2012 was a fantastic year for movies. The world may be getting more cynical, but entertainment is adapting to that with some of the most charming or incredibly bombastic and awesome movies. I love movies and I’m glad 2012 saw it fit to give me at least 10 amazing ones.
10. The Cabin in the Woods
I am a huge fan of horror movies and dissecting their elements and while I did enjoy Scream 4, that franchise has now been topped by The Cabin in the Woods. Joss Whedon knows how to write a good script and his analysis of what makes horror movies so great just happened to make a fantastic horror movie. There is no shock, no surprise twist, The Cabin in the Woods immediately shows you its cards and tell you to make what you will of them.
9. Marvel’s The Avengers
The Dark Knight was the perfect, serious superhero movie and Marvel’s The Avengers is the perfect, fun superhero movie. Joss Whedon knows how to do an ensemble movies and he seems to have finally proven it to the businessmen running the movie studios. It may have started a bit rough, but once Avengers gets going it doesn’t stop. It also has a huge action scene with tons of great looking CGI monsters in broad daylight, which not too many people do. Boiled down to one word, The Avengers is awesome.
Rian Johnson wrote and directed one of my favorite movies, The Brothers Bloom, so I’ve been following Looper for a while. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a young Bruce Willis in a movie about time travel? It’s like they made a movie just for me. While it may start off and outwardly appear as a sci-fi action movie, Looper is a character piece and I loved it. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt did an amazing job. The scene between Willis and Gordon-Levitt in the diner is easily one of the best discussions of time travel in any film.
Up until November, Casino Royale was my favorite Bond film, but it’s been ousted by Skyfall. Just like Looper, Skyfall looks like a big spy action movie, but is secretly a character piece about Bond and M. It wasn’t about big set piece action scenes, explosions and cool gadgets, it’s about what it means to be a member of MI6 and are they even relevant in this day and age. It absolutely has big set piece action scenes, explosions and cool gadgets, but they weren’t the focus and it resulted in the best Bond movie yet.
6. Seven Psychopaths
I love when a film plays fast and loose with reality. Seven Psychopaths is framed so that you never really know if the events you’re watching are actually unfolding or if they’re all just the ideas that Marty (Colin Farrell) put into his screenplay. Christopher Walken actually acts again in one of the funniest, though incredibly dark, movies of the year. The entire cast delivers some of the best performances of their career. If you like Quentin Tarantino or Guy Ritchie you’ll love Seven Psychopaths.
5. Django Unchained
You either love Quentin Tarantino or you hate him. I love him and all of his movies (sans Death Proof). Django Unchained is the closest he’s ever come to making a comedy and I loved every second of it. Tarantino gave us Christoph Waltz in Inglorious Basterds and now he’s made him the coolest movie hero in years. Only Tarantino could show us the brutal reality of slavery in the South and ridiculous, over the top violence in the same film. There may be a glut of movies with a 2:45 run time on my list, but Django is my favorite.
I love animation and technology and Paranorman’s behind the scenes work combined both of them. Laika used 3D printers to make the spectacularly designed world of Paranorman, but it was the writing and voicework that made it a must see family film. They wrapped a movie about bullying in a zombie movie for children and it was stunning. The secret biography of Alex from Random Assault turned out to be a heartwarming movie that adults and children can both love. It’s also nice to see a movie that doesn’t talk down to children.
3. Girl Walk//All Day
This is a surprise for me as well. Girl Walk//All Day is essentially a feature length music set to Girl Talk’s All Day album shot guerilla style in New York City. It is one of the most fascinating and unique movies I’ve seen and is the poster child for a Kickstarter success. Out of all the films on my list, I’ve seen this one the most. I find myself putting it on at least once a week. It’s just so charming and interesting that I can’t help it. They manage to convey an entire plot through dancing and it’s brilliant. It’s also available, free of charge, online.
2. Silver Linings Playbook
I wasn’t sure I would like Silver Linings Playbook when I started watching it. The first act is an uncomfortable window into the lives of people with mental disorders and while fascinating, I was on edge. It is one of the most realistic depictions of these disorders that I’ve seen in a major release and the cast involved gave the performances of a lifetime. The scene between Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro will go down as one of those ‘iconic scenes.’ Once reality sets in, Silver Linings Playbook is one of the funniest and truthful comedies I’ve seen.
1. Moonrise Kingdom
Even though it’s an indie-ass indie movie, Moonrise Kingdom made me smile for its entire runtime. Wes Anderson cast some of my favorite actors to be the baffled observers in this children’s summer romance tale and they continued to prove my love for them. I’m not even a huge Wes Anderson fan, though this movie has his fingerprints all over it. What they’ve done is create that weird movie that several of your friends love and you just don’t get and I’m sorry, I can’t explain it, you just have to watch it man, you’ll see, it’s so good. My hat is off to Wes Anderson. You sir, know how to charm and delight.
This is a personal top 10 list and the entries and their rankings do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Geekenstein.com, but of the author publishing it. Feel free to send in your own top 10 list to firstname.lastname@example.org.