The Watchlist for 2012's VERY BEST

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1.
Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A pair of young lovers flee their New England town, which causes a local search party to fan out to find them. (94 mins.)
Director: Wes Anderson
 
2.
Amour (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested. (127 mins.)
Director: Michael Haneke
 
3.
Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Faced with both her hot-tempered father's fading health and melting ice-caps that flood her ramshackle bayou community and unleash ancient aurochs, six-year-old Hushpuppy must learn the ways of courage and love. (93 mins.)
Director: Benh Zeitlin
 
4.
Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A group of men set out in search of a dead body in the Anatolian steppes. (157 mins.)
 
5.
Argo (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Acting under the cover of a Hollywood producer scouting a location for a science fiction film, a CIA agent launches a dangerous operation to rescue six Americans in Tehran during the U.S. hostage crisis in Iran in 1980. (120 mins.)
Director: Ben Affleck
 
6.
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A fisheries expert is approached by a consultant to help realize a sheik's vision of bringing the sport of fly-fishing to the desert and embarks on an upstream journey of faith and fish to prove the impossible possible. (107 mins.)
 
7.
Les Misérables (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
In 19th-century France, Jean Valjean, who for decades has been hunted by the ruthless policeman Javert after breaking parole, agrees to care for a factory worker's daughter. The decision changes their lives forever. (158 mins.)
Director: Tom Hooper
 
8.
End of Watch (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Shot documentary-style, this film follows the daily grind of two young police officers in LA who are partners and friends, and what happens when they meet criminal forces greater than themselves. (109 mins.)
Director: David Ayer
 
9.
Anna Karenina (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
In late-19th-century Russian high society, St. Petersburg aristocrat Anna Karenina enters into a life-changing affair with the dashing Count Alexei Vronsky. (129 mins.)
Director: Joe Wright
 
10.
Take This Waltz (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A happily married woman falls for the artist who lives across the street. (116 mins.)
Director: Sarah Polley
 
11.
Django Unchained (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
With the help of a German bounty hunter, a freed slave sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner. (165 mins.)
 
12.
Life of Pi (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A young man who survives a disaster at sea is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an unexpected connection with another survivor: a fearsome Bengal tiger. (127 mins.)
Director: Ang Lee
 
13.
Lincoln (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
As the Civil War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves. (150 mins.)
 
14.
Zero Dark Thirty (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A chronicle of the decade-long hunt for al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden after the September 2001 attacks, and his death at the hands of the Navy S.E.A.L.s Team 6 in May 2011. (157 mins.)
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
 
15.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
British retirees travel to India to take up residence in what they believe is a newly restored hotel. Less luxurious than advertised, the Marigold Hotel nevertheless slowly begins to charm in unexpected ways. (124 mins.)
Director: John Madden
 
16.
Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own. (122 mins.)
 
17.
The Master (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A Naval veteran arrives home from war unsettled and uncertain of his future - until he is tantalized by The Cause and its charismatic leader. (144 mins.)
 
18.
The Sessions (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A man in an iron lung who wishes to lose his virginity contacts a professional sex surrogate with the help of his therapist and priest. (95 mins.)
Director: Ben Lewin
 
19.
Flight (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
An airline pilot saves almost all his passengers on his malfunctioning airliner which eventually crashed, but an investigation into the accident reveals something troubling. (138 mins.)
Director: Robert Zemeckis
 
20.
The Impossible (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
The story of a tourist family in Thailand caught in the destruction and chaotic aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. (114 mins.)
Director: J.A. Bayona
 
21.
Bernie (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
In small-town Texas, an affable mortician strikes up a friendship with a wealthy widow, though when she starts to become controlling, he goes to great lengths to separate himself from her grasp. (99 mins.)
 
22.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An introvert freshman is taken under the wings of two seniors who welcome him to the real world. (102 mins.)
Director: Stephen Chbosky
 
23.
Hyde Park on Hudson (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
The story of the love affair between FDR and his distant cousin Margaret "Daisy" Suckley, centered around the weekend in 1939 when the King and Queen of the United Kingdom visited upstate New York. (94 mins.)
Director: Roger Michell
 
24.
The Paperboy (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
A reporter returns to his Florida home-town to investigate a case involving a death row inmate. (107 mins.)
Director: Lee Daniels