My Top 10 Movies of 2012
Welcome to my top 10 movies of 2012. This is a list of my personal favorite films from this year, which I understand many might disagree with. Films I wasn't able to see this year will obviously not appear on this list such as Argo, Lincoln, and Django Unchained even though from what I've heard they would definitely deserve a spot.
10. The Dark Knight Rises
Directed by Christopher Nolan
Starring Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Caine, Marion Cotillard, and Morgan Freeman
The Dark Knight Rises is the final movie in the Dark Knight Trilogy but while it might not reach the heights of The Dark Knight, it is still one of the best "superhero" films out there. It features great acting from the cast, great action, and a great ending. The movie picks up 8 years after the previous film with Bruce Wayne a recluse, and the Batman seemingly non-existent. A new threat in the form of Bane comes to Gotham and threatens to tear the entire city down. Wayne must don the Batman suit once again to try and save Gotham before Bane burns it to the ground.
9. End of Watch
Written and Directed by David Ayer.
Starring Jake Gyllanhaal, Michael Pena, Anna Kendrick, Frank Grillo, America Ferrera, Cody Horn, Natalie Martinez, and David Harbour.
End of Watch is one of the best police dramas I've ever seen, and it's also one of the scariest. It's scary because as you watch it you'll realize that everything happening in the movie also happens in real life, and real cops just like the ones you are seeing in the movie are being put into the same situations. The movie gives me a much bigger appreciation for the police then ever before, and also makes me never want to become a cop. A friend of mine is an NYPD cop, and when they saw the movie they even said it was terrifying to see things play out. The movie is held together by the chemistry between Jake and Michael, who delivers two of the most realistic performances I've seen all year.
8. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Directed by Peter Jackson
Starring Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Aidan Turner, Peter Hambleton, Sylvester McCoy, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett, and Christopher Lee.
This is the first of three Hobbit films that will be an adaption of the novel of the same name, and also expand on the mythology of Middle Earth. It is also the first movie to be filmed in 48 Frames Per Second which delivers a much clearer picture. I thought the 48 FPS looked outstanding, and I was completely blow away when the movie began. The movie itself starts off slow, introducing us to the story and the characters, but the last half of the movie really hits its stride and never slows down. The movie boasts amazing special effects, and an absolutely wonderful performance by Martin Freeman as Bilbo.
Directed by Ridley Scott
Starring Noomi Rapace, Logan Marshall-Green, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba, Charlize Theron, and Guy Pearce
Prometheus completely divide fans of the Alien series, many of whom were hoping for a prequel of some sort to the first Alien movie. What we got was a standalone film about the search for who created humans. It does share a lot of features with Alien mythology, and COULD be considered a prequel to the Alien prequel. It takes place in the same universe, and the events that occur in Prometheus could have a ripple effect becoming the beginning stages of what the Alien series is. I know many people were completely disappointed in the film, but I loved it which is why it's sitting at number 7 on my list. I loved how the film blends religion and science when it tries to answer the question, where did we come from? Plus, it features awesome special effects, a great cast, and some truly jaw-dropping moments.
6. The Avengers
Directed by Joss Whedon
Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hiddleston, Clark Greg, Cobie Smulders, and Samuel L. Jackson
Now, I know most of you are wondering why this film is not higher up on my list, and that's because it's only my 6th favorite movie of the year. Does it boast the best special effects? Yes. Does it feature one of best casts? Yes. Does it have some of the best action scenes I've seen in years? Yes. Is it one hell of an amazing movie? Yes. It's just that I found the other 5 movies on this list I enjoyed more. If The Dark Knight Rises is ONE of the best "superhero" films out, then The Avengers is THE best.
Directed by Pete Travis
Starring Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey, Wood Harris, Domhnall Gleeson, and Warrick Grier
Dredd is one of the most action packed movie I've seen in years, and draws a lot of comparisons to The Raid which both take place in a large apartment building pitting the protagonist against hundreds of men. While The Raid features some really great martial arts action, I found Dredd to be a superior movie. While the action in both films is intense and brutal I thought of Dredd as a much more fun, entertaining movie. The 3D was great as well, throwing blood, bullets and debris in your face. It was the second most fun I've had in a theater all year.
Directed by Seth McFarlane
Starring Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Seth McFarlane, Joel McHale, Giovanni Ribisi, and Aedin Mincks
It's a movie about a talking teddy bear from the mind of Seth McFarlane, the man behind Family Guy. Many people who hate Family Guy will probably not like this movie either as it feels very "Family Guy" ish. I hope you understand what I mean (same type of dialogue, same type of humor). As a fan of Seth McFarlane's work I loved this film. Ted works on so many levels from the amazing humor, both childish and adult, to how Ted seemingly fits into society so naturally. Ted also fits into the movie as not an animated teddy bear, but as a character. It actually felt as if there was a real teddy bear standing there talking to Mark Wahlberg the entire time. I forgot to mention that it's one of the funniest movies I've ever seen.
Directed by Sam Mendes
Starring Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw, Ralph Fiennes, Albert Finney, Rory Kinnear, and Javier Bardem.
Skyfall is a near-perfect entry into the James Bond series, and easily the best James Bond film to ever be released. It's no wonder that Skyfall has made it onto my top movies of the year list. It delivers some spectacular action sequences to along side a great, emotional character driven story, with some really great performances by its actors. Daniel Craig is a great James Bond, and in Skyfall he really shines. The theme song by Adele is amazing, and so is the whole signature opening sequence that it plays over.
2. Silver Linings Playbook
Written and Directed by David O. Russel
Starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver, Chris Tucker, Julia Stiles, and Anupam Kher
Silver Linings Playbook was unexpectedly hilarious, but a very feel good, and heart-warming movie. The movie rides on the phenomenal performances by the two leads, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. They both deliver the performances of a lifetime, and have fantastic chemistry between each other. It would be a shame if Jennifer Lawrence doesn't take home an academy award for her role. The rest of the supporting cast delivers great performances as well, especially Robert De Niro. It will easily go down as one of my favorite movies of all time.
1. The Cabin in the Woods
Directed by Drew Goddard. Written by Josh Whedon & Drew Goddard.
Starring Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Fran Kranz, Anna Hutchison, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford, Brian White, and Amy Acker.
The Cabin in the Woods features one of the greatest half-hours ever put onto film. The third act of this movie is absolutely amazing. It's everything a horror fan could want stuck into one half hour moment in the movie. Five seemingly cliche teenagers head off to spend a weekend in the woods. Right off the bat you'll realize that this isn't like any movie you've seen before. Upon arriving at the cabin the teenagers realize that things are a little strange. After awakening a family of zombies the teenagers begin to discover that something else is at play, which is much bigger than they could have ever imagined. That's as much as I'm going to say for the sake of those who have not yet seen the movie. The Cabin in the Woods is similar to the Scream franchise in that it deconstructs the entire horror genre but in a much more genius, and hilarious way. The Cabin in the Woods is a mind-bending horror film that will leave you both stunned and in awe for what you have just watched. This film is a game-changer, setting the standard for all horror films that follow, and is my number one movie of 2012. I couldn't recommend this film anymore than I am now.
Honorable Mentions: The Hunger Games, The Amazing Spiderman, Wreck-it Ralph, 21 Jumpstreet, The Lorax, and Looper.