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12.24.2012by: Chris Bumbray

Top 10 Movies of 2012 (Chris Bumbray)

Here we are again! Yet another year draws to a close, and overall 2012 has been an absolutely top-notch year for movies. We saw Christopher Nolan's DARK KNIGHT sage draw to a superb (if controversial) close, along with movies like THE AVENGERS and SKYFALL -- which proved that a movie can make billions and still be good...heck, maybe even great.

Before we get to the good stuff though, I feel obliged to point out that, like any year, 2012 had a few stinkers. Luckily they weren't really films anyone really cared about. Without wasting anymore time writing about them that I already have, I'd say the worst of 2012 for me included: BATTLESHIP, GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE, PLAYING FOR KEEPS, THE GUILT TRIP and THE DEVIL INSIDE. Click here to check out my TOP 10 FROM 2011.

Honorable Mention- Cloud Atlas

Truth be told, there were a lot of other movies that I saw this year that I liked a lot more than CLOUD ATLAS. THE AVENGERS, SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED, AMOUR and FLIGHT are among them. However, CLOUD ATLAS, even if it wasn't quite the triumph we hoped it would be, had enough brilliance and ambition to make it a must for some special consideration. It's also a film that will likely improve with time, and generate a cult following. I like it, but maybe one day, I'll love it.

READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE!

10- Rust and Bone

If you've seen director Jacques Audiard's previous film, A PROPHET, you'll understand why I was so excited to see RUST & BONE. An unconventional (to say the least) love story, it's about a hulking brute/street fighter, who falls in love with a damaged (spiritually and physically) dolphin trainer. Together, the two manage to bring each other back from the brink, making this one of the most unexpectedly life-affirming movies of the year.

9- Silver Linings Playbook

This is the best romantic dramedy since JERRY MAGUIRE, and the type of film someone like Cameron Crowe should be making. Amazing then that it came from David O. Russell- a director who's not really known for this kind of thing. In the end, he ended up being the perfect choice, bringing an edge and irreverence this might not have otherwise had. And Jennifer Lawrence- who knew she had it in her?

READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE!

8- The Master

For sure, THE MASTER isn't a film for everyone. It's long, complex, and occasionally a struggle to get through- but give it a chance and you'll be rewarded with one of the most thematically rich films of the year. Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Joaquin Phoenix are both revelatory in Paul Thomas Anderson's expose of fraud religions (with Scientology no doubt being a huge influence). This is the kind of film you really need to see more than once to really get. Heck, I've seen it twice, and I'm still not sure I "get it", but I sure liked it.

READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE!

7- The Perks of Being a Wallflower

PERKS is a film that totally caught me off-guard. I was originally going to blow-off the TIFF screening, but luckily, that didn't happen and I ended up falling in love with what has to be the best teen film since JUNO. It's a beautiful flick, and some kind of tiny masterpiece of the high-school genre. John Hughes would be proud. Parts of this movie devastated me, and it's one of the few films I've seen recently that almost moved me to tears.

READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE!

6- Zero Dark Thirty

Yes, Katherine Bigelow's ZERO DARK THIRTY is as good as you've heard. In every way, this is the perfect follow-up to THE HURT LOCKER, taking a much different, much quieter look at the war on terror, with Jessica Chastain's driven, nearly-robotic CIA agent, Maya- being an interesting contrast to Jeremy Renner's loose-cannon in that earlier film. Chastain seems a shoe-in for best actress at this point, and hopefully she wins. This is one you'll likely be hearing loads and loads about in the next few months. Years from now, this will likely be considered a defining film of our era.

5- Killing Them Softly

The failure of KILLING THEM SOFTLY was probably inevitable. No one will ever accuse director Andrew Dominik of being particularly commercial, but to me, this was equal to his other (amazing) Brad Pitt flop, THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD. Dominik's a maverick, and we need more like him. KILLING THEM SOFTLY is a stunning piece of work, and one that I'm almost certain, will be hailed as some kind of masterpiece ten or twenty years from now.

READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE!

4- Argo

Ben Affleck's three-for-three in my book. Who would have thought back in the "Bennifer" days that eventually Affleck would emerge as one of the best actor/directors since Clint Eastwood. That ARGO made $100 million dollars gives me hope that maybe audiences aren't as afraid of smart films as Hollywood thinks. The "stranger than fiction" caper, and the pitch-perfect performances from Affleck and Co., make this one of the year's happiest success stories. It's two hours of pure cinematic joy.

READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE!

3- The Dark Knight Rises

I know that THE DARK KNIGHT RISES has been one of the more divisive films to come out this year, with many- such as myself, adoring it- while others criticized it sharply (and their criticisms were valid- as the story does indeed have holes). But- I still loved THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, and for me, it was the perfect end to a pretty perfect series if not quite the game changer THE DARK KNIGHT was (a tall order). Still, this came pretty damn close. I can't wait to see what Christopher Nolan does next. And if he decides to return to the saga one day- well...I won't complain.

READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE!

2- Skyfall

In my wildest dreams, I never thought James Bond's return to the silver screen after a four year absence would have been this triumphant. Truly, SKYFALL picks up on the promise of CASINO ROYALE, and takes it to another level. Of the fifty year saga, I'd say this is the best Bond movie in over forty of those years. Director Sam Mendes, cinematographer Roger Deakins, composer Thomas Newman, actors Daniel Craig, Judy Dench, Javier Bardem, and (especially) writer John Logan have all proven that a Bond movie can be a whole lot more than people give it credit for. As a devotee, the 140 minutes of this outing were pure bliss.

READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE!

1- Django Unchained

I got a bit of grief giving DJANGO UNCHAINED a 10/10, as I've given two others this year (the next two films on this list actually). What can I say, I was lucky enough to see three films this year I completely fell in love with. To me, DJANGO UNCHAINED is Tarantino's best since PULP FICTION. While I've loved all of his movies, there's just something about DJANGO that gets me. Maybe it's the emotional heft of Foxx's performance and the very real, very ugly legacy of slavery that gives DJANGO an edge and urgency that caught me by surprise, even after devouring the screenplay a full year ago. Whatever it is, to me this is a pretty perfect film- and my top pick of 2012. All hail QT!!

READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE!

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1:02PM on 01/01/2013

Respect this film a lot

Not on my top ten but it is a teen movie that doesn't treat characters like shit...very well thought out and executed film
Not on my top ten but it is a teen movie that doesn't treat characters like shit...very well thought out and executed film
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1:01PM on 01/01/2013

PTA is the master

His films aren't friendly or forgiving for those who don't want to think.... I loved this film and I have a feeling it is going to get no nominations
His films aren't friendly or forgiving for those who don't want to think.... I loved this film and I have a feeling it is going to get no nominations
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1:00PM on 01/01/2013

A classic

The fact that this romance movie is not doing as well as Twilight just shows that Americans have their heads up their asses.
The fact that this romance movie is not doing as well as Twilight just shows that Americans have their heads up their asses.
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12:59PM on 01/01/2013

Amazing film

It is between this and the Master for best film for me...still have a few left to see
It is between this and the Master for best film for me...still have a few left to see
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12:30PM on 12/29/2012

Wheres the love for Looper?

Great list but I was jaw dropped when Looper didnt make the cut but I was okay as soon as I saw Django at no. 1!! My favorite film of the year as well!!
Great list but I was jaw dropped when Looper didnt make the cut but I was okay as soon as I saw Django at no. 1!! My favorite film of the year as well!!
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+1
11:07PM on 12/26/2012
What? No Looper?
What? No Looper?
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9:29AM on 12/26/2012
Mediocre movie.
Mediocre movie.
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4:06PM on 12/25/2012
Cried like every 5 minutes throughout this film. No shame.
Cried like every 5 minutes throughout this film. No shame.
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+1
1:34PM on 12/25/2012

The Year's Biggest Surprise

I had little to no expectations with this film, and yet I could not be anymore surprised with how great this movie truly is. The story and it's characters truly are golden. In an age where we are bombarded with bad High Schooler teenager vampire "so called" stories........(cough) "Twilight" (cough). This film is the hope I have been patiently waiting for.
I had little to no expectations with this film, and yet I could not be anymore surprised with how great this movie truly is. The story and it's characters truly are golden. In an age where we are bombarded with bad High Schooler teenager vampire "so called" stories........(cough) "Twilight" (cough). This film is the hope I have been patiently waiting for.
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12:14PM on 12/25/2012

surprised

im surprised that Dark Knight Made the list by not Avengers. I still have a few more movies to see before i make my top movie list, but Avengers will easily make top 3. (TDKR would be lucky to crack top 20)
im surprised that Dark Knight Made the list by not Avengers. I still have a few more movies to see before i make my top movie list, but Avengers will easily make top 3. (TDKR would be lucky to crack top 20)
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8:45AM on 12/25/2012
Great list like usual. I agree with you all the way through. I would like to see Bernie (jack blacks performance at least) and Get the Gringo make some lists as well.
Great list like usual. I agree with you all the way through. I would like to see Bernie (jack blacks performance at least) and Get the Gringo make some lists as well.
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2:09AM on 12/25/2012
Liked the movie a lot but found it to be vastly overrated.
Liked the movie a lot but found it to be vastly overrated.
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2:08AM on 12/25/2012
Jesse James is my favorite movie ever, and this is my favorite film of the year.
Jesse James is my favorite movie ever, and this is my favorite film of the year.
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4:39PM on 12/24/2012
This film made a great trailer. I don't understand the overall praise of the film. It was very poorly paced, went on far too long and nothing particularly interesting happened in it (aside from the plot to get them out of Iran). Surprisingly mundane compared to Affleck's other works.
This film made a great trailer. I don't understand the overall praise of the film. It was very poorly paced, went on far too long and nothing particularly interesting happened in it (aside from the plot to get them out of Iran). Surprisingly mundane compared to Affleck's other works.
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4:36PM on 12/24/2012
Beautiful film. Always likened it to a 21st John Hughes movie. So well made, wonderfully realized, heartfelt and emotional.
Beautiful film. Always likened it to a 21st John Hughes movie. So well made, wonderfully realized, heartfelt and emotional.
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4:35PM on 12/24/2012
Not gonna lie, but the

SPOILERS

Scene where Amy Adams was giving Philip Seymour Hoffman a handjob and talking dirty was uncomfortable to watch with my father, to say the least
Not gonna lie, but the

SPOILERS

Scene where Amy Adams was giving Philip Seymour Hoffman a handjob and talking dirty was uncomfortable to watch with my father, to say the least
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+2
12:39PM on 12/24/2012

To each their own

But this third entry was not that good. It was always going to be hard to top TDK, but by increasing the scale of TDKR, Nolan seemed to lose control for the first time as a director. But like the title says, to each their own.
But this third entry was not that good. It was always going to be hard to top TDK, but by increasing the scale of TDKR, Nolan seemed to lose control for the first time as a director. But like the title says, to each their own.
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2:18PM on 12/24/2012
Agreed, well said.
Agreed, well said.
-10
11:57AM on 12/24/2012
Way too high on the list. Movie was OK at best and was a disappointing conclusion to the series. I agree with PuffCity, I have no idea why people have such a boner for this movie. I tried watching it yet again and it's too slow, filled with plot holes and makes Bruce Wayne out to be a bitch by turning in his cowl because of a girl, when he set out to put on the cowl for what happened to his parents. Batman would never give up on his city and leave it in the hands of a former cop with no
Way too high on the list. Movie was OK at best and was a disappointing conclusion to the series. I agree with PuffCity, I have no idea why people have such a boner for this movie. I tried watching it yet again and it's too slow, filled with plot holes and makes Bruce Wayne out to be a bitch by turning in his cowl because of a girl, when he set out to put on the cowl for what happened to his parents. Batman would never give up on his city and leave it in the hands of a former cop with no training.
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11:17AM on 12/24/2012
Good movie but I wasn't thrilled with the ending at Bond's old house, turning the movie into a Home Alone scenario. Still, the rest of the movie was great, especially Bardem and the cinematography, and it's one of the best Bond movies, definitely top 5.
Good movie but I wasn't thrilled with the ending at Bond's old house, turning the movie into a Home Alone scenario. Still, the rest of the movie was great, especially Bardem and the cinematography, and it's one of the best Bond movies, definitely top 5.
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-10
11:15AM on 12/24/2012
I love Nolan and his Batman series, but I was truly disappointed by The Dark Knight Rises. It's not a bad movie, but it doesn't even come close to The Dark Knight, and I still don't understand how people keep praising it so much. This movie had so many flaws compared to every other Chris Nolan movie that am I surprised Nolan directed it.
I love Nolan and his Batman series, but I was truly disappointed by The Dark Knight Rises. It's not a bad movie, but it doesn't even come close to The Dark Knight, and I still don't understand how people keep praising it so much. This movie had so many flaws compared to every other Chris Nolan movie that am I surprised Nolan directed it.
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11:11AM on 12/24/2012
Great movie that hasn't received the praise it deserves. Glad it's on your list.
Great movie that hasn't received the praise it deserves. Glad it's on your list.
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9:54AM on 12/24/2012
You have a damn good list, and glad to see films like Rust and Bone on it.
You have a damn good list, and glad to see films like Rust and Bone on it.
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8:57AM on 12/24/2012
Why even listen to all those ignorant Schmoes? I've probably rated like 4 or 5 films (granted, not all of this year) a 10 this year. It happens. If anything I didn't get the 10 for Argo, but that's just me personally.
Why even listen to all those ignorant Schmoes? I've probably rated like 4 or 5 films (granted, not all of this year) a 10 this year. It happens. If anything I didn't get the 10 for Argo, but that's just me personally.
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8:54AM on 12/24/2012
Best teen film since Juno? I hope that's a fucking joke. Bumbray liked Juno?
Best teen film since Juno? I hope that's a fucking joke. Bumbray liked Juno?
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8:34AM on 12/24/2012

THANK YOU

Perks was a drastically underrated film that far too few people saw. Saw it twice, moved me to tears both times (even more the second time, if that's possible). Logan Lerman was FANTASTIC. Can't believe this film is getting literally zero awards buzz. My #1 movie of the year, hands down.
Perks was a drastically underrated film that far too few people saw. Saw it twice, moved me to tears both times (even more the second time, if that's possible). Logan Lerman was FANTASTIC. Can't believe this film is getting literally zero awards buzz. My #1 movie of the year, hands down.
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8:22AM on 12/24/2012
Great list Chris and completely agree on Cloud Atlas.
Great list Chris and completely agree on Cloud Atlas.
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-3
8:06AM on 12/24/2012
It awaits it's second screening. Right now all I can say is I was in awe of the cinematography for which I really hope Deakins gets an Oscar. It's a beautifully looking movie... that sometimes felt like it was lacking in content. It does pick up its pace when Bardem shows up but before that I felt it was rather uninteresting
It awaits it's second screening. Right now all I can say is I was in awe of the cinematography for which I really hope Deakins gets an Oscar. It's a beautifully looking movie... that sometimes felt like it was lacking in content. It does pick up its pace when Bardem shows up but before that I felt it was rather uninteresting
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+5
8:04AM on 12/24/2012
It's still my favorite of the year. I really hope Django can top it, but even if it doesn't I think it's still one hell of a movie to sum up the whole year. Epic, mesmerizing, perfectly acted, masterfully shot. Like you said, sure it has plot holes, most action movies do, but it's the combination of the visual artistry present on screen, with the engaging characters and a great score that make this a perfect conclusion to the trilogy
It's still my favorite of the year. I really hope Django can top it, but even if it doesn't I think it's still one hell of a movie to sum up the whole year. Epic, mesmerizing, perfectly acted, masterfully shot. Like you said, sure it has plot holes, most action movies do, but it's the combination of the visual artistry present on screen, with the engaging characters and a great score that make this a perfect conclusion to the trilogy
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+0
8:01AM on 12/24/2012
Very good movie, not on par with his earlier work, but still very well made and intrugeing. Great acting and direction
Very good movie, not on par with his earlier work, but still very well made and intrugeing. Great acting and direction
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-4
8:00AM on 12/24/2012
I really enjoyed this one. It was actually quite funny at parts and it surprised nme how entertaining it was, since the Assassination was such a BORE
I really enjoyed this one. It was actually quite funny at parts and it surprised nme how entertaining it was, since the Assassination was such a BORE
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+1
7:58AM on 12/24/2012
Good movie to do a HM... It's really difficult to grade this movie or put on a scale. I guess I could say that even though I found the main idea a bit silly I was in awe with some of the storylines. Some naturally I didn't care for as much, but the ones that I did were quite impressive cinematic achievements.
Good movie to do a HM... It's really difficult to grade this movie or put on a scale. I guess I could say that even though I found the main idea a bit silly I was in awe with some of the storylines. Some naturally I didn't care for as much, but the ones that I did were quite impressive cinematic achievements.
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5:56AM on 12/24/2012

Who knew she had it in her?

Who knew she had it in her? Really? Anyone who saw Winter's Bone (which she was nominated for a freakin' Oscar for!) would have seen she was a major talent and future star. Kind of surprised at that comment.
Who knew she had it in her? Really? Anyone who saw Winter's Bone (which she was nominated for a freakin' Oscar for!) would have seen she was a major talent and future star. Kind of surprised at that comment.
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+1
2:41AM on 12/24/2012
I still haven't seen 6(!) movies on this list so this gives me hope there's much more to come when I get to see all these movies. As for the ones I did see (HM, 5,4,3,2), all of them are also in my top 20. Good list sir.
I still haven't seen 6(!) movies on this list so this gives me hope there's much more to come when I get to see all these movies. As for the ones I did see (HM, 5,4,3,2), all of them are also in my top 20. Good list sir.
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+7
2:32AM on 12/24/2012
Winter's bone kind of gave away Jennifer's talent
Winter's bone kind of gave away Jennifer's talent
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1:58AM on 12/24/2012
Nice list or may be the best list i've seen
Nice list or may be the best list i've seen
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1:28AM on 12/24/2012

Good Top Ten

I am down for some of these in the top ten. Cloud Atlas was a sham though. Bland acting, plot holes, and just a mess of a story.
I am down for some of these in the top ten. Cloud Atlas was a sham though. Bland acting, plot holes, and just a mess of a story.
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1:17AM on 12/24/2012
Argo was a pleasant surprise, when I saw the trailer, I thought it looked interesting and probably would be good - it turned out incredible, definitely one of the best movies of the year for me as well. I really liked how tonally assured it was, with the Hollywood and Langley/Iran sides of things presented as a juxtaposition, and how Affleck and screenwriter Chris Terrio managed to weave the satirical humour into this nail-biter of a true story.
Argo was a pleasant surprise, when I saw the trailer, I thought it looked interesting and probably would be good - it turned out incredible, definitely one of the best movies of the year for me as well. I really liked how tonally assured it was, with the Hollywood and Langley/Iran sides of things presented as a juxtaposition, and how Affleck and screenwriter Chris Terrio managed to weave the satirical humour into this nail-biter of a true story.
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1:15AM on 12/24/2012
The Dark Knight Rises was a brilliant conclusion to the trilogy and definitely deserves a place in the top ten films of the year. I wasn't bothered very much by many of the criticisms levelled at it and found it an immensely satisfying and stirring experience. As it was for many, it was my most-anticipated film of the year, and it didn't disappoint.
The Dark Knight Rises was a brilliant conclusion to the trilogy and definitely deserves a place in the top ten films of the year. I wasn't bothered very much by many of the criticisms levelled at it and found it an immensely satisfying and stirring experience. As it was for many, it was my most-anticipated film of the year, and it didn't disappoint.
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