My Top 10 Movies of 2012

top 10 movies of 2012

My Top 10 favorite movies of 2012, coming to you a couple weeks late, but here we go. These movies aren’t held to a specific genre and they are just my opinion so don’t take it personally if your favorite movie isn’t on the list. There are a few flicks from last year that I haven’t seen yet, that I think will probably change the outcome of this list, and I will include them at the end. As much as I wish I could watch every single movie that came out in 2012 in order to compile this top 10 list, I just didn’t have the time. These movies jump genres quite a bit as I had some favorite horror, comedy, action and drama movies this year, but most of these shouldn’t surprise anyone.

If you don’t agree with my list, feel free to leave your opinion in the comments. Don’t be afraid to completely bash my list, but if you do choose to go that route, I expect you to back it up with your top 10 favorite movies from 2012. And with that, let’s get into it…

end of watch

10. End of Watch – Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena star in this gritty action flick written and directed by the writer of “Training Day”, David Ayer. The two play partners in the LA police department as Gyllenhaal documents everything they do with his own set of video cameras. Things start getting pretty intense once an LA street gang puts a hit out on the two cops after they start getting too close to their illegal operations. Don’t worry though, the whole movie isn’t shot POV-style; which is both cool and a little confusing at times. At some points the camera jumps back out beyond the fourth wall to give us a better sense of what’s happening. The action is real and gritty, and because of the way it was shot, it really brings you into the world of the LA police department as well as these 2 officer’s lives. (imdb) (trailer)

zero dark thirty top 10 movies of 2012

9. Zero Dark Thirty – Technically 2012, since it came out limited on December 19th, I thought “Zero Dark Thirty” was pretty good, but didn’t blow me away. I will say that for a movie that’s almost 3 hours long, it really doesn’t feel like 3 hours. I never got around to seeing “The Hurt Locker” so my experience with Kathryn Bigelow starts and ends with “Point Break”, which could only have been made better with a Nicholas Cage appearance. Even if they just used a Nic Cage mask instead of one of the presidents, it would have been better… but I digress. “Zero Dark Thirty” held my interest most of the time and very much reminded me of a long episode of “Homeland”, which I really enjoy. I know it’s kind of missing the point of the flick, but I could have done with a little more action throughout, but I think the way things were paced did work in the overall scheme of things. Even though you know how everything wraps up in the end, those final scenes are still as suspenseful as ever, especially with the fact that there was no musical score at all over the raid on Bin Laden’s compound. (imdb) (trailer)

top 10 movies of 2012 dredd

8. Dredd – I wrote a more in depth analysis of “Dredd”, which you can find here, but I’ll paraphrase a bit here. Basically “Dredd” is a seriously underrated movie that follows a very similar storyline to “The Raid” (which also appears on this list). The movie is basically nonstop action from beginning to end, and is a lot more gritty and brutal than the campy version of “Judge Dredd” starring Stallone. I’m not too familiar with the comic books off of which this movie is based, but I think this movie does those books a bit more justice than the ridiculousness of the other movie. I actually went into this one with really low expectations and came out very satisfied, which could be the reason I liked it so much, but I definitely recommend giving this one a shot if you’re into action movies. (imdb) (trailer)

top 10 movies of 2012 the avengers

7. The Avengers – I really don’t think I need to say too much about “The Avengers”. This was one of the biggest movies of the year, one of the biggest movies of all time, and was a lot of fun to watch. Marvel seems to have the formula down these days when it comes to enjoyable comic book movies. All of the movies leading up to “The Avengers” were enjoyable and left everyone clamoring for more. Joss Whedon also hit it big this year in my book, as another movie of his will appear on this list a little further down. The only reason this movie isn’t higher on the list is because there were obviously other movies that I enjoyed more. I know a lot of people probably throw “The Avengers” up in their top 3, but really if you took Robert Downey Jr. out of the movie, it wouldn’t have been that great. It’s amazing how much one person can lend to a movie. (imdb) (trailer)

top 10 movies of 2012 django unchained

6. Django Unchained  – December 25th still counts as 2012, and there is no way that Tarantino’s new flick wouldn’t make my list. Sure they overuse the N-word quite a bit, and the movie can be quite racist at times, but guess what… it’s a movie that takes place in the south during slavery, what did you expect. The movie stimulates emotion on all levels, whether it’s uncomfortableness from the use of language, laughing from the absurdity of things, or cringing at the gratuitous violence. But all said and done, every element of this flick works on so many levels. Like “Zero Dark Thirty”, I was on the edge of my seat for the entire [almost] 3 hour runtime. Sam Jackson, Leo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx and of course, Christoph Waltz all bring their A-game to this one. I will say that Tarantino needs to not be in his own movies, it’s too much of a distraction and he’s not on the same level as the other actors in the flick so it kind of took me out of it a bit. Thankfully he’s not in it very long and it’s at the end, so no harm. (imdb) (trailer)

top 10 movies of 2012 21 jump street

5. 21 Jump Street – Upon seeing the original trailer for this movie I thought to myself, “Oh great, here’s another shitty remake of an old TV show. Hollywood is truly out of ideas.” It wasn’t until a friend of mine told me to check out the red band trailer did I see the true potential in this flick. “21 Jump Street” stars Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill as bumbling cops who get put into an undercover program where they are sent back to high school to break up a drug ring. I was extremely impressed by how funny Channing Tatum actually is in this flick, and not-so-skinny-not-so-fat Jonah Hill is as funny as ever. The writing was smart and witty and I love everything about this movie. It’s definitely one of my favorite comedies of the year and I can continue to watch it over and over again. It’s another one of those movies, like “Dredd”, that I had semi-low expectations for, but came around to surprise the hell out of me. (imdb) (trailer)

top 10 movies of 2012 the raid redemption

4. The Raid: Redemption – If you’re looking for a flick that has nonstop action from beginning to end then this is your flick. And we’re not just talking gun wielding action, we’re talking fist-to-face style action, along with knives to the throat kind of action. This movie is brutal in every way imaginable and I loved every minute of it. It is a foreign language flick, so if that annoys you, get over it. There isn’t much dialogue to begin with and you’re going to want to kick your own ass if you pass this one up. This is probably my favorite action flick of the last 20 years… I honestly can’t think of another movie since the original Die Hard that I’ve enjoyed as much as this one (in terms of pure action). “The Raid: Redemption” will definitely keep you glued to the edge of your seat for the entire runtime. See this movie. Now. You can also read my theatrical review if you’re so inclined. (imdb) (trailer)

top 10 movies of 2012 cabin in the woods

3. The Cabin in the Woods – Joss Whedon makes my list for the second time with “The Cabin in the Woods”, a smart, funny, different look at modern horror movies. If you haven’t seen trailers for the movie I would suggest not watching them and instead watching the movie itself. I know that the opening scene kind of gives away what the twist of the movie is, and they really don’t try to keep it a secret very long, but I think the trailer shows more than it needs to. The movie shows you why it is that when any college kids go to a cabin for spring break (or whenever), they always seem to end up getting murdered in some gruesome fashion. “The Cabin in the Woods” is to 2012 horror, what “Scream” did for horror back in the late 90’s. It’s a fun, unique horror flick that doesn’t take itself too seriously and knows what it’s supposed to be. The best part of the whole thing is that the movie was shot way back in like 2009 and got caught up in some legal issues, so it sat on a shelf for 3 years. Then once buzz was building around Whedon doing “The Avengers”, the studio decided to bring it out… and thank god they did. This is by far my favorite horror movie in the last 5 years. I wrote a more in depth review when I saw it in theaters, which you can read if you’d like. (imdb) (trailer)

top 10 movies of 2012 the dark knight rises

2. The Dark Knight Rises – #2 on the list is a pretty obvious one in “The Dark Knight Rises”. I don’t think anyone can deny that this was one of the best movies of the year. I know there are a lot of plot holes and issues that people have with the movie itself, but I think it wrapped up Nolan’s trilogy quite well. I’ve loved the Bane/Knightfall storyline since I read it years ago, I even have a 1st printing of the comic book where Bane breaks Batman’s back. So when I heard that Bane was going to be the villain in the new movie I was ecstatic. Nolan did a great job with his trilogy, but it’s sad to think that we don’t have another Batman movie to look forward to until they decide to reboot the series. I’m just glad that Christopher Nolan got a chance to make these Batman films the way he wanted to make them. I still hold “The Dark Knight” higher than “The Dark Knight Rises”, but I don’t think anyone will be able to top Heath Ledger as The Joker, he is just too good. Such a loss. I don’t think I need to go into depth about this movie since I think pretty much everyone saw it, but if you’re looking for more, you can read my full review. (imdb) (trailer)

top 10 movies of 2012 looper

1. Looper – That’s right, Rian Johnson’s “Looper” was my favorite movie of last year. I’ve grown quite fond of Joseph Gordon Levitt over the past couple years and this movie just solidified my appreciation for him. Yes, it was this movie that made me realize that he’s quite talented and is going to have a long and amazing career. Sure there were flicks like “Inception” and “The Dark Knight Rises”, but there was just something about “Looper” that made everything click. For those unaware of what “Looper” is let me explain. A Looper is someone from the past who works for the mob in the future. Their job is to kill people for money, but these people aren’t just any people, they are people that the future mob sends back in time for the sole purpose of being killed. It’s become very hard to get away with murder and disposing of bodies in the future, so the mob has relied on time travel as a way to do away with people they dislike. The problems come when, as a looper, you are forced to kill yourself, thus closing the loop. You are handsomely rewarded and subsequently get to live out the last 30 years of your life in luxury, but when JGL can’t pull the trigger and kill himself (Bruce Willis), there are dire consequences. Obviously there’s more to the story than this, but you get the idea. This movie is also not without it’s plot holes, as most time travel movies are, but that doesn’t take away from the movie itself. If you see one movie this year, you’re crazy, you need to see more, but if there is some weird reason that you can only see one movie, see this one. I can’t recommend it enough. (imdb) (trailer)

Honorable Mention – I only have one honorable mention, but I do have some movies that would possibly have made my Top 10, had I seen them. In terms of honorable mention, it’s more like a guilty pleasure movie from this year, and that is “Pitch Perfect“. I know, I know, it’s a movie about college acapella groups, but it’s funny as shit. Starring Anna Kendrick, whom I’ve developed a crush on after seeing this and “End of Watch”, as a wanna-be DJ who ends up joining one of these singing groups when her dad threatens to stop paying for her college. It’s funny, entertaining and enjoyable to watch. If you’re looking for a no-brainer type of comedy, definitely check this one out.

Now for the flicks that possibly would have made this list had I gotten around to seeing them: Skyfall, The Bourne Legacy, Savages, The Man With the Iron Fists, Lincoln, The Hobbit and Argo. I know there are some really good ones in there that I’m kicking myself for not seeing yet, but rest assured, I will get around to it eventually and when I do I’ll come back and update this list.

So there you have it, my Top 10 Movies of 2012. If you disagree with any movie on the list, let us know in the comments, but please also tell us what movie you would have replaced it with. And if you want, feel free to post your Top 10 list as well, we’d love to hear them.