Top 10 Films From 2012

The “best of” lists have been well underway, and it’s time for me to join in on the festivities. I wanted to wait until I saw a few of the most recent heavy-hitters, and now I feel confident enough to put together my own top 10. This has been a great year for film, and I could have easily stretched this out to a top 20, or even 25. For the sake of consistency, I am sticking with a top ten.

Honorable Mentions:
The Intouchables
Zero Dark Thirty
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Beasts of the Southern Wild

Killer Joe [2011]
10) Killer Joe
“A totally twisted deep-fried Texas redneck trailer park murder story.” Yeah, it’s as great as it sounds. I will never look at fried chicken the same way again.

Take This Waltz [2011]
9) Take This Waltz
Pretty much a “love it or hate it” film, but this one struck an emotional chord within me. I can’t get enough of Michelle Williams either.

Lincoln [2012]
8) Lincoln
Daniel Day-Lewis deserves every bit of praise sent his way, and he anchors a well-rounded cast in a film about one of America’s most pivotal moments.

7) Argo
Dare I say Ben Affleck is a much better director than actor? This is a gripping thriller that manages to maintain suspense despite the outcome being well-known.

The Dark Knight Rises [2012]
6) The Dark Knight Rises
I can’t think of a better conclusion to one of the best trilogies in recent times. The film flies by despite its lengthy running time, and Bane is a hell of a villain.

Indie Game: The Movie [2012]
5) Indie Game: the Movie
A documentary about indie game developers? Whaaaa-? This is actually a damn good film, one that shows a dedication to a craft where no outcome is certain.

The Imposter [2012]
4) The Imposter
The perfect example of truth being stranger than fiction. My favorite documentary of the year.

Oslo, August 31st [2011]
3) Oslo, August 31st
A look at a reformed drug addict trying to fit back into society. Sounds familiar, but this film looks at addiction in a fresh new light. Joachim Trier is a director to keep an eye on.

Django Unchained [2012]
2) Django Unchained
I could watch Quentin Tarantino recreate history any time. Just as stylish as expected from the eccentric director, with an especially memorable soundtrack.

The Master [2012]
1) The Master
I’m still a bit shocked at how divisive this film has been, but no other release resonated with me this year like Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest. The trio of Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams deliver some of the best performances of the year, and the film itself will leave you thinking about it for days (or much longer).

Still need to see: Amour, Seven Psychopaths, Rust and Bone, The Impossible, Holy Motors

Any thoughts? What do you agree with? Disagree?

38 thoughts on “Top 10 Films From 2012

  1. Fogs' Movie Reviews says:

    There’s a couple that I still need to see there. People have been singing the praises of Killer Joe and I just havent pulled the trigger. Oslo, August 31st sounds interesting and has good buzz, too. I’m sure you know I’m not a big fan of TDKR, but the rest of the movies here are great!

    • Eric says:

      Oh man, Killer Joe is incredibly twisted. I would LOVE to read your review on it. Oslo, August 31st is on Netflix Instant if you’re curious. Cannot recommend it enough.

  2. VictorsMovieReviews says:

    Thanks for the reminding me about “Oslo”. I missed it when it came down to Miami, but definitely wanted to see it.

    Switching subjects, I love the diversity of your list between Foreign Films, Docs, and Features.

    • Eric says:

      Thanks Victor, there were so many strong candidates in each category. If you have Netflix Instant, Oslo, August 31st is currently available for streaming. Great, great film.

  3. Lindsay says:

    So awesome seeing Killer Joe getting some love. I rewatched it recently and it still packed a good punch. Also cool seeing The Imposter on here. I haven’t seen it yet but it looks great.

    • Eric says:

      Hah, yeah Killer Joe was just so crazy I had to include it. I wasn’t entirely sold on it until the big dinner scene and then I was just blown away. Hope you get to see The Imposter soon!

  4. Chris says:

    Good call on The Imposter, loved it!
    I can also support you on The Master, such a memorable film, and maybe Ben Affleck was right at Golden Globes, that PTA is our generations Orson Welles.
    Yes, Michelle Williams was adorable in Take This Waltz, that movie had a few of my fav scenes from 2012.

    • Eric @ The Warning Sign says:

      Glad to hear you appreciated Take This Waltz — it seems the most vocal are those who despised it. I like that quote about PTA. I missed that one during the awards, but yeah, he is such a talented filmmaker. I wish he made films more often, but then again, I would take an excellent film every five years over good/so-so films every 2-3.

  5. jsicktheslick says:

    Nice list indeed. Of those listed, I’ve only seen The Dark Knight Rises and Django Unchained, but I’d likely include those in my list if I had one :p. Not having seen as much as you, what did you think of any animated films this year? Wreck-It Ralph, maybe?

  6. John says:

    I loved Oslo a ton and I’m really happy to see it on this list.

    I apologize if you already knew this, but it’s a remake of sorts of my favorite movie ever- Louis Malle’s The Fire Within. Or to put it more accurately, they’re both adaptations of the same novel by Pierre Drieu La Rochelle, but from different historical perspectives.

  7. The Blog of Big Ideas says:

    Great list Eric!
    Some thoughts:
    – Paul Thomas Anderson might be the best underrated director working today.
    – My only big problem with your list is the inclusion of Take this Waltz which was just an absolute bore for me. I do see how it could resonate with some people, but it just didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know wrapped up in such a tedious never-ending melodrama.
    – I really need to get around to watching some big releases like Argo and Lincoln, or The Imposter ( which has such a great trailer to boast).

    I’m preparing to post a flurry of backed-up reviews in the coming days, two of which include Django and The Dark Knight Rises. I look forward to exchanging notes on those.

    • Eric @ The Warning Sign says:

      Thanks, Niels! Agreed on PTA. Got a kick out of your Take This Waltz analysis — it’s definitely a “love it or hate it” film, and both sides make strong cases there. In good news, The Imposter should be hitting DVD soon. In fact, it might have been released yesterday, if I read correctly. Cannot recommend that one enough!

      I’ll keep an eye out for your new reviews. Hope you enjoyed both of those as much as I did.

  8. SDG says:

    Not so surprisingly, I have The Imposter, Django, Argo and The Master in my Top 10 with couple more from your honourable mentions(Intouchables and Perks). If I go down a little to 15, I also cover Oslo and Rises. 🙂

    I really hope you get to see Amour – My favourite of the year, so far and even Holy Motors.

  9. ilovethatfilm says:

    Sad to say I’ve only seen TDKR and Argo on here but want to see ALL of them! A few of these are 2013 movies for us here in the UK. TDKR and Argo were both in my top 10 so hopefully will enjoy the rest of these!

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