Sunday, September 22, 2013

Best Movies of 2012

Yesterday, I gave you my list of 2012's worst movies. Since you're probably thoroughly depressed at the prospect of watching those movies, I'll go ahead and show you the opposite side of the cinematic coin. Again, I'll note that this list doesn't strictly follow the scores I initially gave them. As I said yesterday, the way I feel about some movies evolves over time. With that said, feel free to click on the titles to see those original reviews. My idea on the score may have changed, but the things I like and dislike about each pretty much remain the same, if that makes sense. And of course, feel free to give your thoughts on the matter. In the (not so) immortal words of Drake...what is this world coming to when I'm quoting Drake...we started from the bottom, now we're here...

2012's 12 Best Movies

This is pretty standard chick-flick stuff, but in David O. Russell’s capable hands it is far better than most of its ilk.

11. Looper
Even though it is science-fiction, Looper is not about showing off whatever futuristic gadgets the filmmakers can dream up or giving us a laser and lights show. It’s a rather human tale that happens to contain time-travel.

It works on multiple levels. Its layers don’t merely cover, but enhance one another. This works so well that despite all the wicked cutlery and pointed or jagged fangs on display, the movie’s wit is sharpest of them all.

It grabs hold of us as it explains the hows of the whats we already know. We’re intrigued by the process. When we get to the last scene, we do as Maya does. We exhale.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is an enthralling movie. It draws us into this young man’s life and lets us love it or loathe it as he does.

Only a few days prior, I watched 50/50 so I was somewhat ready for a heavy drama about sex and illness. What I was totally unprepared for was just how funny this movie is.


Okay, I'm taking a short break here because I wanted to recognize some movies that are not on this list, but were pleasant surprises. Frankly, I wasn't expecting anything from them and still got an enjoyable viewing experience.

21 Jump Street
Killer Joe
Magic Mike
Safety Not Guaranteed

Now, on with the show...

For you action junkies, this is the stuff of your wet dreams. On the other hand, if you’re looking for things like depth, character development, witty dialogue, etc., they are not found nor welcomed here. And it’s still a great movie, just not for the squeamish.

When The Master ends we may be hit by a wave of confusion as we wonder what we just watched. In this case, that’s a good thing. We have much to talk about.

Skyfall is a return to greatness. It continuously questions its own place in today’s world. It questions the way its hero and, by extension, the movie itself goes about its business.

We’re often drawn to the edge of our seat. Then, at the end, our brain gets challenged a bit. Is what we've seen the truth or just a colorful metaphor? Does it really matter which? What proof does it offer of God’s existence? We can have fun with all of those questions after we've had fun watching Pi navigate difficult waters.

By the end, we’ve been through more than enough ups and downs with this family to become fully vested in them. When life throws yet another thing at them, we duck. We root for them and share in their triumphs and heartbreaks.

Django is more interested in getting the attitudes of the times right than the facts and even indulging the most violent fantasies of history’s victims. Sure, this requires some revisionist (or purely imagined) history but a Quentin Tarantino movie is not a fact-finding mission.


  1. Same #1 as you. I knew you were a cool cat. Nice list, yo.

  2. Thanks! Django is pretty much a masterpiece.