The following are films that I have absolutely cherished in 2012. The below list is composed of movies that I have seen multiple times (or want to watch multiple times if it will hurry up and get released on DVD). Being able to see a movie numerous times is one of the criteria to make it on the Best list; another is me telling random homeless people about it. My aim was to have a diversified list of movies-documentaries to foreign films. As well as a blend of films from SXSW, AFF, and Fantastic Fest. Number 12 felt forced. I wanted to put other films in that spot. The Avengers was a ★★★★ movie, I won't deny that. The desire to have not as well known films on my list was kind of a goal...
I have enjoyed this film 4 times this year: twice in theaters, a Redbox rental, and a fourth time on Netflix streaming. Maggie Grace was great as the helpless daughter of the President, and Guy Pierce was surprising as the anti-hero Snow. Haven't seen Lockout yet? Well if you have Netflix you can totes stream it TODAY!
It is hard to explain The FP to someone. It is so bizarre and fresh that I went to Alamo Drafthouse twice to see this work of wonderment. Guess what? It's streaming on Netflix. If you see this and like it, JTRO has another film coming soon...
This was such a captivating film. If you are not a fan of foreign films, Monsieur Lazhar might be the one that changes your mind. In retrospect, the chemistry between Lazhar and his students is what made the film so damn delightful! *Cough Cough* It's available to stream on Netflix *Cough Cough*.
You can laugh at murder. Trust me. This is the best movie I have ever seen Jack Black in, a close second would be Bongwater. Matthew McConaughey has had a very impressive year, and Shirley MacLaine is the best crotchety old woman. I attended two press screenings of this just to take it in, and have streamed it on Netflix. I am still kicking myself for not attending a press roundtable discussion of Bernie during SXSW. For a bit of extra homework get a copy of the Texas Monthly with Jack and Matthew on the cover. Great article by Skip Hollandsworth about the film.
Up late and feel the need for an analytical look at Stanley Kubrick's The Shining? This mind-altering documentary will satisfy that desire. Months after seeing Room 237, I still use what it teaches when I write (I'm a failed screenwriter). Room 237 does for The Shining what Jaws did for the ocean...I don't know what that means. Room 237 will be released on DVD in February 2013.
Other critics hated this film, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is such an incredible true story-starting in Korea and ending on Normandy Beach. Yes My Way is bloody, but so was Saving Private Ryan. So there. My Way is streaming on Netflix, so take the journey.
WOW! The plane crash was incredible on the Paramount Theater screen. Denzel Washington was friggin' excellent, as was Kelly Reilly. Whoops, I forgot to mention John Goodman, Bruce Greenwood, and Don Cheadle. Just a badass action & emotional ride.
Eyes of Thailand
Eye opening documentary about elephants stepping on landmines, and the work of Soraida Salwala to give these giants prosthetic legs. Very moving and touching.
If a film I think is going to be God awful is actually the complete opposite, then you know it is going here. That is the case with Dredd. I thought it was going to be stupid-the Sly Stallone version was so damn cheesy! Gritty, dangerous, and action-packed. Did absolutely horrible at the box office, sorry Mr. Urban.
Ben Affleck has turned his career around as an actor-director. The Town was Affleck getting his feet wet. With Argo he plunged into the deep end. With this film you don't know how it is going to end, unless your intellectual and read the book before going and seeing it. I will be very surprised if this doesn't get at least one Oscar nomination. I am not doing anymore Oscar predictions just in case I'm wrong.
Silver Linings Playbook
Jennifer Lawrence redeemed her performance from The Hunger Game with Silver Linings Playbook. I didn't see this as a romantic comedy that others painted it as, I saw it as a staple of our neurotic society. Everyone has a tick in this film, and it was nice to see Chris Tucker not being such a rowdy mess. Absolutely loved this movie. Loved, loved, loved.
The Avengers has changed the name of the game. A series of movies can now accumulate into a very LARGE film. What is there to say about the Avengers that hasn't already been said?
Hulk stops a huge fish creature that is the size of several Double-Decker buses with his fist.
Beauty is Embarrassing
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Paris By Night
The Raid: Redemption
Safety Not Guaranteed