Alright, I think I've wasted enough time in-between posts, let's get going on this thing. Without further ado, my top 10 favorite movies of 2012.
10. THE IMPOSSIBLE
A family vacationing in Thailand are torn apart and struggles to reconnect after a devastating tsunami.
Probably the most emotional movie of the year. This could have easily felt like an exploitative, melodramatic, eye-roll worthy drama, but it was far from it. Some of the most impressive visual effects and set design I've seen in a movie, and has several of the best performances of the year, as well. McGregor and Watts are as good here as they have ever been. Funny, considering I didn't think I would even like it.
A group of teenagers discover telekinetic powers that eventually being to completely take over their lives.
My description may be shoddy, but the premise itself is not a bad one. One of the best superhero movies I can recall having seen, and a surprisingly interesting character study. The found footage style seems almost disposable, but it's such a small complaint, and there are very few other problems I have with it that it's hard for me to say anything negative. It's just a fantastic movie.
8. OSLO, AUGUST 31ST
A suicidal man just out of rehab tries to get back into contact with people he used to know and attempts to get his life somewhat back on track.
An incredibly simple, but powerful drama. The lead performance by Anders Danielsen Lie is impressive, giving a great amount of depth to the character that the entire movie focuses almost solely on. Anyone who read my 4-star review of this movie should know just how great I think it is, but just as a reminder, and for anyone who didn't read that, this is still definitely one of the best movies of the year.
7. BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD
A young girl and her sick father must learn to adapt as their previous home is destroyed in the wake of a storm.
Another huge surprise for me. This movie could have easily been annoyingly melodramatic, but the lead performances, beautiful cinematography, and musical score must have distracted me from that, because I can't complain. Very emotional and extremely compelling - especially noteworthy for Quvenzhane Wallis' amazing performance, which I still believe to be one of the best I've seen all year.
6. THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
A group of college students go during a break to a cabin in the woods... and then spoilers.
At this point, most everyone interested in seeing this movie has seen it by now (multiple times, no doubt), but I still don't want to spoil anything. One of the most well-written, exciting, out-of-control movies of the year. It starts out so simple, but the road it takes after that is something else entirely. My initial response was uncertainty, but a rewatch has confirmed it as one of my favorites of 2012.
5. MOONRISE KINGDOM
Two pre-teens in the mid-1960s run off together and are hunted down days before a huge storm.
Wes Anderson is one of my favorites. Sometimes it takes me a few viewings to fully realize how much I enjoy his movies, but I always come around, and I just recently fully came around with this one. A hilarious and heartfelt script, with fine performances from the entire cast. One of Anderson's most accessible films so far, but has every bit as much to offer as just about any of his previous work.
4. THE RAID: REDEMPTION
A special forces team infiltrate an apartment building to bring down a crime lord.
It almost hurts me to put this all the way down in fourth place (that's how much I enjoyed this movie), but something tells me this is slightly more realistic, so I'm just gonna go with it. It made the top of my "best of 2012 so far" list back about 6 months ago, and the fact that it's stayed this near the top should be a good indication of how much fun this movie is. Pure action, from start to finish, and it's never boring. Just amazing.
A CIA specialist attempts to extract 6 Americans from Iran during the hostage crisis on the pretense of them being a film crew scouting locations for a science fiction movie.
One of the most suspenseful, well-written, well-executed movies I've seen in a long time. Ben Affleck's third directorial effort, and easily his best so far. Great acting, TONS of suspense, and some very welcome comedy thrown in, but never out of place. This is one of those rare great movies that I could find myself recommending to almost anyone. It's a perfect blend of general appeal and brilliant filmmaking. A fantastic movie in just about every way.
2. THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER
A coming-of-age drama about a damaged teen and his growing relationships between a group of friends.
I know, the premise sounds pretty stupid and generic, but it's so much more than that. All three leads are excellent, with Miller and Watson giving performances I feel deserved Oscar nominations. A very sweet, though at times incredibly dark, story, with well-developed characters and some well-timed humor to keep it from being too overly-dramatic. Maybe it was just my mood when watching it, but this movie really got to me, and has stayed with me ever since.
1. SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK
A man, recently released from an institution, has to effectively restart his life when he meets a strange girl with her own problems, and the two begin to bond.
Okay, so that was the worst description ever, but I just didn't want to waste any more time on that than I had to. I loved this movie. Every performance, and every moment from start to finish was just amazing for me. If it were up to me, Lawrence and Cooper would take home Oscars for their performances, which, as a couple, are some of the best I think I've seen in a long, long time: I would have to do some serious digging to find an on-screen male/female couple that I enjoyed as much as these two. The writing is fantastic, the story (slightly generic, but I don't care) goes along at a great pace, and everything comes together in a very satisfactory way. Last year, I named 'The Artist' as the best of the year, but have later decided on 'Midnight In Paris'. I seriously doubt that will happen this time. Silver Linings Playbook is my #1: the best movie of the year.
Thank you for reading.