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My Top 10 Films of 2012

January 2, 2013 Front Page No Comments

beastsIn addition to sports and politics, I’m a huge film buff as well. At the end of last year, I brought you my top movie list of 2011 and here it is again for 2012.

 1. Beasts of the Southern Wild: This film was not only my clear favorite of the year, I also think it was the most original movie released in 2012. Directed by a first time director and starring unknown non-screen actors guild members, this Drama/Fantasy film is one every film lover should see. Set in a Louisiana Bayou area called “The Bathtub”, it is the story of a 6-year-old girl named Hushpuppy whose takes us on a magical journey of courage and love. This film is still unknown to many, but now that it is out on DVD and getting more more buzz, hopefully more people will see it.

2. Moonrise Kingdom: Wes Anderson is one of my favorite directors and Moonrise Kingdom is one of his best films. A young boy and girl in love runaway from home to start a new life together. They don’t make it far on their island but it’s a funny, charming and witty movie with a great supporting cast  which includes, Frances McDormand, Bill Murray, Ed Norton, Jason Schwartzman and Bruce Willis. This movie looks very retro and nice visually. It has a great classical soundtrack that fits the movie’s theme perfectly. Even if you aren’t a big Anderson fan, you willsenjoy this movie’s childhood adventure.

3. Lincoln: I’ve got a feeling Lincoln will be winning quite a few awards this season. It would be a complete shock to me if Daniel Day Lewis didn’t win best actor for his portrayal of our 16th President. Day Lewis gave the best performance of the year and this cast is filled with other great acting performances too. Tommy Lee Jones could win supporting actor for his role as Republican Representative Thaddeus Stevens. Sally Field’s supporting role as Mary Todd Lincoln was also noteworthy. This movie may be a little slow-paced, but it is full of incredible rhetoric and is one of the best historical dramas I’ve ever seen.

4. Argo: The story of the rescue of 6 U.S diplomats from Iran during the 1979 hostage crisis was something I knew a lot about going into it. But the fact that the movie kept me on the edge of my seat even knowing what was going to happen proves it’s one of the best films of the year. It’s an exciting detailed historic caper type of film with a great cast which included, Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman & Alan Arkin.. Ben Affleck could win awards for best director which is is fully deserving of it. He has now shown consistently in his last three films that he is one of the best directors in Hollywood right now.

5. Safety Not Guaranteed: This indie comedy/drama is the story about magazine writers who investigate a classified ad from a man who says he is looking for someone to travel back in time with. Aubrey Plaza, a star on the rise in Hollywood, stars as the magazine intern who befriends the man who wrote the ad. Mark Duplass plays a stock clerk at a local grocery store who believes he can time travel. Plaza, who is a bit of an outcast herself in the film, begins to fall for the eccentric Duplass the more she gets to know him. This is one of the best indie film’s of the year and it is filled with humor, strong lead performances and superb charming story plot.

6. Skyfall: I’m a huge Bond fan and this is already one of the best Bond movies ever (there have been 24). It also establishes Daniel Craig as the best actor to play Bond ever in my mind–sorry Sean Connery and Roger Moore. Daniel Craig is the most realistic and dramatic of them all. The film is packed with a blend of great action, a great story and some Bond humor. Javier Bardem plays one of the more interesting Bond villains in recent memory. Audiences also loved Skyfall, it is the 14th highest grossing film ever and the first Bond film to exceed $1 billion dollars made worldwide. Oh and it also has a great theme song by Adele.

7. The Dark Knight Rises: The finale in director Chris Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy may not be as good as the first two films, but it was still one of the year’s best and a solid way to end the story. While at times I felt they tried to cram a lot into it’s nearly 3 hours there is a lot of good parts to this movie and director Chris Nolan proved he is one of the best around. Tom Hardy as Bane was incredible and Christian Bale performed well as an older and slower Bruce Wayne/Batman who is at the end of his career. Joseph Gordon Levitt excelled in his small role as cop John Blake, but we could possibly see JGL in future Batman movies. Don’t worry Batman fans, with a Justice League movie on the near horizon, the Batman reboot may not be far off, kind of like what happened with Spiderman. But I doubt they will ever top these Batman films.

8. Looper: Looper is kind of like this year’s Inception, being a smart Sci-Fi film that both did well at the box office and is receiving positive reviews. Joseph Gordon Levitt, who was in three films on my list (Lincoln,TDKR), is one of the top actors in Hollywood right now and all the movies shine a bit more with him in it. JGL is a Looper assassin who runs into an older version of himself (Bruce Willis) who has been sent back in time to be killed. Looper is a thriller that blends Sci-Fi and action together well and really showcases JGL’s acting abilities. Good Smart, exciting and original Sci-Fi is hard to come by these days but Looper is all that and more.

9. Flight: The story of flight itself isn’t anything super original as it’s about a pilot dealing with addiction. The plane he is piloting crashes and the pilot is seen as a hero by many after the crash and then an investigation into the crash ensues. But Denzel Washington plays the pilot and gives one of the best performances of his career as a man struggling to get a grip on his addictions. Denzel’s performance is what puts this film in my top 10 list, but the plane crash sequence is also one of the best I’ve seen on film. It may just make you feel uncomfortable about the next time a flight you are on goes through a storm and turbulence.

10. Pitch Perfect: The biggest surprise of the year to me as I had pretty low expectations going into it, but after seeing it, it was clear to me that this was one of the funniest movies of the year. The story of a college a cappella group is similar to Glee but much edgier and funnier mixed with a little of Mean Girls. Anna Kendricks is an extremely talented leading lady on the rise and Rebel Wilson is one of the funniest workers (not just women) in Hollywood. It may seem like a bit of a “chick flick” but I think many guys will be surprised by how much they enjoy it as well.

Dishonorable Mention: Battleship: Every year I like to include the movie I disliked the most, and this year it was Battleship. Battleship was so hard to watch, in fact it took me 3 nights to finish it. First a movie based on a board game is usually a bad idea, but even more so if the battleships in the board game are no longer used in naval combat. Then throw in an alien attack and about every Hollywood cliché and you’ll have Battleship. But even the terrible story and the aliens aren’t the worst thing about Battleship, that would be Rhianna’s acting.  Rhianna’s acting, which really is just a bunch of horrible one liners, makes Paris Hilton look like an Academy Award winner. Not even the great Liam Neeson can save this movie which is one of the worst big budget films I have ever seen.

So that’s my list, but don’t take my word for it, see these films and judge them yourself! Again I will also mention there are a few “award consideration” movies I haven’t seen yet that I’d like to and hopefully will by the Oscars such as: Django Unchained, Zero Dark Thirty, Silver Linings Playbook, and Life of Pi.  What were your favorite movies of 2012?

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