This was a sterling year for movies and I managed to see many of them. I think it was an especially great year for the action genre. Aside from the ones I listed below, I enjoyed The Dark Knight Rises,The Avengers, and The Hobbit. The reason those three didn’t make my own personal top ten was they lost the game of expectations for me. Unfair but true.
Without further ado, here are my favorite films of 2012.
1. Django Unchained
Dr. King Schultz is somewhere in my top 5 of favorite Western characters.
2. Beasts of the Southern Wild
I saw this twice in theaters and both times got choked up toward the end. I imagine the third viewing will bear the same results. I’ve never seen a movie quite like this one before and am very excited for the careers of Behn Zeitlin and Lucy Alibar.
3. Life of Pi
I loved the book and I loved the movie.
My heart started racing right at the beginning and pretty much never let up. Remember when making fun of Ben Affleck was something that happened?
5. Silver Linings Playbook
I had zero expectations going in, but I’ll be damned - I really thrilled to this film. Robert De Niro was exceptional.
6. Moonrise Kingdom
I love you Wes Anderson.
At the viewing I went to, there was a gentleman who kept excitedly screaming “Oh, shit!” Sir, you spoke for all of us.
I immediately started watching other Bond films because it a lit fire. An informal, incomplete ranking of the ones I’ve seen so far:
- Casino Royale
- From Russia with Love
- Dr. No
- Quantum of Solace
- License to Kill
It’s a good thing I qualified that Bond ranking list as “informal,” right? Because I’d hate you to confuse that with this punctilious arrangement I’ve labored countless hours over. Anyway. Daniel Day Lewis rocked. James Spader also rocked.
10. Cloud Atlas
I admire the ambition behind it. Sometimes the makeup was a little silly, but overall it was a visual treat. I wish it had done better in the box office. Weirdness should be rewarded.
I also feel like it’s important to mention Zero Dark Thirty. I did see it, but I just didn’t enjoy it as much as everyone else. I don’t agree with the pro-torture accusations being hurled at the filmmakers. Rather, I just have my own problems with the manner in which we killed Osama bin Laden. I think the world is a better place without him. He was less than human and responsible for a multitude of terrible things in the world. That being said, in this country the accused stand trial. We don’t summarily execute people without affording them to opportunity to defend themselves first. Also, in this country we’re supposed to value a life, no matter how awful it may be. Our constant crowing over his death worries me. We’re supposed to be responsible, intelligent, and compassionate. When you brag about killing someone it’s hard to resemble any of those traits. I’m as big a Barack Obama supporter as anyone, but I hated this part of his stump speech and I hated the cheers it received. I just wish that we had moved on quietly.
I understand my view isn’t practical, and that it might have caused chaos if we had captured him alive. I know he had to die as soon as he was within our reach. But I take no pleasure from it. And with that mindset, I just couldn’t enjoy Zero Dark Thirty that much.