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moonriseHappy New Year, Insiders! 2012 turned out to be a pretty terrific year for the movies, not just in box office receipts, but also in giving us some fine viewing choices. In this annual roundup, I’ve selected the ten films that were my favorites this year. Read through my choices, and then hit the comments to commend or chastise.

Here are my favorite 2012 films, in no particular order.

djangoDjango Unchained

Bold, bloody, and brilliant, this is Tarantino at his finest. Could it have been 30 minutes shorter? Absolutely. Should he have left his indulgent and awkward cameo on the cutting-room floor? Definitely. Was this film hilarious and completely entertaining? Positively.

cabinThe Cabin in the Woods

The dark horse on this list, this is a horror movie for people who don’t like horror movies. Twisty, tautly directed, and featuring a near-perfect ending, this film makes me think the tired horror genre may just have been reinvigorated.

les mizLes Miserables

Though it’s hip to hate on this earnest, in-their-faces take on the smash musical, the fact remains that the scope, story and music are epic and beautiful. Did I get a bit of a tear in my eye during Anne Hathaway’s achingly moving “I Dreamed a Dream”? You bet I did.

life of piLife of Pi

Is there a more visually stunning movie that came out this year? With a though-provoking premise to go along with the beautiful visuals, Ang Lee has crafted a truly magical film.


moonriseMoonrise Kingdom

I cannot imagine a movie world without Wes Anderson in it producing his quirky little films. The love story between the pubescent protagonists not only demonstrates how powerful young love can be, but also stands as something that folks of all ages should aspire to. A beautiful, manila-tinged palette and trademark deadpan Anderson humor complete this movie treat.

avengersThe Avengers

The super superhero movie that never should have worked, somehow did. Funny when it needed to be, bombastic when it needed to be and superbly directed throughout, The Avengers was about the most fun two hours I had at the movies this year.


Daniel Day-Lewis owns the title role in Steven Spielberg’s return to form. Epic and intimate, Lincoln is superbly acted and surprisingly entertaining for a long, talky period piece. The master filmmaker shows us that he hasn’t lost his touch just yet.

silver liningsSilver Linings Playbook

A romantic comedy in my top ten list? When it’s this well-written and acted, absolutely. Robert DeNiro finally shows us he remembers how to act, and Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence also shine. Top notch.



The first billion-dollar Bond movie is also one of the very best. After the dismal Quantum of Solace, 007 comes back firing on all cylinders. Between Sam Mendes’ beautiful direction and Craig’s, Dench’s and Bardem’s brilliant performances, this is one of the best spy movies ever. 


Ben Affleck, after Gone Baby Gone, The Town and now Argo, I take back all the bad things I said about you during your “Bennifer” phase. Affleck has proven for the third time running that he belongs both in front of and behind the camera.


Best movies I didn’t see: Looper, Zero Dark Thirty

Biggest Disappointments: The Dark Knight Rises, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

7 Responses to “(R)editorial: The Top Ten Movies of 2012”

  1. Member [Join Now]

    In my personal opinion, my top ten movies of 2012 would be:

    1.) The Avengers
    2.) The Dark Knight Rises
    3.) Disney’s Brave
    4.) The Campaign
    5.) Total Recall
    6.) MIB 3
    7.) Disney’s The Odd Life of Timothy Green
    8.) Rock Of Ages
    9.) Madagascar 3
    10.)Expendables 2

    • Member [Join Now]
      Joan Zaiz [joan-zaiz]

      I was glad to read your reviews of these movies. We don’t go out to the
      movies (I prefer to rent DVD’s and watch at home. We may go out to
      see PI or Total Recall.
      By the way the free codes are very old and
      they don’t work here in MO anymore. Happy New Year to all.

  2. Member [Join Now]
    Shemp Howard [shemp-howard]

    Nice list Shane.


    “Argo” -My favorite movie of 2012.

    “Skyfall” -Best of Daniel Craig Bond entries.

    “The Dark Knight Rises” -Yinzers should like this.

    “Lincoln” -Will probably sweep the awards. Daniel Day-Lewis and Tommy Lee Jones will win big time.

    “Moonrise Kingdom” -My favorite comedy of 2012 :)

    “The Avengers”

    “The Cabin in the Woods”

    Hope to see…

    “Life of Pi”

    “Django Unchained”

    Some additional titles that should be considered for Top Ten status:

    “The Master”

    “Once Upon a Time in Anatolia”


    Can’t wait for the Ten Worst list ;)

  3. Visitor [Join Now]
    pootroot [visitor]

    Ha Ha !!! None of those top ten were any good I believe. I wached the previews of them and none were interesting and I do NOT go to theaters since I had to pay more than $3.00 for a ticket.

  4. Member [Join Now]
    BlueDesert [bluedesert]

    Shane, Great list. It’s nice to see some adult choices and not the usual teen-trash.
    I agree with your list-except I found both LINCOLN and MOONRISE KINGDOM to be tedious and unwatchable.
    To your list I’d add The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and OSLO,August 31st.
    Thanks for putting this site togther every week. I really enjoy reading it. Happy New Year