We’ve been spoiled on the movie front this year and more than a bit surprised. If someone told you that an Indonesian fight film would be one of the films of the year, you would have laughed at them.
But 2012 has been the year of the franchise. From those that have continued (The Hobbit, Prometheus), ended (The Dark Knight Rises), rebooted (The Amazing Spiderman, Judge Dredd) re-energised (Skyfall) or come together (Avengers Assemble). A few of them have even managed to sneak into my top 10.
Ben Affleck proved this year that he is a far more consistent director than he is an actor. Following on from Gone Baby Gone and The Town, Argo see’s Ben Affleck as CIA agent Tony Mendez and his team, rescuing a group of US citizens from Tehran by creating a fake movie (Argo) and pretending they are the crew. Based on an actual rescue mission, the details were only declassified in 1997. Affleck nails the tone and the time period of the 70s and is surely destined for a Best Picture nod at next year’s Oscars. Read Review
Joss Whedon pulled off the near impossible and incorporated multiple franchise characters, each with their own string of movies into one epic superhero smash up – and it worked. Robert Downey Jr had the show stolen out from under him by both Mark Ruffalo and his green CGI alter ego.
Can we really wait until 2015 when the next Avengers movie could possibly go head to head with that other bunch of superheroes The Justice League? Read Review
Darling of the festival circuit, Shame sees Michael Fassbender play a high functioning sex addict who spirals into self loathing and hate when his troubled sister Carey Mulligan re-enters his life. The acting is superb, the messages subtle, and yes – Michael Fassbender is on display fully naked, a lot. But there’s nothing titillating about this movie. The journey of Fassbender’s Brandon is far more compelling to watch.
Mark the date. 2012 was the year that Bond got his groove back. Not quite reaching the lofty peaks of Casino Royale but leagues better than Quantum of Solace, Skyfall is getting us back to classic Bond. Though we have the likes of Jason Bourne to thank for the new, gritty, style of Bond movies, Sam Mendes is incorporating some of the good old fashioned Bond of yesteryear without losing the brutality and sense of danger we’ve come to expect from the new 007 outings. Javier Bardem is also outstanding as the deliciously evil villain of the piece.
Perhaps unfairly billed as this year’s Matrix, Looper brought us a smart, cerebral sci-fi film that kept us guessing right until the end. The always impressive, Joseph Gordon Levitt plays a hitman who kills people sent back from the future. The perfect crime. That is until the man sent back through time is his future self (played by Bruce Willis). Willis escapes and the chase is on. Looper is one of the best sci-fi movies of the past few years and, more importantly, it also prevented Bruce Willis’s best role of 2012 being a broadband advert.
Definitely NOT about Scientology, definitely…..probably.
Paul Thomas Anderson’s beautifully shot movie is set in the 50s. The Master sees Joaquin Phoenix as Freddie Quell, discharged from the Navy after World War II. Aimless, drunk and drifting he meets Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Lancaster Dodd, leader of cult The Cause who can help him change his ways. Comparisons with Scientology aside this story is one of manipulation of those seeking a chance at redemption or meaning in their lives, for the most part letting you draw your own conclusions. Hoffman’s performance is excellent, full of eccentricities but never tipping over into overacting or grandstanding that we’ve come to associate with real life cult leaders. Another Best Picture contender.
Coming so far out of left field, well, Jakarta – The Raid is one of the best fight movies you will see. Ever. With a plot very similar to the rebooted Judge Dredd this is a nonstop, frenetic punch up of a movie. Neglecting the overly stylised fight sequences that dominate modern martial arts films The Raid will leave you with your jaw hanging, when you’re not shutting your eyes. It also solves the riddle of what to do with that old fridge…
Read Vikki’s Review
Seth McFarlane’s Ted was a breath of fresh air at the cinema this year. Who doesn’t find a foul mouth, lewd, pot smoking bear funny? You either love or hate this type of humour. With the plot hinging on a You, Me and Dupree type situation the FX are so good in this film that you forget you’re watching glorified child’s toy and embrace it as the unconventional buddy movie it’s meant to be.
The Dark Knight Rises
Going where no franchise has gone before (including the first set of Batman movies) and ending on a high! Christopher Nolan had always envisioned this arc for the Dark Knight and maybe that’s where everyone else is going wrong. Nolan resisted the temptation of simply throwing one baddie after the other from the Batman universe at our caped crusader. Instead, Tom Hardy is left with the honours as Bane – his character a plethora of contradictions (a chemically pumped up physique and mildly amusing, camp English accent behind that mask). Be very surprised if there isn’t another Catwoman franchise on the way with Anne Hathaway in the role.
Twihards step back, this one’s not for you. Robert Pattinson and David Cronenberg create a clinical, bleak, dystopian view of the near future and the financial crash that precipitates it – which is impressive considering most of the movie is set inside a limousine. Pattinson plays Eric Packer, a man being driven towards his (possibly) impending demise, cooly and without pretension. Cronenberg hasn’t been this good for a while.
A big thanks to Vikki for her top 10 movies 2012, this is Vikki’s personal favourites everyone at The People’s Movies are diverse bunch of film fans and we may not all agree on what we love in film or don’t love however we all respect each others opinion. After you enjoy this list you can check out Cleaver Patterson’s top 5 best worst films and Sophie Stephenson’s Top 10 big events of 2012