You may recall that at the end of 2012 I wasn't exactly thrilled with the cinematic output from the year. Having seen 76 films classified as 2012 release I managed to make a Top 10% list, a Top 7 if you like, now five months later I have seen over 30 more 2012 releases and am ready to go on record for my full end of year Top 15 list.
There's only two films I am yet to see from my list of films that just might fit on this list, Holy Motors and Your Sister's Sister but based on experience the chances are slim. There's a certain amount of hesitancy to publish whilst the Oscar winning film in 15th place is still on the list but there's no denying the quality of it however middle of the road, designed to appeal to the masses, historically inaccurate it is.
15. Argo Dir. Ben Affleck
A solid, tense thriller that speaks volumes about the declining quality of intelligent Hollywood cinema. The kind of movie they made by the bucketload in the 70's but the fact
that it was made in 2012 means it stands out from the crowd.
14. The Pirates! Band of Misfits Dir. Peter Lord
I know it's silly but it's supposed to be and I can't help but love it. The only film on this list that I've seen five times and the one with the highest laughs per minute ratio.
13. Trouble With The Curve Dir. Robert Lorenz
Much like Argo this is the kind of good quality intelligent cinema they used to make all of the time but sadly seems to be few and far between in modern Hollywood. A quiet drama about human relationships filled with pitch perfect performances that doesn't try to be anything it's not.
12. Chronicle Dir. Josh Trank
A refreshing take on the "found footage" sub genre, an interesting superhero origin story, an exciting blockbuster type movie made on a relatively low budget and a great example of what a exciting young director with some imagination and ingenuity can achieve.
11. Bachelorette Dir. Leslye Headland
Brilliantly funny with some great comedic performances and the reunion of Adam Scott with Lizzy Caplan.
10. Premium Rush Dir. David Koepp
Joseph Gordon Levitt and Michael Shannon in a race against time, each other and themselves, one is good and one is bad (no prizes for guessing which is which,) it is pure adrenaline fuelled entertainment and great fun.
9. Django Unchained Dir. Quentin Tarantino
So many moments of brilliance, so many moments of absurd self indulgence from the director, great performances, too much length, didn't like the soundtrack.
8. Jess + Moss Dir. Clay Jeter
Like a book of beautiful moving photographs with words and music added for effect. A perfect example of Appalachian poverty and the rich life (however mythical) of the inhabitants. This was a real surprise and should be seen by far more people than have already.
7. No Dir. Pablo Larraín
A political thriller with strong direction, a clear vision and a superbly restrained central performance from Gael Garcia Bernal. Really highlights the flaws in Argo.
6. Atmen Dir. Karl Markovics
At 94 minutes this way too short, I could have done with another two hours. Slow burn realist cinema with naturalistic performances, haunting, brilliant. Almost nothing happens but so much is experienced. Wonderful cinema.
5. Barbara Dir. Christian Petzold
Understated. Quiet. Slow. Precise. Restrained. Picturesque. Detached. Minimalistic. Subtle. Intelligent. Barbara is all of these and a tense thriller too. Will surely make an international star of Nina Hoss.
4. Damsels in Distress Dir. Whit Stillman
A charming, witty and wonderful surprise, not least because Greta Gerwig
can act. A little bizarre, not for everybody for sure but I keep having a
wonderful time with Whit Stillman's flowers and it gets even better on repeat.
3. End of Watch Dir. David Ayer
Powerful and enjoyable movie making made even better with incredibly strong acting performances. It sits in your head and demands to be revisited again and again.
2. Killer Joe Dir. William Friedkin
Very cool. Very creepy. Superb performances all round but especially
from McConaughey. Everything was understated including the great
direction from Friedkin. A highly enjoyable film with one of the best
blow job scenes ever seen in cinemas. This too gets better with age.
1. The Deep Blue Sea Dir. Terence Davies
A beautiful and mesmerising film featuring a powerful performance from Rachel Weisz that was strangely overlooked by the Academy. Slow moving and understated, this study of passion is told in the
repressed style of the period and will be poking and prodding at your
mind for days after watching I'm certain.
Feel free to throw rocks or start a debate, leave some comments or tweet me @bbbgtoby.