Best Movies of 2012 (That I've Seen)

by duryeat | created - 27 Dec 2012 | updated - 27 Dec 2012 | Public
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1. Les Misérables (2012)

PG-13 | 158 min | Drama, History, Musical

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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
63 Metascore

In 19th-century France, Jean Valjean, who for decades has been hunted by the ruthless policeman Javert after breaking parole, agrees to care for a factory worker's daughter. The decision changes their lives forever.

Director: Tom Hooper | Stars: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried

Votes: 268,189 | Gross: $148.81M

This was in my top 3 before I even walked into the theatre. Having recently watched the stage production, Les Miz has been a big part of my 2012 and the movie version held true to the show (and maybe the text, I don't know). Hugh Jackman nails Jean Valjean and I think I cried three times...maybe more. There are problems with this movie (like, the sound wasn't all that great; Javert's awkward death; Amanda's autotune) but it didn't have to be in order to top my list.

2. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

PG-13 | 164 min | Action, Thriller

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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
78 Metascore

Eight years after the Joker's reign of anarchy, Batman, with the help of the enigmatic Catwoman, is forced from his exile to save Gotham City, now on the edge of total annihilation, from the brutal guerrilla terrorist Bane.

Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Gary Oldman

Votes: 1,283,581 | Gross: $448.14M

The third Batman in the Nolanverse isn't the best, and no one expected it to be. But this was the best movie-going, popcorn-popping, holy crap IMAX experience of the year. Plus, Bane's voice is super cool.

3. End of Watch (2012)

R | 109 min | Action, Crime, Drama

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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
68 Metascore

Shot documentary-style, this film follows the daily grind of two young police officers in LA who are partners and friends, and what happens when they meet criminal forces greater than themselves.

Director: David Ayer | Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña, Anna Kendrick, America Ferrera

Votes: 200,802 | Gross: $41.00M

End of Watch feels like its about the war in Iraq, but replace "middle east" with "south central" and I realized how crazy home turf can be. Michael Pena steals the show and a greater appreciation for the men and women in blue is gained, but not forced down my throat.

4. The Avengers (2012)

PG-13 | 143 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
69 Metascore

Earth's mightiest heroes must come together and learn to fight as a team if they are going to stop the mischievous Loki and his alien army from enslaving humanity.

Director: Joss Whedon | Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner

Votes: 1,085,584 | Gross: $623.36M

Who wouldn't love watching a bunch of witty super-people fight each other and then a giant horde of alien baddies? Super fun.

5. Wreck-It Ralph (2012)

PG | 101 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
72 Metascore

A video game villain wants to be a hero and sets out to fulfill his dream, but his quest brings havoc to the whole arcade where he lives.

Director: Rich Moore | Stars: John C. Reilly, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, Sarah Silverman

Votes: 305,512 | Gross: $189.42M

I am beginning to think I am getting a little more in touch with my emotions because four of these top 10 movies made me shed at least one tear...this one probably being the least deserved. Nonetheless, Wreck-It Ralph is better than Toy Story 3 in terms of embracing and adapting to becoming old and unwanted. Plus, the video game references are enough to nerd out over for hours.

6. Prometheus (I) (2012)

R | 124 min | Adventure, Mystery, Sci-Fi

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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
65 Metascore

Following clues to the origin of mankind, a team finds a structure on a distant moon, but they soon realize they are not alone.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Noomi Rapace, Logan Marshall-Green, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron

Votes: 512,491 | Gross: $126.48M

I couldn't care less how "inaccurate" Prometheus is in relation to Alien lore. Honestly...listen to yourselves. This movie is the single most gorgeous film of 2012 and wins it within the first two minutes. Sure, I don't really understand what's going on, but it doesn't take an Alien veteran to understand alien impregnation is super horrifying.

7. Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)

R | 86 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
72 Metascore

Three magazine employees head out on an assignment to interview a guy who placed a classified advertisement seeking a companion for time travel.

Director: Colin Trevorrow | Stars: Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass, Jake Johnson, Karan Soni

Votes: 107,874 | Gross: $4.01M

This movie has a huge hurdle: its incredible indie. It takes place in Seattle, it stars Aubrey Plaza, the main male lead may or may not be crazy but it doesn't matter because, ya know, society man! Once all of that is broken through, this film has the most beautiful, true thoughts about relationships, old and new.

8. Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

PG-13 | 94 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
84 Metascore

A pair of young lovers flee their New England town, which causes a local search party to fan out to find them.

Director: Wes Anderson | Stars: Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Bruce Willis, Bill Murray

Votes: 268,612 | Gross: $45.51M

I try really hard to like Wes Anderson films. I didn't understand them until I saw The Fantastic Mr. Fox and realized Mr. Anderson was making fairy tales and not movies. With this post-fox frame of mind, Moonrise was a thrill to watch. Not only does it have a stellar cast of some of my favorite actors, but it boasts the awesomeness (and goofiness) of the Boy Scouts, of which I am a proud alumni.

9. Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn (2012– )

Not Rated | 100 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

UNSC Cadet Thomas Lasky must conquer his inner fears and join forces with super-soldier John-117 to take down a massive faction of the Covenant.

Stars: Thom Green, Anna Popplewell, Enisha Brewster, Ayelet Zurer

Votes: 21,652

So maybe this isn't a movie, but sitting and watching all five episodes of the Halo miniseries in succession and ignoring all the annoying youtube ads, it feels like a movie. A really good sci-fi action movie. Who knew the internet was capable of creating such high quality material that doesn't feel campy or nerdy. Plus, I read Ender's Game over the summer and this basically filled my need for a movie interpretation.

10. The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

R | 95 min | Fantasy, Horror

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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
72 Metascore

5 friends go for a break at a remote cabin, where they get more than they bargained for, discovering the truth behind the cabin in the woods.

Director: Drew Goddard | Stars: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz

Votes: 311,959 | Gross: $42.07M

I'm not sure what to think of this film. It's really weird and funny. I'm not sure if the jokes are cop outs or brilliantly meta. I'm not sure if the strange plot shifts are really complete thoughts or just a great game of "what if." I'm not sure if the last frame made the movie great or awful. So, this film gets the number 10 spot for making me so conflicted...and I don't even know if that was the intention. ugh, my brain.