Ian's Movie Reviews
Short Reviews of Movies, Board Games, and Other Stuff

My Top Ten Films of 2012

10. Skyfall

I’m not that big of a Bond fan, but I do like the Danial Craig interpretations. Skyfall was a pretty fun movie which was not scared to play around with Bond’s iconic image. One of the better action films of the year.

9. The Grey

This was certainly my biggest surprise of the year. I wasn’t expecting much with this story of wolves hunting plane crash survivors in the arctic, but what I got was a great survivalist film. It reminded me a lot of deliverance. Liam Neeson gave the film a lot of weight and a pretty great showdown wit the Wolves. If you are skeptical on this one, I recommend giving it a look.

8. The Dark Knight Rises

Okay, yes this was a slightly disappointing entry into Nolan’s batman trilogy, but its still pretty damn good. It may have pacing and tonal problems, but it also has a great villain, wonderful aesthetics, and it provides a great conclusion to the series.

7. Moonrise Kingdom

I may not be on the Wes Anderson bandwagon, but I do appreciate some of his films, and this is certainly one of his best. Its witty and sweet, and the 1960’s isolated-island setting was a lot of fun.

6. Argo

Ben Affleck’s real events-based thriller was a great two hours at the movies. Between the suspense in Iran to the lighter comedic stuff in L.A., this film found just the right balance of both to make it an effective and entertaining movie.

5. Django Unchained

Tarantino’s go at the western genre is certainly a romp. The first half is much stronger than the second, but damn is it a good first half! Christoph Waltz is the majority of the reason its so strong. He puts in yet another amazing performance. Sam Jackson is right behind him however, giving one of his strongest turns in quite some time.

4. The Avengers

Yes, this movie is complete fan service. And yes, it is more style over substance. And yes, it is completely calculated in its efforts to derive pleasure in the audience. And it worked on me damn it. Chances are this one isn’t going to hold up over time, but this year I can still say that it exceeded my expectations.

3. Prometheus

I honestly don’t understand the backlash towards this film. The arguments either seem to be unfounded (it didn’t provide any answers!) to annoying nitpicking (A scientist wouldn’t take off their helmet!!). When I came out of the theaters, I was pumped. I had just seen a imaginative sci-fi vision with some great moments of discovery and terror. A wonderful film.

2. Zero Dark Thirty

The first half of this film was a bit of a letdown, to be honest. It seemed pretty regular. Then I realized that it was really just building up momentum for the incredible second half, eventually leading to taht gripping assault on Bin Laden’s compound. This is one great, intense film full of great performances, especially by Chastain who anchors the whole thing. Convtroversy be damned! I dont know exactly what happened, nor do I believe I or most of us ever will. But I do know when a movie captures me, and this one did.

1. Lincoln

This was another big surprise for me this year, as I usually find biopics to be sleep-inducing affairs. But Spielberg played it right here, focusing on one aspect of Lincoln’s presidency (mind you, a pretty important one) and having a script which was witty, charming, and thrilling. Not to mention chalk full of great performances.
You know those movies which seem like they were made for you in particular? That was the case for me here. This felt like The West Wing in the 18th century, and since The West Wing is my favourite TV show, I ate this film up. Loved it.

10 Responses to “My Top Ten Films of 2012”

  1. Nice list. A lot of these films also appeared on mine. I really want to see Chastain take the Oscar…

  2. Pretty solid Ian, I’m on record as not being a big fan of TDKR, but so many people had it in their top ten that you cant go wrong.

    I think Prometheus might be the only one that wouldnt belong. But our buddy Cooper loved that one too 😉

  3. Good list, makes me want to see some of the top films I missed in 2012.

  4. Nice list Ian, not seen all the stuff on here but glad to see Skyfall is getting love from fans even if it was criminally ignored by the awards. Also, I’m one of the Prometheus backlashers but I appreciate that plenty of people did really like it.

  5. hooray! Moonrise Kingdom made your list

  6. Standard list. Bond, Dark Knight and Avengers are a given in my opinion. I don’t know if Moonrise Kingdom would have made my ten of the year (had I seen it last year.)

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