Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Best Films of 2012

This was an odd and rewarding year to be a film buff. While 2012 offered few unqualified masterpieces (see the bounty that was 2007) and no tidy narratives (2010's Korean "New Wave" or 2011's nostalgia trip), there was an abundance of good-to-great stuff to wade through. With that in mind, I've expanded my usual selection of the year's best to 25, but even that seems inadequate to capture the depth and breadth of material.

I'll delve into this further with later posts, but there are plenty of praiseworthy performances and trade-craft outside of these 25 movies, even hidden in less than stellar films. As disappointingly one-note as Ridley Scott's "Prometheus" was, for me it held one of the best performances of the year. Ditto P.T. Anderson's "The Master," where the acting and cinematography go a long way toward redeeming a film that doesn't seem to know what it wants to say to its audience. Even a stinker like "Total Recall" showcased stunning set design and visual effects. 

Now, to my usual spiel: This list is just a snapshot of what I consider the most entertaining, enlightening and artistically fulfilling movies of the year. My only criteria is that the film had to have been first available for my viewing in 2012. This means some holdovers from 2011 show up here and some films yet to receive wide release won't (I'm looking at you, "Zero Dark Thirty"). Next month, my list may and probably will look different.

Without further ado, here are my 25 favorite films of 2012 with links to Netflix (quite a few are streaming instantly).

1 comment:

  1. I love your lists of great films in 2012. Great choice!