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2012 Movies:The Year in Review According to FilmCrave

View Chris Kavan's Profile

By Chris Kavan - 12/29/12 at 01:59 AM CT

Well, it's nearly time to roll over into 2013, but before we do, let's reflect on the year. For one, the world didn't decide to up and end on the 21st, so we've got that going for us. I have to say that I think 2012 was one of the strong years for movies overall - certainly better than last year anyway. Usually this is where I would gladly give my own opinion on the top 10 movies of the year, but I thought I would take a different approach. I want to know what the general consensus is - so I'll take the top 10 movies of 2012 according to this very site, and give my own opinion.

Of course, should you care to peruse my own personal best-of movie list, don't hesitate to head on over to my 2012 Rated & Ranked list where you will not only find my favorites, but also my bottom barrel - it's everything I've watched that was released this year from the divine to the horrendous. Being as the top movies of 2012 are changing as more reviews pour in, (the list below is from 12/29/2012) - to keep track of the current list, make sure the check out the Top Movies of 2012 on a regular basis.

1) THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

The end to Christoper Nolan's trilogy was a bit of a dark affair. While I still prefer The Dark Knight, this was an excellent coda to this series and all involved should be happy with the results. Let's face it, a grittier, darker Batman is just what we needed to shake up what was getting to be a rather tepid superhero genre. Of course, because of the success, everyone it going darker (see also Man of Steel) so I don't know if Nolan unleashed a monster or not, but at least for Batman, it worked (no matter how hard Bane was to understand).

2) THE AVENGERS

Where The Dark Knight Rises was all brooding and serious, The Avengers was more spectacle and fun. Yet, for me, that worked out just fine. I think a lot of credit has to be given to Joss Whedon, who managed to deliver the right mix of humor, action and, yes, even character. I had a blast watching it, and this is the kind of movie you could pop in anytime and be entertained. There's a reason it's the highest-grossing film of 2012 ($623.4 million for those keeping count) - because it's that good.

3) ARGO

It's hard to argue with a film that takes a more modern story - that we already know the outcome of - and make it an edge-of-your-seat affair. Ben Affleck proved to me her deserves just as much credit behind the camera as in front of it with this film. While The Town was good, Argo is truly great - tense with touches of humor and a story that's so outrageous, it has to be true. Argo is a history lesson I would highly recommend to everyone.

4) SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS

This one seems like a dark horse to me - and I'm surprised it reached this high on the list, but I have to admit the ensemble cast - including Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, Woody Harrelson, Abbie Cornish, Colin Farrell, Gabourey Sidibe and.... Tom Waits - well, it's an interesting and intriguing mix. I admit I haven't watched this yet, but considering the overwhelming spot it has claimed, I'll keep an eye out for it.

5) LIFE OF PI

Another film I have yet to see, but the response from audiences has been huge. This is not just a visual feast, but a philosophical one as well. I have respect for Ang Lee, who has impressed me with his directorial skills since The Ice Storm. The subject matter of the book made it seem like a near impossibility to film, but Lee took on the job and it seems he hit all the right notes. This is one I think we'll see more of at award time.

6) THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY

Here we are, back in Middle Earth with our guide, Peter Jackson, ready to take us on another grand adventure. I'll admit that personally I found The Hobbit to be a bit too much like Fellowship of the Rings for my taste. It's not that this is a bad film, I just didn't think it was an outstanding movie. That being said, the visual effects are simply astounding (whether you watch it in plain old 2D, 3D, or ultra-realistic 48 fps) and it still has the a good mix of action, humor and heart. I just wished things could have been streamlined a bit more, but I'll still be first in line for the sequels.

7) LES MISERABLES

A late entry into the game has broken onto the scene. I'm planning on watching this (probably next weekend - this weekend is all about Django Unchained) and I have to say I'm quite looking forward to it. While review haven't been out-of-the-park fantastic, I'm still looking forward to seeing how an epic musical is translated to the big screen and whether that sweeping grandeur can stand up in a movie as well as it does on stage. Still, I'll go simply to see Anne Hathaway's performance alone - which apparently has Best Supporting Actress in the bag.

8) WRECK-IT RALPH

You don't know how happy it makes me to see this film break into the top 10 for the year. For a person who likes video games just as much as movies, this was a darn-near perfect film and easily my favorite animated movie of the year. The characters, story, music and in-jokes along the way all came together for an experience that was fun to watch, but actually managed to sneak in some good lessons too. It even pulled off something that few movies manage to do these days - throw in a twist I didn't see coming. Hats off to you, Ralph - can't wait until you make it to Blu-Ray.

9) MOONRISE KINGDOM

This is my personal pick for the best movie of the year. Wes Anderson has a unique vision that isn't always accessible, but I have to say that I think this is his most appealing film to date. Maybe it's the characters or the story - but something managed to reach me on a level most films never approach. So far, it's still my only 4/4 film of the year and one I have no problem recommending. Even if you've found Anderson films hard to sit through in the past, I think this is one worth your time.

10) LINCOLN

I still think this is a major front-runner for the big awards (picture, director, actor) and certainly for Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln. I was expecting this to be a bit dry and dull, but I have to say that if greatly exceeded my expectations and delivered a story that was moving and insightful. Tommy Lee Jones stole the movie every scene he was in, and the rest of the cast was likewise a revelation - from Sally Field to a mischievous James Spader. Another history lesson that deserves to be watched - although the median audiences in the theater seemed about 60, it just goes to show that with age comes wisdom.

That's the FilmCrave top 10 for 2012 (so far). Don't like the results? Think some other movie deserves a top 10 spot? Rate, review and rank your favorites - remember, it's your votes and top movie lists that determine the outcome. This list is probably bound to change - maybe in a week - maybe not until awards start being handed out - but these lists are never truly final. They are good to have, however, because they let you know what's deserving and what's forgettable. And, really, what more could you ask for?

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MikePA

Wrote on 01/01/13 at 07:55 PM CT

I'm not quite done with 2012 yet... I still gotta see Silver Linings Playbook, Life of Pi, and Zero Dark Thirty while they're still in theaters.

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