Top Ten Films of 2012
2012 has been a pretty good year for film lovers with a great mix of quality blockbuster films (Bond, Batman etc) and decent festival films (most of this list). 2012 also saw the return to form for action films (The Raid, Haywire, The Avengers) and a welcome return to prominence for science fiction films (Looper, Prometheus). I was sad to see some films under perform at the box office – really, John Carter isn’t that bad! – but overall, I think its been an awesome 12 months will good quality movies coming month in and month out. It’s always a positive sign when I struggle to cut my list of favourite films down to twenty, let alone ten.
Anyway, here it is, my Top Ten Films of 2012.
Michael Shannon plays a man who gradually goes off the deep end, convinced that there is an impending Armageddon coming. A great character piece that can be interpreted as an allegory for mental illness or a man struggling to deal with the responsibilities of supporting his wife and daughter. Great ending.
Film of the Year
I love Alexander Payne’s films and when I think about it, The Descendants might be my favourite of all his films. Like most of his previous films, this is a film about a man going through a mid-life crisis. In this case, George Clooney plays Matt King, a man in Hawaii who finds out his comatose wife cheated on him. The film is funny, melancholic, bittersweet and brilliant.
A dramatic thriller based on the true events of how a CIA operative smuggled six embassy workers out of Iran during the major hostage crisis. The film is fast paced, tense and at times, surprisingly funny. Another impressive piece of work from Ben Affleck’s formidable CV as both an actor and now director.
Action films don’t come much better than this. This low budget Indo-Welsh production about a police force stuck in a building full of drug runners has a ten minute intro that sets the scene and after that, it is wall-to-wall nonstop ass kicking and bad assery. The fighting is brutal, the shoot outs are crazy inventive and the storyline non-existent. It’s this decade’s Ong Bak.
The Artist was hyped to hell and back during the awards season but it more than lives up to its reputation. It’s a genuine, earnest homage to the silent film era that is full of humour, romance and pathos. I’d encourage everyone to check this film out, even if you’ve never watched a silent film before.
The Grey stoic, somber meditation on death as Liam Neeson and a group of plane crash survivors battle the freezing cold in the Artic tundra as well as a pack of marauding wolves. The film is nothing like what its trailer suggested. It is soulful, contemplative and brilliant. I can’t believe it was made by the guy who directed The A-Team.
Sean William Scott plays Doug Blatt, a legendary ice hockey player in the minor leagues who was famous for being able to absorb blows and beating the crap out of his opponents. This is a very simple, sweet natured film about a simple, sweet natured man.
Based on the amazing true story of a man who was so popular his murder trial had to be moved out of town to ensure he received a fair trial. This is based on fascinating true story and Jack Black puts in a career best performance.
I’ll never look at a piece of fried chicken the same way. William Friedkin’s Killer Joe justifies its NC-17 rating with some rather disturbing content in this black comedy about a family who hires a hitman to kill their estranged mother. Matthew McConaghey is amazing as the ice cold, creepy sociopath Joe. It’s a very dark film but also incredibly funny.
Wes Anderson can sometimes get too caught up in quirky indy film mannerisms but I think he really strikes a fine note with Moonrise Kingdom, a coming of age story about a pair of star crossed lovers who flee from their respective families to be together. The film trundles along at a laid back, laconic pace and never takes itself too seriously. A fun film about leaving childhood and first love.
A nod to the films that didn’t make the cut:
The Dark Knight Rises – Click here to read a review
Shame – Click here to read a review
Cabin In The Woods
Looper – Click here to read a review
Game Change – Click here to read a review
Indie Game: The Movie – Click here to read a review
Young Adult – Click here to read a review
John Carter – Click here to read a review
Jiro Dreams of Sushi – Click here to read a review
And here’s the links to The FAT Website Top Ten Films from the past: