Intouchables (2012), Iron Sky

Jack & Diane, John Carter

Kevin Smith: Burn in Hell, Killer Joe

Les Miserables, Liberal Arts, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Lockout, Looper, The Lorax

Man on a Ledge, The Master, Men in Black, Mirror Mirror, Moonrise Kingdom

Nobody Walks

The Odd Life of Timothy Green, One for the Money, The Other Dream Team

The Paperboy, ParaNorman, People Like Us, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Pirates! Band of Misfits, Pitch Perfect, Premium Rush, Project X, Prometheus

The Queen of Versailles

Red: Werewolf Hunter, Rise of the Guardians, Robot & Frank, Ruby Sparks

Safety Not Guaranteed, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Savages, Searching for Sugar Man, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia, Sherlock: The Hounds of Baskerville, Sherlock: The Reichenbach Fall, Side By Side, Silver Linings Playbook, Skyfall, Snow White and the Huntsman

Taken 2, Talhotblond (2012), Ted, This is 40, This Means War, Total Recall, Trouble with the Curve

Underworld: Awakening, Uprising: Hip Hop and the L.A. Riots

Wanderlust, Wreck-It Ralph

Zero Dark Thirty


  1. Nice list. We have a couple of films in common in your top 10, Moonrise and Perks. Safety Not Guaranteed sounds like something I would like, still waiting for R2 dvd to hit.

    Here's my top 10 so far:

    1. From your top 10 I haven't seen The Imposter, Tabu, or the Bond documentary. I'll have to keep my eye out for them.

  2. Nice list here. I never got around to reviewing The Other Dream Team, but that was a damn fine documentary, loved seeing it here.

    Rust and Bone was my favorite film of the year by far. Not an easy one to take, but my god, I just loved it.

    1. If all goes according to plan I will be posting my review of The Other Dream Team tomorrow.

      I've heard of Rust and Bone, but I haven't seen it. I don't remember it coming up as a newly available DVD on Netflix, but I might have missed it.

    2. Rust and Bone will be out on DVD March 19!

    3. Thanks for the heads up. I will look for it.

  3. I've actually seen all the films in your Top 10 List, and I think it's a good one, except for two glaring errors :)

    I thought The Avengers and Perks were both crap. Not simply average, but crap. I do find it interesting how people who can agree on liking many of the same films, can also drastically disagree on other films. What I wouldn't give to find someone who likes and dislikes the exact same movies I do, so I could have them tell me what to watch.

    Anyway, nice job. I haven't managed to get my 2012 list out yet, but I will soon.


    1. Thanks for the feedback. It's funny because I'm usually the one who is in the minority when it comes to not loving some big movie (i.e. The Dark Knight - recommended, entertaining, but not great, and certainly not the best movie of all time). In the case of The Avengers, though, I'm in the vast majority with both critics and moviegoers. Rotten Tomatoes has it at 92% fresh with critics and 96% fresh with moviegoers.

      As for Perks, I went into that with low expectations for it to be just another teen movie (and I had never read the book). When it turned out to be quite a bit more than that it had a large impression on me. Yes, it does have a rather large thing where the audience has to suspend its disbelief (I will be writing about this in a couple days when I post my review of it), but I went with it.

      As for finding someone who likes all the same films you do, that might be impossible. I've read many blogs over the last couple of years and I would not say that any of them mirror me, nor do any of them mirror each other. Being able to share your love for a film with someone else is great, but also interesting is finding a difference of opinion on a film, too. In fact, I'm curious why you felt The Avengers was crap.

  4. Cool that you rated Safety Not Guaranteed #2. I just bought the DVD, but we haven't watched it yet.

  5. So..... I finally finished my list!! In the end, we ended up with 3 of the same films in our top 10. But I'm willing to bet there are at least 1-2 films on my list that you still haven't seen. Let me know what you think.


    1. I left a comment for you there.

      For what it's worth, your webpage kept hanging up my internet explorer browser on Google Ads. I had to go to a different browser just to be able to load it.