Posted by: ckckred | January 22, 2013

The 10 Best Films of 2012

Top 10

Editor’s Note: I’ve been updating this list lately, so this could change based on my current opinion.

Okay, as with all top 10 lists, this is opinionated.  These are the ten films I think are the strongest of the year.  While I had my doubts before, 2012 was a pretty good year and by the end of the year we had plenty of great films.  In fact, some movies I really liked didn’t make the list because there wasn’t enough room (some honorable mentions would go to Argo and Silver Linings Playbook).  I also haven’t seen some pretty critically praised movies, like Rust and Bone, Holy Motors, and Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, which I hope to watch eventually.

So anyway, my picks below.

10. The Dark Knight Rises


I know some people were disappointed with the conclusion of Christopher Nolan’s Batman series, but I couldn’t have been more satisfied.  It was everything I was hoping for and a great way to end the trilogy.

9. Skyfall


I’m a big James Bond fan and Skyfall redeemed the series after the misfire Quantuam of Solace.  In fact, I would name it as one of the best Bond films ever.

8. Beasts of the Southern Wild


I sobbed uncontrollably at the end of this film.  Beasts is an emotional wondrous film that was the year’s biggest surprise for me.  I hope the Academy will listen to me and give some accolades to this masterpiece.

7. Moonrise Kingdom

Moonrise is probably Wes Anderson’s most accessible film, which is strange since Anderson has turned up his usual quirky humor.  Moonrise Kingdom isn’t just the year’s best comedy but one of Wes Anderson’s strongest works.

6. Django Unchained


Quentin Tarantino’s southern vengeance tale was violent, controversial, and deviously funny.  This just further proves how great of a director Tarantino is.

5. Life of Pi


The most beautiful film of the year, Life of Pi is a magnificent movie that manages to adapt an “unfilmmable” book.  It’s also one of the few films I would recommend seeing in 3-D.

4. Zero Dark Thirty


Kathryn Bigelow has established herself as a powerhouse with Zero Dark Thirty, which boasts a powerful performance by Jessica Chastain.  Definitely the most tense film of the year.

3. Lincoln


Lincoln is Steven Spielberg’s strongest film in about ten years.  The historical biopic boasts a fantastic performance by Daniel Day-Lewis, who further proves why he is the best actor currently working.

2. Amour


Michael Haneke has made the most powerful film of the year.  Like Life of Pi and Beasts of the Southern Wild, Amour is a very emotional film, telling the story of an old French couple.  The movie’s gentle tone, unusual for a Haneke film, keeps the story moving at a calm pace.

1. The Master


Depending who you are, The Master was either a spiraling masterpiece or a pretentious mess.  But you cannot deny Paul Thomas Anderson’s ambition in the film, which makes this one of the strongest films of the year.


  1. Solid list! Plenty of good stuff on here and some stuff I’m yet to see, too, which I’m excited about.

    • Thanks! There were plenty of acclaimed films I missed this year as well like Holy Motors but I’m really satisfied with my list.

  2. Mighty good list. Just hate that I haven’t seen Amour! Still not showing here until late February!

    • I was really lucky to be able to see it. It’s a great film.

  3. Great post, need to see some of these. Glad Skyfall is on the list.

    • Thanks! Skyfall was great.

    • Agreed, some nice picks and it’s good to see Skyfall make the list 😀

      • Loved Skyfall, it would be on my top 5 Bond films.

      • Same! It was brilliant 😀 I rate it as the fourth best!

      • Same! It was brilliant 😀 I rate it as the fourth best!

  4. Thrilled to see Skyfall, Moonrise Kingdom, Zero Dark Thirty, and the Master make your list.

    • Glad you agree! All were great films.

  5. Great picks! I’m a little ashamed of how low you ranked The Master; I thought you were one of the few trying to uphold its greatness with me. 😛

    I saw Holy Motors about a week ago. If I could be bothered to re-do my list, it’d be sitting at number 2. You need to see it soon, just as I need to see Django, Lincoln, and Zero Dark Thirty. 😛

    • I had rewritten this post a couple of times and for a few of them The Master was my number one pick. It’s undoubtedly the most accomplished film of the year but I gave a slight edge to Lincoln and Amour.

      Holy Motors is one I really need to see. I don’t know any theaters nearby that are playing it but I really want to watch it. Thanks for commenting.

  6. Nice list! Can’t wait to see Amour!

    • Thanks! Amour is great, arguably Haneke’s best.

  7. Awesome list, great to see tDKR here. Can’t wait to see Amour and The master.

    • Glad you agree with TDKR. Amour and The Master are fantastic.

  8. Great list. Glad to see The Master ranked so high. I really need to see Amour!

    • The Master was great. I was lucky to catch a screening of Amour and I really loved it. Thanks for commenting.

  9. Think I’m alone in thinking Skyfall was boring……… 🙂

    • I know a few other people who weren’t fans of it either so you aren’t alone. Thanks for commenting.

  10. Your Top 10 is bang-on! I love everything on here (with one exception). I hated The Master, but I still love Paul Thomas Anderson so I’ll let that slide. Great list!!

    • Well, I did love The Master, but I’m glad you share a love for PTA. My favorite film by him though is still Magnolia. Thanks for commenting.

  11. Nice list! I havent been able to see “Amour” yet (%#@&$%#&$$#) but all the rest made at least honorable mention for me in my year end list as well!

    Still not that big a fan of The Dark Knight Rises, but hey, you only have it 10th 😀

    • I really dislike how studios put all their films in limited release. Hopefully after its Oscar success Amour would enter more theaters.

      Glad you liked my other picks. I preferred The Dark Knight to TDKR, but I still enjoyed this one. Thanks for commenting.

  12. A well-rounded, thoughtful list. I’m looking forward to seeing The Master.

    I am a Nolan fan, especially the Batman trilogy, which pretty much re-defined how to adapt a comic book to the big screen (too bad the makers of The Punisher movies couldn’t figure this out as, like Batman, he has no powers).

    In the case of TDKR, the only thing that felt really off was the short time Bruce Wayne spent rehabilitating his broken back. The movie could have remained essentially the same even if it took Wayne years instead of five months to come back to Gotham; also, his leg problem mysteriously vanished. I also have to say that the moment of Miranda Tate’s death came across as one of the worst death scenes I’ve ever seen. Nevertheless, Hardy was great as Bane and I don’t see why so many people had a problem with understanding him or disliking his voice.

    I am curious if you have seen and what your opinion is of other Christopher Nolan movies. As much as I like the Batman trilogy, The Prestige is my favorite Nolan flick and one of my favorite movies ever. Then the Batman trilogy, and Memento and Inception.

    Finally, I am curious what the Superman reboot Man of Steel will turn out like with Nolan as producer. We all know how not to make a superhero flick: The Green Lantern, Fantastic Four, Catwoman, etc. etc. X-men First Class is worth watching for Michael Fassbender’s “magnetic” performance; likewise, the much under-rated Mark Ruffalo made The Avengers movie for me as The Hulk.

    I realize you may not be into superhero movies, but I couldn’t resist the digression.

    • The Master is definitely one to watch, though it is a very polarizing film.

      I really liked TDKR. I would say my favorite by Nolan would still be Momento or Inception though (The Prestige is great as well). I have high hopes for the Superman reboot. Thanks for commenting.

  13. a lot of my faves are in your list. not in the same order, but we like a lot of the same films from 2012.

    no Argo? or Avengers for you? interesting. I couldn’t like The Master as much as much as I had initially hoped for.

    • Argo was one I really liked but didn’t have enough room to put in my top 10 (it made my honorable mentions). Though I enjoyed The Avengers, I wouldn’t say it was as strong as these other films. Thanks for commenting.

  14. […] The Cinematic […]

  15. Still have to wait for my chance to see The Master…I think it has been released yesterday

    • I highly recommend it, though it is a very polarizing film.

  16. Haven’t seen The Master yet but Amour killed me.

    • The Master is definitely one to watch. Yeah, Amour is a very powerful film. Thanks for commenting.

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