Critics’ Choice Awards for 2012

On Thursday, January 10, 2013, the Broadcast Film Critics Association handed out their annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards.Argo

Here are the winners and nominees:

 Best Picture Winner:

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 Best Actor Winner:beastssouthernwild

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 Best Supporting Actor Winner:

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Best Acting Ensemble Winner:

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Best Director Winner:

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Best Original Screenplay Winner:

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Best Adapted Screenplay Winner:

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Best Animated Feature Winner:

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Best Young Actor/Actress Winner:

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Best Action Movie Winner:

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Best Actor In An Action Movie Winner:

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Best Comedy Movie Winner:

Best Comedy Movie Nominees:zero_dark_thirty_ver3_xlg

Best Actor In A Comedy Winner:

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Best Sci-Fi/Horror Movie Winner:

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Best Foreign Language Film Winner:

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Best Documentary Feature Nominees:

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Best Song Winner:skyfall

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Best Cinematography Winner:

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Top Grossing Specialty Films of 2012

According to Indiewire, here are the top grossing “Specialty films” of 2012. Only films both released in initially limited screen counts (under 1,000 screens) and by specialty distributors were included.

Movie Studio Gross


The Best Exotic Margiold Hotel Fox Searchlight $46,385,112


Moonrise Kingdom Focus Features $45,512,466


2016 Obama’s America Rocky Mountain $33,449,086


Silver Linings Playbook Weinstein Company $28,682,072


The Perks of Being a Wallflower Summit $17,311,829


To Rome With Love Sony Classics $16,685,867


The Master Weinstein Company $15,956,662


Beasts of the Southern Wild Fox Searchlight $11,249,128


Anna Karenina Focus Features $10,705,866


The Intouchables Weinstein Company $10,140,608


Bernie Millennium $9,206,470


Salmon Fishing In The Yemen CBS Films $9,047,981


Arbitrage Roadside $7,902,573


Friends With Kids Roadside $7,251,073


Casa De Mi Padre Lionsgate $5,909,482


For Greater Glory Arc Entertainment $5,672,846


The Sessions Fox Searchlight $5,514,701


October Baby Samuel Goldwyn $5,157,886


Hitchcock Fox Searchlight $4,985,679


Jeff, Who Lives at Home Paramount Vantage $4,269,426

Countdown to the 100 Best Scary Movies of All-Time (100 to 96)


The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Though I was not initially a big fan of this movie with its jerky handheld camera work and incredibly whiny characters, its impact on scary movies cannot be denied (i.e., Paranormal Activity). The film, shot as a pseudo-documentary, tells the story of three film students making a documentary about the legend of the Blair Witch in the woods of Maryland. The film is told through the three’s discovered footage–found after they go missing.  Pieced together, the footage initially tells of the making of the documentary. What follows though gets increasingly bizarre and scary, leading up to a highly creepy climax. Shot on a budget of $50,000 in just eight days, the movie went on to gross over $200 million thanks to extensive internet buzz generated by the filmmakers. 


 Silver Bullet (1985)

Starring the late Corey Haim and Gary Busey, the movie, based on a novella by Stephen King, tells the story of a girl (Megan Follows) and her paraplegic brother (Haim). Set in small town Maine, the town is plagued by a series of gruesome murders that Haim’s character believes is the work of a werewolf. Unfortunately, no one believes him but his sister and his alcoholic uncle (Busey) when Haim’s character discovers the true identity of the killer. A low-budget, underrated movie that garnered mixed reviews upon release, the movie is worth a look thanks to the strong performances and the suspenseful storyline narrated by Follow’s character.


Insidious (2011)

The best scary movie to come out of 2011. This film directed by James Wan (Saw) tells the story of a family that moves into a large creepy house. Soon strange things begin to happen, leading to the eldest boy falling into a mysterious coma. The mother (Rose Byrne) and father (Patrick Wilson) have to come to grips with the supernatural happenings and enlist the help of a paranormal team to save their son from evil spirits holding their son prisoner in an astral realm. The movie features solid performances, a creepy Poltergeist movie-like atmosphere and some great jump in your seat moments.


Frailty (2001)

An atmospheric and creepy suspense film directed by and starring Bill Paxton, as a religious fanatic father who believes he has been commanded by God to kill people who are demons. The story centres on his relationship with his two young sons, as seen in flashbacks. In the present day, Matthew McConaughey plays one of the grown sons who believes his brother has now taken on their father’s demented calling.  The movie’s strengths are its depiction of the complex and twisted relationship between the father and his two sons along with the plot twists and turns, leading up to a twisted surprise ending. 


Saw (2004)

The first film in the successful film franchise, this independent feature directed by James Wan(Insidious) and written by and starring Leigh Whannell is the best film in the Saw series. Also featuring Cary Elwes, Danny Glover and Monica Potter, the film focuses on two men being held prisoner in an underground bathroom, chained to pipes by a madman, known as Jigsaw Killer, who is set on playing a perverse game with them. The movie builds to a dark climax as the story moves between the two men, who must decide whether to play the game to stay alive and/or save the lives of their loved ones, and the police trying to track down the madman. This low-budget flick was shot in just 18 days, but went on to gross over 100 million at the box office. Critics were mixed in their reviews.

My Ratings of Top Films of 2011

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here are my ratings of the top box films of 2011:

Movie My Rating


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 Excellent *****


Transformers: Dark of the Moon Not Seen


The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 Poor **


The Hangover Part II Poor**


Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Poor **


Fast Five Not Seen


Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol Excellent *****


Cars 2 Poor **


Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Good ****


Thor Excellent *****


Rise of the Planet of the Apes Excellent *****


Captain America: The First Avenger Good ****


The Help Excellent *****


Bridesmaids Good ****


Kung Fu Panda 2 Good ****


Puss in Boots Excellent *****


X-Men: First Class Excellent *****


Rio Good ****


The Smurfs Bomb *


Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked Not Seen


Super 8 Good ****


Rango Good ****


Horrible Bosses Good ****


Green Lantern Fair ***


Hop Fair ***


Paranormal Activity 3 Not Seen


Just Go With It Bomb *


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) Excellent *****


Bad Teacher Fair ***


Cowboys & Aliens Fair ***

Best Holiday Movies of All-Time

In selecting my list of favourite Holiday Season movies of all-time, I leaned more towards traditional and classic films. 

I also looked for some common themes. To me, Christmas is all about spending time with family and friends through holiday rituals. It is about giving, sharing, love, hope, joy and celebration.  It is about good feelings towards each other and peace on earth. Christmas is also about finding redemption, second chances and miracles. People have a chance to rediscover a new self-awareness and learn what is truly important in their lives. There is a renewal of hope and even the possibility of finding romance. It is about discovering the beauty of humankind.

Here are my top Holiday films of all-time:

# Film Year
1 It’s a Wonderful Life  1946
2 Miracle on 34th Street  1947
3 Meet Me in St. Louis  1944
4 A Christmas Carol  1951
5 A Christmas Story  1983
6 The Shop Around the Corner  1940
7 White Christmas  1954
8 The Bishop’s Wife  1947
9 Holiday Inn  1942
10 Christmas in Connecticut  1945

# Film Year
11 Remember the Night 1940
12 Holiday Affair 1949
13 Joyeux Noel 2005
14 Scrooged 1988
15 The Nightmare Before Christmas 1993
16 Love Actually 2003
17 The Polar Express 2004
18 A Christmas Carol 1938
19 A Christmas Tale 2008
20 The Family Stone 2005

Honourable mention (in order): The Snowman (1982), Arthur Christmas (2011), Home Alone (1990), Gremlins (1984), Scrooge  (1970), Babes in Toyland (1961), The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992), Tenth Avenue Angel (1948), Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983), Bundle of Joy (1956), Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), One Magic Christmas (1985)