Stevennix2001's Top Ten Films of 2012

Introduction

As I mentioned in my apology and message letter to my readers, there won't be a top ten worst films list for 2012, or even 2013. However, that doesn't mean I won't be able to deliver you guys a top ten best list of those years.

Again, I do apologize severely for the tardiness of this hub, as this was something I wanted to publish way back before the summer started. Sadly due to various personal issues, I wasn't able to publish this hub until now. However, i can promise you that next year's top ten list won't take nearly as long to complete.

Also take in mind like any top ten list, there's a good chance that some of your favorite movies won't be on this list for various reasons. However, you're more than welcome to list whatever movies you felt should've been in the top ten in the comment section below. Without further delay, lets get started with the top ten best movies of 2012.

Loki vs Hulk

10. The Avengers

Although all movies in general are huge gambles for film studios, "The Avengers" was arguably one of the biggest gambles out there. Not only was this film stuck with the daunting task of having to live up to fans' overwhelming expectations, in light of the hype it's garnered over the past few years, but it also had the daunting task of tying in the continuity of various other film franchises.

Granted, this isn't necessarily the first film that had to tie in it's continuity with other films, as Kevin Smith might have something to say to that with his collection of movies. However, to be fair, Kevin Smith's movies are usually geared more towards the Indie crowd, when it comes to films in general. Whereas Joss Whedon's "Avengers", it's geared towards mainstream audiences; which made this film even more of a risk if anything, as fans are very hard to please when hype is involved.

Luckily for Whedon, this film not only met the hype, but it exceeded it. Granted, the story isn't exactly great, as it involves the usual "Beat up the bad guy because he wants to take over the world" plot device; which has been used in almost a million other films in the past. Therefore, I would hardly call the plot to "The Avengers" original by any means.

However, for what the film tries to be, it's not half bad. If anything, Joss creates a fun superhero movie that's built on pure escapism for viewers to feel invested in. The characters are very memorable, and they're each given enough screen time to shine. Sadly though, that's not to say that the film is perfect in portraying the characters either, as the Avengers do fight among themselves quite a bit in this movie. Yet, somehow Captain America ends up as leader of the group, but it's never fully explained why they named him the leader to begin with.

Yes, I'm aware he's the leader in the comic books, and it's explained there. Yes, I'm also aware that maybe there's like a deleted scene or two showing how Captain America becomes the leader of this team. But for the movie that we got in theaters, it wasn't explained at all. But like I said before, this film wasn't designed to be taken as seriously as something like "The Dark Knight", as this is just a light hearted superhero flick. Nothing more, and nothing less.

Is it the best superhero film ever made? Hell no. Not by a long shot, but it's definitely one of the more entertaining ones out there.

9. Beasts of the Southern Wild

When I first saw this film, I wasn't sure if I understood all the symbolism; hence I had to put a lot of deep thought before constructing my review on it. However, once I was able to grasp some of the themes this film portrays, I found it to be arguably one of the most original fantasy films out there.

Unlike "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey", this film didn't impress with me with it's colorful environments, and spectacular visual effects. No, "Beasts of the Southern Wild" impressed me more with it's raw and gritty portrayal of it's world. Featuring a young actress that's not only great in her performance, but very charming as well. The film may not get a lot of publicity in light of it's limited release. However, it's definitely worth checking out, and to those that say films aren't a form of art, then I challenge you to watch this movie and say that. As that's exactly what this film is, it's a piece of art.

8. Flight

Ever since I was a kid, Denzel Washington was by far one of my favorite actors to watch. Unfortunately, since I've started writing reviews a few years ago, I haven't had an opportunity to list a film of his in my top ten lists until now.

However, what makes "Flight" so special? Well for starters, it features a great performance by Denzel Washington that's very captivating, so that's definitely a good start. But more importantly, it has a strong social commentary on a serious problem that we have in today's society.

Without spoiling too much for my readers, the film focuses on a man that's in self denial about his own past. And like the protagonist himself, we never realize what the problem is until his life hits a crossroad, and he's forced to make a difficult decision.

Truly a great character driven film if there ever was one, and it's earned it's place on the top ten list of 2012.

7. Amour

In an era where it seems like almost all the Hollywood romance movies try to sugarcoat their stories with feel good happy endings, along comes a little foreign film like "Amour" that dares to be different.

"Amour" is about an elderly couple, but the wife becomes severely ill. She's unable to take care of herself, and it even gets to the point that she can barely speak. Let alone even move on her own. Needless to say, this causes a lot of stress on the poor husband that yearns for nothing more than his wife's well being.

Although most people may not like this film because of how tragic and sad it might be the watch. Heck, some people will argue that it even has a very sad ending, but I beg to differ. It doesn't have a sad ending at all because if you watch it closely, it features a very symbolic ending that shows how love can transcend through adversity.

Sure, other movies like "Titanic" may get all the glory, but it's films like "Amour" that feature the best kind of love stories out there. Truly, one of the most touching films I've ever seen.

6. Lincoln

First of all, I have to say this is arguably one of the best historical and biographical films that I've ever seen. Not only does Spielberg and his writers manage to portray the same Abraham Lincoln we've all known about through history books and such, but he even manages to dig deeper to show us the man behind the iconic figure. Showing us that in spite of his great ideals that he too had his own share of personal battles, and how he overcame them.

It also shows that even back in Honest Abe's era that there were still a lot of underhanded political dealings, but in the end, it still manages to show us an uplifting and inspirational story.

Plus, having an all star cast that put in great performances doesn't hurt either. In fact, the only reason this film isn't ranked higher is because it still succumbs to various Hollywood cliches like the inspirational speeches and etc. However, if you're into biographical and historical films, then I would definitely recommend this one.

5. Les Miserables

I'm just going to be completely honest here with all my readers for a minute. When I first started off on hubpages a few years ago, I was not into musicals at all. I never been a big fan of them when I was a kid, as I used to think they were stupid.

Sure, like all kids, I too grew up with a lot of Disney films that featured animated characters singing. However, I didn't mind because it was just a cartoon, but to see live action people singing randomly just seemed kind of odd to me.

However, as many of my readers know, I've tried so hard over the years to expand my mind when it comes to movies, and I've even tried to get into genres that I never would've watched in years past when I was a child such as musicals, teen films, horror, and etc.

And thanks to me opening my mind to various genres of films, I can safely say that I actually enjoy all of them now; even musicals. Granted, there will always be a soft spot in my heart for animated features, superhero films, science fiction and fantasy stories, as I grew up on those. However, my tastes in films have broadened significantly since I started reviewing movies on hubpages, and it's a good thing too because if I didn't, then I never would've learned to appreciate something as operatic as "Les Miserables."

Although I would hesitate to recommend this film to anyone that isn't into musicals already, as "Les Miserables" only has like maybe one or two lines that aren't said through song. However, if you are into musicals, then you'll be in for quite a treat.

The songs are very touching and memorable. Plus, it features arguably some of the best performances ever seen in a musical before. Although since "Les Miserables" was filmed live with non stop singing throughout most of it, the real flaw is that the movie never allows for the audience to soak in everything, as they watch it. It almost feels like the film is just missing an intermission scene here or there to break up the story itself.

Having said all that though, "Les Miserables" is a masterpiece in film history. Granted, i would never go out of my way to say this is the best musical that I've ever seen, but it's certainly one of the best out there.

4. Argo

Although there's been quite a lot of controversy over this film, it's still a very entertaining film to watch. Granted, a lot of Canadians and Iranians have complained about some of the historical inaccuracies of this film, and I have to admit that is a legitimate complaint against this film. Heck, even Ben Affleck admitted he changed and distorted a few facts in the film for dramatic purposes, but to be fair though...aren't all historical and biographical films like that?

I mean really think about it. If you honestly researched every single biographical and historical film ever made, you're always going to find some inaccuracies in it. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that the Iranians or the Canadiens don't have a legitimate criticism about the film, as I can certainly see where they're coming from.

However, from a movie fan's perspective, "Argo" was simply a great story about a man risking his life to save a bunch of hostages in what could've been one of the biggest tragedies in history. Not only did Affleck do a great job portraying the isolation and fear these people had to go through, but he also managed to incorporate subtle humor as well when portraying the Hollywood scenes.

Granted, I can see why some people wouldn't like this movie, but for what it is, it's not really that bad, and it's definitely one of the more entertaining films of last year.

Warning: Contains Adult Language, Violence, Images of Blood, and Racially offensive themes. Parental Discretion is Advised

3. Django Unchained

Leave it to the twisted warped mind of Quentin Tarantino to create something so controversially perverse, and violent as hell, that you can't help but want to watch. Although some people have stated that his films can be excessively violent, and that might be true for some of his films. However, when Tarantino gets something right, he gets it right.

Whether he's directing a WWII movie like "Inglourious Basterds", an action films like the "Kill Bill" series, or even something like "Pulp Fiction", Tarantino always knows how to tell a good story. Granted, most of them might be too controversial and violent for some to want to comprehend, but if you can look past that, then you'll find that Tarantino is arguably one of the best filmmakers out there.

In fact, he's probably the only one that can even add bits of comedy to something like "Inglourious Basterds", and get away with it. But why is that though? Why is it that we would allow so much leeway from someone like Tarantino, yet if another filmmaker dared to do something close that most people wouldn't dare watch?

Whatever the case may be, there's no denying that all his movies are genuinely entertaining, and "Django Unchained" is certainly no exception. Although I do agree with most people that this isn't his best work, as that honor still goes to "Pulp Fiction" respectively, but "Django Unchained" is a perfect love letter to the classic spaghetti western films of the past; with a dash of his own style mixed into it.

Overall, unless your deeply opposed to seeing violence and blood, I would highly recommend watching "Django Unchained." It's dark, edgy, funny and entertaining. What more can you want from a Tarantino film than that?

2. Life of Pi

If you think "Life of Pi" is stupid film about a boy trapped on a boat with a tiger, then you've clearly missed the point in the entire movie. Yes, I know it seems that way from looking at the trailers, but when you watch the film itself, you find it's arguably one of the most creative, and engaging movies out there.

Sadly, this movie might only appeal to those that are into artsy kind of films, as some of the symbolism is a bit hard to grasp for some audiences. However, if you're able to grasp the symbolism that "Life of Pi" presents, then you might find yourself in enthralled into one of the best movies of last year.

Without spoiling anything, the film leaves the audience with the question about faith, and what we choose to believe in. Is it better to believe in a lie that draws a smile? Or a horrific truth that draws a tear? This is the question that "Life of Pi" presents throughout the film that'll resonate with anyone that's bold enough to see it. And, let's not forget about it's amazing visuals either, as it's truly a treat for the eyes as well.

Although Ang Lee got a very bad rep for his work on the "Hulk" movie, one can only hope that his latest Oscar for "LIfe of Pi" finally forces audiences to see him again as the great visionary director that he's always been.

Warning: Contains Adult Language and Suggestive Dialogue. Parental Discretion is Advised

1. The Master

Like "Life of Pi", I wouldn't recommend watching this film if you're only into mainstream stuff like "The Avengers" and etc. However, if you're one of these rare movie fans that yearn to see something more innovative in your films, then look no further than "The Master." Although the concepts and themes it carries might go over some people's head when they see it, but if you're able to grasp the film's message and strong social commentary, then you might find yourself engrossed in arguably one of the best films ever made.

The film also goes over various themes on how we all yearn to belong somewhere in the world, while also showing how that same desire can be dangerous when it's misguided. I won't go into too much detail about this movie, as I've already said everything I needed to say in my review of it. However, it's definitely worth checking out.

As for what I said during my original review, I did say that I would hesitate to call this the best film of 2012. And at the time, I meant every word of that. However, in light of recent events that I've been through, one of the film's messages about how dangerous our sense of wanting to belong can be dangerous when it's misguided speaks to me on a lot of different levels; which is why "The Master" has earned it's place at number one.


© 2013 Steven Escareno

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Comments 7 comments

adecourv profile image

adecourv 2 years ago

2012 was a surprisingly stacked year for movies. Your choices are good. I haven't seen the Master yet, but Django Unchained was my favorite from the year.


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 2 years ago Author

thanks. im glad you like the hub


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 2 years ago from Upstate New York

Thank you very much for compiling these reviews, Steven. I really appreciate it. I missed most of these movies because of illness (cancer, still battling away!) and was just going to visit you for some movie suggestions to rent on Netflix. And, lo and behold...

My new list to view includes every one on your list except for "Amour" and "The Avengers".

Probably the one I'm most looking forward to is "Flight". I, too, am a big Denzel Washington fan. He hasn't let me down yet.


Mike Robbers profile image

Mike Robbers 2 years ago from London

Nice list. Haven't seen all the films but I will try to watch them soon. Especially 'The Master' I think could be a hidden gem I missed. Thanks!


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 2 years ago Author

@paradise7

omg that's horrible. I'm so sorry to hear about your cancer. :( I truly do hope that you'll be okay then. I'm also sorry for the tardiness of this reply, as I haven't really had time to reply back to comments lately. However, I hope you enjoy the movies then, and be sure to take good care of yourself.

@mike robbers

your welcome, and thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoy the movies whenever you get a chance to see them.


Nickalooch profile image

Nickalooch 2 years ago from Columbia, MD

Sorry to hear about that Paradise. I hope you are doing well now. I wish you well.

I just came across this article of yours though Steven and I have to agree. Although I have not seen The Master, I'll give it a watch now. I never really heard much about it when it came out.


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 2 years ago Author

That's cool. I hope you enjoy the film when you watch it. Anyways, thanks for stopping by again. I hope all is well with you.

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