As I continue to give it the ‘ol throwback on what were my favorite and least favorite movies from each year from the 2010s, I already talked about the worst, so it’s time to present my thoughts of what I think were the best movies of 2012. I kind of think 2012 was a really solid year for movies, in my opinion. Some were not worth the time, of course, but a handful of them I consider pretty great.
Honestly, this was the year that I discovered a ton of YouTube movie reviewers like Jeremy Jahns, Schmoes Know, etc. and watched their videos whenever a new one is posted. Believe or not, if it weren’t for any of them for inspiration, I wouldn’t be the person that goes in-depth with every movie, especially now. And this was also the year I started getting into movies that I wouldn’t normally watch and ended up liking them in the process.
With that out of way, here are my picks for the top 10 best movies of 2012!
Honorable Mentions: The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Cabin in the Woods, Chronicle, Ted, Moonrise Kingdom, End of Watch, ParaNorman, Life of Pi, Dredd, Zero Dark Thirty, Seven Psychopaths
10. ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ (Rich Moore)
It’s strange to figure out Wreck-It Ralph does a better job at being a video game movie than the ones that are actually based on video games. Wreck-It Ralph is one of Disney’s best-animated movies that’s perfectly fun for kids and adults. It was funny, touching, and gives video game lovers some sweet nostalgia.
9. ‘Lincoln’ (Steven Spielberg)
The chances of enjoying anything directed by Steven Spielberg are high, and Lincoln is one of them, in my opinion. While some thought it might’ve been too long, which is a bit understandable, there’s no denying the effort Spielberg put in this telling of Abraham Lincoln passing the 13th amendment. Daniel Day-Lewis’ Oscar-winning performance as the president disappeared completely as this was an outstanding drama that’s almost accurately handled.
8. ’21 Jump Street’ (Phil Lord/ Chris Miller)
Nobody didn’t know if 21 Jump Street was going to win anyone over. But in a surprising turn of events, Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s adaptation of the popular ’80s television show is non-stop hilarious from start to finished. Topped off with great chemistry from Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, 21 Jump Street turned out to be the funniest movie of the year.
7. ‘Looper’ (Rian Johnson)
Looper is one of those time travel movies that’s so original and gets better in time that it’s just smart all around. I expected to have fun with Rian Johnson’s sci-fi, but not this much. Here is a unique story that’s part mind-bending and inventive for its two hours. The performances from Joseph Gordon-Levitt and especially Bruce Willis, in his best role in years, are flawless and Looper is one of those films more people should talk about.
6. ‘Skyfall’ (Sam Mendes)
Want to know how to make a phenomenal action movie in an ever-going franchise? Take a look at Skyfall and be blown away. Skyfall accomplished what is needed to be a great James Bond film by being breathtaking, gripping, and action-packed through its runtime while also staying true to the iconic character. Daniel Craig is at his best, Javier Bardem stole every scene as the villain Silva, and that theme from Adele was triumphant. Though Casino Royale is still my favorite in the franchise, Skyfall is a close second. One of the coolest action movies ever directed.
5. ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ (David O. Russell)
Silver Linings Playbook is one of those dramedies I debated checking out in theaters when it first came out, and once I saw it that January afternoon, it couldn’t leave my brain. Writer/director David O. Russell made an engaging rom-com/dramedy that made me realize what bipolar disorder was and made me think about the people around me. If Silver Linings Playbook didn’t provide an interesting story or have outstanding performances from Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, or Robert De Niro, it would’ve failed. But it didn’t, and I loved it.
4. ‘Django Unchained’ (Quentin Tarantino)
Django Unchained might’ve been controversial due to the subject matter and the violence that ensued, but pushing all that aside, this turned to be one of Quentin Tarantino’s best films, and I don’t care who hates it. It’s a western that’s unforgettable for the entire runtime. What tops it all are the phenomenal performances from Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, and Leonardo DiCaprio’s snubbed performance as Calvin Candie, one of the best villains ever put to film. Bloody, well-written, and captivated with energy, Django Unchained is the definition of awesome.
3. ‘Argo’ (Ben Affleck)
After Ben Affleck released Argo, it was proof positive that he was going to be a great director. His third film that focuses on the C.I.A. hatching a plan to get six U.S. diplomats out of Iran by making a fake, crappy sci-fi movie is one of those true stories that needed to be told onscreen. The Best Picture-winner is such a terrific thriller that brought tension and humor in one fold. I love Argo, and nothing can change my mind.
2. ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ (Christopher Nolan)
If this was the way Christopher Nolan wanted to end this series, then The Dark Knight Rises was well deserved. We all knew that this wasn’t going to be better than the masterpiece that is The Dark Knight, but this still makes for an epic conclusion to a trilogy that was fitting for fans. Some haven’t enjoyed this because of plot holes, but those apart of the backlash are wrong. It’s a satisfying third installment that’s equal parts thrilling and even emotional at times. The action is great, the performances from Christian Bale, Anne Hathway, and Tom Hardy as Bane are excellent, and I can’t find myself hating The Dark Knight Rises even back then.
1. ‘The Avengers’ (Joss Whedon)
No other movie from 2012 made an impact on me than The Avengers. Many of us didn’t exactly know if Marvel and director Joss Wheadon was going to pull this off in having all of these well-known characters team-up in one movie, and they did with flying colors. Never did I thought I see the day Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor would fight along with each other, but here we are. The Avengers is the kind of comic book movie that’s packed with adventure and unforgettable moments of awesomeness that can’t be replicated afterward at that point. My favorite theater experience of that year, in my opinion.