Looking Back: Ethan Picks His Own Top 20 Favorite Films of 2012

December 28, 2012

Ethan's Top 20 of 2012

Just one weekend stands between us and 2013, and looking back at all the great films of 2012 has been a real treat. Myself and the rest of FirstShowing (not to mention most of our colleagues) think this was truly a year to remember for fantastic cinema. Starting all the way back at Sundance and ending with this awards season, there have been tons of stellar stories on the big screen (along with some big disappointments). And while there's plenty to look forward to in 2013, here's one more look back at some of the best films of the year with my personal picks for the 20 Best Films of 2012. Yeah, I couldn't pick just ten. Full list below!

#20. Sleepwalk with Me

Sleepwalk with Me

After coming in second place in my list of the six best comedies of 2012, the directorial debut from comedian Mike Birbiglia charmed its way onto my Best of 2012 list. Maybe it's because it has flares of some of my favorite childhood comedies like Wayne's World and Ferris Bueller's Day Off, but this film is funny, original and one of the most genuine films I've seen all year. Birbiglia's sleepwalking disorder is a real thing that actually caused him bodily harm when he jumped out a second story hotel room window, and he puts that and more on the screen for your entertainment. It's one of the best films to take place in the world of stand-up comedy, and succeeds where other film debuts from comedians have failed.

#19. Wreck-It Ralph

Wreck-It Ralph

Disney beat Pixar this year. That should be enough to tell you just how well the House of Mouse did with their own computer animated film that takes audiences into the world of video games. Following in the footsteps of Tangled which took familiar elements of classic fairytales and turned them on their head, Wreck-It Ralph uses familiar childhood lessons and tropes for this tale that's basically Toy Story with video game characters, but packs quite a giant-fisted punch thanks to an absolutely perfect lead voice cast (John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jane Lynch and Jack McBrayer), and a slew of great supporting voices, most notably Alan Tudyk as King Candy. This film really pulled at my heartstrings and blew Brave and every other animated film out of the water. That's not bad for the feature directorial debut of Rich Moore.

#18. The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being Wallflower

Hearing that Summit Entertainment was adapting Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower made plenty readers feel uneasy. The book that is essential reading for any teenager struggling with growing up has more than a few passionate fans. But when you get the book's author to write the screenplay and direct the film, that changes things a bit. Stephen Chbosky packs as much of his short book into this film as possible, and does so without losing any of the harrowing drama or character development. Logan Lerman puts in a breakthrough performance, Ezra Miller (last seen in We Need to Talk About Kevin) deserves an Oscar nomination for his supporting role, and Emma Watson makes a fine American pixie dream girl. This was a surprisingly great adaptation.

#17. The Master

The Master

Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master - the performances from Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman alone make it one of the best films of the year, but it's the whole package of The Master that really makes it a puzzle worth trying to solve. Though it has been said the film is about the founding of Scientology, there are more than a few other ideas of what the film is truly about, and that makes P.T. Anderson's work all the more interesting. In fact, even some of the posters, most notably the Roarschach posters (we named the best poster of 2012) seem to imply the film is merely what audiences will make of it.

#16. 21 Jump Street

21 Jump Street

Named as my favorite comedy of the year, you can bet this movie was one of my favorite films of 2012 in general. Aside from the surprisingly great teaming of Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, what makes this film truly great is the self-aware nature of falling into the trend of adapting old properties from decades past and trying to recycle them for new audiences. Thankfully, this film not only makes fun of that fact, but doesn't try to capture anything about the old series to pander to that audience. It's a fresh take on a familiar TV show, and the only element that ties to the 80s favorite is a cameo that is expected, but surprising in the way it's handled. In fact, it makes for one of the most shocking and funny moments on film in 2012.

#15. The Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Rises

I'm sorry this film wasn't good enough to be in the Top 10, but Christopher Nolan's conclusion to The Dark Knight legend was still one of the best films of the year, and better than most comic book fare. While I don't think the film is better than The Dark Knight, there's still some great writing here and some especially fantastic imagery from Nolan and cinematographer Wally Pfister. Perhaps the most surprising and interesting choice in the film comes from Anne Hathaway's impressive turn as Catwoman and the unconventional use of Bane, played strongly by Tom Hardy. The Dark Knight Rises might be the most satisfying and cohesive conclusions to any trilogy, or at least #2 behind Return of the King.

#14. Moonrise Kingdom

Moonrise Kingdom

Wes Anderson hasn't really grown much as a filmmaker, but as a sucker for his quirky style and comedy and coming of age romance, this film just hits all the sweet spots. With fantastic debuts from Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman as our young romantic leads, this is just a delightful little romance helped along by hilarity from the supporting cast like Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Jason Schwartzman and more. As usual, the soundtrack just sweetens an already delicious cinematic cake, and this movie is also a pretty good one for the whole family.

#13. Looper


An original sci-fi film is always welcome in any year, and when it comes from Brick and The Brothers Bloom writer and director Rian Johnson, that's even better. While there's plenty of plotholes and time travel paradoxes to be found, as Jeff Daniels so eloquently puts it in the film, "This time travel shit fries your brain like an egg." It's better to just get lost in the world and let this original and compelling story unfold, helped fantastically by the fact that Joseph Gordon-Levitt puts his best foot forward playing a young version of Bruce Willis. Take into account the fact that Emily Blunt makes for a great American farmer and Pierce Gagnon puts forth one of the best performances from a child actor I've ever seen, and that's a great sci-fi package.

#12. Argo


Argo - At one time, I thought Argo would make my Top 10, but as I said, this was an absolutely remarkable year for great cinema across the board. This venture into history is both unbelievable and thrilling as Ben Affleck leads a group of stranded Americans out of Tehran by having them pose as a film crew making a sci-fi film. Affleck also directs, adding another amazing film to his growing resume as a filmmaker, and is able to deliver a film with some great laughs and plenty of suspense. And while there might not be any huge names making up the hostage ensemble, the supporting names, which include Scoot McNariy and more, all deliver noteworthy performances. Add Alan Arkin, John Goodman and Bryan Cranston into the mix spectating and helping the scheme, and you've got a film destined for at least a Best Picture nomination.

#11. Ruby Sparks

Ruby Sparks

Ruby Sparks - It's sad that this film has gone mostly overlooked throughout the year, but Little Miss Sunshine directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris made one hell of a romance with Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan. The original film was also written by the lead actress, Kazan, who takes the titular role as the writing creation of a struggling author who suddenly appears in his real life. Some think this is just a rehash of Stranger Than Fiction, and in some ways, it's the female counterpart, but it also covers plenty of new ground, to the point that it gets a little dark towards the end. Of course, there's still some great laughs and an alluring romance that is whimsical but grounded. It's a triumph and any romantic comedy released this year can't shake a stick at it.

#10. Life of Pi

Life of Pi

Visually stunning, full of adventure, excitement, tragedy, suspense and never predictable, Ang Lee's Life of Pi kept me captivated to the very end. Though it starts a little slow, this harrowing story of Pi Patel (more than impressively played by Suraj Sharma) needed the technology of today to be told properly. Complete with some of the best special effects work ever done with animals and a truly immersive 3D experience the likes of which haven't been seen since Avatar, this adaptation of a book that was called unfilmmable proved all the naysayers wrong, and make director Ang Lee a true visionary. And while the film looks gorgeous and has this compelling adventure, for me, the truly riveting part of this tale came at the end, when the storyteller ends his adventure, and the audience is left wondering. We won't spoil that element here, and you should see it for yourself.

#9. The Cabin in the Woods

The Cabin in the Woods

For some reason, people who were expecting this to be a straight-up horror film were disappointed, and others just don't seem to get the appeal, but Cabin in the Woods is one of the most brilliant films that simultaneously dissects and exists within the horror genre, and with great effect and affect. The typical elements of a horror film are all put under a microscope and explained with this unique story that turns every horror film into a sacrifice to keep ancient Gods from destroying the world. From the idea of the Final Girl, characters dropping knives and making other stupid moves, the variety of monsters and killers, it's all explained in this stellar and phenomenal film that. It just doesn't seem fair that Joss Whedon can write this with director Drew Goddard (a fine feature debut) and also direct The Avengers. Oh, and did I mention that Fran Kranz is amazing in it?

#8. Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas

This is probably the most divisive film of the year. People have either loved it or hated, and I fell into the former. This is an epic story that is on the same level as Ben-Hur, Lawrence of Arabia and Lord of the Rings, but it spans an even longer period of time and has quite a colorful cast of characters. But The Wachowski siblings and Tom Tykwer use a smaller cast to bring them to life as Tom Hanks, Hugh Grant, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess and Jim Broadbent play roughly six characters each, all vastly different from each other. This film is long and jumps around a lot, but the way each segment weaves seamlessly into the next, and all the intertwining elements make this a beautiful, ambitious film that is worthy of a Best Picture nomination.

#7. Safety Not Guaranteed

Safety Not Guaranteed

As soon as the credits rolled at Sundance 2012, I was certain it was going to be one of my favorite films of the year. After rewatching it recently, I'm happy to say that it held up enough to end up on my Top 10. It could have easily been just another do-it-yourself indie, but with the stellar cast of Aubrey Plaza, Jake Johnson, and newcomer Kran Soni all putting forth breakthrough performances, not to mention the always great Mark Duplass, this is a "time travel film" that is completely on the other end of the spectrum as Looper. And while this is certainly a funny movie, it's not just a comedy, and has a lot to say about the human condition and the fragility of our emotions and lives in the wake of heartbreak. Director Colin Trevorrow and writer Derek Connolly gave themselves a chance at a big future in film after this.

#6. The Avengers

The Avengers

Surely plenty of Batman fans will be up in arms about this film's placement on my Top 10 list, but I can't help it. Maybe it's because I took the time to sit through the Marvel Marathon in theaters, but I found this film to be a much more impressive and entertaining achievement than The Dark Knight Rises. Is it perfect? No. But, writer-director Joss Whedon pulled off something incredible by taking all of these characters, many with their own films, and throwing them into a single, action packed superhero movie without neglecting any of them. What makes this film all the more pleasing is that this kind of presentation of a team of superheroes never seemed possible until Marvel shot for the moon. Completing a trilogy with style and grace is one thing, but this was something that audiences hadn't seen happen before, and that continues to shake my head in pleased disbelief even as I write this.

#5. Sound of My Voice

Sound of My Voice

Sadly, this is a film you've probably never heard of. It debuted at Sundance back in 2011, and only received a very quiet theatrical release earlier this year from Fox Searchlight. Zal Batmanglij directs and wrote this film with Brit Marling, the star and writer of indie sci-fi Another Earth (you can also see her this year in Arbitrage), and for my money, it was far superior to that 2011 Sundance selected film that somehow got considerably more indie buzz. Christopher Denham and Nicole Vicius star as two journalists trying to document the happenings inside a secret cult whose leader is believed to be an ailing woman from the year 2054. It's mysterious, suspenseful, and has an ending that will stick in your mind long after the credits roll. Just waiting to see the movie again after Sundance was torture enough and upon repeat viewing over a year later, it still held up. Seek this one out.

#4. Lincoln


Steven Spielberg ventured into history for a home run again with a focus on one of American history's most respected Presidents. However, rather than chronicling the life of Abraham Lincoln, this film simultaneously focuses on his life as a father and and abolitionist (and our contributing writer Tyler Wantuch dove into that rather impressively not too long ago). Any film with a Daniel Day-Lewis lead performance is going to be impressive, and this one is no different. However, the ensemble that also includes wholly extraordinary performances from David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Sally Field, and especially Tommy Lee Jones is nothing to scoff at. Even the smaller roles for James Spader, Michael Stuhlbarg, Hal Holbook and more are stellar. Though the proceedings aren't much different than any good legal drama, the subject matter is what really brought a tear to my eye.

#3. Silver Linings Playbook

Silver Linings Playbook

Silver Linings Playbook - It's hard to explain why a film that is so familiar and derivative is ranked so high on many critics list until you see how David O. Russell brought together Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in surprisingly good co-lead performances with mesmerizing chemistry (almost as mesmerizing as Lawrence dancing in yoga pants). Cooper never particularly impressed me, but here, as a man on his last string, trying to grasp at what he thinks is a silver lining, his desperation just pierced my heart and made me feel and cringe for the man and all his mistakes and shortcomings. Meanwhile, Lawrence seems like a cookie cutter crazy, contemporary damsel at first, but as her story unfolds, her performance becomes richer and all the more engaging, making her a perfect complement to Cooper. Plus, you have to love a film where Chris Tucker isn't completely annoying and lets Robert De Niro be great again.

#2. Zero Dark Thirty

Zero Dark Thirty

Coming so soon after the assassination of Osama Bin Laden, especially the media circus that followed, you might think the story of the hunt, capture and death of the world's most famous terrorist was happening too quickly. However, Kathryn Bigelow has crafted another suspenseful film that is both a war drama like The Hurt Locker and crime thriller in the same vein as Zodiac. Zero Dark Thirty is suspenseful almost the whole way through, and the progression of Jessica Chastain as an uneasy would-be interrogator to a ruthless, cold hunter of Bin Laden is perfection. In a way it's the representation of many Americans who might have been abject to United States military aggression until frustration after the events of 9/11 built up enough to allow for celebration when Osama was pronounced dead. The final moments of the film are easily some of the most tense scenes all year, and this will serve as a cinematic window into history for decades to come.

#1. Skyfall


Skyfall? Done. This took a long time for me to figure out, and personally, I'm surprised that a blockbuster film (let alone a James Bond film), took my top stop, but I absolutely fell in love with Sam Mendes' Skyfall. It feels like it should have been the first James Bond film with Daniel Craig as 007 since so many elements wipe the slate clean and introduce signature elements of previous Bond films while stay paying homage and tribute to the long history of Bond himself. Javier Bardem as the villain is inspired and haunting, mostly because his character's defect is chiefly emotional, with his physical deformity hidden in plain sight. Just his monologue when he first appears in the film is reason enough for Bardem to get an Oscar nod.

Director Sam Mendes delivers the Bond film that audiences would want to see from a director like Christopher Nolan. It's gritty, grounded, exciting and stylish. From the opening orchestral blare and traditional long distance silhouette to the final moments when we meet a new signature Bond character and say goodbye to another, this film is a triumph, even for those who aren't big James Bond fans. Skyfall is sexy without being tacky, action-packed without being over-the-top, gorgeously shot by cinematographer Roger Deakins, and just might be the best James Bond film ever.

Honorable mentions: Django Unchained, The Sessions, Celeste and Jesse Forever, End of Watch, ParaNorman, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Bernie, Smashed, Save the Date, The Imposter, The Grey, Your Sister's Sister, Seven Psychopaths.

Before anyone goes crazy, Tarantino's Django Unchained would be at #21, and it was hard for me to kick it out of the Top 20. And there are still some films I haven't seen that are getting a lot of year-end love like Michael Haneke's Amour, the documentary Queen of Versailles, Holy Motors, Compliance and Les Miserables. It's been a phenomenal year, and this is the hardest time I've ever had putting together a year-end list of my favorite films. We'll have to wait and see how the Academy receives some of these films when the Oscar nominations are announced early next year on January 10th, just before Sundance 2013.

What do you think of Ethan's Top 20 Best Films of 2012? Are there many others you think he missed or are overrated? What are your own top picks and favorite films from 2012?

Find more posts: Discuss, Editorial



Skyfall really didn't do it for me. I know I'll probably get crucified for saying that. I really do love Daniel Craig as Bond and thought this film was going to be amazing but I found it rather boring and uneventful.

disappointedbond on Dec 28, 2012


Skyfall was one of my biggest disappointments this year. You're not alone.

Ali Miller on Dec 29, 2012


I'm with you love I didn't like Skyfall at it wasn't a proper bond film. Where was the good baddies and bond was rubbish as well don't like Daniel Craig as bond he's rubbish. big disappointment for me.

excel on Dec 30, 2012


No one likes Craig, but u have to supporthim if you like Bond flicks

Sumie Beg on Mar 12, 2013


Not getting the love for Ruby Sparks - that was one dreadful bore of a movie, IMO.

racquetman on Dec 28, 2012


To each their own (that is the point of top ten/twenty lists), but I absolutely did not have the reaction to WRECK-IT RALPH that you did. It had the potential to be the Toy Story of video game movies, and it never got there. In fact, after Ralph is in Candyland (or wherever), it becomes so sappy at times that I felt the movie was going to literally suffocate me.

mandawg on Dec 28, 2012


Finally, someone giving some love to Sound of My Voice. Love what Brit Marling is doing. Strange though...Does Safety Not Guaranteed and Moonrise Kingdom not fall into the Comedy genre? I know they sort of cross-genres, but I see a lot of lists mentioning them under comedies. I notice they don't make you top 6 comedy list but are higher on your top 20 than your top comedy. Just curious.

wooster on Dec 28, 2012


SNG isn't a comedy...it's a great movie and has some funny moments - but it isn't a comedy. and SomV is very good.

$6296288 on Dec 28, 2012


Yeah, I just re-watched SNG. Plenty of comedic moments, but it definitely crosses into another genre. I was also a big fan of Another Earth, so was pleasantly surprised with SomV. Brit Marling has some chops and I look forward to seeing more from her.

wooster on Dec 28, 2012


That's exactly why I didn't include them in the comedy category. They didn't seem like straight-up comedies to me so it was hard to include them.

Ethan Anderton on Dec 28, 2012


Hummm. Is there even 1-one- non-english language film on your list?

David Banner on Dec 29, 2012


Does there have to be? Who said he has to include a foreign-language film in his top 20? It's his favorites, and there isn't any affirmative action in a favorite movie list.

Chazzy on Dec 29, 2012


While some movies didn't live up to my massively high expectations (looper, skyfall, tkdr) they were still great movies and complemented the great year for movies that was 2012.

Jon Odishaw on Dec 28, 2012


I feel kind of bad my top 10 list is not as sophisticated as mentioned above. But nevertheless here is my top 10. 1.) The Dark Knight Rises 2.) The Hobbit 3.) The Avengers 4.) Les Miserables 5.) The Hunger Games 6.) John Carter 7.) Prometheus 8.) Frankenweenie 9.) Skyfall 007 10.) Wreck it Ralph

mark on Dec 28, 2012


TDKR and FRankeeweenie ?? Gotta be kidding

Sumie Beg on Mar 12, 2013


Good list. Completely agree with Skyfall. Maybe my expectations were different than others as I was not expecting much. But I walked out the cinema a happy man. For me 2012 has been a year when I seemed to really enjoy films that were far from perfect. Maybe I am getting old! The Avengers, Killing Them Softly, Looper, Prometheus and Les Mis all had big problems but these are the films that are still in my head at the end of the year. The opposite of Skyfall was The Dark Knight Rises. My expectations were so high. I loved all the trailers and believed the early reviews. But in the end the script just killed it. Really disappointed. Keep up the good work Ethan and bring on 2013!

Vietnamthemovie on Dec 28, 2012


EXACTLY the point i made about the Prometheus critics ; they just went in with expectations too high , for the " new Ridley " IF u ignore the 60-sec abortion ( and then running and jumping as if she had no staples .. DOH. ), there was nothing else So Hugely wrong about the film that it should be vilified . The Avengers and TDKR are nitpicked by haters instead of just enjoying the good stuff and laughing about the rest ...Skyfall was good esp in IMAX and the haters act like they were looking at their phone the whole movie . Start from the fact that it's M'S MOVIE - Dench not Craig is the biggest star - and u might enjoy it better . MAYBE the " old vs new " theme was focused on too much ; it's just a framework that all the stories connect to ....and somebody here commented the score didn't foreshadow or setup the action in the scenes . Whatever that means to ya ...

Dominic A on Dec 29, 2012


I can never do lists like this, I mostly make lists of 'movies from this year that I loved'....I know one thing for sure, the top theater experiences of the year in no particular order had to be The Avengers, Django Unchained, The Dark Knight Rises, Skyfall, Cloud Atlas, and Life of Pi.

Chris Groves on Dec 29, 2012


No mention of the Hobbit? I would have placed that in my top 10. Great list btw. This is my top 10 for the year. Not for everyone though haha. 1) The Hobbit 2) Life of Pi 3) Skyfall 4) The Avengers 5) The Dark Knight Rises 6) Looper 7) John Carter 8) Judge Dredd 9) The Hunger Games 10) 21 Jump Street

TK on Dec 29, 2012


John Carter and Dredd? Are you fucking kidding me?

Ben on Dec 29, 2012


I'm sorry, but I just HAVE to ask... have actually seen "John Carter"? 'Cause I see that most peeps on the net condemning it haven't watched it yet.

Krishna Shenoi on Dec 29, 2012


This very true unfortunately. A lot of my friends have said they don't like John Carter even though they've never seen it. I thought it was a great movie and thoroughly enjoyed Andrew Stanton's direction.

TK on Dec 29, 2012


I watched John Carter with no expectations and I thought it was average, nothing special at all. I'd give it ~5/10

Efterklang on Jan 1, 2013


Like I said my list is not for everyone. They are just the movies that I enjoyed this year. I thought John Carter was pretty awesome. It reminded me of all the fantasy movies from the 80's and early 90's. As for Dredd, I really liked the fact that they stuck to the very core of the character. Each to their own.

TK on Dec 29, 2012


I'm baffled as to why 21 Jump Street is appearing in so many lists, I thought it was so lazily written. Also, Safety not Guaranteed was a nice little indie but once again seems like it's one of those over hyped indie films like Juno and Little Miss Sunshine that will get lots of Oscar nominations, they pick at least one every year. Thought Moonrise Kingdom was terrible and in fact switched it off after 20 mins, Anderson is just repeating himself in every film and still gets major stars and critics who are loyal to his now empty quirky films, he hasn't made a good film since Royal Tenenbaums and strangely, since Owen Wilson stopped co-writing his films.

I am Jacks DVD collection on Dec 29, 2012


Great list. Cool to see Zero Dark Thirty so high on there.

Isildur_of_Numenor on Dec 29, 2012


Skyfall is the best film in 2012 because of ????? let me try : bad score bad story bad acting bad acting from everyone but Javier the villan was the best thing in the worst film I've seen in a theatre in over 11 years . i was sleeping during the last 15 minutes of the film if they wanted to kill Q why the hell didn't they do without making the entire story about her fucking past it's a damn 007 bond after all . wtf is wong with people in the past few days talking about how disappointed they are about The Dark Knight Rises which is much better than this Skyfall mess .

3abdolly on Dec 29, 2012


I think your dislike your bond films is rather revealed by your confusion of M and Q. It's a Bond film. It's a great Bond film. A great movie? Maybe, maybe not but Bond haters always gonna hate.

Blargh on Dec 30, 2012


Did you watch any foreign films this year, Ethan?

Marcus on Dec 29, 2012


Unfortunately, most of the big foreign films never came anywhere near me so I haven't been able to see movies like The Untouchables, Amour, etc. Sadly, those I usually don't get to see until after the Oscars.

Ethan Anderton on Dec 30, 2012


Your list is pretty good...but you missed the best movie of the year Django Unchained. Fucking idiot.

Ben on Dec 29, 2012


Maybe you should read the paragraph immediately following the list. Keep up the good work though!

Ethan Anderton on Dec 30, 2012


1. Django Unchained 2. Cabin in the Woods 3. 21 Jump Street 4. Lincoln 5. Moonrise Kingdom 6. The Dark Knight Rises 7. The Hobbit 8. Skyfall 9. Looper 10. Life of Pi Any list that does not have Django or Cabin in the Woods is just stupid, I'm sorry. And for all of you people that have only blockbuster movies on your list, do not think your opinion matters because your are just simple minded. So shut the hell up.

Ben on Dec 29, 2012


Pff suck a lemon you hypocritical troll.

AJ on Dec 29, 2012


Lawlz at 21 Jump Street. . . NICE.

Sycophantic Sockdrawer on Dec 29, 2012


But sweetness, you seem to have only blockbusters in your list too. It's okay. I'll accept you as you are, "simple minded" and all.

Krishna Shenoi on Dec 29, 2012


Great list. I realize this is an opinion piece, and to each their own, but I still can't understand the appeal of Skyfall. It just feel so flat for me, especially for a Bond film, I never felt engaged with anything that was going on. Javier Bardem was the only saving grace initially, and the narrative turns him in to a one dimensional whiny baby with a ridiculous personal vendetta. I expected so much more, I still like Casino Royale the best. Oh yah, and no Django??

AJ on Dec 29, 2012


of all the 'best of 2012' lists i've seen so far (on here and elsewhere), i agree with this one the most

Eric Odenheimer on Dec 29, 2012


why does the avengers even get a spot? consistently scratching my head over what was so good about it. replace it with django and the list is solid

conradtheblack on Dec 29, 2012


For a subjective list, it's a good list. Thanks for sharing.

PBGray on Dec 29, 2012


I think this is a solid list... but give the readers more credit. There aren't any films on this list that we haven't heard of. I mean, we are at a pretty hardcore film website. Normal, average moviegoers don't really visit these sites.

Chazzy on Dec 29, 2012


Not too many gripes with this list. My biggest question after I got to number 1 was where was Les Miserable but I see you didn't get to it yet. I just saw it and can't help but feel that it may be the best movie of the year closely followed by Lincoln and Life of Pi.

rocky728 on Dec 29, 2012


Oh and I have to be honest, I'd have John Carter on my list. I thought it wasn't deserving of 99% of the snark it got. Let's be honest, people were hating it before seeing it and practically hoping for it to bomb

rocky728 on Dec 29, 2012


I did like John Carter of Mars. the Critics slammed It for the name, but I found it to be one of the best films of the year for me good old Star wars type Movie which made you wanting to keep watching.

excel on Dec 30, 2012


Skyfall, number 1? LMAO. it doesnt even crack top 10 because the story is so shallow and predictable.

VVS on Dec 29, 2012


SkyFall #1? Avengers #6? Wow...I'll make sure to avoid of any your recommendations in the future.

Geoffrey Shauger on Dec 29, 2012


The Avengers and Skyfall are so overrated that it's starting to scare me.

Sycophantic Sockdrawer on Dec 29, 2012


i havent seen skyfall yet, but i can agree on The Avengers. Its as if people are giving it a good rating just for existing.

Derrick Syl.James Jr on Dec 29, 2012


I really love this list. I feel like you truly understand film (or you just have the same taste in them as me) 🙂

Troy Ollis on Dec 29, 2012


I feel good that I've seen 15 of those 20 films... Only ones I haven't? Sleepwalk with me, Life of Pi, Skyfall, Zero Dark Thirty, and Sound of My Voice... Will hit at least three of those before Oscars, though. When does Firstshowings best 19 films you haven't seen come out?

Greg dinskisk on Dec 30, 2012


Skyfall also didn't do it for me either... As I mentioned before and someone other people did too.... It didn't seem like a 007 movie (maybe that was their intention). It was a bit dull to be honest. Where was the big Silva and Bond showdown at the end?? Here is my top anyhoo: Zero Dark Thirty Silver Linings Playbook Django Unchained Killing Them Softly The Grey End of Watch Prometheus The Avengers Looper Life of Pak

No muff too tuff on Dec 30, 2012


Skyfall was easily my number one as well, though I didnt see a lot. But growing up on Bond I always get excited for a new installment. Maybe it was the bad after taste of Quantum of Solace still lingering, when I walked out of Skyfall I wanted to go to the next showing. I was geeking out. This could be, IMO the Goldfinger for Daniel Craigs era. I really hope Mendes does the next film too.

jacobcrim on Dec 31, 2012


Skyfall is easily the worst thing to happen to Bond since Die Another Day. You obviously got sucked into the artsy style based off what I see in your top 20, because the movie had no substance, character development, motivating plot, or memorable scenes. Was the climax when bond was killing nameless hordes at the house while the old people scurried away in the background? You should stop doing reviews, seriously.

Matty Monticello on Jan 1, 2013


WOW! This has got to be one of the worst best movie lists of 2012. For starters, 'Safety Not Guaranteed' was strictly OK, while you keep Argo at 12 ?!!?

stormirder_666 on Jan 2, 2013


The Hunger Games. That is all.

Claudio Catino on Feb 5, 2013

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