'Dark Knight Rises' But Not 'The Master' Make AFI's Top 10 of 2012

December 10, 2012
Source: Indiewire

AFI/ Dark Knight Rises

The end of the year is looming, and all the critics associations, guilds and more are starting to praise which films and performances they think are the best. Zero Dark Thirty took the top prize from the National Board of Review, and now the AFI Awards for 2012 have come through. Though they don't name a definitive winner for films, they have picked what they have decided are the ten best American films of the year. That means awards contenders like Skyfall and Amour, which are non-American productions, were not in consideration. Picks include The Dark Knight Rises, Django Unchained and more. Read on!

Here are AFI's picks for the ten best movies of 2012 via Indiewire:


Honestly, I cannot believe that The Dark Knight Rises made the cut. Where is Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master on this list? There's also Hitchcock, Killing Them Softly and The Perks of Being a Wallflower as solid contenders as well, and The Sessions is a better film than The Dark Knight Rises and didn't make the cut. Yes, it was a solid conclusion to Christopher Nolan's trilogy, but I don't think it's one of the 10 best American films of the year.

Could this be a preview of the films that could fill out all ten potential slots for Best Picture when the Oscar nominations come through, or will only some of them make it? All of the other picks from AFI this year are expected and unsurprising, and it's nice to see Beasts of the Southern Wild get some love, but we'll find out which films will be vying for Oscar goldwhen the nominations are announced on January 10th, 2013.

Find more posts: Awards, Movie News



dark knight rises has been my favorite of the year but I still have a lot to watch.

Eru'Eru Narvaez on Dec 10, 2012


TDKR may be in top 20...definitely not 10...even avengers were better...and everyone knows it even though they won't admit it...

David Darida on Dec 10, 2012


The Avengers... haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

LOL on Dec 10, 2012


No Avengers is not better in anyway which is why there is no discussion about it at all. TDKR is one of my favourite films this year and concluded the trilogy in a grand way connecting all the themes from the first two films brilliantly, alot of great symbolism as well

Mel on Dec 10, 2012


Good for you..I consider TDKR as a failure of Nolan's. There were just too many plot holes and strange moments which made me say: WTF is this...not a bad movie, visually sophisticated, some great scenes, but the story is just shameful

David Darida on Dec 10, 2012


I have to say, totally enjoyed the Avengers, but it just doesn't really hold up for me. It's very surface...and doesn't demand lots of rewatching.

earthlingdave on Dec 10, 2012


Avengers were shallow, but very enjoyable. Can't say the same about TDKR though. TDKR doesn't demand lots of rewatching as well...Bane is dubbed, which doesn't add in quality. Bruce recovers after couple of months without proper food, doctor in a freaking prison...seriously? Catwoman is Mrs. Terminator with batpod...

David Darida on Dec 10, 2012


The Avengers is the definition of hackneyed. Even worse is how they lazily used that darn plot device scepter to fill in every single thing that needed explaining. It will not age well considering there's truly no substance to it.

No on Dec 10, 2012


But more enjoyable than TDKR lol...During TDKR, I was thinking why are things as they are, why is this so stupid et cetera... With Avengers you don't have to think about story, it is always going to be childish and stupid...From Nolan, you expect something more...not this time though.

David Darida on Dec 10, 2012


The Avengers was utter garbage. Praising it is like praising a Happy Meal. It's sustenance for children.

Geoffrey Shauger on Dec 10, 2012


I don't praise it. I don't hate TDKR. I love Nolan's movies, but this was a little bit letdown. There are just some things you wouldn't expect to see in Nolan's movie. Mistakes, that belong to Total Recall's remake or to the Amazing Spider-man movie...

David Darida on Dec 11, 2012


really avengers was the most entertaining film i would say but no where near in terms of cinematic quality with TDKR,TDKR was a blend of entertainment but most importantly a compelling strong story filled with emotions rather than all action and humour.

nalindra on Dec 11, 2012


Indeed. TDKR is visually stunning, deserves an oscar for cinematography. Emotionally, it's somewhere else than Avengers. But looking back at the things like that "nuclear bomb", lack of proper villain and most importantly an unsatisfied ending are pushing TDKR as the weakest Nolan's batman, which in general cinematography is still impressive, a great movie no doubt, but as I said before, a little letdown.

David Darida on Dec 11, 2012


This is a really good list. The Dark Knight Rises deserves a spot on there, in my opinion. And it would've been great if Lawless was there. Glad to see Zero Dark Thirty getting so much praise, looks like Kathryn Bigelow has made yet another amazing film. I wonder if she'll win over Tarantino at the oscars again. That would annoy a lot of people.

Isildur_of_Numenor on Dec 10, 2012


Argo? Really?

Dan Hibiki on Dec 10, 2012


I don't know if I'd include TDKR in my top-10 list, but I wouldn't have included THE MASTER, either. Different strokes, I guess.

Timm McIntosh on Dec 10, 2012


Shut up Ethan.

poo on Dec 10, 2012


Agreed. This guy is a complete 'tard. Nearly every article this dude writes is a joke.

Andrew Hanke on Dec 10, 2012


moonrise kingdom was awful.beyond awful, and don't say it's because i don't get wes anderson. he is so over-rated. Rushmore was his last good movie and that was 15 years ago.

kilbey on Dec 10, 2012


That . . . Makes. . . . . Sense?

Guest on Dec 10, 2012


argo and SLP???? way. and yea, DKR was good -but not one of the best of the year. it would be hard for me to pick between: BotSW; MK ; or lincoln on that list.

beevis on Dec 10, 2012



David Banner on Dec 13, 2012


Kathryn Bigelow, Steven Spielberg, David O Russell, Wes Anderson, Paul Thomas Anderson, Quentin Tarantino, Tom Hooper, & Ben Affleck are the most overrated directors around today. Not bad by any means, but not even close to what they're cracked up to be either. Plus it's not like your other contenders set the world on fire to say the least. Then again, I don't come here for opinions.

The Truth of the Matter on Dec 10, 2012



JP on Dec 10, 2012


I can't tell if this is sarcasm, but if it isn't then it's one of the dumbest comments I've ever seen. They are of the greatest working directors in the world easy

Max on Dec 10, 2012


I loved Argo and TDKR. I was disappointed with Lincoln, acting and cinematography was great but the story seemed to drag on. The Master was terrible, I guess it's one of those movies that I just don't understand why everyone loves it.

Micks on Dec 10, 2012


Are you high? The Dark Knight Rises was one of the best films of the year, and beats the shit out of "Perks of Being a Wallflower". It may not be the terrifying, groundbreaking film that is The Dark Knight, and may have had a few flaws (plot holes) but it was still one of the best films of the year. Les Miserables doesn't even have to be good for the Oscars to get their snobbish noses and crowd around it. If TDKR doesn't get nominated, then it is officially proved that the Oscars are no longer relevant because they choose only the 'arty' films. Rant ended.

Anshuman Anupindi on Dec 10, 2012


*****The Dark Knight Rises SPOILER****** You think "The Sessions" is a notably better film than "The Dark Knight Rises"? Dude, you must have been say........ disappointed with TDKR? I personally thought it was sweet. The theme of pain for Bruce/Batman. Good stuff. Plus with Bane being a red herring as the villain, c'mon!

conradthegreat on Dec 10, 2012


Dark Knight Rises...??? That is one flawed film with poor staging, poor motivation, and plenty of plot holes

Geoff on Dec 10, 2012


Plot holes!!!!!

Manuel on Dec 11, 2012


TDKR is #1 for me. I'm glad The Avengers didn't make the list.

Geoffrey Shauger on Dec 10, 2012


You don't think The Dark Knight Rises deserves to be mentioned but Hitchcock does? Hahahaha

politicaldefiance on Dec 10, 2012


Umm... Yet, you would have been okay with Killing Them Softly? Do you watch many films? Hope so... You're providing an article on a film site. There are numerous other films on the list that can be questioned over the TDKR and many other exclusion over Killing Them Softly. This was just another oportunity for a media mouth to Dark Knight hate again.

Andrew Hanke on Dec 10, 2012


Ethan, you are, and continue to be, one of the extreme worst media writers out there. Stop injecting your opinion everywhere and just do the freaking news. You are a freaking little baby. Stop the Dark Knight hate agendas. Be a pro. Take the vanity out of your writing.

Andrew Hanke on Dec 10, 2012


Andrew is right ethan, you should try not to have so much ego in your writing. Use the platform u have and show that discussing films can be intelligent and thought provoking. Stop with these childish rants son.

Roger E. on Dec 10, 2012


Agreed, step your game up Ethan

adversary on Dec 10, 2012


What is wrong with people ? How is it ok to be insulting nowadays ? If you want news and only news, there are plenty of websites. This is what missing in media, analysis (for news report) and opinion (for art). I'm glad he did that because he can talk about other movies and not just the AFI top 10. And if you disagree with someone, take the opportunity to give your opinion because in this case, you are the ones acting like babies

bob on Dec 11, 2012


He just gave his opinion with the news. Not liking TDKR isn't a hate agenda or "being a freaking baby," it's simply disagreeing with your opinion. And if you think that sort of thing makes Ethan one of the worst writers out there, there's a lot of stuff you're missing.

childerolandusa on Dec 11, 2012


So, why are you on his website again? There are a gazillion other vanilla websites out there with the straight news if you'd like to go there. I think that TDKR does not deserve to be on the list at all. Watch it again. It is beyond sloppy, especially for a Nolan flick. It was the biggest disappointment of the year for me. Haven't seen the Master so I can't comment but TDKR was a mess across the board and embarrassing. Either way, you can disagree but stop being childish because a writer on a site you frequent disagrees with your opinion.

Dforst on Dec 11, 2012


This website has always had the writers inject their opinion into the news. Read every single article and that's how it has always been. If you don't like it, then by all means, go find another site. We honestly don't want readers like you if you're going to be so close minded as to not be respectful and hear what other cinephiles have to say. This attitude of "Shut up if your opinion isn't the same as mine" garbage is trolling to the highest degree. Express your opinion, understand that this site's writers will always express theirs in every article, and accept it. Otherwise, there's a whole World Wide Web out there for you to enjoy. This is not a hate agenda against The Dark Knight Rises. You're not watching Fox News or MSNBC, and there's no conspiracy to try and keep Christopher Nolan down (as if that would even be possible). This is an opinion of mine that says The Dark Knight Rises is not one of the 10 best films of the year. Would it make my Top 20? Absolutely. I didn't hate the film, but I just don't think it's as good as some people think.

Ethan Anderton on Dec 11, 2012


I was surprised to hear TDKR was on the list, I do think it's a nod to the whole trilogy, much like Return of the King sort of won Oscar for all three. And it's also a nod to genre film, wouldn't you say?

David Banner on Dec 11, 2012


The Dark Knight Rises absolutely belongs on this list. As for the Master personally thought it was the most disappointing film of the year. Despite great performances from its leads it was very dull. Personally would have liked to seen Flight on here as well but its a good overall list

Mark on Dec 10, 2012


Finally, someone that makes a decent amount of sense. Dark Knight Rises was terrific, it would be flat-out ignorant to NOT consider it.

Jack Treese III on Dec 11, 2012


So the list is what it is. Sombody expresses their opinion on it, a right everyone has. Why can't you argue with them like civilized people instead of insulting them? Unbelievable!

Davide Coppola on Dec 11, 2012


Because his opinion is dead wrong, and you dick ride everything on this site

hazedmind on Dec 11, 2012


just because TDKR was a superhero movie doesn't mean it doesn't deserve to be in the list,this attitude is exactly why TDK lost the opportunity to be nominated in 2008 academy awards which it truly deserved even more than TDLR. What we must see is TDKR managed something extremely difficult,to be a movie that truly entertains but also to be dramatic filled with memorable human performances specially by christian bale. It doesn't have to be overly complex or dramatic or commercially unsuccessful to be a top film of the year.I think kings speech specially proved that a simple yet well told acted story can be amazing and that is exactly what TDKR was this year.

nalindra on Dec 11, 2012


Although I can understand both sides of the argument to as whether Ethan should be providing his heartfelt opinions. The one reason I enjoy this site much more than others is because of the personality of the writers and their enjoyment of certain films, regardless of whether it skews the material they present to us. The beauty about films is we can all be a judge and so with that, if something is said that I disagree with, I can move onto another site, laugh and shrug it off and thoughtful respond with a reasonable counter. Either way, I don't mind Ethan presenting his thoughts as it is his site and my choice to visit it, keep it up the good work.

Matthew on Dec 11, 2012


One of the main reasons I love and make it my first movie site I check every single day before I go to and DeadlineHollywood is that I love Alex Billington's balance between fanboyism and levelheadedness - something I feel makes this site unique. One aspect of that is that Alex doesn't jump on random bandwagons - and I think saying The Master and Killing Them Softly should be on these top 10 lists is jumping on the movie reviewer bandwagon. Those movies are ONLY liked by move reviewers, NOT by people who go and pay money to see movies. I watch many many movies and I think The Master and Killing Them Softly together with Ghost Rider:Spirit of Vengeance are my bottom three of the whole year. Yes please do read that sentence again because I stick with it. I LOVE reading because this site does NOT tend to jump on bandwagons and shove shitty movies down my throat, unlike a lot of other more pretentious moviewebsites. Your site tells me about the stuff I want to know and want to see and comes up with interesting new stuff I haven't yet heard of. I watched Safety Not Guaranteed the other day because you guys wrote you loved it. Although I often don't agree with Ethan I still enjoy his writing just because it's sheer passion and enthusiasm. However I visit this site because it has more of an own opinion then copying every arthouse site out there, and calling The Master and Killing Them Softly two of the best movies of the year to me is the opposite of the kind of journalism that makes me visit this site on a daily basis. I am now waiting for Alex's reaction where he'd seriouslydefend his pick as let's say The Avengers as one of the Ten Best of the year - and you bet I'd agree with him...

Marvelfan on Dec 11, 2012


I appreciate your honesty, and thank you for displaying your disagreement respectfully. Many commenters could learn a thing or two from you. Thanks for coming back to read all the time, and we're happy you find some great movies on our behalf. I actually don't write many reviews for the site unless I'm at Sundance or see a film far in advance. I loved The Master because I'm a huge Paul Thomas Anderson fan, and Killing Them Softly because it refused to be subtle and had great performances. Believe me, there are plenty of films that critics love that I don't understand. But I'm just as much a fanboy as anyone else. The Avengers will make my Top 20 along with The Dark Knight Rises, but I just don't think the latter is better than some of the films that didn't make this list. Not because it's a superhero movie, but because I just wasn't blown away by it. That's all.

Ethan Anderton on Dec 11, 2012


I got to see Zero Dark Thirty early and it's a great movie. Beautifully shot, full of suspense and thrill.

leahtevez on Dec 12, 2012


TDKR most DEFINATLEY deserves to be on the top 10 list...even top 5. Ethan, bro, The Sessions?? Really??? If you want a true masterpeice and inspired art, dig into TDKR and how they made it. Like, REALLY dig. It's so brilliant man. TDK #1 all the way this year. I'm glad the kid-flick, The Avengers, didn't make it. Great movie and all...but no.

Kurt F. Ziebis II on Dec 17, 2012


I thought Les Mis was a British production! I guess I was wrong.

Jez on Jan 3, 2013

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