My Picks for the Best Movies of 2012

Here are my picks for the best movies I saw in 2012:beastssouthernwild

  1. Beasts of the Southern Wild
  2. Moonrise Kingdom
  3. Looper
  4. The Dark Knight Rises
  5. Skyfall
  6. Argo
  7. The Hunger Games
  8. Brave
  9. Arbitrage
  10. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
  11. The Deep Blue Sea
  12. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
  13. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
  14. Safety Not Guaranteed
  15. The Secret World of Arrietty
  16. ParaNorman
  17. The Cabin in the Woodsmoonrise_kingdom_ver2
  18. The Avengers
  19. Frankenweenie
  20. Pitch Perfect
  21. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
  22. The Woman In Black
  23. Pirates! Band of Misfits
  24. The Grey
  25. The Imposter
  26. Hope Springs
  27. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax
  28. Ted
  29. The Amazing Spider-Man
  30. Men in Black 3
  31. Chronicle
  32. Ice Age: Continental Drift
  33. 21 Jump Street
  34. Hotel Transylvania
  35. Big Miracle

Here are my picks for the worst movies I saw in 2012:

  1. Mirror Mirror
  2. Act of Valor
  3. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
  4. Gone
  5. Man on a Ledge
  6. Bel Ami
  7. Rock of Ages
  8. Underworld: Awakening
  9. Wrath of the Titans
  10. John Carter

Every year, Metacritic also tallies the critics top picks for the best movies of the year and compiles a list of the what critics say are the best.

Here is their list for 2012:

  1. Zero Dark Thirty
  2. The Master
  3. Moonrise Kingdom
  4. Lincoln
  5. Holy Motors
  6. Amour
  7. Argo
  8. Beasts of the Southern Wild
  9. Silver Linings Playbook
  10. Django Unchained
  11. This Is Not A Film
  12. Life of Pi
  13. Looper
  14. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia
  15. The Deep Blue Sea
  16. Skyfall
  17. The Dark Knight Rises
  18. Rust and Bone
  19. Tabu
  20. Magic Mike
  21. The Avengers
  22. How to Survive a Plague
  23. The Loneliest Planet
  24. The Grey
  25. Cloud Atlas
  26. Les Miserables
  27. The Sessions
  28. Bernie
  29. Anna Karenina
  30. Olso, August 31st
  31. Cosmopolis
  32. The Cabin in the Woods
  33. The Gatekeepers
  34. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
  35. The Turin Horse
  36. The Queen of Versailles

Notable Films of 2012

Here is my list of notable films for 2012:21-jump-street-poster__span

  1. 21 Jump Street
  2. 5 Broken Cameras
  3. Act of Killing, The
  4. After Lucia
  5. Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry
  6. Almayer’s Folly
  7. Alps
  8. Amazing Spider-Man, The
  9. Amour
  10. Anna Karenina
  11. Araf-Somewhere in Between
  12. Arbitrage
  13. Argo
  14. Attenberg
  15. Avengers, The (Marvel’s)
  16. Barbara
  17. Beauty is Embarrassing
  18. Beasts of the Southern Wildbeastssouthernwild
  19. Berberian Sound Studio
  20. Bernie
  21. Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The
  22. Bestiaire
  23. Beyond the Hills
  24. Blancanieves
  25. Blood of My Blood
  26. Boy
  27. Brave
  28. Bully
  29. Burning Hot Summer, The
  30. Cabin in the Woods, The
  31. Central Park Five, The
  32. Chasing Ice
  33. Chico & Rita
  34. China Heavyweight
  35. Chroniclechronicle_ver3
  36. Cloud Atlas
  37. Color Wheel, The
  38. Comedy, The
  39. Compliance
  40. Consuming Spirits
  41. Cosmopolis
  42. Damsels in Distress
  43. Dark Horse
  44. Dark Knight Rises, The
  45. Day He Arrives, The
  46. Deep Blue Sea, The
  47. Detropia
  48. Django Unchained
  49. Domaine
  50. Dragon
  51. Dust Bowl, The
  52. Elenaend-of-watch-poster
  53. End of Watch
  54. Expendables 2
  55. Fake It So Real
  56. Fill The Void
  57. Flight
  58. Footnote
  59. Frankenweenie
  60. Friends With Kids
  61. From Up on Poppy Hill
  62. Gatekeepers, The
  63. Gayby
  64. Girl Walk/All Day
  65. God Bless America
  66. Goodbye, My Love
  67. Grey, The
  68. Haywire
  69. Headhunters
  70. Hello I Must Be Goinghitchcock-final-movie-poster
  71. Hitchcock
  72. Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The
  73. Holy Motors
  74. Hope Springs
  75. Hotel Transylvania
  76. House I Live In, The
  77. How to Survive a Plague
  78. Hunger Games, The
  79. Hypnotist, The
  80. I Wish
  81. Ice Age: Continental Drift
  82. Impossible, The
  83. Imposter, The
  84. In The Family
  85. Intouchables, The
  86. Invisible War, The
  87. Island President, The
  88. It So Realkeep_the_lights_on
  89. It’s Such a Beautiful Day
  90. Jeff, Who Lives at Home
  91. Jiro Dreams of Sushi
  92. Keep the Lights On
  93. Kid with a Bike, The
  94. Kill List
  95. Killer Joe
  96. Killing Them Softly
  97. Law in These Parts, The
  98. Le Grand Amour
  99. Les Miserables
  100. Let the Bullets Fly
  101. Liar’s Autobiography – The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman, A
  102. Life of Pi
  103. Life Without Principle
  104. Like Someone in Love
  105. Lincolnlooper
  106. Loneliest Planet, The
  107. Looper
  108. Lorax, The
  109. Lore
  110. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted
  111. Magic Mike
  112. Margaret
  113. Marina Abramović: The Artist is Present
  114. Master, The
  115. Memories Look at Me
  116. Men in Black 3
  117. Middle of Nowhere
  118. Miss Bala
  119. Mobile Homestead trilogy
  120. Monsieur Lazhar
  121. Moonrise Kingdom
  122. Neighboring SoundsOnce_Upon_a_Time_in_Anatolia_1
  123. No
  124. Not Fade Away
  125. Oki’s Movie
  126. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia
  127. Only the Young
  128. Oslo, August 31st
  129. Our Children
  130. Painting, The
  131. Paperboy, The
  132. ParaNorman
  133. Perks of Being a Wallflower, The
  134. Photographic Memory
  135. Pirates: Band of Misfits, The
  136. Pitch Perfect
  137. Possession
  138. Premium Rush
  139. PrometheusPromised-Land-Movie-Poster-300x444
  140. Promised Land
  141. Queen of Versailles, The
  142. Rabbi’s Cat, The
  143. Raid: Redemption, The
  144. Rebelle (War Witch)
  145. Red Hook Summer
  146. Return
  147. Rise of the Guardians
  148. Robot and Frank
  149. Room 237
  150. Royal Affair, A
  151. Ruby Sparks
  152. Rust and Bone
  153. Sack Barrow
  154. Safety Not Guaranteed
  155. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
  156. SamsaraThe-Secret-World-of-Arrietty-poster
  157. Searching for Sugar Man
  158. Secret World of Arrietty, The
  159. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
  160. Sessions, The
  161. Seven Psychopaths
  162. Shut Up and Play the Hits
  163. Side By Side
  164. Sightseers
  165. Silver Linings Playbook
  166. Simple Life, A
  167. Sinister
  168. Sister
  169. Skyfall
  170. Smashed
  171. Snow White and the Huntsman
  172. Snowtown Murders, The
  173. Something in the Air
  174. Sound of My Voice, The
  175. Starlet
  176. Stories We TellTakeThisWaltzfr
  177. Tabu
  178. Take This Waltz
  179. Tchoupitoulas
  180. Ted
  181. Teddy Bear
  182. This Is 40
  183. This Is Not a Film
  184. This Must Be the Place
  185. To Rome with Love
  186. Turin Horse, The
  187. Two Years At Sea
  188. Under African Skies
  189. Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning
  190. Unspeakable Act, The
  191. Waiting Room, The
  192. We Have a Pope
  193. West of Memphisthe-woman-in-black-movie-poster-3
  194. Where Do We Go Now?
  195. Whore’s Glory
  196. Woman in Black, The
  197. Wreck-It-Ralph
  198. Wuthering Heights
  199. Your Sister’s Sister
  200. Zarafa
  201. Zero Dark Thirty

Countdown to the 100 Best Scary Movies of All-Time (80 to 76)


The Cabin In The Woods (2012)

The best scary movie to come out of 2012, The Cabin in the Woods is a film directed and co-written by Drew Goddard (Cloverfield) and co-written by Joss Whedon (The Avengers). Not since Scream has a movie so successfully and originally deconstructed the slasher film genre. The film tells the story of five college students who spend a weekend at a cabin in the woods only to be stalked by deranged killers. The twist to the story is that a secret, covert group is watching their every move via hidden cameras. The movie is clever and funny and yet, at the same time, extremely scary and exciting to watch. It is on one level a parody and commentary on the stupidity and violence in scary movies today. On another level, it is a thrilling story that takes many twists and turns before reaching its exciting climax.  There is even a surprise appearance from a movie legend. Goddard and Whedon (who had worked together previously on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel) wrote the script in just three days.  The movie was released to highly positive reviews and went on to gross over 65 million worldwide.


Peeping Tom (1960)

Coming out the same year as Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, Peeping Tom is a British made film directed by Michael Powell (Black Narcissus). Powell was a renowned British filmmaker who in partnership with Emeric Pressburger worked under the name “The Archers” to create a number of classic films in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Peeping Tom is the story of a serial killer who films his murders using a movie camera, which also doubles as his murder weapon. The film is a well-crafted, psychological thriller—a chilling look at society’s voyeuristic interest in murder through the medium and safety of film. Upon its initial release, the film was so shocking and controversial in its subject matter and depiction of murder that the movie received a large amount of negative criticism and press. As a result, Powell had difficulty finding substantive film work after the project. Years later, the movie went on to attract a cult following and is considered today to be a masterpiece by many modern film critics.  


Evil Dead II (1987) & The Evil Dead (1981)

Evil Dead II is considered by many critics to be the best in the Evil Dead series of horror movies. Directed by Sam Raimi (Drag Me to Hell) and starring his high school buddy Bruce Campbell, the movie was promoted as being a sequel to the original 1981 The Evil Dead movie—though it really is a separate story with a similar theme and characters.  Ash (Campbell) and his girlfriend visit a cabin in the woods only to be possessed by demons after playing a recorded reading from an ancient text. Later, four others join Ash at the cabin only to be caught up in the demonic antics. The movie is, at times, extremely funny and clever, as well as being scary and horrific. Evil Dead II received mostly positive reviews from the critics and was a moderate success at the box office. Entertainment Weekly ranked the movie #19 on their list of “The Top 50 Cult Films.” Equally good is the original The Evil Dead movie which was also directed by Sam Raimi (Spiderman) and also featured Bruce Campbell as Ash.  A group of five college students travel to a cabin in the woods only to be possessed and killed by demons. The original is scarier and not as comedic as Evil Dead IIThe Evil Dead also received mostly positive reviews, but was only a modest success at the box office. Both films have gone on to become cult classics. The third film in the series is Army of Darkness.


The Uninvited (1944)

The Uninvited is one of the first Hollywood films to take a serious look at haunted houses—most earlier Hollywood films depicted ghosts solely for comedic purposes. This supernatural tale directed by Lewis Allen (in his directorial debut) features Ray Milland (Dial M For Murder) and Ruth Hussey (The Philadelphia Story) as a brother and sister  who purchase a seaside estate in England only to discover the house is haunted. Together, they must unravel the dark mystery of the house before it can claim another victim. The film is both charmingly delightful and frightening with an intriguing murder mystery story and complex characters hiding dark secrets.  The score and the cinematography (nominated for an Academy Award) are both hauntingly beautiful. The Uninvited was well received upon its initial release and is today considered to be a classic.


The Changeling (1980)

The Changeling is a Canadian haunted house movie directed by Peter Medak (The Krays) and featuring George C. Scott (The Exorcist III) and his real life wife Trish Van Devere (The Hearse).  Following the tragic deaths of his wife and daughter in a car accident, a composer (Scott) moves across country and into a spooky old mansion. Here, Scott’s character needs to uncover the mystery behind the hauntings and bring peace to the restless spirits. A well-crafted and skillfully directed film, The Changeling’s many strengths include its compelling murder mystery storyline, strong performances and hauntingly effective art direction, cinematography and score.  The Changeling was the winner of 8 Genie awards in 1980, including best Canadian film. The film is #54 on Bravo’s 100 Scariest Movie Moments.