Saturday, January 12, 2013

Weekend Weigh-in: Tell Us Your Top 10 of 2012

We told you that you would get your chance.

You've read the other critics' lists, which were meaningless. You read our lists, which changed your life. Now it's your turn to share your 10 favorite movies of 2012 with THE WORLD.

Let's keep it to 10, everyone, and let's treat each other's lists with respect. Like James Dalton says, "BE NICE." That's not something we really ever have to worry about here (U GUYZ RULE), but I just want to be sure it doesn't turn into a lot of "I can't believe you put that movie on your list" nonsense. Some people just really, really loved Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. It happens.


  1. Slightly different from my list earlier in the week, since I caught Safety and Looper this week and bumped 21 Jump Street down:

    1. Beasts of the Southern Wild
    2. Django Unchained
    3. Moonrise Kingdom
    4. The Cabin in the Woods
    5. Bernie
    6. Argo
    7. The Avengers
    8. Skyfall
    9. The Innkeepers
    10. Looper

  2. I didn't get to the theater near as much as I wanted this year. I can't do a list of ten, unless you want to count Raiders of the Lost Ark, Rocky Horror and The Never Ending Story (midnight shows at our local art theater) which I did enjoy.

    I'll go for five.

    5. Avengers - I didn't hate it, but as I already had an existing problem with Joss Whedon, I can't say I really loved it. Too many jokes fell flat for me and too many lines make no damn sense when you think about them. I liked the tone though and I liked the over all story.

    4. Wreck-It Ralph - It was a fairly simple story, but with a lot of background things layered in. This movie wins for having a surprise ending that I didn't see coming, but that I should have. They set up the surprise in the first five minutes after all. It's not that I didn't see it coming, so much as the movie engaged me enough that I wasn't looking for it. That says a lot right there.

    3. Argo - I thought I was being dragged to a stupid comedy. No, really, I was told the concept of the movie as we were going to the theater and it sounded like the stupidest piece of Hollywood bullshit I had ever heard of. I had somehow missed all talk of this movie. My wife really wanted to see it though, so we went and I was kind of blown away by how good it was. Expectation probably played a roll, but I think this would be good no matter what.

    2. Skyfall - We all know why Skyfall is good, yes? We also know why it's not as great as it seems, yes? I went along with it while we were whispering "It's turned into The Dark Knight" and "Now it's turned into Home Alone" but we still enjoyed the movie. I think the flaws are going to become more troublesome as the years go by, but it's still a good movie.

    1. Django Unchained - While it feels a little like Quentin Tarantino's greatest hits (the credits are like the credits for Jackie Brown, there are shades of Kill Bill and Inglourious Basterds at the end) I still thought it was the best new movie I saw in the theaters this year. The best movie I saw in theaters was Raiders of The Lost Ark, because some things are always the best.

  3. 1. Silver Linings Playbook
    2. Moonrise Kingdom
    3. The Grey
    4. Life of Pi
    5. Django Unchained
    6. The Innkeepers
    7. End of Watch
    8. Looper
    9. Paranorman
    10. Skyfall

    This was a phenomenal year for movies.

    1. Damn straight. Best year in...well, years.

    2. Yes, we gots some Paranorman love all up in here!

  4. I still haven't seen a bunch from 2012, so this is what we get...

    10. Pitch Perfect
    9. The Hobbit
    8. 21 Jump Street
    7. Wreck-It Ralph
    6. The Avengers
    5. Looper
    4. Skyfall
    3. The Raid: Redemption
    2. Django Unchained
    1. Cloud Atlas

  5. 1) Fun Size
    2) The Lucky One
    3) Gone
    4) Battleship
    5) One For The Money
    6) Red Dawn
    7) This Means War
    8) The House At The End Of The Street
    9) Playing For Keeps

    I only saw nine movies this year but they were all fantastic.

    1. I feel this has been unfairly overlooked, and it is a thing of beauty.

  6. I was going to do a big fancy write up on each one, but I'm so tired right now...But here you go! And these aren't all necessarily what critics might call the BEST films of the year, but, if nothing else, they are the ones that I enjoyed the most and had the best experiences seeing them, especially starting around #6 or so.

    10.) Lincoln
    9.)The Master
    8.) Moonrise Kingdom
    7.) Looper
    6.) 21 Jump Street
    5.) Skyfall
    4.) The Avengers
    3.) Django Unchained
    2.) Safety Not Guaranteed
    1.) Argo (fuck yourself)

    It was a very good year, in retrospect. A very good one, indeed.

  7. Now with explanations:

    10. The Raid: Redemption. There are some SFX and CG shots (poor one's at that) but the real stars are a well-dressed-and-shot-from-many-angles single hallway set, ballsy stuntmen and Yahan 'Mad Dog' Rubian (the living re-incarnation of 80's uber-henchman Al Leong).

    9. Holy Motors. This and "Cloud Atlas" stand tall as interesting movie experiences both as wholes but also to the strength and collective build-up of their many disparate sequences. Leos Carax loves the still-indellible magic of an individual performer creating a magic movie moment, and "Holy Motors" has several.

    8. Magic Mike. Well-acted, taking us to a rarely-seen (and rarely-taken-seriously) world and keenly-shot and observed, this was the perfect eye-of-the-beholder summer movie. Casual moviegoers got a pound of flesh to gawk at and we got one of the better (and last?) Soderbergh flicks. Everybody wins, especially Tatum.

    7. The Dark Knight Rises. I'm not blind to its flaws, but I just choose to pull a 'Bromley loves Super 8' and don't let the little bad things get in the way to the best Batman movie I've ever seen (and I've seen them all). This is the culmination of everything the previous Nolan "Batman" movies had led up to in that the stakes and danger feel unrelenting and ever-present. I loved Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Blake and thus, for me, "TDKR" not only nails the ending but sends the Nolan trilogy out on a huge high.

    6. Amour. 'A human Michael Haneke movie,' five words I don't think I'd ever string together. "Amour" mines for cinematic riches a seldom-explored but widely-experienced part of human life.

    5. Looper. Lean, mean, unpredictable (even if it means turning into a live-action version of a well-known anime classic for the last third), rewatchable as hell and impeccably directed by Rian Johnson (who obviously knows how to stretch a movie studio budget), this is the breakout role JGL has been waiting for.

    4. Titanic 3D (3D). A repertoire-oldie-with-new-coat-of-pain (the best 3D I've ever seen besides "Avatar") that reminded me upon seeing why I love movies. Jack and Rose are such lovely and likable characters (who spew banal words and often say stupid things, you know, like most normal kids at that age do) that you're always thinking about even as the sinking of the ship takes place. And James Horner's score is from another galaxy of emotion. So sue me, I love "Titanic" and "Titanic 3D" makes an already great movie even better.

    3. Django Unchained. After being stuck in genre tribute purgatory for three movies Tarantino actually makes one that is the very thing he was paying homage to. Waltz steals the movie but, when it comes time to step-up, Foxx more than carries his weight. The private meeting between Stephens and Candie gave me chills for its implications. As crowd-pleasers go this one is off the Richter scale.

    2. Lincoln. Everything I hated about "Warhorse" is done away with here: the camera is mostly locked, no fancy CG overhead shots (except a couple of well-chosen one's) and an interesting real-life political procedural told earnestly and with composites of characters that aren't caricatures. Daniel Day-Lewis doesn't steal the movie as much as his hat stands slightly taller amidst a sea of very good across-the-board supporting performances.

    1. The Avengers (3D). It's flawed, but when the action and fun kick in I can't recall a movie in years that has made me happier to be a movie lover. This is the flick that made Bruce Banner/Hulk viable cinematic beings, that teams-up superheroes we only dreamt as children of ever seeing together (and then only in comic book form) and that feels as the natural apex of what "Superman" started in '78.

    1. Oh, yeah, I forgot (not really): My new-to-me movie for today (1/12/13):

      Richard Rush's COLOR OF NIGHT (1994):

      My seven-word review: "Color of Night" ending? Meet "Moonrise Kingdom."

  8. I still haven't seen some things, like Django or Lincoln, so this represents my favorites that I did get to see in 2012. Also, it's been narrowed down to eight, because after these eight movies I just don't have much of an opinion.


    6) he Dark Knight Rises - Say What? Yes, I know, this is controversial, but I think the movie has a place in my top 10 list. I was seriously disappointed after seeing this movie the first time. I thought I hated it. Then the days started to pass, and those days turned to weeks, and the weeks turned to months. I kept coming back to the movie, picking at it, wrestling with it, and I still don't know how I feel about it. I do feel like it's only a failure when measured up against the standard that Nolan has set for himself, and had The Dark Knight not become a legendary moment in time, this would probably have had a very different reception. It's on this list for the movie it is, not the movie I want it to be. The fact is, months later I'm still trying to unpack some of the things this movie presents. I still don't know what it's saying to me or how I feel about the message it seems to be conveying; it's like a sore tooth that I can't leave alone.for that reason, it had to be here.

    5) Expendables 2 - There's no way I could leave a movie that brought so many of my childhood heroes together off of my list. This is not rocket science, it's old school over the top action in a way that we don't get to see very often. I admit, the draw for me is all these actors in one movie. I'm so thrilled to see Van Damme and Stallone, Schwarzenegger, and Willis all in the same movie that they could be doing a children's production of Peter Pan and it would make my list. And without getting too political, I don't think this is a movie that could have been made with any success even 5 years ago. There's something about the unrest and the frustration of American people that they want to see these muscle bound dinosaurs from the past come back to fight for justice one more time. And I love that because of the success of this movie, we've got new action flicks in 2013 from just about all of these guys.

    4) The Amazing Spider-Man

    3) Cabin In The Woods

    2) Woman In Black

    And number one is....

    1. Okay, we's got serious Woman in Black love all up in here, Yo yo!

    2. if it were a top 15, it'd be on there.

    3. Heath, glad to see I'm not the only one sticking up for "Dark Knight Rises." If it hadn't been for "The Avengers" and the Colorado shooting (which I'm convinced helped sour people on the movie generally and, often, unconsciously) this summer would have been the coronation of Nolan as superhero king supreme. Instead, helped also by the movie not having a Heath Ledger-caliber performance, people have tried ti bury it. Oh well, you and me against the world, "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" ending style. :-)

  9. 1) The Hobbit - There's an argument to be made that The Hobbit: An Unexpected journey is just a fun movie about Hobbits, Dwarves, wizards, and dragons. That it's just a quest movie and that it pales in comparison to the epic story of The Lord of The Rings. After all, it's based on a 300 page children's book and has been stretched here to three movies that will each be three hours long in what many, myself chief among them, were suspicous was a cash grab and a padding for all the wrong reasons. I would argue that the Hobbit (or the first installment) is an achievement like we haven't seen in years and which probably won't be recognized for quite a long time. I'm a Tolkien fan (even more so than a LOTR fan...I admire him and his passion for words and mythology, and the way his mind worked) and one of the most remarkable things Tolkien did was spend his entire life creating Middle Earth. he wrote it, and rewrote it, and rewrote it, and added to it and refined it until the day he died. His worlds are as fully realized as a fictional place can be, and he thought out the origins of different races, multiple languages, detailed world geography, even religious beliefs in a certain sense. The Lord of the Rings trilogy does tap into that world, but it only goes so far. The Hobbit has had the better part of a decade to work on that world and bring it to film. Tolkien's writings are like an onion. You peel away layers only to find more layers and it just keeps going. I submit that The Hobbit is the same way and that those who are willing to dig will be well rewarded. Within the simple story of a quest to recover the Dwarven city of Erebor is a statement on loyalty, morality, corruption, greed, how those in positions of leadership always are seduced by power and led to their downfall, and most importantly, the cost of vengeance. We're shown three Dwarven kings, and each of them are seduced by their greed and lust for power. SPOILERS FOR THE HOBBIT-At the end of the movie when Thorin is standing on the burning tree, he turns to confront Azog The Defiler, the pale Orc. The first time I saw it I was excited about the battle about to take place. Oh, shit! It's on now! But future viewings revealed that the chorus of music and voices playing while Thorin walks down the tree is the same music used in the original Lord of the Rings films when something terrible or evil is being revealed. That's a cue that there's more happening than what we're seeing. Thorin's confrontation of Azog is a tragedy. In that moment he succumbs to his thirst for vengeance, and is doomed to the fate of his ancestors. This entire movie is full of things like that, little revelations that show the depth of involvement in the adaptation of this story. Where a movie like The Dark Knight Rises feels as if the people making it didn't have their hearts in it, this movie feels like the people who made it lived and breathed it for ten years. I'll be discovering these thought provoking beats for years. I think this movie stands to have an even bigger legacy than Jackson's original trilogy because so much time has been spent fine tuning every beat and character moment. The first trilogy was made in a vaccuum with no expectations from the world. This one was made with the eyes of the world upon it, and it was painstakingly wrought to be the truest interpretation of Tolkien's work as possible. In my humble opinion, it succeeds in areas where Tolkien didn't, and may actually be even better than the book it is based on. My number one movie of the year. Maybe of the last five years.

    1. Saw it last week and it was much better than I was expecting (though not in my top 20 it's definitely Top 25 material). The action scenes crackled with tension and it made me fear for the well-being of the heroes, which is pretty hard to do for a prequel. Ian McKellen is the man, he's the soul of this entire "LOTR" franchise and whenever he's on-screen you totally buy what the wizard's selling (however absurd it may seem). Liked this a lot.

    2. And Martin Freeman's sincerity helps... :-)

    3. Vargas, I'm not even sure we should be calling The Hobbit a prequel. I mean, that story existed for literally almost two decades before The Lord of The Rings existed. I think that's kind of why it's turning people off, because they are looking at it as a prequel in the vein of The Phantom Menace and because it isn't the same thing as the Lord of The Rings, it's being dismissed. For almost twenty years, the Hobbit was all of the Lord of The Rings that existed. It was the mega-epic before The Lord of the Rings. But I do know what you mean. It's unfortunate that it ended up being filmed after the Lord of the Rings, which isn't how it should have happened. But the movie Peter Jackson would have had to make before he made the Lord of the Rings is not the movie I would have wanted to see. This movie benefits from all the time and love that were put into the script, the casting, and thinking over every single character arc obsessively.

    4. I read "The Hobbit" and lots of "LOTR" Tolkien when I was young, and most of the little details you talk about went over my head (I was more into realistic fiction like Alex Haley's "Roots," Arthur Hailey's "Airport" and Peter Benchley's "Jaws," to name just three novels). Heck, I didn't even go see "The Fellowship of the Rings" in theaters until it hit home video. Then, just as with "The Hobbit," seeing and feeling what Peter Jackson put on the screen in "Fellowship" came across as much more interesting and fun than what I had anticipated. It's that same feeling you get when you watch the first two Sam Raimi "Spider-Man" movies: someone who loves this is going out of their way to get it right.

      "The Hobbit" will probably be re-discovered by people that were into the "LOTR" movies that didn't bother to come see the new one (attendance and money-wise it's way down from what the "LOTR" movies made). I know I want to relive those fights and battle chase scenes, and maybe if I see them with your eyes I can enjoy the repeat viewings more for the character beats to me felt like Jackson & Co. replaying an old tune. I totally didn't notice the 'evil' music when the king dwarf went to battle the bad guy as the fire raged in the background... it's like Hitch 'playing the audience' at the end of "Hitchcock": in the moment I totally bought into it, only afterwards did common sense kick in.

      Honestly, though, I really hope Jackson already shot all the Christopher Lee and Ian McKellen scenes for the "Hobbit" trilogy. Those dudes ain't getting younger.

  10. These are my favorite movies of 2012. It's sort of ranked, but not really.

    1- Looper
    2- Django Unchained
    3- Paranorman
    4- Cloud Atlas
    5- The Master
    6- Argo
    7- The Dark Knight Rises
    8- Moonrise Kingdom
    9- Prometheus
    10- The Avengers

  11. 10. Beauty is Embarrassing
    captured artistic life: humor, family, and multiple mediums.

    9. Chronicle
    Over-saturated with comic-book movies? Try a super-villain one by Max Landis.

    8. Safety Not Guaranteed
    The Cabin in the Woods of Mumblecore/Sci-Fi. Not all is was it seems.

    7. Looper
    Emily Blunt didn't wear make-up so JGL decided to wear enough for both of them. After working on Breaking Bad, Rian Johnson remembers how to make a good movie.

    6. Sleepwalk with Me
    Not as good as seeing Mike Birbiglia's My Girlfriend's Boyfriend live this year. Love of Birbiglia knows no bounds.

    5. Django Unchained
    Johnny Depp plays a slave lizard that is freed, with lots of "N" words, that…oh that was a different movie? oh...

    4. Prometheus
    The Incredible Adventures of Dr. Elizabeth Shaw and the Android David's head-in-a-bag in Space (space, space, space…)

    3. Moonrise Kingdom
    the childhood I never had, but I'm pretty sure I wanted

    2. Lincoln
    best play in a movie theater

    1. Argo
    established tension for those who remember, connection to history for rest

    (still haven't seen Zero Dark Thirty & many others that I haven't caught up for 2012)

    1. Yah, "My Girlfriend's Boyfriend!" Love the Birbigs props.

    2. Yay! SLEEPWALK WITH ME was on mine, too!

  12. I have not seen some movies that appear to be very good, like Looper, Cloud Atlas, or Paranorman, but out of the movies I have seen, my top ten are:

    1. Django Unchained
    2. Zero Dark Thirty
    3. The Master
    4. Lincoln
    5. Moonrise Kingdom
    6. Cabin in the Woods
    7. The Hobbit
    8. Argo
    9. Safety Not Guaranteed
    10. The Grey

  13. 1. Argo
    2. Zero Dark Thirty
    3. The Sessions
    4. Cloud Atlas
    5. Looper
    6. Django Unchained
    7. Life of Pi
    8. Sleepwalk With Me
    9. The Hunger Games
    10. Lincoln

    Honorable Mentions:

    The Innkeepers
    Moonrise Kingdom
    Safety Not Guaranteed

    1. Without paying attention to who wrote this, I saw the list and thought, "This is great! Who is...?" And then I saw it was you, Shads! Simply stated, I like your list. I have thought about THE SESSIONS a lot... it might creep back up on my list.

  14. Best of 2012? How about the best things I saw in a movie theater this year (because I'm still catching up with a lot of these titles).

    1. Lincoln
    2. National Theater's Frankenstein (twice to see both actors play the monster)
    3. The Avengers
    4. The Hobbit
    5. TMC's broadcast of Frankenstein & Bride of Frankenstein
    6. Rifftrax Live: Manos: The Hands of Fate
    7. Rifftrax Live: Birdemic: Shock and Terror
    8. Skyfall
    9. The Pirates: Band of Misfits
    10. The Borne Identity

    Honorable mention: When Hugh Jackman was on screen during Les Mis...

    1. Sorry...meant The Borne Legacy.

    2. Kathy, I hear you. "Birdemic" and "Manos: The Hands of Fate" (which is coming back to Fathom Events as a repeat later this month, along with "Rifftrax Live: Plan 9 From Outer Space") were the funniest comedies I saw last year. Tomorrow I'm doing another ranked list of 'repertorie,' so stay tuned! Expect "Bride of Frankenstein" to rank prettt high (and prequel "Frankenstein" not-so-high) on that list. :-)

    3. Good to see Pirates make an appearance. Very cool.

  15. The encore of Manos I get.
    The encore of the Plan 9 show - that's been out on DVD regular and bluray for ages - that is a head scratcher.
    Unless they think there's loads of people hungry to see the movie on a big screen...

    1. To see the "Plan 9..." movie? There's JB, Patrick and a bunch of old classic horror movie fans. To see Mike, Kevin and Bill make fun of "Plan 9"? Just you, me and a few other freaks. :-D

    2. There are more of us "Freaks" than you'd think.
      However, spending $13 to go to a theater where you can't fast forward through the Lowtax films and the girl announcer fumbling and bumbling over her lines despite her reading them straight off of index cards...not that attractive right now.

  16. I'm going to be a real cop out here. Rather than try to remember all of the movies I saw this year and what I thought of them then how I would rank them in relation to each other, I'm just going to say: I've seen about 80% of the movies mentioned in the thread so far and I agree with everyone's lists.

    Umm, yeah, that'll do me. Movies are good. I like movies.

  17. Simply put, here's my top 10 of the year

    1. Argo
    2. Zero Dark Thirty
    3. Skyfall
    4. Moonrise Kingdom
    5. The Master
    6. Cabin in the Woods
    7. Killer Joe
    8. 21 Jump Street
    9. Lincoln
    10. Sleepwalk With Me

  18. 1. The Master
    2. Django Unchained
    3. Zero Dark Thirty
    4. Cabin in the Woods
    5. Looper
    6. The Hobbit
    7. The Dark Knight Rises
    8. Killing Them Softly
    9. Moonrise Kingdom
    10. The Holy Mountain

  19. I'm still catching up on some stuff from the end of the year, but as it stands...



    8) HITCHCOCK (sorry, guys, but this entertained my balls off)

    7) 21 JUMP STREET (yaaay, Doug!)


    5) AMOUR

    4) THE RAID


    2) THE PIRATES!: BAND OF MISFITS (the single Oscar nomination that made me the happiest)


    1. And I'll be posting more about these on my blog soon...

    2. I really want to see SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN!!

  20. I love that we all have such good things on our lists and yet our lists are all over the damn place.