2012 In Film

The Worst and Best Films of 2012
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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
“ The only film I have paid to see so many times in theaters that I literally lost count. The best film of one of today's best filmmakers. Some iffy moments (lightening), but way too good everywhere else. ” - jstew64
 
2.
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
“ This marks the second time in a row I've had tears during a Hooper film. I'm no fan of Hathaway but she's easily the best actress of the year in this one. ” - jstew64
 
3.
Life of Pi (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 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
“ All-around great. A few iffy directorial moments but fantastic for the most part. ” - jstew64
 
4.
21 Jump Street (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A pair of underachieving cops are sent back to a local high school to blend in and bring down a synthetic drug ring. (110 mins.)
“ Fantastic script. Fantastically directed. I usually don't rewatch comedies in a short period of time but this one held up even on third and fourth viewings. ” - jstew64
 
5.
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
“ I'm no fan of Bigelow, but this is easily her best work. ” - jstew64
 
6.
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.)
“ Surprisingly solid. ” - jstew64
 
7.
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.)
“ The worst Paul Thomas Anderson film. But, being a PTA film, it's still better than pretty much everything else. ” - jstew64
 
8.
Seven Psychopaths (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A struggling screenwriter inadvertently becomes entangled in the Los Angeles criminal underworld after his oddball friends kidnap a gangster's beloved Shih Tzu. (110 mins.)
Director: Martin McDonagh
“ Great, but nowhere near In Bruges. ” - jstew64
 
9.
The Grey (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
After their plane crashes in Alaska, six oil workers are led by a skilled huntsman to survival, but a pack of merciless wolves haunts their every step. (117 mins.)
Director: Joe Carnahan
“ Really simple. Could have been a dumb action movie but ended up somewhat thoughtful. Carefully avoided some obvious cliches. ” - jstew64
 
10.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A reluctant hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, sets out to the Lonely Mountain with a spirited group of dwarves to reclaim their mountain home - and the gold within it - from the dragon Smaug. (169 mins.)
Director: Peter Jackson
“ Great pacing, and 48fps is clearly the way of the future. ” - jstew64
 
11.
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.)
“ If Spielberg didn't completely botch the ending up the butt, it would have been superb. ” - jstew64
 
12.
The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Five friends go for a break at a remote cabin, where they get more than they bargained for, discovering the truth behind the cabin in the woods. (95 mins.)
Director: Drew Goddard
“ Fun fun fun. I was in a theater with two or three other people that came in on their own and we were all dying with laughter. Doesn't matter the crowd size, that's a great batting average. ” - jstew64
 
13.
Django Unchained (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 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.)
“ It's fine, but there are definitely more than a few eye-rolling moments. I'm a bigger fan of the 'realistic' Tarantino movies so this circus of a film, while fun, doesn't really provide as much substance as I would have liked. ” - jstew64
 
14.
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
“ Denzel deserves all the Oscars. ” - jstew64
 
15.
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
“ A five-year-old girl out-acted everybody this year in a film (shot on film) with a relatively original screenplay. Let all that sink in for a second. ” - jstew64
 
16.
Looper (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
In 2074, when the mob wants to get rid of someone, the target is sent into the past, where a hired gun awaits - someone like Joe - who one day learns the mob wants to 'close the loop' by sending back Joe's future self for assassination. (119 mins.)
Director: Rian Johnson
“ Good stuff. I'm not sure if I like it more than Brick or not, but it's a great take on mob-time travel. ” - jstew64
 
17.
The Words (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A writer at the peak of his literary success discovers the steep price he must pay for stealing another man's work. (102 mins.)
“ Actually pretty decent. I know, I was surprised too. Kind of formulaic and somewhat predictable but actually pretty decent. ” - jstew64
 
18.
Dredd (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
In a violent, futuristic city where the police have the authority to act as judge, jury and executioner, a cop teams with a trainee to take down a gang that deals the reality-altering drug, SLO-MO. (95 mins.)
Director: Pete Travis
“ People love to complain about modern movies and then they don't go see the good ones. Super simple, super awesome. ” - jstew64
 
19.
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
“ Good stuff, good script. Doesn't really hold up to repeat viewings but it's not really one you'll want to see two times in one month anyway. ” - jstew64
 
20.
Skyfall (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Bond's loyalty to M is tested when her past comes back to haunt her. Whilst MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost. (143 mins.)
Director: Sam Mendes
“ A little too “Get it, we were making a cheeky reference to another 007 movie” for me, but still a great time. ” - jstew64
 
21.
Robot & Frank (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Set in the near future, an ex-jewel thief receives a gift from his son: a robot butler programmed to look after him. But soon the two companions try their luck as a heist team. (89 mins.)
Director: Jake Schreier
“ I'm not crying, you're crying! ” - jstew64
 
22.
Searching for Sugar Man (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Two South Africans set out to discover what happened to their unlikely musical hero, the mysterious 1970s rock n roller, Rodriguez. (86 mins.)
“ While not the most accurate documentary ever made, it's impeccably well made. ” - jstew64
 
23.
ParaNorman (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A misunderstood boy takes on ghosts, zombies and grown-ups to save his town from a centuries-old curse. (92 mins.)
“ Wonderful. Super funny, one of those 'I can't believe they show this to kids' movies. ” - jstew64
 
24.
The Avengers (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Earth's mightiest heroes must come together and learn to fight as a team if they are to stop the mischievous Loki and his alien army from enslaving humanity. (143 mins.)
Director: Joss Whedon
“ Really, REALLY fun to watch. Then you go home and think about the script and realize that the plot is really lazy in a very broken way. Granted, they have to set up the franchise, but still. ” - jstew64
 
25.
Jack Reacher (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A homicide investigator digs deeper into a case involving a trained military sniper who shot five random victims. (130 mins.)
“ Went in expected a whole bunch of 'bleh,' come out with just a little, 'Yeah...okay.' ” - jstew64
 
26.
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
Eight years after the Joker's reign of anarchy, the Dark Knight, with the help of the enigmatic Selina, is forced from his imposed exile to save Gotham City, now on the edge of total annihilation, from the brutal guerrilla terrorist Bane. (164 mins.)
“ Pretty disappointing. Way too many plotholes and annoying things that make me wonder how this could be the same man that did Memento and The Prestige. ” - jstew64
 
27.
Prometheus (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Following clues to the origin of mankind, a team find a structure on a distant moon, but they soon find they are not alone. (124 mins.)
Director: Ridley Scott
“ Loved it the first time I saw it. Second time though, “Hmmm, what a dumb script.” ” - jstew64
 
28.
The Three Stooges (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  
While trying to save their childhood orphanage, Moe, Larry and Curly inadvertently stumble into a murder plot and wind up starring in a reality television show. (92 mins.)
“ Pretty much the best way this could have been done. ” - jstew64
 
29.
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
“ Pretty decent, some ludicrous moments, but pretty decent. ” - jstew64
 
30.
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
As an asteroid nears Earth, a man finds himself alone after his wife leaves in a panic. He decides to take a road trip to reunite with his high school sweetheart. Accompanying him is a neighbor who inadvertently puts a wrench in his plan. (101 mins.)
Director: Lorene Scafaria
“ Pretty decent. It doesn't quite nail the tonal shift it tries to tackle but you have to give it a nod for trying. ” - jstew64
 
31.
Jeff, Who Lives at Home (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Dispatched from his basement room on an errand for his widowed mother, slacker Jeff might discover his destiny (finally) when he spends the day with his unhappily married brother as he tracks his possibly adulterous wife. (83 mins.)
“ Good enough, for one of those self-proclaimed "indie" movies. ” - jstew64
 
32.
Wreck-It Ralph (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A video game villain wants to be a hero and sets out to fulfill his dream, but his quest brings havoc to the whole arcade where he lives. (101 mins.)
Director: Rich Moore
“ Loved some parts of it, felt others were a bit too expository. ” - jstew64
 
33.
Chronicle (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Whilst attending a party, three high school friends gain superpowers after making an incredible discovery underground. Soon, though, they find their lives spinning out of control and their bond tested as they embrace their darker sides. (84 mins.)
Director: Josh Trank
“ Sleeper hit, actually pretty decent. I don't know about all this sequel talk though. ” - jstew64
 
34.
Dark Shadows (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
An imprisoned vampire, Barnabas Collins, is set free and returns to his ancestral home, where his dysfunctional descendants are in need of his protection. (113 mins.)
Director: Tim Burton
“ Not a fan of Burton, probably my second favorite of his films though. Next to Pee-Wee obviously. ” - jstew64
 
35.
The Pirates! Band of Misfits (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Pirate Captain sets out on a mission to defeat his rivals Black Bellamy and Cutlass Liz for the Pirate of the year Award. The quest takes Captain and his crew from the shores of Blood Island to the foggy streets of Victorian London. (88 mins.)
“ The 3D wasn't working when I saw it so everything was blurry, but the jokes still worked. That's the sign of a good script. ” - jstew64
 
36.
The Dictator (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
The heroic story of a dictator who risked his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed. (83 mins.)
Director: Larry Charles
“ Good enough for what it is. ” - jstew64
 
37.
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
“ It's fine, sure, but it's really messy too. I get it, it's based on a historical event, but the script needs to be based on at least a few rewrites. It was almost really cool. ” - jstew64
 
38.
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.)
“ Good. Not even close to the best of the year in any facet, but still good. ” - jstew64
 
39.
Sleepwalk with Me (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A burgeoning stand-up comedian struggles with the stress of a stalled career, a stale relationship, and the wild spurts of severe sleepwalking he is desperate to ignore. (81 mins.)
“ Mike Birbiglia is a much better comic than this film alludes to. I understand that it's a pretty strict autobiography but some scenes could have been handled better. ” - jstew64
 
40.
Killing Them Softly (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Jackie Cogan is an enforcer hired to restore order after three dumb guys rob a Mob protected card game, causing the local criminal economy to collapse. (97 mins.)
Director: Andrew Dominik
“ Best opening credits of the year, bar none. The rest is WAY too bad. ” - jstew64
 
41.
Wanderlust (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
Rattled by sudden unemployment, a Manhattan couple surveys alternative living options, ultimately deciding to experiment with living on a rural commune where free love rules. (98 mins.)
Director: David Wain
“ Eh, whatever. Decent enough. I liked the Stella cameo though. ” - jstew64
 
42.
Pitch Perfect (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Beca, a freshman at Barden University, is cajoled into joining The Bellas, her school's all-girls singing group. Injecting some much needed energy into their repertoire, The Bellas take on their male rivals in a campus competition. (112 mins.)
Director: Jason Moore
“ This would have been so good as it is somewhat decently written but holy Mother of God is the music insanely stupid. ” - jstew64
 
43.
Brave (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Determined to make her own path in life, Princess Merida defies a custom that brings chaos to her kingdom. Granted one wish, Merida must rely on her bravery and her archery skills to undo a beastly curse. (93 mins.)
“ Overheard at Pixar - "We're getting a bit annoyed with Disney, so we thought we'd show how original we are by remaking Brother Bear without any of the parts that actually make it a good movie.” ” - jstew64
 
44.
Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Three magazine employees head out on an assignment to interview a guy who placed a classified advertisement seeking a companion for time travel. (86 mins.)
Director: Colin Trevorrow
“ I loved watching it between sessions of reading Pitchfork through my Ray Bans while drinking overpriced coffee. ” - jstew64
 
45.
Battleship (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
A fleet of ships is forced to do battle with an armada of unknown origins in order to discover and thwart their destructive goals. (131 mins.)
Director: Peter Berg
“ As much of an overt pro-military message this was, the parts where they reference the board game are still worth a chuckle. ” - jstew64
 
46.
The Hunger Games (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Katniss Everdeen voluntarily takes her younger sister's place in the Hunger Games: a televised competition in which two teenagers from each of the twelve Districts of Panem are chosen at random to fight to the death. (142 mins.)
Director: Gary Ross
“ A movie about child violence without showing any child violence. So, what exactly are we supposed to be watching, shaky teen camping? ” - jstew64
 
47.
Men in Black 3 (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Agent J travels in time to M.I.B.'s early days in 1969 to stop an alien from assassinating his friend Agent K and changing history. (106 mins.)
“ Coming from someone who loved the first two, this was like they hired the Family Guy team to write this. ” - jstew64
 
48.
Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  
Two guys get a billion dollars to make a movie, only to watch their dream run off course. In order to make the money back, they then attempt to revitalize a failing shopping mall. (93 mins.)
“ I love the show but after ninety minutes even the best gags begin to wear thin. ” - jstew64
 
49.
The Campaign (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
An incumbent congressman embroiled in personal scandal faces a no-holds-barred challenge from a naive newcomer funded by two unscrupulous billionaire lobbyist brothers. (85 mins.)
Director: Jay Roach
“ I figured this was going to be really pander-y and dumb and it was. ” - jstew64
 
50.
Savages (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Pot growers Ben and Chon face off against the Mexican drug cartel who kidnapped their shared girlfriend. (131 mins.)
Director: Oliver Stone
“ Wow, what a great student film. ” - jstew64
 
51.
Supporting Characters (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Two New York film editors balance their personal relationships while reworking a movie in crisis. (87 mins.)
 
52.
Cloud Atlas (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
An exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution. (172 mins.)
 
53.
Premium Rush (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
In Manhattan, a bike messenger picks up an envelope that attracts the interest of a dirty cop, who pursues the cyclist throughout the city. (91 mins.)
Director: David Koepp
 
54.
The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
After Peter Parker is bitten by a genetically altered spider, he gains newfound, spider-like powers and ventures out to solve the mystery of his parent's mysterious death. (136 mins.)
Director: Marc Webb
 
55.
A Late Quartet (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Members of a world-renowned string quartet struggle to stay together in the face of death, competing egos and insuppressible lust. (105 mins.)
Director: Yaron Zilberman
 
56.
Hitchcock (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
The relationship between Alfred Hitchcock and his wife Alma Reville during the filming of Psycho in 1959 is explored. (98 mins.)
Director: Sacha Gervasi