As I’ve said before, I’m a firm believer that one can differentiate between what you acknowledge as the best things and what you acknowledge as your favorite things. Someone might really like a film with huge flaws (like Twilight). The Dark Knight Rises also falls into this world. There are tons of people out there that list the latest Batman flick as their favorite of the year, and yet, as well as it was made from an atmospheric standpoint, the story just doesn’t hold water, and the Batman here isn’t really Batman, the World’s Greatest Detective. I’ll let you have your favorite film, I will debate you on what films are better made, or more award worthy. You may do the same to me.
My list of the Most Award Worthy Films of 2012 can be found here. Feel free to share yours. My favorite films of 2012 are listed here for your reading pleasure.
#10 – The Innkeepers
Normally, I am not a fan of horror films. There’s not enough story there generally to make me like them. This year was different, with The Innkeepers, Cabin in the Woods, and The Woman in Black. I liked all three, but I have to give it to The Innkeepers by a hair. Genunely creepy and almost entirely set in one location, it makes you think, and wonder what really is going on in the supposedly haunted Yankee Pedlar Inn.
#9 – Chronicle
The first surprise of the year put director Josh Trank on the map. A mesh of “found footage” and super heroes that was well directed and well acted. It came out in the doldrums of February, so for it to still be here says something. One of the best scenes of the year is the three guys movie cars around the parking lot with telekinesis. Funny, emotional, and mysterious with a little bit of breathtaking thrown in for good measure.
#8 – Moonrise Kingdom
This one was on my other list as well. Loved Ed Norton, loved Bruce Willis, even Tilda Swinton, who only shows up a bit at the end, is great. Wes Anderson did a fine job with this one, a genuine work of art.
#7 – Skyfall
This one barely edges Moonrise Kingdom for number seven. What clinched it was the great music (thanks Adele), and great performances by Bardem, Craig, and Dench. I still say Bardem needs to be the next Joker when Batman gets rebooted. My full review is here, that’s right, I’d never seen any previous Bond films when I saw Skyfall.
#6 – Life of Pi
I never got around to reviewing this one, too busy, so I will do a small one here. This is the first time I’ve ever thought the 3D on a live action film was worth it. A surreal experience full of Richard Parker, whales, flying fish, and faith, this is storytelling at its finest, in more ways than one. I read the book, loved the book, so I had to see the film. Loved that too. Great job Ang Lee!
#5 – Wreck-It Ralph
What a blast! As if all the video game nostalgia wasn’t enough, they threw in a great story, gorgeous animation, and even a slick twist at the end. Wonderful voice acting. Once again, my full review.
#4 – Lincoln
Abe Lincoln has always been my favorite actor…I mean president. I honestly couldn’t tell that Daniel Day Lewis was there, he melted so easily into the role. This one will bring home some gold and is a genuine must see film, even though I could have done without some of the swearing.
#3 – Les Miserables
Tom Hooper does it again. A grand musical spectacle that relies on emotion to soar. The whole cast is great, the music is fabulous, and it is all you can do to not stand up and applaud at the finale (cause, you know, they aren’t really there in the theater with you). Full review (paired with Lincoln) here. Also, Samantha Barks, your rendition of “On My Own” was incredible.
#2 – The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
The return to Middle Earth was fun and remarkable. Peter Jackson treats us to the depths of Tolkien’s myth delightfully. Sure, some reviewers had no idea what was going on, and that led to some unfavorable reviews, but I can’t wait for the next two. Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug…wow.
#1 – The Avengers
Was there ever any doubt? I’m a huge comic book fan and this was incredible, invincible, mighty good fun. Tom Hiddleston stole the show as Loki, and gosh, everything was so great. Joss Whedon did a remarkable job and the world responded and made this film the third highest grossing film of all time. Not too shabby. As I said before, it should change the mentality of how movies are made.
Well, that’s it. I admit I missed out on Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, and Silver Linings Playbook, which probably would have shuffled things up a bit.
Which is your favorite of what’s listed here?
BONUS MATERIAL: The Top 5 “Worth the Price of Admission Alone” Scenes/Moments
5) The Closing Speech - Lincoln
4) Attack of the Monsters – Cabin in the Woods
3) “Puny God,” Hulk Smashes Loki – The Avengers
2) Riddles in the Dark – The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
1) I Dreamed a Dream – Les Miserables