Editors Pick: Top Ten Movies of 2012

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Vansulis List: Top Ten Movies of 2012

 

Van’s Editor’s Note: I missed a couple of movies like Argo, The Words, End of Watch, The Master, Wreck-It Ralph,  Brave and the Lorax to name a few. So whatever I did not see will not be on the list.

1. Lincoln

Lincoln

Lincoln

Daniel Day Lewis proves once again he is one of the best actors in our present generation. He embodies the mannerisms and persona of President Lincoln on flawlessly. The cast is solid with Tommy Lee Jones, Sally Field, David Strathairn, James Spader, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Hal Holbrook and Jared Harris. Steven Speilberg has managed to tell an excellent story of the legal loopholes and fierce resistance the Lincoln Administration to pass the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery. All while handing the Civil War between the North and South. This is an excellent character study and visual lens in the era of the 1860’s. This is the best film in 2012.

2. The Avengers

avengers

avengers

To simply put it like this: The Avengers brings together some of the memorable and colorful Marvel superheros assembled in one epic film. This is new territory to the cinematic field. It brings Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Captain America, Nick Fury, Black Widow and Hawkeye to stop the universal threat of Loki and his army. This is the biggest and ambitious use of computer generated graphics to date! Joss Whedon combines a lot of wit, drama, heroism and biggest brawls in one amazing package. When the Helicarrier takes off from the sea, it was a site to behold! I wish Loki and Hawkeye did a little more, but it is a challenge to balance so many epic characters.

3. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

the hobbit

the hobbit

This is one of the most anticipated movies in my list. I enjoyed the Lord of the Rings trilogy, so this is a welcome journey back into Middle Earth. These cast of colorful dwarves and villains have big shoes to fill compared to the previous cast. Martin Freeman as Bilbo, Richard Armitage as Thorin, Ian McKellen as Gandalf and the return of Andy Serkis as Gollum are the highlights of the film. Peter Jackson is probably only director in my mind that could direct the Hobbit, his attention to detail pays off. Others could argue some parts of the movie could ‘edited’ here and there (like the LOTR movies too) I am waiting for the next movie!

4. Skyfall

007 Skyfall

007 Skyfall

This is arguably one of the best Bond movies in recent memory. This easily blows the previous Craig movies out of the water, especially with the film’s strong antagonist played by Javier Bardem! Director Sam Mendes manages to tell a personal and dramatic story while wooing us with excellent action set pieces. The dialogue is witty, locations are exotic and the cast is solid. Ralph Finnes, Judi Dench, Naomi Harris and Ben Whishaw as Q all compliment the story very well. I almost wished that Bardem has more screen time than he received, but he makes his presence known when the camera is on him. Daniel Craig humanizes Bond more than we are accustomed to in previous movies.

 

 

5. Django Unchained

Django Unchained

Django Unchained

The last movie I would see in 2012 and it was worth the wait. Tarantino hits a home run with this gritty Western, plenty of gore like Kill Bill Vol. 1 and a colorful cast like Inglorious Basterds! Christoph Waltz once again graces the screen with his charm and wit as a bounty hunter. Jamie Foxx works well with Mr. Waltz who works with him to get his wife (Kerry Washington) from the nefarious Leonardo Di Caprio! Di Caprio takes the Southern slave owner role, runs with it and scores a touchdown nailing his part! The best part of the movie is the arrival of Samuel L. Jackson who curses up a storm in every scene.

6. The Dark Knight Rises

Dark Knight Rises

Dark Knight Rises

The ending truly defines the finality of one of the best trilogies in recent memory. The introduction to Bane, Catwoman and the return of the League of Shadows are the basic foundation to the movie’s success. This is the first time we get to see more of Bruce Wayne compared to previous entries. Christian Bale is an excellent Wayne since Michael Keaton. Tom Hardy is compelling as Bane who physically tests Batman/Bruce’s limits. Anne Hathaway shocked me in a good way as the devious Selina Kyle/Catwoman. I was not a fan of attempting to disguising “Gotham” as New York and Pittsburgh. Plus I disagree with Christopher Nolan’s decision to not mention the Joker or make a cameo of some kind, the movie misses him and Harvey Dent.

7. Ted

Ted

Ted

I have not laughed this hard since Hangover Part 2 a year ago! This is an original story by Seth MacFarline about a boy named Johnny wishing his teddy bear would talk. Then takes it several steps further when Johnny is a grown man! MacFarline steals the movie the moment Ted opens his mouth. I give Mark Wahlberg tons of credit for rolling with the punches (literally in some instances) and playing along. A pot smoking, naughty bear with references to 80’s nostalgia like Flash Gordon is sweet in my book. Add Sir Patrick Stewart as the epic narrator and I am officially sold!

8. Prometheus

prometheus

Prometheus

Either you loved or hated this movie. I am a lover of sci-fi movies and loved that Ridley Scott decided to return to the genre. Blade Runner and Alien are on his resume, so let’s add Prometheus! Filled with eye-candy special effects, beautiful digital cinematography since Avatar. The cast of Naomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba, Charlize Theron and Guy Pearce are excellent. This story attempts to link human creation to alien genetics which will rub people the wrong way. It drops subtle hints of being a prequel to “Alien” which is not a bad thing.

9. Looper

Looper

Looper

The other sci-fi movie on my list! Looper deals with time traveling and ignoring certain paradoxes along the way. Bruce Willis and Joesph Gordon-Levitt do an incredible job playing young and old Joe! Gordon-Levitt almost resembles a younger Willis from the Die Hard movies. Joe is an assassin in 2044 who kills people sent from the year 2074 via time travel. Now the loops are being closed when the assassins must kill their future self, but Joe hesitates and his older self runs away. The story takes off in a direction I did not see coming. You will be glad you saw this movie!

10. Seven Psychopaths

7 Psychopaths

7 Psychopaths

If Woody Harrelson, Christopher Walken, Sam Rockwell, Tom Waits and Colin Farrell in a movie about psychopaths do not get your curiosity sparked, then you are helpless. I was sold from the trailer and went in the screening blind. Who would knew that stealing a shih tzu from a gangster would start a series of calamities like this? The execution, acting, character development and unexpected shifts in story flow left an imprint on me.

Honorable Mentions:

Lawless, The Amazing Spiderman, The Raid: Redemption, The Bourne Legacy, Man on a Ledge and Cabin in the Woods