Parabola's Watched Films Released in 2012by parabola33 | created - 02 Feb 2013 | updated - 10 Mar 2013 | Public
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1. 21 Jump Street (2012)
R | 109 min | Action, Comedy, Crime
A pair of underachieving cops are sent back to a local high school to blend in and bring down a synthetic drug ring.
Votes: 448,798 | Gross: $138.45M
Better than expected, very funny. Both Hill and Tatum are surprisingly good. 7/10 (24-MAR)
2. The Avengers (2012)
PG-13 | 143 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
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.
Votes: 1,081,287 | Gross: $623.36M
Excellent start to the summer movie season! Not only was it a great movie, but I'm ecstatic for Joss Whedon to receive all the credit that's due to him. This was a great mix of the superheroes and lots of humor that Whedon is known for. Great job! 8/10 (22-MAY)
3. Lockout (2012)
PG-13 | 95 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
A man wrongly convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage against the U.S. is offered his freedom if he can rescue the president's daughter from an outer space prison taken over by violent inmates.
Votes: 86,432 | Gross: $14.33M
Harmless sci-fi adventure; surprised to see Guy Pears in something this mundane. Not surprised to see Maggie Grace in something so mundane. 5/10 (11-APR)
4. Prometheus (I) (2012)
R | 124 min | Adventure, Mystery, Sci-Fi
Following clues to the origin of mankind, a team finds a structure on a distant moon, but they soon realize they are not alone.
Votes: 510,866 | Gross: $126.48M
Oh how I wanted to really like this more. I still came away impressed and entertained, but some characters/plot points were infuriatingly silly. But the scope and vision were really stunning, I can forgive some of the unanswered questions if we learn more in sequels. Afterall, this film sheds light on some of the mysteries of Alien 30+ years ago. A hesitant 8/10 (8-JUN)
5. The Aggression Scale (2012)
R | 85 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
Four heavily armed hitmen and two unusual teenagers go to war over $500,000 of stolen cash.
Pretty bad to watch, from the acting to the story. It's rather depressing that this is the sort or work that a couple of Twin Peaks alum must resort to. 4/10 (29-JUN)
6. The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
PG-13 | 136 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
After Peter Parker is bitten by a genetically altered spider, he gains newfound, spider-like powers and ventures out to solve the mystery of his parent's mysterious death.
Votes: 491,945 | Gross: $262.03M
In isolation, this was very well done and I thought Garfield and Stone were a great match. But it comes so soon after the earlier Spider-Man films that it feels like too much of a rehash. That probably knocks it down a rating, even though I realize it's unfair because ultimately I quite liked it. 7/10 (9-JUL)
7. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
PG-13 | 164 min | Action, Thriller
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.
Votes: 1,277,593 | Gross: $448.14M
It has some issues like the previous films, but they can be overlooked by how well done and engaging the whole thing is. 8/10 (20-JUL)
8. The Dictator (2012)
R | 83 min | Comedy
The heroic story of a dictator who risked his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed.
Votes: 233,508 | Gross: $59.65M
Funnier than I thought it would be, given the so-so reviews. Some hilarious, if "wrong", bits. 7/10 (18-AUG)
9. The Hunger Games (2012)
PG-13 | 142 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Katniss Everdeen voluntarily takes her younger sister's place in the Hunger Games: a televised competition in which two teenagers from each of the twelve Districts of Panem are chosen at random to fight to the death.
Votes: 757,892 | Gross: $408.01M
Haven't read the books yet, but I thought this was well done and I look forward to the sequels. Jennifer Lawrence does a great job. 7/10 (18-AUG)
10. Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)
PG-13 | 93 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
Faced with both her hot-tempered father's fading health and melting ice-caps that flood her ramshackle bayou community and unleash ancient aurochs, six-year-old Hushpuppy must learn the ways of courage and love.
Votes: 74,606 | Gross: $12.80M
A very distinct vision and an incredible, natural performance by Quvenzhané Wallis as the young girl. I wasn't as engaged with the story as I thought I might be, given all the buzz, but this is definitely an original film worth checking out. 7/10 (1-SEP)
11. Compliance (2012)
R | 90 min | Biography, Crime, Drama
A normal Friday service at a fast food restaurant becomes interrupted by a police officer who claims an employee stole from a customer, but something more sinister is going on.
Votes: 27,026 | Gross: $0.32M
This is a film where if "based on a true story" weren't flashed on the screen beforehand then it would feel ludicrous and insulting to your intelligence. But to know these events actually did happen, and variations occurred dozens of times, leaves you incredulous about some people -- either for their depravity or their naivety. In any case, the film is worth watching and I give it credit for trying to get across what might have been going on in peoples' mind to explain their actions (or lack thereof). 7/10 (2-SEP)
12. Rust and Bone (2012)
R | 120 min | Drama, Romance
Put in charge of his young son, Alain leaves Belgium for Antibes to live with his sister and her husband as a family. Alain's bond with Stephanie, a killer whale trainer, grows deeper after Stephanie suffers a horrible accident.
Votes: 54,854 | Gross: $2.06M
I wasn't as impressed by it given all the buzz. Yes Marion Cotillard is good and holds the screen well as always, but I wouldn't necessarily consider it "best actress" material for the year. I couldn't really relate to the characters, although it was a still decent film overall -- just not as great as you might expect. 7/10 (7-SEP)
13. Girl Most Likely (2012)
PG-13 | 103 min | Comedy
A failed New York playwright awkwardly navigates the transition from Next Big Thing to Last Year's News.
Votes: 13,325 | Gross: $1.38M
Was called "Imogene" when I saw it. The characters & performances of Kristen Wiig and Darren Criss (he seems like he could have a good post-Glee career) were well done. There were a lot of good laughs to be had, but sometimes things were just too over-the-top (Matt Dillon and Annette Benning). Its quirkiness was too forced. The brother's character seemed like something written for Zach Galifianakis. It didn't live up to the potential, but it was still OK. 6/10 (7-SEP)
14. Picture Day (2012)
R | 93 min | Comedy, Drama
A rebellious teenager forced to repeat her last year of high school is caught between adolescence and adulthood - and between two very different male admirers.
The lead actress in this, Tatiana Maslany, does a great job of carrying the film. This is a good, understated, Canadian film of teenage angst. 7/10 (7-SEP)
15. The Place Beyond the Pines (2012)
R | 140 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A motorcycle stunt rider turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for his lover and their newborn child, a decision that puts him on a collision course with an ambitious rookie cop navigating a department ruled by a corrupt detective.
Votes: 210,236 | Gross: $21.38M
I was pleasantly surprised by this one, even though I expected it to be good anyway because of the impressive cast. The real shocker is that despite the big names, it's not going to be released soon. The structure of the film around Gosling and Cooper's characters was jarring at first, but comes to make sense. The only drawback is Emory Cohen's character ... the dude is just as annoying in this film as he is on the TV show Smash. But don't let that bother you too much. 8/10 (8-SEP)
16. The Brass Teapot (2012)
R | 101 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Thriller
When a couple discovers that a brass teapot makes them money whenever they hurt themselves, they must come to terms with how far they are willing to go.
Votes: 12,968 | Gross: $0.01M
I wanted to like this more because of the fine, under-appreciated cast but in the end it didn't quite do it for me. Still decent, though. 6/10 (8-SEP)
17. Everyday (I) (2012)
Unrated | 106 min | Drama
This film charts the relationship between a man imprisoned for drug smuggling and his wife and is being shot over the course of five years, a few weeks at a time.
Much of the interest in this story comes behind the scenes, where it was actually filmed (in pieces) over five years as the non-actor children grew up. Otherwise the films was rather so-so, I wasn't particularly interested in these characters although Shirley Henderson certainly gives a fine performance. 6/10 (12-SEP)
18. Yellow (I) (2012)
105 min | Drama
A dramedy centered on Mary Holmes, a young woman with a drug habit and a myriad of other problems.
Really annoying characters, who spend a lot of time yelling. There was absolutely nothing that was of interest to me, or to care about. 2/10 (8-SEP)
19. The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2012)
R | 130 min | Drama, Thriller
A young Pakistani man is chasing corporate success on Wall Street. He finds himself embroiled in a conflict between his American Dream, a hostage crisis, and the enduring call of his family's homeland.
Votes: 11,719 | Gross: $0.52M
Probably a different perspective than is usually presented about the aftermath of changes in American society after 9/11. Performances were good -- even Kate Hudson didn't annoy me for once -- and the structure of the film gives an element of suspense. Nice to see scenery from Lahore. 7/10 (9-SEP)
20. I Declare War (I) (2012)
Not Rated | 94 min | Action, Comedy, Drama
Summer war games between neighborhood kids turn deadly serious when jealousy and betrayal enter the mix.
Votes: 2,498 | Gross: $0.01M
I wasn't sure if the idea would carry a whole movie, but it holds up well enough to not feel stretched too far. Most of the kids were quite good, and the story moves along pretty well. They don't play up the concept for laughs, but there are some humorous moments exactly because they play it straight. Good effects and violence. 7/10 (9-SEP)
21. Byzantium (2012)
R | 118 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror
Residents of a coastal town learn, with deathly consequences, the secret shared by the two mysterious women who have sought shelter at a local resort.
Votes: 35,466 | Gross: $0.08M
I actually really liked this one, I thought it was a nice take on the vampire genre with some new concepts mixed in. It had a Let the Right One In vibe, with the whole guardianship aspect and a slower paced approach than an action-oriented vampire flick. The structure of the film was also interesting, mixing in the flashbacks and revealing certain things that way. 8/10 (9-SEP)
22. Inch'Allah (2012)
R | 102 min | Drama
A Canadian doctor finds her sympathies sorely tested while working in the conflict ravaged Palestinian territories.
Votes: 2,199 | Gross: $0.01M
An interesting perspective of life on either side of the security wall from an outsider's point of view. The main character's thoughts are guarded through much of the story, so it's hard to really understand her. I still don't grasp the decisions at the conclusion, but the film is well done and was interesting up through the end. 7/10 (10-SEP)
R | 85 min | Animation, Comedy
An animated, factually incorrect biography of Graham Arthur Chapman, one of the founding members of the comedy group Monty Python.
Votes: 1,384 | Gross: $0.01M
This one was disappointing, I thought it would be more insightful about Chapman's Python days. While it touches on some of the big personal events of his life (homosexuality, addiction), it wasn't very focused. It relied on his audio recordings, which were pretty rambling. The animation itself was fine and varied, but overall the experience was uninteresting. 5/10 (10-SEP)
24. Ahí va el diablo (2012)
Not Rated | 97 min | Horror, Thriller
A married couple lose their children while on a family trip near some caves in Tijuana. The kids eventually reappear without explanation, but it becomes clear that they are not who they ... See full summary »
Votes: 3,351 | Gross: $0.00M
Some cheesy acting and production values, but the story was sufficiently creepy/strange (and more sexy than the TIFF description let on). If redone as a more slick film, could be pretty good. 6/10 (11-SEP)
25. Tower (2012)
78 min | Drama
Derek is 34 and lives in his parents' basement. Single, self-interested and gauche, he divides his time between casual work for his uncle, cringe inducing encounters with women and an animation project.
80 minutes of awkwardness ... Sometimes genuinely funny, but mostly a sad-pathetic funny. Overall not bad, even if it doesn't really lead anywhere. 6/10 (11-SEP)
26. Disconnect (I) (2012)
R | 115 min | Drama, Thriller
A drama centered on a group of people searching for human connections in today's wired world.
Votes: 66,931 | Gross: $7.44M
Even though the storylines felt familiar because we hear of these things in the news, this film was very well done. The technology and scenarios all felt accurate, unlike many other similar films. Good ensemble cast. 8/10 (12-SEP)
27. Lore (2012)
Not Rated | 109 min | Drama, History, Romance
As the Allies sweep across Germany, Lore leads her siblings on a journey that exposes them to the truth of their parents' beliefs. An encounter with a mysterious refugee forces Lore to rely on a person she has always been taught to hate.
Votes: 12,554 | Gross: $0.97M
A little different than I was expecting, but in a good way since characters weren't so black and white -- the leads were sometimes hard to judge because there wasn't excessive dialog, so you had to read into their actions. The lead actress in particular was really good. The story was engaging, but felt like there could been more resolution ... But I guess that's not really life. 7/10 (12-SEP)
28. Smashed (2012)
R | 81 min | Drama
A married couple whose bond is built on a mutual love of alcohol gets their relationship put to the test when the wife decides to get sober.
Votes: 14,892 | Gross: $0.38M
Mary Elizabeth Winstead was really good and is the highlight of the film. It was a good mix of dark/uncomfortable humor and the seriousness of alcohol recovery -- even if it basically skipped the difficulty of actually achieving the latter. But it was more about the main character's arc, and the supporting characters weren't developed much. But Nick Offerman had some hilarious moments. 7/10 (12-SEP)
29. Peddlers (2012)
116 min | Drama, Thriller
Peddlers tells the story of a young drug peddler (Siddharth Menon), a young immigrant mother facing a fatal disease (Kriti Malhotra) and a corrupt cop (Gulshan Devaiah).
This was a mess to try and follow. There were a few elements that could have come together to make a decent film, but here it was just all over the place. 4/10 (12-SEP)
30. Sightseers (2012)
Not Rated | 88 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime
Chris wants to show girlfriend Tina his world, but events soon conspire against the couple and their dream caravan holiday takes a very wrong turn.
Votes: 23,179 | Gross: $0.04M
Twisted, surprising and above all hilarious, there isn't a road trip/romance quite like this. 8/10 (13-SEP)
31. The Bay (II) (2012)
R | 84 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Chaos breaks out in a small Maryland town after an ecological disaster occurs.
Votes: 21,938 | Gross: $0.03M
The basic idea is alright and interesting, although it's hard to maintain the "found footage" concept from so many sources for a whole movie. Also prevents you from getting to know much of the characters. 5/10 (13-SEP)
32. Miss Lovely (2012)
Not Rated | 113 min | Crime, Drama, Romance
A Hindi feature film set in the lower depths of Bombay's "C" grade film industry. Miss Lovely follows the devastating story of two brothers who produce sleazy horror films in the mid-1980s.
Much more cohesive and engaging than Peddlers the previous night. The subject matter/storyline was interesting and the 80s setting felt authentic (well, as someone who wasn't in india in the 80s). The actors in the main roles did a good job. It was too long in some parts and not developed enough in others, but overall it wasn't too bad. 6/10 (13-SEP)
33. Camp 14: Total Control Zone (2012)
106 min | Documentary, Biography
Shin Dong-Huyk was born on November 19, 1983 as a political prisoner in a North Korean re-education camp. He was a child of two prisoners who had been married by order of the wardens. He ... See full summary »
It's a shocking story of a kid who was born and lived in a North Korean forced labor camp before escaping at age 14. It suffers from, understandably, have very little in the way of actual footage. There are a few nicely animated sequences to go along with the story, but much of the documentary is just the guy talking to the camera. While it does capture his obvious trauma and difficulty of speaking about the ordeal, it's not always engaging to watch -- I think I'd rather read about the story than have it narrated. Getting interviews with defected NK secret police and guard (from a different camp) were a great addition, although their own stories of "escape" were not/could not be told. 6/10 (13-SEP)
34. Much Ado About Nothing (I) (2012)
PG-13 | 109 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A modern retelling of Shakespeare's classic comedy about two pairs of lovers with different takes on romance and a way with words.
Votes: 14,837 | Gross: $4.33M
This is how to make Shakespeare tolerable. Sure, it stuck to the original dialogue which is at times like a foreign language, but the actors and context make it mostly understandable. There is also plenty of physical humor, and many laugh out loud moments. As a Whedonverse fan, it's great to see so many alum back on screen together. 9/10 (14-SEP)
35. Thérèse (2012)
110 min | Drama
An unhappily married woman struggles to break free from social pressures.
Often slow, and the characters are all serious and dour but that is one of the points of the story. I wasn't familiar with the book/storyline, so not knowing where it was going kept my interest up. Bonus point for Audrey Tautou's presence. 6/10 (14-SEP)
36. The Thieves (2012)
Not Rated | 135 min | Action, Comedy, Crime
In order to let things cool down from their latest heist, Popeye and his group of thieves go to Macau on a job. But the mastermind behind this job is none other than Popeye's old partner ... See full summary »
Votes: 7,216 | Gross: $0.69M
Simply put, this was just a lot of fun with scheming, action, double crosses and humor. 8/10 (14-SEP)
37. My Awkward Sexual Adventure (2012)
Not Rated | 98 min | Comedy, Romance
To win back his ex-girlfriend, a conservative accountant enlists the help of an exotic dancer to guide him on a quest for sexual experience, leading him into a world of strip clubs, sensual massage parlors, cross-dressing and S & M.
Consistently funny, even if a little silly sometimes (furniture store does their own repo in the middle of the night and they all ignore the the woman in bondage ... things like that stood out because it's an otherwise grounded movie). Still a fun watch. 7/10 (15-SEP)
38. Insensibles (2012)
100 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery
Set in Catalonia, Painless weaves two stories: in one, starting during the Spanish Civil War and running through to the '60s, an asylum attempts to rehabilitate children who feel no pain, ... See full summary »
Started off rather well -- moody & intriguing. Shifting between timelines of the story was effective. But then it suddenly became clear that the story wasn't going anyplace interesting, and the climax made little sense. 5/10 (15-SEP)
39. Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
PG-13 | 94 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama
A pair of young lovers flee their New England town, which causes a local search party to fan out to find them.
Votes: 267,014 | Gross: $45.51M
Utterly charming and a just pleasure to watch. If you've never watched Wes Anderson before, the tone may throw you off at first but really that's the only problem I could see for someone not to like it. Loved it and will definitely watch again. 9/10 (15-SEP)
40. Room 237 (I) (2012)
Not Rated | 102 min | Documentary
Votes: 18,465 | Gross: $0.26M
It's not a documentary focused on explaining the definitive meaning of The Shining, but highlights some of the theories that have popped up over the years. Many of them are definitely a stretch, but they're all engrossing and that one film can generate so many different perspectives is fascinating. It was definitely well-done in the use of clips and voice-over, instead of talking heads. 8/10 (15-SEP)
41. The Time Being (2012)
Not Rated | 85 min | Mystery
An artist meets a mysterious and wealthy benefactor and their relationship is not what it appears to be.
This is another one that started off strongly in terms of style and intrigue, and I was hoping for much more. It ended up being rather mundane in the end, although the acting and everything was well done. 6/10 (15-SEP)
42. Fin (2012)
Not Rated | 88 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
A group of old friends gets together for a weekend in a mountain cabin. Years have gone by and yet nothing seems to have changed between them. But lurking behind the laughter and stories is... See full summary »
Boring and had me nodding off ... saw enough of it to know it was a letdown, but missed enough that I don't have to dwell on my disappointment. 4/10 (16-SEP)
43. The Five-Year Engagement (2012)
R | 124 min | Comedy, Romance
One year after meeting, Tom proposes to his girlfriend, Violet, but unexpected events keep tripping them up as they look to walk down the aisle together.
Votes: 83,857 | Gross: $28.84M
A little long and uneven, but I liked the characters and there were a lot of really funny parts. I know not everyone likes Jason Segel so that may tip opinion in the other direction. I think he's funny, and I was really impressed with Emily Blunt, I need to get around to seeing more of her films on my watchlist. 7/10 (22-SEP)
44. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)
PG-13 | 102 min | Drama, Romance
An introvert freshman is taken under the wings of two seniors who welcome him to the real world.
Votes: 394,395 | Gross: $17.74M
Really enjoyable movie with a good story & cast of characters to root for. I can see how the book is beloved by many, especially if you can personally relate to any of the problems or antics of the story ... I don't, so I didn't fall in love with it like I imagine some people definitely would. But really good nonetheless. 8/10 (13-OCT)
45. Grabbers (2012)
Not Rated | 94 min | Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi
When an island off the coast of Ireland is invaded by bloodsucking aliens, the heroes discover that getting drunk is the only way to survive.
A decent monster movie, certainly the drunkest I've seen. Some good laughs, too. The creature effects were nicely done, you can do pretty much anything with good cgi in low budget movies. 6/10 (18-OCT)
46. American Mary (2012)
R | 103 min | Drama, Horror
The allure of easy money sends Mary Mason, a medical student, into the world of underground surgeries which ends up leaving more marks on her than her so called "freakish" clients.
Twisted story of a surgical student drawn into the underground world of strange body modifications. Katharine Isabelle was good as her character's arc gets darker and darker. 7/10 (18-OCT)
47. Crave (I) (2012)
113 min | Drama, Thriller
A downtrodden photographer, haunted by the urban violence and decay around him, retreats into an inner world of dark fantasies.
This one was interesting as it could have stuck with one style and might have felt really slow as the main character gets more and more caught up in his paranoia and imagination. But there is quite a bit of humor through fantasy sequences which keeps it a little lighter. Unfortunately the film loses steam, which is too bad because it starts off well and underplayed. 6/10 (19-OCT)
48. [REC] 3: Genesis (2012)
R | 80 min | Horror, Thriller
A couple's wedding day turns horrific as some of the guests start showing signs of a strange illness.
Votes: 28,584 | Gross: $0.01M
I haven't seen the first two, but this films stands on its own. It's a decent zombie movie with an interesting locale for their attack: a wedding reception! Unfortunately suffers from the usual stupidity of characters in these movies. 5/10 (20-OCT)
49. Cockneys vs Zombies (2012)
Not Rated | 88 min | Action, Comedy, Crime
A gang of bank robbers fight their way out of a zombie-infested London.
It's no Shaun of the Dead, but it was still pretty funny and enjoyable. 6/10 (20-OCT)
50. In-lyu-myeol-mang-bo-go-seo (2012)
Not Rated | 115 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
The First Chapter of The Anthology Film- In A Brave New World, a mysterious virus brings the city to ruins and zombies flood the streets of Seoul. The Chapter 2, The Heavenly Creature, a ... See full summary »
This is really an anthology of 3 shorter films that are each distinct takes on the end of the world (zombies, enlightened robot, 'asteroid' hurtling towards earth). There's actually quite a bit of humor (some in the first, most in the third) and some intellectual ideas (second), so each one has something going for it. I'm not sure they really work off of each as a unified film, but on their own they are each good. 7/10 (21-OCT)
51. Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning (2012)
R | 114 min | Action, Horror, Mystery
John looks to take down Luc Deveraux after a home invasion claims his wife and daughter. The fight pits John against Andrew Scott and an army of genetically enhanced warriors; meanwhile, he must contend with a UniSol in relentless pursuit.
Votes: 17,301 | Gross: $0.01M
It was still called "Day of Reckoning" when I saw it. I don't think I've seen any of the other sequels since the original, so I don't know how this exactly fits into the storylines of the others. I wasn't expecting very much, but it was actually a decent bare-knuckles action film. JVC and Lundgren aren't actually in much of the film, which is a good or bad thing depending on your expectations. 6/10 (21-OCT)
52. After (I) (2012)
PG-13 | 90 min | Drama, Fantasy, Mystery
When two bus crash survivors awake to discover that they are the only people left in their town, they work together to unravel the truth behind the strange events.
Interesting concept, but disappointing result. Too much in terms of breakdowns in logic, and everything just felt like there was more promise than what ultimately ended up on screen. 4/10 (21-OCT)
53. Grave Encounters 2 (2012)
Not Rated | 95 min | Horror
A film student who is obsessed with the movie Grave Encounters sets out with his friends to visit the psychiatric hospital depicted in the original film.
I haven't seen the original, but it's not essential for this. It's an interesting meta-concept that the film student is obsessed with believing that the original movie is based on fact and leads him to search out the location. But otherwise this is a run-of-the-mill horror film. 5/10 (22-OCT)
54. Citadel (I) (2012)
R | 84 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller
An agoraphobic father teams up with a renegade priest to save his daughter from the clutches of a gang of twisted feral children who committed an act of violence against his family years earlier.
I actually found this to be genuinely creepy, so it gets bonus points for that. It didn't hold up through to the ending, so that was disappointing. But overall I give it a higher grade than most other reviews I've seen. 7/10 (22-OCT)
55. My Amityville Horror (2012)
Not Rated | 88 min | Documentary
For the first time in 35 years, Daniel Lutz recounts his version of the infamous Amityville haunting that terrified his family in 1975. George and Kathleen Lutz's story went on to inspire a... See full summary »
A documentary about the guy who's family (when he was a boy) was the basis for the Amityville hauntings stories and, later, movies. I wasn't very familiar with the background, so covering that material was new (not that I believe any of it). The guy comes off as a little unhinged, but there could be various reasons for that. Overall, not very interesting. 5/10 (23-OCT)
56. Resolution (III) (2012)
Not Rated | 93 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A man imprisons his estranged junkie friend in an isolated cabin in the boonies San Diego to force him through a week of sobriety, but the events of that week are being mysteriously manipulated.
There's a lot that I really liked about this film, it was a very indie mashup of a few genres -- particularly lots of humor but also suspense. It's good to go in with no expectations. Unfortunately it tries to do too much and suffers some definite logic problems. But it was still really entertaining, so it makes it easier to overlook. Would definitely recommend watching it, although it may not hold up on repeat viewings. 7/10 (23-OCT)
57. Sushi Girl (2012)
R | 98 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller
Upon his release from prison, Fish is brought to an abandoned restaurant by his old associate, Duke, to celebrate his newfound freedom. However, there's unfinished business that Duke is determined to solve.
I wanted to like this more because of the setup, but it was too cartoonish and downright annoying much of the time. 4/10 (24-OCT)
58. Deddo sushi (2012)
Not Rated | 92 min | Action, Comedy, Horror
Keiko, the daughter of a legendary sushi chef, runs away from home when his Karate-style regimen becomes too severe. Finding work at a rural hot springs inn, she is ridiculed by the eccentric staff and guests.
Purposely over-the-top and zany, it's something to watch with an audience knowing what to expect. Can't say that it's great cinema, but certainly good for some cheesy laughs. 6/10 (24-OCT)
59. In Their Skin (2012)
Not Rated | 97 min | Horror, Thriller
The Hughes cottage vacation is violently interrupted by a family on a murderous and identity stealing journey, in search of the "perfect" life.
The pace was rather subdued ... maybe it just felt slow because you pretty much knew what was coming and it was taking forever to get there. Overall it was well-done, but still felt like it could have been better. 6/10 (25-OCT)
60. ParaNorman (2012)
PG | 92 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy
A misunderstood boy takes on ghosts, zombies and grown-ups to save his town from a centuries-old curse.
Votes: 81,088 | Gross: $56.00M
Original, amusing, nice animation and a good family film. 7/10 (24-NOV)
61. Savages (2012)
R | 131 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
Pot growers Ben and Chon face off against the Mexican drug cartel who kidnapped their shared girlfriend.
Votes: 110,438 | Gross: $47.38M
I was annoyed by just about every character, so that doesn't really help to enjoy the film. Neither does the nonsensical path of the story, especially the end. 4/10 (24-NOV)
62. The Watch (I) (2012)
R | 102 min | Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi
Four men who form a neighborhood watch group as a way to get out of their day-to-day family routines find themselves defending the Earth from an alien invasion.
Votes: 110,773 | Gross: $35.35M
Not as funny as I hoped, although there was still a lot of laughs. 6/10 (24-NOV)
63. Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)
R | 86 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Three magazine employees head out on an assignment to interview a guy who placed a classified advertisement seeking a companion for time travel.
Votes: 107,582 | Gross: $4.01M
Very much indie (i.e., slow and about the characters), so if you're fine with that then this is a nice movie. Has lots of familiar, but lesser-known, faces that I happen to be fans of. Aubrey Plaza and Mark Duplass were great ... wish Jake Johnson's (Nick from New Girl) side story had been more interesting. 7/10 (24-NOV)
64. Ted (2012)
R | 106 min | Comedy, Fantasy
John Bennett, a man whose childhood wish of bringing his teddy bear to life came true, now must decide between keeping the relationship with the bear or his girlfriend, Lori.
Votes: 510,219 | Gross: $218.82M
Was surprised at how far they took things sometimes; some parts didn't work, but that was made up for by how hilarious other bits were. Definitely not for everyone, but a good laugh. 7/10 (25-NOV)
65. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
PG-13 | 169 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy
A reluctant Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, sets out to the Lonely Mountain with a spirited group of dwarves to reclaim their mountain home, and the gold within it from the dragon Smaug.
Votes: 688,304 | Gross: $303.00M
If you like the LotR movies, then this is for you. It feels like an "Extended Edition" already, because there are many scenes that aren't strictly necessary or were expanded on from the book ... but as we saw with the LotR movies, fans want as much as possible and this first film should satisfy it. But I completely acknowledge that it may be too long for many people. Personally, I don't mind. On a separate technical note, the high frame rate version makes the 3D and the visual detail quite stunning ... but perhaps too "smooth" in other areas. I'm still on the fence about that. But as a movie, I was satisfied and look forward to seeing it again. 9/10 (14-DEC)
66. Life of Pi (2012)
PG | 127 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
A young man who survives a disaster at sea is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an unexpected connection with another survivor: a fearsome Bengal tiger.
Votes: 492,819 | Gross: $124.99M
I've read the book, so on one hand it's amazing to see that they were able to faithfully translate it so well to the screen. But at the same time, because it's so well done, it would be interesting to watch it from a fresh perspective and be more surprised as the story unfolds. I don't connect with the spiritual/faith aspects of the story, but as a fable it's very good. Suraj Sharma is well-cast as Pi, and technologically the effects and look of the film are top notch. Realizing this adaptation to the screen should justly merit Best Director for Ang Lee, but it looks like it'll be a competitive year. 8/10 (15-DEC)
67. Holy Motors (2012)
Not Rated | 115 min | Drama, Fantasy
From dawn to dusk, a few hours in the shadowy life of a mystic man named Monsieur Oscar.
More like 'holy wtf?!'. This completely defies description, but at the same time its bizarreness is captivating. Has to be seen to be understood ... although I'm not sure it can be completely understood. It's either brilliant or hopelessly mad ... I can't decide. 7/10 (21-DEC)
68. Still Mine (2012)
PG-13 | 102 min | Drama
An elderly couple fight against local authorities in rural New Brunswick to build their final home.
Votes: 3,412 | Gross: $1.15M
Finely acted (James Cromwell is a perfect grouchy, exasperated old man), but is rather slow-going as would be expected. If you're interested in seeing a loving couple face old age, dementia, and rural building code bureaucrats then it might be more up your alley. 6/10 (4-JAN)
69. Stories We Tell (2012)
PG-13 | 108 min | Documentary
A film that excavates layers of myth and memory to find the elusive truth at the core of a family of storytellers.
Votes: 10,504 | Gross: $1.60M
The story of Sarah Polley's mother is interesting itself, and some of her family members make for good interviewees onscreen. But beyond that, the documentary upends certain conventions and adds a new layer to the storytelling. In fact, the Polley history is just an example that is used to show how memories can vary and be interpreted/remembered differently. 7/10 (5-JAN)
70. Laurence Anyways (2012)
Not Rated | 168 min | Drama, Romance
A drama that charts ten years in the relationship of a male-to-female transsexual's relationship with her lover.
Dolan's films continue to be ambitious in their artfulness ... and length! This one is more than 2.5 hrs long, but that time is mostly put to good use in following the ups and downs in the relationship of the two main characters. There are a few detours or style embellishments that don't seem necessary, but overall the unique storyline and strong acting make this a solid film. 7/10 (5-JAN)
71. Rebelle (2012)
Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, War
Somewhere in Sub-Saharan Africa, Komona, a 14-year-old girl, tells her unborn child growing inside her the story of her life since she has been at war. Everything started when she was abducted by the rebel army at the age of 12.
Votes: 6,343 | Gross: $0.07M
The familiar "child soldier" premise had me wary going in, but this film was really well done. There are some fantasy/hallucinogenic aspects to the storyline, so it's best to know that beforehand (which I did) so that it's not off-putting in what you'd expect to be a completely realistic film. The actors do a great job, considering they are novices. I can agree with this one being Canada's nomination for Best Foreign Language film at the Oscars. 7/10 (8-JAN)
72. The World Before Her (2012)
TV-PG | 90 min | Documentary
Two young women follow completely divergent paths in the new, modernizing India-one wants to become Miss India, the other is a fierce Hindu Nationalist prepared to kill and die for her beliefs.
Contrasting the two "camps" attended by these girls (one preparing for the Miss India finals, another following the teachings of Hindu nationalists) was really intriguing. Not only does it show the extremities of options for Indian women, but there's also a surprising similarity sometimes. 7/10 (9-JAN)
73. Midnight's Children (2012)
TV-14 | 146 min | Drama
A pair of children, born within moments of India gaining independence from Britain, grow up in the country that is nothing like their parent's generation.
Votes: 2,505 | Gross: $0.14M
While the story is interesting (if you just go with the fantasy elements), I feel like the movie could have been better if it were more 'serious'. The acting felt a bit too light, and not enough time was spent on ramifications of certain big events ... odd considering this is a really long movie! It seems a perfect example of "the book is way better", and I haven't even read it ... it just felt like there were bits missing, and it didn't quite reach where it should hae. 6/10 (10-JAN)
74. Cosmopolis (2012)
R | 109 min | Drama
Riding across Manhattan in a stretch limo in order to get a haircut, a 28-year-old billionaire asset manager's day devolves into an odyssey with a cast of characters that start to tear his world apart.
Votes: 40,087 | Gross: $0.74M
In terms of strange movies about a guy riding around in a limo, I have to say that Holy Motors was way more entertaining than this -- and I'm not even sure what to make of that one! This movie was just so slow, and the dialogue so dense, it was difficult to get into or care about anything. In the Q&A afterward, Cronenberg mentioned that the dialogue is exactly from the book (didn't know it was based on a book!), so I have a feeling that reading it would help understand the movie. 4/10 (11-JAN)
75. The End of Time (2012)
109 min | Documentary
Explores our perception of time.
Votes: 321 | Gross: $0.00M
I was hoping this would be more investigative but the stuff that Mettler filmed, while sometimes intriguing or fantastic-looking on screen, was often only tangentially related to the concept of time. Too much talking-head stuff going on with mumbo jumbo. 5/10 (12-JAN)
76. Amour (2012)
PG-13 | 127 min | Drama
Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.
Votes: 78,753 | Gross: $6.74M
Between this and 'Still', I think I've had my fill for a while of films dealing with growing old. This movie is sloooow, but that's certainly not unexpected -- just need to be prepared when watching it. Emmanuelle Riva is excellent and deserves her nominations; the progression of Anne's condition is heartbreaking. The movie is well done, but not something I'd sit through again. 7/10 (19-JAN)
77. Les Misérables (2012)
PG-13 | 158 min | Drama, History, Musical
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.
Votes: 266,889 | Gross: $148.81M
I've never seen the show and am familiar with only little bits of the music. Given how popular it is, I'm surprised I didn't find the songs more memorable ... but I'm not a big musical fan anyway, so that could explain it. Unfortunately the songs take up way too much time getting plot points across, so the movie drags on way, way too long. I thought Anne Hathaway was impressive, but otherwise I was rather bored. 5/10 (19-JAN)
78. Lincoln (2012)
PG-13 | 150 min | Biography, Drama, History
As the War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.
Votes: 214,641 | Gross: $182.21M
Considering most of the movie is listening to politicians talk, it's exceptionally impressive how engaging it is. The acting is thoroughly excellent, especially Daniel Day-Lewis. It's interesting how so much of the story still resonates with the present day. 8/10 (19-JAN)
79. Zero Dark Thirty (2012)
R | 157 min | Drama, Thriller
A chronicle of the decade-long hunt for al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden after the September 2001 attacks, and his death at the hands of the Navy S.E.A.L.s Team 6 in May 2011.
Votes: 234,997 | Gross: $95.72M
Impressively done, keeping up the drama for a decade-long manhunt that covers both the day-to-day grind of uncovering clues and also the tense mission to take out bin Laden. It was all matter-of-fact without injecting political bias, so it's surprising to hear some of the criticisms that have come out. I thought it was excellent and am surprised by Bigelow's directing snub. 8/10 (19-JAN)
80. Argo (2012)
R | 120 min | Biography, Drama, Thriller
Acting under the cover of a Hollywood producer scouting a location for a science fiction film, a CIA agent launches a dangerous operation to rescue six Americans in Tehran during the U.S. hostage crisis in Iran in 1979.
Votes: 500,559 | Gross: $136.03M
Very well done as a movie, but totally gives off the "Hollywood-ized" vibe of making things more dramatic than they really were. But from setting the scene, to making it feel like late 70s/early 80s (I don't think that Boba Fett was available, though), and sustaining the suspense, it was all very good. 8/10 (25-JAN)
81. Django Unchained (2012)
R | 165 min | Drama, Western
With the help of a German bounty hunter, a freed slave sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner.
Votes: 1,096,616 | Gross: $162.81M
This was great right up until the last 30 mins or so. I felt it ran out of steam and totally could have ended earlier with the right tweaks. But still, very good. Christoph Waltz is deserving of the Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Quentin Tarantino may be a great writer & director, but he should really stay behind the camera. 8/10 (25-JAN)
82. Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
R | 122 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own.
Votes: 584,898 | Gross: $132.09M
The acting was superb and felt completely genuine ... Cooper and Lawrence were great, definitely deserving of their nominations. Nice to see De Niro and Chris Tucker in non-annoying roles. Very good story, and I noticed that the camera work was a little different but fitting. 8/10 (1-FEB)
83. To Sir, with Love (1967)
Unrated | 105 min | Drama
Idealistic engineer-trainee and his experiences in teaching a group of rambunctious white high school students from the slums of London's East End.
Votes: 13,148 | Gross: $42.43M