This is a purely personal collection of the best that 2012 had to offer. Overall, not a bad year for cinema and it was a struggle to separate the excellent from the very good. Films that just missed out of the list but I still felt needed to be commended include:
Woman In Black
The Pirates! An Adventure with Scientists!
The Cabin In The Woods
The Hunger Games
Beasts Of The Southern Wild
Rust And Bone
Silver Linings Playbook
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
And now here we go with my Top Ten of 2012
Very rarely does a film make me laugh this hard and this often as Ted did. So much so, I saw it three times in the space of weeks and it still made me laugh just as hard. What also worked for me was that underneath all that obscenity and shock value, this had a big, enormous heart.
9. ANGELS’ SHARE
Ken Loach’s delightful comedy drama that started off as another rough, tough slice of real life but ended up as a jolly Ealing comedy style piece. Brilliantly acted by the unknown cast, it had so much to enjoy and proof that no matter how hard life is, there is always a little hope out there.
8. SOUND OF MY VOICE
This small independent movie really threw me off balance. A neat little simple idea of a cult where the leader is a girl from the future. Is she real? Is she a fraud? Just when you think you have the answer, the best curveball this side of Donnie Darko is thrown and you are left wondering for days after.
7. THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
Any other year, this would have easily been number 1 but it was a strong year and the third and final of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy is, for my money, the best. An epic adventure full of interesting plot twists and fully developed characters while still maintaining it’s comic book heart. And Anne Hathaway as Catwoman? Need we ask for more? Shame the film came with the tragic events in the US on it’s opening night. Intelligent film making.
6. AVENGERS ASSEMBLE
Just pipping The Dark Knight in the comic book stakes as Joss Whedon finally brings us all those Marvel goodies in an exciting, often hilarious mix while still satisfying the geek in me. The action was well staged, the performances perfect and Mark Ruffalo finally managed to nail Bruce Banner. Plus the funniest fight sequence ever between Hulk and Loki. What more do you want?
5. THE RAID
A breathless, non-stop action frenzy that was relentless for the whole of its running time. Superbly staged fight sequences that just got better and better as it continued on its way, with plenty of room still to care about the lead characters. This was an awe-inspiring experience and still is.
4. THE LIFE OF PI
An extraordinary achievement. My hatred of all things 3D was somewhat thrown off balance by the pure beauty of this piece. A wondrous, colourful adventure and a film that was full of hope and faith. A film that lingered long after it was seen.
3. THE IMPOSTER
I saw this at a film convention and didn’t have a clue what it was about. I am so glad I didn’t because this was the most unbelievable story I have ever witnessed…and it was true. A remarkable documentary that gripped from the opening scenes, that was funny, amazing and utterly, jaw-droppingly incredible.
Bond is back and never has he been better. Sam Mendes takes the reins of the most successful film franchise and produced the most successful Bond ever. Not just an action-packed thrill ride, although nothing can compare to the opening sequence, this had a strong storyline, great action, a beautiful look and tons of delightful surprises. Just joyous.
Ben Affleck’s brilliant thriller not only had the feel of a film from the 70s, it was surprisingly funny, richly intelligent and the last 30 minutes have been the tenses since Die Hard first came out. My finger nails still haven’t recovered. An absolute cracking film that just kept on delivering and it is, without a doubt, my favourite film of the year.